“Nothing is mightier in the world than superstition. This is the king and emperor of all that is exalted in the world, but before God it is an abomination.”
Superstition: A belief or notion, not based on reason or knowledge, in or of the ominous significance of a particular thing; irrational fear of what is unknown or mysterious, especially in connection with religion.
In Luther’s day, religious superstition was running rampant. Many had formed God out of their lack of knowledge to be a mysterious vengeful God who looked for any opportunity to punish the wrong doer. Because they only heard about God from human priests who would often use the judgement of God to scare the people into submission, they imagined a detached God too upset with the world to offer any kind of mercy or grace.
In the time of Luther, the common man was not allowed to read Scripture. It was thought too lofty an endeavor for the uneducated. Therefore, they had to rely on whatever interpretation they would get for the clergy class. And because of this God was seen by many in a much different way than Scripture describes.
This is why Luther set out to translate the Bible into the language of the common man (before it was only seen in Hebrew, Greek and Latin). He knew that for them to truly know who Jesus was, they would have to read for themselves. The way to combat superstition was to bring the text to life.
Superstition was certainly not anything new. Paul gave fair warning to Timothy in 1 Timothy 4:7 to, “Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness.” Asceticism (the doctrine that a person can attain a high spiritual and moral state by practicing self-denial, self-mortification, and the like), the worship of angels, and the belief in many gods (Colossians 2:18-23, Acts 19:13-19, 28:3-6), have been happening since the beginning of time. Deuteronomy 4:19, And beware lest you raise your eyes to heaven, and when you see the sun and the moon and the stars, all the host of heaven, you be drawn away and bow down to them and serve them, things that the Lord your God has allotted to all the peoples under the whole heaven.
That is why today is a good day to study more closely the God who created you. Don’t let your mind be victimized by false teaching so that God becomes something He is not. Let His Word guide you to all truth so that there would be no room in you for superstition.
Our Prayer: Heavenly Father, lead us into a right relationship with you and, by your Holy Spirit instill in us a passion to learn more about you so that we may never fall to superstition. Amen.