Thursday, April 12, 2012

April 12, 2012

Whom to Root For

As much as I have always loved history, I found it difficult to study religious thought during the Dark Ages and the Middle Ages. I could not relate to the pervading theology, to the bishops, monks, and nuns who penned their thoughts. I slugged through in the hopes I could find some similarities, and while I did, for the most part I was lost. 

I could not identify with medieval men and women who were constantly speaking of barefoot pilgrimages, self-whipping penitents, and self-denial in the hopes of God’s love and acceptance. That did not mesh with my view of a loving and merciful Savior. Medieval man simply did not believe as I believed. Then I discovered the Protestant Reformation era.

Suddenly it was as if a light-bulb came on over my head, as in the cartoons of old. These were people like me. People who believed in grace and faith and Christ alone. People who studied Scripture with a deep and personal longing that opened the entire world to their perusal. People who believed in the five solas of the Reformation. 

And then, as my studies of the 1500s and 1600s progressed, I discovered more. Protestants exploring early America in an era of Catholic domination. Protestants becoming doctors and theologians, the “movers and shakers” of the early modern world. I could relate to these people. I was excited when I learned that famous personages such as Johann Sebastian Bach were of the Lutheran faith. 

There is an innate need for humans to belong to a group, to fit in, to associate with those who share their faith and values. When I read of early Protestant explorers like Jean Ribault and learned of the sacrifice he made for his faith, this was someone to whom I could relate and identify. And as I began teaching myself the history of Protestantism, I reaffirmed that I was right where I was supposed to be.

(c) 2012 Joyously Saved

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