The ABC’s of Martin Luther

Martin Luther, as painted by Lucas Cranach the Elder.

 

Today, we Lutherans celebrate Reformation. To give you a little insight into Martin Luther’s life, I’m going to give you some ABC’s.

 

A

A long time ago, around the year 1500, a young Catholic priest named Martin Luther agonized over the way the church used the Bible. He accused the church of abusing God’s word by adding things God did not include. The more he read the Bible, the more he was astonished at how amazing God’s grace really is. Luther couldn’t help but share this news about God’s love for all people. He wrote books and sermons about all that he learned.

 

B

Martin Luther believed that everyone should be able to read the Bible in his own language. He believed the church needed to change, or reform. The more Luther talked about it, the more people started to listen. Some church leaders told him to be quiet, to be obedient. Luther said he was bound by Scripture and his conscience to stand by his beliefs. The church leaders burned the books he had written.

 

C

At that time, the Christian church was called Catholic. The different churches we have today weren’t around then. There was only one Christian, or Catholic, church. Martin Luther was called a reformer, because he wanted to change the church.

 

Luther didn’t try to start “Lutheranism.” He wanted to reform the current church, not start a new one. There is a lot of misinformation out there about Luther. One of the biggest ones is that Lutherans worship him. Trust me, we don’t. We admire him, but don’t hold him up next to God. We use his example of holding Scripture as the inerrant Word of God, our true authority.

 

Do you do anything special to celebrate Reformation?

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