The Next Reformation

“I dream of a new reformation, a reformation that is not simply a renewal of life but a new vision of life: a vision that yields new forms and structures in society and culture. As long as Christians restrict their Christianity to a religion, a faith that is compartmentalized and isolated from life, they can have revival but never, ever reformation. We need to hear and do the Word of God in all of our lives.”  RC Sproul, Pastor St. Andrews Chapel; Founder Ligonier Ministries

“There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry: ‘Mine!'” Abraham Kuyper (1837-1920), Dutch theologian and politician

And He who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also He said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”  Revelation 21:5

One of my favorite liberal assumptions is on the subject of faith.  Somehow “faith” is suppose to make your life more manageable, and for those it works for, it is all well and good.  But “faith” should be a private thing, and not pulled out into public discourse.  This demonstrates a gross lack in understanding faith and religion, well at least Christianity.

I love the  Sci Fi channel.  Over the last couple of months, they have been rerunning the series Firefly, created by Joss Wheaton.  Yeah, he also created Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Angel.  Anyway, Firefly is about a rogue group of traders/thieves who try to make a living while dodging the “Alliance”.  There is a doctor on the crew who broke his sister out of an Alliance hospital, and a preacher as well.  One particular episode  had a scene that demonstrated the difference between Biblical Christianity and man centered religion.

The preacher found the doctors sister going through the preachers Bible “fixing” it.  She was tearing out pages, crossing through passages, rewriting others, all to the preachers shocked and stunned amazement.  The girl told him that the Bible was broken and needed fixing.

To his credit, the preacher controlled the initial impulse of anger (the girl has suffered a great deal of experimentation at the hands of the Alliance), and took the opportunity to teach her.

“You don’t fix the Bible,” he told her gently, “Faith fixes you.” 

The difference in worldview could not be more clearly demonstrated.  While Jesus tells us to “Go into all the world…” (Mat 28:19) the world would have us go to our church, or better yet go home.  Our calling is not to naval gazing, but to engaging a culture that is in desperate need of the Gospel, as desperate as we need it too.  The world tells us to “fix” our faith and theology, to make it more user friendly, and accessible to the masses.  Jesus said “Go…” (Mat 28:19) not Stay.  Jesus came into a broken and dying world to make all things new. (Rev 21.:5)  We are the instruments of that process.  He does this in and through us.  It is His Kingdom and agenda, not ours.  The world (you can insert the word liberalism here) has a different view.  Liberals would have us be gods.  They fundamentally miss the point of faith: God is God, and we are not.  His dictates alone hold sway, not ours.

Unfortunately, the church has bought into the lie, to one extent or another.  There is a sense that we must be polite and nice, and not offend anyone because God wouldn’t do that.  However, those who spout such things forget that God’s main characteristic is not niceness, it’s holiness, and He rightly demands it from us.

The church is near the point of a new reformation.  There is much that needs reform.  Education, government, politics,  family,  business, you name it, it needs reform.  Much of the progress of the Reformation of the 1500’s has turned to a culture of nice religiosity, and abduction.  The work of the church has been ignored because the government was willing to overstep it’s Biblical role in society.

Yet hope remains.  There are churches, and para-church organizations, that recognize the calling of the church to play a central role in culture.  The Biblical mandate to preach the Gospel to all the world in every sphere of life is being realized again.  May the next reformation come quickly.