#38 The Devil’s Chapel is Far More Impressive than God’s Church

Oh, he is far better equipped with sacraments, prophets, apostles, and evangelists than God, and his chapels are much larger than God’s church; and he has far more people in his holiness than God. One is also more inclined to believe his promises, his sacraments, and his prophets than Christ. He is the great god of the world. Christ calls him “ruler of the world” [John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11] and Paul “the god of this world” [II Cor. 4:4]. With this aping tomfoolery he estranges men from faith in Christ and causes the word and the sacraments of Christ to be despised and almost unrecognizable because it is easier to perceive such things than to blot out sin, help in time of need, receive salvation through the devil’s sacraments rather than through Christ’s. For it is Christ’s will to make people holy and pious in body and soul through the Holy Spirit and not let them remain in unbelief and sin. This is too hard for those who do not wish to be pious or to desist from sin. They can readily dispense with this work of the Holy Spirit after they learn how they can be saved more easily without him—for example, by holy water, Agnus Dei, bulls and breves, masses and cowls—thus making it unnecessary to seek or heed anything else.  (Luther’s Works, v.41, p.169)

Picture:  The hard-carved wooden altar dates from 1896

Posted in 2020 Church.

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