Semper Reformanda: Always being reformed by God, NOT man always reforming the church

church ruins 1

Grant Swart

A confounding and misleading message is being bandied about at will by many authors and theologians who regard themselves as being of the reformed faith. It is based on a misappropriation of the phrase ecclesia reformata et semper reformanda. What is often understood from the context in which they commonly apply the abridged version, being simply semper reformanda, is that the church itself should constantly be seeking ways to reform, or actively pursuing new or better avenues in an effort to retain or advance its reformed position.

There is not a single reference in Scripture to support this approach; in fact, there are explicit warnings against our trying to perform this type of enhancement to Christ’s work and His church. Nowhere in the Word of God are Christians commissioned, mandated or yoked with doing that which God alone can do. Christians do not have a calling to conform to the teachings, creeds, confessions, hypotheses or traditions of the reformation per se, however, that is not implying that most of what the reformers stood for was wrong, unnecessary or not based on Scripture. Indeed, the fives solas and emphasis on the sovereign grace of God, are summarizations of that which the reformers stood for, are truths and tools of significant value.

Christians do not have the ability to reform Christ’s possession and are under no obligation to do so. Followers of Christ have no duty to reform the church, which they might perform according to their individual abilities, or choose to neglect to perform by reason of their disobedience. True Christians are by nature of their standing before God, reformed by God’s Holy Spirit, not by any value or effort toward that reformation on their part. Christ’s church is reformed by nature of God’s work, not by the enthusiastic efforts or contributions of man. The truth concerning semper reformanda, is that God does the reforming, as He has done and will continue to do in eternity and not only for the last five centuries. Semper reformanda is not an instruction to men to always be reforming the church, it is an inevitability of Gods will that His church is always being reformed.

[ I am told that, subsequent to my posting of this article, there has been an amusing accusatory response of little significance, towards For the Love of His Truth by certain religionists in the social media. As insignificant though, as these accusers are, nevertheless, I will respond. These accusations have apparently been made by religious zealots posing as guardians of the reformed faith, who hold the authority of the Reformation and the Reformers in far higher regard than they do Scripture, the sovereignty of God or the church of Jesus Christ. In a misguided and futile attempt to discredit the the authors who write for this blog, and others whose work has been posted here, they have issued ridiculous and immature “warnings” to others that For the Love of His Truth is not of the “reformed” faith. As if wearing a label which says, “Reformed”, equates to being a child of God saved by His grace!

The terms “Reformed” and “Christian” may often be used conjunctively, however, in and of themselves they describe two entirely different salvific contexts. In essence. “reformed” describes a man made theory derived from Scripture, it is a structured set of gridlines through which Scripture can be read and understood, and subsequently be applied as refutation against the heresies of Roman Catholicism and other will-worshipping and professing Christians. “Christian” describes a sinner who has been washed clean by his being adopted as a child of God by Jesus and through being spiritually regenerated by the Holy Spirit in accordance with the will of God, into perfect righteousness, which was purchased on his behalf, by the Blood of Christ on the Cross.

Our position regarding this issue has repeatedly been stipulated on this blog: we are followers of Jesus Christ, we are children of God by way of His grace, we are Christians, we bow down before the Almighty Triune God of the Christian and Holy Bible, and we regard the Word of God (Jesus Christ the Saviour) as the final and singular authority and finisher of our faith. We bow down before no man made creed, confession, or denomination. Christianity did not have its origin with the Reformation, it starts and ends with Christ alone.

Furthermore, the antagonistic religionists failed to read what I stated unequivocally in this article, which is in support of the reformers:“Christians do not have a calling to conform to the teachings, creeds, confessions, hypotheses or traditions of the reformation per se, however, that is not implying that most of what the reformers stood for was wrong, unnecessary or not based on Scripture. Indeed, the fives solas and emphasis on the sovereign grace of God, are summarizations of that which the reformers stood for, and are truths and tools of significant value.”]

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BEWARE !! NEW NAR “BIBLE” A DANGEROUS HERESY

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by Amy Spreeman

Have you heard about the latest Bible “translation?” This one comes from the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) camp, from the brain of one man, a human-appointed “Apostle.” It’s called “The Passion Translation,” written by Brian Simmons of Stairway Ministries.

Simmons has actually released four installments of his new translation:

Coming this fall he is releasing Proverbs, Wisdom From Above.

Let’s do a side-by-side comparison of Proverbs 8. Just for fun, I’ll use the NIV to compare what the Bible says, vs. what Simmons thinks it should say. First, the real deal: Continue reading

Should we pray for God to comfort those who oppose the Gospel, like Rick Warren?

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By – For the Love of His Truth 

Throughout recent years, men and women of true saving faith, followers of our Lord Jesus Christ, have loudly voiced opposition to the grossly erroneous teachings of Rick Warren and, of course, many others who preach a gospel of humanism and free-willism contrary to the Gospel of Christ.

The social media is a-buzz with talk about the suicidal death of Rick Warren’s 27 year old son. To be sure, discussion surrounding this story is not only limited to social media, but is the focus of international news feed on many levels. Rick Warren has, according to some sources, been regarded as one of the ten most influential religious speakers in the world. His books, programs and other influential instruments have become prized household items throughout the secular world, while at the same time they have also been regarded as despicable by true followers of our Lord Jesus Christ. A published statistic says that only the Bible has been translated more times than his most popular book to date, “The Purpose Driven Life”.

Many requests for prayer have been made via Facebook, Twitter and other social media tools, for the family of Rick Warren to be comforted by the Lord, during this extremely difficult time following the tragic suicide of their son. The loss of a child, whether by suicide or by any other means for that matter, brings with it an almost overwhelming sadness and unbearable grief for those left behind in their families. It would be inhuman of us if we did not feel a sense of grief for those who have met with such tragedy. We have great sympathy for any family who has suffered such loss.

However, these requests pose a concern for the believer: is the comfort of Warren and his family really what the church should be praying for? Continue reading

Santa Claus, Antichrist and Angus Buchan: more interesting than the Book of Proverbs?

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Grant Swart

It never ceases to amaze, how controversial personalities and questionable professing Christians succeed in occupying the thoughts, imagination and time of those who regard the internet news feed as a worthy place to spend a lot of their valuable time. It is evident that the debate about characters and events such as Rick Warren, Joel Osteen, The Elephant Room, Rob Bell and Passion 2013, takes on a greater importance for many, than does for example, the studying and discussion surrounding the wonderful wisdom and humour held within the Book of Proverbs.

The statistics on this blog represent no exception. As administrator, I was able to gain access to those. The following list should be indicative of what I have just said. These are the names of the controversial personalities attached to the most widely read articles on this blog over the past year or two. The list tells its own story:

Santa Claus (father Christmas)

Antichrist

Angus Buchan

TB Joshua

Rick Joyner

Rick Warren

John Piper

Joseph Prince

Eugene Peterson (author of The Message)

Bill Johnson

Beth Moore

Ann Voskamp

Kay Arthur

I do concede that, on the greater scale of things, this blog cannot be representative of global tendencies, but these stats are nevertheless disturbing, particularly as there are so many more expository articles on this blog, than there are articles of tabloid interest.

While I realize that it is not any sort of requirement or justification, I wonder how many of the people who have read and commented with much fervour on the blog postings regarding the above personalities, are able to fill in (more or less) the missing words from these well-known Bible verses?

OK, so let us try, beloved readers:

1) “I will lift up mine eyes unto the….., from whence cometh my …… My ….  cometh from the …., which made …… and earth…”

2) LORD, how are they increased that……. me! many are they that …… up against me.

Many there be which say of my soul, There is no….. for him in God

One more try, this time, from the most beautiful benediction from the Book of Jude. Simply fill in the blanks in your mind’s eye:

Now to him who is able to keep you from…….. and to present you blameless before the presence of his…… with great……, to the only God, our ……, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, …….. and ………., before all time ..… and  forever. Amen

It seems unacceptable that, when placed on a balance, the time set aside by Christians to partake in conferences, debates, forums and discussions surrounding controversial personalities and subjects, it far outweighs that which is spent in contemplating God’s Grace and applying the simplicity of His Sovereign will to our lives.

I wish there to be great blessings of peace in your lives, and less strife and confusion over subjects and people who cannot as much as influence the passage of a single day in Creation.

Irrespective of how many seats on international jet-liners, people such as CJ Mahaney, John Piper or Benny Hinn fill, or how many hotel rooms they rent as they criss-cross the globe, or how many deceived souls they draw into their conference halls, the form of the church of our Lord Jesus Christ will remain unaffected (Matthew 16:18).  Maybe Rick Warren or Louis Giglio will have a street, a building or a new model of some four cylinder Korean car named after themselves,  but in terms of that which they successfully merchandise to the unbelieving world, they are worthy only of our disregard.

Blessings to all.

elephant and mouse

 

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The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women

As Spurgeon cried with deep insight: “Once a church or individual Christian gets on the downgrade, momentum takes over, recovery is unusual.” And there our modern church is found falling away in profound decadency with most churches having “ICHABOD” written on their doors.

The issue of Women Preachers is just one of the symptoms of this malaise of the church and so from all sides the word now used is “Post Christian Era”. But here we are dealing with this “cancer” of women preachers in the church. The Bible speaks too clearly on this subject for there to be any confusion. The problem is that churches too often are looking to sources other than the Bible for guidance; indeed they are fully steeped in the tenets of secularism. God loves women as much as He does men. Women are as important to the home, church, and society as men are. In Jesus Christ, women enjoy the same access to salvation and blessings before God as men do. This does not mean, though, there is no difference in men and women in their appearance and roles. There is a basic truth, which needs to be restated in the church and society today: Men and women are different and are not interchangeable! Continue reading

In the world, but not of the world, but which world is that, really?

by Grant Swart

The things of this world, wars, famine, suffering, poverty, etc., impact Christians and non-Christians alike. By remembering that we, as Christians, are “not of this world,” remembering that these things are just for a little while, we can see them in a different light. We are still in this world but we are no longer of it (John 17:14).

Believers are no longer of the world—we are no longer ruled by sin, nor are we bound by the principles of the world. In addition, we are being changed into the image of Christ, causing our interest in the things of the world to become less and less as we mature in Christ. Believers in Jesus Christ are simply in the world—physically present—but not of it, not part of its values. As believers, we should be set apart from the world, we often hear this, even refer to this and remind each other of it, but do we know what that world entails?   Continue reading

BRIAN MCLAREN CROSSED THE ROAD…

Matthew 7:13 “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.

By Amy Spreeman

Post-modern liberalism in the Body of Christ is what gives the Emergent Church theology its wings. It helps you toss along the waves of uncertainty; question what God said is Truth.  A few weeks ago we reported the many ways in which the Church is emerging into a New kind of Spirituality, one that brings together people of all faiths.

Yesterday on 9-11, a brand new book was released by Brian McLaren: Why did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed cross the road?  Is it a bad joke? Here’s Brian McLaren’s punchline:

My answer to the question Why did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed cross the road is simply, this: To get to “the other.”

In other words, everything we know about Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammad, tells us that—if they were here today—they would be trying to lead us into an encounter with the other where, instead of killing one another, and hating one another, we would discover one another.

As all God’s children… Continue reading