The Spiritual Reformer
Thomas Jefferson writing to Colonel Smith about civil disturbances in Massachusetts said, “What country can preserve its liberties if its rulers are not warned from time to time that this people preserve the spirit of resistance?” “Resistance,” the word seems so foreign today. Yet resistance to tyranny and despotism was foundational in the birthing of the Republic. The founders of our nation believed in the God of perfect liberty. When the spirit of bondage slithered into the Colonies something rose in the hearts of the people. That something was the reformer’s spirit.
Many admire Christ’s reformers after they are dead. To my mind, this generation has forgotten what it’s like to take a bold stand for Christ amid a morally and politically corrupt world. Even the pulpit is lukewarm refusing to address depravity in the land and rather preaches a watered-down gospel that tickles the sinner’s ear and makes him comfortable in apathetic equanimity. It’s clear the indifferent are committed to nothing, in particular, not even the cause of Christ. When was the last time you heard the pulpit coming against sin, homosexuality, sexual bacchanalia or Washington D. C. corruption? It appears our preachers have fallen under the spell of celebrity Christianity that makes eunuchs out of Christ’s flames of fire. Hollywood Christianity might get you on television, but celebrity Christianity will not turn the world upside down for Christ. What we need today is the reformer’s spirit.
Like many of you I am a Spirit-filled Christian and descendant of the Protestant faith. Our Protestant faith has its roots in the Protestant Reformation. History says this reformation began when Martin Luther nailed his Ninety-Five Theses in 1517 on the doors of the Wittenberg church protesting Catholic false doctrines and indulgences.
Luther was the first of many reformers that included John Wycliffe, Jan Hus, John Calvin, John Knox, William Tyndale, Zwingli, George Fox and many others. Today these men are highly respected and their names well known. They have two things in common: They were all militant Protestant reformers and they are all now dead. As already said, people admire Christ’s reformers after they are dead but it was their “Protestant spirit” that changed the world making it a better place for you and I. That same spirit, the reformer’s spirit, needs rekindling today.
Martin Luther reminds us what a reformer’s spirit is like.
“If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ however boldly I may be professing Christ.”
The bottom line according to Luther,
“Where the battle rages there the loyalty of the soldier is proved; and to be steady on all the battlefields besides is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point.”
Unlike some modern leaders, Luther refused to keep silent on the great venues of his day, even if his opposition imperiled his life. In Luther’s words, “Where the battle rages there the loyalty of the soldier is proved.” Where is the loyal warrior’s battle today? I say it’s in the heart of those remnant patriots that hear God’s voice and are ready for action.
Like Luther, reformers carry a different spirit. That spirit challenges the wickedness of the day. It never shrinks back but ever so boldly confronts the heart of man without discrimination or favoritism. It’s not unequally yoked with a political party, ethnic group or populists fads. A new generation of Protestant reformers is readying for spiritual battle. Lyman Beecher, leader of the Second Great Awakening understood the reformer’s mandate. He said,
“I was made for action. The Lord drove me, but I was ready. I have always been going at full speed…From the beginning, my mind has taken in the Church of God, my country, and the world given to Christ. It is this that has widened the scope of my activities beyond the common sphere of pastoral labor.”
Christ’s spiritual reformers understand their call as ambassadors to this world, not heaven. Like Beecher they have awakened to Church, country and world, all belonging to the lordship of Christ. They are governing disciples, “Strong in the Lord and the power of His might.” To these Protestants, Christ is King of kings and Lord of lords, and the battlefield of life only waits to confirm His supremacy.
AUTHORIZED TO PREACH
Reformers fathom Christ’s instruction to His disciples. “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). “Preach” is the Greek word kerux. To grasp the word is fundamental in understanding the reformer’s spirit and your purpose in this world as part of Christ’s royal priesthood of kings (1 Peter 2:9).
Kerux is a governing term coined by the ancient Greeks. The Emperor, for example, would dispatch his Imperial Kerux to cities he was about to invade. Homer writes in “The Iliad” of Talthybius as kerux of the political will of King Agamemnon in the Trojan War.
Through the kerux a king would announce his expectation of the people. He would also introduce the laws and culture of his kingdom to the newly conquered city. A kerux was also known as herald, teacher, evangelists, one authorized to call and conduct a general assembly and was the king's most trusted spokesman. So trusted was the kerux he was the only one allowed to mix and pour wine for the king. Nehemiah was kerux of the Persian King Artaxerxes.
Nehemiah’s physiognomy awakened after hearing of great affliction of the remnant in Jerusalem surrounded by fallen walls and gates burned with fire. Like an apostle, Nehemiah was sent by King Artaxerxes with letters of authorization, captains of the Persian army and a military escort (Nehemiah 2:9).
The bottom line is, all followers of Christ are called to act as a kerux for Christ. For a disciple to ignore the political and immoral issues of the day would be a direct violation of the Word of God. The apostle Paul made it clear. He wrote, “I am ordained a preacher and an apostle…” (1 Timothy 2:7).
You too, are called to carry the reformer’s spirit. Like Caleb and Joshua, with shoulder squared and raised chin carry that reforming spirit proudly. These were examples to us of those that knew their God and said, “Let us go up at once and possess it for we are well able to overcome it” (Numbers 13:30). Luther said, “Where the battle rages there the loyalty of the soldier is proved.”
LIBERTY OR TYRANNY
To the Christian we are reminded of Scripture that declares,
“Christ must reign till he hath put all enemies under his feet…., And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him that God may be all in all” (1 Corinthians 15:25-28).
The enemy is not, as the socialists suggest, property owners or free-market capitalism. Nor is the enemy a particular political party whether Democrat or Republican. Yes, there is corruption in corporations and both political parties. The real enemy of man, however, is not free-market capitalism but wickedness residing in the heart of man. This is why there can be no peace without changed hearts and the only way to change hearts is through the redemptive blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Apostle Paul taught,
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 4:12).
There is a great war raging over our nation to determine its leadership toward liberty or tyranny. The Republic’s enemies are surely all around and the war to create a new America is well under way.
As Christians we get an idea of that warfare when reading the first few pages of Saul Alinsky’s book. As already said, Alinsky was the apostle of the modern Marxist socialists. In his book he writes of the very first radical as an example worth following to his fellow social engineers.
“Lest we forget at least an over-the-shoulder acknowledgment to the very first radical: from all our legends, mythology, and history (and who is to know where mythology leaves off and history begins — or which is which), the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom — Lucifer.”
Only one with a reprobate mind would admire the work of Satan. What Alinsky the atheist failed to understand was Christ “spoiled principalities and powers, (Satan too) he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them” (Colossians 2:15).
The Christian must follow their Lord’s example by building the Church, establishing and advancing the Gospel of the Kingdom (including the priesthood and kingship of every believer) and equipping and empowering every disciple of Christ to do what He has called them to do. The gospel offers biblical order and stability, individual and national purpose, morality, true freedom and, most importantly, direction in righteousness to a corrupted world influenced by the corrupted one himself, Satan.
Replacing evil rulers with other evil rulers will not accomplish the task of building a utopian society. Nor can a society of peace be built outside the guidance of Christ, the Prince of Peace. Therein lays the problem for all progressive socialists. Max Eastman, a well known writer and devout socialist turned conservative studied at the Marx-Engels Institute in Moscow. He wrote that atheist dreamed falsely of creating heaven on earth through socialism. In his book “Reflections on the Failure of Socialism” he writes,
“It was natural that idealistic people who had ceased to believe in heaven should think up some bright hope for humanity on earth.”
The left-wing progressive socialist—no matter the flavor, Marxist or Fabian (national socialism through ballot)—must understand that he too is but a pawn in the hands of those so-called elites that use him or her to advance their own selfish ambition to be “masters of men” like Pharaoh the hated despot of old.
(c) Apostle Jonas Clark
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