Trick or Treat?
Many will recognize October 31st as Reformation Day. Although very few Protestants can tell you what happened on this day in 1517, those who suffered most at the hands of the Reformers can tell you clearly. On October 31st, 1517 Martin Luther, supposedly, nailed his proposal to reform the Catholic Church, better known as Luther’s 95 Theses, to the Church door in Wittenberg Germany. What was intended to spark discussion and rehabilitation of the Catholic Church ignited a fire-storm which revealed that rehabilitation was impossible and that what was needed was a complete reformation of the Church. So, now, for five-hundred and two years the Protestant Church has celebrated this event, although in the very words of Luther himself the movement was a failure. At one point he declared that he could not get enough true believers together to have a prayer meeting. Consequently, Luther’s neglect to inform his followers that faith must be followed-up with a life of good-works helped greatly in filling pews on Sunday morning but failed to produce true converts. But, nonetheless, the Reformation has become famous. The Reformation, in league with the state, to help enforce this new view of Christianity, became dictatorial and ended-up persecuting true believers who rejected the hybrid Reformation Church which was an admixture of the world and religion.
The Reformation was not a total failure though because it lit a fire in the hearts of others who have come to be known as the Radical Reformers who rejected Luther’s and Zwingli’s teaching. They were “radical” in the true sense of the word meaning to go back to the foundation or cornerstone and starting over again while the Reformers tried to build on the already corrupted structure of the Catholic Church. These Radical Reformers broadcast the seed of truth into the fertile soil of hungry peasants, and watered that seed with their own blood, producing a bountiful harvest of quality fruit who are today known by their simplicity as Anabaptist and Kingdom Christians. It was these Radicals who gave us adult believer baptism and separation from the world and the state which Luther and Zwingli adamantly rejected, although the Protestants are given the credit.
For all of those who are honestly concerned about truth, the historical truth of the Reformation, go online and read for yourself the facts and not the sanitized account prepared for public school children. Follow the footsteps of the Radicals who pioneered this trail of blood, Conrad Grebel, Felix Manz, George Blaurock, Michael Sattler, and others, and discover for yourself another history who many in the Reformed Church would rather keep hidden.
Have a wonderful Reformation Day.