31 October, 2006

Theses or Treats?

Today is Reformation Day. A much more important day for us than a pagan holiday brought to these shores by the Irish in the early 1800's. Yep, you can thank the Celts, Druids and other pagans in Ireland and Britain for halloween (I refuse to capitalize that word)

I have often wondered why most Baptists do not even think of the Reformation or discuss it in way, shape or form. Maybe it's because there were Anabaptists before the Reformation? And they are thinking...hey, we knew this before Luther got a hammer and nails! Perhaps there was a small remnant carrying on in spite of great persecution from Rome. Had they even made it as far north as Germany at this time? Am I showing my complete ignorance even asking such questions? Since I am new to reformed circles, this topic is something of interest to me and I plan to do some research on this as soon as I have the time. I bet Phil Johnson at Pyromaniacs knows the answers.

So back to the Reformation. What happened to Martin Luther that made him nail those 95 Theses to the Wittenburg Church door? John Piper tells us in this article about Martin Luther... here.

I am ashamed to admit that I did not realize October 31st was Reformation Day until the past few years. Until then, I knew he was a monk that wore funny hats and nailed the 95 Theses to the wall of the church in October 1500 something. I even knew the verse in Romans that finally changed his understanding of God's Righteousness. I had read that he had to flee from oppressors and that he got married! (A monk got married!) And, of course, that he wrote, A Mighty Fortress is Our God. But I have never heard anything about Luther or the Reformation in church. Some of the above information came from my mother, who was a musician and focused on music from that era and some from my own study of history. But, I have never studied church history and only knew "Lutherans" as those people who baptized babies and had a lot of big icons. (My ignorance is astounding)

Only recently have I really started reading the works of the Reformers. What a treasure trove!

What I cannot understand is why the church, make that ANY Protestant church, has not grabbed a hold of this date and hijacked it for God's Glory? It would make perfect sense as a anecdote to halloween. We see 'harvest parties' and 'costume parties' at churches trying to circumvent the ravages of celebrating halloween.

But, why not a Reformation Celebration? Even if Baptists (and others) were around with the knowledge of God's Righteousness before Luther, couldn't we celebrate the Freedom in Christ for many who were in bondage to the Catholic Church and were given the opportunity to know the truth of God's Holy Word by Luther's bold actions?

(Sorry for the lack of visuals...blogger will not download pictures today)


Brandon Giromini said...

Because the Protestant "reformers" turned right around and persecuted the Anabaptists, mainly for their stance of believers' baptism. You always hear about Rome's persecution of Protestants, but little of what happened to the Anabaptists. I will admit I haven't studied the reformation in extraordinary detail, but the reformation did change a few doctrines, but in still shares many aspects with Rome, especially in regard to infant baptism. Oh, they call it covenant theology, etc, but in the end it is baptismal regeneration, just like Rome. I bought a book on Luther's writers and read with much confusion his defense of infant baptism, One of his defense's was because of it age, therefore validating it. Well, he was using the traditions of Rome, a church he was supposedly reforming, to support his pet doctrine. Needless to say his defense was circular logic, with little support from the bible.

Lindon said...

Brandon, thanks for the information concerning the Anabaptists. This is an area I really want to study in depth.

I was recently reading a 1930 edition of a biography of Mary, Queen of Scots. I can't remember the authors name at the moment but in it he details the reformer, John Knox's involvement with a successful plot to murder Mary's third husband (the first two died) and then another plot a few years later to murder her.And that he was an accomplice with some of Queen Elizabeth's London ministers in this plotting. The book even laid out a sermon Knox prepared to justify these actions. Both times.

I am planning someday to research this more also because this really surprised me. The things we do in the name of the Lord! But then He works through cracked pots. :0