Okay, before you start yelling at me, at least read what I have to say and then you can yell at me. Although I hope you don’t.
The Reformation that took place 500 years ago was a revolution against the Catholic church and many of it’s practices such as the sale and support of indulgences and the power of the saints and its works-righteousness belief system. There’s a lot of nitty-gritty detail, a lot that could be said but I don’t want to get too much into it as it’s not the focus: just note that the main point of the Reformation was an attempt to bring the church back to being bible-centred. Now, why do I think we (as in the church) need a second Reformation?
Well, let’s start by looking at the state of the Protestant church today. There is so much range and uncertainty in the church today. Some churches seem to be very bible-centred, promoting traditional beliefs (Sola Scriptura/Gratia/Fide/Christus/Deo Gloria) and refusing to ordain homosexual or transgender ministers or promote LGBTQ marriage/marital rights, while some churches have compromised some doctrines and biblical views (such as the stance on abortion – there is a very popular church down the road from me that supports the right of people to murder babies in the womb) and state that the church must become more “relevant” (more on that later) to the current modern culture, while some churches have thrown themselves to the darkness and fuel the false gospel called the Prosperity Gospel. Then you get some churches that you aren’t really sure where they stand because they seem so neutral or afraid to commit to any singular viewpoint.
I think this kind of splintering in the church is one of the major reasons non-Christians don’t take the Christian faith very seriously. I mean, let’s be honest, us Christians don’t seem to have it all together do we? All this splintering and factional politics makes us seem more like a political party running for office than a group of people who love God and others.
So why do I think we need a second Reformation? For clarity and to take a stand. A Second Reformation that says ‘This is what the Bible says and we believe in the accuracy, infallibility and sufficiency of what it teaches us about Scripture, God and Jesus’. A Second Reformation that says ‘sin matters’. A Second Reformation that will stick to the Scriptures and seek to denounce heretical ideas (like the Prosperity gospel). A Second Reformation that says ‘we will no longer take part in flirting with ideas like supporting abortion and other evil deeds (such as divorce, debauchery, homosexual acts and pre-marital sex)’. And this year, the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, is the perfect time (because I like dramatics and irony). The church is busy falling apart/tearing itself apart like a tribe of hungry savages. Humanity is going far deeper down the Spiral of Darkness when the church is meant to be shining the light of Christ to it. The church needs to do something drastic now or soon we will find ourselves drowning in the ocean of “Relevance and Culture”.
Speaking of Relevance:
Ah, relevance. The great evil. When I hear someone say “The church should be more relevant” or “Why doesn’t the church get with the times already?” or anything along those lines, the reaction inside me can only be described in this meme:
Often what these people are referring to are the things that our post post-modern society has recently come to accept and promote: homosexuality, Actualised Gender Dysphoria and infanticide are chief amongst them. Please note that I don’t hate members of the LGBTQ community or women who have had abortions, I hate sin. I hate evil. And so it breaks my heart when I see people sin, when I commit sin, when I see people remain in sin and love it.
Anyway, back to relevance. Like I mentioned earlier, some churches have become more “relevant” and have embraced popular culture. My response to this would be the words found in John 12:42-43 where it talks about people who have faith in Christ but go instead with the cultural movement. Because they “love the praise from men, more than the praise from God”. Christ warns us about following popular culture, He tells the disciples that they will be hated by the world, look at John 15:18-25 and Matthew 10:16-18. Jesus is telling His followers that they should expect to be hated and shouldn’t give in to this persecution. Paul reminds us of this again in his letter to the Roman church in Romans 12:2 when he says “Do not conform to the pattern of the world”. The first letter of John the Disciple again contains this warning against conforming to the world (1 John 2:15-17). There are so many more warnings against compromising the Gospel for the sake of “glory from men” but I think the point is made in Peter’s response to the Sanhedrin in Acts 4:19 “Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you, or to Him?”