History enlightens us that freedom is a difficult state to achieve and equally difficult to retain. Our current Political/social and Religious struggles remind us of this fact. While there are many in varying religious organizations who shudder at the name Martin Luther, there are also millions who celebrate. The reason I celebrate is because Luther is one of the extreme champions in a long series of names who laid his life on the line to establish the freedom we currently enjoy. The cost of this freedom is currently not obvious to many and as a result, we live in a very divided nation. I would like to remind all of the unbelievable price of human suffering that has been paid to gain both Political/social and Religious freedom in our nation.
In1381 the English Peasants Revolted and demanded the abolition of feudal obligations (serfdom). While their revolt failed, their demand was a tremendous expression of courage which questioned the strict bounds of their political/social society.
Luther accomplished the same thing in the Religious realm he challenged the Religious hierarchy. The result of these and many other challenges ultimately resulted in the separation of Church and State and the Bill of rights. For all who question the heroism of those mentioned above, none of them were “politically correct” and Luther was on the “death list.” The enigma is that today we have freedom. However, there is a rising generation who reject the “grassroots” which make freedom ring.
C. Norman Farley, Ph.D. is a retired Seventh-day Adventist pastor. A graduate of the University of Southern Maine in Portland, ME, Atlantic Union College in So. Lancaster, MA, Andrews University in Berrien Springs, MI, and received a doctoral degree from the California Graduate School of Theology in Glendale, CA. His interest in Religious Liberty and Freedom of Conscience dates back to his Business/Pre-Law education at the University of Maine.