What? Why?

Vol. 8-44 – 10-29-2023 – What? Why?

What? Why?

At the end of seven days, the Word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel. Whenever you hear a Word from My mouth, you shall give them warning from Me. If I say to the wicked, “you shall surely die,” and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, in order to save his life, that wicked person shall die for his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. But if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, or from his wicked way, he shall die for his iniquity, but you will have delivered your soul. –Ezekiel 3:16-19

Martin Luther, a Catholic Monk, was disturbed by what he found in the Scriptures. He could not hold back, beginning to share the truth of what God had said. The confrontation with the church led to reform. Thus, we have Reformation Day celebrated on October 31st each year (in the church on the nearest Sunday). However, that is not accurate. Many churches do not even give a fleeting mention of the day. Most calendars you purchase do not make note of the day.

Just as in Martin Luther’s day, people would not give much attention to “religious things”, and only select thoughts toward Christmas (celebration of the birth of Christ), and Easter (the recognition of the death and resurrection of Christ).

There were others involved in the Reformation; John Calvin, a Frenchman, and Ulrich Zwingli (a Swiss man). The three men turned the world upside down. It is amazing to think it only took three. We live in a time when one vote can change leadership, but believers rarely vote in numbers more than 40% of their registered-to-vote numbers.

The catholic church (which means universal) was strong and much opposed. It is not unlike the differences that bring separations among Christians and Jews, Liberals and Conservatives, China, others, and the U.S.

Luther wrote the 95 Theses and posted them on the door at Whittenburg. The “Universal’ Church was incensed. The Papal authority of the Church was brought into question. The Catholic Church has a history of going to war over the confrontation of their beliefs. They did change their beliefs, in part, due to current theology. Evangelical churches have done so to a lesser degree.

Instead of messages on the Reformation, there are other fish to fry. The celebration of Halloween. Dressing our children as demons, witches, and little Satan images. Even churches are known to celebrate Halloween. Only a few churches are concerned during the Halloween period with what needs to be taught regarding the heritage of Christianity.

This past year I read an article regarding the decline of American church attendance—it is at a historic low (Gallup survey). One of the leading sentences said: American church bells aren’t ringing so much as they are tolling! Membership in houses of worship has dropped below fifty percent. In 1937 membership was 73%. In 2019, membership was reported at 47%. In 1998 13% did not identify with any church. That moved up to 21% in 2002 and has made a steady climb each year since.

The U.S., according to Gallup still thinks of herself as Christian. Yet the figures say otherwise.

We are headed soon to an Advent series, as has been my preference in December. Would you commit to praying for our nation; for all the young people to recognize the utter tragedy coming their way without a personal relationship with Jesus, the Christ?

The problem is a repeat of Ezekiel’s day. A repeat of Moses’ day. Of Jesus’ days on the earth. Of our day.

In Ezekiel’s day, young adults were caught up in idol worship. Not in the worship of the holy God. There was little expected from ungodly parents, or parents just playing at worship. It is not different today. All the evangelism meetings, revival meetings, and campground meetings of past years have not transitioned well beyond their time. Parents thought their children would eventually grow out of their habits of life. They do not. It is no different.

Today’s parents need to get over the remarks of poor thinking, that their children are going to get over their habits and grow out of them. Unless parents intervene, they permit their children to grow without firm foundations.

When they latch onto habits, they do not realize that they actually do not have habits, habits have them. They need to be freed. It is godly parents’ responsibility to lead them to the truth of God. Parents that do not take the time early to counsel their children in right living under our holy God pay a dear price in the lostness of their children. The earlier a parent intervenes for the sake of their children the better families will tend to gather around one another.

So, it is not Happy Halloween. It is, Remember the Reformation.

The difference taught by parents can make a life/death outcome for the children of the home, of our communities, of our nation, and of the children in our world.

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Written by Dr. Larry Lightner

October 29, 2023

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