Martin Luther – liberator and oppressor all at once

Martin Luther
Martin Luther
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I notice George McNally (‘On Luther and the Lord’s judgment’, News Letter letters, May 14), in reply to Rev Stephen Johnston (‘Guidance and comfort under the infallible word of God’, May 13), fails to address the main point of Stephen’s letter – that the Presbyterian Church in Ireland accepts the infallibility of Scripture and for good reason.

Instead George picks up on remarks made by Luther to Erasmus then quotes an antisemitic treatise Luther produced.

Letter to the editor

Letter to the editor

Martin Luther, great reformer as he was, had open animosity towards the Jews and wrote two treaties (including the one George McNally quotes) that are antisemitic.

His antisemitism should be acknowledged and not excused. Nothwithstanding, this doesn’t negate the fact God used him mightily in the Reformation in helping bring light into much darkness.

As Rev Bernard Howard, an Anglican minister and a Jewish believer in Jesus has said – ‘Luther is to me both hero and anti-hero; both liberator and oppressor. Spiritually speaking, he has been my teacher, but in relation to my family he has acted as persecutor.’ Martin Luther like all of us was fallible, he was a sinner and far from perfect. God alone is perfect and thus His Word is perfect and infallible (Psalm 19:4). All Presbyterian elders whether teaching or ruling elders accept this at their ordination.

Howard Gilpin (Rev), Moira