What John Can Learn From Martin

As we approach this weekend’s celebration of “Reformation Sunday” which marks the 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, I’ve compiled a list of 10 items that “John” (a Methodist) could learn from “Martin” (a Lutheran).

1. Sometimes you need to say what needs to be said. Drop the fancy Wesleyan theological language and speak clearly.
2. Your critique of institutional religion shouldn’t be incremental. Rip off the band-aid and move on.
3. Stand up to the powers at be. In the words of the late Tom Petty, “don’t back down”.
4. Once your critique goes on the cathedral door, the hazards are more than being relegated to outdoor pulpits or dirty looks from other clergy. You’re risking your life.
5. Don’t be anti-Semitic.
6. It never looks like a “Reformation when you’re in the middle of it.
7. Let the church leave you.
8. Educate the clergy and let them have families.
9. Liturgical worship (in everyday day language) can educate and inspire.
10. It’s never about us.

Richard Lowell Bryant

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