I meant that they[Luther and the Reformers] should have stopped after being warned in Exsurge Domine to cease their publications and public preaching.I wonder if in the Arian controversy, Jeff would be willing to have adopted the same attitude - just be quiet - let God sort it out. When false teaching is happening in the body of Christ, controversy and debate should never stop. In my thinking this is part and parcel of God putting us in line.
That's what I meant about my being pragmatic. It seems like a surrender, to back down from the threat of excommunication, but the Church had had its bleak periods before, the biggest one I can think of being the Arian heresy, which overtook most of the Church, and most of her leadership. It was the Lord's hand that saved the Church. So if it is a surrender, it is a surrender to God's reliable providence and pastoring. And no better healing can have ever been had.
Tragically, Luther did feel that it would take the Lord's hand to resolve the corruption he saw, but he just couldn't stand by and wait.
Jeff speaks of surrender, so surrender to false teaching then? So Luther is a bad boy, he should have recanted on some of his assertions like...
25. The Roman Pontiff, the successor of Peter, is not the vicar of Christ over all the churches of the entire world, instituted by Christ Himself in blessed Peter.Point 25 is very evident that the Councils like that in Carthage 419 and on wards did not consider the Bishop of Rome as he Vicar of Christ over all the churches of the entire world. The EO never believed it and so did the early Christians. Point 28 is obvious because all men are sinners and therefore may err. Simple logic will dictate that if we believe the Pope is a human being too. Well for point 33, as a Christian - you think for yourself , you figure it out- should we burn those who disagree with us? Did the early Christians burn the Arians or the Donatists? I wonder. Point 35 is again just stating what the Bible says - 1 John 1:7-8. Point 37 was never believed by the early Christians either.
28. If the pope with a great part of the Church thought so and so, he would not err; still it is not a sin or heresy to think the contrary, especially in a matter not necessary for salvation, until one alternative is condemned and another approved by a general Council.
33. That heretics be burned is against the will of the Spirit.
35. No one is certain that he is not always sinning mortally, because of the most hidden vice of pride.
37. Purgatory cannot be proved from Sacred Scripture which is in the canon[church laws?].
To do what the Exsurge says is to accept erroneous teaching (at least from Luther's eyes), in otherwords, to comply meant a recantation. Thus he would have to agree that the Pope was the Vicar of Christ for all churches, he would have to agree that the Pope never errs etc etc.
So Luther was the bad boy for not complying, but what about the Papacy for teaching the sale of indulgences, this was not bad?
I wonder, are we not calling good evil and evil good here? I am just thinking...