Feast of the Reformation (October 31)   Leave a comment

Martin Luther 01--Church Door

Above: Martin Luther nailing the 95 Theses to the church door

I grew up United Methodist in southern Georgia, U.S.A.  Hence my upbringing and initial theological formation was Protestant.  Interest in church history led toward Rome as an adolescent and young adult.  Yet, still being Protestant, I could not cross the Tiber River.  I have now been an Episcopalian longer than I was a United Methodist, and I have no regrets.

The Protestant Reformation was a necessary corrective to abuses and excesses within Roman Catholicism.  The Vatican, to its credit, has recognized and apologized for many of these.  Yet indulgences remain, only for free.  (Go figure!) Nevertheless, the Protestant Reformation had some excesses of its own.  Curtailing the sacramental and liturgical life of the church constituted throwing out the baby with the bath water.

So, here I am.  I speak of seven sacraments, transubstantiation, and apostolic succession.  I revere Mary, Mother of God.  Yet much of my Protestant upbringing remains active within me, and most of my favorite theologians are Anglican, Lutheran, or Reformed.  I have an ecumenical orientation, borrowing freely from various Christian traditions.  No single church is the true one; there is no true church, in the human institutional ecclesiastical sense.  And Christianity will be better off when more Christians realize this fact.

KRT

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Almighty God, gracious Lord, we thank you that your Holy Spirit renews the church in every age.  Pour out your Holy Spirit on your faithful people.  Keep them steadfast in your word, protect and comfort them in times of trial, defend them against all enemies of the gospel, and bestow on the church your saving peace, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Jeremiah 31:31-34

Psalm 46

Romans 3:19-28

John 8:31-36

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Posted September 4, 2009 by neatnik2009 in October

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