Worth Repeating

I just got a Google hit for “Martin Luther ban wine and women.” What you’re probably looking for is this:

Do you suppose that abuses are eliminated by destroying the object which is abused? Men can go wrong with wine and women. Shall we prohibit and abolish women? The sun, moon and the stars have been worshipped; shall we pluck them from the sky? See how much He has done thru me even though I just prayed and preached, the Word did it all. If I wanted to, I could have started a conflagration at Worms. But while I sat still and drank beer with Philip in Hahnsdorf, God dealt the papacy a mighty blow.

Lutheranism is not known for its asceticism or austerity. That’s usually the territory of the Puritans and other Reformed types. The Lutherans I know tend not to be hostile to the world, but rather more concerned with not being legalists trying to earn their way into heaven than with being perfectly pure and undefiled in every single way. As if that were possible to begin with…

That is to say, on matters of alcohol, most Lutherans would agree with C.S. Lewis that “[Islam], not Christianity, is the teetotal religion.” Cheers!


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