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Religion: A Pastor Ponders

A place to stand

By Pastor William Jenkins

October 31, 2007

League City News - League City Methodist Church Picture Let us go back in time to a day in the year 586 B.C. It is a warm summer day. A great multitude is gathered on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon (Dan. 3:1). Rising out of the plain like a giant monolith is a massive statue of their king towering 90 feet into the sky. Its golden surface reflects the rays of the afternoon sun, making it visible for miles around.

A hush falls over the crowd while they listen to a proclamation. By decree of the king the people are to bow down and worship this image whenever they hear the music of the king’s band. The penalty for refusing is to be cast alive into the king’s furnace. When the proclamation is ended there is dead silence. Then the shrill blast of music shatters the silence and drives the crowd to their knees in fearful homage. The plain of Dura is leveled as all knees bend and all foreheads touch the dust, making the kings golden image more dominant than before.

In the course of this play of power, pomp and pageantry, something has gone amiss. The long laborious hours of constructing the image, the great skill and expense of decorating it with fine gold, the tedious attention to detail in preparing for this one great moment, all of the pride of the Babylonian empire is left in meaningless rubble because of 3 young men out there on the plain of Dura. When the sound of music has died away, the presence of these 3 is more dominant then the 90 feet of gold-gilded stone for they, and they alone are left standing.

Let us span the ages to a time some 2000 years later. It is the 16th Century A.D. The scene is a small German town. The occasion is called the Imperial Diet of Worms, April 18, 1521. Everybody who is anybody has gathered to hear a recantation by a middle-aged monk named Martin Luther. He is accused of defying the ecclesiastical authority of the universe and destroying the very pillars of the established church. He had been writing and preaching that a person is made righteous before God by faith alone and that the Scriptures alone are the only authoritative rule for faith and practice.

In the presence of the Emperor of the land, the princes, and the representatives of the Church, he is asked: “Will you, in the presence of these witnesses, deny that there is any truth to this heresy which you have been promoting; and will you recant by declaring that all of your writings are meaningless nonsense?”

Martin Luther, standing in the center of the room, replied, “Since your serene majesty and your Lordships seek a simple answer, I will give it in this manner: Unless I am convinced by the testimony of Scripture or by clear reason, I am bound by the Scriptures I have quoted and my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not recant anything, since it is neither safe nor right to go against God or conscience. Here I stand, I can do no other…may God help me. Amen.”

Now hear the words of the Apostle Paul in I Corinthians 16:13, “Be watchful, stand firm in your faith; be courageous, be strong.” Just something for us to ponder for Reformation Week.

League City United Methodist Church is located at 1411 Main Street (FM 518), one block east of Interstate 45. For information, call the church offices at 281-332-1557 or visit the Web site at


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