Reformation Day

A fat monk tacks a stack of papers to the church door
There will be a debate about where faith and practice meet
Seems that sometimes faith is about convenience,
Sometimes God’s mercy is bought and sold

Since this time wars are fought
Arguments continued
At times polite, at times more than words
What form should reformation take?

Why is the debate a symbol?
Simple objections to a common practice
Questions about lines of authority
Perhaps questions exposed corruption

Debate was so common
Publicly posting academic talk was normal
A Doctor of Theology, with a teaching post
Nothing beyond a monk’s squabble

Similar squabbles appeared elsewhere
Sometimes even true breaks
There was both isolation, and connection
No perfection in the world of men

The old arguments are often repeated
Though, these days, we forget who said what!
The writings can be clearly read
Yet who has the time to read everything?

Grebel, Luther, Calvin
These arguments lead to bloodshed
Huss, Wycliff, Waldo
Though they were centuries earlier, they are forgotten

There were always more than two voices
More than one thing to consider
Have we forgotten there is room for debate?
Perhaps reform is going back to that distant past

Perhaps reforming the structure solves nothing
Instead, Christ must reform our hearts

I remember when people spoke of church history, and Protestants, they always went back to Luther. While Luther is important… he established Protestant Christianity as a viable State religion, there were several groups before him that asked many of the same questions he did. Some remained clearly within Roman Catholicism, others were denounced as heretics. We tend to see Luther as the precursor to Calvin, and Grabel — to both the theocratic puritans, and these ancestors of the Mennonites. Luther may, as a Dr. of Theology been more than a rural priest, or a even a lawyer like Calvin [though Calvin was Luther’s junior by a couple decades, all evidence suggests they opposed one another fiercely] — however, there would have been “reformation” with or without Luther.

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One comment on “Reformation Day

  1. LAR_Northman says:

    True, but movements tend to center around the person/persons who can most clearly state their ideas, and in fact needed that focus to properly organize.

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