ESSAYS on the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation: ESSAY 3: Influences of Dr. Luther’s Reformation.
While many associate October 31 as a “Trick or Treat Day,” October 31 for us Lutherans has special significance. In 1517, Dr. Luther nailed 95 thesis to the North Door of The Wittenberg Church beginning one of the largest movements in human history, The Reformation of The Church. During the course of the next two months sermons, bulletins, worship services, Bible Studies and special emphasis will be placed upon the Reformation as we celebrate the blessings of God and His free gift of grace. The Reformation was more than just some objections and changes to theological and church practices. The Reformation brought significant and lasting changes that not only affect our spiritual life, but our daily life in ways that might not have imagined. Here is the 1st essay over some of those influences.
- The Reformation led specifically to how one viewed their job and vocation. Dr. Luther’s Reformation focused on the “Priesthood of all Believers.” Every Christian can announce forgiveness of Jesus and it is their individual faith and conscience that ties them to God. As Luther stated at the “Diet of Worms,” that his conscience is bound to God’s Word alone, hence the Reformation also heralded that each believer’s conscience is bound to God’s Word as well.
- The Reformation led to a significant change in which one saw their duties, jobs and obligations. While The Roman Catholic Church promoted the monastic life or life of a nun, separated from the everyday life of the common person. Luther, saw a Christian’s calling very differently. Each job, position and duty to be a holy calling in which one served God. To Luther there is no calling or vocation that is higher than another, whether one is a priest, a mother, a butcher, a judge. All of these vocations are used by God to bless others. Hence, when once does their best at fulfilling these roles, they are actually doing it for Christ. See the 2nd half of Matthew 25. God blesses the world through any godly vocation in which one does their best. Hence a vocation isn’t a job to get a paycheck, but a holy calling to use one’s gifts and talents to bless others.
- Luther warned about the desire for Glitz, he pushed modesty. Glitz tends to spend on the unnecessary, where modesty focused on a godly life. Our modern culture views greed as the hoarding of wealth, Luther viewed money differently; He didn’t view it as evil, but the use of that wealth had a place in a Christian’s life as greed is neglect of God/neighbor.
- Luther was suspect of wealth, as stated before, one worked not for mammon as Luther described as possessions above and beyond our daily bread and needs. Luther saw wealth as dangerous. Counter to other reformers who saw wealth as a symbol of God’s favor, Luther saw wealth as an opportunity to care for others. Luther was against anyone getting paid for not working and for hoarding wealth and not assisting others. Luther saw possessions to be strictly managed. IKEA is a Swedish store, as Sweden has been influenced by Luther’s theology. IKEA is high on thrift and practicality and low on glitz and excess. Germany too follows Luther’s model. Germany as a nation rates 2nd in their recycling practice and its citizens still strictly maintain and extend the usefulness of all their resources.
This is part 3, Remember, we hold to; “Christ, Scripture, Grace and Faith alone!” May we always cherish, that “The just shall live by faith.” In Christ, Pastor Mews