"laestadian, apostolic, gay, lgbtq, ex-oalc, ex-llc, llc, oalc, bunner" LEARNING TO LIVE FREE: Birthdays and Martin Luther Quotes

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Birthdays and Martin Luther Quotes

Our daughter wants a "teddy bear tea party" for her fourth birthday, and as we chat about cake and balloons and party games (pin the tail on the donkey, drop the clothespin in the jar, musical chairs), I'm reminded of Jane Austen's line "the anticipation of happiness is happiness itself." But on a parallel track, I'm trying to remember why the OALC is against birthday parties . . . or was that just my family's quirk?

Perhaps parties are considered too lightminded. More so than, say, bowling, smoking or snowmobiling?

Last week it was the birthday of Martin Luther, who happened to enjoy bowling, chess, lute-playing and um, getting drunk. That's right. Interesting guy. Can't imagine that he and Laestadius would have hit it off. (Click on title above for PBS special on Luther.)

Some Luther quotes:

"If I am not allowed to laugh in heaven, I don't want to go there."
"Some (preachers) plague the people with too long sermons; for the faculty of listening is a tender thing, and soon becomes weary and satiated. "
"Who loves not women, wine and song remains a fool his whole life long."
"My heart, which is so full to overflowing, has often been solaced and refreshed by music when sick and weary."
"God writes the Gospel not in the Bible alone, but also on trees, and in the flowers and clouds and stars."


  1. Martin Luther is scandalous to modern Protestants for his devotion to Mary, too. Here's another quote of his:

    "It is the consolation and the superabundant goodness of God, that man is able to exult in such a treasure. Mary is his true Mother, Christ is his brother, God is his father."

    (Sermon, Christmas, 1522)

  2. My parents wouldn't let us have birthday parties because the only one mentioned in the Bible was Herod's, and John the Baptist got his head chopped off. Make good sense, doesn't it?
    I actually had my first birthday party when I was twenty-eight, and nobody even got their head cut off. Shocking, I know.
    I actually allow my kids to have birthday parties and so far there has been no beheadings.
    Me... your Luther quote does not mention worship of Mary, which the Catholic church believes in. I don't think you'll find too many Catholic Luther fans, since the papacy actually tried to have him killed when he stood up against the church.

  3. No lack of craziness, huh?

    We actually celebrated birthdays at home growing up, but we didn't refer to them as "parties"! Heavens, the word "party" might leave someone with the impression we were having fun! We had cake, ice cream, and presents, though I don't remember any frivolities beyond that.

  4. Just a note: the Catholic Church condemns Mary worship. The Church does, however, deservingly honor her as the new Ark of the New Covenant.

    As far as Luther goes, the Church tried to counter Luther's errors, but it never tried to "kill" him. Even if it had, Luther probably didn't take it too personally, because he wanted a priest at his deathbed. That, and he said, (and I paraphrase), "I wanted to bring down one pope, but instead I created hundreds."

  5. The Catholic church tried a number of times to call Luther to appear on the charge of heresy. It is generally accepted that he would be proven to be so using his writings as proof. They were particularly upset over his stand on the sale of indulgences and his view of the "fallability" of the pope. It was a practice of the time to burn heretics and upon his natural death years later, the view of many prelates was that this was sad because they could no longer throw him on the pyre. He managed to escape being "arrested" by a number of means, the most important of which was the fact that he had a powerful patron. Frederick the Wise, although a Catholic, was concerned that his "sales of indulgences" would be undercut by Romes' inisistence on collecting theirs. They were building the now renown St. Peters at the time. He found it useful to protect Martin by insisting that he be "tried" in Germany. Although Frederick and Martin Luther disagreed on much they agreed, though for completely different reasons, that the sale of indulgences by Rome was wrong. Interesting bit of historical collision. Most historians agree that the Catholic church did want to kill Martin Luther and were prevented from doing so by tangential forces. Another force working in Martin Luthers favor at the time were the Ottomans. I leave it to others to research this.

  6. We always celebrated birthdays with cake and ice cream and about a hundred 'Christians'. As a child I remember sharing my birthday with several cousins. Therefore the parties were big. My godparents sometime hosted, but usually we had it at home. I remember one birthday (my fifth), our 'worldly' neighbor was also invited to celebrate our shared birthday. My father was angry because my mother had invited her. It was very awkward. Most of my childhood memories are pleasant, but a few ugly incidents stand out.

  7. concerning a previous comment on this blog. wasnt Christ's birthday celebrated also? the wise men brought gifts. (the wise men were gentiles...maybe that would be helpful to another comment made about a neighbor going to a birhday party who was not from the church...) just a thought from a member in The Apostolic Lutheran Church of America

  8. Sweet compilation, also I have compiled many quotes from you. Thanks!!