October 31, 2017 is the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation unwittingly initiated by a Catholic monk named Martin Luther. My friend and colleague, Dr. Charles Spong and his wife Peg will attend the Wittenberg 2017 Congress in Germany October 30 to November 1.
To watch the Congress live from the States, you can register on www.luther.tv. The cost is only $9.95. You also will receive 3 powerful books free with your registration. To view a brief summary of the life of Luther and the Congress speakers, go to www.luther2017.tv. This is a once in a lifetime Congress. Don’t miss viewing this incredible event.
Chuck has supplied me with critical information about the Reformation for months. He helped me understand how the 16th Century Reformation and the 20th Century Pentecostal Movement compared (how alike) and contrasted (how different). For example:
- Both returned to the New Testament in doctrine and practice and were Christocentric.
- Both movements suffered persecution, but the 16th century endured more upheaval.
- Both resulted to division but impacted the whole church world.
- Both created new theologies that generated much discussion and debate.
- Both started new educational institutions: 16th century primary schools and colleges; 20th century Bible schools (mainly).
- Both were dissatisfied with conditions in the church and helped create renewal efforts.
- 16th Century: No emphasis on the Spirit. 20th Century: Emphasis on the Spirit.
- 16th: Baptism, gifts, healing none. 20th: Emphasis on baptism in Holy Spirit, gifts, healing.
- 16th: Stress on water baptisms. 20th: Greater stress on salvation.
- 16th: Stress on sacraments. 20th: Less emphasis.
- 16th: No emphasis on missions. 20th: Emphasis on missions.
- 16th: Begun by leaders. 20th: Begun by college students.
Build fide (faith) by reading about movements and leaders that have moved the Church forward the past 500 years. Here are some; without the first three, we would not be reading about the rest: Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, Knox, Reformed, Anabaptists, Presbyterians, Anglicans, Tyndale, George Fox, Puritans, Jansenism, Quietism, Pietism, Zinzendorf, John and Charles Wesley, George Whitefield, Charles Finney, the Moravians, William Wilberforce, Menno Simons, Mennonites, Henry Ward Beecher, Albert Switzer, Francis Asbury, The Great Awakening, Jonathan Edwards, D.L. Moody, William Carey, Student Volunteer Movement, Billy Sunday, Pentecostals, Aimee Semple McPherson, A.B. Simpson, Oral Roberts, and Billy Graham.
Read the Luther biography, “Here I Stand” by Roland Bainton (1950). Another is “Martin Luther” by Eric Metaxas (2017). Check out Chuck Norris’ 10/30/17 article on Luther at wnd.com.
Walk wisely. The Reformation of the Church begun in 1517 is more than about one person or an era (1517-1648). It is really about a continuing movement to progress the Church forward to what God wants it to be worldwide (Ephesians 4:11-16), a challenge yet to be fully met. 500 years (1517-2017) of church and contemporary life are reminders of the work still to be done.
Love is a verb,
©2017 by Mike Olejarz