There have always been radicals, people that challenge our assumptions and implore us to think more deeply about issues. It was no different centuries ago. Back in the 1500s, the average person in Germany was taught – and believed – that to have their sins forgiven, they needed to make a financial contribution to the church. The established church was the middle man that stood between God and man, collecting the payments, then doling out forgiveness of sins.
A young monk named Martin Luther was very troubled about this. He had a choice: to keep his convictions to himself or reveal the truth. In 1517, he wrote a 95-point letter and nailed it to the church door. In his letter/thesis, he pointed out that the Bible said anyone could confess directly to God, and have their sins forgiven. There was no need for a middle man, or payments, as Jesus had already paid for our sins. Many other erroneous teachings were covered in his letter as well. This was a hugely radical thing to say in the 1500s, when the church was regarded as the voice of God.
Needless to say, this did not go over well with the established church. Martin was declared to be a heretic and an outlaw, and permission was given for anyone to kill him without prosecution. He was forced into hiding, but during that time he translated the Bible from the original Hebrew and Greek into common German so that everyone could read it, not just the highly-educated. If you are considering being a radical, be one like Martin, a man who loved God and those around him enough to speak the truth, and speak it the rest of his life.