REFORMATION or REVOLUTION
This year, 2017, marks the 500th anniversary of the launch of the Protestant Reformation and the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia. These two monumentally important historic milestones present the stark choice before us: Reformation or Revolution!
A Tale of Two Cities
In Charles Dickens’ classic novel, A Tale of Two Cities, he contrasts London with Paris, the fruit of the Great Evangelical Awakening of Whitefield and Wesley with the Renaissance Humanism that led to the French Revolution and The Reign of Terror. Dickens’ famous opening sentence summarises the drama of A Tale of Two Cities: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way…”
Christianity vs. Communism
The contrast between Christianity and communism is dramatically presented throughout A Tale of Two Cities. The fruit of the Protestant Reformation and the Great Evangelical Awakening was wisdom, faith, light, hope and joy. The fruit of anti-God, radical secular humanism and the revolutionary fanaticism that triumphed in France in 1789, produced the worst of times and an age of foolishness, unbelief, darkness, despair and misery. “They promise them freedom, they themselves are slaves of depravity…” 2 Peter 2:19
The Iron Lady in Paris
It was most appropriate that in 1989, on the 200th anniversary of the French Revolution, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher of Great Britain presented French president, Francois Mitterand, a leather-bound first edition of Charles Dickens’, immortal A Tale of Two Cities book. When reporters at the G7 Conference in Paris flocked to ask Margaret Thatcher’s impressions of The French Revolution, the Iron Lady replied: “It resulted in a lot of headless corpses and a tyrant.”
Resistance to Revolution
Prime Minister Thatcher had a sense of the momentous event, as this G7 Conference had been scheduled in Paris to coincide with the 200th anniversary of The French Revolution. The Iron Lady’s symbolic act of resistance was itself historic. Margaret Thatcher advised the French President to read A Tale of Two Cities, to learn why the French Revolution had been completely unnecessary.
Indeed, today, with mobs targeting monuments for removal and destruction, the war against freedom of speech, with race politics openly advocating land invasions of white-owned commercial farms, laughing at rampant tortures and murders of white pensioners and farmers and an international campaign to eliminate white Anglo-Saxon races from the earth, along with hysterical Christophobia seeking to eliminate all public expressions of Christianity, we are on the verge of a new revolution.
Following the Revolutionary Herd
George Orwell’s dystopian novel, 1984, now seems ominously prophetic. First published in 1949, Orwell’s 1984 envisaged a future with omnipresent government surveillance and public manipulation through party politics, the cult of worshipping the party leader, historic revisionism, intimidation and social engineering. All this no longer looks like a joke.
Subverting Freedom of Thought
Orwell predicted the manipulation of language into newspeak, with thought crimes punished by thought police. The Ministry of Truth used lies and propaganda to distort all information in news, entertainment, education and the arts. The Ministry of Plenty controlled rationing and ensured starvation. The Ministry of Peace ensured perpetual war. The Ministry of Love tortured, terrified and crushed all dissent and resistance.
Mobilising Hate in the Name of Love
The Ministry of Love would also orchestrate two minutes hate and hate week campaigns to distract and channel the anger and frustration of the masses towards a real, or imagined, enemy.
The Ministry of Truth would also vaporise, or expunge, from the public record, opponents of the state which could not be debated with, or argued, against. These would become un-persons who would disappear down the memory hole.
Every monument would need to be replaced, every street name changed. History itself would need to be re-written in order to accord with the current policy of the ruling political party (As Karl Marx declared: “The first battlefield is the rewriting of History”).
Supressing Freedom of Expression
Today, the sinister suppression of free speech, manipulation of language and intimidation of the general population is becoming an all too real factor in everyday life. In the past, to suppress dissent the accusation of “heresy!” or “treason!” was sufficient. Today: “Hate Speech!” is the modern equivalent to silencing free speech. Merely accusing someone of: “racism!”, “homophobia!”, “Islamophobia!”, or “bigotry!” is sufficient to silence opposition and prevent free and open discussion.
A Most Relevant Warning
At the end of the 19th century, General William Booth of the Salvation Army predicted: “The chief danger that confronts the coming century will be religion without the Holy Ghost, Christianity without Christ, forgiveness without Repentance, Salvation without Regeneration, politics without God and Heaven without hell.”
Wide Gates to Hell
German Reformer Dr. Martin Luther warned, almost five centuries ago: “I am much afraid that schools will prove to be wide gates to hell, unless they diligently labour in explaining the Holy Scriptures, engraving them in the hearts of youth. I advise no one to place his child where the Scriptures do not reign paramount. Every institution in which men are not constantly occupied with the Word of God must become corrupt.”
School Campuses are a Battleground
Education today most certainly is a battleground. Freedom of speech and freedom of conscience is under fire on school and university campuses which are meant to be free market places of ideas where “iron sharpens iron”.
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Fight for Faith and Freedom
Dr. Martin Luther declared: “If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God, except precisely that point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, then I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Him. Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved; and to be steady on all the battlefront besides, is mere flight and disgrace, if he flinches at that point.”
First Things First
Martin Luther’s earnest request for peace with God, intensive study of the Scriptures and 95 Theses challenge over unbiblical practices of the Roman papacy led to primary questions on authority.
Our Lord Jesus Christ taught: “But seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added to you.” Matthew 6:33
Freedom of Conscience
Martin Luther’s love for the Word of God and dedication to the truth led him to challenge the entire ecclesiastical and political structure of the Roman church and empire. “Unless I am convinced by Scripture and by clear reasoning that I am in error – for popes and councils have often erred and contradicted themselves - I cannot recant, for I am subject to the Scriptures I have quoted; my conscience is captive to the Word of God. It is unsafe and dangerous to do anything against ones conscience. Here I stand. I cannot do otherwise. So help me God. Amen.”
Foundations for Freedom
In this incredibly courageous stand against the assembled political and religious might of Europe, Professor Luther argued for Freedom of conscience, based upon the authority of Scripture alone. By translating the Bible, from the original Greek and Hebrew, into the common tongue and making it widely available to all, Martin Luther championed universal education and literacy, freedom of conscience and religious liberty. The Protestant doctrine of the priesthood of all believers became the foundation for modern representative governments. Instead of the prevailing “Rex Lex” (the king is the law) the Reformers championed “Lex Rex” (the Law is king!) No one is above God's Law. Jesus Christ is the King of kings and the Lord of lords. Everyone is under God's Law.
Roots of Western Civilisation
The social implications of this religious Reformation were enormous. The Doctrine of Sola Scriptura led to Constitutionalism. The priesthood of all believers led to the concept of representative forms of government based upon Law. Religious liberty and freedom of conscience led to freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of association and other out-workings of political and social freedom. Ideas have consequences.
Faith and Freedom
The Reformers’ teaching on the depravity of man, the Covenant and Church government have influenced positive political developments in liberty throughout the Western world and beyond, establishing checks and balances, the separation of powers and constitutional authority. All of us are beneficiaries of this tremendous movement for Faith and freedom. If you love liberty, you need to re-examine the history and principles of the Reformation and resist Revolution in all its forms.
“…Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the Lord? Therefore the wrath of the Lord is upon you.” 2 Chronicles 19:2
Dr. Peter Hammond
P.O. Box 74 Newlands 7725
Cape Town South Africa
The Greatest Century of Reformation
The Reformation Roots of Western Civilisation
Martin Luther - Captive to the Word of God
The French Revolution
The Greatest Killer
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