Does America Need a Revolution or Reformation?
By Pastor David Whitney
The godless communists in America recently declared that November 4, in the year of our Lord Jesus Christ, 2017, was the beginning of the communist takeover of these United States. Despite spending millions of dollars and taking out a full-page ad in the New York Times, their communist revolution on November 4th appears to be a dud. But that is not to say they no longer pose a danger to our country.
A new book just released by Edward Klein, former editor in chief of the New York Times Magazine, is entitled, All Out War: The Plot To Destroy Trump.
It details two exclusive FBI reports that prove the existence of “the Deep State” working against the Trump agenda, warn of ISIS ties to the anti-Trump “resistance,” and highlight the danger of domestic terrorism from the anti-Trump radicals.
In the book itself, Klein states:
‘There is clearly overwhelming evidence that there are growing ties between U.S. radicals and the Islamic State, as well as several [ISIS] offshoots and splinter groups,’ stated the FBI field report, which was delivered to Acting Director Andrew McCabe on July 11, 2017.
The FBI report on efforts by Islamic terrorists to recruit followers among violent U.S. groups like Antifa corroborates President Trump’s controversial claim, following last summer’s deadly protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, that left-wing anarchist groups are just as dangerous as right-wing white supremacists.
A secret FBI investigation of the violent ‘resistance’ movement on college campuses against President Trump has led to the discovery of collusion between American anarchists and foreign terrorists in the Islamic State and Al Qaeda.1
These are dangerous times.
What the United States needs today is not some violent revolution as Antifa is attempting to pull off on the streets of our major cities. What is needed is a thoroughgoing Reformation restoring the foundations upon which our country was built. Many people do not realize that the roots of the War for Independence and the formation of our Christian Constitutional Republic go right back to October 31st, 1517.
Noted historian Page Smith wrote in his book Never Before In History:
The birth of America is one of the most pronounced examples in all of history that ideas have consequences. Here is the record that certain ideas about religious freedom, freedom of conscience and right government, hammered out on the anvil of European and especially British history, set in motion human forces; habits of worship, convictions of polity, voluntary associations, declarations of renunciations and independence, and yes, armies who would deny themselves and their families, to offer the ultimate sacrifice, if necessary.
The American Revolution might thus be said to have started, in a sense, when Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the church door at Wittenberg. It received a substantial part of its theological and philosophical underpinnings from John Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion and much of its social theory from the Puritan Revolution of 1640-1660, and perhaps less obviously, from the Glorious Revolution of 1689.
Put another way, the American Revolution is inconceivable in the absence of the context of ideas which have constituted Christianity. The leaders of the Revolution in every colony were imbued with the precepts of the Reformed faith.
Our Country was built on the message of the Reformation, it grew to greatness and blessings while following that same message and it can only be restored by a return to that same message.
What is the message of the Reformation that needs to be restored in our land today?
There are five statements all in latin:
- Sola Scriptura
- Sola Fide
- Sola Gratia
- Solus Christus
- Soli Deo Gloria
Let’s examine each one in turn.
- Sola Scriptura: Scripture alone. God’s word is final authority for the Christian, it is the finally authority for truth. (2 Timothy 3:15-17). “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”
- Doctrine – that is what is true, what we believe
- For reproof – that which is false, that which we do not believe
- For correction – how we ought not to act, how we ought not to live our lives
- For instruction in righteousness – how we ought to live our lives walking in loving obedience to the commands of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
No edict by the Church has the same force as the Word of God. Where tradition, teaching or our experience and the Bible differ, Scripture is supreme, it is the ultimate truth.
At his trial at the Diet of Worms, after days of questioning Luther concluded, “Unless I am convinced by the testimony of the Scriptures or by clear reason (for I do not trust either in the pope or in councils alone, since it is well known that they have often erred and contradicted themselves), I am bound by the Scriptures I have quoted and my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and will not recant anything, since it is neither safe nor right to go against conscience. Here I stand, I can do no other, May God help me. Amen.”
Having refused to recant his teaching and the 25 writings he was examined for, (including the 95 Theses), Luther was condemned.
Private conferences were held to determine Luther’s fate, but he was not arrested at Worms. Through negotiations by his prince, Frederick III, Luther had been given a letter of safe conduct to and from the hearing.
After his dismissal he departed for his home in Wittenberg. However, fearing for Luther’s safety, Frederick III sent men to a fake highway attack and abduct Luther, hiding him away at Wartburg Castle. (Some believe the thick heavy walls of that castle were inspiration for the lyrics of “A Mighty Fortress”).
It was there at Wartburg Castle in hiding from the enemies who sought to kill him, that Luther began the greatest work of his life – translating the Bible into the language of the German people. It had never been done before, and it was the work that did more to transform the souls of men and women, transform the homes and the churches and the civil government as well.
Clarence Macartney, upon visiting the Castle wrote, “I saw the chamber of Luther, with the bed in which he slept, his wash basin, and his desk—a notable desk, too, for on that desk Luther translated the New Testament into German. On one of the walls of the room there is a place bare of plaster. It is the spot where Luther hurled his inkstand at the devil, whose fearful apparition he had seen.
This may be but legend. But there is no doubting the fact that by his translation of the New Testament into the language of the people Luther did hurl an inkstand of considerable weight at the devil and all his works.”
And the devil was not pleased, so he employed his minions in an attempt to destroy Luther.
The Edict of Worms was a decree issued on 26 May 1521 by Emperor Charles V, declaring:
“For this reason we forbid anyone from this time forward to dare, either by words or by deeds, to receive, defend, sustain, or favour the said Martin Luther. On the contrary, we want him to be apprehended and punished as a notorious heretic, as he deserves, to be brought personally before us, or to be securely guarded until those who have captured him inform us, whereupon we will order the appropriate manner of proceeding against the said Luther. Those who will help in his capture will be rewarded generously for their good work.”
What upset the Prince and the Pope was that Luther had challenged the authority of the Church by maintaining that all doctrines and dogmata of the Church not found in Scripture should be discarded (sola scriptura).
We must never forget that the Word of God is invincible.
Although Martin escaped from arrest and execution because civil magistrates were willing to protect him from the Holy Roman Empire, others went to the burning stake for following the truth of God’s Word.
Because of rising public support for Luther among the German people and the protection of certain German princes, the Edict of Worms was never enforced in Germany. However, in the Low Countries (comprising modern-day Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands), the Edict was initially enforced against Luther’s most active supporters.
Arrests were made among the Augustinians in Antwerp. Two monks, Johann Esch and Heinrich Voes, refused to recant; on 1 July 1523, they were burned at the stake in Brussels.
We are in a time and place where commitment to the Word of God is the foundation that we must build upon to restore our land.
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