Sunday, August 12, 2012

August 12, 2012

The Reformation: Right on Time

Ah, the joys of losing one’s Internet connection :-) Without the usual resources available to me yesterday, I decided to just write from the heart, using whatever subject matter came to me. I pondered God’s hand in the spread of the Protestant Reformation. Why the 1500s? Why not the 1400s or the 1600s or any time between the beginning of Christianity and the present day? Because that was when the time was ripe. 

That was when the printing press made literature such as pamphlets and treatises abundant. That was when many nations such as Germany, unimpressed by current “salvation-buying” tactics such as indulgences and straining under the yoke of paying for St. Peter’s Basilica, said “no more.” That is when there were scholars brave enough and confident enough to stand up and say “we do not believe in the established church. We want to worship Christ as our hearts tell us to worship Him.”

Perhaps that is why I have always been particularly fascinated with the 1500s. It was a time of change and new thought. For over a thousand years there had been only the Catholic Church (except in places associated with Greek Orthodoxy). Even people who may have had issues with certain doctrines or may not have entirely believed everything they were taught were forced to continue on in the faith . . . until the Reformation. Suddenly there were other venues. If you had always secretly believed in the idea of predestination, you would join the Calvinist camp. If not, you could choose Lutheranism or Anabaptism, or Anglicanism. Suddenly men and women who had never been content in the traditional faith had a choice.

Let’s think what might have happened if the Reformation had begun in the early 1400s. Or the 1300s. Without the printing press, few people would have gotten the message. Those who did would have been quickly imprisoned and likely martyred. The medieval era was known for absolute obedience to church and local officials, and, without reasons such as abusive indulgences to fire up the common people, it is unlikely that Protestant ideas would have gotten much support.

(c) 2012 Joyously Saved

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