Monday, August 16, 2010

Martin Luther: He Became the Change

Martin Luther became the change that he saw as necessary during the European Renaissance. Luther was born November 10, 1483, and was baptized into the Catholic Church the next day. He entered college in 1501 and completed his Master's degree by 1504. This German college student became an Augustinian monk only one month after his famous vow made during a thunderstorm in 1505.

Five years later, Martin Luther walked with several other monks to Rome where he realized that many church leaders were corrupt and that works of penance alone could not save him. Dr. Luther became a professor at the University of Wittenberg in 1512. He was so highly respected that he was elected as a district vicar of monasteries in 1515. Only two years later, Martin Luther nailed his Ninety-five Theses to the church door in Wittenberg on October 31, 1517. This is often cited as the beginning of the Protestant Reformation, when Luther became a Protestant.

The next year, Dr. Luther wrote to the Pope protesting a papal bull allowing the sale of indulgences. In 1519, he gathered a group of students and faculty who held a large bonfire to burn books including Catholic doctrines with which they did not agree. After Luther admitted that some Hussite opinions were Biblical in a debate with another Catholic, he was summoned to the Diet of Worms, which began on January 21, 1521, and lasted for four months before Luther finally left. As he traveled home, a German prince who chose to hide Martin Luther in Wartburg Castle for several years kidnapped him. While there, Dr. Luther wrote a German translation of the New Testament as well as papers on the Peasants' Revolt and the errors inherent in vows monks and nuns were forced to make. He became the change he thought necessary when he left his priesthood in 1521 and when he married a former nun, Catharine von Bora, on June 13, 1525. They had several children, and Martin Luther continued to lead the German Reformation until his death in February of 1546.

Dr. Martin Luther (1483-1546) saw several unscriptural doctrines being preached and practiced within the Roman Catholic Church. He became the change by challenging these doctrines in the Ninety-five Theses and by refusing to live by his former monastic vows. As a result, Luther began the Protestant Reformation and became the change he sought within the Catholic Church. More than five hundred years later, we still remember Martin Luther because he became the change.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Who Has Become the Change?

This is an announcement of the new series I plan to post over the next month or two, called "They Became the Change." I hope to write at least five articles highlighting innovative leaders from the past and present who exhibit the meaning of positive change and provide an example of how to become that change. If you recall hearing of someone having these qualities, please leave a comment mentioning him. After researching your suggestions, I may expand the series to highlight more exceptional personalities.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Making or Becoming Different

Young people today (as have young people of all times) have the courage and enthusiasm necessary to "change the world" forever. These attitudes are the unique contribution of our generation, but we do not always use them wisely. Many young people choose rebellion against all social norms as their method for changing the world around them, but rebellion does not bring the satisfaction they seek. Rather, rebellious children grow into selfish, unfulfilled adults who then attempt to force their own disillusionment on following generations.

There is a proper way of harnessing the energy of today's youth to make this world a better place; it does not consist solely in making the world different, but rather in becoming different ourselves. We must take responsibility for the change. Following the cultural norms for adolescents will not achieve this goal, nor will rebelling against all cultural institutions; but there is a way. We must be visionary and do hard things (as Alex and Brett Harris advise us) by becoming the change this world needs. Making and becoming different are actually the same thing in this case because becoming different is the only way to make a difference.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

What Is Change?

In order for our generation to be able to choose change wisely, we must first discover what change is and whether a particular change would be beneficial or not. Change is "making or becoming different, exchange or replacement, variance from routine, coins, money given back, money exchanged for higher denomination. . . transition from something, . . . ." Certain changes are necessary and beneficial, but others are equally undesirable.

While risk is inherent within change (as we may see through the potentially devastating effects of change), there is also risk in remaining stationary. We must assess and weigh the risks of each proposed change in order to choose whether, in that particular situation, it would be better to change or to remain the same. Our embracing any change, just because it is change and claims that it will bring progress, is not apt to bring the results that we would likely choose upon further reflection. We must be willing to risk change for progress, but we must also be cautious in choosing those changes lest they send us "[f]orward, forward, ay, and backward, downward too into the abysm!"