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12 Things You Didn’t Know About The Protestant Reformation

by Bradley Matthews

From the Puritans to today’s Christian Right, Protestantism has played a huge role in America’s cultural and political history. 2017 marks the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, initiated by Martin Luther when he wrote his 95 Theses and nailed them to the door of All Saints Church in Wittenberg. 

Martin Luther


Since then, the Christian faith has gone through a variety of change and sparked a wide ranging series of debates which continue to this day. In celebration of a half a millennium of the Protestant Reformation, Benjamin Wiker has written The Reformation 500 Years Later. The book explores the most important concepts and events of the Protestant Reformation, debunks people’s historical misconceptions, and shows us what the Reformation can teach us in the modern day.

Here are 12 things you need to know about the Protestant Reformation — read our list to learn more!


  1. Phillip S Fivgas

    #4) Again partial truth…FALSE! Luther was a “sinner”, “born-again” and used of God. He was one of the Reformers that stood by the fact that God’s Word was the sole authority in human life, relationships, and who God was and how He was to be worshipped. The Reformers called this “sola Scriptura.” Luther stood against the Rome church and its leaders pointing out that salvation is through faith alone (“sola fide”), by grace alone (“sola gratia), in Christ alone (“solo Christo”). And that is all to the glory of God (“soli Deo gloria”). Which the Roman church to this day has “anathema” (condemned to hell). Martin Luther had no power outside of Jesus Christ to bring about the “Christian Reformation” that benefitted all of mankind. Others were used also that preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
    #3) Hmmm…Half-Truth, False! The printing press was a blessing that benefitted God’s people, Christians (“like Christ”), and of course the “unrighteous” also but it is still a blessing to Christians and has been used by the “unrighteous” for “evil” purposes, not a curse to the “born-again”. If Luther were here today he would tell you it wasn’t “his message” that he was trying to get out, to convey to the whole world, it was His, the Lord Jesus Christ’s story. HIS…STORY! Philip Schaff, in his History of the Christian Church Volume 1, made it very evident that in order to truly understand human history you must be able to see Jesus Christ in the beginning, middle, and end of all of History. “Secular history, far from controlling sacred history, is controlled by it, must directly or indirectly subserve its ends, and can only be fully understood in the central light of Christian truth and the plan of salvation.” (General Introduction, Section 1, Paragraph 3). The Christian Bible is the most conservative book ever written and published. It is in fact printed more than any book in history. It is understood to have been used and quoted most often in the discussion, debate, and writing of the US Constitution, more than any other single writing or author. And yes, the printing press as well as the electronic devices we have today in the hands of the “unregenerate” will be used to convey “evil” messages.
    #2) Jesus said, “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you.” (John 15:18) Jesus goes on in this dialog to state, “But they have done this to fulfill the word that is written in their Law, ‘They hated Me without a cause’. (John 15:25) Again, Christianity has been under attack from the beginning of time and so has the attempt to destroy His Holy Word. We should be reminded the Soviet Unions constitution Article 71 which states that worship of Jesus Christ was “illegal”. The same communist-socialist mindset in the Left, Liberal, Democrat of today, is to remove the Word of God from the public market place, replace it with the “STATE POLITICALLY CORRECTED PROPAGANDA MEDIA” and erase Christianity by taking their property and wealth, The USSR failed at this but the “Divided States of America” may try it again.
    #1) Again, another Half-Truth, False! Again, thw word Protestant was a slur word used to identify “born-again” Christians in those days as the Roman church still clings to saying it is Christian while worshipping and praying to Mary, and calling a man in the Vatican, Holy Father, etc.

    It was a Christian Reformation, not protesting Christians. But humans claiming Christ for themselves to cover their “evil” and “sin” for power and wealth in the world were not “born-again”. God uses these things still today to cleanse His church and because the “unregenerate” cannot discern these things, (as already mentioned), sin continues on to do “evil” but God will always prevail and so will His Word. He is the Almighty. We pray that He will show pity and mercy to this dark and perishing world. This is our Hope of an eternal salvation, the Joy that is unspeakable, the Peace that passes all understanding, Faith that is unmoveable, Heavenly Wisdom, and the “supernatural love” (AGAPE) that we desire as Christians. AMEN! PTL!

    November 2, 2017,6:03 pm

  2. Phillip S Fivgas

    #7) Half-Truth, FALSE! Muhammed hated idols, statues of people, but his hatred towards Christians and Jews was not what the response of Jesus Christ calls for in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. The command to Christians, (those that are “like Christ”), is to love them and pray for them. This in no way relegates or releases government from its purpose to protect the people from “evil”, which murder is. Constantinople stood by itself surrounded by the hateful Ottoman Empire bent on taking over the world, by God’s grace and mercy alone. God used these calamities to move navigators to find ways to earn money for war against their “evil”, while at the same time carrying with them “false doctrine” and human sinfulness. As the “Christian Reformation” grew into England, and the common people began to read and hear the Christian Bible, they found many inaccuracies in its preaching, teaching, and worship of Jesus Christ, the True and Living God, in standing and misdirected church. Being persecuted and exiled they would later collaborate and enjoin themselves to “adventurers” (what we call entrepreneurs today), who with the permission of the king, were given “self-governing” conditions in a foreign land called the New World, in order to do business while worshipping the Lord Jesus Christ by His Holy Scriptures. This was the beginning of these United States. The wealth was again the benefit of both “good” and “evil”. Note that during this time not “all” of Christian Europe had been “reformed”. That would include almost all of Southern Europe. In other words, these people were not exposed to the Word and the Holy Spirit working in their hearts to become “born-again” believers in Jesus Christ. To this day and forever the Word divides the “True” and the “False” Christians inside the church. “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Hebrews 5:12)
    #6) Half-truth, false! Yeah, the “evil” take over of property and war that goes with it focused on the “unregenerate” kings and lords but “true Christianity” does not focus on “nationalism” and identifying with a specific government (STATE) or peoples. Christians know that they are first citizens of heaven. “For many walk…that they are enemies of the cross of Christ, whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their minds on earthly things. For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ…” (Philippians 3:18-21) God uses persecution and calamity for His own purpose to glorify Himself. And yeah, the “unrighteous” benefit from His “righteous” acts. He is the “True Sovereign”.
    #5) Half-Truth, False! Hmmm…true they are sinners, exploiting everything they could for power and wealth but the Truth never changes, slumbers, or sleeps. The Lord Jesus Christ, is the same “yesterday, today, and forever”. True, its all about “SELF” (biggest problem in all the world) to the “unregenerate” world. They hate God and His purpose. They love the world and the things of this world.

    November 2, 2017,5:22 pm

  3. Phillip S Fivgas

    Forgive me but we must contradict the continuing “misinformation” that is many times put out by “unregenerate”, “unbelieving” persons, who think they understand history and Christianity.

    On item #12: Wrong, the Reformation (Christian Reformation) is not at an end and never will be until Christ returns. The True Church of Jesus Christ will be people “reforming” until Christ returns. All people are sinners. The church today is full of “unregenerate”, unbelievers in the essentials of the Christian doctrine, (virgin birth, Trinity, inerrancy and authority of Holy Scriptures. etc. etc.). And the Romans calling themselves Catholics (universal) absolutely do not believe the Christian Bible as the Word of God, (i.e. they pray and worship Mary and call a man Holy Father).
    #11) Half-True, so it is “false”. The church cannot “reform itself”. It is only “reformed” by God’s grace and election, through Jesus Christ, not through the decisions and works of sinful people. Yes, for “unregenerate” humans God has caused renewals and what people call changes in social behavior and codified human legal rules but basically “nothing is new under the sun” and people are all still sinners going to hell unless the Lord God Almighty changes them. As the so-called church of Jesus Christ was overtaken by non-“born-again” peoples, who were not convicted of sin, the righteousness of Jesus Christ, and the judgement to come through the Holy Spirit, as read and/or heard from the Christian Bible, (and that for God’s purpose to glorify Himself as Holy, Righteous, Perfect, and Almighty), God raised up men, such as Luther, to stand against the apostate church that had developed into the “legal” system of government. Christianity had become a religion of “legal” and “compulsory” obligation to those governing. Christianity is not “obligatory”, “compulsory”, “forced”, or governed by “tyrants”, calling themselves a “vicar” of Christ. Jesus Christ has no “substitute” and is not represented by others, especially created beings. He is God in the Flesh, “incarnate”. He was conceived “supernaturally”, by the Holy Spirit (God). One with the Father and His Holy Spirit. Eternal and Immutable, Omnipotent. Nothing created is like Him. He was never created. He is eternal and unchanging. There is no “sin” in Him.
    #10) This is true because it shows the thorough sinfulness and “depravity” of people. God’s promise of eternal salvation is not based on ownership of land, or worldly-earthly positions or conditions of people. God is not a respecter of persons and owes nothing created HIs grace. Grace means “unmerited favor”. People cannot buy or earn God’s grace. It needs to be pointed out at this point that there are 5 principles called the Doctrines of Grace that John Calvin brought out in answering Jacob Arminius. These point out that God PREDESTINED all things to happen for His purpose to glorify Himself. It is understood that 3/4 of the population of the 13 colonies that would become these United States believed in or were taught “predestination”. It was one of the principles behind the Christian Reformation and later the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States. It also points out that nobody has to agree with the Framers or be a Christian either. If you don’t like it just keep to the law.
    #9) Half-True, so it is “false”. Again, this statement shows peoples “depravity” and “inability” to move on or towards God. Created beings that are “sinners” are described in the Christian Bible as, “blind, lame, and dead”. Thus, it is said that an “unregenerate” person is, “A walking dead person.” “There are none righteous, not even one.” (Romans 3:9) This includes the Bishop of Rome, also calling themselves “Holy Father”, in contempt of God Himself. This statement (#9) also shows that “unregenerate” people, without God’s Word and Holy Spirit cannot discern, distinguish, or understand the things of God. “But the natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.” (1 Corinthians 2:14) A point here is that the Christian Bible began to printed in the common languages of people and the invention of the printing press, to God’s praise and glory.
    #8) Half-Truth, “false” again. Atheism never benefits from anything. It is a person lying to themselves about a Divine Creator/Being. To the “born-again” believer in Jesus Christ an “atheist” is lying to themselves. Polls taken show that 95% of all people believe there is a “Supreme Being”. The 5% that claim atheism fall to this statement in God’s Word, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them, for God made it evident to them…so that they are without excuse.” (Romans 1:18-20) The fact that the Word of God divided the “unregenerate” goats from the “flock of God” (God’s True Church) doesn’t stop God’s “common grace” upon all people and to carry out His purpose to glorify Himself through a “reformation”. The True Church of Jesus Christ is always “reforming” and God uses “calamity” and “evil” (sin) to accomplish His purposes, even to cleanse the church. “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven, for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” (Matthew 5:44-45) “Common grace” does not equate with “saving grace” or “special grace”. It is not earned or bought by people, it is a gift of God’s to undeserving sinners.

    November 2, 2017,4:58 pm

  4. Robert Half

    500 years and 59,000+ disagreeing, debating, denying, dissipating and diluting sects, not one of which can agree with the next, while the Catholic Church celebrates over 2,000 years of existence, no matter what the world has thrown against Her. But you want to be both Pope and Magisterium, as Luther did by unilaterally exorcisibg 7 books from the canon of the BibLe which was decided in the 4th century by the Council of Rome. And you believe Luther?,,

    August 30, 2017,2:18 am

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