Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Today Marks Anniversary of Luther's Defense at the Diet of Worms - "My Conscience is Captive to the Word of God" (1521)

Luther arrived in Worms on April 16, 1521 to appear before an Imperial Diet. Asked to recant his writings on April 17, Luther requested a day to consider and to pray. On April 18 485 years ago the authorities challenged him again, demanding his recantation. What Luther said (more or less) was . . .

Since then Your Majesty and your lordships desire a simple reply, I will answer without horns and without teeth. Unless I am convicted by Scripture and plain reason—I do not accept the authority of popes and councils, for they have contradicted each other—my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand, I cannot do otherwise. God help me. Amen.

Praise God for the courage of Luther nearly 500 years ago! May our consciences continue to be held captive to the Word of God!

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