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The Reformation Part 7: Semper Reformanda

semper reformanda

The Reformation (Part 7): Semper Reformanda

By the time of the Reformation, the Roman Catholic Church claimed to be,“always the same” (semper eadem). Rome hoped to shield itself from a growing investigation into, and criticism of its doctrine and practices by presenting an image of unchanging adherence to the New Testament and to the earliest church.   

Is Rome “Always the Same”?

Ironically, Rome attempts to support its claim of unchanged adherence to Scripture through the invention of two new doctrines, (1) Apostolic Succession (The Pope is in an unbroken chain of leaders of the church beginning with the apostle Peter) and (2) The Universal Consent of the Fathers (That the doctrines held by Rome have always been universally held from the most ancient church). 

Is it true?  No! Rome has added numerous unbiblical doctrines since the time of the Apostles:

590-1517 AD The Medieval Church

593 AD The Doctrine Of Purgatory Popularized From The Apocrypha

607 AD Boniface III Is The First Person To Take The Title Of "Universal Bishop”.

787 AD Worship Of Icons And Statues Approved.

995 AD Canonization Of Dead Saints

1022 AD Penance

1079 AD Celibacy Enforced For Priests, Bishops, Presbyters

1190 AD Sale Of Indulgences Or "Tickets To Sin" (Punishment Of Sin Removed)

1215 AD Transubstantiation

1215 AD Auricular Confession Of Sins To Priests Instituted

1215 AD Mass A Sacrifice Of Christ

1268 AD Priestly Power Of Absolution

1414 AD Laity No Longer Offered Lord's Cup At Communion

1439 AD Purgatory A Dogma

1439 AD Doctrine Of Seven Sacraments Affirmed

1517-2017 AD The Modern Church

1545 AD Man-Made Tradition Of Church Made Equal To Bible

1545 AD Apocryphal Books Added To Bible

1546 AD Justification By Human Works Of Merit

1547 AD Confirmation

1870 AD Infallibility Of The Pope

1950 AD Assumption Of The Body Of The Virgin Mary Into Heaven Shortly After Her Death.

1954 AD Immaculate Conception Of Mary

In sharp contrast to Rome, the Reformers pointed Christians back to the Bible as the only unchanging standard for doctrine and practice. After the Reformation, the Latin phrase, “Semper Reformanda” (Always Reforming) was used to remind Christians that God is always reforming His Church.  The phrase “always reforming” is taken from the larger phrase, “the church is reformed and always being reformed according to the Word of God”.  So, the reformation of the church is not the invention of new doctrines but rather a return to the standard of Scripture in belief and behavior.

Make It Matter

  1. Don’t believe Rome’s lie!
  2. Examine your beliefs and behavior in light of Scripture.
  3. Deepen your understanding and experience of the Protestant faith by attending the course, The Reformation, offered at both the 8:30 and 10:30 services at Kindred beginning on September 3.

Leading up to the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation on October 31st, I will be reflecting on key principles taught by the Reformers. Next week we look at the phrase Solum Evangelium.

© Dave Doyle

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