ROME RECOGNIZES LUTHER AS “WITNESS TO THE GOSPEL”
(Friday Church News Notes, January 13, 2017, www.wayoflife.org, email@example.com, 866-295-4143)
The Roman Catholic Church has issued a document recognizing Martin Luther as “a witness to the gospel.” The statement was made ahead of Rome’s Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (Jan. 18-25) which has the theme this year of “Reconciliation: The love of Christ compels us.” Last October, Pope Francis joined with the Lutheran Church of Sweden in the launch of the 500th anniversary of the posting of Martin Luther’s 95 Theses. This is all ecumenical mumbo jumbo. Luther was excommunicated by Rome, and that excommunication has not been lifted, and Luther’s gospel of salvation by God’s grace alone through faith in Christ alone without works was cursed by the Council of Trent, and that curse has never been renounced. Luther didn’t abandon Rome fully enough and biblically enough, maintaining gross heresies such as infant baptism and state churchism, and the Lutheran churches in Europe have long been totally apostate. A religious survey in 1992 found that 80 percent of Denmark’s Lutherans do not believe in the resurrection (Christian News, Oct. 4, 1993). The Church of Sweden allows atheists to be ministers and is pro-abortion and pro-homosexual. In a 1984 interview, Krister Stendahl, who was being ordained as the Bishop of Stockholm and the archbishop of the Church of Sweden, stated that “to hold to a belief in just one God is idolatry” and that “one can pray to God as energy.” When asked directly if he believes in God, Stendahl replied: “I think I’ve risen above matters of faith and doubt. … I really don’t know what it means to ask whether ‘there is’ a god” (“Krister Stendahl maintains heretical views on eve of consecration as Bishop of Stockholm,” Christian News, November 19, 1984, p. 1). The journalist then asked Stendahl what lies beyond death: “Oh, I’d imagine that it would be great if we could find a really fine heavenly paradise to wander around in. But I know how childish such human dreams are. I don’t live for dreams” (Krister Stendahl, Ibid.).