I say all this, dear friends, as a faithful warning. In this case you should stop calling yourselves Christians and stop claiming that you have the Christian law on your side. For no matter how right you are, it is not right for a Christian to appeal to law, or to fight, but rather to suffer wrong and endure evil; and there is no other way (I Corinthians 6 [:1–8]). You yourselves confess in the preface to your articles that “all who believe in Christ become loving, peaceful, patient, and agreeable.” Your actions, however, reveal nothing but impatience, aggression, anger, and violence. Thus you contradict your own words. You want to be known as patient people, you who will endure neither injustice nor evil, but will endure only what is just and good. That is a fine kind of patience! Any rascal can practice it! It does not take a Christian to do that! So again I say, however good and just your cause may be, nevertheless, because you would defend yourselves and are unwilling to suffer either violence or injustice, you may do anything that God does not prevent. However, leave the name Christian out of it. Leave the name Christian out, I say, and do not use it to cover up your impatient, disorderly, un-Christian undertaking. I shall not let you have that name, but so long as there is a heartbeat in my body, I shall do all I can, through speaking and writing, to take that name away from you. You will not succeed, or will succeed only in ruining your bodies and souls. (Luther’s Works, v.46, p.31-32)
Picture: Mark from Das Newe Testament Deuotzsch.
Mark writes his gospel with his attribute the lion nearby. Woodcut designed by Lucas Cranach, the Elder (1472-1553), a close friend of Martin Luther. http://pitts.emory.edu