Full Text for The Suffering Church: A Study of Luther's Theologia Crucis (Text)

CONCORDIA THEOLOGICAL QUARTERLY Volume 50, Number I JANUARY 1986 Announcement ........................................ 1 The Suffering Church: A Study of Luther's Theologia Crucis.. ....... Robert A. Kelly 3 Assimilation of the Elde~ly into the Parish ................ Douglas E. Fountain 19 Theological Observer. ................................ .25 Homiletical Studies .................................. .3 1 Indices to Volume 49 (1985) Author Index .................................... 71 Title Index ...................................... 75 Subject Index. .................................. .77 Scripture Index ................................... 79 The Suffering Church: A Study of Luther's Theologia Clucis Robert A. Kelly Introduction In 1929 and again in an addendum of 1954 Walther von Loewenich concluded his study of Luther's theologia cnrcis with a statement of the need to investigate the influence of the theology of the cross on the various individual doctrines as Luther taught them. If, as von Loewenich contends (and as is now generally accepted), the theology of the cross is an epistemological and structural principle of Luther's tdal theology, the mark of the cross should be on each part of the whole. Unless the influence of theologia crucis on a particular locur is understood, then Luther's thinking is not understood.* The purpose of this study is to extend the discussion of Luther's theology of the cross toward its relationship with the distinction of two kingdoms. This task has already been begun from the political side by Pierre Biihler in his response to Jiirgen Moltmann's 27~ Crucified God3 Here we wish to focus on the ecclesiastical side, specifically Luther's thinking on the suffering and persecution of the church. The historical context for any statements which Luther made on this subject are twofold; on the one hand, the opposition to the Saxons by papal and imperial forces and, on the other hand, the rise of more radical figures and groups within the evangelical movement. The opponents of the Reformation claimed that the power of Rome and dK weakness and divisions among the evangelicals proved that the Saxon church could not be a true church. In Luther's response to these claims and in his pastoral care of the church at Wittenberg we can see some of the structures of Luther's theological system ex- posed for examination. This study is motivated by two concerns. First, Biihler has stated in his introduction: ". . .Es darfruhig gesagt werden, dass das zen- trale Interesse &s Kreuzes, und &shah auch des christlich Ghbens im ganzen, das perscnliche Heil des Einzelnen kt. Is Biihler correct that the theologia cmcis is strongly focused on the salvation of the individual? It is the working hypothesis of this paper that there is also a corporate aspect to the cross, and this aspect can be seen in Luther's thinking on the suffering of the church. There are also those who would see Luther's statements on suffering and persecution to be purely context~al.~ It is the working hypothesis here that, while historical context must always be considered, Luther's thoughts on the suffering church can be seen as an important 4 CONCoRDlA THEOLOGICAL QUARTERLY outgrowth from, and logical necessity of, both the theology of the cross and the distinction of two kingdoms. Background: Luther's Doctrine of the Church Luther's doctrine of the church was one of his important tools in the battle with pope and hierarchy on the one side and with Karlstadt, Miintzer, and other radicals on the other side. Against both sides he defined the church as the holy Christian people-the crowd, com- munity, or assembly of those who have received the gift of faith in Jesus Christ. He did not like the work Kirche, which seemed to him overly institutional and caused the common people to think of b~ildings,~ but preferred the words sdmg and gemeim because of their emphasis on the communio sanctontm. This definition of the church leads Luther immediately to the con- clusion that no institutional form of the church can claim to be the true church. The true church (that which the creed calls "one, holy, catholic, and apostolic") is something internal, an assembly of faith, not a collection of bodies. He made this point forcefully in On the Papucy in Rome of 1520. Here he equates the error of the Romanists with those who expected the Messiah to establish an earthly kingdom. The true church cannot have a temporal regent who rules in Christ's place. Christ alone rules the true church; when this church grows, it grows purely because of the action of Chri~t.~ The institutional church is called "institutional'l-Luther used the word ''external'L!-because its various offices and structu~s are human institutions. Certainly God desires that there be leadership, order, and structure in the world, but, maintained Luther, the Roman church cannot claim divine institution of its various hierarchies and bureaucracies. Earthly officers can never be heads or regents, but only messengers for Christ, the actual head? In the true church, Christ rules directly in the hearts of His faithful people. From this assertion follows the description of the true church as "hidden." By calling the church hidden, Luther means to say that the church cannot be discovered or observed by natural reason. The true church is hidden under the sign of its opposite:I0 weakness, suf- fering, persecution, schism, and heresy. Because of this many take offense and decide that the church does not exist. This concealing of the church is the work both of the devil, who wants the Gospel to be suppressed, and God, who wants to come to people only in fiith?' The true church is not seen by reason because it is proclaimed by the Gospel. Christ has promised that His church will exist on earth until the Day of Judgment and that the Holy Spirit will abide with Suffering Church 5 it for all time?2 Thus, the existence of the church within the world is not a matter for empirical investigation; it is an article of faith. The presence of the church in a particular historical situation can only be "'seen" by faith in Christ and His promises. What the world can- not see, the Christian, enlightened by the Holy Spirit through the Gospel, knows to exist. What can be determined by reason does not involve faith; where the Christian relies on Gods Word alone, there faith exists. There are various signs by which the (lhristian can, in faith, detect the presence of the hidden church. In "On the Councils and the Church" Luther mentions seven of these. The first and most impor- tant is the preachmg of the Word of God, the Gospel. The second is baptism, taught, believed, and administered according to Christ's command. The sacrament of the altar is third--again administered, believed, and received according to Christ's institution. Fourth is the office of the keys administered publicly so that sin is confessed and forgiven. The fifth sign is the consecration and call of people to the public offices of the Word, sacraments, and keys. Public prayer, praise, and thanksgiving to God in worship is the sixth sign?3 The seventh sign is the focus of this study. Luther says that the seventh sign by which the hidden church can be recognized in faith is the possession of the sacred cross. Initially this point is a satire of the custom of requiring the possession of a relic before a church can be consecrated. According to Luther, the true church is not made holy by a sliver of wood, but by actual participation in the cross of Christ. In the Galatians commentary of 1535 he defines the cross of Christ as "'the afllictions of all the faithful'' or as "the af?lictions which the church suffers on Christ's account"14 and the stumbling block of the cross which follows the preaching of the Word as "ignominious and merciless per~ecution."~~ The Seventh Sign: The Possession of the True Cross In "On the Councils" Luther says that possessing the cross means that Christians suffer "every dm and persecution," both agonies of conscience and actual persecution. The reason for the suffering must be purely because Christians want to preach only Christ and adhere to God's Word. The holy Christian people "must be pious, quiet, obedient, and prepared to serve the government and everybody with life and goods, doing no one any harm.'' According to Luther, the persecution directed against the church will be particularly bitter and the Christian people will be numbered among the dregs of socie- ty. Those who persecute and kill them will think that they thereby 6 CONCORDIA THEOLOGICAL QUARTERLY serve God, and earthly compassion will be denied them. Such suf- fering is an ihitifyiing mark of the presence of the communion of saints: "Wherever you see or hear this, you may know that the holy Christian church is there.'*I6 Ldxr has a law view of bsthtid success. This view is earpress& already in tbe Dim super PsaIterium. In the scholia to Psalm 69 (68 in the Vulgate) Luther talks about the dangers of a spiritual sleepiness which is brought about by the pmperity of the church. Adversity is a stimulus, but prosperity produces smugness and the ~~tob-;cepwaEchwiththepmpervigor.Prosperityandsecuri- ty the greatest dangers to the church. Luther especially points to the great danger the church heed in his day in its wealth, 7, and lack of persecution. The church's security is the devil's trap and it leads priests, bishops, and pope to act like foolish heirs who only waste their inheritance without addmg to it. Not only do they waste the merits of Christ and the martyrs, they also think that the remis- sion of sins will come only through their own merit. Luther's fear is that the lot of all prodigal heirs will soon befall the church?' The fear of pmsperity and its dangers evidenced here grew into outright condemnation and solemn warning in later years. In the com- mentary on the Magnificat in W21 Luther points out that those who are prospenxls often will not stand up in defense of the Gospel because they are afraid to lose wealth and property. Such an attitude Luther condemns as outright id~latry?~ In the church postil of W22 on the gospel lesson for Epiphany, Luther criticizes the clergy for their pro- sperity and accuses them of betraying the cross of Christ. The priests have turned real suffering into jewelry: "They have set [the cross] in silver, making it easy to bear without hurting." To their eternal dismay, such a cross cannot ever become a part of their hearts and This line of thmking continues in the commentary on the Sermon on the Mount. Luther calls the idea that wealth and success are a sign of God's hr an idol and an obstacle to the true faith.m The Sermon is, in fact, directed against just this heresy?' Jesus' disciples imagined that He would set up a temporal empire and make them its lords--"Thus flesh and blood has always expected to find its own dominion, honor, and admtage in the Gospel.. .':but Jesus sought to teach them how greatly different His kingdom was from their false image of it It is sad, but true, says Luther, that even so many years after Christ people still seek their own success and the devil's false but showy signs attract a greater kllowing than the cross of ChristF3 Lutheralsofbundqpoxttbrhissuspicionofsuccessandprospetity in Paul's letter to the Galatians, and the Galatians commentary of 1535 shows this thought at sevd points. In discussing verse eleven of chaperfiveLuther~yquotesBemard's~nt~the ch~~~hisbestoffwhenitisbeingpersecutedandw~~toffwhen it isenjayingexterdsuccess. XdergoessoEarrastosaythat, when pasemtion and the moss are not apparent, "this is a sure sign that tkpeteachg dthe'Fkibrdhas been taken a~y.'*~~If the pure W is gem, then the key sign of the presence of the true church is miss- hg.~spayerhtbeshumhisthatitwouldneverbepmperous andoumadysuccessfnl, Bathatmdd sdy~llean that themessage be@ pmiched was a message of salvation by works.* AgaininconmrentingoaGalatians5:~~mrriesthatpeace and prosperity forthe church dd mean the loss of the Gospel. Those who are smug in their success become useless to Christ's king&mandsoonturnawqfromtheserviceofthecn>sstosome easier way Galatians 6:M inspires Luther to observe that the glory of power and riches is not the true glory d the church; rather, like Paul, the church glories in the cmss of Christ?' Attable,aswellasinthepulpitandlecturehall,Lutherexpressed hisfears~thedangersof~~Hisassessmerrtofchurch bistorywasthatthebeginningoftheco~onofthechurchcame wheatbeperseartiorrseadedandthe~,~~prestigetregan. Ucomparedthetrialsdthechurchtothethreete~ornof Christ. first the church was tried by pememtion, second by heresies, and third by wealth andpower.aItwas the last that proved the most damqyngtothehtqyity ofthe church. In sbarp con- to Lutk"s negative. view of ecclesiastical pm @ty is his positive assessment of suffering and persecution in the lifeofthechwch.Theprimaryreasonthat~istobeaccepted as a god rather than mided as an evil is that Christ Himself suf- ~"ChristbestowsHis~lingonHisfidl~3"sothatthey maywearHisydredshareHisbmden.Becauseofthispoiotthe &mch'ssufSenqgisagiftofgnrceandispl~toGodf1AsChrist suffered,sodidouf~inthe~;~~Mans canexpectmtbglessthantheir -and their lttthets and mothers dved?2Tbe~onofChristand~issostrongthat ~cansaythatthepersanwho~persecutwHl to surrender Christ?' - AtonetimeoranotherLuthersaidthatChristiansmay~~,~ that Christians will and that Christians must sdlkr? The si6ntshaveno~in~arwMfiandtheyaredespisedbythose who do bitvefB In spite of the fact that Christians *. serve others unsehhly, thy they pemcWd.3) In W, Chmtms are paseated asifthqarethevilestofcrkids; theirenemiesimaginethatm pertkm a great service to Gcxi by ridding the earth of such scum? This suffering and weakness by which the world treats Christians as 8 CONCORDIA THEOLOGICAL QUARTERLY "the most despicable of men" is the source of the church's glory?' Why is the church the ms of such hate and violence? Why can Christians glory in such swffering? The answer to both of these ques- tions is the same: the Gospel. 'Ihe church suiikfs persemion because it preaches the Mrd of God and doggedly insists on the Gospel alone and Christ al0ne.4~ The relationship of the world and God is such that God's Word must be atta~ked.4~ Our awn flesh, the world, and the devil all insist that the Gospel be silenced and use every weapon available to oppose those who insist on prochming Christ alone.u Here Lzlther makes an impoxtant distinction. Won ofthe church must only be because of the preaching ofthe Mrd, not because Chris- tians are involved in behavior of questionable ethics. In addition, it is oot mere suffering, but suffering for the sake of Christ and His Gospel which is the church's treas~re.4~ The connection of persecu- tion with the pure Gospel is so strong for Luther that he can say that the presence of persecution is a sign of the presence of the Gospel and the absence of persecution is a sign of the absence of the Gospel. Knowing this fact, the true church expects its witness to bring suf- fering, yet refuses to abandon the Gospel, no matter what the cost? Along with linking the church with it. brd Christ and the Gospel, suffering and persecution bring other blessings as well. Luther calls suffering a "holy possession" which the Spirit uses to sanctify and bless the people of Christ?' A church that sufkrs has the blessing of assurance; it knows that it is part of the true church because it experiences the same suffering as the ancient saints?8 The church flourishes, grows, and is healthy when it is perse.~uted,4~ even though the outward signs of success are laclang. The Gospel itself, rather than institutional (human) achievement, is emphasized and demonstrated through s~ffering.~ Luther can even say that suffering is one of the "elements that go to make a Christian perfect."51 The connection is so strong that he says that a person who has not suf- fered persecution for the sake of the Gospel is not yet fully a Chris- tian, at least not yet a proven and tested Christian?* The Connection of the Cross and the Two Kmgdoms If the summary above is what Luther says about sdhing as a mark of the true church, what can we learn about the relationship between the rheologia cnrcis and the distinction of two kingdoms? In order to answer that question, this section look at the suffering of the church first hm the perspective of the theology of the cross and then Su&ring Church 9 from the perspective of the two kingdoms. Viewing the phenomenon of the mfkring and persecution of the church from both perspectives should show at least one aspect of the interaction between these two important themes in Luther's theology. One ofthe basic principles of Luther's theology of the cross is that Christians must take the Gospel and other promises of God by faith, not by sight-that is, empirical experience.53 This is no less true of promise qphg the church than it is of any article of faith. The creed's statement, "I believe in the holy Christian church," and the promise that the church shall stand until the end of time are not con- firmed by external appearances. Instead, just as Christ's victory over sin, death, and the devil is hidden under the external agpeamce of defeat, so the glory of the church is hidden under the sign of its op posite.% The external appearance of the church is offense.5s Christ triumphed through suering, and so, too, "tbe gospel cannot come to the fore except through and in suffering and the cross."56 One reason that this case is true is that it must be made obvious that the power behind the church and the Gospel is God's alone. Chris- tians must be taught not to trust in their own achievements but to put their bith only in Christ. In the same way, the world must see the church brought low so that no one can imagine that the final victory of the Gospel is the result of human power. God's mrk is best done in the midst of poverty and lowliness, not in pomp and p~mer?~ The lllore important and basic reason for the sufkring of the church is that it is the church of Jesus Christ, the same Jesus who died on thecross. JustasthecmssdetenninedtheworkofChrist, soit deter- mines the mission ofthe church. This was a constant &ain throughout Luther's career, and it will be helpful to look at some examples here. In the Dictora super Psalterium Luther's scholia on verse eight of Psalm 91 (90 in the Vulgate) provide an early look at his views on the hiddmnes d the church. The church is offensive to the wise and counted with criminals. This is the lot of the church because this was the lot of Christ, the Head of the Ch~r~h.5~ In the Romans lectures Luther says in a gloss to Romans 8:17 that, for a Christian, cornpati means " 'suffering together' with Christ, that is, suffering the same things that Christ suffered."59 In the "Sermon at Coburg on Cross and Suffering" of 1530 Luther explores the thought of Colossians 1:24. By his interpretation, not only Faul, but every Christian suffers so that Christ's suffering may be made complete. The suffixing of the believer is even said to wm- plete Jesus' gun@? gantzerisrenheit. Here it is not only a case of Christ's suffering flowing out into the church; the church's suffering flows back into the suffering of Christ?' In the commentary on the Ser- mon on the Mount (printed in 1532) Luther reminds the Evangelical 10 CONCORDIA THEOLOGICAL QUARTERLY community that they are not the fht to suffer persecution. Jesus was the fht to suffer and the saints of old folluwed in His steps. Now co~saintsfacethe~sufferingasChristfacedP2 The Gahans commentary also reminds its readers that they are not alone in suffhug. They receive the cross of penaxtion because ofthecrossofChrist.AsChristianss~theyshaFeinthecross d Christ? At table in 1538 Luther and his companions talked about how~Schuaitlldthephil~viewedthechurch.Fwtfier said tbat they - scandalizpd by the appearance dthe church because they forgot that the church must appear to the world just as Cfirist appeared to the world: "hacked to pieces, marked with scratches, despised, crucified, mocked."a The~ofthechurch'sidentificationwithChrististhatthesaints are despised 65 and the world takes &me at the The church should not, however, perceive this phaomam as negative. In God's @ the hct that the church exhibits the cross is a positive good. The removal of the stumbling block of the cross dd be "an absur- dity and a disgrace.. ."67 The church can also rest assured that its Lord and Head views His members quite differently than the world view them. The world may see Christians as "miserable and abominable," but Christ calls them blessed and He commands rejoicing. In Christ the church participates in a difbmt value system. The uforld glories in ''pcnwr, wealth, peace, honor, wisdom, and righteoumes." The church, on the other hand, glories in "affliction, shame, persecu- tion, death, et~.''~~ When looking at the phenomenon of the firing and persecution of the church from the perspective of the theologia crucis, the cause is God. It is God who has ''appointed that we should not only believe in the crucified Christ, but also be cxudied with him. .."69 It is God who allm the godly to become powerless and sui%r.m It is God who imposes death on the church and lays the cross of Christ upon it?' It is God who cams Christ's holy people with "siander, bitter hatred, persecution, and blasphemy" from its enemies and 4'contempt and ingratitude" from its so-called foUcnuer~?~ From the perspective of the theology of the cross, God wants the church to suffer so that the people of Christ can be identified as Christ's and God causes persecu- tion to come as a gift of His grace so that His Word is revealed ac- cording to the poradimn d the cross. hoking at the phenomenon of the persecution and suffering of Christ's people from the payedive ofthe distinction of two kiqgdoms gives a very diflkent picture.73 From this perspective the cause of the church's suffering is Satan, the world, and all those forces that oppose the Gospel. When the Kingdom of Christ enters the Mom of the urorld, it exposes the inherent contradictions in the creature's claim to lordship, and so Satan fights against the Gospel with all his Suffering Church 11 might. Since the true church is the body Christ has created to preach the Gospel and destmy the power of Satan, sin, death, and the law, the church takes the brunt of his opposition. Attribution of the cause of the church's suffering to the person of the devil is common t.ut Luther's writings. For example, the Letter to the Princes of Saxony (1524) reminds the elector that Satan opposes the Gospel first with fist and force and then, if more direct methods are unsucce~sful, with sectarians and false spi~its.7~ In the Galatians commentary Luther says that there is nothing that womes the devil more than the pmxhiog of the Gospel, for the Gospel ex- poseshistruewickedness.Thereforethedevilraiseshavocandb~ stumbling block of the cross inevitably follows."7S The work where this thought seems most common is the commen- olryontheSermonmtheMount~6whichiswell~~ritsre~ on the dishction of two kingdoms to interpret Matthew 5-7. Jh that treatise the devil is seen as the source of persecution, strife, hctions, and sects?' The devil uses every device at his disposal78 because he cannot allow the church to be gathered ~nopposed.7~ Why does the devil spend so much time and energy to cause the church to suffer? According to these pasages, his supposed lordship is at stake. The triumph of the Gospel means the destruction of Satan's kingdom and the final end of his rebellion against God, and so the devil does all that he can to inflict pain and suffering on the church and prevent the spread of the Gospel. The presence of Ws opposition is a sure sign of tbe presence of the pure Gospel; the absence of suffering and persecution indicates that the devil is not very threatened by the con- tent of the Luther can also, from the perspective of the distinction of two kmgdoms, talk about ''the world" or '"the ungodly" as the source of persecution. In the case of the ungodly it is not just that they do notreceivethemesage,butthattheyactivelyresistandpefsecute the messenge~s.8~ The world wants to justify itself by its own achievements, and so it hates those who preach the Gospel and clmg to Christ alone. Since the people of Christ so completely contdict the world's values (and its lord, the devil) in their peaching of the Gospel, the world cannot tolerate the true church and rages against it. Therefore, Christians should not fear sufkring and pefsecution ftom the world, but see therein a sign of the Gospel's presence and power. On the other hand, Christians should fear peace and success in the world, for the world's hr only comes when the threatening Gospel is silenced and the message of mrb preached.%2 The faa that those of the world who carry out the persecution of and inflict suffering on Christ's people are the agents of the devil does not mean that they are obviously and outwardly wicked people. Some 12 CONCORDLA THEOLOGICAL QUARTERLY a, but most are oRen the most OU-y pious, upright, and ~ligious people. They are full of holy zeal to protect God and morality from as~ault.8~ The world regards Christians as dangerous heretics and disturbers of public peace, and so the assumption is that any damage inflicted on the hidden, true church is actually just punishment for crimes against religion and society. The persecutors believe that, by destroying the Gospel, they serve God and the public good.84 The kingdom of Satan is always at war with the kingdom of Christ, and so the gospel and the church can always expect to be the door- mats of those in control.B5 This pernution serves an important pur- pose. The suffering of the church enables the people of Christ to "recognize the Word of God for what it is."86 The church expects 0pposition,8~ recognizing that persecution of the gospel is one clear way to distinguish the true Word from all messages that claim to be God's Word but are not. "- . . mhe Word of God must be under arms and fight."88 Again we come to Luther's conclusion that "it is a sure sign that what is being preached is not the Gospel if the preaching goes on without its peace being disturbed."89 This last quotation is part of a paragraph where Luther views the suffering of the church from both the perspective of the theology of the cross and the perspective of the distinction of two kingdoms. The opposition between Gospel and world is pointed out; then Luther says: Thus God wears the mask of the devil, and the devil wears the mask of God; God wants to be recognized under the mask of the devil and He wants the devil to be condemned under the mask of GodPO The hw peqxctives in juxtaposition are also seen in Luther's epistle to the Bohemians, "Concerning the Ministry," of 1523. In his final exhortation, Luther reminds the Bohemians that a cross always ac- companies true reform of the church. The devil opposes the Gospel and, as god of this world, stirs up the unbelieving powers and princes to force Christians to be silent. Reform cannot be accompanied with peace and tranquility. Luther then goes on to say: Christ in fact sends this fire on earth and arouses this temble Behemoth, not because He is harsh, but in order to teach us that any success we have is not the result of our infirmity but of His power, lest we boast or exalt ourselves above the grace of God. He encourages the Bohemians to go on with reform when they see resistance from powers and princes, since persecution from the world is a sign that the Word of God is being proclaimed. Acceptance from the world shows that the undertaking is of the world, not of God?' Luther makes a similar statement in the Coburg semon on suffer- ing. As the third main point of the sermon he sets out to show why Suffering Church 13 God sends suffering to his people. There are three reasons. The first is that God wants Christians to be conformed to the image of Christ, so that they suffer as He suffered here on earth and are glorified as He is glorified in heaven. God accomplishes tbis conformity through suffering which He sends by means of the devil and the world. The second reason for suffering is that the devil cannot stand the Word of God because it reveals him as he really is, and so he attacks the church. In this battle Christians learn that the church and the Word are stronger than the devil. The third reason is to provide discipline, which Christians need to keep from becoming "sleepy and secure" and misusing the GospelP2 In all three of these examples the rheologia crucis perspective and the two-kingdoms perspective stand side by side. It would seem that the theology of the cross must take some precedence, for in all cases the cause of the church's suffering is traced back ultimately to God. Either God initiates the perseation or He allows it so that His power may be made known according to the paradigm of the cross. Conclusion This study began with two working hypotheses. The first that Luther's theology of the cross contains some concern for corporate community and the mid. It would seem that this hypothesis has been adequately demonstrated. In hnkhg about the persecution of the peo- ple of God, the church, Luther is selfconsciously working within the framework of the rheologia crucis. This would indicate that the cross is not merely the sign of the individual believer, but also the sign of the community of believers. In several places Luther clearly links the theology of the cross with the distinction of two kingdoms to interpret the church's suffering. Since this distinction is Luther's tool for discussing the relationship of church and world, this again would lead the theologia cnccis beyond purely individual issues. The cross provides the paradigm not just for the role of the Christian, but also for the role of the church in the world. The second concern was the relation of Luther's thought on suffer- ing to the historical context on the one side and to the innate struc- ture of Luther's thought on the other. Of course, the historical context necessitated greater pastoral concern for the issue of suffering and sharpened Luther's expression of his thinking. on persecution, but the evidence gathered for this study indicates that pressure from Rome and other opponents was not the primary factor in motivating Luther's 14 CONCORDIA THEOLOGICAL QUARTERLY views that the true church suffers by necessity. Ab&y in in earliest pre-1517 lectures, when them was no question of persecution of the evangelical movement, Luther expresses negative views of ec- clesiastical prosperity. More importantly, hther's thought on persecu- tion occurs at the natural intersection of two of his most basic principles. Whether the Saxon church had been persecuted or not (and one can easily question the extent of persecution), it seems that either the theology of the cross or the distinction of tm kingdoms would have eventually led Luther to teach that the true church suffers. That Luther held to both of these perspectives made the seventh mark of the church inevitable. 1. Walter von Loewenich, Luther's Theology of the Croa trans H. J. A. Bouman @&mapolis: Augsburg Pubkking House, 1976), pp 167 and 223. 2. For discussion of aspects of Luther's theology of the cn>ss see Paul Althas, "Die Bedeutung des ICreuzes im Denken Luthers," ViieQahrs~~hn-t der Luthergeselkhoft (1926), pp. 97-107, Althaus, T%e l?~~Iogy of Martin Luther, trans. Robert C. Schultz (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1966). pp. 25-34 and 291; K Baua, "Die Heidem Disputation htk&' Zeitanhrjfl fuer Kimhengeschichte 21 (1901). pp. 233-268, Heinrich Bornkanun, "Die theologischen Thesen Luthers bei der Heidelberger Disputation 1518 and seine Theologia Cruci$' in Luther. Gestalt und Wirkungen (Schriften des Vereins fuer Reformationgeschichte, Nr. 188: 1975), pp. 1W146; Gerhard Ebeling. "Fides Occidit Rationern. Ein Aspekt des Theologia Cruds in Luthers Auslegung von Gal. 3.6:' in Theologia -is-Signum air Festschrift fuer E Dinkler, ed. Carl Andemen and Gunther Mein meb- ingen: H. C. R Mohr. 1979), pp. 97-135; Ebeling, LutW An Intmktion to His Thought, trans. R. G. Shultz (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1%6), pp. 25-34; Gerhard 0. Forde, Whem God Meets Mmr: Luther's Down-to- Earth Apprwch to the Gospel (Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1972). pp. 32-44; Douglas John Hall, Lighten Our Dark= 7bwrd m Indigenous Theology of the Ooss (Philadelphia. Wstmkbx Press, 1976) pp. 117-123; Heino 0. Kadiii, "Luther's Theology of the Cross" in Accents in Luther's Theology (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1967). pp. 230-272; M. Lienhard, "Christologie et Hdte clans la Theologia Cruds du Commentaire de 1'Epitre aux Romains de Luthec' Revue d'Historie et de Philosophie Religieuses 42 (1%2), pp. 304-315; 0. Modalsi, "Die Heidelberger Disputation im Lichte der Evangelischen Neuentdeckung Lutheq" Lutherjahrbuch 47 (1980), pp. 33-39; Regin Fknter, Luther's Theology of the Cm (Philadelphia: Fatress Press, 1970k Klaus Schwarz- waller, Klaus Schwafzwaller. Theologia Cmcir Luthers Lehm von der hedestination nach De Servo Arbitrh 1525 (TMunich: Chr. Kaiser Verlag, m); Joseph Mmxysse. "Luther's Theology of the Cross at the Ti of tbe Heidelberg Lkptation:' Gmgo* 57 (1!376), pp. 523-548; and Philip S. Rhon. LCt Gad Be Cud! An lnterpretath ofthe Theology of&dn Lrdvr fJwdelpbia: Rmress Press, m), pp. 102-w. Pierre Biihler, Kmu und WdErcldogie: Eine krreinundemel~rng mu &r poiitis- ZlIeOgiC, imARF*a?IL.urhers Zlreoiogia crucis mingen: J. C. B. Mohr, 1981). This book was originally a dissertation supervised by Gerhard Ebeling. Biib1er.p. 1. ~ofthe~tDwhichX~&&semchiqg~ntbe~~~- ly conditioned goes back at least to the debate between H;utmann Grisar and Karl Holl. For a smmnmy of the discussion and bibliography see Scott H. Hendrbr,~~inYiiEi~Dno~intluM~~ kgmis ad tlu Dicm& super hakim @U-ISLT) ofMMPrtin Luther (Leiden: E. I. Brill, EW), pp 143-154. The current study is prompted by a charge similarhoGrisar'smisedbysome whodargoethatthe~~cnrCtr isan~dtbepastwitbootany~BorcatempoP;ny~m~. AE 41, 144; WA 50,625. For I~XX'S definitioa dthe ~EIE&, see AE 39,65; WA 6,292-293; Smalcald Articles. Part III. Article W; and AE 41,144; WA 50.625. AE 39, 6873; WA 6, 295-299. AE 39. 73-W-, WA 6, 299-300. Cf.AWaus, Ihcology,pP. "HereLuttter's~oftbecmssonzagain ~itgeif~.AsGodmee&us'hiddenintbesnfferings'ofCbrist,so the church is also teiled in the fiesh' and hiddm under b oppite." AE 35, 40P411; WA DB 7. 418 and 420, 419 and 421. AE 24, 124-lZ4; WA 45,574-56 AE 41, WW. WA 50,628-641- AE 27, l34; WA 40 II, m. AE 27, 43; WA 40 11, 5354. AE 41 W165-, WA 50, 651652. AE 4 3EO-362; WA 3,423425. AE 21, 347: WA 7, 593. AE 52, 233-234, WA l0, I, 1. 660. AE 21, U-12; WA 32, 305-307. AE 21. 17; WA 32. 3U. AE 21, W7; WA 32, 388389. AE 21, 280; WA 32, 532. AE 27, 43; WA 40 11, 53-54. AE 27, 45; WA 40 11, 55-56 AE 27, 49; WA 40 n, 61. AE 27, us; WA a, n, in-173. TR M?l: AE 54, 78; WA TR I, 205. AE n, 45; WA 32,335. AE 51, 199, WA 32, 30. 133 R, 392; WA 51, 1%. AE 21, 52-53; WA 32, 341-342. AE 21, 241-243; WA 32, 499-501. CONCORDIA THEOLOGICAL QUARTERLY AE 21, 45; WA 32, 335. AE U, 6; WA 8, 8. AE 25, 77; WA 56, 85-86 AE 51, 199; WA 32, 29. WA 3, 4N1. AE U. 484; WA 4, 355. AE 21, 45; WA 32, 335. AE 21, 49; WA 32, 338. AE 27, U3; WA 40 11, 1m. ~~21,123; WA~~,~OI.AE~,~~;WAM,~,SS. AE~, us;w~mn, in. AE 40, 57; WA 15, 218. AE 21, 230; WA 32, 489490. AE 21, 46-47; WA 32, 336-337. AE 27, 180; WA 2,464. AE 21,50; WA 32,339. AE n, 44; WA 40 II, 54-55. AE 41, 165; WA 50, 642. AE 41, 197; WA 51, 484. AE 27, 4243; WA 40 II, 53. AE 51, 207; WA 32, 38. AE 21, 53; WA 32, 342. AE 21, 248; WA 32, 505. This statement is made thm~ghout Luther's teaching, preaching, and writing. One example in a context referring to the suffering of the church is AE 21, 44; WA 32, 334. AE u, 227-228; WA 4,777s. ~ee also AE n, 133-134; WA 40 II, imin. AE 54, 291; WA TR 3, 694 (#3900). AE 51, 207; WA 32, 38. See note 50 above. AE 21, 347-348; WA 7, 593-594. AE U, 226-227; WA 4, 77. AE 25, R; WA 56, 79. See also AE 25, 86-87; WA 56, 97. AE 51, 198; WA 32, 29. A similar thought is expressed in the commentary on Galatians 6:M. AE 27, l34; WA Jl, 171-1'72. AE 21, 45; WA 32, 335. AE n, wus; WA 40 n, 171-in. AE 54; WA TR 3, 553 (#3709). AE 11, 484; WA 4, 355. See note 38 We. AE ll, 226; WA 4, 77. See note 58 above. AE 27, 42; WA 40 II, 53. AE n, 133-134; WA 40 TI, 1min. AE 51, 198; WA 32, 29. AE 21, 340; WA 7, 586. AE 21, 301; WA 7, 548 AE n, m; WA 40 n, 131. W are here using the taxonomy of the distinction of two kbgdorm as out- liaed, for example, by Gerhard Ebeling in "The Ndity of the Docbine ofthe Tim Kmgdoms," in Wrd rmd mh (Phibdelphia: Fortress Press, l963), pp. 386-406. The assumption is that, at least in Luther, the distinction oftm, ~~isusedto~betwoseOIofre~.~oftheseisthe relatiomhip of the Khgdom of Christ to the kingdom of this world (mgmm Chrisriandmgrumr~~;theotheristhe~betweenthespiritoal and political orders ofhmnan sociefy. In the former case the distinction describes a re- of disagreement for the salre of the Gospel, in the latter a relationship af agreement fw the sslre afthe Gospel (and, therefore, brhmnanweb).For~bib~on&distincticmeRtnl Aitilaus, ne mics OfMiUzin Lurher, trars. Robert Schula (Philartelphia: FortressRess,m);UlrichI)ILchrow,CkristmivirImdwltvc~mmg: Te-Md-%dcrZHilcircicliefclvc(- Emst Mett Verbg, 1m); Hek-Horst Schrqr, ed., Rcick Gotrw rmd M: Die IPhm Luthers wm dcn mi Rn'& @armstadt: W- WlclqpeU, l969), and Gunther WAf, ed., Ludrcr rmd die ObrigM (Ikmmdl: WissenschafdictLe WIchggsellschaft, Em.) AE 40, 49; WA 15, Ua AE 27. 4445; WA 40 II. 55. . . Recogruzlng the problems with this source (d. AE 21, xx-xxi), its use wouM still seem to be proper here. The thrust ofthe qmtatkm belaw is supposed asbeingrepresentativeafLnther'swlytheqootaticwsh. Jtwd seemthattheuseafthkmaterialismade~~bythehctthat Matthew5-7isoneoftheprimarybii~motivahgLntber'~viewthat the distinction of two kingdom is a necessary tool for exegesis. AE 21, 51; WA 32, 340-341. AE 21, 212; WA 32, OW75. AE 21. 248; WA 32. 505. AE 21, 263; WA 32, 517. AE 21, 52; WA 32. 341. AE 25, 29; WA 56, 35. AE21.230,WA32.~90.AEAE,~WA40II.5&LuWsthooght on'the~"~beredocedtoanysimplistic~.Inthecnrreot context, itshouldberememberedthatthearorEdinchdesnotjusttbatwhich caneasily beidentifkedasevil,batalsothegoodkultiessuchaswisdom and righreousness. See his 1535 wmmeaiary on Gdatbms 1:4 (AE 2632-42; WA401,82-m)withaolplification6romthe1519~~~~mthe~ vem (AE Z7, 173-l74; WA 2, 458-459). AE 25.29, WA 56, 35. AE n, s4, WA 40 n. 54. AE 21, 224-225; WA 32,485. AE 40.49; WA 15,a AE 21, 249; WA 32, 506 AE 4Q 57; WA 15. 218 AE Z7,43; WA40 II, 54. Seenore90 belw. AE 27,43; WA 40 II, 53-54. AE 4Q 4243; WA 12. l95-I% AE 51, 2062(n., WA 32, %38 Robert A. Kelly is currently serving as Visiting Professor of Systematic Theology, Waterloo Lutheran Seminary, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.