Ministerial Meanderings

God centered theology in a man centered world.

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Location: Springfield, Missouri, United States

I was born in Washington D.C. and raised in Laurel, Maryland. I served in the United States Air Force for 20 years then retired. Then God led me to become a pastor. I was converted to Christ in the summer of 1966. I enjoy the company of my wife, children and grandchildren. I live with my three cats Hobbs, Taz, and Chloe.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Reformation Day

On October 31st, 1517, Martin Luther nailed his 95 Thesises to the door of the city church in Wittenburg, Germany. Luther, an Augustinian monk and priest, disagreed with the way the sellers of indulgences (official writs promising the forgiveness of sin) were seeming to sell salvation for money. Thanks to a benevolent prince and the movable type printing press, Luther's document became the spark that ignited the Protestant Reformation.

It is good and right that we remember him and his work on this day. So much of the day is given over to Halloween and the festivities of darkness. Fantasy, make believe, ghosts, goblins, and ghouls make up the day in the minds of most. But Christians can rightly look at the day as a celebration of the recovery of the biblical gospel from obscurity.

The true gospel had been preached in the Roman Church. We see this by the many reform movements that had sprung up from time to time. But each reformer, without protection and without a way to get their message out to all corners of the Church, each was isolated and cut off. Each one was martyred. Eventually, the Roman Church became drunk with secular power and greed. The gospel was a dim flicker that might have been extinguished.

Then comes Luther. The torments of this monk's soul opened him up to the truth of the scriptures when he saw it for himself. That flicker of truth became a wildfire of light. The course of world history was changed by it. It was Luther's exposure to the word of God that showed him this gospel truth. One of my favorite Luther quotes comes from his audience with the Emperor at the Diet of Worms. He said "My conscience is captive to the word of God."

Later reformers would expound on how God works by word and Spirit. The Holy Spirit and the Holy Scriptures are the instruments of God's work in men's hearts. Luther saw this and reminded the Church of what they should have known all along. Many heard and today there are hundreds of thousands of Christians who worship in churches that trace their spiritual lineage to the Reformation started by Martin Luther.

This October 31st, let's all turn our minds to the things of God and remember the simple gospel of justification by faith alone in Jesus Christ alone. A gospel recovered for us by a little German monk in a small city in eastern Germany. The right man, at the right place, at the right time. Truly, God works in mysterious ways, His wonders to perform.

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