|Reformation 500 - A Bold New Initiative for Reformation Today|
The Church Needs a New Reformation
We desperately want God to bless our countries. However, we cannot expect a Holy God to bless those who are in rebellion to His Laws. As in the days of the Reformers in the 16th century, today we are facing a complex series of both internal and external threats.
Facing the Threats
Internally we are facing a renaissance of paganism. Externally we are facing an increasingly aggressive and radical form of Islamic Jihad. Even more seriously, there is a severe crisis in our churches. Most of our people are ignorant of history, and have a very superficial grasp of Scripture. As a result, many professing Christians are compromising, cowardly and ineffective. Our churches are filled with weak, worldly, lukewarm and inactive members. The salt has lost its flavour, and all too often the light is being hid under a bushel.
Hijacked by Humanism
With many Christians in defeat and retreat, we are facing a resurgent paganism, a pervasive humanism and an aggressive Islamic radicalism. It would appear that humanism has hijacked many churches. Theistic Evolution is uncritically accepted, worldly entertainment and a degenerate form of music predominates in all too many youth groups. Antinomianism and Egalitarianism are pervasive. All too many churches seem to be increasingly conformed to the world, rather than transformed by the renewing of their minds.
Therapeutic utilitarian deism and pragmatism have combined with consumerism, positive thinking and materialism to produce a sentimental, trivial and irrelevant church that is affirming, popular and non-threatening.
Neutralised and Distracted
Many churches seem neutralised by an eschatology of defeat and retreat. Escapism and defeatism have sucked the life out of all too many congregations. Rapture fever and an end-times obsession has distracted all too many congregations to the point that they are ineffective in fulfilling the Great Commission.
The Desperate Need for Revival
There is a general neglect of prayer, a lack of fear of God and a shocking ignorance of basic Biblical Doctrine. Many churches have become self-centred, materialistic, superficial, sensational and self-indulgent. The 'Name it, Claim it and Frame it', 'Gab it and Grab it', Health and Wealth prosperity cult, twisting of Scriptures, to tell people what they want to be told, has produced weak, wimpy, weedy, wets. Paganism can be seen in many churches and youth groups, including hip-hop, rave and rock n roll, body piercing and tattoos. The secularisation of education, entertainment and the news media has made its impact on the church as well.
Brainwashed, Distracted and Deceived
Many Christians are being brainwashed by secular education, distracted by worldly entertainment and deceived by the secular news media. As a result we can see a neutralising of the church as it has been side lined out of the market place, preoccupied with end times speculations and generally passive and inactive in the issues of the day. Instead of the church changing the world, in all too many cases the world is changing the church.
What is needed if we are to rescue our churches from worldliness and work for Biblical Reformation and spiritual Revival?
The Coalition on Revival is proposing: FIRE (Fellowship for International Reformation and Evangelism). We are just 18 months away from the 500th anniversary of the launching of the Reformation. 31 October 2017 will mark the 500th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther's bold stand against the superstitions and idolatry of Roman Catholicism with his nailing of the 95 Theses on the church door of the Castle church in Wittenberg. The Coalition on Revival has launched FIRE as a Biblical plan to reform our congregations. Join us in Wittenberg 17 – 23 October 2017. See: The Power of Prayer Handbook.
This will work parallel with the plan to reform our communities, culminating in the 500th anniversary of Ulrich Zwingli's launching the Protestant Reformation in Switzerland (1519). Alongside these two movements is the plan to reform our nations, culminating in the 500th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther's bold stand against the emperor at Worms, 18 April 1521: "My conscience is captive to the Word of God. Here I stand, I can do no other!" See: The Greatest Century of Reformation book and Old Testament Survey.
A World War of Worldviews
In this clash of civilisations, the battlegrounds are found in classrooms, cinemas and college campuses, in bookshops and market places, in pulpits and parliaments, in homes and hearts. See: the Biblical Worldview Manual.
We need field workers for the Reformation, like John Wycliffe's Lollards, sowing Gospel seed, in the common language, in the market places, highways and byways, and from door to door. Reformations need literature, leadership training and itinerant Evangelists. We have published Putting Feet to Your Faith to assist in this.
We need to re-emphasize Reformation doctrines, revive worship, renew prayer, revitalise our families, restore Biblical economics, re-establish Christian schools, reform society, remove idols and restrict government to Biblical limits. See: Biblical Principles for Africa, The Greatest Century of Missions, Old Testament Survey and Victorious Christians – Who Changed the World.
The Coalition on Revival has produced a number of vital foundational documents to assist your church and ministry in working for Biblical Reformation. These are downloadable at www.Reformation.net:
If these documents accurately reflect your convictions please let us know.
95 Theses for Reformation Today
In addition, the Reformation Society has produced 95 Theses for Reformation Today as a basis for study and discussion in order to produce a Global Church Council document for publication. If you have suggestions to improve this document please communicate them to us in writing.
We need to inform, inspire and involve. We need to motivate and mobilise. We need to educate and enlist. It is essential that we are informed, inspired, and involved in fulfilling the Great Commission, working for Reformation and praying for Revival, applying the Lordship of Christ to all areas of life. Do you want to be part of this bold new initiative for Reformation Today? Then join the Christian Action Network. Establish a FIRE group in your area. Join us on Reformation 500 Facebook. Link, like and share the 95 Theses for Reformation Today.
God's thoughts are higher than our thoughts, His ways are higher than our ways. Reformation is about restoring Biblical principles to all areas of life. This is God's world, and we need God's Word to be obeyed in every area of life.
Is your conscience captive to the Word of God?
Is your desire to obey God promptly and sincerely with your whole heart aflame in the hand of God?
We need doctrinal steel in our backbones and Holy Spirit fire in our hearts, minds and souls.
May the Lord fill us and empower us with His Holy Spirit.
May God find us faithful to His Word and effective in fulfilling the Great Commission, as we work for Biblical Reformation and pray for Spiritual Revival.
In His service
Dr. Peter Hammond