Reformed Seminary, College, Free Sermons, Scholarly Resources, and Overseas Missions Opportunities

Sola Scriptura | Reformation Christian Ministries



Indispensable Ideas

 “We are like survivors on a raft drifting on the waves”. It is increasingly difficult in Italy to put forward a project with a different agenda, given the disorder of the current political scene. (In Italy the Vatican has always destroyed every lay structure or function by mixing the lay and religious, in order to become the sine qua non of Italian life.) Here one hears only liberalistic “slogans” that never go to the roots of freedom. The “private” is set against the “public”, against the interference and imposition of the State. (The State must help and not block or obstruct the fulfillment of the individual, and must serve, helping each person for the common good.)  It is important to pay attention to the fact that if the institutions of the state collapse, class warfare (always structured within the existing situation) loses its features and motives, and is substituted by gang warfare. (Class warfare must be overcome interpreting the deep-rooted reasons for it in the light of the Gospel, not destroying them with the light of reason of the Roman church, because in this form they continue to exist underground, ready to explode). It makes no sense to offer again the pre-modern past (pre-reformation), as does the Vatican through its constant offer of Fascism or Communism. (The Reformation touches us in Italy but is diverted by papal absolutism that always leads us to pre-reformational thinking as a cure-all.) Modernity (Reformation) must be rethought as an uncompleted project to correct and to finish (reformata reformare), and to finish by using its key ideas. It is necessary to face the various moments of the long journey of modernity (Reformation) seeking to gather in it the interconnections between the Bible and thinking, understanding the current time with thought rooted in obedience to the God of Jesus, even to the point of defining the Bible as one’s own time in history understood and lived within one’s own obedience to the true God.

 The key ideas of the Reformation are at the roots of modernity. Here they are briefly:

A).The demand of freedom of conscience (Luther) that causes man to emerge as an autonomous subject who is ruler over nature and history maker. (This key idea gives birth to adult man before religious powers, in order to start on the journey that will lead him to become an adult before the sovereignty of God.)

B). Separation of political power from ecclesiastical power (John Calvin). This opens the door to the autonomy of the secular sphere and to the first constitutional and democratic appeals. (Within this discussion we must place responsibility at the lay-civic level as obedience to God.)

C).The legitimacy of resistance to “unjust rulers” and Tolerance (English Puritans of the 1600’s), first for the religious sphere and then for the civil.

D). The idea of “Vocation” and “Covenant” that leads to the concept of “Social Contract” as a basis for the foundation of the state. Federalism is born from the idea of the Covenant.

E). Laity. Since God is “Other” and “Somewhere Beyond” with respect to the world, this world has nothing sacred within it, but is open to human planning and design, and to the vocational engagement of the citizen.

I strongly believe and can demonstrate it scientifically that no nation in the world can survive today without having within its cultural reality these eternal values expressed in the Bible and reassessed by the Reformation. Today these alone have the power to coalesce a society in a credible way and the only that are able to create the basis of a civil society.

The world becomes the arena where freedom, responsibility, and coherence take form for the good, for Integration (i.e., the non-immanence of God free of individualism in order to have individuality).

If the human soul becomes oriented toward the Bible and not toward idols (an idol is whatever presents itself as authoritative without being God, eg. the Pope), this search will increase the love for God in pluralism and reinvigorate these keys of the Reformation (see above), producing integration toward God in freedom. If we orient man toward the Pope the contradictions will explode into chaos:

         Abortion as the Pope wants it disintegrates American society:

         A). It is not founded on the Word of God. The motivation is not “Because God says so in the Bible” but because the Pope says it. Piggybacking on this change in thinking, the authority of the Pope will enter into the heart or at least alongside the authority of God (there is NOTHING worse for a society). For example, the Low class (uneducated) desires to have children because they fulfill themselves through their children; the Knowledge class cannot have children if they want to fulfill themselves, but wants them for the lower classes because they increase the service sector of the culture. This creates a profound conflict between the Knowledge class and the Low class, instead of allowing integration between them through social and economic advancement (the “rise” from Pentecostal to Baptist to Presbyterian). This results in sexual repression within the society in that the Pope (papal thinking) prohibits sexual instruction in the society (starting with public schools), and prohibits the use of condoms, leading eventually to a dictatorship.

         B. Putting the religious power above the political power and placing them in conflict, leading to disintegration. For example, the Pope’s insistence on Natural Law brings immediate solutions to every problem, and what is easy is best. In this type of system it is the Pope and his thinking that matters, and not God himself, not the Bible and not the biblical law of freedom rooted in the love of Jesus.

         C. The Spirit of resistance against unjust powers, which is the fruit of the authority of God in the Bible (an objective truth that is free in the Spirit of God). This spirit of resistance, which is the cohesive power of society, is used to put everything into conflict: classes, interests, the state, churches, etc. Eventually Tolerance will crumble, first religious tolerance and then political.

         D. Laicism (the idea that we are all brothers and sisters in our humanness, and only God is Father and God is elsewhere (above) and not in the hands of any power; He is not managed but served within the body), which is the source of Tolerance and integration within a society, will become a source of INTOLERANCE in that it becomes invaded by a hodgepodge of religious and political powers.

A Reformational Motto: Not the Pope but God; not idols but the Bible!!