Sunday, October 31, 2010

5 1/2 The 95 Theses

October 31st is the anniversary of the date in which Martin Luther nailed his famous 95 Theses to the church door in Wittenburg in 1517.

He had a list of grievances with the Roman Catholics; 95 points long. All I can say is that I know the feeling. He wanted to debate Scripture after having a personal experience with Jesus. The Pope, Purgatory and the selling of indulgences were on the list. The problems that we have in the global Protestant church are different.

Mr. Luther and I have similar struggles. We see things that are very wrong with religion, and we want to fix them - or at least debate them. Because of an encounter with the living God, he began that work of changing the religious church culture.

After he had apologized for his harsh tone, Luther began:

Out of love for the truth and the desire to bring it to light, the following propositions will be discussed at Wittenberg, under the presidency of the Reverend Father Martin Luther, Master of Arts and of Sacred Theology, and Lecturer in Ordinary on the same at that place. Wherefore he requests that those who are unable to be present and debate orally with us, may do so by letter.

I have a friend who wrote his own list of 95 truths that he thought Christians should get back to. I am not going to list 95, but I am going to list a few places where I think that we have gone astray. It has been may years since I read Martin Luther's pub debate topics, but I will check them out when I am done writing mine.

-1 Sin: We need to call sin "sin." There is no way around it. We do not live in a moral society. If we do not inform others what sin is, how will they know they need Jesus to be saved? There is no way to change what God considers sin.

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord

-2 Love: We need to learn to love like Jesus does, not like Hollywood. We must go the extra mile, call when we are too tired, show up when folks move, visit them when they are in need, and learn that secret of secret giving!

Ephesians 5:2 ... and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

-3 Spirit Led Meetings: I think we need to dismantle our church services (productions) for a few weeks, and just let God inspire some of our folks to share their heart; a word, a prophecy, a teaching, a burden or a prayer.

1 Corinthians 14:26 What then shall we say, brothers? When you come together, everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. All of these must be done for the strengthening of the church.

-4 Burden Led Programs: To often churches haves a set list of ministries and slots that need to be filled. That's great when there are folks to fill the slots. This causes two problems, however. The first is the lack of support for ministry slots by folks that really have a passion for the ministry. Worse, there are the folks in and about church that want to do a specific ministry, and when there are no slots, then they feel left out, unfulfilled and insignificant to Jesus.

Ephesians 2:10 For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

-5 Salvation:  Salvation is available to all. Not all are saved and not all will be saved.

Acts 4:12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.

- 5 1/2 Prayer . . .

How about you, can you tell us where the church missing it?


photogr said...

I think I have said my theses in my past blogs. However, I do heartily agree with #3 and #4

Tony C said...

That's a very good list!

It surprises me how many Protestants don't know the history of Martin Luther, and I find that both sad and perplexing.

Having stated that fact, I think the church needs to do a better job teaching these things. Kids sure won't get the church history lessons in public schools...

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