Wednesday, October 19, 2005

The wayward church - neglecting the Reformation

When I look at all the churches around today, I sometimes wonder why so many of them are into weird stuff and weird people such as "clucking like chickens," "holy (?!) laughter," "hissing like snakes" and Kenneth Copeland, T.B. Joshua and many other weird and wonderful fads.

It is not always easy to come to such a conclusion, especially when there are many different reasons why this could happen to the church.

I personally believe that there must be an overarching reason that can include almost all other reasons.

This reason, I believe, is the neglect of a remembrance of the Reformation brought into the light by Martin Luther. On October 31, 1517, he nailed his 95 Theses against the door of the Wittenburg church in Germany, mainly against the selling of indulgences in the Roman Catholic Church. Luther wanted dialogue with the church concerning this abuse. However, soon indulgences became a small speck on the wall of the great doctrines to be restored by the Reformation.

Many churches today, with pastors supposedly trained theologically, don't even know when Reformation Day is! Some are very concerned with Halloween, yet have NO alternatives to celebrating Halloween! Hellooo! What about Reformation Day? Reformation Day is the same day as Halloween. Traditionally Reformation Day is celebrated on the last Sunday before October 31. This year that Sunday is October 30.

The church is losing and indeed forgetting the important doctrines of the wonderful gospel of Jesus Christ, and I fear it is going to end up in the same state as the Reformation time Roman Catholic Church! The people are no longer taught about the fundamentals of the gospel and why those fundamentals are so very important. Today it has become more important for pastors to preach feel-good sermons than teaching their people the fundamental truths of the gospel. To many of these churches the wonderful essential doctrines of the gospel have simply become passé. What do these people believe? Many of them probably believe that they are Christians, but yet have never heard a sermon on what defines a Christian theologically.

If we can start remembering why the Reformers fought so hard to bring the church back to the truth, then just perhaps we will start teaching that same truth. Many Christians tend to minor on the majors and major on the minors. However, many of them don't even know what the majors are, so how can they ever not major on the minors?

The reason why people do not get into the tough stuff of the Bible is because pastors keep feeding them byte sized, scaled down trinkets of "minors!" People are being treated like babies that cannot chew solid food. As a result when you dish up the solid food of the Scriptures to them, it is too tough to chew.

It is for this reason that we need to start highlighting the fundamentals of the gospel that the Reformers battled to bring back to the church.

What are you going to do about Reformation Day? Is it going to go by once again without mention, or are you going to make people aware of this day that can help us return to the important doctrines of the gospel?

Just thinking...


Joe said...

Not only have I come to comment, I have read your post. It is very good and I agree that the fundamentals of the gospel have been largely lost by far too many "minister-types."

billy said...

Hi William

I saw your blog on cyberchurch thought you would like to read this.
Regards Billy Baker



We want God to bless South Africa!

But how can God bless a country in rebellion to His Laws? How can God bless a country with 2,5 million reported crimes per year? Theft, violence, murder and rape are the symptoms of a society in rebellion to God. Corruption in government, immorality in schools and embezzlement in business are symptoms of selfishness, greed, covetousness and envy. In a word, SIN.

What hope do we have?

“If My people who are called by My Name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14

We need a spiritual Revival and a Biblical Reformation.

Is Revival the desire of your heart? Do you want to see your congregation and community revived and restored to a God honouring condition?

“Restore us, O God Almighty; make Your face shine upon us, that we may be saved.” Psalm 80:7

Are you praying for a great spiritual awakening that will change our cities and our country? Is it your prayer that God may be honoured and glorified in all areas of life?

“O that You would rend the heavens and come down,….come down to make Your Name known to Your enemies and cause the nations to quake before You!” Isaiah 64:1-2

Duncan Campbell of the Hebrides Revival observed: “Revival is not churches filled with people, but people filled with God.” Jonathan Edwards described Revival as “ a special season of God’s mercy.”

Revival is a sovereign move of God initiated by the Holy Spirit working through consecrated men and women. A study of Revivals in the Bible and in history reveals that all Revivals began with a deeper appreciation for the Holiness of God and a realization of how offensive our sin must be in the sight of our Holy God.

“Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the Lord, and He will have mercy on him, and to our God, for He will freely pardon.” Isaiah 55:7

Conviction of sin is the first step to a Biblical Transformation. This includes focusing on the Law of God, mourning over our sin, confessing that sin and undertaking whatever steps of restitution and obedience are necessary.

If we want God to bless our country, we need to evaluate our nation in the light of God’s Word. And we need to receive inspiration and encouragement from how God has worked in the great Revivals and Reformations of the past.

We cannot achieve anything of eternal value, unless God’s Word is foundational and central. If we think we can take a shortcut to Revival, avoiding repentance, restitution and obedience – then we are only fooling ourselves. Every Revival and national transformation in the Bible involved decisive action to bring society into obedience to the Law of God.

Is Revival the desire of your heart?

If so, please join us for the Reformation Celebration at St. Andrews church in Pinelands, Friday 28 October.

The Reformation Celebration will begin at 8:30AM. It will include inspiring presentations and discussion groups on what we can practically do for Biblical Reformation and spiritual Revival for our world, country, communities, churches and families. Opportunities for service will be discussed, the key to the Revival will be prayed over, and in the evening, the Reformation Celebration will conclude with the big screen, Hollywood production on Luther.

We need to get back to the Bible. We need a new Reformation and a fresh out-pouring of God’s Holy Spirit on our churches and communities. So much is at stake: the future of our children, the fulfillment of the Great Commission, the effectiveness of our churches, the eternal destinies of our families, friends and neighbours, and the glory and honour of God. All this is at stake.

While our shops are emphasising the occultic Halloween, let us re-emphasise 31 October as Reformation Day. It is a battle between Paganism and Christianity. Let us reclaim our calendars and our communities for Christ.

The Reformation Celebration is open to all. There is no cost for attending the conference. Lunch and supper together will cost R25 per person. Books will be on sale. For further details, or to view the programme, visit or phone 021-689-4480.

If you are not able to join us in person for this Reformation Celebration, in Cape Town, then join us in prayer and praise as we celebrate the heritage of faith and freedom which God has blessed us with through Reformers like John Wycliffe, John Hus, Martin Luther, Ulrich Zwingli, John Calvin, John Knox and William Tyndale.

“Contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the Saints.” Jude 3


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