Nickle for Your Thoughts

nickleI would be greatly appreciative of some thoughts on this statement…

The end result of Martin Luther’s break-away is unknown. History will tell; but as of today, the surreal number of Protestant denominations leaves the Church a fragmented bunch of mini-bodies who refuse fellowship with anyone by another name, and in western culture, are quickly becoming ineffective in the effort to carry the gospel and to make disciples for Christ.

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About mtsweat

Seeking the rest that is only promised and found in Christ Jesus, along with my treasured wife of more than twenty-five years, we seek to grow in our relationship with our Heavenly Father, walk with the Holy Spirit as He moves our hearts, loving others always as Jesus loves us, and carry the news of His glory, the wonderful gospel, that gives light and life where there once was only darkness.
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28 Responses to Nickle for Your Thoughts

  1. Great Post for discussion, love reading all of the responses. I am currently reading Brennan Manning’s book, The Ragamuffin Gospel and it is really opening my eyes and heart to God’s Love and Grace. Thank you for being you!!

    • mtsweat says:

      Thanks for the input Nikki! …of course now you’ve added another book to my list as I pursue reading everything ever written. 🙂 ditto on the being you… I read somewhere we might as well be ourselves because everyone else is taken.

  2. I don’t know who wrote the quote, but I have to disagree.
    When I became a blood-bought, adopted child of the living God 55 years ago, there may have been more than a little hint of truth in it, as denominations didn’t mix very much, but on the other hand, most Protestant groups tended to agree on the basics, with some differences mainly in administration etc.

    In more recent years I see a great amount of cooperation between Churches and many inter-denominational meetings and ministries . . . and I have also seen in non-believers, an acceptance of the various ‘groups’ as one Christian body.

    • mtsweat says:

      Yes, good friend. I too see this happening and to a large degree I think communication through resources like the one we are communicating through now have added much good and given us the opportunity to realize we can serve side by side for the furthering of the gospel even though we have disagreements in areas where the gospel’s integrity is not abused. Of course, then we have different opinions on this too. Anyway… positive words you offer. Thanks.

  3. LightWriters says:

    We are reminded in Scripture that where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty…We can look back into the dusty annals of time, or we can search into the spotlight of The Lord’s word to the 7 churches in Revelation, which in many ways represent the ‘mood/status’ of the endtime church. And we can learn, be teachable, and pray that we will be moved to HEAR what the Spirit is saying to us…in our time. Lord, give us ears to hear…and hearts and minds to worship You in spirit and in truth, and feet to stand on Your Word. Anything else is sinking sand…

  4. NEO says:

    It’s an interesting quote, Mike, It shows us plain facts, or does it? The quote would work just as well if we replace Luther with Chalcedon, or the Great Schism, and in any case they are all well in the past.

    I take a lot of my illustrations from the military because they are usually apt, in human groups, and the church is a human group (not in goal of course)

    Following Luther I tend to see some big groups, centered on Rome, Augsburg, Lambeth, and wherever Methodists call home, and maybe some of the Baptists as well. Granted all have good Christians and bad Christians (whatever your definitions of either are) Lets give these names say Gold, Juno, Sword, Utah, and Omaha, I imagine you’ll all recognize the code names, and yes it’s intentional. You all know what they did.

    But we dropped 3 divisions of paratroopers (and glider infantry) into Normandy ahead of them. Do you know their story?

    You see it was a rainy and windy night on 5-6 June 1944, and there was a lot of flak as well. The paratroopers were scattered from Hell (well, not quite, that’s in Germany) to breakfast. So what did we have there. Little groups of paratroopers running around on a dark and stormy night in occupied France. And they were busy making trouble, killing a guard here, cutting a commo line there, blowing up a railroad the other place.

    What happened? The entire operational area was in an uproar The Germans were running around all night trying to figure out what was going on, losing touch with each other, and not so incidentally keeping each other up all night.

    All done by those little groups of paratroopers, the infantry calls them LGP. And that’s kind of the way I see the diaspora of the Reformation; little groups of Christians out there, pretty much on their own, doing what Christians have always done, evangelising quietly and effectively.

    Because while we all have our doctrines (and we all are the only right ones) 🙂 we all confess the Christ, crucified, and nearly all of us believe what was written at Nicea as well.

    It important to remember that Christianity, unlike Islam, spread underground by word of mouth, not by the sword.

    I think if we are to reclaim the world, or even Christendom we will do it the same way, by example.

    The quote also made me think of the movie about TR, where the 1st Volunteer Cavalry (that very strange combination of Yalies and cowboys who fought as infantry) is traveling down to Tampa to sail to Cuba. There’s a scene in there where the train is rolling through the South and TR is taking the salute in a boxcar from stray veterans in their gray uniforms. One of those veterans kids says, “They are, Grampa, they’re Yankees.” Grampa looks down at him and says, “No, they’re Americans”. I commend that idea to us.

    It would also make a good post for you, I think. 🙂

    • mtsweat says:

      Hi Neo. I have heard our “dividing up” explained in a positive way as you stress here, but I assure never with your illustrations. Very thoroughly thought out approach you offer. Overcoming our fear and biases of one another as your TR example describes is I believe a profitable step forward. It seems this is really beginning to jell over Along the Watchtower… maybe an example to follow. Indeed, an opportunity for another posting as suggested.

  5. I am going to agree with the statement, because in my neck of the woods, I don’t see much unity at all among Protestant denominations. Every church here seems to think they have a monopoly on the truth. The only churches I have ever attended where preachers and entire congregations visit and support each other are African-American churches (to their credit). Jesus said His disciples would be known by their love for one another, but I don’t personally see much love flowing around these parts.

    Have you read the book entitled “Calvinism in the Las Vegas Airport”? It deals with many of these issues and why people are losing confidence in Protestant leaders, as opposed to Catholic ones.

    I believe a lot of the problem is greed and gimmicks…the moneychangers are still hanging out in the temple.

    Thank you for asking these questions!

    Peace be with you,
    Olive Twist ~♥~

    • mtsweat says:

      Thanks for the very honest response Olive. I felt like this post would attract some discussion and you make valid points to consider. I will check out the book you mentioned… thanks for sharing good friend. Blessings.

      • Thank you for offering an open forum for discussion!

        Shalom, Olive

        • mtsweat says:

          Took a look at your suggested read Olive. We will definitely put this on our read list. Some time back I read another book along these lines titled “Killing Calvinism” where the author also believes we can be pretty cruel in delivering what is supposed to be good news… the Gospel. Thanks for the offering good friend and blessings today!

        • mtsweat says:

          You introduce me to some fascinating people Olive. I am reading “Fear and Trembling” by one of your recent recommends (Kierkegaard). Look forward to hearing of Bunuel.

          • I forewarn you that Bunuel is quite harsh and often uses biting sarcasm, but here is the quote: “I don’t care for heretics, neither Luther nor Calvin. With them the mass was transformed into a boring lecture delivered in a mournful room by a man dressed in black. The Catholic Church at least had the merit of an architecture, a liturgy, a music that moves me. But I admire the man who remains true to his conscience, whatever it inspires in him.”

  6. I can only reply with my own community experience. Many churches here are opening doors and lowering barriers to other denominations. This is allowing a unity that should have some great ripples. If one of those ripples could be ‘stopping the silence’ as far as things that matter like the recent SC decision on homosexuality, abortion, church rights then the church could grow toward even more unity.

    • mtsweat says:

      Excellent points. You bring needed topics to the table here. To stand in the place of the helpless, the Body needs to be healthy and united. Thanks for the response and many blessings to you today.

  7. RJ Dawson says:

    When the people of God take their ease instead of taking up their cross, they become subject to something or someone other than the Lord. This causes a false servitude to an improper party, and thus, a fear of breaking ranks with said party. The spirit behind the cause of such behavior has no respect or honor for individuals. Yes, we are supposed to be a body. Yes, we are supposed to be a team. Yes, we are supposed to be a family. But these entities are strong not only because of their unity but also because of the strength of their individual members.

    If the individual members are spiritually weak but the unifying force is strong, the whole can only be strong temporarily, if at all, and absolutely spiritually impotent for the long term, though it remain unified through coercion, fear, or cultural tradition. There are reams of historical data reaching back throughout the history of Christianity to support this fact. Centralized authority is only supposed to be a temporary fix designed to bring an entity back on course. When it is institutionalized, it feeds on those it rules over, instead of assisting and serving the common good.

    When such authority gains control, it will not only feed on its subject class, it will also confiscate the children’s bread. This stunts the children’s growth and keeps them in a perpetually immature state. As an example, look at the sea of “lay” people which make up most of our congregations. Far too many are clueless concerning their role in the Lord’s body. Almost all are underdeveloped and dependent upon the clergy. Many are in fear, and the great majority are thoroughly overwhelmed by the centralized power which keeps them from developing into what God wants and needs them to be.

    Why? Because to buck central authority is to invite its wrath. Centralized authority is heavily control-oriented and dictatorial. For a lone individual or small group to stand against it takes much strength. In the Church, it takes obedience to the Lord and much anointing. Indeed, the very history of the Lord’s Qahal is constructed with the building blocks of dissent against the raw power of inhumane religious impostors bent on maintaining their stolen authority. In the early days of the Church, her religious enemies were thoroughly pagan. But they eventually became “Christianized.”

    Dual-natured Christianity added a whole new dimension to spiritual battle. To show how bewitching this evil spirit can be, many of those who dissented and began great movements away from centralized captivity and toward freedom often built their own version of the way things ought to be and guarded it like a junkyard dog. As an illustration, imagine draining the water out of one massive dammed-up lake into several smaller dammed-up lakes. Then, drain those lakes by building more dammed-up reservoirs. Eventually, one would arrive at thousands upon thousands of small, dammed-up bodies of water. The lesson here is that Jesus is not interested so much in man-made lakes as He is in naturally flowing rivers and streams.

    Is it really all that difficult, therefore, to see why Christianity is much less than what it should be?
    [Real Christianity, The Nature of the Church © 2001 by R.J. Dawson. All Rights Reserved.]

    • mtsweat says:

      “The lesson here is that Jesus is not interested so much in man-made lakes as He is in naturally flowing rivers and streams.”

      Good stuff RJ… really like this statement quoted. Thanks for the great input good friend. By the way, for those who read… these words by RJ are an excerpt from his book that is highly recommended by us over here at RIHG.

  8. Ben Nelson says:

    This quote seems to suggest that because the western church does not have the fire it once did that this somehow negates the many revivals and movements that have come through protestant movements over the centuries.

    To suggest that we should have remained in the church of Martin Luther’s day, might suggest we would never have seen the great movements of the Holy Spirit under men like
    Calvin
    Whitefield
    Wesley
    Finney
    Roberts
    Spurgeon
    Booth
    Graham
    We may never have seen the first, or second great awakenings, we may have missed Azuza street which is the root of more conversion in the last century than in all the history of mankind.

    Nope – i am not buying it.

    Ben

  9. loopyloo305 says:

    I think that it may have been right at one time, but in my area at least, I see churches of all denominations, reaching out to each other and being drawn together to present the truth of God, relying less on the name and more on the Word. It seems as if the times getting tougher are having the benefit of reminding true believers that it is God that is the important thing, and not the label.

    • mtsweat says:

      That is a fantastic testimony good friend. I also see a unity forming between those who once purposely put up barriers. I believe the ability to communicate freely, as even in blogging, is opening doors to our understanding one another, and hopefully realizing as you so well say, labels mean little… save for the name of Jesus and His gospel that is. Blessings

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