Happy Reformation Day!

As you may know, today is the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. I won’t go into all the history and details of the reformation, as there are many other knowledgeable sites with good information if you’re so inclined.

Today’s topic is actually better suited to John Wycliffe than Martin Luther, but I think they would share the same sentiment, along with a bit of Aldous Huxley.

Luther (and Wycliffe) was fighting against church officials and the rules they imposed. Not because they rules per se, but because they were not part of the Bible. Luther’s cause was to obey God, and if man’s rules didn’t comply with God’s then it was man’s rules that lost out.

The reformation started by Luther and continued by Wycliffe included putting God’s words in the hands of the people. Rather than needing a priest to tell the people what God thought, the people should read the scripture for themselves. The main point being that people should read the Bible for themselves, pray to God themselves, and generally interact with God directly rather than through a middleman.

Luther was known for writing songs that were to be sung by the congregation, rather than sung by a choir and heard by the congregation. Wycliffe was known for translating the Bible into the common language of the people, rather than keeping it in the fancy academic languages of Latin/Greek/Hebrew.

What do we see happening today? Rather than church leaders forbidding people to sing themselves or read their own Bibles for themselves, we have the Brave New World approach: have an entertaining worship band that is so loud that it doesn’t matter if the congregation sings or not, and put the Bible verses on the screen so the congregation doesn’t need to look in their own Bibles.

I don’t think it’s being done on purpose to make lazy/uninformed Christians, but it can get there pretty easily. Make things so convenient that congregants don’t need to practice any individual disciplines.

To throw a little bit of Orwell here (more Animal Farm than 1984), what’s to keep the pastor from rephrasing the verse he puts on the screen, to better make his point? What’s to keep him from dropping Bible verses from the slides after a while? Put something on a giant screen, and people will pay attention to it.

We’re coming full circle from the start of the reformation in that people are happy to have a middleman do the work of reading, singing, and praying for them so they don’t have to.

But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.”

Acts 5:29

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This little article thingy was written by Some Guy sometime around 6:33 am and has been carefully placed in the Current Events category.

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