A New Reformation – Stephen Hanson

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    “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ,”   1 Peter 2:5.

    “But that same night the word of the Lord came to Nathan: Go and tell David my servant, Thus says the Lord: Is it you who would build me a house to dwell in?  I have never dwelt in a house from the day I brought Israel up from Egypt to this day, but I have been going about in a tent or a tabernacle.  As long as I have wandered about among the Israelites, did I ever say a word to any of the judges whom I commanded to shepherd My people Israel:  Why have you not built me a house of cedar?”   2 Samuel 7:4-7.

    It has been 500 years since Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of the Wittenberg Castle church.

    Luther had seen the great need for the church to reach their salvation through their faith and divine grace only.  The practice of granting indulgences to provide absolution to sinners had become increasingly corrupt.

    These 95 statements later on became the hallmark for much of the Protestant faith.  Much of this centered around the emphasis that Christians could seek repentance upon faith alone, and not through deeds.

    This was a revolutionary idea and was in stark contrast to what had been occurring.  Luther also condemned the actions of the pope whose wealth was greater than the richest Crassus.

    Luther was labeled as a heretic and was given 120 days to recant in Rome.  A year later he was told to recant again by the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V.  His writings were burned and Luther hid in the small town Eisenach for the next year, where he began work on one of his major life projects, the translation of the New Testament into German, which took him 10 years to complete.

    And now yet again, we need another reformation.  We worship the false Gods of religiosity, tradition, buildings, and even the office of a pastor.  Our churches are equipped with televisions that broadcast sermons, and music is performed like an orchestra in some places.

    A lot of church services are conducted for the sake of entertainment, and seem to be directed this way just to get more people into church.

    And so now there may well be a need to consider some new theses that could be nailed to many of the doors of our churches.  I propose these things identified here below to be considered only as ideas for a future framework.

    I don’t pretend to know all that would be needed to help bring about a new reformation, but perhaps others will see the need to implement and guide others towards that goal:

    1. Get rid of the adorning of the building, and allow it to be a simple place of worship.
    2. Have extended times of worship.
    3. Give room for the Holy Spirit during the service.
    4. Allow others to share a teaching, word of wisdom, prophecy, etc.
    5. Get rid of the one-pastor system.
    6. Incorporate a five-fold ministry team.
    7. Get rid of the offering plate — allow for a place to give in freedom.
    8. Get rid of the hierarchy of the church.
    9. Rid the television of money-hungry evangelists and preachers.
    10. Conferences only to be determined in times of peril and great need.
    11. Let us go on to maturity, finding those spiritual truths that will lead and guide us there. (Hebrews 6).
    12. Find what we have in common with those in the Christian faith that we can come to a place of unity, rather than division.

    We need to remember that the body of Christ is not made-up of various buildings and places of worship.  For we are the church, made up of living stones that fit together to form a true building in the Spirit of the living God.


    ~ Stephen Hanson


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