Nearly five hundred years ago on October 31, 1517 Martin Luther nailed his ninety-five theses on the door of the Wittenberg Castle Church in which he laid out the abuses of the Roman church’s selling of indulgences.
It is this day in history that we celebrate the start of the reformation. It was not to start a new church from scratch but rather to re-form a church that twisted the Christ’s gospel into one of salvation by one’s own works.
It would serve us well to look back at history to measure how far we have come or how far back we have slid. Consider these points;
The papacy even today still sells indulgences.
The majority of Americanized Christianity thinks that making a decision is how an individual can gain their own salvation.
53 percent of American evangelicals are less likely to believe that salvation is based on grace, not works; 46 percent less likely to say they have a personal responsibility to share their religious beliefs with others; 42 percent less likely to list their faith in God as the top priority in their life; 38 percent less likely to believe that Jesus Christ lived a sinless life on earth; 27 percent less likely to contend that the Bible is totally accurate in all of its teachings; and 23 percent less likely to say that their life has been greatly transformed by their faith.
One of the most popular religious leaders, Rick Warren, has repeatedly said that “deeds not creeds” is how we are judged by God.
One of the most popular religious leaders, Joel Osteen, refuses to talk about sin, the consequences of sin (death), and God’s gracious plan for salvation, Jesus and His cross.
I could go on and on and on. We have much to be thankful for on this day but we are not really all that far from that door in Wittenberg five hundred years ago.
Labels: Issues Etc
Because you can never go wrong with singing moose and salmon…
Labels: Church Growth