Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Do we need another Luther?

Catholicism restricted the authority to interpret Scriptures to the clergy of their church and pretty much oppressed those who tried to interpret. It required a Luther to be born and used by God to break that bondage to some extend and as a result, the sect called Protestants originated. It was considered as a radical revolution and indeed it was. Now, within the Protestantism, we are in a situation where we need another Luther (or many such kinds) to take the authority to interpret Scripture from the clergy of Protestant churches and denominations to the individuals through the revelation from Holy Spirit. When I challenged some of the teachings of a particular church I attended in past, I have been handed over with some printouts of ’16 fundamental truths we believe’ from their denomination’s website. It was almost like a blow on my face, telling me to accept these ‘16’ things or keep your mouth shut. There was not even a room for sincere discussion or expression of concerns. Pastor clearly conveyed to me that he is dedicated and authorized to strictly follow the teachings of ‘their’ church and used many hours of his preaching to bash me from the pulpit (which in my opinion was a one-way-speech, in other words – cowardice).

This is my question: What is the significance of Holy Spirit in the lives of individual believers? How we (Protestants) are different from Catholics if we do not let the individuals freely depend on Holy Spirit for any revelations from the Scripture? Does Jesus save individuals or institutions? Who invented the practice of ‘ordination’? And what does it mean? ‘Ordained’ to do what?


Aida said...

Lots of good questions, Bino. I'm sure if you got a chance to ask a leader in the institutional system that they would tell you that that's they way they've done it for years. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be any scriptural basis for most of what's done in religious systems. Somehow, the idea has developed that you have to go to seminary or Bible school to understand the Bible. I guess the Holy Spirit isn't good enough any more.


Walking Church said...

I thought I was the only rebel!!!

T.Austin Spark's question on doctrine would be: What is the measure of Christ in it?

At the end of the day Jesus knows who loves their 'Doctrine' more than 'Him'.

After all we know 'Eternal Life' is granted through our understanding and practive of good Doctrine (ROLF)

Joel Brueseke said...

In this day and age, with the way information is spread (email, internet, websites, blogs, etc... and even books and such), I think the message of the true church is being spread differently than it was back in Luther's day. I'm not saying that God will not raise up a modern day Luther... I don't know if He will do that or not... but it does seem that many are coming to an understanding of the true nature of the church, not so much through the direction or teaching of one person or 'ministry' in particular, but through a worldwide spreading of the gospel in various forms.

I don't necessarily want to use the word "infiltrate," but when it comes to local gatherings of believers, perhaps there are one or two individuals who have received revelations of the truth, who the Lord uses to sow seeds or somehow get the message of grace to penetrate the hearts of those who have formerly been stuck in an institutional mindset.

That's one reason why I have been adamant for a few years now to keep on telling people to listen to the Holy Spirit and not simply "run" from the institution, unless that's what the Lord is telling them to do. I remained in it for 7 years, under the direction of the Holy Spirit, and I think much good has come out of that. Not because of me, but because of what God purposed and planned through me. I was all too happy to finally "leave" the IC, but I'm thankful that the Lord was faithful to keep me there when I wanted to run. :)

Only God can penetrate the hearts of those who are stuck in their ways. This is true of me and everyone else I know. :) I think our main concern is to rest in Him and go where He takes us.

Aida said...

I think Joel made some good points. One of the things that helped to spread Luther's teachings was the invention of the printing press which took place about the same time. I've come to believe that the two most important inventions for the spread of the gospel has been the the printing press and the internet.

While the printing press served that purpose in Luther's days, the internet serves it in ours. I've found that the vast majority of teaching and encouragement I receive comes to me through the internet. That's the medium Father has used to bring truth to me.

I think the days of super star Christians and big ministries is coming to a close. I believe truth will once again be spread as believers share Jesus as part of their every day life.

Although I would love some face to face relationships, I'm excited to be involved in what Daddy is doing through the internet. It's bringing the family together by the interlocking of small communities of believers . . . some face to face but many through online connections such as this community of bloggers.


Bino Manjasseril said...

Some great thoughts all of you! I see the the revolution happening already. There was a time where people went to church to find truth, but now people are leaving the church to find truth. What an irony! I am excited to see what is happening among many true seekers and I agree internet and all the modern day technologies are great media to spread this message all over the world. The world need to hear this. People need truth which can set them free from oppression. I have zero tolerance towards legalism. People who have tasted the grace of God going back to religion is like a dog going back to its vomit. Its disgusting!

Thank you all for sharing! I want to encourage all of you to stand firm in the freedom in Christ and resist the burden of slavery. Above all, I want to thank God from the bottom of my heart for revealing His wonderful truth to us!