Summary: The Bible is our authority, we should challenge everything, and then not be afraid to change - lessons from the Reformation.
We’re leaving our series entitled, “You Are Lord: Understanding and Embracing the Lordship of Jesus Christ.” We are going to take a break. We only have one message left in our series and next week we are going to be getting back to it talking about our future. Jesus is Lord of our future. It’s not really a thing that we can do anything about. Jesus is the Lord of our future, but we need to, I think, be reminded of it especially in times like right now – we have elections, economy, we have the war in Iraq, the war in Afghanistan, we have people who are losing their jobs, money is tight. A lot of things are going on that can cause us to have doubts about God being in control. Next week we’re going to be addressing that – that Jesus would be Lord of our future. Maybe you have a family member or a loved one who is going off somewhere else and you are worried about them. God is Lord of their future too. We’re going to join up with that and finish next week.
But today we’re going to be talking about the Reformation. Today is traditionally what is called “Reformation Sunday” and the Reformation has given us a bunch of different churches.
The first grade class was having a “show-and-tell” and the teacher told them to bring something from home pertaining to their religion. So the Catholic boy brought his crucifix, the Jewish boy brought his yamuka, and the Lutheran boy brought his Crockpot.
How many Lutherans does it take to change a light bulb? Change?? My grandmother donated that light bulb!
How many Baptists does it take to change a light bulb? 4 ---- One to change it and 3 to stand around talking about how much they’ll miss the old one.
There are those denominational jokes. Oh, I’ve got one more to try out on you:
There was a man that was walking across a bridge one day, and he saw another man standing on the edge. He said, “Stop! Stop! Don’t do it!” He looked like he was going to jump.
“Why shouldn’t I?” he said.
The other man said, “Well, there’s so much to live for!”
“Well…are you religious or atheist?”
“Me too! Are you Christian or Jewish?”
“Me too! Are you Catholic or Protestant?”
“Me too! Are you Episcopalian or Baptist?”
“Wow! Me too! Are you Baptist Church of God or Baptist Church of the Lord?”
“Baptist Church of God”
“Me too! Are you Original Baptist Church of God, or are you Reformed Baptist Church of God?”
“Reformed Baptist Church of God.”
“Me too! Are you Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1879, or Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1915?”
“Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1915!”
To which he said, “Die, heretic scum!” and pushed him off.
These are just some denominational jokes, but why do we have all these churches? Have you ever taken a moment to think about all of the different churches that we have in our country, around the world? We have Catholics, Episcopalians, Anglicans; we have Lutherans, Methodists, Baptists, Pentecostal; we have Nazarene, we have Non-denominational churches. We have Church of God, United Church of Christ, the Christian Church…all of these churches and where did it all come from?
The Protestant denomination came from what is known as the Reformation. The Reformation was a 16th Century religious movement that was marked by ultimately rejection or somewhat of a modification of Roman Catholic theology. They modified or changed or did away with some of the doctrine and practices of the established church and then that gave us the protestant churches.
Today we’re going to be going back to the beginning because some of you might be thinking, “Well, where did the church come from?” We read in the Bible that the church is here and it’s Jewish and now there’s like no Jewish Christians. What happened there? We have the Catholic Church and they go all the way back to Peter so where do we fit in the whole thing. We’re going to try to straighten all that out. Then the last third of the message, we’re going to try to take some points from the Reformation and try to see how they apply to our life and how they apply to our church. So this is going to be a history class for the first 2/3 of the message and if you’re not a history buff or you don’t like class, I encourage you to try to listen, but I’ll wake you up in about 30 minutes and then we’ll close off, okay?
The History of the Church – who started the church? Let me ask you: who started the church? Not a trick question. Who started THE church? Wow! We’re going to have to go back to the very basics. Jesus Christ started the church, okay? If ever in doubt, just answer Jesus. It’s probably right!