Thursday, 17 May 2012

Non-Christian Lutheranism?

We are Lutherans because we protest against ecclesiastical authority and insist on private interpretation of scripture. However, we read all scriptures and can interpret them critically and sceptically. Thus, we are "Lutherans" but not Christians. Catholics of the Counter-Reformation would argue that Lutheranism must lead to this and they would be right. Private interpretation must be informed by Biblical criticism and modern science but remains private interpretation, not a church- or party-line.

A former Catholic at University remarked that the only good features of Protestantism were those differentiating it from Catholicism. Another University student remarked that the progression from Judaism to Catholicism to Protestantism to secularism is a move away from the family towards the individual. I am happy to live at the secular end of that progression. The family can be a small community of related individuals, not an entity subordinating individuals to it.

In Judaism, God's covenant is with Israel and the latter is propagated through the family. In Catholicism, God's new covenant is with the Church and the latter is propagated through the family. In Protestantism, God's new covenant is with each individual. In secularism, there is society and the individual. In a large well to do Catholic family, the eldest son inherited the family business, the second son entered a respectable profession like medicine or law and a third son, not needed for inheritance or to produce further heirs, could enter the respectable profession of the celibate priesthood. Brought up as a Catholic, I now respect Luther's rebellion against the sale of Indulgences and Papal interpretation of scripture.  

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