Second Reformation

On October 31, 1517 a Roman Catholic priest named Martin Luther nailed 95 points of debate on the church door at Wittenburg, Germany. History now recognizes that act as the official beginning of the Protestant Reformation.  Luther's intent was not to start a new church, but rather to reform the one he was a part of.  Troubled by many doctrines and practices, he could no longer remain silent and set about to bring the Roman Catholic Church back to her New Testament moorings.

Today, nearly 500 years later, we believe that  once again God is instigating a reformation of His Church.  Hundreds of thousands of believes are looking at what has become "church-as-usual" and have decided that it is not getting the job done. Rather than continue to beat a dead horse they have opted instead to embrace the change and move forward with God.

Today, like so many years ago, we find common conditions in the church that sparked the need for reformation.

  1. The church was filled with false doctrine and man made traditions.
  2. The church had ceased to produce born again believers and true disciples.
  3. The leadership of the church had drifted from serving to exerting political power, both in the church and in the secular society of the day.
  4. Raising money by questionable methods for questionable purposes was an accepted practice.
  5. Religious conformity was more important than personal faith.

It was these and other conditions that the reformers protested.  Because the Catholic Church would not listen and refused to deal with the issues it became necessary for the reformers to move outside the traditional church so the reforms could be put into practice.

Throughout Protestant history we see a pattern that resulted in the various denominations.  God would move by His Spirit to restore some lost truth or practice to the.Church.  Many people would respond, resulting in revival and a fresh visitation of God.  Later, after several generations the movement solidified into a denomination with its own traditions and doctrines.

Second and third generation Christians begin to question the status quo of ritual and doctrine that no longer imparted the life of the Holy Spirit to the people. Like in the days of Gideon, who asked God, "If you are really with us, where are the miracles our forefathers told us about?"  A new generation would contend for the fresh moving of the Holy Spirit and once again God would restore more New Testament truth and practice.  Every time, some people would respond and others would not.  Those that would not embrace the moving of God's Spirit settled into denominational stagnation.  

Those that did respond to God went on to birth a fresh and vibrant movement that saved souls and impacted society.

The reformation of the 1500's did much to reform church doctrine and practice, bringing it back to the New Testament moorings it had drifted from.  However. not much of the church structure was reformed and most of the reformers carried the Roman Catholic style of government and worship into the new protestant churches.  While there have been some needed changes over the centuries we are still left pretty much with a pre-reformation system of church government that minimized the "laity" and promoted the priesthood (or in the Protestant case, the "ministry").

It is this structure and the man-made systems that support it that God is reforming in our day.  God is also challenging many of the false doctrines that have crept into the American Church, as well as the spiritual stagnation many churches and Christians have fallen into.

Today we are faced with the same options.  Stay with the status quo because it is too hard or too costly to change or take the risk and embrace a fresh wind of the Spirit of God as He once again seeks to purify and restore the Church of Jesus Christ to New Testament principles of faith and practice.

We invite you to walk with us on the journey. Let's talk!

Following are some articles and booklets dealing with the subject of the second reformation.

Essential Church, by Steve Highlander 
Thousands are leaving the institutional church but they are not reconnecting with the Body of Christ.  In this teaching Steve takes a close look at the Body of Christ and shows how it is essential to God's eternal purpose, His plan for reaching the world and in our own lives.  God did not ever intend for us to so stand-alone Christianity.  He chose to express Himself through a "many-member Body."  Steve shows clearly and scripturally that God has called believers to be connected, but not in the traditional sense of Church.  

Read It Online Now >>>

The Second Reformation Part1Defining God's Movements in History since the 1500s
In this 6-page article Steve defines the words we have used to describe God moving in the world and some significant events and people associated with each move.  He looks at reformation; revival, renewal; awakening and movement.  This article touches lightly on the historical significance of the first reformation, the cause of denominationalism, historic revivals, the four awakenings in America and the Pentecostal movement, Latter Rain and the Charismatic Renewal.  You will especially be intrigued by the person who prayed publicly in a service on January 1, 1901 and what happened the same day on the other side of the world in response to that prayer.
READ E-BOOK

The Domestication of the Spirit, by Steve Highlander
Is Jesus really the Head His Church or the figurehead of our church?  Do our modern "worship services" allow the Holy Spirit to move or is He just our mascot, along for the ride like the Dalmatian on a fire truck?  In this message I look at several dictionary definitions of DOMESTICATION and apply them to our attempts to make church operate the way we want it to.  READ E-BOOK




Comments