“Finally, I see that I must add a good word of admonition to those whom Satan has now begun to persecute. For there are some among them who think that when they are attacked they can escape the danger by saying: I do not hold with Luther or with anyone else, but only with the holy gospel and the holy church, or with the Roman church. For saying so they think they will be left in peace. Yet in their hearts they regard my teaching as the teaching of the gospel and stand by it. In reality this kind of statement does not help them, and it is in effect a denial of Christ. Therefore, I beg such people to be very careful.
True, by any consideration of body or soul you should never say: I am Lutheran, or Papist. For neither of them died for you, or is your master. Christ alone died for you, he alone is your master, and you should confess yourself a Christian. But if you are convinced that Luther’s teaching is in accord with the gospel and that the pope’s is not, then you should not discard Luther so completely, lest with him you discard also his teaching, which you nevertheless recognize as Christ’s teaching. You should rather say: Whether Luther is a rascal or a saint I do not care; his teaching is not his, but Christ’s” (Luther’s Works, v.36 p.265).