Friday, April 15, 2011

Luther at the Imperial Diet

Nearly three and a half years had passed since Martin Luther affixed his "95 Theses" on the church door at Wittenburg. Now he was commanded to appear before the Imperial Diet which convened at Worms. The 21 year-old Emperor Charles gauranteed safe passage to Luther for his journey. He began his trip to Worms on 2 April 1521 and arrived there on the 16th. He was asked point blank to recant his writings. He asked for a 24 hour recess in which to ponder and formulate his reply. This was granted and on the following day, at the closing of the proceedings, Dr. Ecken again asked, "Plain and simple, are you prepared to recant?"
Luther then replied: Your Imperial Majesty and Your Lordships demand a simple answer. Here it is, plain and unvarnished. Unless I am convicted [convinced] of error by the testimony of Scripture or (since I put no trust in the unsupported authority of Pope or councils, since it is plain that they have often erred and often contradicted themselves) by manifest reasoning, I stand convicted [convinced] by the Scriptures to which I have appealed, and my conscience is taken captive by God's word, I cannot and will not recant anything, for to act against our conscience is neither safe for us, nor open to us.
On this I take my stand. I can do no other. God help me. Amen.
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Secondary Roads said...

It certainly took courage for Luther to take that stand. I'm glad he did.

vanilla said...

Chuck, yes. The world needs people with the courage to stand up for their convictions.

Rebecca Mecomber said...

Hallelujah! The world is ever grateful for such Christians.

vanilla said...

Rebecca, we are blessed through God's grace to have such people.