It was the time of the European Renaissance. King Henry VIII would distance himself from the Catholic church in order to divorce his first wife and marry his mistress. The church was in the throes of corruption and was selling indulgences to bulk up their treasury. Unsuspecting people paid the price to buy their way into heaven. New inventions were created, including the printing press. Minds were being changed as well,
With change we almost always see an increase in fraudulence and deceit. Philosophies, progress, pride, knowledge and growth will likely lead to dishonesty, anger, hatred, false teaching and lies. It’s like that today as we see corruption all around us. When someone stirs the pot and tries to root out the evil, they face a lot of controversy. Martin Luther was a man like that.
When he was old enough to attend college, his father insisted that he study law. Less than six weeks into his studies, Martin decided to become a monk. It is said that he was in a serious thunderstorm and feared for his life. It was that storm that convinced him to follow a different path. He became a monk in the Order of the Hermits of St. Augustine. The order was strict and he lived in a cell without heat and a mundane life which allowed for no interaction. He was devoted to his daily work. He began each day at 2 AM with prayer and repentance. One of his priests often complained about Luther and his endless confessions. It seemed he felt completely unworthy of Christ’s love and salvation.
When he posted the 95 theses on the door of the church at Wittenburg, he had no intention of stirring things up. His ideas were in response to the selling of indulgences and the corrupt philosophies being sold along with them. This man of God’s Word struggled constantly with his inability to rid himself of sin. He felt his works were never enough to appease a jealous God. No amount of self-abuse, deprivation, or good works would take away his guilt.
Today we’re faced with similar problems. Only this time the truth has been corrupted in order to conform to the desires and lifestyles of a divided populace. Anything goes and the minute you speak against it, you’re accused of being intolerant. When Martin stumbled across the following Bible verse, he could no longer be silent.
Ephesians 2:8 “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God”(ESV)
Today something new gnaws away at our churches in America. When we remain silent, we’re accepting the lies as truth. When our church is being attacked from all sides and seen as purveyors of gloom and doom, rather than a place of sanctuary – we need to hold to God’s truths. When the devil is allowed to invade God’s house, we need to speak up. We must be fearlessly vocal when defending the Bible.. When we remain silent, we’re as much as saying we accept the lies as truth. Holding to God’s Word takes courage. Some call it being stubborn – others believe in following God and His plans for us.
Luther defended the pure teachings of the Bible and a reformation began. When we stand up for the truth of God, we cannot do otherwise.
“Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something.” Plato