This year is a very special one for Protestants around the world. On the 31st of October, it will be exactly 500 years since Martin Luther ignited the great Protestant Church Reformation which changed the course of the history of Christendom forever. Throughout the world, but especially in nations with a strong Protestant character and tradition, celebrations will be held in the form of cultural events such as special gatherings, lectures, marches, sermons, exhibitions, and so forth. By these means, Protestants around the world want to celebrate and praise God for his providential care over his church for the past five hundred years.
One of the first major events to kick-start this year’s celebrations is an off-Broadway play on Martin Luther called “Martin Luther on Trial”, which is currently running. The idea of re-evaluating the lives of the heroes of our faith is not necessarily a bad one, and it should be done with the utmost precaution and respect for their historical contexts. Nonetheless, at the same time respect for a given historical context can never be confused with SJW virtue-signalling. This is the theme behind this particular play. While such reevaluation in itself is not an unworthy (rather a fascinating) idea, the egalitarian-minded producers of the play impose a re-invented standard of morality on Christianity for their trial of Luther:
The first witness is Adolf Hitler, who hails Luther as a “great German patriot” who saved Germany “by uniting all Germans against a common enemy – the pope. … Luther’s ’95 Theses’ freed the German conscience from the clutches of Rome, creating space for a new moral system, one that would be distinctly German.”
Luther’s wife shouts, “Objection. Luther wasn’t a nationalist. He wanted people to follow Christ first, nation second.”
St. Peter sadly replies, “Overruled.”
This anti-racist trope shapes the theme of the entire play, culminating in Luther’s begging for mercy because of his most outstanding sins: nationalism and anti-Semitism.
The big idea behind the play, as described by the producers, is that “not all heroes are infallible. Not only that, they are not heroic all the time.”
True as this may be, it amounts to a blasphemous usurpation of the throne of our Judge-King Jesus Christ when creators of an off-Broadway play exhibit the arrogance to redefine sins using not Christ’s commandments, but the principles of Frankfurt School Marxism as a moral standard. Their explicit deviance from the Reformation’s hamartiology (doctrine of sin) exposes their alternate agenda, which is certainly not the glory of God through the celebration of his work through the Reformation.
To truly celebrate the Reformation this year, let us not mind these false sins invented by humanist egalitarians. Rather, in contradistinction, let us throughout the year, in the process of sanctification, meditate on the true and traditional Augustinian definition of sin which lay at the heart of the theology of the Reformation:
any word, deed, or desire in opposition to the eternal law of God.