Ever hear the famous quote, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” from philosopher George Santayana? Of course you have. In fact, we’re all going to get sick if we hear it one more time. But despite our awareness of this principle, we constantly continue to prove its truthfulness.
I’ve been harping on the Reformation lately and the article below prompts me to harp a little bit more. Many of us blissfully head off to church on Sunday mornings to worship the Lord and to be taught from His Word. And most of us take it completely for granted. But millions of Christians suffered and died so that we could also have the opportunity to hear the Gospel of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone. Brothers and sisters in the Lord gave up their lives so that we can have God’s Word in our own language and be able to freely assemble and worship with our fellow believers. We evangelicals have a heritage of faith, sacrifice, and forthrightness that most of us are only vaguely aware of. Sure, we’ve heard of Martin Luther and maybe John Calvin but that’s pretty much it.
The recent article below provides some information on ten of the lesser-known Reformers that I found interesting. Christians with a Baptist background may also be interested in the Reformers, John Smyth and Roger Williams. Many Christians are moving toward an ecumenical union with Rome where doctrine will be disregarded and the Gospel will be betrayed and the only important thing will be to “just love Jesus.” Few these days care about the Protestant Reformers and the saving Gospel truths they stood for and, in some cases, died for. Few care to understand what exactly the Reformers were protesting against (and for) in regards to Catholicism. Few consider the dangers 16th century believers faced when they stood up to the institutional, authoritarian church. Many of today’s believers hear Rome talk about God, Jesus, grace, and faith and think, “Hey, we’re on the same team!”
“Those who cannot remember the past…”
It’s not my goal to venerate the leaders of the Reformation. They were just sinful men saved by God’s grace through faith in Christ alone and used by the Lord to proclaim His glorious Gospel. Soli Deo Gloria! All Glory to God!
“And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest questioned them, saying, “We strictly charged you not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and you intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.” But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.” – Acts 5:27-29
10 lesser-known Protestant Reformers