Many Protestants have forgotten what we were protesting during the Reformation. This may not seem relevant to you, but I would beg to differ. You see, the formal cause of the Protestant Reformation was authority. The 16th century Reformers asked the greatest and most divisive question of their day; who has the authority over faith, practice and our salvation? Is it the church, or is it God through His revealed word—the Holy Scriptures. The answer was clear yet it created a schism in the church that was so powerful, it continues until today. The Reformers rightly believed that the only authority over our lives is God, and God exercises His authority through the Holy Scriptures. To put it simply, the Reformers professed that we are saved by grace, through faith in Christ alone, because of the authority of the Scriptures alone, to the glory of God alone.
So why bring this up? Well, I believe that there is a new attack on the church of Christ that is more powerful and more divisive than what was experienced during the 16th century Protestant Reformation. Let me explain…
Today’s church is being attacked by society. It’s not any one denomination thats at war with another, it’s lukewarm Christians and non-believers that have a strong animosity against the church and what she stands for. People don’t want the church to speak into their lives. They don’t want the church, or for that matter, the Bible to tell them how to live their lives. Simply put, people don’t want for anyone or anything to have authority over them.
In 1 Samuel, the leaders and people of Israel petitioned Samuel to appoint for them a king because Samuel did not want to follow their way of life. Samuel was heart broken for the people and prayed to God. God replied to Samuel and said for Samuel to give the people what they wanted. This would ultimately prove to be disastrous for Israel. But in His statement to Samuel God also revealed this about what the people really wanted; or should I say rejected, “for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them.” 1 Samuel 8:7. It’s blatantly clear then, that when we refuse to place ourselves under Biblical authority, we are rejecting not only the Scriptures, but God.
Let us therefore reform ourselves back to who God has called us to be as a people according to His Word. For this is His will for us that we may live fruitful lives, filled with His Spirit.