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Posts Tagged ‘Protestant Reformation’

women-reformation

October 31, 2017, marks the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Protestant Reformation, and because I’m all theme-y and whatnot, I’m in the midst of a fantastic book called Reformation Women by Rebecca VanDoodewaard who I dearly wish were on social media so I could shamelessly fangirl her and make a general nuisance of myself by asking too many questions. Normally, I would actually finish a book before slobberingly commending it to you, but in case you like being all theme-y and whatnot too, and because time is of the essence, I’m throwing caution to the wind and telling you:

Get this book. Now. You’re welcome.

Normally, when we read about the Reformation, we’re reading about great preachers and leaders like Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, and Hus, but preaching was not the only work of the Reformation. And that’s one of the things that has captivated me about Rebecca’s book. All of the women included therein were strikingly courageous, tireless laborers, who contributed greatly  to the success of the Reformation, and they did it all while coloring inside the lines of biblical womanhood – doing vital work godly women are uniquely equipped by Christ to do. They opened their homes as a refuge to scores of Protestants (often including those aforementioned notable preachers and other integral leaders) fleeing for their lives from Catholic marauders. They set up prison ministries and fed and clothed the poor. They nursed their communities through the Plague. Those who were queens and princesses used their power to protect Reformers and change persecutory laws. Those who were married to pastors and leaders helped in their ministries and edited their books and papers. And they wrote. Poetry. Position papers. Booklets. Letters. What a happy discovery (for me, anyway) to find sisters of the quill from so long ago.

But these great ladies were not our only foremothers in the faith. For as long as God’s people have been God’s people, God’s people have rebelled and needed to be reformed. In fact, that’s the entire, overarching theme of the Old Testament- the need for Israel to reform from its idolatry. And all along the way we see faithful women like Deborah, Jael, Esther, Jehosheba, Jedidah, Huldah, Samson’s mother, and others willing to buck the trend of sin and rebellion and point the way back to God and holy living by their deeds and the example of their lives.

The New Testament gives us extraordinary examples such as the women who ministered to Jesus during His earthly ministry, stood by Him at the cross, and were the first ones at His tomb. Priscilla, Lydia, Dorcas, Eunice, Lois, Phoebe and other believing women soon followed, all lending their aid in their own unique ways to reforming dead, legalistic Judaism into biblical Christianity.

All of these great women of God, serving Him through thousands of years as only godly women can, laying the foundation with their blood, sweat, and tears, for the church we know today.

But have we “arrived”? Is the need for women to work for reform in the church a fast fading dot in the rear-view mirror of modern day evangelicalism? Judging from the articles I read and the e-mails I receive about the problems in the church, the answer to that question would be a big, fat “no.”

Perhaps armies of the Catholic “church” no longer hunt down fleeing Protestants. And, maybe Nero isn’t using Christians as torches for his garden parties any more (although there are certainly areas of the world where our brothers and sisters in Christ face similar threats every day). But the stealth, guerrilla warfare Satan has been waging against the Western church in recent decades might be even more damaging. Certainly, it’s more diffuse and wider spread. Instead of raping the bride of Christ, Satan has chosen instead to seduce her. Why forge an enemy when you can woo a lover?

False teachers. Word of Faith heresy. The New Apostolic Reformation. Abuse in the church. Biblical illiteracy. “Lone Ranger” Christians. Idolatry. Irreverence in the sanctuary.

For doctrinally sound Christians, it’s like being in that giant trash-masher with Luke, Leia, Han, and Chewie – surrounded by slime and garbage on all sides with the walls closing in, and, seemingly, no way out.

It is easy to see why the heart of the Protestant Reformation was Semper Reformanda– “always reforming.” The work of fighting for sound doctrine, biblical worship, and pure hearts and hands never, never, never ends.

So what does it look like to be a woman of the modern day Reformation? What can we church ladies do to help turn the tide of apostasy in Christendom? Permit me to nail eight theses to the door of your church.

1.
Realize You Can’t Change the World

None of the women named earlier in this article changed the world or the entire church. Not a single one of them. In fact some of them brought about great changes in their locales that were overturned in the years after their deaths.

The problems facing the church today are overwhelming. You’re one person. You can’t fix everything (and God doesn’t expect you to). Maybe you can’t even fix everything in your own church. But what you can do is determine to be faithful to Christ and His Word in your sphere of influence. Bloom where you’re planted. “Brighten the corner where you are“, as the old gospel song says. You can’t do everything, but what’s something you can do?

2.
Color Inside the Lines

One of the major problems plaguing the church today is Christian women who rebel against God’s word by stepping outside the boundaries God has drawn for women in the family and the church. Don’t shoot yourself in the foot by following suit in your zeal to reform. There’s plenty of work to be done by godly women – work that we’re better equipped for than men – without violating Scripture.

3.
Mind Your Demeanor

No, we shouldn’t be wishy washy milksops or mealy-mouthed shrinking violets. But we also shouldn’t be loud-mouthed harpies, brashly marching into hell with a water pistol (just trust my own failures on this one). We need to be velvet-covered bricks: soft on the outside, firm on the inside. We should attain to all the Christlike virtues of demeanor: patience, kindness, compassion, mercy, and grace mingled with an unyielding stand on Scripture and an uncompromising commitment to Christ. For some of us, the former comes easier. For some of us, the latter. But we must seek that godly balance as we go about the work of the Kingdom.

4.
Serve the Local Church

If you have rejected the mere idea of local church membership and think you’re going to bring about change from the outside as an unchurched (or functionally unchurched) writer, speaker, or Christian celebrity, you’re part of the problem, not part of the solution. The church is God’s plan for Christianity, not evangelical gurus. Do whatever you have to do to find a doctrinally sound one, join it, and get to work serving.


5.
Pray

When it comes to the church, fixing what’s broken doesn’t rest on your shoulders. Spiritual problems require spiritual solutions, and only God can bring those about. You can defend Scripture til you’re blue in the face or explain all day long why someone is a false teacher, but only God can lift the veil and enlighten the eyes of the heart. Be faithful in your efforts, but be more faithful in prayer. Like the persistent widow, grab hold of the Lord on behalf of the church and don’t let go.


6.
Teach Other Women

In my experience, the number one way false doctrine enters the church is through women’s ministry and women’s “Bible” study. You want to work for reform in the church? Work on reforming your church’s women’s ministry. Explain to your sisters why that divangelista is a false teacher. Request Bible study classes that study the actual Bible. Volunteer to organize the next women’s conference or retreat and schedule doctrinally sound speakers. Teach a women’s or girls’ Sunday School class. Transform the church by transforming the hearts and minds of women.


7.
Help

The book of Exodus tells the story of Israel’s battle with Amalek. When Moses held up his arms, Israel prevailed. When he let down his arms, Amalek prevailed. Eventually, Aaron and Hur came alongside Moses and held up his arms for him so that Israel could win the battle. Who was more important to Israel’s victory in this story- Moses or Aaron and Hur? If you answered “both,” you’re correct. Israel couldn’t have won without Moses holding up his hands, but Moses couldn’t have held up his hands without Aaron and Hur. Most of the women of the Old Testament, New Testament, and Protestant Reformation who effected godly change among God’s people were not Moseses. They were Aarons and Hurs. What can you do to hold up the arms of your pastor, your elders, your husband, your church?


8.
Stand

Make sure you know your Bible backwards, forwards, and upside down in context. Know right from wrong, the biblical from the unbiblical. Learn what God’s word says, and stand. Don’t back down. Do it with a godly demeanor, but do it. Refusing to budge from the truth of Scripture might cost you your “church”. It might cost you your family and friends. It might cost you your job, your reputation, and your finances (as we’ve seen in recent years with Christians in the business world who have refused to cave to the homosexual agenda). But as our brothers and sisters who went to the fiery stake, the dank prison cell, and the gallows would tell you, fidelity to God’s Word is worth it. Loyalty to Christ is worth anything it might cost you. Stand.


Whether your women’s ministry is using a book by a false teacher, there’s a faction of backbiters in the church that needs to be quelled, or your pastor is overwhelmed and needs some help, there’s something in your church that you can pray about, help with, or work on to help it move toward spiritual health. The church needs discerning, biblically knowledgeable, mature Christian women to step up and fight ungodliness whenever and wherever we’re able. Will you be a courageous laborer in the modern day Reformation?

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Princess of the Reformation: Jeanne D’Albret. New Release! Book trailer

Published on Sep 20, 2017

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Photo credit www.refo500.nl

MARTIN LUTHER  -A FILM BIOGRAPHY

Published on Apr 2, 2013

 

Martin Luther is a 1953 film

biography about the life and times of the greatest figure of the

Protestant Reformation – Martin Luther, a 16th century German monk,

priest, and theology professor’s efforts to reform the Catholic church,

his excommunication, and the developments that started the Protestant

Reformation.

Luther’s observations and studies led him to be

critical of the materialism of the Roman Catholic church; with its use

of indulgences, relics and other wayward teachings and practices that

are unsupported by the Bible (scripture) forced him to write and nail

his 95 theses on the door of the Wittenberg church that was pivotal in

leading a ‘spiritual revolution’ shaking the principalities of the Holy

Roman Empire and the entirety of Medieval Europe that changed history

forever.

Martin Luther is directed by Irving Pichel and stars

Niall MacGinnis as Martin Luther
John Ruddock as Vicar Johann von Staupitz
Pierre Lefevre as George Spalatin
Guy Verney as Philipp Melanchthon
Allastair Hunter as Andreas Bodenstein von Karlstadt
David Horne as Elector Duke Frederick the Wise
Fred Johnson as Prior of Erfurt monastery
Philip Leaver as Pope Leo X
Heinz Piper as Dr. John Eck
Leonard White as brother and emissary of Archbishop Albrecht of Mainz
Egon Strohm as Cardinal Aleander
Annette Carrell as Katharina von Bora
Alexander Gauge as Fr. John Tetzel
Irving Pichel as Chancellor Brueck
Hans Lefebre as Emperor Charles V
John Wiggin as Narrator
The music is composed by Mark Lothar and performed by the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra.

Luther Bible, 1534

Luther Bible, 1534 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Disputatio pro declaratione virtutis indulgent...

Disputatio pro declaratione virtutis indulgentiarum, 95 theses (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Halloween A Celebration of Darkness

“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” Ephesians 5:11

Halloween is celebrated by millions of people around the world every October 31, and the vast majority of them are innocent children, unaware of its dark history, and its ungodly promotion of sin and evil, which is clearly condemned by the authority of God’s Word, the Holy Bible (Ephesians 5:11).

The celebration of Halloween is directly connected to the pagan “Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off roaming ghosts” (1).

“In ancient Britain and Ireland, the Celtic Festival of Samhain was observed on October 31, at the end of summer…The souls of the dead were supposed to revisit their homes on this day and the autumnal festival acquired cats, fairies and demons of all kinds said to be roaming about. It was the time to placate the supernatural powers controlling the processes of nature. In addition, Halloween was thought to be the most favorable time for divinations concerning marriage, luck, health, and death. It was the only day on which the help of the devil was invoked for such purposes”(2).

The same Encyclopedia continues to expose the pagan, occult roots of Halloween.

“Halloween had its origins in the festival of Samhain among the Celts of ancient Britain and Ireland. November 1 was considered the end of the summer period, the date on which the herds were returned from pasture and land tenures were renewed. It was also a time when the souls of those who had died were believed to return to visit their homes. People set bonfires on hilltops for relighting their hearth fires for the winter and to frighten away evil spirits, and they sometimes wore masks and other disguises to avoid being recognized by the ghosts thought to be present. It was in these ways that beings such as witches, hobgoblins, fairies, and demons came to be associated with the day” (3).

While it is understood and expected that many in the world unfortunately disregard the clear warnings from the Holy Scriptures pertaining to one being a partaker of Halloween, which is clearly associated with sin, darkness, and the consequences of death as a result of the wages of sin (Romans 6:23), many in the apostate church world today who should know better, reject the Word of God with arrogance and without any shame or regret. Many in the church world today disregard the clear teaching of Holy Scripture with regards to the ungodly celebration of Halloween (Ephesians 5:11;1 Thessalonians 5:22), and would argue that the celebration has so called “Christian origins,” pointing to the Roman Catholic celebration of All Hallow’s Eve on October 31, the night before All Saints Day on November 1 which was a celebration remembering the church martyrs who died in the past.

However, the Roman Catholic celebration of All Saints Day does not remember all the genuine, godly, born again Christians who died in the Protestant Reformation. It also does not account for the false gospel preached by the Roman Catholic church that rejects the Holy Bible’s clear teaching of salvation by the grace of God alone, through repentance and faith alone in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ upon the cross of Calvary, in order for one to be justified and forgiven of one’s sin, to escape the wrath of God in hell, and to receive everlasting life in heaven (Romans 5:1-11;Ephesians 2:8-9).

“In the 7th Century AD, Pope Boniface IV established All Saints’ Day, originally on May 13, and in the following century, perhaps in an effort to supplant the pagan holiday with a Christian observance, it was moved to November 1. The evening before All Saints’ Day became holy, or hallowed, eve and thus Halloween” (4).

“It is generally agreed that, in church history, Halloween took the place of a special day celebrated by the ancient Druids, who were the learned or priestly class of Celtic religion”(5).

Therefore, Halloween is in no way, shape, or form a Christian holiday that has any association with true Biblical Christianity, because the evil fruit it has produced clearly condemns it, and identifies it as having its true roots in the “…corrupt tree…” of paganism and witchcraft that can only “…bringeth forth evil fruit”(Matthew 7:17).

As a result of understanding the Roman Catholic holiday of All Saints Day, and All Hallow’s Eve which was a compromised attempt to replace the pagan celebration of Samhain, along with today’s promotion of evil in Halloween, and its evident connection to its pagan roots, there can be no justification or fellowship of its celebration among true born again Christians who fear and love the Lord Jesus Christ, and who will obey His commandments by having “…no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness” (Ephesians 5:11), and who recognizes “what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14).

The dressing of children in costumes is in direct connection with the pagans of the past, in order to disguise one self from evil spirits, and saying “trick or treat” which was a custom of leaving a treat for the dead, so that they would not come back to the home and cause a horrible trick, or harm the individuals who resisted in distributing the treat. All of these customs clearly have their roots in the Satanic, and pagan past of Samhain.

Although the clear pagan, and Satanic past alone should be sufficient for one not to partake of the evil, wicked, celebration of Halloween, its present association, promotion, and glorification of evil would utterly condemn it to be a clear work of darkness, that promotes sin, evil, and Satanic witchcraft.

Therefore, apart from its ungodly roots, Halloween today is clearly the promotion of evil. Promoting witchcraft, witches, demon spirits, murder, blood and dismembered body parts, skeletons, ghosts, haunted houses, horror, pain, violence, death, and many other areas of evil that cannot be denied by any one who has eyes, ears, and a clear understanding of the facts. Witchcraft, murder, contact with the dead or in reality with demons, along with all the works of darkness are all sin, and an abomination to God that is utterly condemned by the Word of God the Holy Bible (Deuteronomy 18:9-12;Galatians 5:19-21).

The Bible says, “Ye that love the LORD, hate evil” (Psalm 97:10). The true Bible believing born again Christian has no choice but to hate Halloween and to have absolutely no fellowship, or association with it, for to do so would demonstrate a love for this dark, and ungodly world of sin (1 John 2:15-17), a clear hatred for the Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 6:24), and friendship with this ungodly world of sin, thus making one “…the enemy of God” (James 4:4).

The Bible says, “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (Ephesians 5:11), and to “Abstain from all appearance of evil” (1 Thessalonians 5:22).

Halloween is a clear celebration of evil, and the promotion of Satanic darkness, that is not an innocent time for children, but a clear indoctrination of witchcraft and every form of evil in the hearts of precious children who are being sacrificed “…to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils” (1 Timothy 4:1).

To celebrate Halloween is to celebrate Satanic darkness, and no genuine Christian can be saved and have fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ and have fellowship with darkness and sin at the same time. “If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth” (1 John 1:6). Halloween is clearly one of the many “…devices” (2 Corinthians 2:11) from Satan to damn as many precious souls to hell as possible (1 Peter 5:8).

There must be no apology in reproving the darkness of Halloween, for reproving such darkness is obedience to the authority of Holy Scripture (Ephesians 5:11; 2 Timothy 4:2), and clearly demonstrates a genuine love for precious souls deceived by Satan, that need to receive God’s love, forgiveness, and salvation only through repentance and faith alone in the Lord Jesus Christ, in order to escape hell and receive everlasting life (Luke 13:3; John 3:16; 1 Corinthians 13:6).

If you are reading this article, and you are not truly saved through the Lord Jesus Christ, you need to repent of your sins, and receive God’s love and salvation only through the Lord Jesus Christ by faith alone to escape hell today (Luke 13:3;John 3:16;John 14:6;Acts 4:12;Acts 20:21).

Halloween is a celebration of darkness, evil, and sin that must not be celebrated by the true Bible believing born again Christian but rejected, reproved, and rebuked, for we are commanded by the Holy Ghost to “Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good” (Romans 12:9).

“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” Ephesians 5:11.
Evangelist/Pastor Sean Bonitto
http://www.internationaldeliveranceministries.org
1.History.com, “Halloween.” Retrieved October, 27, 2011 from http://www.history.com/topics/halloween.
2.Q.v.“Halloween,” Encyclopedia Britannica, Macropedia, vol.4. Retrieved from John Ankerberg & John Weldon, “The Facts on Halloween” Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House Publishers, 1996, pg.8).
3.Encyclopedia Britannica eb.com, “Halloween.” retrieved October 26, 2011from Encyclopedia Britannica http://m.eb.com/topic/252875/Halloween
4.Encyclopedia Britannica eb.com, “Halloween.” retrieved October 26, 2011from Encyclopedia Britannica http://m.eb.com/topic/252875/Halloween
5.John Ankerberg & John Weldon, “The Facts on Halloween” Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House Publishers, 1996, pg.5.
International Deliverance Ministries P.O. Box 25208 Halifax, NS B3M 4P2
http://www.internationaldeliveranceministries.org

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