Sunday, April 02, 2017

Upcoming 500th Anniversary of the Reformation ... Depressing?

Later this year will mark the 500th anniversary of the day that Martin Luther posted 95 debating points about purgatory and indulgences, which led to either the Reformation or a schism, or maybe both, depending on your point of view. Here's the thing: He never intended to split the church. Actually neither did Rome; they meant to excommunicate a cleric who wouldn't bow to the official line on purgatory, indulgences, and (behind that) the right of the church to say what the Bible meant and to decide what truths should be taught with or without having been taught in the Bible.

The "solution" of excluding each other from fellowship permits each group to continue in faithfulness as each understands it. It prevents us growing in understanding from each other on areas that we have in common. It prevents us from the solidarity and strength of being in union with each other. It divides our communities, and fragments the culture of Christendom. We have become the house divided against itself.

Each side is convinced that all the fault lies with the other side. (Didn't Luther use unnecessarily incendiary language almost as his trademark? Didn't Rome at least go too far in calling for Luther's death?)

Once Christ taught us: If you remember that your brother has something against you, leave your own gift aside and be reconciled to your brother before presenting your gift to God. Honestly, no matter where we stand, our brothers have something against us. When will we seek out our brothers?


Martin LaBar said...

Christ was a reconciler.

Weekend Fisher said...

He reconciled so many.
When was the last time I stopped and counted the people who are my friends because of him? Either directly because of church, or less directly because of 12-step groups that were spun off from church ... or through another route where he has been the only thing that held together some very strained family relationships in their darkest hours, and allowing some reconciliation there that has slowly grown back with time. Even though I have friends and a growing number of them, I think if it weren't for Christ I'd be utterly alone.

I can hear people object "he caused division too" -- but not among his followers.

Take care & God bless
Anne / WF