Recently a church member told me that she finds being called a "Protestant" offensive and frustrating. She doesn't feel like she's protesting anything- she's simply a Lutheran Christian.
I've been thinking about her dilemma and I agree with her in a certain sense. It is not really necessary to think of ourselves (those of us who aren't Catholic) as Protestant in the way Luther and his followers were. The old dichotomies between the Reformation rebels and the Established Church do not exist in the same way anymore and, thus, the old labels need not apply.
However, isn't the larger gospel message that we are to remain Protestants- those protesting against the ways of the world? Aren't we supposed to show Christ's love in many and various ways (how the Spirit moves) through our daily lives and our vocations? Hasn't God given us the gift of faith, so that we might believe in all that has been done for us? Believing that, we are called to protest, gently and consistently, against a world that says we earn our salvation and it's what we have that matters and determines our worth.
Our worth was decided by One who loved us enough to be born into our fallen world, live and die as one of us- for us. I protest vigorously against anything that tries to take that away from me.