Graceline – From your Pastor

The Reformation Transformation

2Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:2-3 ESV)

It is so easy to give in, to just go along with it. We are often tempted to not “rock the boat”, to keep our mouths shut. Whenever the hot topics of the day present themselves, and you know what they are, we are faced with a choice. We can speak God’s Word of truth, or we can be conformed to the world. The overarching thought behind “the world” is what the Germans call the zeitgeist or spirit of the age. We tend to think of it as our culture, society in general, the agenda that is being pushed the loudest.

The church is also included in that. Five hundred years ago, Martin Luther saw what was going on in his beloved church. The abuses were rampant. So, he made a list of the things he wanted to address and posted them on the Wittenburg Church door. The year was 1517, the date, October 31st. No one knew or foresaw the impact that nailing this piece of paper to the door would have. We are products of that initial attempt at correcting the wrongs in the church. Luther’s goal was never to fracture the Roman Catholic Church, but fracture it did. The Reformation had begun.

Maybe an acceptable variation of the title of the movement, “The Reformation”, could be “The Reformation Transformation.” To reform is to change the outside, to improve what already exists. The church and people needed more than to reform; they needed to transform. But to “transform” is to have a change of being, is more internal, and results in a change of behavior. If we look at the Reformation through the lens of Romans 12 above, transformation needs to be included to be a better description of what happened, and still needs to happen.

Transformation is an ongoing process. As sinful human beings, we still struggle with the renewal of our mind, and always will. The definition behind the Greek word for renewal, ἀνακαινωσις, can be stated as, “a renewal, renovation, complete change for the better.” Our change is not yet complete; it will be a continuous process until we are transformed fully at the Resurrection. But, until then, we still need to battle together the abuses in society, and within the church. The spirit of the Reformation Transformation lives inside each one of us because it is fueled by the truth of God’s Word. Mankind has lost sight of what is truth and replaced it with individual truth, which is so evident in the world. It can be witnessed in things like the law that is being pushed through Michigan’s legislature right now that would allow abortion up to birth.

Friends, it is time for us to nail a petition on the door of the world. We must speak up. Give notice to the zeitgeist, society, the people around you, to our law makers and government, that you will no longer tolerate the abuses happening in our society, or be quiet. The Reformation Transformation may have started with Luther, but it continues with us. The devil isn’t giving up, neither can we. So, stand together with Luther on the true Word of God, we can do no other, so help us God. Amen.

Pastor Al

Our mission: “Bringing People to Christ by Bringing Christ to People”