Culture

Why I Am a Protestant

By March 1, 2016 No Comments

University campuses have always been dangerous places. You never know where you might end up should you dare set foot on one. I doubt that Martin Luther had any inkling that one day his exercise of academic freedom (commingled with spiritual anguish) in the ancient university town of Wittenberg would set in motion a renewal movement that would change the church forever—both in its Protestant and Roman Catholic expressions.

Almost 500 years ago, Luther strode up to a large wooden door. Paused. Then unfurled a hand-written scroll. With a few swift strokes of a hammer, the nail bit into the door’s wood. There the scroll hung, curled slightly by the breeze.

It was a young professor’s invitation to seriously and publicly discuss a medieval Catholic doctrine that was tearing apart the fiber of his soul: salvation. What is repentance? How are we made right with God? What role does the church and, more specifically, the Pope play in granting the forgiveness of sins?

It was October 31, 1517—the beginning (if it could be called that) of what we today refer to as the Protestant Reformation. Many churches celebrate Luther’s bold action today (known too as All Hallows Eve or Halloween, of course). But it’s also fitting that Reformation Day falls right before All Saints’ Day (November 1), given that the Reformation emphasized, among other things, broadening ministry to those outside of ordered ministry (bishops, priests, or deacons) and religious vocations (those who belonged to a monastic order, as Luther himself did).

Read the rest of Jeff’s post HERE.

Jeff Gissing

Author Jeff Gissing

Jeff is director of discipleship at the First Presbyterian Church of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and a Teaching Elder in the Presbyterian Church (USA). He is married to Anna Moseley Gissing with whom he has two children, Nathan (6) and Eliza (4).

More posts by Jeff Gissing

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