A New Reformation, Christ or Culture?

by Bishop Steven Lyn Evans

For those of us who still consider that true belief in Jesus Christ necessitates acceptance of the Holy Bible as authoritative, we live in very difficult times.

A liberal egalitarian agenda has overwhelmed secular society. Insightfully and increasingly classified as Cultural Marxism, this critical theory was rooted in Think Tanks such as the Frankfurt School. A radical agenda has clearly, for many decades, permeated through into the ‘Christian’ religious establishment. Indeed, the religious establishment often seem to be the loudest protesters against the historically orthodox and well established way of Christ. These modernists could be deemed as theological revisionists, revising what was once obvious Biblical truth and instead they flow and accommodate the beliefs of secular society. They follow Christ up to the threshold of social trends, then it’s quick turn and in acceptance of the prevailing secular culture, they attack, like wolves on their prey. Buoyed by their numbers, secular culture, and often the positions of leadership and honour within the ‘church,’ their prey are often those faithful followers of Christ. Those lambs who have picked up their crosses, denied themselves, their old passions and prejudices, under the clear and essential direction of the Bible, in order to follow Christ Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. How easy those with seemingly little true Biblical conviction are swayed. Surely, this is one of the most inordinate acts of cowardice and compromise. Nevertheless, how illuminating for the true church of Jesus Christ!

The narrative of compromise circulates through many Western Theological Colleges where students are often taught a plethora of dogmas, many of which serve to nullify and question Gospel truths. Students are often celebrated for ‘middle of the road’ opinions, nothing too strong, nothing provocative, nothing like the teacher they are seeking to follow! In theoretical classes, those attentive students learn that absolute truth is not a noble attainment, but rather, it is more a vein and endlessly vague, questionable pursuit. Towards this end, there is a fashionable bias towards that which seems to be an unnecessarily complicated and endless questioning. Similar to Critical Theory, questioning is the order of the day. Questioning and endless avenues of research, to offer those journeying an escape from the clarity and narrowness, of the once plainly understood Gospel of Jesus Christ. This theoretical approach can be traced back to the Enlightenment but rather than providing a light to the Gospel, it has cast a shadow over many searching for genuine theological truth.

In the book of Acts chapter 17 the Berean Jews were called noble because they received the Gospel and searched the scriptures for truth. They didn’t search with an endlessly Critical Theory or Higher Criticism, theirs was not a nihilistic and existential questioning. Theirs was a questioning for real truth, absolute truth, not relative truth but the Gospel truth.

Questioning we welcome, as we also do with the wisdom which brings forth the subsequent answers. Even a small child in the classroom knows that answers are the goal. While we might reflect on the current situation and be almost tempted to dismay, I’m pleased to remember that it doesn’t take too long to be encouraged by the absolute truth, which is, that despite all of the compromisers, God is still building His church! ‘…I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it’ (Matthew 16:18b).

When we look at this the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation and the publication of Martin Luther’s (1483- 1546) Ninety-five Theses, we would do well to consider that Luther was protesting the prevailing religious establishment. In specific terms, it was the sale of indulgences and the false comfort that teaching provided. Luther’s Godly conviction impacted great change around Europe and the World. What courage that took, facing possible death and certain exclusion, what selflessness, Biblical truth revealing the darkness. Luther’s stand was clear and is just as revealing and challenging for believers today:

  1. It was based on the Bible
  2. It brought true Christianity
  3. It exposed the false comfort of the prevailing religious establishment’s doctrine.

Today, we must have a similar courage and expose the false comfort of the compromised religious establishment. What then are the modern errors? Where might the new Reformation begin? Will we recognise it and stand for the truth? Firstly, we must check ourselves, are we in the faith, or as the Apostle Paul questions, are we reprobates? The Apostle Paul calls us to: ‘Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the
faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?’
(2 Corinthians 13:5).

Do you consider yourself to be a true believer? Here’s a simple three question examination towards finding out if the modern culture has lured you into it’s false teaching:

  1. Do you believe that marriage is always between a man and woman?
  2. Do you believe that homosexual practice is incompatible with Biblical Christianity?
  3. Do you believe that Jesus is the only way to God and that believers are commissioned to reach all people with the Gospel?

If you answered ‘No’ to any of the above then you’re not following New Testament teaching. We urge you to change your knowledge base, reject cultural trends and instead adopt Biblical truth and believe.

If you answered ‘Yes’ to the questions above then we ask you to stand with the true church of Jesus Christ. Use your voice to spread the Gospel as a member of Christ’s body and be a part of ‘A New Reformation.’

© Steven Lyn Evans 2017