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Reformation and Reformers
The Protestant Reformation transformed lives and eventually nations. But it also brought conflict and confusion. Yet many reformers set an example of thankfulness in tough times. In search of the “faith once delivered,” some reformers wanted to return to the authentic worship and beliefs of the early first century church. The Separatists among them valued the decalogue, insisted on adult baptism by immersion, and followed the biblical examples of anointing and ordination. They anticipated the return and millennial reign of Christ. Some courageous non-conformists braved the rejection of society and began keeping the Sabbath, in spite of dire consequences. In a time of strong anti-semitic bias and prejudice they endured persecution and even execution, at the hand of those who insisted on religious uniformity. More
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500 Years after Luther
The Protestant Reformation is 500 years old now, but what has been the effect on Christian “morality?” Has the “faith once delivered” been restored, and have the ancient paths been re-established? God tells us that he acts on behalf of those who trust him and do good. But the reality of our Christian religious world does not seem to reflect the ideals of sola scriptura…living by every word of God. And many of our religious leaders, like those in the time of Jeremiah, or John, are merely interested in offering soothing platitudes. They deceitfully proclaim, “peace,” when there is no peace. So how can we expect God’s blessing? More
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Standing Against the Tide of Lawlessness
Remembrance Day brings to mind the lives that were sacrificed in epic battles. Soldiers who embraced their duty engaged in the struggle between good and evil. As Christians the battle we fight is no less intense. As soldiers in God’s army do we stand for what is good, and recognize the consequences of evil. This week the horror of the Sutherland Springs shooting brought to mind the scripture that speaks of our violent age. “Because lawlessness will abound the love of many will turn cold.” This lawlessness, anomia, will have consequences. When evil is allowed to flourish it is only those who stand for what is good who will endure. It is the Lord’s loving loyalty that will make them stand. More
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Jealousy Has Its Consequences Internationally
The 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, and the family feud over the land of Israel still continues. This document of the League of Nations gave the British a mandate to govern Palestine. It also gave the Jews a right to return to their ancient homeland, thus fulfilling many prophecies. And yet from this moment their Arab “cousins” jealousy has bought terrible conflict, hardship, and heartache. Yet God will still use the jealousy of those who hate Israel to accomplish his purpose. More
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Luther Begins a Reformation and Develops His Salvation Equation
Five Hundred Years Ago
In 1517 Martin Luther posted his 95 theses in Wittenberg, decrying some of the abuses within the Catholic church. But it took a few years for him to get to the point of calling the Pope, the “Anti-Christ,” and throwing away the need for the Catholic sacraments. During this time Luther was developing his idea about “justification through faith alone.” He said he based his new understanding on scripture alone, “sola scriptura.” But did he? Luther had concluded that because we were freely justified (made right with God) through grace, that all we needed was faith. This fit neatly with his background as an Augustinian friar, as it built on Augustine’s idea of predestination. So Luther’s salvation equation was Faith + 0 = Salvation. No “works” were needed. But was Luther right? More
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What is the most painful, unintended consequence of Martin Luther’s rebellion against Rome?
Tomorrow, Halloween, is the ironic date the world typically marks as the anniversary of the beginning of the Protestant Reformation that shattered the Roman Universalist Church’s 1,000-year-long spiritual monopoly over Western Christianity. The man who launched that spiritual revolution was the fascinating, but not always loveable Martin Luther. Luther was courageous, intellectually energetic, and sometimes even humorous. But he was also pig-headed, argumentative, egotistical, and an infamous anti-Semite.
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A distraught British Columbia father was pleading for the right and the power to force his drug addicted 15-year-old daughter into drug rehab so she doesn’t overdose another time and die. But the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, and it would seem the B.C. government, prefer less obtrusive ways, such as controlling the supply of addictive drugs and then handing them out to the addicts on a prescription basis.
The policy director of this civil liberties NGO, Michael Vonn said, “We are concerned about the notion that parents should be making health-care decisions for their mature minors.” He then suggested that forcing a minor into drug rehab is as much a non-starter as denying a “mature minor” (who they say might be just 12 years old) the right to access birth control without parental consent.