“I am more vehement than I should be” by Martin Luther

“I cannot deny that I am more vehement than I should be…But they assail me and God’s Word so atrociously and criminally that were I not carried away to write warmly, even a mind of stone might be moved to war by indignation. How much more, then, would I, who have a warm temperament and a pen that is not at all blunt, be moved to war!

These monsters are carrying me beyond the bounds of moderation. I wonder whence this new scrupulousness is born which calls all that is aid against an opponent abuse. What do you think of Christ? Was He abusive when He called the Jews an adulterous and perverse generation, an offspring of vipers, hypocrites, and children of the devil? Paul, too, speaks of dogs, vain babblers, seducers, unlearned.

In Acts 13:10 he rages against a false prophet in such a way that he might seem to be insane. He says: ‘O full of all guile and all villainy, thou son of the devil, thou enemy of all truth!’ Why does he here not rather modestly flatter this fellow in order to convert him instead of thundering in such a way?  The truth, which one is conscious of possessing, cannot be patient against its obstinate and intractable enemies.”

–Martin Luther, What Luther Says: An Anthology, Vol. 1, comp. Ewald M. Plass (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959), entry no. 3367, 1058.

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