The Protestant Reformation DID NOT
Start with Luther and Calvin.
(A Celebration of the 490th Anniversay of the Protestant Reformation from Rome)
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Before you start to think, "What is Lane doing?! It's Reformation Day! This is what we're celebrating!", I want you to know that I am wholeheartedly grateful for what God did through Luther and Calvin and the reformation of the 1500's away from the errors of Rome. It is what needed to happen, and I am thankful God did so. The reason I am posting this with this heading is because I want everyone who reads this and who are celebrating Reformation Day to be reminded as to what exactly we are celebrating.
Luther and Calvin did not seek to start a new religion, and I'm not saying that because there are different ones that came about because of them but rather to shed light on exactly what the Reformation set out to do. Instead, what Luther, Calvin, and the other Reformers sought was to have a reformation back to the original apostolic church. There were many that came before them that sought reform from other establishments other than the Roman Catholic Church and held that the only way was to have a reformation back to what the true Church is built upon. This is what Luther and Calvin wanted. They were not seeking to have religions based on them and true Lutherans and Calvinists realize this. A reformation back to the apostolic church is exactly what true Lutheranism and Calvinism is. Spurgeon, who even wrote A Defense of Calvinism, said, "I would propose that the subject of the ministry in this house, as long as this platform shall stand, and as long as this house shall be frequented by worshipers, shall be the person of Jesus Christ. I am never ashamed to avow myself a Calvinist; I do not hesitate to take the name of Baptist; but if I am asked what is my creed, I reply - 'It is Jesus Christ'." Even Spurgeon was not ashamed to proclaim to be a Calvinist, but he knew the reason for reformation was "my creed... Jesus Christ". I believe that Martin Luther would be a bit dismayed if he were alive today and saw that there was a branch of protestantism that calls itself Lutheran because he did not want his name to be exalted, but rather the believers themselves to be reformed to the teachings of the early apostolic church. I'm not saying Lutherans do this, but it is the same as if you sought something unselfishly and later you found out that what you tried to reform people to put your name upon it. What I am talking of is an issue of humility which I believe Luther had according to his writings, and a person of humility does not wish to see their name to be exalted over others but instead, says things like, "I am least of all the apostles. I'm not even worthy to be called an apostle." (1Cor 15:9) One of humility does not seek his own glory, and Luther possessed great humility which is why I believe that he would be a bit bothered if he were alive to see a branch bearing his name the same as I believe Calvin would. The sole reason the reformation of the 1500's started was the sole reason Paul the Apostle was knocked off his horse: Jesus Christ. As we celebrate Reformation Day, let us not forget what Reformation is.
In summary, I am entirely grateful for what God did in the Protestant Reformation from Rome in the 1500's, but at the same, I believe even Calvin and Luther themselves would not want us to celebrate this day without realizing that the protest-ant attitude "against all spiritual wickedness in high places" did not start with Luther and Calvin originally. (Eph 6:12) Keeping this in perspective is the right way to celebrate Reformation Day today and everyday.
Along with this sermon, here is a lecture by John MacArthur called "Unmasking the Pope" to celebrate this day.