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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Reformation Day

Check out the 2003 film Luther, which starred Joseph Fiennes (Shakespeare in Love) as the title character, Alfred Molina as Johann Tetzel, Jonathan Firth as Girolamo Aleander, and Sir Peter Ustinov as Frederick the Wise. In the movie, Luther gives a sermon/homily that I really liked ...

Terrible. Unforgiving. That's how I saw God. Punishing us in this life, committing us to Purgatory after death, sentencing sinners to burn in hell for all eternity. But I was wrong. Those who see God as angry do not see Him rightly but look upon a curtain as if a dark storm cloud has been drawn across His face. If we truly believe that Christ is our Savior then we have a God of love, and to see God in faith is to look upon His friendly heart. So when the devil throws your sins in your face and declares that you deserve death and hell, tell him this..."I admit that I deserve death and hell. What of it? For I know One who suffered and made satisfaction in my behalf. His name is Jesus Christ, Son of God. Where He is, there I shall be also."

As I wrote in my earlier post about the film, it does tend to show mostly only the positive aspects of Luther (for instance, there's no mention of his acceptance of polygamy, or his his negative writings against the Jews), and I should mention that Roger Ebert didn't like the movie much (see his review), but having said all that, I did find the film interesting, especially the part about indulgences (the full or partial remission of temporal punishment in Purgatory, due for sins which have already been forgiven, and gained through ritual prayers, the doing of certain acts, or in the past, money paid)..

I think it's pretty awful that indulgences still are part of the Catholic Church - the ideas behind indulgences are incoherent on a whole number of levels. You can read an excerpt from What Happened at Vatican II on the subject of indulgences here.

But anyway, here's a clip from the movie ...


Blogger Dina said...

Luther is not my favorite (your link shows it is even worse than I thought!) but it was interesting to watch your video. I mean, a person has to do *something* for Reformation Day, right?

4:17 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

Hi Dina,

Ha :) I think Catholics are supposed to bemoan Reformation Day but some of the reforms were so badly needed.

Unfortunately Catholics have their own anti-Jewish guys of the past, like John Chrysostom. Christians have a lot to make up for :(

4:33 PM  

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