| Re: |
I have nothing against you either. If I am in your neck of the woods the dinner is on me!
I have noticed your efforts to be more of a bridge builder and less confrontational over the last month or so. Well done. I applaud you. It is appreciated!
It is with that appreciation for your recent posts that in humbleness and calmness I submit to you the following for your consideration.
In your first post you suggest to people that they not listen to or read the more current histories about the reformers. However, most all of them are written from pro reformer points of view and strongly support the reformers.
Your suggestion was to read the actual words the reformers wrote. I agree with that. Non the less.... If one reads from the reformers then there is no small amount of the blood letting they loosed. Their attacks spilled the blood of christians, and others, that were their targets. It simply is a fact. It is in their own words.
When that point starts to be made in Calvin's own words then your response is that you have to let a lot of that slide as the context of their culture was different. The effect is that it appears that you first tell people to read the reformers in their own words... then if they actually do that you seem to feel a need to tell people not to believe the words they are reading as things were different then.
They did what they did... much of it is in their own words. However, only a foolish person would listen to only one side of that story. In order to be just we also should read the first hand account words of the Anabaptists and others that were under the direct persecution of these "reformers".
I draw an extreme example here simply to make a point.
Reading history from Hitler's or Stalin's point of view is a vastly different thing that reading the Diary of Anne Frank or listening to Corrie Ten Boom.
Sure... we can read Hitler's or Stalin's actual words to see what they said or thought. However, to do justice we must also read eye witness accounts of the Holocaust to get the whole story. Same with the reformers. They are not condemning themselves willingly in their own words... however, they do a lot of condemning by their own words non the less. However, read the others being persecuted by them as well. You don't just read Hitler's words... you read the words of those others who actually saw what happened too.
That same modicum of common sense would need to be applied to reading the reformers it would seem.
Again, no animosity at all. It is just a point that I have engaged as I used to be calvinist/reformed. However, the day came I could no longer abide it nor the (in my mind) faulty foundations that the entire calvinistic/reformed system was built on.
*edited for grammar and clarity*
| 2012/5/30 12:33||Profile|
| Re: Krispy|
Brother who Denny Kenniston is. He is a gospel preacher. Not a revisionist historian. If you look under General Topics his messages are posted under Must Hear. Early Ababaptist Audio Series. I might add the brother presently has brain cancer and may soon be with the Lord.
My thoughts regarding the Anabaptist were not just shaped by these messages. But years ago I read The Anabaptist Story by William Eetep. He was a professor of Baptist history at Southwestern Seminary. I also read two books by Leonard Verduin entitled The Reformers and their Step Children and Anatomy of a Hybrid. Verduin himself was Dutch Reformed and a theogy professor at Calvin seminary. These books were written in the 1960's They document the reformers attitude toward the anabaptist. This is not revisionist history but documented historical fact.
No Krispy. I am sure no one can hold a candle to Luther or Calvin's intellect. But again the protestant reformers were concerned about believing right doctrine. The anabaotist were more concerned about living right. And that by following Jesus.
Blessings to you bro. By the say I like my steak rare.
| 2012/5/30 13:05|
| Re: |
Can you expand on this statement a little.
OK... John Calvin never had anyone executed. John Calvins role in Geneva has been greatly exaggerated.
| 2012/5/30 13:23|
| Re: |
Solomon... I can see how it seems I'm suggesting that we avoid modern historians. Thats not exactly what I meant to say though. What I was trying to say was that the Reformers were among the first group of people in history that left behind volumns and volumns of original writings. Therefore, if we want to know what they thought and taught and believed we can go straight to the source.
Now, where historians come in is to help us understand the context.
One mistake we often make is to read what these people wrote, but with eyes and ears that only see in our modern context... where language, meaning and substance is not the same as it was then.
Take Mark Twain for instance. He was one of the most prolific American writers in his time. He used words in his books that make people cringe now a days. 120 years ago when he was writing them... they didnt. Thats how people spoke, and no one thought anything of it.
Now, in today's culture and context the "N" word is repulsive... unless you're a rap star, ironically enough.
Much of what the Reformers wrote is the same way. In our day we may be repulsed by the names that Luther called the popes. I'm sure in his time it may have been offensive as well, but not like today.
500 years ago these men spoke in very strong language. Compare that to today... where Christians wont speak out against anything because they might "offend" someone... which is worse?
| 2012/5/30 13:32|
| Re: |
I agree with the need to seriously study the text and writings of such individuals (rather than modern books about them) if someone wants to know what they believe. There is too much danger of basing an opinion or even pronouncing judgment upon flawed or out-of-context "reporting." There is also a danger in searching through those books simply to find "sound bites" that will be used as an indictment for hellfire.
All of those men and organizations are flawed. This includes the early "reformers." This includes the modern biographers. This even includes the anabaptists. They were human beings confined to this side of the "glass darkly." While some may have been flawed on more insignificant matters, they were still flawed by their humanity nonetheless. Not all reformers, anabaptists or even earlier believers were pious men.
One thing that is clear from the Epistles is that there was a propensity to "get things wrong" even at such an early stage in Church history. If you notice in the Book of Acts, even Paul and Barnabas had a disagreement so sharp that they split company. Paul rebuked Peter -- a man who walked with Christ, wrote portions of the New Testament and was a focal point of the Gospels and the Book of Acts -- over a gross doctrinal flaw. It seems that even the apostles weren't immune from their flawed humanity.
By the time (~100 A.D.) John was having a revelation of Jesus Christ on the Isle of Patmos, five of the seven churches of Asia were given instructions about various flaws within them. And, of course, the Epistles includes strong words and even rebukes about situations in the churches -- including some that were quite disturbing (remember I Corinthians 5?).
Such flaws shouldn't surprise us. After all, none of us are perfect. We are still confined to this side of that "glass darkly" in which we live in this life. I believe that many marriages end because someone is looking for or expecting a "perfect" spouses (which, of course, is quite interpretive). Oddly enough, I think that many churches and believers split company for the same reason. They are looking for a "perfection" in the church that is either literally "perfect" or at least partially modeled after what they think to be true. Yet, not even the early church was perfect (at least, not when the New Testament was written down).
One thing to remember is that we are perpetually changing. Each of us -- and every other believer -- is changing as we mature to Christ. We should always remember this when we meet with others. We aren't the same people that we were when we first came to Christ (except, hopefully, in our love for Him). We have "grown" in knowledge and understanding through prayer and study of the Word of God.
Now, many believers belonged to other "Church" organizations before they came to Christ. When they met the Lord, their "understanding" was not what it is now...and not what it will be a few years from now. Why? We are continuously maturing during our journey through the "wilderness of this world." Some people, like Martin Luther, were Catholics before coming to Christ. Their doctrinal vision may not have been quite so "20-20" when they first came to the Lord...and it may have taken some time to focus on doctrinal truths as presented by Scripture.
Others have changed in their interpretation of what the Word of God instructs. There were believers a few hundred years ago who believed in or ignored the grotesque concept of slavery. Something that should have been so obvious from Scripture was viewed as acceptable. Many believers, like Martin Luther or the reformers, wrote what they believed at a given moment of time. Like everyone, they may have changed over time. Hindsight (and Eternity) is often the "20-20" that we think that we possess in the present.
For instance, in BEYOND THE CROSS AND THE SWITCHBLADE, David Wilkerson mentioned that he no longer held a "hard line" approach when it came to television. He had spoken about a need to get rid of the TV in the original CROSS AND THE SWITCHBLADE book. Yet, years later, Wilkerson wrote that he and his family would sit down and watch "family westerns" like Bonanza. A decade later (in SET THE TRUMPET TO THY MOUTH), Wilkerson once again wrote about the dangers of having a television in the home.
Now, if a person were to describe David Wilkerson's perspective on the "television" issue, it would be somewhat skewed to assert that he embraced television. It would be more correct to say that, at one point, David Wilkerson believed that it was okay to have a television in the home. And, of course, I don't know what Brother Wilkerson believed when he died last year. My point is simply that his view changed over time.
So, in terms of Martin Luther or the other reformers (or ANYONE else for that matter), it is important to approach the topic with this in mind. Their views may have changed over time as they matured in Christ.
In the past, there have been some heated discussions about Charles Finney. Finney's writings have been analyzed, dissected and criticized many times. Some are willing to embrace much of what he said. Others are unwilling to accept anything that he said. And still, others are quite bold in declaring the man a "heretic." There is little grace offered in terms of how his views may have changed over time. And, of course, we can't seek clarity by speaking to the man himself. This is true of all men who have died. We can't ask them to elucidate on such matters.
So, when it comes to the writings of all men, I suggest that we approach those works with the knowledge that NONE of them are perfect. This includes the reforumers, the anabaptists and every man who have sermons included on this website. We have to simply glean what we can from what they said or wrote. We must test everything and hold on to the good (I Thessalonians 5:21). After all, our faith does not hinge upon the writings or teachings of any of these men or organizations. Our faith is only in Christ Jesus His Word.
With this in mind, it would be beneficial to avoid spreading accusations about others. If we are flawed or even slightly incorrect in what we say (or how we present it), we may end up unwittingly bear false witness against someone else...even if we think it is for a good reason.
| 2012/5/30 13:35||Profile|
| Re: |
Brother Bear, I have prayed a Great Deal over this issue and Very much since 2002 - so if I may just post my 'heart' at this moment, I'd appreciate getting this out.
I appreciate you and the other Brothers that have posted on this thread and on the other thread by Spurgeon, but that thread tore me like few have.
I prayed very much back when, about attending a Reformed Theology Church. The one that built the Nursing Home that I loved more than life itself. I prayed until one day in 2006, the Pastor of that Church called my home and we got to talking. I had been given some Scripture verses from the LORD that previous week that were a comfort to me in what I was living through at that time. After Pastor and I talked, he asked if he could pray for me and of course I said yes. He prayed the exact verses the LORD had given me the week before.
I asked if I could talk to him again and he called again a few days afterward - after he had learned more about me from I suppose the Nursing Home and GOD only knows where - because before he was the Pastor of that Church - for 20 yrs, he was the News Chief of a TV channel - in charge of all their News programs and News Talk show - so I smile when I say, "GOD only knows where" - though we had to have an FBI clearance to work there and the only time I was in the Newspaper was 5 times for State and Community Service.
Anyways - he called me by my full first name, that's how I knew he had done his homework. I felt so safe with him after that as well, because I needed intelligence in the situation I was in as well as Spiritual counsel.
We talked a few times over the phone and he always ended our counseling sessions with a prayer and each time, the annoiting was there. I'm full blown Pentecostal, so I don't use that word "annoited" lightly.
Then, one day I went to the Library to down load some T.A. Spark sermons and made an extra copy of "Truth in the Inward Parts" for him and decided to go to the Church to drop it off. I didn't know where his office was, so I was looking around the hall, when suddenly a voice said: "May I help you?" and I said "Yes, I'm looking for the Pastor's Office." and then the voice said my full-first-name and I went to him in his office and at my first glance of him - [now this is going to be a wild one to believe for some] - the man behind the desk had totally white hair, a glowing pudgey face that was full of life and health --- but then that view changed after about 30 secs and I saw him as he really looks. I know that was a vision into what he is, in GOD's eyes. This was an extra-ordinary experience but it wasn't the last that I had with him.
I hit enter to drop down and it submitted before I was done. Ha!
Anyways, it is a long story that I would love to share the rest of one day. What I saw was the face of a "Moses", but I never told him about these visions. Yes, there were more of him and the LORD told me well in advance that he would have a heart attack but would come through seeing flowers prettier than before.
Well, I am not Reformed theology and he doesn't shove that down us and finds Plenty to preach on without 'going there'. I told him about 2 yrs ago, that I don't go for Calvin and he didn't "dis-member" me ... In neither sense of that word. :)
I can't explain the spiritual experiences that I had with him and his wife but though I'm not living 'down-yonder' where they are - I've prayed whether I should cancel my membership and I still feel in my spirit - "NO WAY".
It's all hard to explain - but not all reformed folks are the same. I guess that's it and 'thank you' for letting me talk about "the Admiral". I can't even type that nickname without getting those tears stuck in my tear ducts every time.
GOD Bless you and the other Brothers here that I fully agree with on this thread - that we can disagree but still love one another with more than just all of our hearts.
| 2012/5/30 13:36|
| Re: |
I will be sure to pray for brother Denny. Sorry to hear he is battling cancer.
But again the protestant reformers were concerned about believing right doctrine. The anabaotist were more concerned about living right. And that by following Jesus.
Both go hand in hand. Without right doctrine, living right does nothing for us. There are a lot of people headed to hell who lived right.
Without living right, right doctrine does nothing for us.
However, I will say this: right doctrine + regeneration will produce right living.
I would be real careful making the suggestion that the Reformers were unregenerate. Again, kinda hard to judge a man's heart from 500 years away.
| 2012/5/30 13:39|
| Re: |
then the voice said my full-first-name and I went to him in his office and at my first glance of him - [now this is going to be a wild one to believe for some] - the man behind the desk had totally white hair, a glowing pudgey face that was full of life and health --- but then that view changed after about 30 secs and I saw him as he really looks. I know that was a vision into what he is, in GOD's eyes. This was an extra-ordinary experience but it wasn't the last that I had with him.
You need to translate this for me... what are you saying about this man? I'm sincerely lost on this one.
| 2012/5/30 13:42|
| Re: Solomon101|
Re: Solomon101 wrote to krisspy krittr "I have noticed your efforts to be more of a bridge builder and less confrontational over the last month or so. Well done. I applaud you. It is appreciated!"
"It is with that appreciation for your recent posts that in humbleness and calmness"
I agree, amen to all of those who are keeping there cool on this topic no matter you opinion. We all have things we can learn from each other.
| 2012/5/30 13:48||Profile|
| lens of Augustine|
From What I have studied so far of Church History What seems to have seperated the Early Anabaptist from both the Catholics and Reformers was that many of the Early Anabaptist tried to understand scripture by scripture alone. The Catholics always held the Church Fathers such as Augustine as Authoritive the Reformers also interpeted scripture through the Lens of Augustine. When studying Calvins institutes or Luthers Bondage of the Will note How many times they refer to Augustine. When studing the martyrs mirror notice how many times the Early Anabaptist had to argue with scripture against someone quoting Augustine.
| 2012/5/30 14:13||Profile|