He Who Loves Not Women (or Some of My Best Friends are Lutheran)

“He who loves not women, wine, and song remains a fool his whole life long.”

Martin Luther once said, “He who loves not women, wine, and song remains a fool his whole life long.” Spoken like a true Luther(an). I assume he said that in German, so it probably didn’t rhyme like it does in English. Now that I think about it, everything in the German language rhymes (ein, nein, mein, stein) so either way it loses something in the translation (or should I say, the un-translation). Overkill is just as bad as underkill.martin-luther

The great thing about this saying is the context in which it was first uttered. As you probably know, Luther was the great reformer. In fact, the reformation pretty much began with him. The time was the early 1500’s. This was the early stage for us Protestants (apologies to my Catholic brethren who preceded us by a few years).

This is important because it was well before we began to add onto, and water down, the central package of what was the Reformation. My point is this—not too many in our day would have the hutzpah to say what Luther said in his day. It’s way too edgy sounding for us.

Most of our church leaders (particularly the Protestant ones) wouldn’t venture to make such a bold statement…even if they thought it. That’s because they would be reviled by at least part of the masses. And frankly, who needs that. So we just leave well enough alone and keep quiet.

“We are very dishonest.”

This points up a big problem in church circles. We are very dishonest. It’s not that we want to be deceivers, but we are not-so-subtly forced into it.

If we don’t line up with everyone’s thinking, we are criticized, ostracized, and scandalized. We have to please everyone, or we’re pigeon holed as heretics or worse.

Maybe the saddest part of this is how it affects new Christians. If they don’t pass muster within the first few days of their conversion, they are demeaned and branded as unrepentant sinners. So to avoid this albatross, they learn to be dishonest about who and what they are.

“…it happened to me.”

I know this because it happened to me. That was forty-five years ago, and I still remember the cajoling that took place to force me to toe the party line. It was a lesson I learned all too well.

Unfortunately, it’s a lesson I’ve tried to unlearn over the years without a lot of success. Even though I know better (at least I think I do), I still try to hide the worst parts of me from my brothers and sisters in Christ.

I try hard to be more open, and sometimes I’m successful. But much of the time, I’m still hiding in my closet (don’t jump to conclusions there—I’m speaking of my prayer close, of course).

The woeful equation is simple: No openness or honesty = No inner healing. That, my friends, doesn’t make for very good discipleship.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.