Preserve the Gospel

"Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs."
Preserve the Gospel
The Gospel has to be a doormat for everybody, and the whole world walks all over it and tramples it underfoot, along with its preachers and pupils. Now, what are we going to do about it? "Do not throw it," Christ says, "before swine and dogs." "Yes, dear Lord, but they already have it. Since the proclamation is in public and is broadcast into the world, we cannot keep them from coming across the Gospel and taking it for themselves." But this still does not mean that they have it, and, thank God, we can keep them from getting at what is holy. They may perhaps get the shells and the husks, that is, the freedom of the flesh. But all of them—dogs or swine, bigwigs or misers or peasants—shall be prevented from getting a single letter of the Gospel, though they may read all the books and listen to all the sermons and get the idea that they know it thoroughly. . .. Anyone who has the Gospel correctly must certainly agree with us and be one with us, insofar as we are already sure that what we have is the true Gospel and the pearls. Certainly he will not trample us underfoot the way Squire Bigwig does, or condemn us the way the sectarians do, or despise us the way the peasants do in the cities and towns. He will hold in esteem both the clear Word and those who preach it and gladly listen to it.

From The Sermon on the Mount (Luther's Works 21:225)
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