On October 31st, 1517 Martin Luther marched up the steps to the castle church in Wittenberg Germany and nailed his 95 Theses, to the doors of the church. Luther's 95 Theses were intended to be topics of debate so that Christians would know better what they believed. The main issue at hand in Luther's Theses was repentance. Although Luther did not intend to anger the religious leaders that is exactly what happened. But as angry as the Catholic leaders became there was an equal and opposite response among the lay people who were finally beginning to see and understand the truth of God's Word. Out of Luther and his followers God began one of the greatest revivals in church history, the Protestant Reformation.
Out of all the changes that came from the Reformation, one of the central issues was worship. What is the correct way to worship God?
Four subtopics grew out of this question,
1) The use of images,
2) The order of service in the Church,
3) The authority of scripture, and,
4) The observance of the Sacraments.
However the Reformation was not the only time in history that God's people found themselves grappling with these issues. In 2 Chronicles 34 and 35, the nation of Judah faced a similar situation.
Idolatry was rampant, the Law had been lost, the Temple was in ruins, and the Passover had been overlooked. These are striking parallels, not only with the time of the Reformers, but with our day as well.
Next week I will post a series of three articles on the need for a modern Reformation. These articles will be titled,
The Reforms Of King Josiah
Shifting Sand, and
Revive Us, O Lord
The reason I want to write these articles is threefold. They are born out of this one fact that we are fallen beings. As fallen beings are prone to,
1) We have drifted,
2) We are drifting, and
3) We will drift away from God and truth.
It is my prayer that we will be drawn closer to God through this study, that we will push back against the tide of our own reasoning, and that we will recognize the potential for drifting in the future and put up safeguards for ourselves, our families, and our churches.
Soli Deo Gloria