Thursday, November 01, 2007


REFORMATION DAY

(I sent out my annual Reformation Day letter, but forgot to post it. So, here is this year's version, a day late. Most of my readers don't celebrate All Saints Day anyway.

490 years ago Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses on the door of the Wittenberg Church. The Reformation began. We still need reformation today.
Thesis 95 said “and let them thus be more confident of entering heaven through many tribulations rather than through a false assurance of peace”. This is relevant today when many false prophets teach that peace, success, wealth and health are guaranteed for those who follow Christ and give money to his supposed ministers. Protestantism is overrun with the Prosperity Gospel. Faith healers fill stadiums and television air time. Everywhere we turn we hear the message that your best life is now, that you have a champion in you, and that Jesus came to bring you earthly happiness, riches and success.
Yet, Jesus told us we would not have our best life in this world, but in the world to come. In fact, he told us not to pursue riches and comforts in this world. Jesus said not to lay up treasures on earth. He spoke of the deceitfulness of riches.
Jesus also told us that his followers would not have peace on this earth. He knew the world hated him and would hate his followers. If anyone deserved the best life Jesus had to offer, would it not be his disciples? Yet, he told them “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name's sake.” (Matthew 24:9) He said we would have tribulation in this world.
Luther’s words ring true to those of Jesus. We will enter through many tribulations rather than peace. Yet, we are blessed for any suffering we have. Jesus said, in Luke 6:22, “Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man!”
The Prosperity Gospel in all of its manifestations and permutations is not the true gospel. It is a false gospel from false prophets. It must be opposed. Reformation must be ongoing.
As you know, this is but one of many false doctrines circulating through the church. The church, more than ever, needs those who know the Word and stand for it.
So, while others are celebrating Halloween, celebrate instead something that is crucial to us, the example of a humble man who studied the Word of God, understood its truth, and stood for it though king and pope tried to kill him for it, just as Jesus said they would. Semper Reformanda.


And now, on a lighter note, and thanks to the Seminary Daughter, I give you the Reformation Polka.

THE REFORMATION POLKA

by Robert Gebel

[Sung to the tune of "Supercalifragilistic-expialidocious"]

When I was just ein junger Mann I studied canon law
While Erfurt was a challenge, it was just to please my Pa.
Then came the storm, the lightning struck, I called upon Saint Anne, I shaved my head, I took my vows, an Augustinian!
Oh...

Papal bulls, indulgences, and transubstantiation Speak your mind against them and face excommunication!
Nail your theses to the door, let's start a Reformation!
Papal bulls, indulgences, and transubstantiation!

When Tetzel came near Wittenberg, St. Peter's profits soared,
I wrote a little notice for the All Saints' Bull'tin board:
"You cannot purchase merits, for we're justified by grace!
Here's 95 more reasons, Brother Tetzel, in your face!"
Oh...

Papal bulls, indulgences, and transubstantiation Speak your mind against them and face excommunication!
Nail your theses to the door, let's start a Reformation!
Papal bulls, indulgences, and transubstantiation!

They loved my tracts, adored my wit, all were exempleror;
The Pope, however, hauled me up before the Emperor.
"Are these your books? Do you recant?" King Charles did demand, "I will not change my Diet, Sir, God help me here I stand!"
Oh...

Papal bulls, indulgences, and transubstantiation Speak your mind against them and face excommunication!
Nail your theses to the door, let's start a Reformation!
Papal bulls, indulgences, and transubstantiation!

Duke Frederick took the Wise approach, responding to my words,
By knighting "George" as hostage in the Kingdom of the Birds.
Use Brother Martin's model if the languages you seek, Stay locked inside a castle with your Hebrew and your Greek!
Oh...

Papal bulls, indulgences, and transubstantiation Speak your mind against them and face excommunication!
Nail your theses to the door, let's start a Reformation!
Papal bulls, indulgences, and transubstantiation!

Let's raise our steins and Concord Books while gathered in this place,
And spread the word that 'catholic' is spelled with lower case;
The Word remains unfettered when the Spirit gets his chance, So come on, Katy, drop your lute, and join us in our dance!
Oh...

Papal bulls, indulgences, and transubstantiation Speak your mind against them and face excommunication!
Nail your theses to the door, let's start a Reformation!
Papal bulls, indulgences, and transubstantiation!
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