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Every October 31st, while much of the western world dresses up in ghoulish costumes, many Christians commemorate another important event that happened on October 31st, 1517. This was the day Roman Catholic monk, Martin Luther is traditionally said to have posted his 95 Theses (or 95 points of protest) on a church door in Wittenberg Germany. This would be considered the spark that led to the Protestant Reformation.
During his various disputes with the Roman Catholic Church, Luther debated against a man named Johann Maier von Eck in 1521 at Worms Germany. Eck's infamous question to Luther was:
Now, the premise of the question isn't necessarily wrong, especially if we believe that God sustains not only His Word but the basic understanding of His Word by His new covenant people. Eck's question should not be flippantly dismissed...not even by Protestant/Reformed Christians.
In the 15th and 16th centuries Europe experienced a series of world changing revolutions. Christians may think of it as the time when the Protestants opposed the Roman Catholic Church but there was more to it than religious revolution. The populations were over throwing centuries of aristocracy (rule by kings, queens and other "royalty").
More than anything else, this is what appears to be happening in the Middle East, so-called "Arab countries". But it is more than just Arab countries since not all of the nations where these revolts are boiling are actually "Arab". For instance, Iran is mainly Persian with only a 3% Arab population. Bahrain is considered non-Arab.
We Protestant Christians, and even outright heretics often appeal to Martin Luther as our role model for rebellion. What I mean by this is that we justify our challenges to "traditional" Christianity (however we might define that) by claiming we are merely doing as Martin Luther had done in defying the Roman Catholic Church.
Further, you may hear Protestants and especially heretics disdain the "councils and the creeds". They will say with pride; "We have no creed but Christ" or "We believe only what the Scriptures say" as if there is no interpretation required.
I thought it would be interesting to see then what Martin Luther thought of the councils. What follows is 10 points Luther makes about the councils in his work titled; On the Councils and the Church. This work was written about 7 years before Luther died, so it is after he had time to develop his understanding of theological ramifications.
Sunday October 31 is Reformation Sunday. This is the day that traditionally the German monk, Martin Luther nailed his 95 points of argumentation on a church door. This act is considered the spark of the Protestant Reformation, even though the Reformation was in the works for hundreds of years.
The video below is an historically accurate (and a bit humorous) summary of what happened on that day in 1517. For a line by line explanation, click this link. Also enjoy these other videos of churches and groups who have reproduced this witty song since first hearing it (#1, #2, #3, #4 -- let me know if your group produces a video or audio).
As October 31st approaches, the traditional day when Martin Luther supposedly posted on the Wittenberg Church door his 95 points of protest, I thought it would be useful to go through those points. With so many Christians, and even heretics pointing to Luther as their role model, it seems important to see and understand what it was he was trying to say.
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