Last night I watched a documentary about Martin Luther. I would not have liked to have met Luther. He was very intense and “in your face.” I would have found him quite overwhelming. I’m sure it was his ambition “to live a quiet life” (1 Thessalonians 4:11) however God had other ideas. Whilst living as a monk those in authority over him decided he was being too introspective so they gave him a teaching appointment. Luther, like everything he did, threw himself into it with 100% effort, which meant he spend a lot of time studying Scripture in order to teach it. Of course, in time, he realized “the just will live by faith” (Romans 1:17) not by obeying church rules or performing rites. The reformation was born.
Still Luther carried a lot of baggage from a strict upbringing and an anti-Sematic culture. Some say it was the seeds of his ideas that led Hitler to abuse the Jews in the Second World War. So in some areas his teaching was quite unbiblical, which makes me wonder how much baggage am I carrying? If Luther for all his good teaching could still be very wrong in some areas then how many of my ideas about God, the church, the Christian life, are cultural, rather than Scriptural?
Fortunately God isn’t finished with us yet and we are all a work in process. We are constantly being transformed by the renewing of our minds as we allow God to challenge our ideas. This happens as we exposed ourselves to the Word of God, to prayer, and to listening to other Christians (present and past).