The Reformation Was Not About Being “Bible Believers,” Martin Luther Venerated The Virgin Mary And Was Very Catholic In His Thinking

By Theodore Shoebat

Martin Luther is extolled today as though he wanted to make a church of “Bible believers,” and replace the “traditions of man” with the Scriptures.

This is a common misconception that so many subscribe to, and it has led many to fall into a fantasy that the whole Reformation was being liberated from the Catholic Church so that people could just read the Bible.

For one, Luther affirmed many beliefs that would be considered by most Protestants to be the “traditions of man.” For example, Luther believed that Mary was a sinless perpetual virgin who was immaculately conceived.

Martin Luther declared these words to Mary:

No woman is like you. You are more than Eve or Sarah, blessed above all nobility, wisdom, and sanctity.
(Sermon, Feast of the Visitation, 1537)

What evangelical would ever say such a thing?

Moreover, Luther believed that Mary helps lead us to Christ, or that we can come to Christ through Mary:

One should honor Mary as she herself wished and as she expressed it in the Magnificat. She praised God for his deeds. How then can we praise her? The true honor of Mary is the honor of God, the praise of God’s grace . . . Mary is nothing for the sake of herself, but for the sake of Christ . . . Mary does not wish that we come to her, but through her to God.
(Explanation of the Magnificat, 1521)

Luther praised and venerated Mary with the following words:

[She is the] highest woman and the noblest gem in Christianity after Christ . . . She is nobility, wisdom, and holiness personified. We can never honor her enough. Still honor and praise must be given to her in such a way as to injure neither Christ nor the Scriptures.
(Sermon, Christmas, 1531)

I dare any evangelical to say such words with conviction. Luther’s statement completely spearheads the commonly stated belief that “Mary was used by God just like anyone of us.” This notion enforces a spiritual equality onto all the saints, making every one equal in a celestial socialist state.

Whats amazing is that conservatives believe that what we earn should be based on our hard work. Yet, many of these same conservatives want to take away capitalism in Heaven, where everybody shares eternal treasures equally, including the one who gave birth God the Son. Mary has no equal, and this is what Luther taught when he said:

[S]he became the Mother of God, in which work so many and such great good things are bestowed on her as pass man’s understanding. For on this there follows all honor, all blessedness, and her unique place in the whole of mankind, among which she has no equal, namely, that she had a child by the Father in heaven, and such a Child…. Hence men have crowded all her glory into a single word, calling her the Mother of God…. None can say of her nor announce to her greater things, even though he had as many tongues as the earth possesses flowers and blades of grass: the sky, stars; and the sea, grains of sand. It needs to be pondered in the heart what it means to be the Mother of God. (Luther’s Works, 21:326, cf. 21:346.)

Christ said, “lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven,” (Matthew 6:20), but in the protestant mind, Mary herself cannot enjoy the treasures she earned for the wonderful actions, and the great suffering, she had to endure in the history of human redemption.

Christ is our salvation, and so Mary gave birth to our salvation. Why then can’t we say that Mary is a participator in our salvation? Mary stands between Christ and humanity; this is what Luther taught when he said:

The Virgin Mary remains in the middle between Christ and humankind. For in the very moment he was conceived and lived, he was full of grace. All other human beings are without grace, both in the first and second conception. But the Virgin Mary, though without grace in the first conception, was full of grace in the second … whereas other human beings are conceived in sin, in soul as well as in body, and Christ was conceived without sin in soul as well as in body, the Virgin Mary was conceived in body without grace but in soul full of grace. (H. George Anderson, 238.)

Mary is the mother of the Church. If you get angry at me for saying this, you should also get mad at Luther, for he said:

Mary is the Mother of Jesus and the Mother of all of us even though it was Christ alone who reposed on her knees . . . If he is ours, we ought to be in his situation; there where he is, we ought also to be and all that he has ought to be ours, and his mother is also our mother. (Sermon, Christmas, 1529)

Mary was born without original sin, and she was always without sin; this too was taught by Luther when he said:

It is a sweet and pious belief that the infusion of Mary’s soul was effected without original sin; so that in the very infusion of her soul she was also purified from original sin and adorned with God’s gifts, receiving a pure soul infused by God; thus from the first moment she began to live she was free from all sin (Sermon: “On the Day of the Conception of the Mother of God,” 1527)

She is full of grace, proclaimed to be entirely without sin- something exceedingly great. For God’s grace fills her with everything good and makes her devoid of all evil.
(Personal {“Little”} Prayer Book, 1522)

Martin Luther held to beliefs on Mary that no evangelical today would except, yet without Luther, there would have been no evangelical church. Evangelicalism, then, is really a schism within a schism, not a church that can historically trace itself back to the Apostles. The churches of Rome, Egypt, Greece, and all of the Eastern Orthodox world, and can historically link themselves back to the Apostles.

You will say that Luther was a heretic. So let me get this straight: God allowed humanity to live under the darkness of the Catholic Church for over a thousand years, only to inspire a heretic Luther, to bring humanity back to true Christianity with more heresy, and that this set the stage for humanity to come to really true Christianity, and that is, American evangelicalism?

This way of thinking is warped and disordered, and makes absolutely no sense. The reason why Luther held to such beliefs because they were in accordance to what was believed and taught in the ancient days of the Church. Read the Church Fathers, look to the Copts and to the Orthodox, and you will see what original Christianity looks like.