#48- Those Who Preach Christ Will Experience Discord and Factions

“Still these are examples and stories which serve to illustrate how people fare who hear Christ preach. And at the same time we can derive strength and comfort from this when we are charged with the offense of injecting errors in the faith. The gravest accusation our adversaries level against us is this, that our doctrine is an innovation, while they claim to remain with the old faith. Thus strife and dissension develop from the doctrine. Some declare: ‘I will await the decrees of a council, and I am ready to accept whatever emperor and bishops will resolve.’

This is the greatest offense; it fills eyes, ears, and mouth. It is hard to bear, and we need comfort to be able to disregard it. Such an offense is inevitable, for we will not meet a better fate than Christ did. If the Gospel could take its course without the rise of error, disturbance, and discord, it would have done so here with this Man Christ, who was a better preacher than the apostles. But it happens even to Him, the Lord Christ, that as He preaches, misunderstanding, yes, dissension arises among the people. They do not know how to adjust themselves to this new doctrine. One has this to say, another that. Christ Himself confused the people with His sermons. So many factions and sects spring up. The one preaches this, the other that; and this puzzles and perplexes the people. In the face of this you must say: ‘It is not my fault that there are so many factions. A Christian who believes and proclaims the Word of God need not worry about that. This is inevitable, and he must be resigned to the fact that it will never be any better in the world.’ Convince yourself of this, mark it as unavoidable, and submit to it. If the preaching is God’s Word, sects arise, and the same thing happens that is told here”  (Luther’s Works, v. 23, p. 289-290).

Posted in 2017 Reformation Quotes.