AFTER ALL – I AM A PROTESTANT
Merry Thursday – Parris Bailey
“Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” Jude 1:3
I have for a few years been mesmerized by the Reformation. It shook Europe so much that it brought the Puritans to America. In their precious cargo you would have found the Geneva Bible written in 1539. Inside you would have been found what they called the 5 solas or 5 foundations of their beliefs. These Latin phrases became their rallying cry. It was their stand against the Catholic church and kings over all of Europe. Thousands were martyred defending these 5 solas.
1. Sola Scriptura: The Scripture Alone is the Standard
2.Soli Deo Gloria! For the Glory of God Alone
3.Solo Christo! By Christ’s Work Alone are We Saved
4.Sola Gratia: Salvation by Grace Alone
5.Sola Fide: Justification by Faith Alone
As it was back then so it is now, I believe these truths are being demolished by contemporary Christianity. I think that present day Protestants are clueless to these doctrines of our faith. Even my Pentecostal/Charismatic friends have no understanding of such words as Propitiation, Justification by faith alone, redemption, etc because they have become too “Spirit-filled” to take the time to study basic Bible doctrine and end up seeking manifestations over the word of God. OOUCH! To say I’m a Christian is simply not enough, I am a Protestant (and Pentecostal). The Reformers believed if they got the word of God in a believer’s hand in their own language the word would set them free. May Martin Luther nail the 95 thesis upon our hearts! When I became “born again” at 16, I got angry because I grew up in the Episcopal Church never hearing how I could receive eternal life. How many of our Catholic brethren began to pour out of churches during the Charismatic wave of the 70’s and filled Protestant and Pentecostal churches because the “truth had set them free”. Yes, they too felt slighted. We should all thank our Protestant martyrs and let’s attempt to read what Martin Luther, John Owen, John Knox, Jonathan Edwards had to say to name a few. These doctrines should be our bread and butter along with the mighty baptism in the Holy Spirit. Yes I am a Protestant and am proud of my heritage and my Bible given to me from my Protestant brethren!
The doctrines of man centered theology is all around us. The moment man gets in the picture, he will always make it centered around him. We bend the scripture to “make us feel comfortable” when all along Paul hammers away in his epistles “not I but Christ”. This life isn’t about getting “your best now”, “purpose driven” or “free grace”. He kisses us and we spend the rest of our lives pursing Christ alone. I have laid aside the study of Church Growth tactics, how to be a millionaire, or even learning how to become a better lover, mother, wife and pastor. These are secondary next to the five solas. I am a Protestant after all.