Almost 500 years ago, a Roman Catholic priest posted a community notice on the door of his church. He listed a series of objections to what was going on around him. Religious leaders traded spiritual truth for political influence. The church was mired in moral decay. Politics had become the game of the rich and connected. Truth was twisted to justify their corrupt “man” as God’s saving answer. Money was the driving purpose among his fellow churchmen, so that even Heaven was a commodity to be bought and sold.
The young priest became public enemy #1. Both religious and civil authorities banded together to silence the man. Governments stifled his freedom of speech; religionists claimed a prophetic imprimatur on their own power. Long-time friends abandoned and even betrayed him. He was bullied and threatened to conform.
He was subjected to the courts of public opinion, religious intolerance, and civil jurisprudence. He was told to either support their chosen leader and his platform or suffer.
He refused to submit. Instead he appealed to a pure conscience informed by the Word of God. He would not cast his vote for evil. He would not bend to pressure but bow only before the mind of God revealed in the Scriptures.
Our boasting is this: the testimony of our conscience that we conducted ourselves in the world in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom but by the grace of God, and more abundantly toward you (2 Corinthians 1:12).
On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther’s one-man protest became the Protestant Reformation.