You are probably asking why do we need a Reformation when the economy is so bad, families are disintegrating and morals are rapidly descending?
Most Americans do not know nor do they appreciate the importance and relevance of the Reformation today. I would like to first of all define what the Reformation was and its application to the social, moral and religious values of today. Part of the chaos and confusion of this present age is our loss of biblical authority. We have lost our moorings. It’s not that we are just off base a little, and just need a minor refinement but that we need to return to God’s kingdom principles.
The Reformation was a major force in reviving the Church, Marriage, Family, Work and the Nation. This was a movement not restricted to one denomination but swept over the Church and produced what we call today the Protestant Church in Europe. The impact is most notable today in those former Communist countries which were without the influence of the Bible and evangelical Christianity.
I hear people talking everyday about what God thinks but this is entirely out of sync with the Bible. It is evident that people have never even read the Bible. We are ignorant of God’s word and his ways and I am not talking about the Amalekites, Canaanites, and Jebusites, although it might be helpful to understand why God judged these ancient nations. My call is for another Reformation in my life, your life and the life of the Church.
God has blessed America since its birth with more than just the pursuit of prosperity and happiness but with a true knowledge of who he is and his great works of providence and creation. As the well know Alexis de Tocqueville noted in his classic work, “Democracy in America” The reason America is great is because it is good and when it seeks to be good, it will cease to be great. That greatness is diminishing with the acceptance of self as the highest authority, love of pleasure, abandonment of God’s plan of marriage and morality. We have become a nation of violence, sexual dysfunction and religious hypocrisy. All these are symptoms of our rejection of the principles of the Reformation.
The Reformation is dated as October 31, 1517, when Martin Luther an Augustinian monk nailed his 95 Theses to the Castle Church door in Wittenberg, Germany. The fires of the Reformation had long burned in Bohemia with John Hus who was burned at the stake for rejecting transubstantiation, and William Tyndale who translated the Latin Vulgate into English. His goal was that every common person in England should have a copy of the Scriptures. This released the anger of the Church and ended with his martyrdom.
This was one of the greatest events of the past 1000 years. The Reformers returned the Church back to the authority of Scripture, which is much needed today.
The early reformers included Martin Luther, John Calvin, Ulrich Zwingli, Heinrich Bullinger and John Knox. While Luther was the catalyst that exploded the movement, Calvin was its chief theologian, systematizing the biblical truths rediscovered from the scriptures.
Key aspects of reformed theology include the authority of scripture and the doctrines of grace. These focus on the sovereignty of God’s grace, especially in salvation.
Sometimes these cries of the reformation are expressed in Latin as:
· Sola Scriptura – scripture alone
· Sola Fide – faith alone
· Sola Gratia – grace alone
· Sola Christus – Christ alone
· Sola Deo Gloria – glory to God alone
The great need today is another Reformation to bring society back to God’s standards for the Church, marriage, family, work and government. Reformation Today!