Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Reformation Day

October 31 is an important date on the calendar of the Lutheran Church.  This is the anniversary of the day on which Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the front door of the church in Wittenberg, Germany.  This document was the beginning of Luther's protests against several practices of the 16th Century Roman Catholic Church, including the selling of indulgences, the withholding of communion wine from laypeople, the use of the Latin language in worship, and the emphasis on good works.  The Roman Catholic Church responded to Luther's invitation to debate and discussion by ridiculing him, then excommunicating him.  However, the invention of the printing press aided the spread of Luther's ideas even as the Roman Catholic Church attempted to destroy Luther's documents.  Luther's writings and ideas sparked several different reform movements that drifted away from both the Roman Catholic Church and one another, leading to the various denominations we see within the Church today.

Because we are part of a tradition that claims the Church is "always reforming," October 31 is also a date to consider where the Church still needs reforming.  I ask you, what reforms do the Church need to implement?  What should the Church keep?  What should the Church add?  What should the Church release as a practice which used to serve the Church well but is no longer a good idea?

If you have answers to these questions, I invite you to leave your answers below and participate in a sharing of ideas.  I will respond to all suggestions.

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