80. The bishops, curates, and theologians who permit such talk to be spread among the people will have to answer for this.
Luther here is chastising those who allow the indulgence sellers to say whatever ridiculous thing and promise the people anything that they want. They are allowing their people to be taught incorrectly by these people and they give their approval. In the hierarchy of the Church there was any number of levels of authority that could have stopped these false teachers. But no one was speaking against them.
That is really how false teaching gains entrance to the church. People who know better just don’t say anything. Then as the false teaching is repeated over and over it becomes known as the truth. The whole purpose of Luther’s 95 Theses was to say out loud, “let’s stop for a minute and talk about these things!”
There are certain things or ideas that many people come to believe that are written in the Bible that are not what the bible says. What about these things, “all drinking of alcohol is forbidden in the Bible” “In the bible it says that money is evil” “Mary and the saints can hear our prayers” “the Bible says that God wants all of his people to be wealthy”. These are false statements that have been said for so long that they are now accepted by many as true statements.
We all need to stop every now and then and search the scriptures to be sure that what we are teaching as God’s Word is really what God said. “God helps those who help themselves” is quoted as a passage in the Bible and there is no such passage. This is a rather harmless misquotation but other things have led to great false teaching throughout the history of the church.
Search for yourself and see if that is really what the Bible says.
Holy Spirit fill my heart with Your power that I may be continually studying the Word of God. Give me the understanding to know what You would have me to learn from Your Word. Give me the strength to proclaim Your truths to all that will listen. In Jesus name, Amen.