golter's musings

So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. (Romans 10:17)

  • Wittenberg Beer and Elections.

    November 8, 2018

    No, this is not a prompt for you to drown your election results’ sorrows in beer or, for that matter, your triumphs as well! This is not a promo for beer, either!


    But, Pastor, what does Wittenberg beer and elections have in common? Good question. Hang with me.


    Many a pastor—including this one—repeated a supposed Luther saying about preaching the Word and then going off and having a beer. Among Lutheran pastors, we cite Luther for many things and, many times, we don’t know from whence it comes.


    Well, I did find the Luther quote about beer. It wasn’t about elections but preaching. So, first let’s go to preaching, and then to beer and elections. Remember, hang with me.


    Luther’s citation:

    In short, I will preach it, teach it, write it, but I will constrain no man by force, for faith must come freely without compulsion. Take myself as an example. I opposed indulgences and all the papists, but never with force. I simply taught, preached, and wrote God’s Word; otherwise I did nothing. And while I slept [cf. Mark 4:26-29], or drank Wittenberg beer with my friends, Philip and Amsdorf, the Word so greatly weakened the papacy that no prince or emperor ever inflicted such losses upon it. I did nothing; the Word did everything , ( Luther’s Works AE 51:77, emphasis added).


    Luther could have fought for the truth of God’s Word by sword, but he didn’t. He could have bound himself up with worry and anxiety, but he didn’t. Rather, he stuck to his vocation. He preached, taught and wrote God’s Word. Confident in God’s work through the Word, he went off to enjoy a beer with his Reformation buddies. He did nothing; God did everything.


    In this topsy-turvy world, with controversial elections, shootings, dealing with our own waywardness from the Good Shepherd, stick to your vocation.


    Pray.

    Trust the Word.

    Go have a beer.

    And, God will have His way.


    Pastor Golter is the Senior Pastor at Trinity Lutheran