by Nolan Guilbeau – Published in The (Opelousas, Louisiana) Daily World
℅ Shawn Brasseaux
Renowned author Samuel Clemens (pen name Mark Twain) stated, “A lie travels halfway around the world as truth is just beginning to put on its shoes.”
During the early days of church reformer Martin Luther, a contemporary and adversary of Luther was one named Jon Tetzel. In 1503 Tetzel was commissioned by Leo X of Rome with assigned duties to travel the continent of Europe as the Pope’s emissary. His objective was to “sell” church sponsored indulgences, a Roman doctrine in conjunction with the doctrine of purgatory whereas the paying penitent “through indulgences can obtain the remission of temporal punishment resulting from sin for themselves and also for the souls in purgatory.” The funds collected helped finance the building of St. Peter’s Basilica.
Tetzel prided himself as a theologian, shrewd in business, second to none. He proclaimed his motto everywhere he traveled and expressed it with the following jingle, “When the coin in the coffer rings the rescued soul from purgatory springs.”
In one of his journeys through Germany he encountered a nobleman and with his eloquence momentarily persuaded him to purchase for himself and deceased loved ones a large amount of indulgences at a great price of many ducats (gold coins). Receipt in hand, the nobleman curiously pursued the conversation with Tetzel on indulgences and purgatory when suddenly he realized he had been deceived by Tetzel’s forceful presentation of unbiblical doctrines. The nobleman requested the return of his money. Tetzel defiantly refused; an altercation ensued, with Tetzel losing. The nobleman took his refund and left. An enraged Tetzel filed court action and lost.
A message beneficial to society is that the Scriptures warn us to beware of ravenous wolves disguised in sheep’s clothing, whose lying tongues enable them to make merchandise of the unsuspecting (Acts 20:28-30; Ephesians 4:14; Colossians 2:8; 2 Peter 2:1-3). It’s best to be separated unto Biblical truths than to be united in errors of false religion.