Read Leonard Verduin’s The Reformers and Their Stepchildren. This book explains the Anabaptists of the 16th century also known as 'The Left-wing of the Reformation' or the 'Radical Reformers.' Martin Luther sparked the Reformation, dividing Catholic and Protestant over the gospel of justification by faith alone, Romans 1:17. This match lit a fire that divided not only Catholics and Protestants, but Protestants and Protestants to this very day.
Never did Jesus words ring more true when he says, "Don't think that I came to send peace on the earth. I didn't come to send peace, but a sword" (Matthew 10:34 WEB), and again "From the days of John the Baptizer until now, the Kingdom of Heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force" (Matthew 11:12 WEB). The fight for truth is no contest for arm-chair quarterbacks. And so we see divisions today from forceful men of the past as Catholics, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Anabaptists, and various Christian faiths warmly worship Christ every Sunday while coolly separated from each other, yet each with some kind of goal to follow Christ. Look at our church names! We are the grandchildren of the Reformation!
But how are we doing?
We are warm and cool. Why not hot and cold?
Yes, God continues his mighty work, unstoppable in his goal, to demonstrate his passionate grace in his chosen ones. This is hot. But we are a cool mess, even worse than before. Not only are Catholics, Lutherans, Presbyterians, and Anabaptists divided, we are each divided among ourselves over the gospel, over homosexuality, over doctrine, over practice. These differences would be great things to divide over, but we also divide over food, clothing, music, and trivia!
In the midst of spiritual war and the quest for truth Luther, Calvin, Sattler, and others gave their lives for critical matters in belief and practice as they sought to follow Christ. We face the same critical matters today… but also cursory matters. Luther is commended for dividing a congregation over the gospel, for the unbelieving are not the church! But would Luther be commended for dividing a church over music? Would church history future look back to study the 21st century music reformation?
Grandchildren of the Reformation wake up! Fight about something worth fighting for! Fight for truth! Or are you merely a child of flesh?
Being a child or a grandchild of the Reformation or any heritage means nothing. Although it would have been a blessing to be a son of Eli, Samuel, David, or Solomon, and to witness their mighty deeds for the Lord. However, it is only a blessing for the believing. For their own sons, Hophni and Phinehas had no regard for the Lord, Joel and Abijah did not walk in God’s ways, Amnon and Absalom raped and murdered, and Rehoboam divided God’s people. They were merely children of flesh for even godly parents and a godly heritage cannot command the Spirit.
That is why,
Jesus answered, "Most certainly I tell you, unless one is born of water and spirit, he can't enter into God's Kingdom. That which is born of the flesh is flesh. That which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Don't marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born anew.' The wind blows where it wants to, and you hear its sound, but don't know where it comes from and where it is going. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit."(John 3:5-8 WEB)
And Paul said,
But it is not as though the word of God has come to nothing. For they are not all Israel that are of Israel. Neither, because they are Abraham's offspring, are they all children. But, "your offspring will be accounted as from Isaac." That is, it is not the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as heirs. For this is a word of promise, "At the appointed time I will come, and Sarah will have a son."(Romans 9:6-9 WEB)
And what about you? Praise God if you are a child of Christian parents and go to a good church. Are you also a child of the Spirit? Have you received God’s promises?