All the liberties we take for granted today can be traced back to the courageous efforts of Martin Luther to reform Vaticanism.
Today marks 494 years since he dared to question the Whore of Babylon's original "buy your way into heaven" scam, more commonly known as indulgences. In the Dark Ages, STUPIDstition dominated the minds of men. What passed for truth in doctrine and practice was a skim-coating of very remotely Bible-based fairytales superseded in many instances by Papal Canon Law and baptized pagan dogma. The strategy of tyrants has varied little from this model: Keep the plebes confused, ignorant and in constant, varying degrees of fear, and you can keep them controlled. In place of the gracious and loving God and Father of Jesus Christ, "The Church" taught the masses they were too ignorant to understand the Word of God for themselves and must blindly trust the religious bureaucracy to tell them what to do in order to have "a hope of Heaven". This bureaucracy - not unlike religion today - taught God is fickle, you are evil and must pray - and above all PAY - to have your time in "Purgatory" reduced through a wide, ever varying array of "acts of contrition" and seasonal sales of indulgences (a modern equivalent is the constant appeals for money for various designer causes and ethical fads: It seems the more things change, the more they stay the same)!
Luther used the dogma of indulgences to reintroduce the people to the original, Biblical truths of salvation by grace and sanctification by believing God's Word (2 Thessalonians 2:13 & 14). He never meant to start another denomination, but because "the church" had gotten so in bed with the world through political power and corruption, there was no way to get God's Word to the people without separating, marking and avoiding (Romans 16:17 & 18, 2 Corinthians 6:14-16). There persists on the Earth what I like to call The Inaccurate Misconception, the premise that religion exists to help people know God, believe Him and live a more abundant life. A cursory overview of The Word reveals this premise to be as sound as our American fallacy of feeling that our government exists to provide everyone in the world a comfortable existence: Jesus Christ was not patting the religious leaders of Israel on the back in Matthew 24. Stephen's teaching in Acts 7 was as far removed from congratulatory of Judean responses to The Word throughout the nation's history. One may read through the prophets of the old testament and find a plethora of confrontations and reproof of the charlatans and false prophets that led God's ACTUAL chosen people to enslavement and destitution time and time again. Contemporary "Protestantism" is a similar cruel, inflated and bitter joke...So what are we to do if we want to - as individuals - be the best we can be?
Martin Luther asserted that "A simple layman armed with Scripture was greater than the mightiest Pope without it", so there and there alone can we find answers - especially in the Church Epistles: These are written directly to and for us. Just because the world around us rejoices in weakness, foolishness and (many times, willful) ignorance of God and His Word doesn't mean we can't experience our own personal "reformation"; a betterment of our selves and our lives by our own choice.
It'll help you think about what you are thinking about and direct yourself to personal success and victory.
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