Happy Reformation Day

reformday.jpgToday is the anniversary of when, in 1517, Martin Luther nailed the 95 Theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg. God used this act as a spark to create a reformation among believers whereby the supremacy of Scripture would once again be accepted as the sole authority for our faith. Here is the full text of the 95 Theses.

Advertisements

Celebrations in October

shieldluthersm.jpgIt’s October and you know what that means…

Well, it means two things really: 1) Halloween is upon us and 2) so is the World Series. (Note: these are not listed in order of importance)

As always, Halloween merits some mention because churches struggle over how to address it. Many churches offer “harvest parties” as a wholesome alternative to Halloween. Others sponsor “judgment houses” — the Christian version of a haunted house where visitors are confronted with the reality of an eternity in hell and then presented some form of evangelistic message. I still contend we really miss the boat at this time of year. It was on October 31 that Martin Luther nailed the 95 theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenburg, the spark that set ablaze the Protestant Reformation. This time of year provides an incredible opportunity for teaching about the history of the event and the biblical doctrines that were reclaimed. For a taste of what we are missing read “Celebrating Reformation.”

shieldpennantsm.jpgNow, the World Series merits a special mention this year because the Detroit Tigers are back in it. Since I am the “World’s Number One Detroit Tiger Fan” I would be remiss if I did not make mention of this fact. Oh, I’m sure there are those who would dispute my claim to number-one-fan status, but for 22 years (the number of years since the Tigers were last in the World Series) I have proudly stood up — even in the midst of a 119-loss season — and proclaimed my affection for the Tigers. So please forgive me if I make similar proclamations now, when it is considerably more pleasant to do so.

Uncompromising

shieldswordsm.jpgCharles Haddon Spurgeon, the “Prince of Preachers,” was not very big on sacrificing truth for unity. In fact, when it came to God’s Word, he was quite uncompromising (a word which, today, has decidedly negative connotations but in Spurgeon’s day was quite complimentary). He did not shy away from preaching “hard” doctrines nor did he attempt to ease the cutting bite of the Word’s sharper edges. This week’s dose of Spurgeon over at Pyromaniacs demonstrates this well. Would that God would raise up more preachers like Spurgeon who are unafraid to preach the whole of God’s Word and unapologetic for the truths contained therein.

Seeking Treasure from Idols

When we think of idol worship we often conjure images of Old Testament-style idolatry. We may think of the Israelites and their golden calf or the despicable practice of the Ammonites in sacrificing their children to Moloch. Few of us ever consider the many forms idols may take, nor the various ways we sacrifice to them – even today.

shieldcoinssm.jpgThis book review at the Chalcedon Foundation’s website demonstrates how people frequently sacrifice their children to idols right here in 21st century America. Parents are sacrificing their children to the idol of worldly success, pushing them ever harder for higher grades, more involvement, more achievement so that they might end up at the right college which will, of course, enable them to get the right job and on and on. The book is not specifically about the children of Christian parents but a simple glance around will confirm that Christian parents have fallen prey to this very idol and willingly offer their children to it.

The results speak for themselves. Statistics show that 88 percent of students who were involved in church while in high school leave the church when they leave school. For them church was just another activity tacked onto an already lengthy list of other activities. Our churches have become horribly inept at teaching our children the deep and meaningful things of God. We do not emphasize that Christ is not merely another aspect of our life but that he is life itself and our whole existence is to glorify God. Even if we say these things our actions speak louder.

Investing the vast majority of our time in other areas betrays our true priorities. We sacrifice our time, our energy, and our children to idols and then wonder why God would allow them to wander away.

It should come as no surprise. Jesus was clear on the consequences of pursuing worldly treasure. “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” – Matthew 6:19-21

%d bloggers like this: