"Could Luther and Wesley speak in our pulpits? As long as their words apply to another generation, we revere them. Would we tolerate them if they spoke the same about things we hold dear? Let’s try it! Luther spoke out passionately against Rome’s practice of selling indulgences— offering spiritual forgiveness and status for money that was put into a building fund at the vatican. Here’s what he said: 'The revenues of all christendom are being sucked into this insatiable basilica. the Germans laugh at calling this the common treasure of christendom. Before long all the churches, palaces, walls and bridges of rome will be built out of our money. First of all, we should rear living temples, not local churches… he— the pope— would do better to sell st. Peter’s and give the money to the poor folk who are being fleeced by the hawkers of indulgences....'
What if Martin Luther were alive today? Do you think he would look on our fundraising techniques or our opulent buildings with any less disgust? We may not be so crass as to sell forgiveness of sins for those who contribute to our cathedrals, but most fundraising appeals contain a nearly identical mixture of guilt and glory.... Would we listen any better if Martin Luther used those same words to cry out against our favorite tv pastor, or the megachurch being built on the outskirts of our city? Care to try it?"
(Wayne Jacobsen. The Naked Church)