Today is the Eve of All Saints, and on this day in 1517, Martin Luther nailed a long list of concerns/protests on the door (known as the 95 Theses) of All Saints Church in Wittenburg. Though there had been other expressions by other reformers for years before, this particular act has been viewed as the watershed event that began the Protestant Reformation.
Reading through the 95 protests will give you a look at the Roman Catholic Church and some of its practices at a point in history that show political and economic corruption. Five hundred years later, Luther would hardly recognize what his faithful act would become.
I suspect that if Luther took a quick look at the North American version of Protestantism, he would find even more protests to nail to the doors of Willow Creek or Saddleback Community Church, or most any big steeple church in the country.
I imagine Luther would ponder many questions, here might be a few…
- Why has your use of the Holy Scriptures been idolatrous in some respects, and non-existent in others? We didn’t fight over getting those words into native languages to be used so poorly.
- What has become of the sacraments? I see that Eucharist is not central to worship in many congregations, and is an afterthought in large portions of the church. Again, lots of time spent on the meaning of “est” and it is not front and center for the church.
- Why so many television preachers with so may funding schemes to stay on the air? You heard about indulgences in the 16th century, consider that you have not come that far in 500 years.
A good meditation for the day would be to consider what a modern 95 theses would include