If people celebrate anything on 31st October it is Halloween. But some Christians remember 31st October as Reformation day. Why? What is Reformation day? Reformation day marks the official beginning of the Protestant Reformation when a monk, Martin Luther, nailed 95 theses (topics for discussion) on a church door on 31st October 1517.
What was the Protestant Reformation that came after this? The ‘Protestants’ were Christians who protested against the teachings of the Roman Catholic church and broke away to form their own churches.
What were the fundamental teachings of Roman Catholicism that the Protestants were against? The first teaching that the Protestants opposed was that the authority of the church may be found in the Bible and the traditions of the Roman Catholic church. Whereas the Protestants claimed that authority for believing anything is to be based upon the Bible alone.
The second teaching that the Protestants opposed was that salvation came by Christ’s death and the good works of the Christian. Whereas the Protestants said that trusting in Christ’s death was sufficient for a Christian to go to heaven. We don’t need to pay anything – Christ has paid it all!
The third teaching that the Protestants opposed was that salvation came by us deciding to be Christians. Whereas the Protestants said that God always made the first move – without the Holy Spirit regenerating us, we cannot repent and we cannot believe.
The fourth teaching that the Protestants opposed was that there are other mediators besides Christ for us, e.g. Mary. Whereas Protestants only recognise Christ as the one who intercedes with the Father for them.
The fifth teaching that the Protestants opposed was that man receives some glory for what he does. Whereas the Protestants believe that because God does everything (teaches us, pays for our sins, gives us salvation, and intercedes for us) he should receive all the glory. Man deserves no glory.
Drummoyne Baptist is a Protestant church and believes in still opposing these teachings of the Roman Catholic church. The 31st October 1517 was the beginning of a return to the Christianity that was taught by Jesus and the apostles. It is a day worth remembering.