By Jeff Straub
Editor’s note: In honor of the 500th anniversary of Reformation Day, this article is the second in a series exploring the history and significance of the Protestant Reformation from a Baptist perspective. (View part 1 and part 3.)
One of the things I like most about traveling globally is sampling foods at the places I visit. In Romania and Hungary and much of Europe, that means sausages. Walk into a typical American store and you might find a handful of pepperonis, summer sausages, kielbasas, bratwursts, and the like. But enter a Hungarian store, and you will be met with multiple long aisles filled with a wide assortment of processed meats. Long, short, fat, thin, heavily spiced, mild—oh, the array of sausages!
What does sausage have to do with the Reformation? Everything! As it turns out, the Reformation in Zurich, Switzerland, about 470 miles southwest of Wittenberg, started with a meal of sausages. A Roman Catholic priest by the name of Huldrych (Ulrich) Zwingli, pastor of the Grossmünster, a stately old church on the banks of the Limmat River that is believed to date to Charlemagne’s era, decided to buck the church’s traditional “no meat during Lent” position. Then he had the gall to preach a sermon on the subject, because “the Bible does not prohibit eating meat during Lent.” There it was, a second priest, son of the Roman Catholic Church, beginning to think and speak about sola Scriptura. Christians should take their beliefs directly from the pages of Scripture—the Scriptures alone!