When the Persecuted Become Persecutors

martin_luther_1Since that legendary day in 1517 when Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door’s of the Wittenberg church building, the last 500 years have been filled with movements amongst God’s people that have brought change, reformation and transformation amidst churches, cities and nations never to be forgotten. It’s not that great stirrings never happened prior to the great Protestant Reformation. It’s just that, for the better part of half a millennium, following the breaking away from the state-institutional church of Rome, the church has been perpetually prompted towards reformation and transformation.

The unfortunate thing is that, when such movements of reformation have stirred over the past 500 years, at times, there has been an extreme amount of persecution against such groups. And much of it has been offered by religious folk within the ranks of the church. Perhaps that is part of the nature concerning persecution – the religious of the day will always persecute. Such was the reality as Jesus walked the dusty roads of Judea, Samaria and Galilee.

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As the World Turns

Today, I read an interesting article from the BBC about what has happened amongst the BRIC’s in our world today.

What are BRIC’s?

It stands for Brazil, Russia, India and China.

For the past few decades, the world has typically identified strong economies and markets within 7 more developed (though not all ‘western’) countries. They are France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, the US and Canada. Many call this group the G-7.

But now, with the 4 aforementioned BRIC countries, along with 3 others (Mexico, Indonesia and Turkey), we have what has been identified as the E-7, or the 7 emerging markets in our world today. Continue reading

Semper Reformanda Beyond Morals?

Following the Protestant Reformation of the 16th-century, we evangelicals have been given an important heritage. Many will be aware of the five of sola’s:

  • Sola Scriptura (by Scripture alone)
  • Sola fide (by faith alone)
  • Sola gratia (by grace alone)
  • Solo Christos (Christ alone)
  • Soli Deo gloria (Glory to God alone)

These were, no doubt, important foundation stones in the midst of some rather nasty things taking place in the Roman Catholic Church of the west in those days. Martin Luther also championed a very important phrase, semper reformanda, or in longer fashion, Ecclesia semper reformanda est. This Latin is best translated as, ‘the church must always be reforming.’

That’s our heritage as Protestant-evangelicals, and I recognise it as a very healthy and biblical heritage to pass on to us.

But this would be my bone to pick with some evangelicals.

While, in the vein of our Reformation fathers, we might give lip-service to the ever popular phrase of semper reformanda, I think some might only accept this bedrock of an expression in one important area of our lives rather than two. Continue reading