502 years ago today, the history of the church, of Europe, and of the western world were forever changed in the town of Wittenberg Germany. Martin Luther wrote his 95 theses, a list of grievances against corrupt and unbiblical practices within the Catholic Church. The impact of this event continues to ripple throughout the Christian world.
Luther was not the first person to call for reform in the church.
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Every other year, LifeWay research and Ligonier Ministries conduct a “State of Theology” survey. In last year’s survey, they asked 3,000 professing Christians various questions regarding faith, theology, and values.
Results of the survey were not very encouraging.
Just to give a couple of examples.
52% of respondents agreed with the statement “everyone sins a little but most people are good by nature.” 51% agreed with the statement: “God accepts the worship of all religions, including Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.”
What this is saying is that we have one body but our body has many parts to it.
In 1 Corinthians 12, the Apostle Paul gives a fantastic illustration for the church. It functions like a human body. Everyone in the church is part of the body and has a purpose within the body. If a part of the body is unhealthy or is not functioning properly, that effects the rest of the body.
A Methodist Church in North Carolina is protesting the recent vote within their denomination which kept traditional marriage the official policy of the UMC denomination. In response, Calvary United Methodist Church hosted “drag me to church,” which the church described as “a family friendly drag performance.”
Calvary pastor Chris Agoranos said, “It brings such good and positive energy, which is really what we wanted this to be about,”