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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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

Evangelical Churches Promoting Islam?

By Ken Silva pastor-teacher

on Jun 24, 2011

No, I imply that what pagans sacrifice they offer to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be participants with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. (1 Corinthians 10:20-21)

Islam Becomes Favorite Evangelical Fetish

For at least the past six years now online apologetics and discernment ministries like Lighthouse Trails Research, as well as here at Apprising Ministries, have warning about the growing infestation within evangelicalism of critical thinking skills-numbing corrupt Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism (CSM), such as that taught by Living Spiritual Teacher and Quaker mystic Richard Foster along with his spiritual twin and Southern Baptist minister Dallas Willard.

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Osama Bin Laden killed: Why it’s OK to rejoice, (but not gloat)

Grant Swart

In the light of developments earlier today in the international war on terror, I thought it appropriate to re-post this article by Pastor Bill Randles, himself a citizen of theUSA. Hundreds of secular articles written under the guise of Christian opinion, have been placed on the internet by proponents of the ecumenical church such as Brian McLaren, following the merciful removal of the threat of the terrorist, Osama Bin Laden. Those articles are mostly in keeping with the immensely popular social gospel of tolerance above truth, which discredits the Christian position rather than represents it. The article by Bill Randles, which I have added at the bottom, offers a Christian perspective an is certainly worth reading again.

Shortly after the international incident, President Obama of the USA, in his televised address, missed yet another great opportunity to thank, (or at the very least mention), the Lord God for assisting their armed forces efforts in protecting the freedom of Christians. Continue reading