3 Oct

Broken Doors

So, years ago, I was a frequent visitor to a retreat center deep in the heart of the Texas hill country. This center was used for scrapbooking retreats, ladies’ retreats, basically anything you could dream up…they could host your event. One hundred-fifty acres of sprawling Texas landscape with quaint houses that might have belonged to someone’s grandmother dotted the property. I loved that place.

One of the houses was home to an extremely cranky sliding glass door. Have you ever run across a sliding glass door that refused to slide? Not only are they a complete pain in the tail to open or close—they are also dangerous. I was on the receiving end of a battered hand more than a few times from slamming my hand between the door and the wall.

Broken Doors.

Last week, we looked at Closed Doors. I took you through a brief overview of the upcoming anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. Why is this such a big deal? Well, if you attend church…any church, other than the Catholic church, you have Martin Luther to thank.

When Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the church door, he wanted to start a discussion within the Catholic church about some of the things that he thought were broken. There were a couple of big sticking points on which Luther stood:

First, was the sale of indulgences. Indulgences were sort of like a get-out-of-jail-free card. When a person died, the teachings of the church stated that person did not immediately go to heaven; instead they went to Purgatory for a time of cleansing. How long a time was not completely specified. Loved ones could purchase these indulgences for the release of souls from Purgatory. Luther didn’t buy into this. Jesus’ death on the cross paid for everyone’s sins, no additional fee needed. Grace Alone.

Following along with the indulgence train of thought, were the folks actually SELLING them. Religious officials were in effect, speaking on behalf of the Pope (head of the Roman Catholic Church), who claimed to be infallible (meaning incapable of making mistakes or of being wrong…in short, without sin). This did not bode well with Luther. God alone is without sin, not man—any man, regardless of position or stature. This is in the Bible—look it up. Scripture Alone.

Luther stated that indulgences were unnecessary because through Jesus’ death on the cross and subsequent resurrection, God forgave all sin; and the reason for Jesus’ death is that all men are sinful…all…not a few…not all EXCEPT a few…all. Even the Popes. This forgiveness is for all who have faith in Christ Jesus. That simple statement is written throughout the pages of Scripture. Faith Alone.

Naturally, Luther’s statements were highly unpopular on a number of levels. The selling of indulgences was a highly lucrative business for the church, and frankly speaking, no one wants to be told (publicly) that their job description is wrong. Luther may as well have used an axe to nail his Theses to the church door for the damage he caused.

Broken Doors.

So, where does that leave us? What type of Broken Door do you have in your life? Perhaps it’s a broken promise…a broken relationship…a broken career. Sometimes when things are broken, it gives us time to take a good, hard look at them as we try to fix them and figure out what went wrong. Sometimes, our Broken Doors are really Closed Doors in disguise, and it’s time to move on.

Might I encourage you this week to take some time to examine your own Broken Doors. Is it truly broken? Is it closed? Can it be fixed? Pray about it, and ask God to guide you in your decision.

Come back next week as we look at Old Doors…



1 Comment

  • On the mark! Excellent

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