The title of an article in the News Letter (January 23) on the joint Lutheran and Roman Catholic “commemoration” of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017 requires the change of the first letter of its first word.
Instead of ‘Reformation brings churches together’, it is the “deformation” of Lutheranism that unites them with Rome in common prayers. Rome still holds the theology against which Martin Luther thundered – indulgences, purgatory, the papacy, prayers to the saints, Mariolatry, the mass, etc. Salvation is by faith and human merit, according to Rome, with man’s will (not God’s) being the decisive factor, so that, without a direct, divine revelation, no one can be sure of their salvation for true children of God can fall away and perish!
But for Martin Luther and historic Lutheranism, justification is by faith alone in Christ alone through grace alone to the glory of God alone according to Scripture alone. Yet most of modern Lutheranism has rejected the Spirit of the Lord for the spirit of the age, and jettisoned its biblical and confessional teaching regarding God’s Word, creation, marriage, original sin, the sole mediation of Jesus Christ, salvation, the true and the false church, etc. Some 500 years after Luther’s gospel breakthrough, deformed Lutheranism commemorates the Reformation it no longer believes, along with unreformed Rome which sought to kill the Reformer and desires to end the Reformation!
Rev Angus Stewart, Covenant Protestant Reformed Church, Ballymena