Like I said in a previous blog, I've been teaching a class with a friend on the "History of Christian Spiritual Practices" which is a long way to say how spiritual disciplines where practiced in different parts of history. It was fun to explore history, and this week, I taught my last class on historical matters (I'm teaching one more, but it's on present day).
I have gained a deeper appreciation for those who have gone before in the faith. I had the chance to study the time of the early church and the reformation. Although I was unable to completely due justice to the amount of history I had to cover in one hour, I thoroughly enjoyed teaching and was most moved by what people have done to keep the faith alive and to keep the church pure.
In the early church, men and women risked their lives just to be Christians. They had to give up a whole way of living just to follow Jesus. They were not accepted and most of time persecuted by those who did not understand or even hated Christianity.
Oddly enough, the reformation cause Christians to undergo some of the same persecution, but this time it was from the church. People like Martin Luther tried their hardest to help the church be better. Luther never intended to leave the church, but help it be what Jesus intended it to be. The church leadership of the day did things that were not moral, and Luther (amongst others) tried to reform the church, eventually he started another church based on the beliefs of scripture.
Although, they were not perfect people, the sought to make the church the best possible. I am certainly thankful for everyone who has tried to make the church better, because I certainly hope to do the same.
If this interests you, I suggest you go rent (or buy because it's worth it) the movie Luther. It's a fantastic movie, mostly historical, and very enjoyable.