Tuesday, October 31, 2017

The 500th Anniversary of the Reformation

When you grow plants it requires the right amount of water, temperature, light and protection.  It is never one thing – but a series of elements which need to be present to grow and to bloom. The same is true the reformation.   We need a bold reformer that would preach the truth, but we also need civil magistrates that will protect and promote the true religion.

This year is the 500 anniversary of the reformation.  Particularly we remember Martin Luther’s great bold stand in 1517 nailing the 95 theses to the wall of Nuremburg. Rightly so, because this was a very important event – but what followed and surrounded this event made reformation possible.   
Let us consider a principle found in the scripture and that is that no great reformation has occurred in the Bible with the cooperation of the civil magistrate in the cause of reformation.   That is what has always accompanied great reformation is the government allowing, protecting and promoting the true religion. 

Let us consider several powerful examples comes from the Bible: 
  • the reformer King Hezekiah. Hezekiah carried out reforms to destroy false worship and returned the people back to obeying God’s Word.
  • When the repentant king of (a heathen king of a heathen nation) Nineveh called the nation to fasting, prayer, and humility before God.  
  • Nehemiah a governor, had the city gates closed against vendors on the Sabbath and drove away those which traded along the wall. 
In each of these reformations the civil magistrates was bold in advancing the faith.  Each one cooperated or was active in the reformation of the nation.  The same was true of Martin Luther's day.  

What was needful for the Reformation is that God placed Frederick II of Ernestine Saxony, commonly known as Frederick the Wise in power at the time of Luther’s troubles.   He stayed the hand of Rome by protecting him from assassination and provided a place for the reformation to flourish.  This is the difference of why John Hus (an reformer which pre-dated Luther by a hundred years) was martyred and why Martin Luther succeeded.

This is important part of what is missing in our day.   In these days we have cowardly civil magistrates which declare a false neutrality before God.  They stand before the people like Pontius Pilate declaring themselves neutral, and washing their hands.   The government can not, and should not be 'neutral'!  We are either for God for against God.   Since government is ordained by God (Romans 13:1) and called to kneel before Jesus (Psalm 2) they are a duty bound to profess, protect and advance the true religion in their sphere of influence.     

So on this 500th anniversary, please join me in praying that God would raise up bold Godly preachers but also Godly government leaders which will fear God more than man - and protect and advance the true religion in our day.   

~ BMH 

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