Friday, January 18, 2008

The View From Back To Front

I am taking a church history class for my masters. We are getting into some events that have shaped the church into what it is today; namely Luther and the Reformation. I sit and read with awe at the Popes response to Luther's claims (his 95 points). Luther was labeled a heretic by the church simply because he went against the established church tradition. when asked to recant his statements, salvation by faith alone being one of them, Luther replied simply by asking the pope and church authorities to show him his error biblically. If there was no biblical proof for his error then he was not going to recant.

I understand where the church was coming from though...and it is a warning to us all. The church had become an elite group with power over the masses. There influence and power was something they held on to tightly. It was also absolute. In this the church became corrupt selling indulgences; a practice Luther adamantly opposed. Luther challenged not only the power of the church but the relevance of the established hierarchy itself. Like the Pharisees before them, the bishops and the Pope resisted with all their might. They refused to return to the scriptures to refute Luther's claims and consequently split the church in two.

What a lesson for us today. It is important to know why we believe what we believe, why we do what we do. It is also important that these beliefs and practices are supported by Scripture. Above all else, the lesson I take away from this is that it is better to admit error and walk away having embraced the truth than to win an argument in stubborn denial of truth.

These are just a few lessons I have learned looking at the view from back to front.

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