By: Matt Smith | October 31, 2017
The views expressed by guest writers of Bellator Christi are their own and may not represent those of Bellator Christi Ministries or its affiliates.
500 years ago today, a young monk named Martin Luther was troubled by doctrine within the Roman Catholic Church (3). During his studies he came to some conclusions that were dramatically different than what the church held. He decided on October 31, 1517 to nail on the Wittenberg Castle Church doors his ninety-five theses. What was this young monk trying to accomplish? In my humble opinion, he wanted to renew the love for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. At that time, society was begging to learn, instead of only accepting what the Pope and priests said. This action led to a flood of investigations cross-examining these claims. This movement caused a renewed vigor to learn of the Word of God and to seek out God.
Does this sound familiar within our society today? That can be debated. However, Martin Luther forcibly led the way for theologians who took up his cause like John Calvin, Huldrych Zwingli[a] (Ulrich Zwingli), Jacobus Arminius (Jakob Hermanszoon) and many others. The reformation began to span across Europe, not just Germany. It happened within homes. Christian Bibles would be printed with the invention of the Gutenberg printing press.
This was not the first time an act like this took place.(1) On July 16, 1054 AD, a schism took place that divided the Eastern Orthodox (Greek)(Greek, Russians, and others) and the Roman Catholic Church (Latin) that we know as of today. A cardinal named Humbert, part of the legate of Pope Leo IX, placed on the altar of the Cathedral of Hagia Sophia a parchment that declared the Patriarch of Constantinople excommunicate Michael Cerularius. He turned around and walked out the Cathedral of Hagia Sophia and dusted the dirt off of his feet.(2)
These two events lead to a great awakening within the Church of Jesus Christ. This caused individuals to return to living out the book of Acts. The reformation changed the world and changed people’s minds (Romans 8:5-8). My question to the church today is this: does there need to be another Reformation? Does we need individuals to become another Cardinal Humbert or Martin Luther?
We have grown comfortable with saying, “Let the Holy Spirit change people’s mind? And I would not disagree with this entirely. However, would you be the individual that the Holy Spirit would use to change a person’s mind about God and about the Church?
Happy Reformation Day!!!
- Martin Luther: The Idea that changed the world http://www.pbs.org/program/martin-luther-idea-changed-world/
About the Author
Matt Smith is an up and coming Christian Apologist from North Carolina. He holds an MBA in accounting from Strayer University and is a financial analyst. He has begun the M.Div. program at Liberty University and is looking forward to be actively engaged in apologetics-based ministry. Matt is a single dad with two beautiful children (ages 5 and 7).
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