What is a Scapular and What Does it Mean?
Have you heard about the Scapular? A small piece of cloth worn by many devout Roman Catholics? “Rome Reports” released a video about them. Following the video you can read Martin Luther’s comment on them:
Cowl, tonsure, rope, and scapular are idolatry, as if we could not be saved without them. They are human works and external things which are used up, and yet they become a god whom men worship. Here they make a god out of a vestment, a girdle, a rope, things which the farmer uses for an amulet. He says, “I do not worship this as god, but I worship my God in this girdle.” Yes, you have made a girdle for your god, a girdle manufactured by the ropemaker. Summary: Our eyes must look to faith and lay hold of God’s grace and freely let all these external things go. Forget about cowl, tonsure, rope, etc., and consider grace alone. The ungodly go their way and make a bewitched god out of a girdle, something sealed with a bull, or something placed into a shrine. A barefoot monk’s god is the contemplation of God in heaven who might have regard for his rope. Another does something else, and each one fashions God according to his own ideas. I therefore admonish you that in all such places of idolatry you pay close attention, because all religion that is the product of one’s thought arises from this ungodliness. Before God this alone is religion: the forgiveness of sins. Outside of this He knows nothing.
Martin Luther, Luther’s Works, Vol. 17: Lectures on Isaiah: Chapters 40-66, ed. Jaroslav Jan Pelikan, Hilton C. Oswald and Helmut T. Lehmann, Is 44:15 (Saint Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 1999).