October 31, 2017 was the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther nailing his ninety-five theses to the door of the Castle Church at Wittenburg. In this document, Luther boldly criticized the Roman Catholic Church’s rather unbiblical sale of “indulgences”–where laypersons were pressured to pay money to church leaders in exchange for the forgiveness of not only their own sins, but the sins of people who have already died and are supposedly languishing in purgatory (which, spoiler alert, isn’t even a thing).
Underlying this practice is the idea that the justification and salvation of human souls is dependent first and foremost on their own merit, particularly when this glorious merit is demonstrated by lining the pockets of popular figures in the local church. It doesn’t sound too far from the truth, even in contemporary Christian culture, does it?
History has a habit of coming full circle in this way…that’s why the concept of reformation is still important today, will still be important tomorrow, and then onward still until Christ comes back to claim his Bride and we no longer feel the constant, pressing threat of inward and outward corruption.
(To read the rest in its original publishing at Whole Magazine, click here.)