WHEN GOD ATTACKS THE CHURCH

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One final word of counsel, friends. Keep a sharp eye out for those who take bits and pieces of the teaching that you learned and then use them to make trouble. Give these people a wide berth. They have no intention of living for our Master Christ. They’re only in this for what they can get out of it, and aren’t above using pious sweet talk to dupe unsuspecting innocents.” – Romans 16:17‭-‬18 MSG
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Just in case we have forgotten, Martin Luther was considered a rebel, a sell out and disloyal. His attack on the dogmas being propagated by the Church at that time was considered by many as an attack to the Church. He published his 95 thesis which included serious concerns on faith and also the selling of indulgence, the means by which Pope got enriched at that time and became among the richest people in the world. Luther was held in 3 days debate with Cardinal Thomas Cajetan who defended the selling of indulgence using the same Bible Luther uses. This was a time many considered the Papal see a visible God! This was a time many people though not seeing any supernatural manifestations of the Holy Spirit at work still believed the Papal see has the final say and is the only custodian of the word of God. The Papacy enjoyed loyalty to the apex! It might not be a voluntary loyalty in some quarters but the Papacy sure did enjoy it and are still enjoying it today to some degree.
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Sincerely, if we go through Luther’s 95 thesis, the concerns he raised is exactly the concerns some of the people we consider heretics and rebels are raising today. These people have emotions and may boil with anger. To some sort, they may even seem unreasonable because they are also humans who may allow the flesh to exhibit it’s content sometimes. But hey! Even the emotions are needed, Jesus angrily drove merchants from the temple.
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What do we do as a Church if we are truly concerned with doing things right? The first Papal commission that examined Luther’s teachings considered it heretical but the second just concluded Luther is insulting the Church but couldn’t really put up any strong defence against the 95 thesis.
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What Luther started grew beyond his influence and started spreading like wild fire from Germany to the rest of the world. It also caused the translation of the Bible and the distribution of the Bible to ordinary people because they’ve always being held captive using their ignorance and lack of access to the Bible. Yes, what Luther started gave birth to the return of true Christianity in some quarters.
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Today, a lot of things Luther wrote and spoke against has been refurbished and brought back. We consider some people who are speaking up as heretics because we just can’t deal with it, we just can’t let our ego be trampled by ordinary people and some of us can’t deal with accepting the truth for the fear of being rebelled as heretics too! In suit, sweet English and more simplicity, a lot of ministers today are returning to the errors of the Papacy of that time. And to think God’s hand is not in some of the supposed “attack” on Pastors today just as it was in the case of Martin Luther is to say “Jesus isn’t building His Church.”
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When we look at some of the things we consider attacks and heretical with our critical lens, we will discover the Church isn’t being attacked by some of those people. Jesus is not being attacked but because we are struggling with our ego and because we are afraid that some “human worship” coming from our followers would be lost, we engage our strength in defending things that should not be defended at the expense of the gospel.
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Have we ever asked ourselves what these people are speaking up against? If it’s not against the grace of our Lord Jesus, against faith in Jesus as the son of God, love as a reflection of who we have become in Christ and other wonderful truths contained in the word… If it is not against the core doctrine of Christ, then it’s not against the Church.
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Luther raised concerns, normally he would have been burned like others who got up before him. Let me remind you, in those days, if you stand up against some errors in the Papacy, they warn you! If you insist, they burn your writings and if you still insist, they burn you! I know God preserved Luther, God would use him then to get the people ready for a revival! That was revival in itself because revival comes in the wheels of men who aren’t comfortable with the norms anymore.
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Some of us spoke up earlier but the hunger to be in the league of the “connected” suppressed our voice, we opted for the kings meat rather than the healthy vegetables. It’s time we go back and look at these new fresh thesis.
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It may seem some misguided fellow are just having a good time with lashing the Church but I also believe some of this people we consider “misguided” are believers who love Jesus, who loves the word and who have stand to defend the truth of God’s word no matter who stands against them. Majority will surely not be on their side but I see another reformation coming and after that, I see another major revival sweeping across Nations. There will be another fresh writing on “God’s Generals.”
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For the sake of records, I want to admit there are lots of folks out there who are keen to attacking the Church, they look for every means to launch attacks on the Church, they look for a little weakness of a Pastor to blackmail him and blow it out of proportion, they take words of a man of God out of context and make it mean what the Pastor never meant. This was exactly what they were doing to Jesus in those days. Those who hate the Church attacks it as a result of hatred and there is no trace of love in their motives. How do we treat them? We should do exactly what Jesus did. Jesus prayed for them on the cross and Jesus even asked us to pray for our enemies.
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Because this article is meant to address the fact that sometimes God raises ordinary men who questions condoned excesses of ministers without fear even when they are greatly misunderstood, we will not deviate from the concerns raised. There are rebukes that are done inside the house where no one else will know about it but there are rebukes done publicly to show that we are not who people paint us to be.
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For instance, if a minister declares on TV that Jesus is not the only savior, we don’t need to be minimal and cautious in defending the gospel. Anyone who addresses Church issues with love and the right motive is not attacking the Church. God is using them the same way He used Martin Luther to put some things in check. About those attacking the Church, they are the least of my worries because Jesus made it clear that it is His responsibility to build His Church and not ours. If we decide to get lazy, He will raise people we never expected to preach and defend this gospel. Who preached to Paul? The same man who attacked the Church in the past, God arrested him and used him mightily! God has a way of making everything work for the good of the Church.
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So when a movement like that of Luther begins, when people especially the “ordinary Christians” begin to rise up to speak against certain practices without fear! When we start seeing a lot things being questioned vehemently in Church, what we do is not to start raising voice and shouting back at them, it’s not to open up our arsenals as though these people are pagans and terrorists who are plotting for a total shutdown, we should rather check if it’s God “attacking” the Church. When God “attacks” the Church, He is preparing it for another glorious phase and no man can stop it. Sometimes, we think we are defending God but when we look well, He is not in the equation.
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Blessings.
-George O.N-
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NB: *When God “attacks” the Church…. The intended use of the word “attack” here is figurative and not literal.
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#GracefulGeorge

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