These three names are associated with the great reformation that took place in the 1500’s. They made a plea for reform in the established church and were willing to stake their lives on what they believed the bible taught. It is from them we get the term sola scriptura, which in English means the Bible only. They discounted tradition, church fathers, and the pope as authorities in the do’s and don’ts of religion.
The sad thing about their work is the division that arose among themselves. They all believed in using the Bible as their only source of revelation but they could not agree on what the Bible said. The results were protestant churches which could not work together. Angry words and even fights broke out.
In 2017 we are as divided as ever and no one knows how to bring us to unity. We have the best Greek text ever and the most educated theologians ever and we can’t come to a consensus of what the text means.
Like the Catholic Church of the reformers day we have developed hundreds of years of traditions and we seem very reluctant to shed those. In addition we have developed our own set of church fathers whose writings are viewed as gospel. Beyond that we are reluctant to allow someone else to be in control whom we may or may not agree with. We are definitely in need of some modern day reformers. Is there a Luther in the house?
Most of our differences are not about the main point that arose in the Reformation, “What must we do to be saved?” The number of answers to this question is not that large but we cannot sit down together and discuss it because we would rather discuss doctrine and church order and our traditions.
It should be possible for us to take the word of God and ask that question and find biblical answers even if we have to resort to the best Greek text to do it. Once we have the possible answers we can approach them one at a time and discuss the pros and cons of each. Supposed we discovered that total agreement is not possible? Would that mean that as believers in Jesus we could not work together to tell the world of the savior? Why not? Once we get past the trappings and dressings we are all pretty much the same and that is true in Christianity as well. Splintered we will never get job one done.
I think we can disagree on music but agree on Jesus. Disagree on communion but agree on Jesus. Disagree on the end times but agree on Jesus. Disagree on church government but agree on Jesus. I think I made my point.
Believers in Jesus, forget your traditions and interpretations for a couple of years and concentrate on spreading the good news that God so loved the world. I’m ready.