“Unless I am convinced by the testimony of the Scriptures or by clear reason (for I do not trust either in the pope or in councils alone, since it is well known that they have often erred and contradicted themselves), I am bound by the Scriptures I have quoted and my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and will not recant anything, since it is neither safe nor right to go against conscience. [Here I stand. I can do no other.] May God help me. Amen.” — Excerpt from Martin Luther’s statement at the Diet of Worms, April 18th, 1521
Happy Reformation Day! 500 years ago today, Martin Luther posted 95 theses disputing the power of indulgences. Within 4 years, Luther was declared a heretic by the Pope and branded an outlaw by the Holy Roman Emperor. All Luther wanted at the time was a theological debate among scholars. That debate never happened. But, the series of events that did play out became one of the most important moments in Church history. Because of it, the Church was freed to proclaim salvation by grace through faith in Christ, grounded firmly in the Word of God. It freed the Church, but also fractured it. Catholics and Lutherans, once bitter theological enemies, have reconciled much of our divide. We agree on much together now, but where we still disagree, over doctrines like purgatory, for example, it continues to keep us apart. Yet the Church of Christ in every land marches on, always reforming, always being made new, to the glory of God.
Thank you to all who’ve been walking this journey with me these past 3 months. I have learned a lot along the way and I hope you all have, as well. My main hope is that, not only have we all grown closer to God throughout this journey, but that all of us would be inspired to look for those ways in our own congregations where Christ is not being preached to all people. Where are we getting in the way of the Gospel? How can we reform today so that Christ may truly be made known to all? We often stray from the path when we Continue reading “Happy Reformation Day – 95 Reflections”