Today we celebrate Reformation Day. 502 years ago today, Martin Luther nailed the 95 Theses to the Castle Church door in Wittenberg, Germany. Contrary to popular belief, this was not an act of defiance against the church. Luther simply wanted a debate. He had no idea that he was about to spark the Protestant Reformation.
What Luther did not anticipate was that his theses would be translated by some students from Latin, the language of scholars, into German, the language of the people. Once this happened, there was no turning back.
In the 16th Century, Pope Leo X had continued work on St. Peter’s Cathedral that had been started by his predecessor. However, the church was out of money. So the Pope made a deal with Albert of Brandenberg who was seeking another Bishop position in the church. The deal was an indulgence to pay for St. Peter’s and to free souls from purgatory as a result.
John Tetzel was commissioned to sell this indulgences throughout Germany. His famous line was, “As soon as the coin in the coffer rings, a soul from purgatory springs.” It was this background that prompted Luther to call into question the practice of indulgences sparking the Reformation.
The Reformation was a call to action. A call to Scriptural fidelity. A rediscovery of the truth that we are justified by faith alone.
Today, 502 years later, we are desperately in need of another reformation. I spoke about this on Sunday We live in a culture today, and even churches today, that want to bow down to sin. Two at the forefront are LGBT and Abortion, not to mention science. We are told that we are to filter scripture through the lens of these agendas. However, that is not how we are to go about our lives.
As Christians, we are to filter everything through the lens of Scripture and Scripture alone. It’s not supposed to be the other way around. Christians need to take a stand today with the boldness of Martin Luther. Stand on Scripture, not on culture.
Soli Deo Gloria