Reformation of Christian faith
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.