Giants of the Reformation (4)
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness. 2 Timothy 2.15, 16
The Pagan Servitude of the Church
Martin Luther (1483-1546)
“I saw that the opinions of the Thomists, even though approved by pope and council, remained opinions still, and would not become articles of faith even if decreed by an angel from heaven. For what is ascribed without a basis of Scripture or a proven revelation, may be held as an opinion, but is not to be believed of necessity.”
It’s instructive to ponder what Luther might say about the way we do church today. Would he say that the opinions of marketers, entertainers, management mavens, and secular educators, though approved and embraced by church leaders everywhere, could not become articles of faith, and should not provide the standards and guidelines for church life? Why not? Because instead of arriving at such practices by rightly dividing the Word of truth, we have become enamored of the profane babblings of those who tout expedience and secular success as the measure of a healthy church, and we think we are free to run our churches in whatever seems to us the best way. But if God has shown in His Word how to make disciples, build His Church, and advance His Kingdom, shouldn’t we look there to determine how to organize and conduct the work He has given us to do?
Does God’s Word teach us how to organize for building His Church? Where would you look in God’s Word for such guidance?
T. M. Moore
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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.All quotations from Martin Luther, The Freedom of a Christianin John Dillenberger, ed., Martin Luther: Selections from His Writings(New York: Doubleday, 1962).