A plea of sorts.
I'm all for commemorating the Great Reformation.
Just, as we do so, may I suggest we make it a glorification of God, and not of men? And, if we must honor men, can we at least not make it all about just one man?
I truly do admire Luther's raw guts in standing against the corrupt ecclesiastical regime of his day. Those immortal words, "Here I stand; God help me, I can do no other," truly inspire. And his was, beyond question, a brilliant mind.
But that same brilliant mind also penned hateful, vitriolic tracts against the Jews, advising men to "burn down their synagogues or churches . . . raze their homes . . . forbid their rabbis to teach henceforth upon penalty of the loss of life and limb."
All this and more was to be done "to the honor of our Lord and Christendom, that God might know we are Christians."
Martin did not "rediscover" or "restore" the core gospel teaching of Salvation by Grace ALONE, thru Faith ALONE, in Christ ALONE, as if it had been "lost" for a thousand years during the "Dark Ages."
Claude of Turin clearly taught it in his commentaries five hundred years before Luther nailed his 95 theses.
The Waldenses held to it in their Alpine valleys and went preaching it by twos throughout Europe.
About the time Luther was nailing his 95 theses, 700 kilometres from Wittenberg, God was stirring the same things in the heart of Ulrich Zwingli. When they assumed he had learned from Luther, Zwingli's response was, "Sorry . . . Martin WHO??"
Erasmus published his Greek New Testament in 1516, along with a revolutionary new Latin translation that defied the entrenched Latin Vulgate, and bold, inflammatory footnotes that infuriated the corrupt priesthood (earned him a top slot on the Index of Forbidden Books right up to the 1960's).
The result: "there were fires of reformation kindled throughout all of England."
Thomas Linacre, personal physician to Henry VIII, was so astounded by what he read in Erasmus' new publication, he cried, "either this is not the gospel, or we are not Christians!" The saying was, "Erasmus laid the egg; Luther merely hatched it."
And let's not forget Columba and his Scottish Culdee missionaries of Iona, or the Albigenses, or John Wycliffe, or the Lollards, or the Anabaptists, John Huss or fiery John Colet, who was preaching Pauline theology to packed churches when
Martin Luther was a schoolboy.
Martin Luther was a man greatly used of God. But just a man.
God is the One behind the Great Reformation. He's the One Who "changed history."
Elevating certain men will always only lead to trouble.
Let's glorify the One true "LIGHT of the Reformation."