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.”]