a writing by Elizabeth Padillo Olesen


On every thirty first of October he is celebrated. It was this day, year 1517 when this German professor, theologian and priest started to launch the great reformation in the life of the church. A man known to have posted 95 theses at a door of a church, to bring an open revolt against the abuses and excesses of the church, he plays a role in world and church history.

He is remembered for challenging the authority of the Pope, placing the Bible as the source of authority in Christian life and work, influencing the need to translate the Bible into the language that people can understand. He comes with the revolutionary idea on priesthood of all believers, giving value to the work and function of all ordinary laywomen and laymen in equal footing with the ordained priests and ministers. He broke the vow of celibacy, allowing male priests to marry and start their own family.

It was more than 400 years ago that a man called Martin Luther emerged in the annals of our history. Now and then men and women of which ever status or calibre march forward to bring about dramatic or revolutionary changes into the stubborn and rigid systems and institutions. Others appear because they feel that something or someone higher than their power compels them to bring about change. Others are guided by their conscience or the simple whisper of their mind and heart. As long as societies and institutions reach a point of being so rigid and stubborn against what the ordinary folks understand and see as their purpose and destiny, there will always be men and women who will stand up like a new Martin Luther.

Written October 31, 2010

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