On this date in 1517 Martin Luther nailed the 95 Theses on the door of the church, officially starting the Reformation. There have always been people who were justified by faith and strived to live righteously, but, at the time of Luther much of Europe was engulfed in Catholicism. Luther realized that many of the church's teachings and practices were unbiblical. The Church sold indulgences and believed in consubstantiation, but Luther saw that men are justified by faith alone not by sprinkling or some rite. He had 95 points that he believed the Church needed to examine so they could reform to be more in line with the Scriptures.
Martin Luther was a good guy, but he was imperfect. The problem is that some of his followers became Lutherans and followed his teaching and practices rather than standing on Sola Scriptura and continuing to reform their society. As a result, many of the Lutherans today have sadly regressed to almost a modified Catholicism. Some people, however, did continue to apply God's Word and reform thier Churches, families, and states.
Many of those in America tried to build a nation and culture based on the Scriptures, which was radically different from thier mother countries. They preached sermons on just about any current issue of their day, including polotics. About 3 days ago I got a 2 volume set of Political Sermons of the American Founding Era. In it there was a sermon preached by Charles Chauncy on May 27, 1747, here is a short quote from that sermon -
"The advice which Jethro gave Moses is here proper, 'Thou shalt provid out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness.' These are the men, men of understanding, courage and resolution; men of integrity, fidelity and honesty; men of piety and substantial religion; men of a noble generosity, setting them above the temptations, which those of narrow mindes and selfish views, are easily drawn away by and enticed: These, I say, are the proper men to fill the various posts in the state. And it would be injustice to the public, for the persons concerned in the disposal of them, to neglect these, and bestow them on those of contrary character."
We are not Catholics, but, nor are we perfect in all of our beliefs and practices. Let us study the Scriptures so that we can apply God's Word to every asspect of our lives.