f The Wittenberg Door: 2 Chronicles 34 and the Reformation – Part One

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Commenting on Christendom, culture, history, and other oddities of life from an historic Protestant perspective.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

2 Chronicles 34 and the Reformation – Part One

This article, originally titled 2 Chronicles 34 and the Reformation: Back to the Basics, was published in the October 2007 edition of the Reformed Herald. The article was penned by Rev. Vern Pollema, pastor of Ebenezer Reformed Church (RCUS) in Shafter California, and is reproduced with the author’s permission.

Four hundred and ninety years ago, Martin Luther nailed the 95 theses, statements of biblical truths, to the door of the Castle Church at Wittenberg, Germany.

Today, there are still those churches who observe the celebration of this event which became known as the Reformation; not Halloween, but the birthday of the denominations that are known as Protestant and Reformed.

Sadly, among those who would celebrate Reformation Day, the celebration for the most part is a tribute more to what it was and did, than to what it is and should be doing today. The great biblical truths that were set forth, or restated, or rediscovered by the Reformers 490 years ago have been abandoned once again y most Protestant denominations. Even worse, some Protestant leaders would like the church to move back to days before the Reformation. This is the aim of the liberal ecumenical movements today. Back to one world church, just as it was 490 years ago when Roman Catholicism was the world religion and the pope, a mere man, was the supreme authority before whom even kings were expected to bow!

Today we must be reminded of another similar period of history recorded in 2 Chronicles 34, when Josiah became king of Judah. When he took the throne at the tender age of eight, the nation of Judah, God’s chosen people, the church of the Old Testament, was steeped in iniquity, idolatry, murder, and intrigue. Conditions then were much like those that existed before the Reformation. Then too, the church had become corrupt and was beset by the sin of idolatry. The sale of indulgences was thriving business. People were duped into believing that goodness, righteousness, and forgiveness could be purchased!

When Josiah came to the throne, he began to purge out the places of idolatry and began to rebuild the temple that had fallen into great ruin and neglect. During the process of repairing the temple, the Law of God (most likely the book of Deuteronomy and possibly more) was found. Such was the sad state of affairs! But hidden in the unused temple was a copy of God’s law. When it was brought and read to King Josiah, he was convicted by it as any true believer must. He repented in fear and trembling for it showed to him the greatness of his sin and misery and the wrath of God against sin. Josiah turned to the Word, back to the Bible, for more understanding and for the good news of salvation:

And the king stood in his place, and made a covenant before the Lord, to walk after the Lord, and to keep his commandments, and his testimonies, and his statutes, with all his heart, and with all his soul, to perform the words of the covenant which are written in this book.

2 Chronicles 34:31

Stay tuned for part two!

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