There’s an old saying: “History repeats.” And it’s a saying that has been repeated many times and in many forms. As a consequence, history is littered with people who have used the saying, as nations and individuals have repeated the same old mistakes over and over again.
But of course it’s not just nations that keep making the same mistakes, the people of God do too. Indeed, in the Old Testament, there is story after story of people who had wandered away from God, only for God to act to bring them back to the fold. And the prophets had to fight not only their kings but the religious establishment too. And in the New Testament, Jesus had to constantly confront the Pharisees and the Sadducees and the elders, in an attempt to restore the religious faith of the people.
History repeats, and in the case of the church it’s always marked with a wandering away from God and his ways, and a movement towards beliefs and practices with which the people feel more comfortable. And in the case of the modern church, that means beliefs and practices that make the church “more acceptable” and “more inclusive” in society.
Of course, the result of this kind of wandering away, is that the primary purpose for the existence of the church gets lost. As a consequence, sharing the good news of Jesus Christ, is no longer considered to be the priority (at least in practice). And caring for those within the church is no longer considered to be as important as caring for those outside it. Furthermore, the people chosen to represent the church are no longer be guaranteed to be faithful members of God’s church.
And this means that the church has drifted so far away from God’s values and practices, that the people outside the church find it difficult to recognise the different aspects of ministry as being part of God’s church.
As a consequence, the church today—like the church during the times of the prophets and the church during Jesus’s earthly ministry—is in desperate need for reform. But not just a limited reform, like in the days of the Reformation. The church needs a radical shake-up. It needs to wipe away all the unhelpful and unhealthy additions and traditions, and it needs to be restored to be a biblical and godly church.
It needs to make a new covenant with God. It needs a commitment of godly people to stand up and be counted. It needs people to be committed to God’s cause, and to be willing to do what is necessary to undo past mistakes. It needs people who consider God’s ways to be far more valuable than worldly ways. And it needs people who are willing to speak out and act for the necessary reform.
Posted 11th December 2019
© 2019, Brian A Curtis