The Protestant Reformation
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AS ALL OF YOU KNOW, OCTOBER THE 31ST IS THE DAY WE REMEMBER THE PROTESTANT REFORMATION. Ah, Martin Luther! You should be able to see what went on since then! But...
Let’s refresh our memories what this it is all about:
The Protestant Reformation was a Christian reformist movement started in the early sixteenth century by Martin Luther, publishing his 95 Theses, in October 31st /1517 at the door of the Church at the Castle of Wittenberg, he protested several points of the doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church , proposing a reformation in Roman Catholicism. The fundamental principles of the Protestant Reformation are known as the Five Solas. The Five Solas are Latin phrases that appeared during the Protestant. And are the fundamental principles of the Reformation in contradiction to the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church of the time. The Latin word "sole" means "only".
The Five Solas synthesised BASIC THEOLOGICALCREEDS of the reformers, PILLARS which they believed to be ESSENTIAL OF CHRISTIAN LIFE AND PRACTICE. All five implicitly rejected or countered the teachings of the then dominant Roman church, which was in the minds of reformers encroached upon divine attributes or qualities for the Church and its hierarchy, especially his superior, the Pope.
THE FIVE SOLAS ARE:
Sola fide - only faith
Solus Christus - Christ only.
Sola gratia - grace only.
Soli Deo gloria - Glory to God only.
Luther was supported by several religious and European leaders provoking a religious revolution, which started in Germany, and extending through Switzerland, France, Netherlands, UK, Scandinavia and some parts of Eastern Europe, especially the Baltic countries and Hungary. The response of the Roman Catholic Church was the movement known as the Counter Reformation or Catholic Reformation, initiated the Council of Trent. The result of the Protestant Reformation was the division called: The Church of the West between the Roman Catholic and the Reformed or Protestant, originating the PROTESTANTISM.
Well. Far from me to criticize or to bully those dared in history to break with religious traditions and "rigidities in respect Christians" to accomplish this Revolution that culminated in the Protestant Reformer! I'm not here to be sarcastic or disrespectful with our history, but we cannot deny that Martin Luther had to be able to see what the Reformation resulted in our Century!
After much struggle, many persecutions, so much bloodshed and much dedication and effort of the church fathers... We come to our century, "proud" of being Protestants! In reality, I think is that we are hitchhikers on the bandwagon! Today, perhaps someone dares to brag because we are Protestants, but the TRUTH is; we are in NEED OF ANOTHER REFORMATION! WE need to recognize that the Protestant Church has truly grown; we have seen many souls surrender at the Feet of Jesus. Protestant Churches are multiplying largely in Brazil and in the entire World, but, we are far away from the BASIC CREEDS OF THEOLOGICAL REFORMATION!!
How could we withdraw so far away? Did we evolve? Nothing! In the objective of reformulating which needed no amendments, we have departed from SIMPLICITY! We created a Pyrotechnic Protestantism! A "PENTECOSTAL FANTASY ISLAND" where many live on deception.
If the Founders of the Church were still with us, they would have a heart attack! They must be turning in their graves! Because what we see in Protestantism today it is reproachful! We no longer protest but now we agree with everything, we follow the wave of quick success! Far from being a repetitive, but without ceasing to be, WE FAIL TO TREAT SIN AS SIN! WE ARE "SELLING INDULGENCES" IN A MORE SOPHISTICATED WAY! Nowadays we even have little machines for credit cards in our services for those who want to make a donation to the Church or tithing! Our Churches have become major centers of entertainment and people are invited not to know and receive Jesus, but to participate in a SHOW!
Our children are taken out from the Worship and entertained to be distracted with frivolous things by people who are unprepared and without Fellowship with God, where in the little rooms are imposed films and cartoons, often, not Christians, a true model of lack of commitment and vision of the Kingdom of God. Our teenagers in order to be attracted are taken watch movies disguised as worship, where they dance the forró music or funk! Our young people do not pray anymore, no longer preach, quite a few of them do not even carry a Bible anymore to the Church!
From the Church Worship, they go to "ballads", “parties” where nobody is nobodies! Our adults are there watching and standing still, doing nothing. Waiting for something they do not quite know what it is! Our old, frustrated with the innovations ... We still we hear rumbles from some which resist the new trends! But what are they facing this great elephant called CONTEXTUALISATION?!
And what can we say about the leaders? Our leaders, the exact ones that rejected Luther, the keep on going on to PROUD to listen to the “complaints” of the low class! They are too occupied in the meeting rooms with air conditioning on; in their luxury cars, on their jets ... In their "prosperity meetings", they "shake" the people, manipulate the masses, huge crowds! And whoever dares to disagree is frozen or cooked to the "slow cooker"! Lives are not prioritized; right now the thing at the current time is to manage things!
Then, we follow in this erring conflicting and infamous entanglement of emotions! To receive any attention of these, only if one has some "rubbles" or being influential, otherwise you do not receive a compliment or any attention at all! They choose who is helpful to their "expansion plans", their disciples and cooperators cannot think or disagree, only perform, because they need to be loyal to the Vision and to the Leader! A "long live" our "the colonels"!
And what about our Worship meetings? Ahhh... Anything similar to what the people of Israel offered to God in the first chapter of Isaiah would be a compliment! We are better! We managed to overcome the displeasure to the People of that time! Now, we use Light Show; we have songs for breakthrough; we have temples have air conditioned and cozy with ample parking and everything else! We even have Mini Shopping’s and Food Court! We have absolutely everything, except God! We have the latest technology, but we have no Anointing! We have overwhelming emotions with the songs; but we do not have any submission to God, no humbleness! We have so much emphasis on the words, but we do not have any Conversions! We have so many changes and improvements but we have no TRANSFORMATION of Lives!
The best ones we have are "gospels show artists gospels"; walkway of fashion; behavioral tendencies; lust and disrespect to the place of worship to the God who is Holy! ... Innovations which reveal the desperation of the necessity of self-assertion and reveal our "partnership" with the world! Our hymns today are true "Battlefield" where "whoever humiliated you will be humiliated!" "Whoever saw you fallen right now will have to put up with you smiling!" "Whoever despised you, will see you on the Stage being applauded Standing up!" We are in constant battle among Christians. One always trying to be better than his brother, or sister. We desperately are seeking for honour and for recognition, and in the middle of this battle, love is something dispensable! No one cares to pulling the rug out from underneath each other and thus way here we go on the "Chariot of Luxury".
We abandoned the Sacred Hymns; forgot those songs that had message inspired by God! That shook the heart and the soul and not the body! What we have today is rhythm and nothing else! Noise of "Empty Cans"! We are in the market now, folks! The interesting thing is to be a "commercial" and not spiritual! With all such atrocities, the Holy Spirit, (remember him?), Is far ... Grieved! Isolated of everything, as faced with so many opportunities and sensations to explore , we no longer have time for Him in our Worship, in our lives, and in our homes ... THERE IS NO DOUBT THAT WE NEED URGENTLY A PROTESTANT REFORMATION! There is no doubt that we are on the verge of complete chaos and, far from being apocalyptic, tragic and pessimistic, we are living just about a TOTAL COLLAPSE of Evangelical Institution in the World!
Do you want to confirm this? Look at the Cradle of REFORMATION! As Europe is today we are going to be tomorrow in terms of spirituality and Revival! It is not surprising the fact that on a everyday bases we face more and more uprisings against the Church, through policy, through activists and many more! We abandoned the BASIC TEACHINGS OF THE REFORM! We urgently need to get back to the "Five Solas"! And look I am summarizing the situation, because I know many who will read this article will bring even much more of what's happening in the midst of Protestants! Today, October 31, is Reformation Day, we have much to celebrate! We should follow the counsel of God through Joel: “Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity” – Jl. 2:13.
We should come back to first love and observance of God's Word! I know all this PROTEST may be insignificant in compare of such need, know that I can be being execrated now, this very moment that you, Dear reader, meditate on these lines of desperate outburst! But I cannot deny our Protestant Origins! Today, October 31st, we should be visiting a grave of PROTESTANTISM! Because the Prophets of God are being pruned and despised in the House of the Lord! We urgently need a PROTESTANT REFORMATION.
Of a REFORMATION that brings us back to God, which will make us recognize our miseries and our omission before so many needs! We need a REFORMATION that will awaken to be that for which God has called us! That will transform us into soul winners for the Kingdom of God! A REFORMATION of our VALUES AND OUR CHARACTER! We need a OVERALL REFORMATION and make us return to the ROOT of PROTESTANTISM ! Today, October 31st , we are not worthy of celebrating! We cannot boast of having done something to add to our fathers work. In their time, they had no paraphernalia technology as we have today! In their time, they travelled absurd and inhumane distances to take the Lord's Supper to a soul! In their time, was shed blood and they gave their lives for the sake of the Gospel! In their time, shead tears! At their time they studied the Bible in search of messages Revealed by God, not by Google!
In their time, they had the Fear of the Lord ! At their time, there was more love ...
May God help us beloved! May God have mercy upon us and give us grace so we can stand up and be as He called us to be. Our objective here is going to be reached if, at least, one Christian will be awakened! Our objective here is to make visible the Will of God to the hearts that cry out for a RESPONSE in such difficult times! Our objective here is to make you reflect in the real needs of Gods´ Kingdom! In this kingdom, there is no room for luxuries nor disputes! There is neither place for pride nor place for boasting! In this Kingdom, there is no room for lies and politicizing’.
In Gods´ Kingdom there is Room for the “WASHED E REDEEMED BY THE BLOOD OF JESUS! If we were living this kind of REFORMATION, than we could say: WOW, WHAT A GREAT REFORMATION!!
Stay in the Perfect Peace of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Pr. Paulo Giovane S. Fonseca.
Translated by: Antonina Penner.