A Yokefellow’s Chronicle: “Here I Stand, I Can Do No Other!”

Pastor Amos Lee

October 31 2017, the Christian church celebrates 500 years of an earth-shattering event that changed the landscape of Christianity forever when an Augustinian priest and university Professor of Theology, Martin Luther, posted a document known as the Ninety-five Theses onto the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. His intention was to provoke the Catholic Church to a debate on the issue of the sale of indulgences and reform the church from within. Little did he realize that by so doing and with the help of technology – the printing presses – laid the foundation for a movement that became known as the Reformation with the resulting split of the catholic (universal) church and the “heretic” group pejoratively came to be called “Protestants” because they protested against the authorities.

In the points made by Luther in the Theses which were later solidified, he laid out a set of foundational biblical principles of Protestant Christianity that is central to the Christian faith with regards to the Bible, Salvation, and the Christian Life to this very day:

  1. Sola Scriptura (by Scripture alone)
  2. Sola Fide (by faith alone)
  3. Sola Gratia (by grace alone)
  4. Solo Christo (through Christ alone)
  5. Soli Deo Gloria (glory to God alone)

He reclaimed the authority of Scripture over the authority of the traditions of human beings. He affirmed that salvation is available only through Jesus Christ, by His grace, and through faith in Him and believers are to live for the glory of God alone. What a brave soul! In the face of excommunication from the church he had served and loved, he declared, “Here I stand. I can do no other!”

Can we stand and declare what we believe to be true like Luther and make a real difference in the life of the nations and people? In our secular culture, where we are molded to be politically correct, it is hard to stand for one’s faith without being ridiculed for who we are. But can we articulate our faith in such a manner that people can give an ear to what we have to share? The Bible gives us a pointer: But in your heart, set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do it this with gentleness and respect, keeping a good conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. (I Peter 3:15-16) Wise words!

同軛手記 – “這是我的立場,我別無選擇!”

李英柏牧師

在2017年10月30日,基督教慶祝一驚天動地、永遠地改變了基督教格局的事件。在五百年前,馬丁路德,一位奧古斯丁教士和大學神學教授,把稱為”95條”的文件貼在徳意志地區的威登堡城教堂的門上。他意圖引起天主教會就售賣贖罪票的問題進行辯論,並從內部改革教會。 他幾乎沒有想到這樣做,在印刷機科技的幫助下,奠定了宗教改革運動的基礎,導致天主教(大公)教會和被貶稱為”抗議宗” (Protestant)(因為他們抗議當局)的”異端”的分裂。

在路德 “95條”中的論點被凝聚起來的要點中,他提出了一套基督教有關聖經、救恩,和基督徒生活的基本聖經原則,這至今仍是基督教信仰的中心:

  1. Sola Scriptura (唯獨聖經)
  2. Sola Fide (唯獨信心)
  3. Sola Gratia (唯獨恩典)
  4. Solo Christo (唯獨基督)
  5. Soli Deo Gloria (唯獨榮耀上帝)

他重申聖經的權威高過人類傳統的權威。 他肯定只有通過耶穌基督,藉著祂的恩典,並因著對祂的信心才能得救而信徒的生命是要榮耀上帝 。 他多麼勇敢! 面對著要被他所曾服務和愛過的教會開除,他宣稱:”這是我的立場,我別無選擇。”

我們能否像路德一樣,站起來宣告我們所信仰的是真實的,並對萬國萬民的生命帶來真正的改變? 在世俗文化中,我們被塑造成政治正確,很難為著堅持自己的信仰而為我們的身份被人嘲笑。 但是,我們能否以能夠使人們願意聽到我們所要分享的方式來表達我們的信仰? 聖經給了我們一個提點:”只要心裡尊主基督為聖。有人問你們心中盼望的緣由,就要常做準備,以溫柔、敬畏的心回答各人, 存著無虧的良心,叫你們在何事上被毀謗,就在何事上可以叫那誣賴你們在基督裡有好品行的人自覺羞愧。”(彼得前書3:15-16)至理明言!

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