Concerning Christian Liberty by Martin Luther (book)

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Concerning Christian Liberty by Martin Luther (book)

fschmidt
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This post was updated on .
I finished reading Concerning Christian Liberty by Martin Luther last night and I can't believe this book isn't more famous.  This book literally explains everything that has happened in Western culture for the last 500 years, both the good and the bad.  To understand this short book, one needs to understand the New Testament.  And to understand the New Testament, one needs to understand both the Old Testament and Plato.  So I will give a brief overview of these books before explaining "Concerning Christian Liberty".

The Old Testament describes a tribal religion based on one God who embodies one morality.  There is nothing about belief in this book.  The entire focus is moral action.  The beginning of the Old Testament, called the Torah, lays down the moral laws.  The rest of the book follows the history of the Israelites as they first follow the Law and become strong, and then neglect the Law and become corrupt and weak and are finally conquered and forced into exile.  The morality of this book is clearly co-alpha.  The initial society was very equal with only priests for religion and judges to settle disputes.  The Israelites wanted to a king to organize wars against their neighbors, and God only reluctantly agrees to this.  Of course this leads to the centralization of power and to corruption of the Law.  The end of the book has various commentary including comments by prophets, all of which condemn the Jews for failing to follow Torah law.

Plato grew up in Athens after its peak when society was beginning its moral decline.  Plato is considered a philosopher but I prefer to view him as the found of the religion of Truth where Truth is some mystical universal abstraction.  Before Plato, everyone was basically relativistic and didn't worry much about what people in the next tribe believed.  The idea that there is one universal truth comes from Plato.  Plato attributes the decline of Athens to the inability of the masses to see the Truth.  So in his book "The Republic" Plato advocates rule by a priestly class, so called philosopher-kings, who are trained to see the truth.  Plato is strongly anti-co-alpha and believes in a strict hierarchy.  He is also intolerant about belief since he thinks everyone should see his one universal Truth.

At the time of Jesus, the Pharisees were doing everything in their power to eliminate the co-alpha aspect of the Old Testament.  They did this by claiming that there is something called "The Oral Torah" which was given to Moses and passed on to the Pharisees, and which gives the Pharisees equal authority to God.  This allows the Pharisees to make up whatever rules they want and then claim that these rules have equal weight to the Old Testament.  This was later systematized in the Talmud and the Pharisees became what we now know of as the rabbis.  Jesus rebelled against all this.  It is clear that Jesus was co-alpha and that he supported Torah Law.  Jesus did not emphasize belief, he emphasized action.  I am saying this based on the first three Gospels.  The last Gospel, that of John, presents an entirely different view of Jesus that is in complete conflict with the first three Gospels, and so I consider it inaccurate and more a reflection of what later Christians wished Jesus had said, rather than what really happened.  Jesus left instructions to his disciples to maintain a co-alpha brotherhood based on a sincere understanding of Torah Law.

Paul was a Pharisee who persecuted the followers of Jesus.  Then he converted, joined the group and managed to take it over.  Paul took everything about Jesus and twisted it for his own purposes.  He replaced the co-alpha Torah Law with Faith, which is belief.  This idea comes from Plato.  Paul mostly spread Christianity to the Greeks whose culture was strongly influenced by Plato.  Paul hated the co-alpha aspect of Jesus's teaching and he did what he could to suppress it and to create a hierarchy within Christianity.  Paul mostly succeeded in his goals.  Christianity developed its own class of priests who were much like Pharisees.  But Paul was unable to completely get rid of the idea of moral works, and so other commentators in the New Testament established a compromise saying that both Faith and Works (moral action) are needed to get to heaven.

1500 years later, the Catholic church retained the basic ideas of the Old Testament, but had become a powerful and corrupt hierarchy.  Like the Pharisees, the Catholic priests twisted the Law for their own benefit, and so the pattern was repeated.  Martin Luther rebelled against the Catholic church just as Jesus had rebelled against the Pharisees.  But Martin Luther had a radically different approach to his revolution than Jesus did.  Rather than ask people to return to the true Law of the Torah, Luther simply rejected the Law entirely and said that only Faith matters.  In this, he completed Paul's goal.  But Luther was co-alpha and he rejected all hierarchy.  He seems to have recognized that any law of any kind can be twisted by alphas to suppress everyone else.  By rejecting the whole concept of moral law, Luther eliminated the tool used by alphas to govern.  And this is why his book is called "Concerning Christian Liberty", because he sets people free from the Law and therefore from the rule of alphas.  He completely replaces moral Law with universal Truth, as Plato and Paul had advocated.

What Luther didn't understand is that moral law is required to control omegas.  This took centuries to become a problem because Luther didn't explicitly advocate rejection of moral law.  He just said that moral law, as laid down by others, should be tolerated, but isn't important.  So Christian moral law took centuries to slip away from the Protestant world, but the loss of morality was absolutely inevitable from Luther's teachings, and so the rise of our current omega culture was also inevitable.

Everything of importance that happened since Luther has happened in Protestant countries and is the result of Luther's teaching.  This includes The Enlightenment, Liberalism, capitalism, modern democracy, Communism, and Nazism.  Liberalism, Communism, Nazism, and Secular Humanism are best understood as Protestant denominations.  All of these movements have a highly co-alpha ideology.  Liberalism simply replaces faith in Christ with faith in Liberalism itself, but is otherwise fully conformant to Luther's teachings.  The rejection of moral law, the stress on equality, the emphasis on universal truth, and the extreme self-righteousness are all characteristics of Liberalism that come from Luther.  Communism is much like liberalism, but with a greater emphasis on equality than on liberty.  And Nazism shares with Luther a hatred for Jews.  Luther hated Jews because Jews emphasized moral Law and rejected faith.  Luther wrote On the Jews and Their Lies which reads like any Nazi Jew-hating literature.

Of course ideology rarely has any correspondence with results, and this is certainly true in the case of liberalism and communism.  Liberalism claims to support liberty but doesn't in practice, and communism claims to support equality but doesn't in practice.  In the case of Luther's ideology, the seeds for its own destruction are there in its inability to deal with omega males.  Feminism is a movement that uses Luther's emphasis of equality and misapplies it to women for the benefit of omega males.  Once women are given power, the destruction of a co-alpha society is swift as women reward omega behavior and co-alpha cultural rules are quickly lost.  All this, too, follows from Luther.  And this is why both Liberalism and Feminism are centered in Protestant countries.

So now for the lessons learned.  First, Luther created the most successful co-alpha society in history, but this society was still doomed from the start.  Second, co-alpha ideology can be evil, as was Communism and Nazism.  I personally don't care much for Protestantism itself, and from my personal viewpoint, any ideology that rams one truth down everyone's throat is evil.  Third, non-co-alpha societies like Rabbinic Judaism and Catholicism are more stable but less productive than co-alpha societies.  This is because the corrupt leadership has a motivation to enforce some moral law, as well as their own corrupt laws for their own benefit.  The leadership recognizes that without moral law, there will be chaos and they will lose control.

Moses, Jesus, and Martin Luther all tried different approaches to creating a co-alpha society, and all failed.  So where does that leave us?  Is there any way to create a sound, stable, co-alpha society?  I think there is, and I will post my thoughts about this in the private forum.
Following the Old Testament, not evil modern culture
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Re: Concerning Christian Liberty by Martin Luther

Johannes
Nice read, but I disagree that "On the Jews and Their Lies reads like any Nazi Jew-hating literature" with the implication that all "Jew-hating" literature is the same.
The International Jew makes quite different points that you may judge for yourself.
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Re: Concerning Christian Liberty by Martin Luther

fschmidt
Administrator
Thanks Johannes, I'm glad you liked my post.  Regarding the Jewish question, since I am ethnically Jewish and since most of my family was killed in the Holocaust, I have a bias against anti-Jewish literature.  I haven't read the article that you linked to, but if you would like me to read it and would like to discuss this further, please make a post in the private forum and I will respond there.
Following the Old Testament, not evil modern culture
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Re: Concerning Christian Liberty by Martin Luther (book)

fschmidt
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In reply to this post by fschmidt
I moved this thread to the Resources section.  I also added a thread about The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism which should be read after this book.
Following the Old Testament, not evil modern culture