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Joined: 2008/10/30
Posts: 1991



Woe to you when all men speak well of you,
for that is how their fathers treated the false
prophets. Luke 6:26

It is interesting how, in spite of all the warnings in Scripture against gossip, slander, and tale bearing, just how much stock we tend to place in people's opinions. It is said that where there is smoke there is fire. However, the smoke may be no more than dust and hot air.

As Mark Twain observed: "A lie can travel halfway across the world while truth is still getting its boots on!"

The great Baptist preacher, C.H. Spurgeon, warned: "Believe not half you hear; repeat not half you believe. When you hear an evil report, halve it, then quarter it, and say nothing about the rest of it."

The great Reformer, John Calvin, declared: "No greater injury can be inflicted upon men than to ruin their reputation."

Thomas Brooks taught: "Of all the members in the body, there is none so serviceable to Satan as the tongue."

C. H. Spurgeon wrote: "The more prominent you are in Christ's service, the more certain are you to be the butt of calumny. I have long ago said farewell to my character. I lost it in the early days of my ministry by being a little more zealous than suited a slumbering age. And I have never been able to regain it except in the sight of Him who judges all the earth, and in the hearts of those who love me for my work's sake."

John Calvin wrote: "There is nothing more slippery or loose than the tongue."

The Scriptures command us "to slander no-one, to be peaceable and considerate and to show true humility toward all men." Titus 3:2

"Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice." Ephesians 4:31

Yet gossip remains prevalent within the church, and the arrogance, bitterness, jealousy and malice that so often accompany it generally remains unchallenged.

King David wrote: "Whoever slanders his neighbour in secret, him will I put to silence; whoever has haughty eyes and a proud heart, him will I not endure." Psalm 101:5

Today, however, it is more common to publish the slanders than to silence or rebuke them.

Few seem to consider that whoever gossips to you will gossip of you.

The teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ are very clear. "In everything do to others what you would have them do to you. For this sums up the Law and the prophets." Matthew 7:12

When we pray we are to say: "Forgive us our debts as we have also forgiven our debtors…. For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins." Matthew 6:12-15

"Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you." Matthew 5:11-12

"Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil because of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their fathers treated the prophets…Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for that is how their fathers treated the false prophets." Luke 6:22-26

Why then do we continue to place such value upon people's opinions? After all, mass murdering tyrants like Joseph Stalin and Mao Tse Tung have been "Man of the Year" of Time Magazine .

"Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I was still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ." Galatians 1:10

Our Lord Jesus Christ warned us: "Many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other."
Matthew 24:10

Even one of Jesus' hand picked disciples, Judas, who was trusted as the treasurer of "The Twelve" took money from the high priests to betray our Lord Jesus Christ into their hands (Luke 22:8; John 13:21).

When Moses sent out twelve scouts to explore the land, ten returned with a negative and defeatist report and "made the whole community grumble" to the point of even wanting to stone Joshua and Caleb (Numbers 14:36). Only Joshua and Caleb, of the twelve, came back with a good report. The Lord severely judged the ten complainers and mightily blessed the faithful Joshua and Caleb (Numbers 16:38)

Criticising Calvin

The great French Reformer, John Calvin, transformed Geneva through his preaching, teaching, writings and Academy. Under John Calvin's ministry, Geneva became the intellectual centre and hub of the Reformation, a place of religious freedom and refuge for Protestants fleeing persecution. Geneva also became a sending base for evangelists, pastors and missionaries who established literally thousands of Reformed churches throughout Europe and further afield.

Yet historians have noted that: "No good man has ever had a worse press; no Christian theologian is so often scorned; so regularly attacked."

Throughout his life Calvin faced major opposition, often from fellow Protestants and other theologians: "whose objections to Calvin were incessant and, usually, unpleasant." Even today, there are those who maintain that John Calvin was a vicious tyrant who oppressed the people under an unbearable dictatorship. And that he had people executed for disagreeing with him.

Yet, the facts are: Calvin never ruled Geneva. The city was not a totalitarian society, but a republic with elections and dissent. Calvin held no civil office, he could neither arrest nor punish any citizen, nor could he appoint or dismiss any official. (To argue that his eloquence and logic constituted tyranny, is to invent a new standard.)

History records that refugees from all over Europe flooded to Geneva to find the freedom there that they were not able to enjoy in their home countries. Under Calvin, Geneva developed into Europe's greatest concentration of printers and publishing firms. It became the epicentre of the movement for freedom world wide. Yet Calvin continues to be slandered by ignorant and prejudiced people.

Libel Against Luther

Similarly, the great German Reformer, Martin Luther, continues to be slandered to this day. Whole websites are dedicated to depicting Luther as an anti-Semite who laid the foundations for the holocaust!

The accusation that Martin Luther was an anti-Semite, responsible for massacres, reveals an ignorance of history. Luther was pro-Christ and he was zealous in evangelism. For decades he lovingly and patiently reached out to the Jewish people in his area with the Gospel. In 1523, Luther accused Catholics of being unfair to Jews in treating them "as if they were dogs". Luther was outraged and declared that such mistreatment made it even more difficult for Jews to convert to Christ.

Luther wrote "I would request and advise that one deal gently with the Jews…if we really want to help them, we must be guided in our dealings with them, not by papal law, but by the Law of Christian love. We must receive them cordially, and permit them to trade and work with us, hear our Christian teaching and witness our Christian life. If some of them should prove stiff-necked, what of it? After all, we ourselves are not all good Christians either."

Fifteen years later, however, the persistent rejection of Christ and repeated blasphemies of those Jewish people in his community, provoked Luther to write: "On the Jews and their Lies." In this pamphlet, Luther wrote against the "madness and blindness that blasphemes Christ" in the Rabbinic teachings. Luther declared that he could not "have any fellowship or patience with obstinate blasphemers and those who defame our dear Saviour." These blasphemies included describing our Lord Jesus Christ as "the bastard son" of "that whore Mary", and even worse. Blasphemy was a civil crime. Luther taught that to tolerate such blasphemy was to share in the guilt for it. Therefore, he proposed measures of "sharp mercy" which included confiscating all Jewish literature which was blasphemous and prohibiting Rabbis to teach such blasphemy.

However, to quote these reactions of Luther without explaining their local context of opposing the repeated blasphemies of Jewish individuals in his community and then to project guilt for the continent-wide, anti-Christian holocaust of World War II upon the great 16th Century Reformer is ludicrous. How can any Christian Reformer of the 16th Century be blamed for the evils perpetrated by humanists (who clearly rejected his teachings) nearly 400 years after his death!

Hitler was a disciple of Nietzsche (the philosopher who declared: "God is dead") - not Luther. Luther was not an anti-Semite. His arguments against Jewish individuals were theological, not biological or cultural. He was speaking out against blasphemy and heresy, not opposing an entire race or nation of people.

It is most disturbing that such a humble and God fearing man, who, against all odds, gave to the church and the world the Bible, freely available in the common tongue; who introduced congregational singing; championed justification by God's Grace, received by faith, on the basis of the finished work of Christ; who stood for sola Scriptura - that Scripture alone is the ultimate authority; and who was so wonderfully used of the Lord to bring about the greatest Biblical Reformation and birth of freedom that the world had ever known, could be the target of such vicious slander.

The Scriptures implore us: "Brothers, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against his brother or judges him speaks against the Law and judges it." James 4:11

Malice and a Contentious Spirit

There is a disturbing tendency throughout the church, seen regularly in homes where they have "roast pastor for Sunday lunch", to set ourselves up continually as judges of those who are better than us. Many have the gift of criticism and a ministry of discouragement. Few recognise how seriously their casual criticism, of what are often trivial matters, erodes and undermines the ministries of those called of God to service.

"Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy and slander of every kind." 1 Peter 2:1

As the Scripture so plainly shows us, slander of every kind is inseparable from malice, deceit, hypocrisy and envy. (The middle letter of pride is "I", the middle letter of lie is "I", the middle letter of sin is "I", so too the middle letter of Lucifer is "I".) Self centred pride is often at the root of our desire to slander great men and women of the past, and to drag down others whom God has raised up.

Jonathan Edwards, one of America's greatest theologians, and a man most closely associated with the Great Evangelical Awakening, was actually dismissed by his own church for applying Biblical discipline. The elders of his church would not accept his position that unbelievers should not be allowed to participate in The Lord's Supper. In his farewell message, Edwards declared: "…avoid contention. A contentious people will be a miserable people…heat of spirit, evil speaking and things of the like…directly contrary to the spirit of Christianity…watch against a contentious spirit…"

Condemning Carey

The father of modern missions, William Carey, and his co-worker, John Marshman, had to endure vicious and unjust criticisms from young new missionaries who came "to help" at the mission base in Serampore, India. Many of these new volunteers actually split from the Serampore mission and spent an inordinate amount of time slandering William Carey and his co-workers (the controversy lasted thirteen years). So much so that the Baptist Missionary Society in England actually turned against William Carey for a time.

Writing of this, Carey said: "the evil they have done is, I fear, irreparable; and certainly the whole might have been prevented by a little frank conversation with either of us; and a hundredth part of that self- denial which I found necessary to exercise for the first few years of the mission would have prevented this awful rupture…but now we are traduced and the church rent by the very men who came to be our helpers…judge for yourselves whether it is comely that a man who has laboriously and disinterestedly served the mission so many years should be arraigned and condemned without a hearing by a few men who have just arrived, one of whom had not been a month in the country before he joined the senseless outcry."

Slandering Samuel Marsden

On a recent speaking tour to Australia, a couple of people commented on my including Samuel Marsden in The Greatest Century of Missions. They frankly admitted that they had never before heard anything good about Samuel Marsden, but only that he was a vicious "hanging judge" and "religious hypocrite".

In fact, Samuel Marsden was a pioneer missionary and founding father of Australia and New Zealand. He was a man who upheld justice impartially, and who diligently preached the Gospel. Throughout his life he remained a humble and generous Christian who laid the foundations for the Christian Church in Australia and New Zealand. Although he came to Australia as a chaplain to the convict colony of New South Wales, the Governor compelled him to also be the magistrate. Combining both demanding vocations in one person involved Marsden in one controversy after another. Samuel tried his utmost to provide for the prisoners, to establish a school for orphans, and to right the wrongs suffered by Aborigines.

His attempts to uphold principles of justice placed his life in danger and he endured many threats to his life. On one occasion, he travelled to England to call the attention of the government to the unacceptable conditions and to secure intervention. He presented these grievances to King George III himself.

Samuel Marsden had a great missionary vision which also extended to bringing the Gospel of Christ to the cannibals of New Zealand. Despite vicious disputes between some of the missionaries answerable to him, and relentless criticism, Samuel Marsden conducted the first public worship service in New Zealand, interceded between two warring tribes, and introduced education, standards of justice, and law and order to the country.

It was his sad experience to continually be a victim of malicious and unfounded charges throughout his time in Australia. His fearless denunciation of sin made him numerous enemies, but the Lord vindicated Samuel Marsden. Within 31 years of his first service in New Zealand, 98% of the Maoris had embraced Christianity.

Harrassing Hudson Taylor

In 1865, Hudson Taylor prayed for 24 "willing, skilful labourers" for his new China Inland Mission. Willing and skilful they may have been, but four of these new recruits also brought dissension and controversy. Soon these dissidents had poisoned the fellowship with their increasing bitterness and resentment. After two years of backbiting and disruption, Hudson Taylor had to dismiss the ringleader, Louis Nicole, from the mission. Other troublemakers left with him.

More unrelenting slander and lies undermined the work of the China Inland Mission. One of the accusations against Hudson Taylor was that he was "too familiar with the young ladies." Hudson and Maria Taylor kissed some of the girls on the forehead before they went off to bed. The ladies themselves denied any inappropriate behaviour, but still the complaint reached London, and for a time led to a fall in support for the mission.

As Hudson Taylor wrote: "If the Spirit of God works mightily, we may be sure that the spirit of evil will also be active."

The China Inland Mission was engulfed in opposition, dissension, controversy, fire and death from the beginning. Their mission house in Yangchow was attacked and set on fire. Furious persecution engulfed them. Storms of criticism and controversy erupted. However, in spite of constant controversies, the number of CIM missionaries grew, in time becoming the largest mission organisation in the world. By the end of Hudson's long life, the very mission organisations that had belittled and ridiculed his methods had begun adopting many of them.

Presumed Guilty

On his Zambezi expedition, pioneer missionary explorer David Livingstone was afflicted by interpersonal conflicts amongst his team leading to everyone abandoning him in the field, even his own brother Charles. By the time he returned to England seven years later, Livingstone found that his disgruntled ex-co-workers had so spread an ill report against him, that no-one even came out to welcome him back. He was ostracised. Presumed guilty without even a chance to defend himself.

From Outcasts to Textbooks

The greatest Baptist preacher of all time, Charles Spurgeon, was actually the target of vicious and slanderous attacks by the Baptist Union of his day. Now his books are textbooks of Baptist colleges and his statue stands outside the Baptist Union headquarters.

George Whitefield, one of the greatest evangelists of all time and a key figure in the Great Evangelical Awakening, was actually excluded from the Church of England that he had served so faithfully. Today the Church of England in South Africa has named its college after George Whitefield.

A Price of Success

Dr James Kennedy in his book, Delighting God, writes "if you rise just a little bit above the common herd, if you achieve just a modicum more success than your neighbours, most surely those barbs of criticism are going to be shot your way.

"To avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing, be nothing."

"There is no defence against reproach - except obscurity."

Delighting God quotes one wise old man "if I tried to read, much less answer all the criticisms made of me, and all the attacks levelled against me, this office would have to be closed to all other business. I do the best I know how, the very best I can, and I mean to keep on doing this, down to the very end. If the end brings me out all wrong, ten angels swearing I had been right would make no difference. If the end brings me out alright, then what is said against me now will not amount to anything."

An Opportunity to Glorify God

There is no doubt that adversity builds character. A faith that can't be tested, can't be trusted. Smooth seas do not make skilful sailors.

But unjustified criticism is still better than flattery - and less dangerous! We can always benefit - even from the most unbalanced criticism. What man means for evil, God can use for good. (Genesis 50:20)

"And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28

Such trials should drive us to prayer, humble us and deepen our devotional life as we search the Scriptures and ask: "What is God saying to me through this?"

It can also enable us to empathise with and comfort others who suffer such injustices.

Christians suffering unjust criticism should find opportunities to glorify God and to witness for Christ. Ultimately, God's opinion and approval is the only One that counts. It is He whom we should continually be seeking to please.

And one thing that Christ requires is that we forgive those who sin against us - unconditionally, wholeheartedly. We who have been forgiven much should love much. "Blessed are you when men hate you and when they exclude you, and revile you and cast out your name as evil, for the sake of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy. For indeed your reward is great in heaven, for in like manner their fathers did to the prophets…Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for so did their fathers to the false prophets." Luke 6:22-26

It’s Not The Critic That Counts
As United States President Theodore Roosevelt wrote:
"It is not the critic that counts
nor the man who points out how the strong man stumbled;
nor where the doer of deeds could have done better.
The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena;
whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood;
who strives valiantly;
who errs and comes short again and again;
who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions
and spends himself in a worthy cause;
who at best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and;
who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while doing greatly,
so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls
who know neither victory nor defeat!"

A Test of Character
Everything in life is a test of character. Extreme situations expose and bring out the best, or the worst, in people. A person's character is accurately measured by their reaction to unfairness or bad treatment. The measure of a person's character can be seen by the size of those things which upset him. The true flavour of a tea bag is only tasted after it has been placed in hot water, and so it is with ourselves. Our reputation is what men think we are. Our character is what God knows we are. And this is only revealed under extreme crisis situations.

So, when troubles and tribulations come, when you are insulted, excluded, reviled and mistreated, do what our Lord Jesus commanded; "rejoice in that day and leap for joy!"

On the other hand; "Woe to you when all men speak well of you…" Luke 6:26

Peter Hammond

This article is taken from the book Character Assassins by Peter Hammond and Brian Abshire

 2012/6/3 6:59Profile


I'm mising the connection between the scripture quote and the rest of the article. The article is very good but the scripture attached to it confuses me. Was the scripture part of the original article or chapter or was it added by you savannah?

"Woe to you when all men speak well of you,
for that is how their fathers treated the false
prophets. Luke 6:26"

 2012/6/3 8:01

Joined: 2008/10/30
Posts: 1991

 Re: Those who accuse the Reformers of persecuting the Anabaptists

thingsabove wrote,

"I'm mising the connection between the scripture quote and the rest of the article. The article is very good but the scripture attached to it confuses me. Was the scripture part of the original article or chapter or was it added by you savannah?"

The scripture was part of the original article and was not added by me.

Maybe the following,which I posted on another thread,may bridge the connection between the scripture quote and the rest of the article.


It is fairly common to hear the claims that the Reformers persecuted the Anabaptists just because they "were not willing to baptise babies." One correspondent wrote that rather than celebrate the Reformation "would it not be preferable to study the Scriptures…"

Of course, our highest priority is to "study the Scriptures daily to see if these things be true". In fact that is the heritage of the Reformation. The Reformation gave us back the Bible freely available, translated into our own languages, and the Reformers championed "Scripture alone is our final authority". The Reformation succeeded in bringing about greater freedoms than had ever been experienced before in human history.

Those who accuse the Reformers of persecuting the Anabaptists are being unfair and selective in not reporting the whole context. The Anabaptists were not so much opposed and convicted for not being willing to baptise babies, but because the Anabaptists in the 1520's and 1530's were radical, violent revolutionaries.

While the Anabaptists claimed to be the only true Christians, they denied many of the key elements of the Faith. They rejected Biblical Law, Christian ministry, worship and sacraments, and the Anabaptists proclaimed socialism, egalitarianism and revolution. They claimed "it is impossible to be Christian and wealthy at the same time"; "all authorities, secular and clerical, must be deprived of their offices once and for all or be killed by the sword…"

Igor Shafarevich in his book The Socialist Phenomenon, documents the teachings and activities of two important Anabaptist leaders, Thomas Muntzer and John of Leyden. Muntzer, an itinerant preacher and organiser of rebellions, established his revolutionary base in Muhlhausen from where he issued proclamations damning landowners, magistrates, and the Reformers. "I would like to smell your frying carcass" he wrote to Martin Luther.

In 1525, Muntzer was successful in rousing up many of the peasants of central Germany in the bloody, so called Peasants Revolt, which it should be noted attracted several nobles to his side. "Let your swords be ever-warm with blood!" Muntzer exhorted his faithful followers. Muntzer's army of Anabaptists struck terror throughout the countryside, robbing, burning and destroying the property of the faithful, killing many thousands.

Frederick Engels praised Muntzer's "robust vandalism" and explained "by the Kingdom of God Muntzer meant a society without class differences, private property and the state authority…. All the existing authorities…were to be overthrown, all work and property shared in common and complete equality introduced."

Engels praised Muntzer's doctrines in this way: "Under the cloak of Christianity he preached a kind of pantheism, which curiously resembled modern speculative contemplation and at times even approached atheism. He repudiated the Bible both as the only and as the infallible revelation. The real and living revelation, he said, was reason, a revelation which existed and always exists amongst all people at all times. To hold up the Bible against reason, he maintained, was to kill the spirit with the letter, …faith is nothing but reason come alive in man, and pagans could therefore also have faith…just as there is no heaven in the beyond, there is no hell and no damnation. Similarly, there is no devil…Christ was a man, as we are, a prophet and a teacher..."

In 1534, Anabaptist leader Jan Matthijs siezed the town of Munster. "Armed Anabaptists broke into houses and drove out everyone who was unwilling to accept second baptism. Winter was drawing to a close; it was a stormy day and wet snow was falling. An eyewitness account describes crowds of expelled citizens walking through the knee-deep snow. They had not been allowed even to take warm clothing with them. Women carrying children in their arms, old men leaning on staffs. At the city gate they were robbed once more." (The Socialist Phenomenon - Shafarevich)

Jan Matthijs and Johan Bokelson then instituted a reign of terror in Munster, ordering the socialisation of all property, and ordaining apostles of revolution to preach throughout Europe. The communist paradise of Munster attracted thousands of Anabaptists from throughout Germany and Holland. Matthijs was killed in one of the early battles with surrounding cities. Johan Bokelson took command and established a dictatorship in Munster. He then issued the order for holding everything in common, including wives.

As Frederick Engels observed: "It is a curious fact that in every large revolutionary movement the question of free-love comes to the foreground". No woman was allowed to be exempt - there was a law against being unmarried, which meant that every girl was forced to be passed around amongst the men. Every woman in Munster became fair game for the lusts of these Anabaptist men. Rapes, suicides, severe punishments and mass executions took place almost every day. On one notable occasion, Bokelson himself beheaded a virtuous woman who had refused his sexual advances. As he ceremoniously chopped her head off in the public square, a choir of his wives sang "Glory to God in the Highest"! (Productive Christians in an Age of Guilt Manipulators by David Chilton).

This reign of terror continued for a year and a half until the city was freed by Protestant forces who put Bokelson and his lieutenants to death for their crimes - crimes committed in the name of love, equality and spirituality.

I have left out most of the sordid and horrifying details of the 1525 Peasants Revolt and the 1534 Anabaptist "Kingdom of God" established in Munster. But these few examples should be sufficient to explain why Anabaptists were opposed. It was not that they were being persecuted for taking the Scriptures seriously, but because they were violent revolutionaries subverting the entire social order and guilty of the deaths of many thousands of innocent people.

Those who would claim that the Anabaptists have changed dramatically since that time, should recognise that it is for that very reason therefore unfair to portray the Reformers as supporting the persecution of poor innocent Anabaptists, as that is plainly not the case. Yes, the Anabaptists have changed since. So we should not continue to propagate the false accusation that Reformers were persecuting pacifist Anabaptists who were seeking to mind their own business. The Anabaptists that were opposed by the Reformers in the 1520's and 1530's were violent revolutionaries guilty of abominable atrocities and abuses.

Peter Hammond

 2012/6/3 23:44Profile


I'm glad you posted this! Dr. Peter Hammond is an incredible man, and he knows his stuff.

I'm glad to see a defense posted here for some men who are very often maligned on this forum.


 2012/6/4 9:39

Joined: 2008/10/30
Posts: 1991

 Re: clarity

Krispy said,

"I'm glad to see a defense posted here for some men who are very often maligned on this forum."

Some additional clarity from history follows on this matter:

Re: The Incarnation

"He is called the "Son of David," not because He has taken anything from the Virgin Mary or was made man from her substance,but only because she carried Him in her body, as water passes through a tube.This same woman conceived in her womb the aforementioned seed,which is God's Word,not from her body nor of her body,but of God,by the power of the Holy Ghost,through faith.The Word was not Abraham's natural flesh and blood,for Christ Jesus,as to His origin, is no earthly man,that is,a fruit of the flesh and
blood of Adam." Menno Simons,Incarnation. Menno Simons (1496-1561),founder of the Anabaptist group called Mennonites.

The above is the ancient heresy of the Valentinians.

For those sincerely inquiring about these matters,the articles by Peter Hammond ought to be sufficient to spark an interest as to why some vehemently opposed the early Anabaptist movement. They held to some considerably damnable doctrinal errors which certainly impacts future generations if left unaddressed and/or corrected. If doctrine is a small issue with you,then leave it to the more noble Bereans to investigate such for themselves.

The Watchtower Society,The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints,Islam,Humanism,and Universalism,etc.,etc.,will gladly furnish their answers to the many seekers of this 21st century age of post-modernism. And these seekers include the generations [our children and grandchildren] to come.

Proverbs 18:17 The first pleader seems right in his contention until his associate comes and investigates him.

Proverbs 18:17 The first to state his case seems right until his neighbor comes to cross-examine him.

"This shows that one tale is good till another is told. 1. He that speaks first will be sure to tell a straight story, and relate that only which makes for him, and put the best colour he can upon it, so that his cause shall appear good, whether it really be so or no. 2. The plaintiff having done his evidence, it is fit that the defendant should be heard, should have leave to confront the witnesses and cross-examine them, and show the falsehood and fallacy of what has been alleged, which perhaps may make the matter appear quite otherwise than it did. We must therefore remember that we have two ears, to hear both sides before we give judgment." - M. Henry

 2012/6/5 8:34Profile

Joined: 2011/7/29
Posts: 683
northern USA


Thank you Savannah for a very meaty and useful sermon; it is a very worthy post. So much to digest! Wow.

And now i finally have an answer to those people who say all those things about Martin Luther being anti-Semite. I myself had not known the true history behind it. Very good, thank you.

 2012/6/6 4:00Profile

Joined: 2008/10/30
Posts: 1991

 Re: Meat etc.

Trekker says,

"...very meaty...very worthy...much to digest! Wow."

I am glad you are Wowed! I hope others will be as well.

My biggest bone of contention with the anabaptism of today is the self-righteous holier-than-thou spirit which their theology tends to breed. Rather than grace, it can better be characterized by dis-grace. Certainly not all,but most of this persuasion look down upon those who do not come up to their standard of holiness. Sadly,the grace they proclaim is lawful,intolerant,and grace-less rather than grace-ful. This is why I use the term dis-grace to describe their grace. Many have been bruised,broken and quenched by their demands to meet their standards of so-called holiness. If they were ministers of the gospel of grace, they'd do as the LORD of that gospel. As we read here:

Isaiah 42:3 a bruised reed He will not break, and a faintly burning wick He will not quench; He will faithfully bring forth justice.

For some clarity upon this verse and how it relates to the subject at hand I offer the following comment:

"BRUISED - "It pleased the Lord to bruise Him" (Isaiah 53:5,10;Gen. 3:15); so He can feel for the bruised."

"His tenderness in cherishing the first spark of grace in the penitent,see Isaiah 40:11)."

"REED — fragile: easily “shaken with the wind” (Matthew 11:7). Those who are at best feeble, and who besides are oppressed by calamity or by the sense of sin."

"BREAK — entirely crush or condemn. Compare “bind up the broken-hearted” (Isaiah 50:4; Isaiah 61:1; Matthew 11:28)."

"FLAX [WICK] — put for the lamp-wick, formed of flax. The believer is the lamp (so the Greek, Matthew 5:15; John 5:35): his conscience enlightened by the Holy Ghost is the wick. “Smoking” means “dimly burning,” “smoldering,” the flame not quite extinct. This expresses the positive side of the penitent’s religion; as “bruised reed,” the negative. Broken-hearted in himself, but not without some spark of flame: literally, “from above.”"

"Christ will supply such a one with grace as with oil. Isaiah ascribes to Christ that forbearance by which he bears with our weakness, which we find to be actually fulfilled by him; for wherever any spark of piety is seen, he strengthens and kindles it, and if he were to act towards us with the utmost rigor, we should be reduced to nothing. Although men therefore totter and stumble, although they are even shaken or out of joint, yet he does not at once cast them off as utterly useless, but bears long, till he makes them stronger and more steadfast."

"Also, the light of nature smoldering in the Gentiles amidst the hurtful fumes of error. He not only did not quench, but cleared away the mists and superadded the light of revelation." - JFB

So much for the present,now for some more meat to digest from the history of those years of the "radical reformers" of the 1530's called the anabaptists,which the reformers of that time opposed.

They opposed those "radical reformers" which even the famous Dutch Anabaptist Obbe Philips later withdrew.

Obbe was ordained by the famous David Joris in 1534 and Menno Simons around 1536.

Obbe, the brother of the equally famous Anabaptist Dietrich Philips, withdrew from Anabaptism -- once he became convinced that it was fraudent.

Around 1560, he published his Confession alias his Recollections of the years 1533-1536 -- being an account of what had opened his eyes to this fraud.

Obbe's confession:

"I am still miserable of heart today, that I...was so shamefully and miserably deceived that I did not stop forthwith, but permitted myself to bring poor souls to this -- that I through the importuning of the brethren, commissioned to the office: Dietrich Philips in Amsterdam, David Joris in Delft, and Menno Simons in Groningen.... It is this which is utter grief to my heart, and which I will lament before my God as long as I live...."

Some more quotes from Obbe's writings:

"Fieriness became apparent in some [Anabaptists] who could no longer contain themselves.... They presented themselves as teachers and envoys of God, professing to have been compelled in their hearts by God to baptize, preach and teach.... Among these were Doctor Balthasar Huebmaier, Melchior Rinck, John Hut, John Denck, Louis Haetzer, and Thomas Muenzer....

"Among these, Melchior Hoffmann stood out.... This Melchior was a very fiery and zealous man, a very smooth- tongued speaker who...wrote heatedly against Luther and Zwingli concerning baptism and other articles.... I know of no one who has so much calumniated and damned in his writings, as this Melchior --whereby also we all taught many blasphemies.... All who did not say yes and amen -- were 'devilish and satanic spirits'; 'godless heretics'; and people 'damned to eternity'....

"Great dissension and insurrection daily broke out among the burghers.... Baptism came rapidly into vogue -- among many plain and simple souls. At the same time, Melchior had written from prison that baptism should be suspended for two years...."

"I shall not be silent about all the false commissions, prophecies, visions, dreams, revelations and unspeakable spiritual pride which immediately from the first hour stole in among the brethren.... As soon as anyone was baptized, he was at once a 'pious Christian' -- and slandered all people and admitted no one on earth to be good but himself and his fellow brethren."

"Thereafter, there also rose up two prophetesses.... These also prophesied and predicted remarkable things -- and had many visions, revelations and dreams...."

"One of the prophetesses also prohesied -- and that through a vision -- that Melchior was: Elijah! She saw a white swan... And that, she interpreted to apply to Melchior as the true 'Elijah'.... She also saw a vision that...Cornelius Polterman, who was Melchior's disciple..., would be: Enoch! [However,] some among them held that Doctor Caspar Schwenckfeld should be considered 'Enoch'....

"It was also prophesied that Strassburg would be the 'New Jerusalem'.... After Melchior was in prison for a half- year...he would leave Strassburg with 144 000 true preachers, apostles and emissaries of God -- with powers, signs and miracles.... Thereafter, 'Elijah' and 'Enoch' would stand upon the earth as two torches and olive trees....

"There arose a baker of Haarlem named John Matthys, who had an elderly wife whom he deserted.... He took with him a brewer's daughter, who was a very pretty young slip of a girl.... He enticed her away from her parents with sacred and beautiful words -- and told how God had shown great things to him, and that she would be his wife.... He professed to have been greatly driven by the Spirit; and how God had revealed great things to him...; and that he was the other witness 'Enoch'....

"They attached themselves to John Matthys and became obedient. John Matthys as 'Enoch'...sent out 'true apostles' in pairs.... John of Leyden departed for Muenster. Thereafter, through his corrupt activities, John of Leyden became king of Muenster.... Two of these commissioned apostles...said we should not doubt, but that they were no less sent forth with power and miracle than the apostles at Pentecost...."

"Was that not a great and terrible pride? And who can express the great wrangling and dissension among the congregation -- of debating and arguing about...the thousand-year Kingdom of Christ on earth, about the incarnation, baptism, belief, Supper, the promised David, second marriage, free will...."

"A reasonable, impartial Christian may truly say that it is no Christian congregation but a desolate abomination -- that it can be no temple of God but a cave of murderers full of hate, envy, jealousy, spiritual pride, pseudo-piety, hypocrisy, contempt, defamation. They could suffer neither the love nor benefit of another who was not of their belief!"

Thanks to all Sermon Index Forum readers and posters for your interest.

 2012/6/10 2:11Profile

Joined: 2010/10/26
Posts: 235


I haven't read it in full yet, but thank you so much for posting this. It is so liberating - very liberating. I loved the Spurgeon quote about having long ago said farewell to his character!

Thank you!

 2012/6/10 3:29Profile

Joined: 2008/10/30
Posts: 1991

 Re: so liberating - very liberating

ET101 said,

"It is so liberating - very liberating."

Yes indeed! Indeed it is!

2 Cor. 3:17 And the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is , there is liberty.

The spirit of modern anabaptism quenches this liberty,

For they bind together heavy and hard to carry burdens and lay them on the shoulders of the people, but they are not willing to move them with their finger. Matthew 23:4

Some may answer thus,as this one did Jesus,

And answering, one of the lawyers said to Him, Teacher, saying these things you also insult us. Luke 11:45

No insult intended. Just consider your own spirit whether you know what spirit you are of, and also what gospel!

 2012/6/11 23:49Profile

Joined: 2012/5/13
Posts: 2936

 Re: John Calvin

RE:John Calvin wrote: "There is nothing more slippery or loose than the tongue."

John Calvin Treatise against the anabaptist and against the libertines translated by Benjamin Wirt Farley p.30

What Calvin said about the anabaptist
/ Something of Calvins appraisal of his opponents is tellingly revealed in his pejorative epithets. consider this list: "fanatics,ignorant,deluded,poor dreamers,poor fools,foolish men,scatterbrains,without reason,unreasonable,insane,harebrained,obstinate,poor ignoramuses..../

/If Calvins epithets seem uncharitable,one ought to note that he refrains from calling them Hereticks,blasphemers,scoundrels,wretches,mad dogs or asses as he will call the Libertines./

P.51 speaking of Baptism and those that practice Believers Baptism Calvin Says

/Therefore, whoever wants to make the grace of God less toward us and our children than it was toward the Jewish people inflicts a great injustice on Jesus Christ and blasphemes Him./

So what did John Calvin Just Say about People That Believe in Believers Baptism??

 2012/6/12 0:14Profile

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