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宗教改革遗留的产业(麦克阿瑟)陈鸽翻译(2018-10-10)

把关天门

 在中世纪的欧洲,罗马天主教垄断了“一切关乎生命和敬虔”的属灵事物。那时,圣经稀少;除了神职人员以外,无人接触过圣经。于是,罗马的领导阶层确立了自己的地位,成为圣经的掌门人与守护者,从而掌控了通往上帝的道路。他们的神甫可以赐予宽恕、给予祝福,并且充当永恒赏罚的仲裁者。

 一手遮天

 到了14世纪,天主教已腐败透顶了,并且官官相护,彼此包庇。在那一层薄薄的敬虔的面纱背后,弥漫着邪恶与淫乱的教廷生活。整个基督教界两极分化,下面教区中的善男信女生活极其拮据,勉强维持生计;上面的宗教领导班子则利用百姓的愚昧无知,饱其私囊,争权夺利。教皇和大主教们,过着骄奢淫逸、放荡无忌的生活。天主教以铁腕政策,统管着中世纪社会的每个层面,甚至操纵了官府的行政大权。

 镇压正统

 中世纪的罗马天主教,已经腐化到骨子里,成了滋生异端邪说和属灵诈骗的温床。然而,就算在那普遍败坏的大氛围中,主仍在救赎自己的百姓,并建立他真正的教会。在罗马的势力范围之外,仍有一些教会继续地存在,甚至蓬勃地发展。主更使用他忠勇的仆人,如:威克里夫(John Wycliffe)胡斯(John Hus),来拒绝并抵制违背圣经的天主教传统,剥下其假善的面具,暴露其内在的腐朽。正如几个世纪后,在英国的清教徒一样,这些人起初并没有企图推翻教廷,只巴望能呼吁它悔改,并帮它恢复到圣经的正统,但这两个人却因着他们奋勇传道,都被逐出教会,定为异端,处以火刑。胡斯(Hus)当场死于非命,威克里夫(Wycliffe)则秋后算账。他是尸骨在几十年后,竟从坟墓中被掘出、焚烧,他骨头被碾碎,骨灰撒在河里(River Swift)。 

属灵遗产

 尽管天主教采取极端措施,使出浑身解数,想要压制威克里夫(Wycliffe)胡斯(Hus)等人的声音,然而,他们所传讲的真道,不但继续流传,更为另一位热忱的德国修道士铺平了道路,可以继承他们的“产业”,一同对天主教皇的堡垒,进行决定性的致命一击。

 一脉相承

 马丁路德(Martin Luther)正如他的先贤一样,起初并没有打算公然反叛天主教,更没有推翻或颠覆教廷的意图。但从他对圣经的认真考察,并借着圣灵的光照,他认识了主耶稣基督的救恩,更认清了罗马教廷偏离了福音的真理。

 历史学家一致认为“宗教改革”(Reformation)的转折点是15171031日,就是路德将他的95条论纲(Ninety-Five Theses)钉在维滕堡Wittenberg)教堂大门上的那一天。在那一份关键的文献中,那尚未重生归信的路德,对天主教的传统提出了许多质疑,特别是反对他们兜售赎罪卷。

 愚民政策

 购买赎罪卷(Indulgences)是天主教徒从苦修(Penance)和炼狱(Purgatory)中获得特赦的捷径。他们还可以代替已故的亲人购买。因着当时极高的死亡率,还有极短的生命期,加上面临天主教千万年炼狱的威胁,大多老百姓会抓住任何救命稻草,期盼借此逃脱那死后拘留所的折磨,快点进入天堂。

 狐假虎威

 在教皇利奥十世(Pope Leo X)统治下,中世纪的天主教利用出售赎罪卷,承担了建造豪华建筑的经费,包括罗马的圣彼得大教堂(St.Peter’s Basilica)在内。[1] 一位精明的修道士泰泽尔(Johann Tetzel)就是他们最成功的销售员之一。

 泰泽尔,可说是诡计多端,他完善了一套巧妙的推销方案来愚弄天主教里糊涂的信众。他常用这一句名言一方面应许,另一面又告诫百姓,说:“金库里的硬币,叮当一响;炼狱里的灵魂,当场释放。”对一群社会底层,没有文化、充满迷信的农民客户而言,还有什么更大的指望呢?

 仗义执言

 路德对泰泽尔(Tetzel)天主教廷赞助的勒索行为感到愤怒。他的《95条论纲》就是对此公开的否定,也是对天主教廷贪婪直接的谴责。第86条更是有的放矢,把责任直接追溯到教皇利奥本人身上:“教皇的家财万贯,超过当今的首富克拉苏(Crassus),既然如此,为什么他自己不出钱建造圣彼得大教堂,反而要穷信徒奉献呢?”

 先发热心

 这《95条论纲》是“宗教改革”的导火线,但却不是它的主要战场。实际上,当路德写这95条时,他自己还没有真正悔改归信呢,他是不久之后才得救的。理所当然,因信称义的教义是反对出售赎罪卷最有力的论据,然而,95条中却没有提到它,这点很关键,表明了路德最终明白唯独因信称义真谛的“塔里的经历”,是在他发表了95条之后才有的。历史学家与学者们无法定准路德觉醒的确切年份,但路德却常常提及这个经历,似乎他认定这是他真正归信的时刻,以下是他自己的描述:

 塔中称义

 “公义”和“神的义”这两个字,如闪电般击中了我的良心,当我们听到这些话,我惊恐万分。我想,神若是公义的,他就必须惩罚罪恶。但当靠着神的恩典,在那塔中闷热的房间里,我默想这些话:“义人必因信得生”(罗1:17)还有“神的义”(罗 3:21)时,我很快得出结论:就是既然我们(身为义人)应该凭信心生活,还有既然神的义要归给一切相信的人,好使他们可以得救,那么,救恩就不是我们的功劳,乃是上帝的怜悯。我的心因此得到激励,因为是藉着神的义,我们得以称义,并且在基督里得救。这些从前叫我极其害怕的话,如今令我更加欢喜。就在那塔中,圣灵为我开启了圣经的话。[2]

 唯独圣经

 这“信徒唯有因信称义”的真理,成了整个“改教运动”(Reformation)争议的焦点。因此,“唯独信心”(Sola Fide)成了“改教运动”实质的原则。然而,那真正促使路德写下并发表那95条论纲的,却是“唯独圣经”(Sola Scriptura)即圣经的权威性与全备性的原则,才是“宗教改革”正规的基本原则。即便在他归信主之前,在他早期的著作中,路德对圣经的委身就已经很明显了。

 同一源头

 其他改教家们,如加尔文(John Calvin),慈运理Ulrich Zwingli),梅兰奇通(Philip Melanchthon),比萨(Theodore Beza),诺克斯(John Knox)等等,都有这同一信念:他们同信这一本圣经,虽在不同的战场上,但都在打同一场仗,就是维护并持守神的道在他教会中的权威性,来对抗教皇的专权,以及天主教的异端。《圣经》至高的权威是“宗教改革”的核心,“改教运动”其他的重要的教条和教义,都来自于这一个源头。

 圣经至上

沃姆会议上(Diet of Worms),路德捍卫他的著作时,他说出那段永垂千古的话,宣告了他对圣经单纯的顺从。

 除非你们按着正意解释圣经或以充分的理由来说服我,(因为我既不信任教皇,也不完全相信议会;大家都知道,他们常常犯错,并且自相矛盾。)否则,我受我所引述的圣经所束缚,我的良心被神的道所征服,我不能也不会撤销我的观点,因为违背良心既不安全,也不正确。求主帮助我。阿门![3]

 前仆后继

 五百年后,忠信的圣徒,跟随前线战士的脚踪,在他们庞然的阴影之下,继承前人的遗产,就是他们对圣经的忠贞和福音真理的持守。我们再接再厉,不断抗争,不仅针对罗马天主教,更要抵制教会生活中、任何偏离神的道的体系、机构、或自命不凡的牧者或仆人。可悲的是,21世纪的教会,可能要面临比罗马教廷统治下更大的威胁。


(改编自“基督的呼召:教会要改革”)

———————-

原文如下:

The Legacy of the Reformation

 by John MacArthur

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

 In medieval Europe, the Roman Catholic Church had a stranglehold on all matters pertaining to spiritual life. In an era when Bibleswere rare and inaccessible to all but the clergy, the hierarchy of Romeestablished itself as the gatekeeper controlling access to Scripture, and thusto God. The priests granted forgiveness, bestowed blessing, and served as thearbiters of eternal reward.

 By the 1400s, the church was overrun with layers ofinstitutional corruption. Behind a transparent veil of piety, immorality andwickedness permeated the church. Throughout Christendom, church parishionersstruggled to survive and eke out a humble existence, while the religious rulingclass preyed on the people’s ignorance to line their pockets and expand theirauthority. Popes and archbishops lived reprobate lives of lavish excess andwanton lasciviousness. The church ruled with an iron fist, overseeing evengovernments and influencing all aspects of medieval life.

 To its core, the medieval Roman Catholic Church was abreeding ground for heresy and spiritual deception. But even in the midst ofits dominating corruption, the Lord was still redeeming His own and buildingHis true church. Some churches existed and even thrived outside of Rome’sauthority. The Lord also used bold and faithful men like John Wycliffe and JohnHuss to reject and repudiate extrabiblical Catholic dogma, to peel back itspious mask and expose the corruption within. Like the Puritans centuries laterin England, these men did not seek to overthrow the church, but hoped to callit to repentance and help restore it to biblical orthodoxy. And for theirefforts, both men were excommunicated and burned as heretics. (Wycliffe was retroactivelyexcommunicated decades after his death. His body was actually exhumed andincinerated, his bones crushed, and the bones and ashes scattered in the RiverSwift.)

 Although the Catholic Church went to extreme measures tosilence Wycliffe, Huss, and others like them, the truth they preached survivedand paved the way for an earnest German monk to carry on their legacy andstrike a decisive blow against the papal fortress. Like those before him,Martin Luther did not set out on an overtly rebellious course to overthrow orupend the Church. But out of his fervent study of Scripture and through theillumination of the Holy Spirit, Luther came to a saving knowledge of the LordJesus Christ and to a clear understanding of Rome’s deviation from the truth ofthe gospel.

 Historians identify the flashpoint of the Reformation asOctober 31, 1517, the day Luther nailed his Ninety-Five Theses to the door ofthe Castle Church in Wittenberg. In that pivotal treatise, Luther, not yetconverted, argued against the abusive traditions of the CatholicChurch—particularly the sale of indulgences.

 Indulgences were a means for Catholics to buy their wayout of penance and purgatory. They could also be purchased on behalf ofdeceased loved ones. With an extremely high mortality rate and an equally shortlife expectancy—and with the church’s threat of eons in purgatory constantlyhanging overhead—most people would leap at any hope to avoid languishing in theafterlife, in some holding place short of heaven.

 Under Pope Leo X, the medieval church used the sale ofindulgences to support the construction of elaborate structures like St.Peter’s Basilica in Rome. [1] A savvy monknamed Johann Tetzel was one of their most successful salesmen.

 Tetzel was ingenious in his mischief, perfecting amasterful sales pitch to prey on the credulous simplicity of Catholicparishioners. He would famously exhort the crowds with the promise, “As soon asthe coin in the coffer rings, the soul from purgatory springs.” To a customerbase of illiterate, superstitious peasants, what greater hope could there be?

 Luther was furious over Tetzel’s church-sponsoredextortion. His Ninety-Five Theses constituted a public repudiation of thepractice and a direct assault on the greed of the Church. Thesis eighty-six putthe blame squarely on Pope Leo himself: “Why does not the pope, whose wealth istoday greater than the wealth of the richest Crassus, build this one basilicaof St. Peter with his own money rather than with the money of poor believers?”

 Those Ninety-Five Theses ignited the Reformation, butthey did not constitute its primary battleground. In fact, Luther had not yetcome to true faith and repentance at the time of their writing—he was savedshortly thereafter. The doctrine of justification by faith is of course aninsurmountable argument against the sale of indulgences, so it is significantthat the Ninety-Five Theses omit any mention of that doctrine. It indicatesthat Luther’s “Tower Experience,” when he finally understood what it means to bejustified by faith alone, occurred sometime after the posting of the theses.Scholars and historians cannot determine the precise year when Luther first hadhis awakening, but Luther spoke of it often, and he seemed to view it as themoment of his true conversion. Here’s how he described what happened:

 The words “righteous” and “righteousness of God” struckmy conscience like lightning. When I heard them I was exceedingly terrified. Ithought if God is righteous, he must punish. But when by God’s grace Ipondered, in the tower and heated room of this building, over the words, “Hewho through faith is righteous shall live” [Romans 1:17]and “the righteousness of God” [Romans 3:21],I soon came to the conclusion that if we, as righteous men, ought to live fromfaith and if the righteousness of God should contribute to the salvation of allwho believe, then salvation won’t be our merit but God’s mercy. My spirit wasthereby cheered. For it’s by the righteousness of God that we’re justified andsaved through Christ. These words [which had before terrified me] now becamemore pleasing to me. The Holy Spirit unveiled the Scriptures for me in thistower. [2]

 The truth that believers are justified by faith alonebecame the focus of the entire reformation debate. That principle (sola fide)is therefore known as the material principle of the Reformation. But it was theformal principle of the Reformation, sola scriptura—the authority andsufficiency of Scripture—that motivated Luther to write and post theNinety-Five Theses. His commitment to that principle was evident even in hisearliest writings before his conversion.

 John Calvin, Ulrich Zwingli, Philip Melanchthon, TheodoreBeza, John Knox, and many more shared that same conviction and fought the samefight on different fronts to rescue and preserve the authority of God’s Word inHis church against the tyranny of the pope and the heresies of the CatholicChurch. The supremacy and authority of Scripture was the beating heart of theReformation from which all its other core tenets flowed.

 In defense of his work at the Diet of Worms, Lutherfamously proclaimed his submission to Scripture alone:

 Unless I am convinced by the testimony of the Scripturesor by clear reason (for I do not trust either in the pope or in councils alone,since it is well known that they have often erred and contradicted themselves),I am bound by the Scriptures I have quoted and my conscience is captive to theWord of God. I cannot and will not retract anything, since it is neither safenor right to go against conscience. May God help me. Amen. [3]

 Five hundred years later, faithful men serve in the shadowof these great warriors of God and work to carry on their legacy of biblicalfidelity and gospel truth. Moreover, we carry on their protest, not merelyagainst Rome, but against any system, church, or self-styled shepherd whodeviates from the Word of God in the life of the church. And tragically, thetwenty-first century church may be facing greater threats than it ever enduredunder Rome.


(Adapted from Christ’s Call to Reform the Church)

关于作者: 陈鸽

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