Reformation Day or Restoration Day?

October 26th, 2017 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized


October 31 marks the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther, a Catholic priest, presenting his “Ninety-Five Theses.” It delineated his differences with the church, particularly on salvation by faith only and authority of Scripture alone, as well cataloging the corrupt practices of the Roman Catholic Church at the time. This “Reformation” created the Protestant movement. (Reformation leaders also included John Calvin, John Huss, John Knox, William Tyndale and John Wycliffe.)

As a Protestant, I’m feeling a bit conflicted in the “celebration,” as I have much more in common with my Catholic friends in our love for Christ and his Church than I have differences .

Basic beliefs

Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and Protestant Christians share a common statement of faith—written well before the Catholic/Orthodox split in 1054 and the Reformation splinter in 1517. [Continue reading]

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2 Responses

  • Mary Hickey says:

    I agree that we should all work for restoration, even if it can’t be complete. Fighting other Christians is soooo 16th century! The real enemy is the one screaming outside and trying to shake down the gates. You know, the guy with the horns.

    BTW I’m a Catholic, an Apocrypha fan, and I wouldn’t touch a Bible that didn’t include Hebrews and James! (I forget what’s in Jude.) My background includes a lot of “recovering Baptist”, which now mostly just means we have a gigantic family Bible that nobody knows what to do with. And oh yeah, nobody smokes and almost nobody drinks or dances. I can’t remember the last time I bought an indulgence, or what I did with it.

  • I was raised in a Presbyterian Church, went through a period of agnosticism, atheism, dabbling in the local Unitarian fellowship, and late in life joined a Methodist church (not UMC). I also found a good deal of fellowship at a WELS Lutheran church, where I am definitely not eligible for communicant membership, because if I answered yes to all questions asked when the right hand of fellowship is offered, I would be lying. (A particularly bad occasion for lying in church). When I was young, I heard from the adults in my parents’ circle that Missouri Synod Lutherans think everyone is going to hell except them, even other Lutherans, and the Wisconsin Synod is even more exclusive. If I know this was the dreaded Wisconsin Synod I might never have set foot in this church, but a friend who lived around the corner invited me, and by the time I realized it, I had already learned that these were nice people who had no horns on their heads. Incidentally, they formally consider the Roman Catholic Church to be the whore of Babylon, but, they are happy to show videos of Roman Catholic members of a religious schools accreditation commission complimenting them on how well they live out their faith. I currently I coach the school’s chess team. My Protestant faith is more drawn from Wycliffe and Wesley than from Luther or Calvin, and Wycliffe, of course, lived and died a communicant Roman Catholic, albeit his bones were dug up and burned some decades later. So, late in life, I have concluded that different denominations serve different functions, just as the organs of the body serve different functions. The heart isn’t supposed to conform itself to the stomach, or the knee be a carbon copy of the spleen. When I first mentioned this, James Watkins observed that the ear should not be at war with the eye. Which is certainly true. Claims of exclusive dominion tend to promote strife. Being a bit relaxed about the fact that God will judge in his own way and his own time is not ipso facto apostasy. There is nothing inherent in Roman Catholic doctrine about selling indulgences… its the temptation of power that leads in that direction. I’ve been to mass a few times with an elderly Hispanic friend, and its a moving worship service, although I of course refrained from taking communion.



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