Happy Reformation Day?
Some of you are thinking “What the heck?! It’s halloween! Or maybe at least All Saint’s Eve or All Hallow’s Eve.”
And yes that’s true – but you can find out about that other holiday somewhere else.
Instead – we’ll celebrate Reformation Day around this here blog. Reformation Day is the celebration of the anniversary of Martin Luther posting his 95 Thesis on the church doors of the Whittenberg in Germany.
What was initially posted as a Luther’s hope to start a debate in the things he was learning and reading about as a Biblical professor, started a revolution (reformation) in the church – leading to his excommunication from the church and the protestant movement.
Out of love for the truth and the desire to bring it to light,
the following propositions will be discussed at Wittenberg,
under the presidency of the Reverend Father Martin Luther,
Master of Arts and of Sacred Theology, and Lecturer in
Ordinary on the same at that place. Wherefore he requests that
those who are unable to be present and debate orally with us,
may do so by letter.
I doubt Luther had any idea that his 95 Thesis, posted on Oct. 31, 1517, would end up being spread so rapidly to “the people” with the help of a recent invention of Johann Gutenberg, known as the “printing press.”
Who would have thought that the masses would begin reading, thinking about and debating these “high level theological thoughts” like sacramental penance vs inward repentance, the fallacy of the pope, the remittance of sin by the pope and indulgences used to build sanctuaries for the church? I mean seriously, ordinary folks can debate these kind of things?! “That’s heracy!” — or so the church thought at the time (and many continue to think today).
Imagine what might happen if folks started talking about God and debating theology in the bars and pubs of today? Imagine if there was some sort of medium that might spread these ideas and discussions around the world? Imagine if suddenly our theology stopped coming from trained pastors and priests who study for years at schools of higher education and suddenly started coming from Joe Six Pack at your local pub and was shared with folks via Twitter or Wikipedia or other emerging websites to Joe Plumber who lives in Russia or Idaho? Imagine if theology was debating and discussed and lived out in community rather than simply handed down by one central source?
Yeah we wouldn’t want that to happen today. Far from it.
I heard a couple great thoughts today while listening to some of Martin Luther’s bio today via Tripp Fuller and Craig Atwood (hint – you should listen to this great podcast as well and these are loose quotes from memory) ::
“I came to see Christ as my Savior rather than the hangman.”
“Folks got real nervous when Martin Luther began to take his faith seriously.”
“The priests and religious leaders start to get real nervous when people get excited about religion.”
So today I celebrate Reformation Day. Today I celebrate Priests in the Hood (aka the Priesthood of the believers) and hope you do too.
Here are Martin Luther’s 95 Thesis translated to English (and in the original intention of these thesis, your debate, comments and discussions are welcome here) ::