The close of this month marks a significant anniversary in the life of our religious heritage: Reformation Sunday! It was on October 31, 1517, that a German, Augustinian monk from peasant descent nailed 95 theses for debate and discussion on the door of the Wittenberg Castle Church. In so doing, Martin Luther embarked on a long, strenuous, religious struggle.
His confession eventually became solagracia, solafide, and solascriptura, which, being translated, mean only grace, only faith, and only the Holy Scriptures. When commanded by the Pope and the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire to recant and repent from such a confession, this monk of peasantry background said:
Unless I am convicted by Scripture and plain reason—I do
not accept the authority of popes and councils, for they have
contradicted each other—my conscience is captive to the
Word of God. I cannot and I will not recant anything, for to
go against my conscience is neither right nor safe. God help me. Amen!
How often we forget the bitter agony our religious forefathers endured to give us the spiritual and political freedom we are now experiencing. We are not only their debtors, but we are now charged to preserve these tenets of our faith in the personal stands we take in our society today.
Your pastor and servant for Jesus’ sake,