Reformation story must be told
    February 22 2017 by Don Wright

    The Historical Committee of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina encourages pastors and lay leaders in our churches to take advantage of the 500th anniversary celebration of the Reformation on Oct. 31, 2017.
     
    For one of the few times in recent decades, the secular media plans to give broad coverage to a major Protestant event. For example, Time magazine just listed the Reformation anniversary as one of the upcoming major events of 2017. What does this mean to Southern Baptists? It is a time of reflection on the blood of the martyrs who were killed in the two centuries of the Reformation. Do we have the faith they had to die for their Christ? Are we acting as the executioner or martyr today? The indistinguishable red blood of both Catholics and Protestants was found on the hands of various churches in that period.
     
    This is a time to reaffirm our belief in the Bible as the final authority on matters of life and faith. This concept held dear by the early Christians, but lost in the many centuries since, was first revived by John Wycliffe and blessed by the blood of John Huss until Martin Luther made it the center of his reform.
     
    It is a time to celebrate the truth that we can have a personal relationship with God without the need for a human intercessor. The recognition of this significant historical event affirms that the reading of the scriptures (with the influence of the Holy Spirit) gives each Christian God’s message and divine guidance.
     
    We are part of God’s great priesthood of believers. We are all equal before our Father Creator.
     
    It is a time to continue to reject the interrelationship of church and state that always brings corruption to God’s Church. We must not forget the Anabaptists of the Radical Reformation that were hunted down and killed like animals by state sponsored Catholic, Lutheran and Reform churches for daring to assert their opposition to state churches.
     
    It is a time to praise God for the way He used a few Christian men and women to change the world. God’s power and desire does not need armies to effect change. The Reformation and the Radical Reformation came from God’s renderings on the soul of a few Christians. Take heart that if God reformed in 1517, He can do the same in 2017. We do not doubt the power and plan of God.
     
    What can you do as a Baptist leader? We urge you to educate both your church and community about the importance of the Reformation. Do not let your church members learn about it from the secular media.
    A newly released Bible study on the Reformation is available from LifeWay Christian Resources. “Echoes of the Reformation” examines the five core truths that came from the Reformation, now referred to as the ‘solas:’ sola Scriptura (by scripture alone), sola gratia (by grace alone), sola fide (through faith alone), solus Christus (through Christ alone) and soli Deo gloria (glory to God alone). We encourage you to use this opportunity to educate your church and community about the Reformation.
     
    (EDITOR’S NOTE – Don Wright, chairman of the BSC Historical Committee, submitted this to the Biblical Recorder on behalf of the committee.)
     

    2/22/2017 10:39:17 AM by Don Wright | with 0 comments




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