Giants of the Reformation (4)
Moses indeed wasfaithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which would be spoken afterward, but Christ as a Son over His own house, whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end. Hebrews 3.5, 6
The Pagan Servitude of the Church
Martin Luther (1483-1546)
“What is our response when Aristotle, and the doctrines of men, are made the arbiters of these very sublime and divine things? Why not hiss these ingenious inquiries off the stage, and hold to the words of Christ in simple faith…?”
The “sublime and divine things” Luther had in mind related to such Christian practices as worship, service to Christ, the work of pastors and church leaders, and the life of faith. Secular thinking and practice were ordering the churches and their work in Luther’s day – Aristotle, wrapped in the garb of scholastic theology and imposed on the churches as the latest and best thing. It’s not that there was no benefit to be gained from looking to the wisdom of God as revealed in the best of pagan thought and work. It’s simply that these must not be allowed to replace whatever God’s Word revealed about Christian faith and practice. Luther urged his contemporaries to “hiss these ingenious inquiries off the stage” and turn to the Bible to define and guide our work in the Lord’s Name. The Word of Christ is sufficient to equip us for every good work (2 Tim. 3.15-17), even the good work of building Christ’s Church. Do we believe this? Or do we show by how we do church that we believe secular fashion is a more reliable way to pursue the Lord’s agenda? Time for a little hissing in the Lord’s household?
What does it mean to hold fast to Christ in your church’s worship? In its efforts at disciple-making? In its mission to the local community?
T. M. Moore
Prayer for Revival
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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).