“There is a wild boar loose in the vineyard!” Once again…

Shawn and Glennys Hyland   -  
500 years ago, in 1517, a Reformation of Religious, Political and National implications altered Western Civilization. The Roman Catholic Church of that day was corrupted by indulgences and pay to play bishoprics. The exploitation of the poor and their hopeless fears reinforced the systems and structures that gave power to the elite clergy and kings. This corruption was greater than a Pope and more entrenched than just a decade or two of doctrinal error.

Just as Jesus cleansed the Temple of money changers, God was going to cleanse His Church and reform it to the gospel of grace that the Apostles, Church Fathers and later theologians such as Augustine would preach. His servant in this hour of conflict would not be His perfect and beloved Son, Jesus Christ. The unlikely candidate of God’s choice was an ill-tempered, bad mouth, angry, divisive German monk named Martin Luther. Yes, the hero of the Reformation and the driving force of the Protestant movement was not a humble, peace-making monk. He was a nasty and foul mouth sinner who had a high view of God’s transcendence and a love for God’s Church. He wanted to make the Church great again! He wanted to transfer the power of the Church back to the people in the priesthood of all believers.

Why would a holy and perfect God raise up an offensive mouthpiece to cleanse the Church? To be truthful – Luther wrote words against the Jews and Catholics that I totally reject and condemn. They do not represent Christian thought or character. (I am a fierce supporter of the Jewish people and their right to exist in Israel!) However, in the totality of Luther’s character flaws, God seen a man that would turn the spirit, systems and structures of this world upside down.

As the Reformation was beginning to set Europe on a new course. Pope Leo X called out for God to intervene against Luther. The Pope called for a holy uprising of resistance. He prayed to God, “There is a wild boar loose in the vineyard.” An unpredictable rough pig was running rampant. Dishonest practices were now exposed. Soon division would propel Europe into religious wars. Confrontation often precedes peace.

I was hesitant to write this but I feel the timing of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation is a moment to reflect that God does indeed raise up “wild boars” to tear up the vineyard – to drive out corruption. Furthermore, to take the power from the elite and return it to the people. Could President Trump, who does not  represent my Christian values and character be the “wild boar” – the foul mouth, short-tempered trailblazer to drain the swamp in Washington D.C., as Luther cleansed the Church?

My prayer is that this wild board stands with the Jews and the nation of Israel, not against them. I am confident that he will. Everything else is what I expect from a wild boar – erratic behavior, kicking dirt, and tearing up the ground.