There is only one Lawgiver and Judge.
Here I Stand;
I Can Do No Other
Making God Alone the Lord of Your Conscience
Today we remember Luther's nailing of the 95 Thesis, the spark that ignited the Reformation. And it is here we remember that our consciences are bound by no other authority than the Word of God.
We live in a day of many laws, pontifications, and advisements. From the Dear Abby column to the halls of Congress, from religious leaders to health guru's, we are bombarded with the mantra: "This is what you must do."
Yet the Reformational principle that resonates through history is this: our conscience as Christians is to be held captive by the Word of God. No other authority has primacy over us, for "we must obey God rather than men." (Acts 5:29)
In this respect Christians can be rigid and inflexible. They may be known to be annoying, roadblockers, and dissident. They have practiced civil disobedience and are willing to be fed to the lions because they know that Christ (and He alone) is to be obeyed. They have objected, opposed, and even started wars because the Word of God was regarded as the only supreme rule over their life and conduct.
Luther's firm standing at the Diet of Worms (1522) was just as (if not more) important than his 95 Thesis (1517). Luther was called before Charles V, the Holy Roman Emperor, and various high officials in the Roman Catholic church. In that assembly he was expected to recant his writings, wherein he expounded on the doctrines of justification by faith alone, the authority of Scripture, and the folly of indulgences.
"Here I stand; I can do no other," was his reply. In those words Luther gave vivid expression to his conviction that the Scripture was the inspired Word of God, who's authority outweighed that of the pope. He would not back down, even though his life could have easily been taken at that very moment, being executed as a heretic of the church.
Christ himself demonstrated this spirit when he walked the earth. He did not tolerate the extra biblical commands that the religious leaders touted. When standing before Pilate and Herod, he remained a silent protester against the absurdity of their courtroom demands.
Jesus had come to do the will of His Father and no one could enslave his soul.
It is true, there have been some men who have died for their convictions despite their beliefs not being founded upon the Word of God. But they have been few and far between.
Modern man, in particular, tends to be quite pliable. He often goes with the flow and bends to every whim that comes down the pike. That's because there isn't much spine in someone who puts man and man's thought up as his authority.
He will likely bow down and cow-tow to any law that is passed, any decree that is made, and any advice that is given. He may make a stink about it, but he'll eventually conform because he has no firm standard by which to live. He is governed by men and standards of men and is blown here and there by them, especially if it means having comforts or their very life taken away.
Yet Christians have been known as protesters (Protestants), Non-conformists, and dissenters throughout their history. They have been fed to lions, sent to the stocks, imprisoned, buffeted, burned, and beheaded, because their faith has been built upon the solid rock of God's infallible truth.
Even at Hopewell our leadership says, "Look to the Scripture." We do not want anyone to blindly follow what we say or do. No pope, pastor, prince, priest, or politician should have ultimate governance over you.
Rather, it should be as the old Presbyterians used to say,
"God alone is Lord of the conscience and has left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men which are in any respect contrary to the Word of God."
Date with a Mission!
Let's help the Ott's raise funds for their adoption and deepen relationships at the same time. Invite a friend or two to go out for a date on Wednesday Nov. 6th. Go to BW3's in Ashland and show the ticket. The Ott's will receive 20% of the dinner's proceeds.
Ashland City School officials are developing a new program. The goal is to provide mentors for parents whose children are in the city schools. These mentors are to occasionally meet to provide practical guidance on parenting and decision making. Several families have already requested assistance. Request more information on becoming a mentor.