Categories
Bible

God’s Word above all things?

Article 6 of the 39 Articles of Religion on the “The sufficiency of Holy Scripture for our salvation” says,

Holy Scripture sets forth everything that is necessary for our salvation. Consequently, nobody should be required to believe as an article of the Christian faith, or to regard as necessary for salvation, anything that is not found in Scripture or that cannot be proved from Scripture…

Therefore, Scripture is to be our highest authority, not tradition, experience or reason. 

We, in the Reformed Evangelical Anglican Church of South Africa, are not necessarily against tradition, experience or reason;  they are simply not our highest authority.

Categories
Christian Worldview Church

The Rock and the gates of death

Matthew 16:15-18 is a very misunderstood passage in the Bible.

The Roman Catholic Church believes that the Rock on which Jesus builds his church was the Apostle Peter, who allegedly was the first Pope or Bishop of Rome.  Subsequently, all the Popes have been the spiritual descendants of Peter.

The true church is, therefore, all those who acknowledge the headship of the Pope and belong to the Roman Catholic structure.

In Roman Catholic doctrine, God’s grace flows from God through the Pope, through the Cardinals, through the Bishops, through the Priests, and then to the congregation via the sacraments.

To be excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church is to endanger your immortal soul.

Categories
Christian Worldview REACH SA Reformation

Why I am not a Roman Catholic #REACH500

This year, 2017, marks the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation that started in Germany in 1517.

There are a couple of things we take for granted in our church services:

  • It is in an understandable language
  • We have Bibles
  • The Bible is read and explained
  • We pray together, sing together and take part in some way
  • The gospel is explained

If we were attending a church 500 years ago in Europe, none of these would have happened.  Europe in Medieval times was a spiritually dark, superstitious place. The Roman Catholic Church (RCC) ruled supreme.  All roads led to Rome where the Pope ruled over all things religious.  The Pope was (and still is) believed to be the spiritual successor to the Apostle Peter and the Vicar of Christ i.e. Christ’s representative on earth.  Without Father Pope there could be no church, without Mother Church there could be no salvation.

Categories
Doctrine

Will there be rewards in heaven?

bobFor Christians, our faithfulness in this world influences our rewards in the world to come. This is not the final judgement. At the final judgement, if we are Christians we are saved and guaranteed a place in heaven. Our sin have been forgiven in Christ and we are righteous in God’s sight. On the other hand, if we have ignored or rejected Christ, we will be judged by God and spend an eternity apart from God in what Jesus described as the cosmic rubbish dump (“gehenna”).

The Bible teaches that as Christians we face an assessment where our work for the Lord will be tested and we will be rewarded (or not) according to our faithfulness. This is not the final judgment as our entrance into the New Creation is secure, but an accounting to God of what he has entrusted to us.

Categories
Christian Worldview

Pastors as “Christian” witchdoctors in Africa

One of the contexts in which we do ministry in Africa is the background and influence of African Traditional Religion (ATR). In ATR the sangoma (witchdoctor) has special access to God, the spirit world and the ancestors.

The sangoma is able to make contact with the spirit world in order to guarantee protection from evil spirits, to ensure good luck in a job interview or even to lift a curse someone else might have placed on you. The sangoma is able to provide blessing, healing, deliverance and protection (among other things).