The Saxon Churches of the 17th Century: Or, How Pastor Promiscuous is Neither New Nor Innovative

Here’s a description of the condition of the churches of Saxony in the 18th century –

“… the churches were turned into beer saloons and into theatres. Yea, we read that during the public worship men got drunk, and that misdemeanors were committed such as cannot be named.” The gluttony, drunkenness and buffoonery of the nobility in that century almost beggar description: “Among them fornication was no sin, much less a disgrace. The same was true of citizens and peasants at the yearly markets, and church festivals; yea, Sundays were spent in dancing and carousing, while fighting, murder and manslaughter were of ordinary occurrence. Many preachers even led disorderly lives and were given to drunkenness. The common people lived in gross ignorance and blindness, and nobody thought about catechetical examinations and instructions.” Indeed, Gerber describes all classes as living almost brutish lives, and quotes John Arndt as having written to a friend: “Ah, my dear Doctor, if we do not declaim against the wickedness which is now so great that it mounts to heaven and cries aloud, either a bloody and consuming deluge, or the fire of Sodom or the famine of Samaria and Jerusalem will come upon it.”

In James W. Richard, The Confessional History of the Lutheran Church (Philadelphia: Lutheran Publication Society, 1909), 535–536.

There’s nothing new under the sun.  Not even promiscuous pastors who are willing to divorce behavior from Scripture and Christianity from ethics.