Friday, August 3, 2012

Reforming the Reformed

     As many of my readers know, I have been reading the excellent book by Os Guinness entitled "The Last Christian on Earth: the Enemy's Plot to Undermine the Church".  One particular section stood out towards the conclusion of his work concerning the state of Evangelicals today.  His words of wisdom are worth noting and making a matter of prayer.

Inside St. Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh, Scotland
     "We who time and again have stood for the renewal of tired forms, for the revival of dead churches, for the warming of cold hearts, for the reformation of corrupt practices and heretical beliefs and for the reform of gross injustices in society, are ourselves in dire need of reformation and renewal today.  Reformers, we ourselves need to be reformed.  Protestants, we are the ones against whom protest must be made.
      We confess that we Evangelicals have betrayed our beliefs by our behavior.  All too often we have trumpeted the gospel of Jesus, but we have replaced biblical truths with therapeutic techniques, worship with entertainment, discipleship with growth in human potential, church growth with business entrepreneurialism, concern for the Church and for the local congregation with expressions of the faith that are churchless and little better than a vapid spirituality, meeting real needs with pandering to felt needs and mission principles with marketing precepts.  In the process, we have become known for commercial, diluted and feelgood gospels of health, wealth, human potential and religious happy talk, each of which is indistinguishable from the passing fashions of the surrounding world.
     All too often we have set out high clear statements of the authority of the Bible, but flouted them with lives and lifestyles that are shaped more by our own sinful preferences and by modern fashions and convenience.
     All too often we have prided ourselves on our orthodoxy, but grown our churches through methods and techniques as worldly as the worldliest of Christian adaptations to passing expressions of the spirit of the age."

     Os Guinness is not so much condemning us for our failings but confronting us with the sober reality of the state of the Evangelical church today.  Unless someone sounds an alarm, no one will awake and heed the call to reform.  It begins with each one of us first in our own lives.  Then, it spreads to our family and into the church.  We are the bride of Christ and our wedding day to the King of Kings is at hand.  Are we ready for His return?  May we humbly do some serious self-examination of our own walk and seek the Lord so that we might be used by Him.  As Reformed believers, we must always be continuing to reform in light of God's Holy Word as we study it and apply to our lives and our church fellowships.  Soli Deo Gloria!

2 comments:

Christina said...

Amen, dear sister. Amen. I thought this very thing as I was reading the quote -- it starts with each and every one of us. You said it better though, "It begins with each one of us first in our own lives. Then, it spreads to our family and into the church." All I can say is "Yes, Lord" and may He give us grace to walk in fear and in reverence -- without guile, according to the only standard that matters - Christ.

Thank you Barbara for beings such an example of godly womanhood and for your continual seeking of Truth.

God bless you this weekend!

Barbara Thayer said...

Every day, I ask the Lord to reform my soul according to His Word. It is a daily walk that is fresh every morning thanks to the grace of God our Father. I do pray for our churches, our pastors and all who call upon the Lord as their Savior. These are difficult days and we have to be on guard. Thank you for your faithful ministry and the love that you display in your writing Christina. If I ever get to New York, you will be someone I will look up for certain! Blessings to you as you celebrate the Lord's Day tomorrow.