Culture At Large

Martin Luther: The Good and The Bad

Jerod Clark

Happy Hallow…I mean Reformation Day.  Just 491 years ago, Martin Luther, upset at indulgences of the church, posted his 95 Theses on the Castle Church doors in Wittenberg, Germany setting the Reformation in motion.  His theology put importance on the Bible as the only infallible source of religious authority and the fact all baptized Christians have universal priesthood, meaning a direct relationship with God.

As Christians, I think we would agree the reformation was a good thing.  Luther did other great things in his life, including writing hymns and translating the Bible.  But along with the good came some bad.  Historians say Luther was an antisemite who believed Jews' homes should be destroyed, their synagogues burned and their money confiscated.  Luther showed compassion for Jews, according to historians, but only to try to convert them.

So where does that leave us?  Do you denounce a man who did great things because some of his personal beliefs were hateful?  In today's culture it's not uncommon to see the media focus on one part of a person's life and paint it as an extreme.  Actors, politicians and Joe the Plumber is either all good, or all bad.  But God sees all of us and all of our sides.  Even though we have bad pieces, can't God still use us for good?  After all, in Romans 3:23, the Bible says "For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard."

What do you think?

Topics: Culture At Large, Theology & The Church, Christmas & Easter