Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Luther :- The Movie

I received an email notification from my Netflix (GRPL), letting me know that the movie Luther, was ready to be picked up. Luther is a depiction of Martin Luther and what became known as the Protestant Reformation. Overall, I found the movie to be very entertaining.

Luther was an Augustinian monk / priest who saw that there were problems within the Church - primarily the selling of indulgences. The way that the movie depicted him, was a very compassionate God fearing man - which I do believe he was. He wanted the Church to change and reform it's practices. Was he justified in wanting the Church to change...yes. Should he have divided the Church with new doctrine in order to do

Martin Luther would be appalled if knew the number of denominations that have birthed from his action. His idea was to create a church under his new radical theology. He would have prayed for unity under his theology, and actively worked towards it. I don't think that he anticipated the countless number of schisms and divisions that occurred during his lifetime and afterward.

I think that one of the great moments where he must have realized what he had begun was when he confronted Ulrich Zwilngli at the Marburg Colloquy, over the True Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Here is something that has been believed throughout all of time, and yet Zwilngli introduced a new belief that Christ is not present in the Eucharist - therefore reducing this sacred sacrament to a sign in many Protestant faiths. (Be sure, this is the first time in history that the Eucharist was ever reduced to a mere sign...but that conversation is worth a blog post on it's own).

Time and time again, I find myself quoting something that I heard on a podcast. You cannot judge a church, based on it's believers, you must judge a church based on it's doctrine - what does it believe. There are always going to be sinners in the church, because church if full of people. If you want to remove sin from a church, remove the people. Since that is not an option, you can only judge a church for what it believes. What foundation does it stand on? What does it teach?

The Protestant Reformation occurred over 500 years ago, and we are still feeling it's affects. It is also worth mentioning at this point, that the Catholic Reformation occurred soon after. There is much blame to go around on both the Catholic and Protestant people. I am not interested in casting blame. I am interested in working towards the unity that Christ had prayed for (John 17:9-26). That is the reason why I started this blog. I do not mean to offend or blame, I just want us to be the one visible Church that we were meant to be.

As a Non-Denominational Protestant Christian, I never considered what my Church taught. I thought that it was good enough to accept the Lord Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior and that was all that is necessary. This way may have saved me, but when I opened up the Scriptures and saw that there were things that God had commanded of me, after accepting Him by faith, that was when I realized that I needed to do everything that He demands, and not just the things that I was comfortable with. God began to challenge me to be more than just a luke-warm Christian, He wanted me to be on fire for Him, following and obeying all of his commandments.

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