Antinomians: A long line of overcompensators

From Roland Bainton’s Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther, p. 305:

A word may be said at this point also about Luther’s drinking. He imbibed and took some pride in his capacity. He had a mug around which were three rings. The first he said represented the Ten Commandments, the second the Apostles’ Creed, and the third the Lord’s Prayer. Luther was highly amused that he was able to drain the glass of wine through the Lord’s Prayer, whereas his friend Agricola could not get beyond the Ten Commandments. But Luther is not recorded ever to have exceeded a state of hilarity.

“…whereas his friend Agricola could not get beyond the Ten Commandments.” Oh wow. Now that is poetic irony. Several layers of it. If you can’t “get past” the Ten Commandments (so to speak), can you ever rightly understand the Creed and the Lord’s Prayer? I guess there really is nothing new under the sun.

So, bottoms-up! Drink heartily, and don’t be abstemious when it comes to imbibing the Catechism, either! Drain a Small, and then move on to the Large (it’s a veritable boilermaker). But before you do…

It is possible to tolerate a little elevation, when a man takes a drink or two too much after working hard and when he is feeling low. This must be called a frolic. But to sit day and night, pouring it in and pouring it out again, is piggish… all food is a matter of freedom, even a modest drink for one’s pleasure. If you do not wish to conduct yourself this way, if you are going to go beyond this and be a born pig and guzzle beer and wine, then, if this cannot be stopped by the rulers, you must know that you cannot be saved. For God will not admit such piggish drinkers into the kingdom of heaven [cf. Gal. 5:19-21]… If you are tired and downhearted, take a drink; but this does not mean being a pig and doing nothing but gorging and swilling… You should be moderate and sober; this means that we should not be drunken, though we may be exhilarated. [From Martin Luther’s Sermon on Soberness and Moderation, delivered on May 18, 1539 (source)]

See? Luther says that we should all go out and get smashed, and if you don’t, you’re a pietist.

Just read it quickly.

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