Sunday, March 18, 2007

The Reformation Refrigerator

re·frig·er·a·tor /rɪˈfrɪdʒəˌreɪtər/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[ri-frij-uh-rey-ter] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–noun 1. a box, room, or cabinet in which food, drink, etc., are kept cool by means of ice or mechanical refrigeration.

I found that the following comment by Daniel J. Phillips over at Biblical Christianity resonated deeply with my inability to reconcile the odious Romish dogmatism exhibited by the "truly Reformed" when they appeal to the authority of long-dead sinful 17th century Europeans in defense of their otherwise scripturally indefensible doctrinal positions. In the comments thread DJP said:

It makes you wonder: when was the Reformation finished? When was the last truth was gleaned from Scripture? When were the last trappings of Romanism swept away, the last bit of doctrinal exactness set in stone or fossilized in amber?

Did Calvin himself set a date? Did he ever publish, "There, I'm done, that's it! Now your part is to agree in every exact detail, because I have it all right"?

Another commenter made an astute observation comparing the Reformation - as propounded by the "truly Reformed" - to a fly stuck in amber "never able to grow or change according to our understanding of the Scriptures". Now let me be clear in pointing out that this comment was not an endorsement of "new light" nor was it a suggestion that Christians embrace some gnostic heresy, but rather it was a pointed and accurate metaphor of the obvious inability of the "truly Reformed" to come to grips with the revealed truth of Scripture; the whole counsel of God.

When they are unable to somehow shoehorn Scriptural truth into one of their pre-existing theological constructs they exhibit an acute case of spiritual cognitive dissonance and go fumbling about for a quote from Calvin - or some other uninspired, sinful human theologian - in order to set the matter straight. Seemingly being long-dead is a big plus on your resume for this crowd; and if you were lucky enough to have lived - and died! - between the 16th and 17th century in Western Europe, well my friend, consider yourself beatified!

I must apologize if I'm coming across as crass or unloving, but I'm just flat tired of my King's character being maligned, and His precious Word being twisted like a common wax nose by the myriad cults of Christianity such as the LDS, JW's, RCC and their like. Much less should He suffer assaults from those who ought to be firmly ensconced in His camp who should be "earnestly contending for the faith" (Jude 1:3) as opposed to vigorously defending systematic man-made theological constructs at the expense of Scripture, for which there is no Biblical mandate that I'm aware.

Why have these men chosen to place the Reformation in the refrigerator? Why do they refuse to repent of their sinful pride with humble and contrite hearts? Hear now the Lord Jesus Christ as He speaks the parable of the Pharisee and the publican in Luke 18:11-14:

The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

In the light of this stinging rebuke of Scripture why do these men still seek to please themselves and become puffed up with their "doctrines of men" - which are awash in Romish corruption - becoming guilty before the Lord as modern day Pharisees?

He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me (Mark 7:6)

This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. (Matthew 15:8)

Of course these modern day Pharisees will snort and recite the "5 points" and perhaps spout some platitude such as, "But by the grace of God, there go I..."; yet they will also go about and write essays decrying "a personal relationship with Jesus" and shunning the use of controversial phrases such as "born-again".

It's with a heavy heart that I can come to no other conclusion except spiritual duplicitousness, whether conscious or not, to account for the bizarre, confusing, complex, and contradictory religious system of those firmly ensconced within "The Reformation Refrigerator".

I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:

And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.

Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.

Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.
(Revelation 2:2-5).

Even so, come, Lord Jesus!