The Reformation and the Bathroom [Andrew McMillan]

I have thought if I could just pray longer,
turn over every stone,
confess all my sins,

fast every week
and read my Bible until my eyes shine like jewels,
then I would be holy enough, whatever enough is. Martin Luther did all that as a young Augustinian monk. He wore out the local priest with his confessions. Then he would have to turn around and confess his sin of feeling prideful for confessing as well. He fasted and prayed on cold floors at all hours.

He said it was like climbing a tower to reach the sky but once he got to the top, the sky was further away than ever. Then he would fall into darkness so deep he could hardly breathe. He was never enough. In this darkness, he couldn’t see anything but his own heart that hated God for being so perfect and demanding. But one day as he was falling in the dark, he felt a rope and he grabbed it. It was Romans 1:17,

The just will live by faith.

He didn’t know the rope was attached to bells that rang freedom to all of Europe and is still ringing across the seas.

Luther said he was on the crapper when the revelation came. He suffered chronic constipation, and maybe, it was a time of wonderful release when the truth of solo Christo, solo fide, solo scriptura and solo gratia came together.

Caught between the passion to obey the church and the Word, he embraced the truth, knowing the Word gives life to the church and not vice versa. That one truth broke free many truths into the blood of the common people, like the priesthood of all believers, the freedom to marry and the holy dignity of working. Bigger than the discovery of America was the discovery that everyone has a wonderful and fearful responsibility to live before the living God.

In his later years, Luther’s urinary tract blocked up. The local doctor was filling him with water that nearly killed him. They threw him on a cart to take to a city with a better doctor. Somehow the bumps on the road dislodged the blockage and Luther, relieving himself in the middle of the woods, praised God so loud the trees shook.

Freedom to seek God, to pee, to choose friends and professions must break forth.

Celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation is celebrating our freedom to seek truth as if it were our next breath.



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In 1994, the McMillan family traveled to the kidnappingmurder, and drug capital of the western hemisphere to plant a church and a foundation. God thought Medellin, Colombia a good place to raise a family. And turns out He was right (as He usually is). It became a very large family: The church, Comunidad (Community), is now the largest church in Medellin with over 8,000 members, the Foundation, Viento Fresco, cares for over 150 high-risk children, and a non-profit coffee shop, New Hearts Cafe, serves cups of caffeine and the love of Jesus to thousands of college students.

God is doing so much in Medellin, and we write about here on the blog!


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