Silly reformation Day Skit
I wrote this for our church Reformation Day bonfire last year, and was performed by myself and two of the deacons. I played Fred, Ted played Tetzel and Phil did a pretty decent Luther. Since the elders asked me to write it so that we could sing appropriate hymns along with it, they were annotated. If you actually want to perform this, you may want to skip the hymns until afterward, as the skit itself is rather silly.
Script for Reformation Day Reading
Fred Skoppel: Good evening, and welcome to Face Off!, with Fred Skoppel. I’m your host, Fred Skoppel. Tonight, we are privileged to have with us Dr. Johann Tetzel of the Dominican Order and Dr. Martin Luther, professor of Theology at the University of Wittenberg. Good Evening, Gentlemen.
Tetzel & Luther: Good Evening.
Fred: Our feature topic tonight is, reformation, then and now. Our first question this evening refers to the papal position, and Our guest Dr. Tetzel has been under commission by pope Leo X to preach the jubilee of indulgence since 1502, and has recently been granted oversight over all works of indulgence within Germany by papal edict. He has served as an inquisitor for the church of Rome since 1509, and has written several popular folk songs including, “Cash in on the Spirit” and “I don’t want no reformation”. Dr. Tetzel, Pope Leo X provided you with letters giving you authority to sell indulgences in Germany. Criticism has been raised that these indulgences were for the specific purpose of financing the construction of St. Peter’s basilica in Rome. How do you respond to these allegations?
Tetzel: (do your best to imitate a tacky popeil salesman, or something of that ilk) I hear no such things as allegations, for nothing could be further from the heart of the matter. For almost twenty years I have preached the blessings of forgiveness and restoration through the prayerful providence of selfless giving. And what better time than now, right now, to ensure forgiveness for yourself and those whom you love. For indeed, has his holiness granted to those wise and generous persons a great pardon, a release from the bondage of purgatory. For as soon a coin in coffer rings, the soul from purgatory springs! ([loudly muttering]Gee, I never do tire of hearing that, it’s some of my best work).
Fred: Our next question is for Dr. Martin Luther. Dr. Luther Received his masters in law from the university of Erfurt in 1505, and in 1512 received his doctorate in theology from the university of Wittenberg. Dr. Luther still presides as dean of theology at Wittenberg. Dr. Luther, In 1517 you nailed your 95 theses to the door of the Wittenberg church. Do you have any formal training as a carpenter, and what kind of nails did you use?
Luther (best Rush Limbaugh): I’ve had very little formal carpentry training, actually. My father, Hans, owned several copper mines in Mansfeld, and we did some carpentry in the shafts reinforcing them with timbers. But I can assure you, the nails I used were of the finest grade copper wire, in tribute to my father. But I’d like to mention that I also mailed a copy of the theses to the Archbishop of Mainz as well, protesting the sale of indulgences. For what this man Tetzel was doing is nothing less than selling for profit the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Church has no authority to do such a thing, for forgiveness comes from Christ alone. It is Christ, by His blood, that has completely paid the price for sin- no further payment may lawfully be demanded. A favorite hymn of mine, Rock of Ages, speaks well of this truth. Let’s sing it together.
#388 Rock of Ages
Fred: Dr. Tetzel, late in 1518, Duke Miltitz provided some critical evidence which showed that 17% of the money you collected from indulgences was funneled into a bank account in the name of a certain ‘miss Kitty’, whom you boarded with rather frequently. Does having a life-size statue of your self at the door of the largest brothel in Germany have a detrimental affect on your ministry?
Tetzel: Oh, all has been forgiven, I assure you. I merely sought a personal retreat in the monastery, as I like to call it, to reflect upon God’s good fortunes. Oh, I‘m sure that this whole misunderstanding will simply blow over. I doubt that this whole ‘reformation’ nonsense will ever amount to much. But oh, will the whole world be forever amazed at what His church has built in Rome! Oh, praise the blessed virgin!
Fred: Uh, yeah. Dr. Luther, in 1543 you wrote a pamphlet titled, ‘On the Jews’. Modern theologians have been very critical of this work, citing it as anti-Semitic. My question is, have you ever been to Jerusalem, and do you ever eat bagels?
Luther: I can’t say that I’ve ever been to Jerusalem, though I did get a really cool post card from a buddy of mine that went on a pilgrimage there. But you know, I don’t like having that whole ‘Bagel’ incident haunting me still to this day. I really thought it was a donut, and my doctor has me on a strict diet of worms. But all of my work, no matter the topic, points to the same truth- the assurance, salvation and victory that is in Christ. I have no patience within the house of God for those who hate Him, and it is the duty of the Church to seek Him in purity, and repentance unto forgiveness. But there is no repentance within the heart of the wicked, and many churches accept wickedness within their gates. The devil waits around every corner to trap and ensnare the sheep of Christ, so we must always be on guard, ready for battle against our enemy. Just like in that old hymn, Onward Christian Soldiers. It’s a great tune, I’d like to sing it again…
#466 Onward Christian Soldiers
Fred: Dr. Tetzel, Does the church in Rome still practice indulgences today, and if so, are they different doctrinally from the indulgences you dispensed in the early 16th century?
Tetzel: Oh, of COURSE the holy church still offers to penitent sinners the gift of indulgence. Well, now they aren’t asking for gold coins, instead they want prayers, works of mercy, and other things that you can do to make your salvation sure! Oh, Visa, Discover and American Express are also accepted as tender for indulgences, too. For freeing a soul from limbo’s not hard, you need no cash, just use your card! ([loudly muttering]Oh my, I am sooooo good at this).
Fred: Our final question is for Dr. Martin. All of northern Europe and many other parts of the world followed suit in separating from the church in Rome. Millions of people have come to a true knowledge of Christ through His work through you. And we all really do want to know, Dr. Luther, did you post your theses on October 31’st because it was Halloween and you wanted to scare some folks, or did you wait until the end of Octoberfest so your intended audience could sober up?
Luther: Oh, us Germans and our beer and brautwurst. But to be honest, neither of those things were an important factor. The real issue was the truth; the truth of the gospel. And though we struggle with sin every day, our strength is in Christ. For He is our fortress, our deliverer, our banner. We cannot be defeated by sin, though devil’s rail and nations rage against the Lord and His Anointed. Trust in Christ alone! There is no other name by which we can be saved! A mighty fortress is our God, and His kingdom is forever!
#444 A Mighty Fortress Is Our God
Fred: Thank you for joining us for this evening’s edition of Face off! With Fred Skoppel. I’m Fred Skoppel, wishing you… good night.
Covenant Reformed Church, URC
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