#58- Simply Because You Are An Evangelical Doesn’t Make Everything You Do Right

“Gross arrogance is now making itself felt in the papacy, yes, also among us. Many of us say boastfully: ‘We are evangelicals; we have learned this doctrine well.’ They brag that everything they do is right. …  This is a strong sermon and a sharp answer to the question at issue: “God cares not that you are Abraham’s seed, that you are baptized, that you have accepted the Gospel, and that you esteem its doctrine highly. Beware lest you still become the murderer of both God and man! For you are a fellow who disdains to give ear to the Word and will not tolerate the truth. You will not listen to correction. And after you have reviled and blasphemed God’s Word for a long time, murder will follow, and you will kill God’s servants and preachers with your fists.”

It is necessary for us to differentiate and say: ‘We concede that you are evangelical, that you can talk and write about this, and that you hear the evangelical message; but this does not make you a Christian. Just examine yourself with regard to your attitude over against the preachers of the truth. How many there are in this principality who bear their village clergy the greatest ill will! When the clergy tell them the truth and attack their sin and wickedness from the pulpit, they think that the village clergy have indeed deserved death. And at the same time these people boast that they are also good evangelicals.’ ‘Indeed,’ says Christ, ‘you are really evangelical!’ In the same way He says to the Jews: ‘I know you are Abraham’s seed; but you will not hear the truth, and you are hostile to those who preach the truth. Is that what you call being Abraham’s children and evangelicals? This attitude does not come from Baptism; it comes from hell. You merely cover and embellish yourselves with the name and title of church and Christians.’ Guard against these two virtues! He who falls away from the Gospel does not take it seriously. …. Christ says that they must be the enemies and murderers of God and man,’ ‘because My Word finds no place in you’ (Luther’s Works, v. 23, p. 418-419).