Luther didn’t wear a mask

On October 31, roughly 492 years ago, when he brazenly tacked his 95 “points for discussion” to the church door, Martin Luther wasn’t wearing a mask or disguise.

Today is Halloween for most western countries (maybe eastern too) and at its root in 2009 it is a celebration of commercial sales and promotional success.  It will be feared by many in the Christian community, but the fear of the demonic is largely miss-directed towards the past when it should be directed toward the present dangers of the monetary idols that drive Halloween and similar events of the 21st century. Those are much more soul damming than what is focused upon in the past.

So, what about my opening statement?

Martin Luther did what he did not because he was trying to split or destroy the church but because he wanted to bring it back to the truth of Scripture. Division only occurred because the church could not turn back from its path away from the truth and into the world – a division that continues today.

Luther was driven by the work of the Spirit, showing him that all of the apparent means of salvation and sanctification available to him outside of the Word and Christ alone were not only insufficient, but potentially or presently corrupt – of the flesh not the Spirit.

He came to this state and his subsequent actions as himself, Martin Luther, plain and simple. All the rest that followed – reformer, crusader, divider et al – were by-products, and in terms of him, irrelevant.

If we are in the Beloved –  signed, sealed and delivered from before the foundations of the world (Ephesians 1:4) – then is it not our role also to come as ourselves? By that I mean that we stand, as Paul, for Christ and Him crucified, and nothing else, driven by the compulsion of the conviction given to us through a heart turned from the world by the work of the Spirit applying the grace of God. No props and no add-ons.

Yet in the reality of modern life, plans, actions, activities and such, we often stand for and present conviction in the things of the world. Some of those things may be wonderful things – church, family, good work – but they are not Christ and Him crucified alone. As such, they are completely irrelevant to our place in eternity and to the singular message which we are to champion.

Let us remain focused (even obsessed) with the only legitimate conviction, that of our faith in Christ and His truth in the Gospel, that we will be driven as Luther was, to the Word and its Truth beyond all else. Let us not wear a mask of the world as we walk in it.

And to Him be all the glory…


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