Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world. [Rome 12:1-2]
1. In order to support the construction of Saint Peter’s Basilica, the indulgences were for sale in the name of the Pope. The sale of indulgences was deeply justified and highly authorized. A myriad of people had purchased the indulgences in hopes of saving the souls of their loved ones. Through the sale of the indulgences, the Vatican had actually coerced people to commit the sins which had already been forgiven by Jesus and the Cross.
2. Interestingly, people in the Middle age thought the sale of the indulgences was simply a part of their life. People accepted this practice as a general trend. However, Luther cried “NO” against this corruptive practice. Jesus said, “All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.” Indeed, we ought to say ‘Yes’ to Yes-worthy matters, and ‘No’ to No-worthy matters.
3. “If people keep quiet, the stones will cry out”, said Jesus. Luther loudly and boldly cried ‘No’ to “the wrongdoings.” It happened 501 years ago on October 31st, 1517.
4. Wittenberg in Germany is a small city with about 50,000 people living in it. A new chapter of history was written in this small and seemingly insignificant city 501 years ago. The corrupted Middle age had halted, and the new era of the Gospel had begun. The protestant was established, and its name ‘protestant’ was given due to its endeavor of ‘protest’ against the Pope. The spirit of ‘protest’ is still strong and vibrant in the beliefs of the Protestant.
5. The Vatican didn’t just sit back and neglect Luther. Luther was summoned. Even today, the power of the Pope is absolute and unchallenged. The power of the Pope was strong enough to have a Roman emperor kneeled down for three consecutive days in the winter. Luther was to be sentenced to death by burning if convicted by the Vatican. Luther’s friends came up with an escape plan.
6. Luther, however, bravely stated, “I will go (to the Vatican) through the hostility and murderous-desire of every piece of materials in the Vatican.” Luther walked into the Vatican alone. I am certain that Jesus was walking right behind him.
7. This mere and local priest was standing before the Pope. He prayed to God, “Lord, Here I am. This is the only way I have. Please help me Lord.” God listened to his prayer. Luther walked out of the Vatican without being harmed. Luther was able to see the end of the 1,000-year old of the Middle age smudged and dirtied by the corruptions and abuse of powers. The new era was to begin.
8. Those who do not remember their past are condemned to repeat it. This is the reason why we must remember the past. We shall remember what happened 500 years ago, and choose our path. It’s time to take an action. The water in the pot has been heated.