This morning I was reading The 95 Theses written by Martin Luther in 1517. As I read it, I was filled with such a strong feeling of God and his dealings with his children throughout time.
For those who aren’t familiar with Martin Luther, he was a monk in Germany in the early sixteenth century. In a trip to Rome, he climbed the Scala Sancta to free his grandfather from purgatory. (These “Holy Stairs” are still there in Rome. I saw them while I was there, though we didn’t take the time to climb them.)
As he reached the top of the stairs, he felt so strongly that it wasn’t right that we would have to pay money and do this act in order to free his grandfather. This was a spark that directed him for the rest of his life. He taught that people don’t buy their way out of purgatory. They believe in and follow Christ.
Luther didn’t have intentions of starting a church. His motivation was to re-align the Roman Catholic Church to follow what was written in the Bible. However, the misaligned pope and cardinals felt the threat and tried to stop it. Luther eventually declared doctrine (e.g., 95 Theses) that more closely aligned with the Bible, he translated the bible to German so everyday people could read it rather than only listen to their priests. People were inspired. He was excommunicated from the church. Those who found comfort in the teaching of Luther formed the Protestant church that we know today.
Why does this apply to me and strengthen my testimony?
Luther encouraged people to think for themselves. He spurred Europe out of “The Dark Ages” and cracked the door open for light. Luther didn’t have authority, nor did he claim it. Some of his doctrine wasn’t correct because he leaned completely on understanding and not revelation. But the work that he did was absolutely critical in the exit from the Apostasy and the restoration of the Christ’s Church and His Priesthood. God started long, long ago so the proper foundation could be set by 1820 and he could begin the restoration of all things.
The story of Luther is amazing. There is much more than can be written in a blog post. Put the movie “Luther” in your Netflix queue and watch it. It’s great.