|Luther Before the Diet of Worms, photogravure after the historicist painting by Anton von Werner (1843-1915) in the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Martin Luther his legacy, 500 years later, is 560 million Protestants across the globe, making up more than a third of the world’s Christians.
Religiously speaking, the Reformation led to the translation of the Bible into languages other than Latin, allowing many people to engage with scripture for the first time. It also brought an end to the controversial sale of "indulgences" — payments the Church said reduced punishment for sins after death, which Luther regarded as corrupt.
Universal education for girls and boys is one of the legacy which is not wiped out, but some of the early protestant teachings seem by many forgotten.
For the special anniversary Chancellor Angela Merkel, the daughter of a Lutheran pastor, has encouraged German churches to promote a narrative of unity over division in their celebrations. that unity which was not present 500 years ago seems to be very close.
Many protestants today are not any more exited or more interested in reading the bible than Roman Catholics. In several countries they also are not any more interested to go regularly to services. concerning doing good a big change entered in the vision of many. In Luther’s home country of Germany, 61 percent of Protestants believe good deeds are needed for salvation. In John Calvin’s Switzerland, 57 percent agree, as do 47 percent in Abraham Kuyper’s Holland.
In the united States we can find conservative protestants and fundamentalist protestants who think whatever they do wrong they shall be saved and going to heaven when they are baptised or so called 'reborn'. Half of American Protestants say that both good deeds and faith in God are needed to get into heaven (52%).
Lots of Americans are convinced they need pastors and churches. Some even believe how bigger the church how closer it is to the 'truth'. From those American protestants 52% believe that in addition to the Bible, we need guidance from church teachings and traditions, according to two studies released at the end of August by the Pew Research Center.
Pope Francis I considers this anniversary an
"opportunity to mend a critical moment of our history by moving beyond the controversies and disagreements that have often prevented us from understanding one another.”
Not long after Francis’ address, the Protestant Archbishop of Canterbury in England expressed remorse for the violence committed there in the name of the Reformation. Hundreds of churches and monasteries were demolished in the 1500s, and many people gruesomely killed, during England’s pained transition from Catholicism to Protestantism.
Since the 16th century and the tumultuous times that followed Protestant and Catholic relations have improved dramatically. At regular intervals we also can see protestants and Catholics bringing an ecumenical service. when we look at several protestant churches today we also find many which also have statues and paintings in the church depicting persons they call god or saints.
When in the 16th and 17th century so many tried to read the Bible and wanted to find the biblical Truth, today there are not many protestants really interested to examine certain dogma's or sayings by theologians. Most of them hold strongly to their denominational teachings, not giving it much thought.
Not many probably would mind if their church comes closer to other churches of the Protestant or Catholic Faith as long as they can keep to their traditions.
From that perspective the attitude of the general public has become passive not to say the least. And those who are still active in church, most often do not want to think to examine the things they are taught by their denomination.
Whilst 500 years ago many where pleased to spend a lot of time reading the Bible, today there are not so much people really interested and that reflects also in protestant services where is less given time for the word of God and where is spend more time and attention to the entertainment factor of the service.
Today we can use some preachers who are willing to take up the task given by Jesus, to proclaim the Kingdom of God. We can use a new awakening.
Read more about it:
- Followers, protestors and reformers
- A New Reformation
- Trying to Get Rid of Holy Days for a Long Time
- 8 Reasons Christian Holidays Should Not Be Observed