Learning from the Reformation 500 years later

Learning from the reformation 500 years later will be my theme this Sunday, (October 29, 2017) from the pulpit of Millersville Bible Church.

On October 31, 1517, (All Hallow’s Eve), in the town of Wittenberg, Germany, an Augustinian Monk named Martin Luther posted a document of 95 theses on the door of the Wittenberg Castle Church igniting what we now call the Protestant Reformation.

This bold act would radically change the world and give birth to some of the most basic ideals of Western civilization – commitments to the liberty and equality of each person. Most of the freedoms we value trace back to the Protestant Reformation

The spiritual foundation of the Protestant reformation was a belief that the Bible should be the sole source of spiritual authority, not Church tradition. Luther came to believe that the salvation of each person was based on God’s grace alone and through faith alone, not by good works, nor by Church authority. He also challenged Papal infallibility and believed in the priesthood of individual believers.

Luther said, “We believe that the very beginning and end of salvation, and the sum of Christianity, consists of faith in Christ, who by His blood alone, and not by any works of ours, has put away sin, and destroyed the power of death.”

Although Martin Luther (1483-1546) hoped to cause reformation within the Roman Catholic Church, he was fiercely opposed by Church authorities, and finally excommunicated from the Church in 1517.

Martin Luther’s courage to speak truth to the highest seats of power made him a hero to the common people. He also gave a gift to the people when he translated the Bible into German, making it accessible to them.

More to come,

Steve Cornell

About Wisdomforlife

Just another worker in God's field.
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1 Response to Learning from the Reformation 500 years later

  1. frankpembleton says:

    In your post you wrote about the accomplishments of Martin Luther, while neglecting to mention the despicable anti-Semitism and outright hatred of the Jews that he espoused in 16th-Century Germany. While he was initially tolerant and respectful towards the Jews, by 1543 he had published the infamous Von den Juden und Ihren Lügen (On the Jews and Their Lies). In this work, he is quoted as saying that the Jews are a “…base, whoring people, that is, no people of God, and their boast of lineage, circumcision, and law must be accounted as filth.” They are full of the “devil’s feces … which they wallow in like swine.” He also is quoted as writing “Even if they were punished in the most gruesome manner that the streets ran with their blood, that their dead would be counted, not in the hundred thousands, but in the millions… they are the devil’s children, damned to Hell.”
    From an article by Dr. Christopher Probst, a fellow at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum: “One final observation about the tract is its most widely known aspect, its anti-Jewish social programme. Luther makes seven severe recommendations concerning ‘the Jews.’ Their synagogues and schools should be burned to the ground, their houses should be ‘razed and destroyed’; their ‘prayer books and Talmudic writings’ should be confiscated; their rabbis should be ‘forbidden to teach henceforth on pain of loss of life and limb’; they should be denied safe-conduct on the highways; usury should be prohibited to them and their gold, silver, and cash should be taken from them; finally, they should be subjected to harsh labor.To the ears of post-Holocaust readers, these words are deeply troublesome and chilling.”
    Luther’s hatred of the Jews has resulted in numerous historical examples for the justification of the persecution of those who follow the Jewish faith, continuing until the National Socialists of the Third Reich used his writings to justify their campaign to exterminate the Jews of Europe. Although Luther is recognized as an important Christian theologian, many of his anti-Semitic views have been strongly repudiated by the Lutheran Church and other Christian organizations. Sadly in today’s America, since the election of Donald Trump, there is a renewed effort by alt-right groups, Neo-Nazis, the KKK, and others, to bring out into the open long-suppressed hatred of Jews and other minorities.
    Luther’s legacy is a troubled one, and all people of faith must face the truth when it comes to such a deeply-flawed and influential figure.

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