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On today’s date 1517, a parish priest and university professor by the name of Martin Luther challenged the authority of the Roman Catholic Church. In announcing his 95 “Theses”, or discussion topics, Luther wanted to reform the errors of the Roman Church. Unfortunately for Rome, they refused to be reformed, and the Protestant Reformation was born.

The Reformation had far reaching effects. In translating the Bible into German, Luther in effect, standardized the language. In addition, the churches of the Augsburg Confession (as the Lutheran churches were known in Luther’s day) held that Rome had no secular political authority, which meant that local governments no longer had to obey Rome.

The transition from the autocratic theocracy that was Europe in 1517, to the freedom we in the USA enjoy today did not come quickly, and more than a few people shed blood to make it happen. However in a very real way, the liberty which we enjoy (for the time being) in our nation had its roots in those 95 These nailed to the Church door in Wittenburg Germany all those years ago.

Luther did not set out to start a new Church, he wanted to fix the one he had. Luther also did not set out to change the world. he merely wanted to see the God’s word rightly proclaimed to the people. The amazing thing is that God used this unknown preacher in a backwater college to begin the process of reshaping the world.

We owe him and the other reformers thanks.

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Martin Luther remained faithful, despite the price on his head. Could we do the same?

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