On this Reformation Day, please take a few minutes to read this beautiful defense of the Protestant Reformation. It could not be better said. Here are two wee teasers for you:
First, let’s be clear that what Luther and Calvin objected to primarily were the innovations and flagrant abuses in the Roman church. In other words, the Reformers did not object to the traditions of the fathers per se. What they objected to was the way popes and priests and cardinals ran rough shod over the most ancient traditions, you know relics like love your neighbor as yourself and thou shalt not steal.
Second, let’s defend the idea of division. Better, let’s celebrate it. But let’s distinguish schism from division. When God tore open Adam’s side, we don’t have any pictures, but I suspect it was a bloody business. Bones probably popped. If you were an angel in scrubs in that first operating room, I imagine you might have wondered what the Maker was up to. But this was a glorious division, the creation of something beautiful. This was not God being schismatic, this was God being creative.
May the Lord grant us grace and courage to continue reforming, ever seeking to be more conformed to His image and the pursuing of His will!
“The Reformation was a time when men went blind, staggering drunk because they had discovered, in the dusty basement of late medievalism, a whole cellar full of fifteen-hundred-year-old, two-hundred proof Grace–bottle after bottle of pure distilate of Scripture, one sip of which would convince anyone that God saves us single-handedly. The word of the Gospel–after all those centuries of trying to lift yourself into heaven by worrying about the perfection of your bootstraps–suddenly turned out to be a flat announcement that the saved were home before they started…Grace has to be drunk straight: no water, no ice, and certainly no ginger ale; neither goodness, nor badness, not the flowers that bloom in the spring of super spirituality could be allowed to enter into the case.” (Fr. Robert Farrar Capon – 1925-2013)