|Biblical grounds of faith or Christian conversation on religion between a
Catholic and a Protestant Christian, written as one hundred and forty
questions and answers as requested by pious hearts, to present clearly and
Scripturally the difference of religion for the simple, by a confessor of the
truth, a miner who was banished for the sake of the Gospel, Joseph
Greatly beloved brother! During our journey and travels, we have discussed many worldly things;
now let's talk about God's Word and about the Christian religion, for we should look to things eternal
above all else, and learn how we can live Christianly and die blessedly.
That is good, dear travel-companion, and pleases me indeed, that you have come to this thought, for
I prefer to speak of spiritual than of worldly things, especially when it works to God's glory and to
the edification of our Christianity. When it happens however only out of curiosity and ambition,
often squabbling and disunity results, and it is much better if we remained quiet, for through useless
questions God is insulted and people
angered. 2 Tim 2:13, Tit 3:6
No, dear friend! Let us not squabble and argue, but conduct a Christian conversation with each
other, for I indeed hope, that we are brothers in the faith! But first of all, forgive me, I must ask, of
which faith are you? Lutheran or Catholic?
Why do you ask about my faith? I trust that I will be saved in it. For I believe, what the prophets
announced, what Christ preached, and what the apostles have written. In short, I am certainly old
apostolic-catholic. Acts 24:14
I like hearing that from you, and I like you all the more, for I am also Catholic and believe, what the
Pope and the Roman-Catholic church teaches and believes, whether it stands written in the Bible or
Now, dear friend! That I don't believe. You must understand me aright: in this way we are not
brothers in the faith, for I am certainly old Roman-apostolic-catholic; you, however, are new papal-
catholic, and for this reason note well what I say: I am indeed truly catholic, but you are such only by
the outward name. Rom 1:8, 2 Tim 3:5
Why do you call yourself a Roman Christian, but aren't, as I hear according to your own confession,
committed to the Roman church or to its teaching about the faith? Were you born in Rome, like the
apostle Paul? Acts 22:27-28
No, I wasn't born in Rome, and am not committed to the Roman-papal teaching about the faith, but
rather my faith is built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, since Jesus Christ is the corner-
stone, Eph 2:20, and the beautiful epistle, which Paul wrote to the Romans, that I hold as my best
foundation in the faith, and for that reason I properly call myself an old Roman Christian. Rom 3:24,
All my life I have heard much said about the Lutherans, and I would like to know, what they really
do believe in their religion. So then tell me, what is the foundation of your Protestant-Lutheran
faith? Show me; I want to hear.
What we Protestant Christians believe in our religion, that I want to prove to you thoroughly and
clearly from the Holy Scriptures. Hear then: first of all, we have in our Protestant church the true,
old, and common six main points of Christian teaching, to start with the old and holy Ten
Commandments of God, Ex 20:3. Secondly, we have also the true, old, apostolic Christian faith,
Rom 1:8. Thirdly, we have also the true, old and holy prayer, the Our Father, Mt 6:9. Fourthly, we
have the true, old and spiritual ecclesiastical office, the keys to heaven, to forgive penitents their sins,
Jn 20:23. Fifthly, we have the true and old Christian baptism, Mt 28:19. Sixthly, we have also the
true, old and holy Lord's Supper in both kinds, as Christ himself instituted, Mt 26:26. See our
The principal elements which we have in our Protestant church have been taught and believed from
the time of the apostles onward for five hundred years. After that time, though, the principal parts
were completely darkened by the Roman popes and through the Councils. Then our dear God
finally sent the pious Martin Luther, who once again taught us and preached the pure Gospel
Why then did Martin Luther stand down from our Catholic church and teaching of the faith? It
would have been far better, if he had let things lie, then not so much disunity would have resulted.
Luther instigated no disunity, but he only wrote against idolatry, and punished papal abuses. He did
not stand down from the old and apostolic, but from the new and papal church and its teaching of the
faith, and Bishop Matthias of Salzburg quite rightly asked, if our priests had been of use, then Luther
wouldn't have written against them
I won't like having much more to do with you, for I think you believe in Martin Luther.
No, I don't believe in Martin Luther, and wasn't baptised into him, for he was a man, just as I am.
However, what he taught and wrote, that wasn't the teaching of human beings, but divine truth, and
agrees in all articles of the faith with the Holy Scriptures clearly and obviously
Now tell me too: where was correct faith and the true church before Luther's time? for God has
always had on earth a Christian church, in which people have been able to be saved.
Even if in Luther's time the Roman papacy stood in the greatest idolatry and had no visible church
for a long time, like the Jews in Elijah's time, Rom 11:4, God nevertheless still maintained an invisible
church in the midst of the dark papacy, in which people have been able to be saved, for they still had
holy baptism. See Doctor Pfeiffer's old Lutheranism
Whoever simply believes will also simply be saved. For the common man can't understand the Holy
What is useful for people to know regarding salvation, that is easy and clearly to be understood from
the Scriptures; even young children can grasp and comprehend it, 2 Tim 3:15-16. So you can't
excuse yourself before God through your ignorance, Acts 20:23, Mic 6:8 …
Listen, a good friend said to me recently, that though he had spent a lot of time amongst the
Lutherans, he had nevertheless neither seen nor heard much good from them. He had met many who
cursed and swore but very few pious Christians had he found. And therefore I can't acknowledge
your faith as good.
Dear friend! The Christian church is like a field, in which grows not only good wheat but also weeds,
Mt 13:27, 30. You have to look at whether the teaching is true, and not at the life. Listen, aren't
there also amongst you Catholics more bad than good Christians? Who can change that? Have
patience; God will in his own time weed the garden, Tit 1:15.
I would still like to know, whether you Protestants or we Catholics have the true faith? Therefore I
say, by what does one recognise the right saving faith?
Wherever one preaches the pure Word of God and nothing else, and distributes the holy Lord's
Supper according to the command of Christ in both kinds, there is the true Christian church and the
right saving faith; that is the best sign, but you won't find suchlike amongst you Catholics, 1 Cor 11:
26. See Johann Spangenberg
That is another thing I don't like with you: they say, the Protestants despise the holy Virgin Mary, the
mother of God and say, she is no better than any other common woman.
No, you can't in truth say that about us, for how could we despise the pure Virgin Mary, whom God
himself designated as his mother, Lk 1:26. We esteem the Virgin Mary, and celebrate her days
according to ancient custom, but that we should worship her next to God, like you do, for that we
have no commandment in the Holy Scriptures. For it says, we should worship God and serve him
alone, Mt 4:10, Ps. 50:15.
Now I would also like to know how many sacraments you have in your Protestant church?
We have no more than two sacraments, holy baptism and the holy Lord's Supper which Christ
himself instituted, Mt 25:26, Mk 16:16.
I am far ahead of you in terms of numbers, for we have seven sacraments.
That is impossible to believe, think about it more. Perhaps you have made a mistake and have
counted one for two, for three times two plus one, that makes seven.
No. I haven't over calculated for we have 1) baptism, 2) the Lord's Supper, 3) confirmation, 4)
confession, 5) last unction, 6) ordination, 7) marriage.
Listen, you idiot! How can you have seven sacraments? You aren't an ordained priest, and it
surprises me that the clerics hold marriage as a sacrament but don't themselves take wives! I believe
that they have to be taking the unmarried cook for a wife, as often happens, for otherwise they can't
have seven sacraments
Pardon me that I ask once more: can your pastors exorcise devils from possessed people?
Of course that has happened often. But thank God that Satan doesn't have as much power over us
Christians in the Protestant church who have the true faith as he does over you Catholics. Listen,
the fact that so many people are possessed by the Devil amongst you is because of unbelief and
idolatry. For Satan has his kingdom amongst the children of unbelief, Eph 2:2.
Whether we according to your opinion have the true faith or not, I hope anyway that you won't
damn all of us catholic Christians.
No, I won't damn all of you; I hope the best for the pious and the simple, who know nothing better
of the will of God, for if they penitently regret their sins, and die trusting in Christ alone, they can of
course be saved, Mt. 20:9, Lk 23:34.
What do you say then of those people, who read your books and who recognise in the Protestant
faith divine truth, but who nevertheless remain in the catholic faith as hypocrites because of temporal
considerations? Can they also be saved?
Such people I don't want to judge or damn, Lk 6:37, but commend to God and pray diligently for
them, for it is dangerous for them if they don't leave the papacy, for no one can serve two masters, 2
Cor 6:14, 17, Mt 7:24. However, the blind papists who maliciously curse and persecute Protestant
Christians, I can't declare them saved; they will find their judge, Jn 15:22, Jn 12:48
You are causing me to doubt my faith, and if it is all true, what you have told me up to now, then I
would prefer to be Protestant than to remain Catholic.
That is good, dear friend! I would have great joy in your conversion, for whoever turns his
neighbour from the false way to the truth, he has helped a soul from death, Jas 5:19-20.
I believe God sent you to me, just like Philip was sent to the Ethiopian eunuch, to convert me, Acts 8:
May God bless you! We will soon end our conversation on the road, so read diligently the Bible and
Luther's large catechism, and so will you find that our Protestant teaching of the faith agrees clearly
and thoroughly with the Holy Scriptures in all points.
Listen, how long did the true, old apostolic church remain pure in its teaching of the faith after
Five hundred years, after that the popes and some of the bishops of the Christian church began to
introduce and set going human commandments and statutes.
Tell me in closing: around what time and through which people were so many new commandments
set going in the Roman-papal church?
The dark of night is approaching, I don't have much more time to speak with you, but because of
love I will show you clearly and thoroughly in concluding, who did it. Listen, Pope Felix introduced
the last unction in the year 530
|Be ready at all times to give an answer to every one, who demands from you
the grounds of the faith. 1 Peter 3:15
|JOSEPH SCHAITBERGER SENDBRIEF