The Advantages and Disadvantages of the Protestant Reformation

JOSEPH MATTERA, MATTERA MINISTRIES INTERNATIONAL

The following are my opinions related to the advantages and disadvantages of the Protestant Reformation. First, here are the disadvantages of the Protestant Reformation:

1. It weakened the influence of Christendom which led to individual Christianity

With much of the strength and unity of the Catholic Church broken, the church no longer had the political, cultural, and economic power to hold the ultimate power to influence every sector of society. This eventually meant the end of Christendom (the church and Kingdom of God ruling the nations) and the resurgence of individual Christianity.

2. It opened the door for secular humanism to reign in culture through the Enlightenment

With the fragmentation of the church, faith in scholars finding a “grand synthesis” from the Bible to give meaning to all truth in every realm was shattered! The autonomy that came out of the church’s weakened position, both in the religious and secular world, led to (among other things too numerous to mention in this short essay) men searching for meaning and answers via human reason and no longer only via divine revelation. (This trend actually started somewhat through the writings of Thomas Aquinas who was influenced by Aristotelian philosophy and taught that men could learn truth apart from divine revelation.)

3. It led to a gross fragmentation resulting in thousands of denominations

When we have thousands of denominations and clusters of churches all proclaiming that they have the truth (although most don’t proclaim they have exclusive truth) it hurts the faith of some who question whether any person can actually truthfully interpret the Bible. It also hurts the witness and power of the church in culture because we are not putting our money, time, and talents together to preach the gospel.