Posts Tagged: protestant reformation

The Continuing Reformation by Ty Gibson

The Continuing Reformation

September 1, 2017 | Ty Gibson

“The Protestant Reformation was the 16th-century religious, political, intellectual and cultural upheaval that splintered Catholic Europe.”

That’s how the History Channel website defines the Protestant Reformation—as an historical event that “was,” something that happened a long time ago. What I’d like to suggest is that the Reformation is still under way, right now, and that you and I can be part of helping to move it forward to completion.

First, according to Scripture, God is in the process of bringing about the “restoration of all things” (Acts 3:21). So think of history in general as a restoration project that God is guiding forward until everything is back the way it’s supposed to be, back to the place where evil is banished from existence and all relationships are defined by faithful love.

Secondly, the Protestant Reformation is only one part of this restoration process, beginning in the fourteenth century with the bold move of John Wycliffe to openly suggest that (1) each individual has direct access to God and should obey …
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Ty Gibson

Co-Director
Light Bearers

Convocation Report by Anneliese Wahlman

Convocation Report

August 3, 2017 | Anneliese Wahlman

There are certain times in life when it’s important to be committed, to not stop halfway. Like when you’re getting married or shaving your beard. Then there are other times when it’s important to have the freedom to change your mind, like when you’re about to jump out of an airplane at 10,000 feet.

Or choose a new convocation theme.

This year, for our 2017 Light Bearers Convocation, we were planning to study through the Minor Prophets. However, partway through our preparation, we realized that 2017 marks the 500-year anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, which just so happens to be one of the most significant upheavals in history. Due to the magnitude of this event, it occurred to us that it might be a good idea to change our minds.

So we did.

The Spirit led us to set aside the works of the prophets in exchange for protesters, and in the process, we discovered a gold mine of living truth for today.

…grace and faith for salvation come from …
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Anneliese Wahlman

Editorial Intern
Light Bearers

95 Theses for the Continuing Reformation

July 10, 2017 | Ty Gibson

Martin Luther and John Calvin changed the world by the power of their good theology in spite of their bad theology. The Dark Ages from which they were emerging were very dark, indeed, and some of that darkness clung to the great Protestant Reformers even as they ran toward the light. The revolution they sparked lay chiefly in two seismic shifts of understanding they released into public discourse:

The Bible alone, speaking to individual conscience, is to be our rule of faith and practice, not the authority of any man or any church.

Salvation is the gift of God’s grace to be received by faith alone and therefore cannot be earned by any deeds we might do.

With these two powerful ideas, the Protestant Reformers initiated a trajectory of change they could not see through to its logical end. Other Reformers arose after them and discovered additional lost truths, and the work of Reform continues even now.

Here are 95 Theses to ponder for the continuing Reformation.

SCRIPTURE

The Bible …
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Ty Gibson

Co-Director
Light Bearers

Protestants—An Endangered Species by James Rafferty

Protestants—An Endangered Species

December 8, 2016 | James Rafferty

On October 31, 1517, a young Catholic monk named Martin Luther nailed the 95 Theses to the church door in Wittenberg, Germany. This single bold act set off a religious reformation that shook Europe and the world. Luther was later excommunicated by the papacy; a price set on his head.

On October 31, 2016, leading up to the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, Munib Younan, president of the Lutheran World Federation, signed a joint declaration with Pope Francis with the expressed hope for the “wound in the body of Christ to be healed.”

Beyond burying religious division, the declaration states that “what unites the two traditions is greater than that which divides them” (The Guardian, October 31, 2016).

Let’s rewind six thousand years to two of the earliest believers: Cain and Abel. These brothers had much more to unite them than to divide them. Both worshiped the true God. Both built altars according to God’s direction. Both brought sacrifices to worship.

But Cain’s sacrifice was very different than Abel’s. Abel …
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James Rafferty

Co-Director
Light Bearers

The End of Protestantism?

The End of Protestantism?

June 11, 2014 | Alan J. Reinach

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, under intense public pressure, vetoed Senate Bill 1062, a religious freedom bill that had been “egregiously misrepresented,” according to a coalition of law professors who wrote in defense of the bill. The bill sought to clarify what was originally intended in an earlier bill, enacted in 1999, The Arizona Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which I drafted, and I also chaired a coalition that supported the bill. Although enacted by strong majorities in the legislature, businesses pushed hard against SB 1062. The NFL threatened to pull the Super Bowl out of Arizona if Brewer signed it. Among the false charges: that it gave businesses carte blanche to refuse services to gays.

As a result of the Arizona experience, it has now become difficult if not impossible to enact any religious freedom protections. This episode may be seen in the long view of history as symptomatic of the end of Protestantism.

Civil and religious liberties in America, and globally, owe an enormous debt to Protestantism. Reformation doctrines of …
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Alan J. Reinach

Executive Director
Church State Council

Protestant America

Protestant America

May 14, 2014 | James Rafferty

Where is the United States in the End-Times Scenario? “When I look at Bible prophecy, one thing that is of great interest to me, and of great concern, is the absence of the United States. It is interesting to note that a number of nations are mentioned in the Bible that will be active in the last days… But the one nation that is strangely absent is the United States of America. Where is the United States? Why are we not in the last-days scenario? Why is it that… we cannot find the United States?”1

This popular evangelical preacher, like many of his contemporaries, is voicing what perhaps is one of the most accepted ideas concerning America and Bible prophecy. With an emphasis on the Middle East and especially the literal nation of Israel, most Evangelicals today see little or no room for the United States in Bible prophecy. Could they be wrong? This author believes that there are seven prophetic clues found in Revelation chapter 13 that help us …
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James Rafferty

Co-Director
Light Bearers

Liberty of Conscience: The Core Principle of Protestantism

Liberty of Conscience: The Core Principle of Protestantism

April 9, 2014 | James Rafferty

The Origin of Protestantism 

“Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”

Thus ended Patrick Henry’s famous speech compelling Virginia to join the battle for independence from the British monarchy.

Nearly 250 years before, another group of men met to discuss what would become the new genesis of Protestantism. Again liberty from church-state monarchy was at stake. A deal offered the “favor” of liberty to those who then possessed it, but insisted that the teachings of the Reformation must go no further. Those still under church-state law, as well as the people of other ages (you and me in particular), would be allowed no such liberty. Nearly one half of the reformed princes present at the meeting refused the deal.

“Happily they looked at the principle on which this arrangement was based, and they acted in …
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James Rafferty

Co-Director
Light Bearers