Half a millennium ago this month, Martin Luther crafted a challenge to the Catholic Church that launched the Protestant Reformation. On behalf of the anniversary, The Washington Post connected with faith leaders to ask them an important question:
"What do you think needs reforming in the practice of religion in the United States today?"
Among the faith leaders that were interviewed was Pastor Paula White. White serves as a spiritual adviser to President Trump and was the first female member of the clergy to offer the invocation at a presidential inauguration.
The pastor's thoughts and prayers have been highly regarded, and she was even asked to serve as the chair of President Trump's Evangelical Advisory Board. Now, White is sharing what she believes is in need of reform.
She said, "In the gospels, the public ministry of Jesus is bookended by two phrases. First, Jesus said, 'repent for the kingdom of Heaven is at hand' and at the end he prayed, 'father may they be one as you and I are one' Five hundred years after a return to the simple theology of Christianity, we are desperately in need of a reformation in the heart of faith."
She continued, "Jesus’ first words and his last words both require course corrections. The first requires a scalpel to one’s heart and the second requires one lay down their sword. Neither is easy, but both are required."
In regard to what the world is in need of, White said, "A world in conflict needs a church united, and a world in confusion requires a church without division. Times of uncertainty require a church of hope and unity."
"This is not the job of politicians or the responsibility of government," she continued. "It is the call of the church, and when the church is purified and unified then the kingdom of man succumbs to the kingdom of God. Peace then will become ever-present, and the authorities of this Earth will have fewer problems to solve, fewer evils to secure, and more hope than they can handle."
White concluded, "Christians must return to the first words and to the last words of Jesus’ public ministry. Repentance requires a change of mind; we must return to the place we departed from. Unity requires a change of attitude which calls us to work to bring the world together. We must return to the simple, profound and convicting words of Jesus, beginning in the church."
What do you think about this? Do you agree with what White said about the state of American religion and about the church becoming the solution to bring peace on earth? Let us know on Facebook. In breaking news, an American outdoors legend just passed away at 94, but left behind a great legacy.