People Are Stupid, Daily Reform, Day 44

Late Medieval Bible, Edinburgh University Library, MS 4
Late Medieval Bible, Edinburgh University Library, MS 4

Galatians 1:11-12 & Acts 17:10-15

From the Reformer

You may argue that the Church and the fathers are holy. Yet the Church is compelled to pray: “Forgive us our trespasses.” I am not to be believed, nor is the Church to be believed, or the fathers, or the apostles, or an angel from heaven, if they teach anything contrary to the Word of God. Let the Word of God abide forever.

Peter erred in life and in doctrine. Paul might have dismissed Peter’s error as a matter of no consequence. But Paul saw that Peter’s error would lead to the damage of the whole Church unless it were corrected. Therefore he withstood Peter to his face. The Church, Peter, the apostles, angels from heaven, are not to be heard unless they teach the genuine Word of God.

—Martin Luther, Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians

Pulling It Together

I was telling my eight-month-old granddaughter this morning, “People are stupid.” It’s just the way things are — likely a result of the fall. Even smart people are stupid. Presidents are stupid. I am stupid. This does not mean that people are always stupid (though I suppose some people may be). It does mean that all people — even college-educated folks — do some brick-headed things sometimes — often.

My father-in-law said a particular statement a lot. He told me Will Rogers originally said it but I cannot verify that he did. It was just one phrase he would quote but he said it very often because people gave him cause. This is what Will and my father-in-law used to say: “Some people are educated beyond their intelligence.”

This is why you cannot simply trust what preachers say; you have to check them against the scriptures. Preachers can be educated beyond their intelligence. After all, preachers are just people. And people are stupid. Even my granddaughter knows that.

© Mark E. Ryman, Daily Reform: Devotions with the Reformers

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