re-form vt. 1. to make better by removing faults and defects; correct 2. to make better by putting a stop to abuses or malpractices or by introducing better procedures, etc.
re-for-ma-tion n. 2. [R] the 16th century religious movement that aimed at reforming the Roman Catholic Church and resulted in establishing the Protestant churches*
There is little doubt that the visible church of Luther’s time (the Roman Catholic Church) needed reforming. As most man-made institutions go, the church had become more liberal the further it got from teaching the pure Word of God. Man’s declarations became law–traditions became commandments, and as a result the pure gospel message was muddied and choked in the stagnant waters of man’s theological inventions.
The people of Luther’s day had gotten too comfortable with the way things had been running in the church. The clergy were in charge; the congregational members weren’t expected to worry themselves about such things as doctrine.
Luther’s goal was to return the clergy as well as the general population of the church to the pure Word of God–to encourage each individual to a personal relationship with God and His Word.Read More »Marking the Lutheran Reformation – Reformers (Always) Needed