WHY THE PROTESTANT REFORMATION FAILED!
Almost unknown to most Christians is the name of Andreas Rudolph B Carlstadt - an opponent of Luther. He was born in Carlstadt, Bavaria, in 1480 and died in Basel, Switzerland, on December 25, 1541.
Why did Carlstadt oppose Luther? Dr. White, Bishop of Ely writes:
"The observance of the seventh day was being revived in Luther's time by Carlstadt" (Treatise of the Sabbath, page 8).
"Carlstadt held to the Divine authority of the Sabbath from the Old Testament." (Sears' Life of Luther, Page 402).
Interestingly enough, in his book "Against the Celestial Prophets", Luther said this:
"Indeed, if Carlstadt were to write further about the Sabbath, Sunday would have to give way, and the Sabbath - that is to say, Saturday - must be kept holy."
Carlstadt himself said:
"In regard to the ceremonies of the Church, ALL ARE TO BE REJECTED WHICH HAVE NOT A WARRANT IN THE BIBLE."
Luther asserted to the contrary:
"Whatever is not against the Scripture is for it."
"Not so," said Carlstadt. "We are bound to the Bible, and NO ONE may decide after the thoughts of his own heart." (Sears' Life of Luther, pages 401,402)
"From the Catholic teaching of justification by works of penance, etc., Luther went to the opposite extreme of justification WITHOUT works. This idea caused him to deny that the Epistle of James was inspired, because James said, 'Faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.' This attitude made Luther spurn the true Christian Sabbath." (History of the Sabbath by Andrews. Third Edition 1887.)
PROTESTANT VICTORY OVER TRADITION ALMOST WON AT TRENT - BUT LOST, WHY?
"At the council of Trent, called by the Roman Church to deal with questions arising out of the Reformation, it was at first an apparent possibility that the Council would declare IN FAVOR of the reformed doctrines instead of against them, so profound was the impression made thus far by the teachings of Luther and other reformers." G. E Fifield, D.D. Origin of Sunday as A Christian Festival. American Sabbath Tract Society, Seventh Day Baptist Church.
The Pope's legate actually wrote to him that there was "strong tendency to set aside tradition altogether, and to make the Scriptures the SOLE STANDARD of appeal." The question was debated day by day, until it was fairly brought to a standstill.
Finally, the Archbishop of Reggio TURNED THE COUNCIL AGAINST the Reformation by the following argument:
"The Protestants CLAIM TO STAND UPON THE WRITTEN WORD ONLY; they profess to hold the scriptures alone as the standard of faith. They justify their revolt by the plea that the Church has apostatized from the written word and follows tradition. Now the Protestant's claim that they stand upon the written word alone is not true.
Their profession of holding the Scriptures alone as the standard of faith is false. Proof: THE WRITTEN WORD EXPLICITLY ENJOINS THE OBSERVANCE OF THE SEVENTH DAY AS THE SABBATH. They DO NOT observe the seventh day, but reject it. If they truly hold the scriptures alone as the standard, they would be observing the seventh day as it is enjoined in the Scripture throughout.
Yet they not only reject the observance of the sabbath as enjoined in the written word, but they have adopted, and do practice, the observance of Sunday, for which they have ONLY THE TRADITION OF THE CHURCH.
Consequently, the claim of scripture alone as the standard fails and the doctrine of 'Scripture and tradition as essential' is fully established, the Protestants themselves being Judges."
(See The Proceedings of the Council of Trent, Augsburg Confession, and Encyclopedia Britannica, article "Trent, Council of")
At this argument, the party that had stood for the Scripture alone surrendered, and the Council at once UNANIMOUSLY CONDEMNED Protestantism, and the whole Reformation. It at once proceeded to enact stringent decrees to arrest its progress.
Incredible, but true! The Roman Church system, had at one time faced utter defeat. But she recovered! The reformers had dealt a serious blow to the concept of "Scripture and TRADITION" as authority. Unfortunately, the reformers defeated themselves by clinging to the Papal tradition of a Sunday Sabbath.
Extracted from a tract by Raymond Clark, D.D / Frank Walker and re-edited by Harold Kupp.