Home > Luther, Pure Doctrine, The Holy Cross, The Preaching Office, The Word > “I Must also Step into the Open…for the Sake of God’s Name”

“I Must also Step into the Open…for the Sake of God’s Name”

Franz Pieper, Professor, President of Missouri Synod, author of “Christian Dogmatics”

Franz Pieper, Christian Dogmatics, vol 1.  (p. 433-434)


The entire Scriptures are in reality nothing else than an elaboration of God’s name (“ein ausgebreiteter Name Gottes”).  By denying that Scripture is God’s Word, men reject the only principle or source from which they can derive an understanding of God’s name.  This fact prompted Luther to remind us again and again that only the true Scripture doctrine honors God’s name and builds his Church, while false doctrine, springing from the heart of men, profanes God’s name and destroys His Church.  In his commentary on Ex. 20:7 Luther says of the Second Commandment: “In this Commandment the name of God is used correctly when the Word of God is rightly preached and rightly believed.  And, again, God’s name is blasphemed when preachers under the cloak of God’s Word and name mislead the people.”  (St. L. III: 1074.)  For this reason faithful preachers are a blessing, while false teachers are a curse to their country and to the world.  Of course, in teaching God’s Word in its truth and purity, teachers run the risk of incurring opposition.  Luther points to this: “The greatest and most difficult part of this Commandment is to defend this name against those who not only misuse it in spiritual matters, but also spread it [their false definition of God’s name] among menIt is not enough that I praise the divine name in prosperity and call upon it in adversity for myself and my own heart.  I must also step into the open and for the sake of God’s honor and name incur the enmity of all men according to Christ’s word: ‘Ye shall be hated of all men for My name’s sake’ (Matt. 10:22).  Here we must provoke to anger even father, mother, and our best friends….Here we must bear the charge of resisting the spiritual and civil government and of being disobedient.  Here we must incense the learned, the saints, the wealthy, the mighty, and all who count for something in the world.  That is what it means to be ‘God’s friend and all the world’s enemy.’ Though this is primarily the duty of preachers, every Christian is in duty bound to do this as time and occasion demand.  When a person accepts God’s Word, the Gospel, he must by all means keep in mind that he is running the risk of losing all his goods, home, real estate, business, farm, wife, children, father, mother, yes, his very life.  Should danger and misfortune overtake him, he can bear it more readily, realizing from the outset that matters would take this course.  Here such passages apply as Matt. 10:24: ‘The disciple is not above his master.’” (St. L. III: 1078 ff.)

  1. January 22, 2013 at 11:57 am

    Reblogged this on De Profundis Clamavi ad Te, Domine and commented:

    In other words, sometimes when you point out false teaching and false teachers you will appear rude and loveless. Worse, sometimes you will BE rude and loveless. That is a sin. But it is still necessary to point out and rebuke false doctrine even though sometimes you do it and are a jerk. If you don’t point it out, but you tolerate it, you don’t love the Christians you’re supposed to serve (either as a pastor or a fellow hearer of the word.) If you say nothing about false doctrine and tolerate it you also tolerate the profanation of God’s Holy Name. You participate in it. So we have to learn the hard way of speaking the truth in love, of not allowing personal anger to cloud our judgment or interfere with service to others or to cause us to scandalize people we are trying to help. On the other hand we can’t continue in the common sin of our time, which is not to speak, even when love demands it, because we don’t want to appear judgmental or butt in someone else’s business.

  1. July 31, 2012 at 11:34 pm

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