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  • Writer's pictureCiarra Massey

Reformation Preaching

Updated: Jan 16, 2020

(This Post was written by my awesome and wise dad. He has done much study on the Reformers: what they preached, why they were killed and more. Much of what they taught is missing from our pulpits and is even frowned upon by many in the Church today. If you don’t know anything about The Reformation or if you have a negative view on it, I encourage you to do some research and see for yourself if it lines up with the Bible. Thanks for reading!) 

There is something greatly missing in majority of the pulpits of our Churches. The problem is not necessarily with the laity. It’s with those given the charge of leading the flock. They don’t generally know they are not being fed the meat of the Word that feeds the soul. The problem is the shepherds. The sheep are anemic and starving. Why? On what basis is this statement made? To understand this, one must look back to an era of arguably the greatest preaching in the history of Christianity besides the proclamations of our Lord Himself. This occurred approximately 500 years ago, during what is called Protestant Reformation. The only Church in that day was the Roman Catholic Church (RCC). The Gospel was in the stranglehold of the RCC . Heresy and unBiblical practice were rampant. The Word of God had been supplanted by Tradition and extra-Biblical teaching. The Biblical doctrines that glorify eternal life in Christ were virtually non-existent. The situation is similar today, although slightly different. Instead of the Gospel being throttled by the RCC, it is being robbed of its power by weak and Biblically illiterate ministers. The laity of 500 years ago were intentionally denied from hearing the truth by Church leaders. The bride today has had Biblical Truth supplanted by feel good messages, cloaked in “Gospel” words, that offer very little in the way of truth. The doctrines preached from pulpits 500 years ago that set the world on fire bares no resemblance to the sermons taught today. To put it another way, the sermons taught today as Gospel bare no resemblance to the Gospel sermons that ignited nations, upended the known Christian world, brought about the deaths of many followers of Christ, and released the Satanic stranglehold the RCC had on truth. There are similarities between those times and today. The preachers of their day kept the people ignorant. Those sitting under the teaching of the priests did not know what they didn’t know. They were kept in the dark by those who job it was to expose the light of the Gospel. The guiding Light of Christ was hidden from their minds. For them, the Word of God was only available in Latin and Greek, languages the vast majority of the common people could not read. They were only able to receive the Word of God by what was taught by the priests, which was wrong and kept the people in chains. In the same way today, the light of Christ is kept hidden from the flock due to the preaching of today’s ministers. The sheep don’t know what they don’t know. Mainly because they are not being taught what the text actually means. While today’s Churches do have the Bible in the common language, they still don’t know what it means, mainly because it is not being correctly taught from the pulpit. False doctrines are masked in misinterpretation, abuse of context, and flat out distortions. The sheep don’t know any different because they have never heard anything different. It’s mostly wrong, and no one knows it. One only has to look at the content of sermons of the Reformers as a measuring stick or a plum line. Would the majority of preaching today, if swapped with the world altering proclamation of the Reformers, have the same liberating, persecuting, and eternal impact? The answer is a resounding no! The sermons today absolutely do not carry the weight and impact of revealing the Glory of God in Christ through the Gospel as did the sermons of the Reformers. Sermons that teach us to have “your best life now”, how to “harness the power of you”, how to not “waste your angel”, and how to “live through a bad day”, most assuredly would not invite the ire and eye of Satan, would meet no resistance and would in essence be allowed to flourish, as only another tool to keep the Bride continually ignorant of the true beauty of Christ the Redeemer. Proclamation that only seeks to fill the preachers pockets, sewing monetary seeds to receive financial blessing, is not the Gospel that spit in the face of a false Church. This is the opposite of the true Gospel. It would not have been met with resistance by the evil one, but only with open acceptance, as it is today. So what was the content of the preaching of the Reformers, who broke away and were rejected by the ruling religious authorities of the RCC? Their burden was to return the Church to the true Gospel, as revealed by Scripture alone in Christ alone through Faith alone. They taught the Biblical doctrines of justification, propitiation, expiation, imputation, and sanctification. Is this needed today? Yes! How many Christians today one, understand these doctrines, two, can explain them, and most importantly, three, have set their eternal compass to live by them in the freedom to which Christ has given us by His shed blood. These are the doctrines that ignite the heart for Christ and set men free, not material blessings and prosperity preaching. These are the doctrines that cause men to be burned at the stake singing at the top of their lungs of the goodness of God in Christ. The Apostle Paul came to Corinth professing to know only one thing, Christ crucified. Did he ever say, I determine to know nothing among you except how to diet like Daniel. Or, I determine to know nothing among you except how to live your best life now? And the answer is a resounding no! And these are just extreme examples. The thrust of the Gospel is not how to “do life” well, how best to manage your finances, how to be happily married, or how to hear God’s whispering voice in a dream or in your head. These messages would have done nothing to alter the landscape of the Kingdom, and they do almost nothing to alter it today. What is needed today is a return to the Biblical doctrines that the Reformers discovered and boldly proclaimed. These same doctrines, that the vast majority of Church goers have never heard, or have little to no concept of, need to be boldly taught, until the people get it. Until they are grabbed by it, consumed by it, and captured by it. When will God’s spokesmen today determine to know nothing but Christ crucified? When will a new generation of Reformers rise up against the pathetic and burdensome teaching of today? When will we see a generation set free to live and die by doctrine of the Cross?

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