Fun Facts From Church History: The ‘You Shouldn’t Imagine Yourself a Preacher, Melchior Hoffmann’ Edition

luther33Melchior Hoffmann, a furrier from Swabia … believed he had a call to preach the gospel. He had been deeply influenced by the writings of Luther, but like so many others he also toyed with chiliastic-mystical phantasmagorias. Expelled from Wolmar, he came to Dorpat late in 1524, and on January 10, 1525, his adherents stormed churches and monasteries, destroying pictures and statues. When the city council grew suspicious of the new arrival and insisted that Hoffmann should bring proper recommendations, he went to Wittenberg in person and persuaded both Luther and Bugenhagen to direct letters to the Livonians, to which he also added one of his own. But in the ensuing years he leaned more and more toward the enthusiasts, and within a few years Luther was prompted to call him a dreamer and false prophet who should return to his furrier’s trade.*

There are a whole lot of people who are better suited to killing animals than preaching. Unfortunately most don’t have the sense to know it.
*Luther’s Works, vol. 53: Liturgy and Hymns, p. 43.