Full Text for Confessions 1- Volume 60 - Did Luther and Melanchthon agree with each other on the status of the papacy? Were there any differences between them? Is the pope still the anti-christ? (Video)

ROUGHLY EDITED COPY CUE NET CONFESSIONS CONCORDIA UNIVERSITY EDUCATION NETWORK CONFESSION 1 QUESTION 60 Captioning Provided By: Caption First, Inc. 3238 Rose Street Franklin Park, IL 60131 800-825-5234 *** This text is being provided in a rough draft format. Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) is provided in order to facilitate communication accessibility and may not be a totally verbatim record of the proceedings. *** >>Did Luther and Melanchthon agree with each other on the status of the papacy? Were there any differences between them? And while I have the floor, is the term anti-Christ appropriate to use today? >>DR. KLAUS DETLEV SCHULZ: The question you are asking here is a very important one. Because it also touches the ecumenical discussions that are being laid between Lutherans And Roman Catholics. If we go back to the study of the pa pass sees and at Luther's position and that of Melanchthon we have two places we have to go to. The first one is the Smalcald -- the first one is in the Smalcald Articles the second chief part article 4 there Luther speaks of the anti-Christ explicitly and then also in the treatise that the appendage to the Augsburg Confession but found as a 1537 document of the Smalcald Articles. You might recall me saying early on in our study here as we've discussed the Augsburg Confession that Luther took the position about the Pope as a very firm one and that he believed and was convinced that the Pope was teaching things against scripture. And we may recall that on many occasions, he did speak out very had he mentally that the Pope was saying these things erred in contradiction with scripture. And one of the important statements that the Lutherans had always made and one of the wishes that they expressed continuously was that of having a free council that means an ideal of where they could come together with the papacy and he would give them a fair hearing that they would be allowed to express in a Democratic way their opinions about theological issues. Luther being so adamant on the papacy and that it was going wrong and that it was usurping a position that went against Jesus Christ is one that he held throughout his life. You could say, perhaps, that as the years progressed, he was getting a little more disgruntled earlier on about whether the Pap pea sees was willing to give them a hearing. And I think to a degree, as the years went by, he was so disgruntled that he was no longer to accept the papacy and perhaps Melanchthon was. So in 1530, we had say that Melanchthon was mildly criticized by Luther for not expressly addressing the pay pass see and the Augsburg Confession. Melanchthon sought immediately after the Augsburg Confession to address that issue and that led to the treatise. If you look at Luther's statements in the Smalcald Articles, we can see that there he goes directly to address the pay pass see with then four other malpractices in the church. Believing that the position of the Pope goes against the chief article of all Christian faith, namely that we are saved by Jesus Christ and that we are said through faith alone. Luther thus believed, according to the statement in second Thessalonians 2:4 that the Pope was someone who was usurping I will legitimate control and was taking the position that really is only Christ's he was passing all kinds of laws and rules over christians which they should follow even though they are not expressly stated in scripture. For example, the *bonunsamtum in the 13th century claimed that christians if they do want to be saved had to believe in the supremacy of the Pope. In a section in the Smalcald Articles, Luther is able to prove that 500 years of Christian knit, the early years of Christianity, there christians managed to live without the supremacy of the Pope so there is a historical August minute to be used here that does tell us that the pay pass see assumes a supremacy that is not given by divine right. This letter of Europe *Deveen is an important one. It means that there is no text in scripture that reminds us of the supremacy of the Pope. Melanchthon addresses such scripture text quite explicitly in the tree tis. We can see for example some texts in which he does it. He mentions for example Luke 2 2 verse 24 through 27 where he says that nobody will Lord over each other. Those apostles were told no one is supreme. Even here on earth as it will be also in heaven. He goes onto John 20 verse 21 and Melanchthon says there that all apostles were sent out as equals and not one above the other into this world. And he goes to Galations 2 verse 6 and tells us that Paul rebuked peter for going against the doctrine of justification and the freedom that we christians have of not being bound by sir couple significance and the laws of the juice. In first Corinthians 3, Paul reminds the christians of core rink that they are over the supremacy of individuals such as that of Paul or Apollos and in Matthew 16 where Jesus asked the disciples who do you say I am, he's not directly speaking only to Peter but that question is being answered By Pete ter on behalf of every disciple so even that text where it says the keys are given to you, Peter means really for one thing that they are based on the Confession and not on the personal Pete ter and secondly, also, that question asks every disciple and not only Peter himself. He answers it on everyone's behalf. And for that very reason in Matthew 18 we can say the keys are given to all of the disciples. And finally in John 21 verse 17, there we read the passage of feeding my sheep that is given to Peter, yes, but later on we also see that that duty to feed the she'd sheep and the flock of Christ is given to all disciples, as well. And so we can say that historically speaking from Luther's position, in the Smalcald Articles and also Melanchthon that goes into the treatise at great length to prove historically speaking and not only from scripture that pay pass see is something of a legitimate institution if it claims to be there by divine right. Melanchthon and Luther don't really disagree on this. Both are willing to concede that if there is a supremacy of the papacy, then it must be given by human rights. What do they mean by that? I think they imply here that there can be a Democratic ruling in the church where the pastors come together and say we want to have someone who is supreme over us. But let us not forget, the highest office in the church is really that of a pastor and not that of someone above them, unless it's Jesus Christ. So Melanchthon and Luther do agree on the idea that it may be given such supremacy, on the condition, however, that the papacy would change. Here Luther And Melanchthon I think disagreed a little bit but it was one of realism. I think ma I think will than still entertained a certain idealism here in this question so when it came to the signing of the Smalcald Articles, he added a certain statement that I would like to read to you. Melanchthon writes there, "However, concerning the Pope, I maintain that if we would allow the Gospel, we, too, may for the sake of peace and general university among those christians who are now under him and might be in the future grant to him his spear over the bishops by which he has by human rights." That would not really go theologically against what Luther says. But Luther in the Smalcald Articles has says he cannot believe that the Pope will ever change himself from disclaiming a position by divine right to something that is given to him freely by the choice of the pastors and priests present and given over by the human right -- given the role. I think Luther was more realistic than Melanchthon. Now, we may ask is the term anti-Christ is an appropriate term for description for the papacy today. Let's keep in mind that the reformers were always clear that they were not addressing each individual Pope here as a person. They were looking at the institution itself. They saw that over the history, that this institution had manifested itself to a degree that it was not willing to change at all. And that it usurped history arguments. It had taken scripture texts and appropriated it to itself so it was seen as an indelible character in the church which means it was not willing to change at all. So addressing the papacy by the name anti-Christ really is addressing the institution, something that has fixed itself over history into a position that was controlling the church. It was more than just an individual standing up here or there at random throughout history and saying "I am speaking against Jesus Christ." No. This was an institution that was established firmly and would remain for time to this very day claiming certain things that they were, saying something to christians that was I remember reconcilable with scripture and the papacy in saying this also claimed infallibly that what it says would not err. I think to a degree these claims of the papacy today have not changed. They are the same as they were in the 16th century. So in terms of applying Luther's interpretation to today's context, I think that it is still the best interpretation we have of second Thessalonians two verse 2. We should be careful, however, that we there by not abstain from dialogue of other christians, we draw them to the attention of the arguments used in the treatise and in the Smalcald Articles and there by hope that in such dialogue, they would be brought back to their recognition, that there is a supremacy perhaps of someone over other pastors but that that can only be given by human right and not claimed by divine right based on text and scripture. *** This text is being provided in a rough draft format. Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) is provided in order to facilitate communication accessibility and may not be a totally verbatim record of the proceedings. ***