Pastors' Corner

Commemorating the 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Reformation

This month, we are commemorating the 500th anniversary of the Protestant
Reformation, marking the day when Martin Luther, a Catholic monk and theology
professor, posted his famous 95 Theses on the door at the castle church in
Wittenberg, Germany. The 95 Theses argued against the Catholic church’s practice
of issuing indulgences (certificates that could be purchased from the church to
reduce a loved one’s time in purgatory) — a practice Luther believed was
unbiblical. Luther’s original intent was to start a theological conversation that
would lead to reforms in the Catholic church.

However, Luther’s actions sparked a broader cultural movement which led to a
formal break with the Catholic church. When the Holy Roman Emperor tried to
permanently end Luther’s movement by forcing German estates to uphold Roman
Catholicism as the religion of the land, several princes formally protested, and thus became
known as “protestants.”

Luther’s movement also gave rise to various theological groups that began to
develop their own beliefs based upon the Bible, and not church tradition. Through these
groups, the Reformation spread throughout Europe to England and Scotland, and
eventually to America.

The Protestant Reformation emphasized the centrality of the Bible as the basis for
faith and practice. It also affirmed that salvation was by faith in Jesus Christ alone (not
good works) and by God’s grace alone (not given by the church). This month, we will be
commemorating the Protestant Reformation in worship through hymns, prayers and
readings from this time period.

If you would like to learn more about this interesting and important time period,
please join us for our adult Sunday school class, Reformation Questions, Reformation
Answers at 9:30 AM on Sunday mornings.


Pastor Hilary Livingston

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