Over 500 years ago Martin Luther famously posted his 95 theses, which led to the Protestant Reformation. Luther’s 95 theses are extremely redundant and can be summed up in the rejection of 5 principle doctrines: the Sacrament of Confession, Purgatory, the Deuterocanon, Papal Infallibility, and the Magisterium.  Many are challenging doctrines, but certainly not the most challenging that have been handed down in Christianity.  Were those doctrines worth the divisions that have ensued?  500 years later we have seen the fruit of the Reformation. The time has come to ask whether it was a successful undertaking? These 7 Theses are in response to the 95.



  1. Jesus of Nazareth fulfilled the Messianic prophecies of Judaism with His virgin birth, death and resurrection.  Jesus Christ founded His Church over 2000 years ago upon Peter (Mt. 16:18).  The Catholic Church is the only church with Apostolic Succession going back to St. Peter. No Protestant denomination can claim Apostolic Succession outside of Rome.  Every single denomination has roots there.  Some Eastern churches can claim Apostolic Succession from other Apostles, and this is not disputed.  The Catholic Church formally canonized the Bible at the Council of Rome in 382, by adding the 27 New Testament books to the Old Testament. Every Protestant denomination recognizes these 27 books as canonical.  Before the Council of Nicea in 325, the Church was underground and severely persecuted. Once the Church got above ground, unity was sought, and universal agreement on the books of the Bible was vital to maintain unity.  Without the Catholic Church, there wouldn’t have been a New Testament in the Bible.
  2. The Church is to be one body, as in 1 Corinthians 12:12-27, and the parts of the body, though many, with different functions, can't be divided against the body.  The unity of the Church is to be an instinctual interaction of biological harmony, a unity that much of modern Christianity appears to reject altogether with the onset of new churches, new doctrines, and new divisions.  Current estimates show roughly 40,000+ denominations.  The blame of division falls on both Protestants and Catholics alike.
  3. Christ did make room for those outside of the Apostles in His Church, in Luke 9:50 “For he that is not against us is for us”.  This Biblical precedent is Dogma, it's been handed down by Christ, and is fundamental to the faith.  That said, the Bible doesn’t make mention of these followers challenging the Apostles as the rightful leaders of the faithful.  This Biblical precedent teaches us God's mercy extends beyond the reach of the Apostles, but still not outside of His bride, the Church.  Another important verse to ponder is the thief on the cross who repented at death and found salvation on the cross in Lk 23:43. Probably one of the most popular verses in the Bible, but not a good plan for salvation.  Christ instructed His Apostles in the meanings of the parables, and opened the scriptures for them after the Resurrection, for he intended them to carry out His mission of spreading the Gospel.  In Mt 12:30 Christ teaches "He that is not with me is against me".  Therefore, if you do good in His name outside of the Apostle's successors, continue those good works, but don't go against the Church, for that is the Body of Christ as Paul had discovered.  And if you live like the thief, there is no better time than now for that conversion of heart.  It is important for us all to understand our authority, and the authority of those put in place over us.
  4. A house divided cannot stand (Mk. 3:25).  Every military strategist understands the basic principle to “divide & conquer”. The devil is no different.  Protestantism has schismed into 40,000+ denominations.  These divisions have plagued the faithful, and diminish the efficacy of evangelization efforts to unbelievers.  These divisions won’t be undone quickly or easily.  But we can look at historical precedence in the Church for assistance, and the primary source is obviously the Bible.  In Gal 2:11, Paul rebukes Peter.  Paul corrects the first Pope for not following his own teaching, and for not following the teachings of the Council of Jerusalem. Peter was wrong and needed correction, but that didn’t remove his authority or the Keys to the Kingdom.  Paul was right in correcting him, yet he didn’t foster division by starting a new church in opposition to Peter.  Peter was humble in receiving the rebuke of Paul and corrected his action.  We can learn volumes from Peter and Paul in this brief passage.
  5. The Protestant Reformation and the Separation of Church and State that ensued as we know today are arguably the greatest blunders in the history of Christianity.  Neither Protestants nor Catholics can claim victory. Divorce, abortion, homosexuality, and gender dysphoria plague the west in traditionally Christian lands.  On the other hand, it has been extremely successful for Atheism and Islam in the west.  In theory if Luther was right, we should all be Lutherans.   If Henry the VIII was right, we should all be Anglicans.  And if Calvin was right, well, he was neither priest nor bishop, so this case is far harder, but for the sake of argument, if he was right, we should all be Calvinists.  But the really hard one to ponder is if the pope was right to stand on the doctrines handed down by the Apostles and their successors, then what options are left?  God has given us free will, but for how long will we allow His Church to stay divided?
  6. The Great Secularization (aka the Englightenment), followed the principles of the Reformers to conclusion by separating religion, i.e. God, from philosophy, science, psychology, music, art, education, and even medicine.  Christianity was woven into the fabric of western civilization, and it took centuries to remove it as it was so entangled.  The fruits of the Reformation are abundantly clear in the modern west.  Communism, Capitalism, and Liberalism took the place of the Christian monarchies.  The same monarchs who tried to usurp the authority of the Pope instituted by Christ, lost their authority to the will of the people.  And the rebellions against reality continue to spiral out of control.  Religion is the foundation of law, and it is the cornerstone of civilization.
  7. The Fruit of the Reformation can be clearly seen historically.  It appears the only thing left to rebel against is rebellion itself. This is A Call to Unity.  This is not meant to be an onset of finger pointing, but rather a hand up, an offering of reconciliation.  The Reformation era saw many corruptions in the Church and the State.  Reforms were needed.  A radical revolution from truth was not the answer.  If the Church that Christ founded needs reforming, we have a duty to reform His Church, as Paul did.  But with this much division about one God who is not divided, it is important to recognize that we can’t all be right, and some of us might need to reform our hearts to find unity in Christ. Christendom has over 1,300 years of legal precedents.  By studying Christian governments, we can pursue better systems of government and establish better reforms. Governments will always have corruptions, and will never be perfect.  But the time has come to pursue better Christian government again.

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