First, I'd like to welcome my new reader from Charlestown, Mass. As you can see, I don't post every day, just when I'm inspired to do so. So if you haven't given up, welcome and thanks for stopping by ;)
I'm putting my fingers to the keys on this day because of the upcoming Reformation Celebration. October 31st marks the day that Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of a church in Wittenberg. According to Websters, a theses is also "a position or proposition that a person (as a candidate for scholastic honors) advances and offers to maintain by argument". That's precisely what this lawyer-turned-monk did in A.D. 1517 after studying and comparing Scripture to accepted religious norms. In short, it didn't match up.
Luther challenged the teachings of the church in the hopes of moving it back to the beauty of the Gospel—salvation by grace alone—and obliterating the rules, rules, and more rules that weighed down the hearts and souls of the masses and led to death. The church refused, but Luther's theses, aided by the new Guttenberg press, spread through the known world, upending the status quo and changing hearts. This county experienced a wealth of that renewal when reformers sailed to the new world to live according to Scriptures without fear of death.
This isn't the first time a hard look at the Scriptures turned the heads of those who profess to be God's people. II Kings 22 relates the account of the finding of the scrolls (now the first five books of the Bible) in a temple wall during renovation:
Then Shaphan the secretary informed the king, "Hilkiah the priest has given me a book." And Shaphan read from it in the presence of the king. When the king heard the words of the Book of the Law, he tore his robes.
King Josiah wasn't the only one upset after he read those great words and learned of the covenant God had made. In chapter 23, we see the scrolls were read to the people, and change swept through the nation.
Why do I bring this up now? In an age where one finds one or two churches on every corner, in which division has invaded the body to the point it seems every person carries their own belief system (consult the book of Judges on the danger of being right in one's own eyes) and somehow, the Gospel has turned into an American religion, I pray people would take this to heart, read the Scriptures and, as Martin Luther questioned his beliefs and then the norm, God's people would do the same, returning to that great heritage as recorded in the Scriptures.
For more information, read your Bible.