Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Reformation Sunday... Day of Prayer for Christian Unity?

In Daniel’s Small Church, there are a great many people who inexplicably feel the need to celebrate “Reformation Sunday”. In case you didn’t know, it’s this weekend (the last Sunday in October).

For the life of me, I cannot cipher out why people think this is an occasion to celebrate. A run-down of what happened:

  • Monk posts “points for discussion” on the door of the church (which, culturally, at the time, was like “the town bulletin board”). (These points, admittedly, contained some valid concerns that needed to be discussed...)
  • Some people (probably the ones who were behaving badly anyway) got offended, and accused him of heresy.
  • Some arguing happens, during which men allow their pride to get the better of them. Rather than actually settling things, they part company (on rather bad terms).
  • The entire Western World spends the next half a century going completely crazy.
  • When the dust settles, the Church, the body of Christ, is sorely injured. The integrity of her witness in the world is severely impaired.
  • The Catholic Church, having reflected on the roots of the Reformation (before Luther), spends some time standardizing things like the liturgy, the sacraments, and education for priests, but by that point, it is too late to fix things.
In my mind, the entire thing went down exactly the way the Devil would have wanted it. Christians killing other Christians, all the while both sides believing with all their heart that they were serving God and killing worthless heretics whose condemnation was richly deserved.

And in the aftermath, he’s gotten a great deal of what he wanted:
  1. We claim to be God’s Children - and therefore brothers and sisters in Christ, but we don’t act like much of a family.
  2. We all claim to speak on his behalf and we quote from his word, but we all say different things - many of which are mutually exclusive “truths”.
  3. We hate one another.
  4. We fight with each other.
  5. We try to evangelize sheep out from under each other.
The Body of Christ is no longer focused on fighting evil, we’re focused on fighting each other.

Reformation Sunday is no occasion to celebrate. If you’re that desperate to mark Reformation Sunday, it should be with great sorrow.

I would propose that the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is mistimed. It unfortunately happens to coincide with Row v. Wade, and most people are much more focused on the March for Life. It would be much better timed if it coincided with Reformation Sunday - the anniversary of something that precipitated one of the greatest collective mistakes in Christian history.

If you really want to observe Reformation Sunday - spend the week before it fasting and praying for the reunion of all Christians. It is God’s plan for Christians that we should all be one, just as he is one with the father. Just because our sin-darkened minds are unable to see the pathway back to unity does not mean that it is not part of God’s plan.

Blessed Maria Gabriella Sagghedu, pray for us!

Sorry, guys! I thought this was scheduled to post yesterday, and didn't realize it hadn't posted! oops!

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