Imperfect Heroes

Wednesday, November 1    

The early church fathers that God used to build his Church were just like us—devoted redeemed sinners.  They fought and died for the truth, but they made plenty of mistakes.  They could be disdainful of other, selfish, stubborn, vengeful, and even unrepentant.  They obviously had a good sized chunk of the sin nature still alive and well.  But God still used them.  The reformers were no different.  They agreed on the core issue—returning to Biblical truth—but they fought over many specific issues.  Zwingli and Luther agreed on one thing—kill the Anabaptists.  When they tried to reconcile their differences, they finally agreed on 14 of the 15 points of contention but could not agree on the Eucharist issue.  Luther adamantly stuck with the RCC view that the bread and wine became the actual flesh and blood of Christ—based on John 6:53-56.  Zwingli thought it was symbolic, so Luther condemned him as a tool of the Devil.  So Luther was a normal human being, and a godly man—but not impeccable.  God doesn’t abandon us for failures, nor does he overlook them.  But what’s important is that he uses imperfect people such as Luther and Zwingli—by design.  He chose fishermen and a tax collector as his close disciples, men that would guide the early Church—so that no one could boast.  God did it and he deserves  all the honor.  So it was with the reformers:  ordinary men and a sovereign God.  So while we recognize Luther’s important part in the Protestant Reformation, let us glorify God, not Luther.

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