Re­for­ma­tion of Chris­tian faith

Shepparton News - - NEWS - By Rhi­an­non Tuffield

St Paul’s Lutheran Church has cel­e­brated 500 years since Martin Luther in­spired the re­for­ma­tion of the Chris­tian faith.

It is some­thing church pas­tor Matt Anker de­scribed as a piv­otal point in west­ern his­tory, when Mr Luther sought to change a cul­ture within the church, which was plagued by cor­rup­tion and blurred lines be­tween church and state.

To­mor­row, it will have been 500 years since Mr Luther nailed his 95 the­ses to the door of a church in Wit­ten­berg, in­tent on re­form­ing what he be­lieved were wrongs within the the­olo­gian sys­tem.

Rev Anker said that then caused a dis­cus­sion which would even­tu­ally dis­rupt an en­tire so­ci­ety, which had never sep­a­rated faith from life.

‘‘There’s no doubt that there were so­cial im­pacts, but the pri­mary driver and mes­sage was a spir­i­tual one,’’ Rev Anker said.

‘‘Luther was des­per­ate to put the road of God in peo­ple’s hands, rather than hav­ing it locked up and con­trolled by the clergy. If you’re no longer con­trolled, it changes the way a per­son lives and dies.’’

Rev Anker said so­ci­ety could not com­pre­hend the scale of the Re­for­ma­tion, which had thrown the en­tire west­ern world into tur­moil.

‘‘His­to­ri­ans have said that the Re­for­ma­tion is the most sig­nif­i­cant event in the his­tory of west­ern civil­i­sa­tion in terms of ram­i­fi­ca­tions on the church but also on so­ci­ety,’’ he said.

‘‘If the Catholic Church went through some­thing of that scale again, given that they’re the big­gest Chris­tian church in the world, then the im­pli­ca­tions would be sig­nif­i­cant, but they wouldn’t im­pact so­ci­ety to the same ex­tent as it did back then.’’

Rev Anker said lo­cally the event was cel­e­brated ev­ery year as a con­stant re­minder and to recog­nise the con­stant re­form of staying true to the mes­sage of the church.

‘‘I think the cen­tral mes­sage of the Chris­tian faith hasn’t changed, but there’s this pres­sure to wa­ter it down and change it,’’ Rev Anker said.

‘‘But it’s about mak­ing sure we’re go­ing back to the cen­tral mes­sage and not mak­ing the church about some­thing else.’’

The Re­for­ma­tion event was held at the church yes­ter­day.

Those at­tend­ing en­joyed mu­sic, from the tra­di­tional hymns to mod­ern African tunes.

Re­flec­tion: St Paul’s Lutheran Church pas­tor Matt Anker re­flects on how Martin Luther in­spired the re­for­ma­tion of the Chris­tian faith.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.