Last year, St. Georges Cathedral, in Cape Town advertised for Reformation Sunday: an Interfaith service!
A prominent church in Cape Town advertised NIGHTMARE - A Halloween party for youth at their church for Halloween!
At a major Evangelistic conference, a pastor greeted the people with the Islamic greeting: "Salaam-Alaikum"! And one of the choirs sang a Hymn of praise to Nelson Mandela, along with clenched fists!
Officials involved in a Christian university declared that they are "neutral" on the matter of abortion and Creation, but include faculty members who are pro-choice on the matter of abortion and who subscribe to evolution. Despite their claims of neutrality, a highly qualified individual was rejected from consideration for the faculty because she was, in their words: "a Creation theorist"!
These are just a few sad examples that underline and highlight how desperately our churches need a Back to the Bible Reformation and a Heaven-sent Holy Spirit empowered Revival.
At a graduation service of a Christian university in Cape Town, where the biggest, longest and most repeated quotes were from Martin Luther King Jnr., Nelson Mandela, Voltaire, Ghandi and even from the atheistic anti-God poem, Invictus! "I am the master of my fate! I am the captain of my soul!"
During that three-hour graduation service, of what was meant to be a Christian university, I did not hear a single quote from a Reformer, Church Father, Christian Theologian, or even from our Lord Jesus Christ, or the Apostles! The mouth speaks what the heart is full of.
We are warned: "Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of this world, and not according to Christ." Colossians 2:8
In so many places we see evidence that rather than changing the world, the Church is being changed by the world. Instead of being transformed by the Word of God, all too many Christians are today being conformed to this world (Romans 12:1-2).
At what are purported to be Christian colleges, I have frequently heard reinforced stereotypes, well-worn socialist mantras being repeated, tribute paid to modern political idols, stock phrases strung together with predictable, unimaginable jargon and repetition, of what you can get in any secular college, or for that matter, in a Hollywood film.
So, then, with the moral chaos in our societies, it is tempting to place most of the blame at the foot of Hollywood. The godless distortions of history and blatant promotion of perversion and blasphemy, from all too many of the studios in Hollywood have certainly played a major role in corrupting the morals and confusing the minds of multitudes.
However, it would appear that godless humanism has done even more damage to the minds and morals of our population through the secular schooling system than even Hollywood has.
However, having said that, it is my conviction that the real problem is not so much these external evils. Secular humanism, communism, radical Islam and other false religions and ideologies are not really our main problem. The catastrophic collapse of Christian civilisation in recent years is probably far more to be laid at the steps of a backslidden, distracted, apathetic, compromising, worldly and, in all too many cases, apostate church.
The Role of the Church
If the Christian Church was doing what our Lord has plainly commanded in Scripture, then these false religions and anti-Christ ideologies would be in defeat and retreat. It is the basic failure of our churches to make disciples, teaching obedience to all things that the Lord has commanded, that lies at the root of this catastrophic situation. The salt has lost its savour. The light is being hid under a bushel. The last Command of Christ is not the first concern of most churches. The Great Commission is not the supreme ambition of most congregations.
The Curse of Cowardice
Compromise and cowardice are pervasive. Evading controversial issues and seeking to please men, rather than God, has become the norm. It is the disgraceful failure of most churches that has enabled this triumph of secular humanism and paganism to hijack what were once great Christian colleges and countries.
Sin is Serious
Sin is serious. We are far too tolerant of sin. Sin is far more defiling than dirt. When a person gets dirty you want to clean yourself. Sin is more dangerous than an unexploded bomb. Which of us wants to play with an unexploded bomb, or landmine? Sin is far more life threatening than any deadly disease.
We must stand before God and give an account of every idle word we have ever spoken. There is a terrible lack of discernment in all too many churches. The Scripture makes it clear that "the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." "The Law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul." "The Law of God is the schoolmaster that leads us to Christ that we may be justified by Faith."
Are you building your Faith and life on the solid rock of God's Word, or on the sand of humanism?
Why is so little being taught on the nature of God, the holiness of God, the wrath of God and the justice of God? The Great Commission of our Lord Jesus Christ and the Cultural Mandate? Why is there so little concern for the persecuted Church?
400 million Christians in 67 countries of the world live under restrictions and persecution by the state. Every year, over 300,000 Christians are killed for their Faith. The Church is under fire, being bombed and attacked, by radical Islamists in Northern Nigeria, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Somalia and Sudan.
Are you praying for the Persecuted Church?
What are you doing to fulfil the Great Commission?
When churches advertise interfaith services and Nightmare Halloween youth services then we need to realise how desperately urgent is the need for a Back to the Bible Reformation and Spiritual Revival.
Back to the Bible
For this reason, inspired by the example of excellence of German Reformer, Dr. Martin Luther, we have produced 95 Theses for Reformation Today, to be posted on church noticeboards, or social media forums, to call our people back to the Bible.
"The fullness of the treasure of wisdom and knowledge which is hidden in Christ." Colossians 2:3
Resources for Reformation
You will find many resources to challenge and empower your Church for this Reformation Sunday on www.ReformationSA.org website.
Our Mission has been producing books and audio-visual materials to empower churches dedicated to working for Reformation and praying for Revival. These strategic resources include: The Greatest Century of Reformation; The Greatest Century of Missions, The Power of Prayer Handbook; Reforming Our Families; Biblical Principles for Africa; Practical Discipleship; Discipleship Training Manual; Reformation FIRE Manual; Victorious Christians - Who Changed the World, War Against God, Church History Survey boxset, Church History Overview MP3, The Great Commission Course Audio and Data boxset and the Church History Manual. Many of these are also available as E-books.
Resources to Warn Your Congregation About the Origins of Halloween
Download: The Bible and the Halloween tract in PDF format here.
View: A Biblical Response to Halloween PowerPoint here.
Listen to: A Biblical Response to Halloween on SermonAudio.com here.
Obtain the book: The Greatest Century of Reformation by Dr. Peter Hammond
Screen a film to your Sunday school, youth group or congregation:
Halloween: Have You Been Tricked? (suitable for children, 27 minutes)
Halloween: Trick or Treat? (suitable for teens and older, 48 minutes)
Both DVDs by Jeremiah Films are also available from Christian Liberty Books: 021-689-7478, 086-551-7490, Email: email@example.com and Website: www.christianlibertybooks.co.za.
Dr. Peter Hammond
P.O. Box 74 Newlands 7725
Cape Town South Africa