500 years ago, a relatively unknown monk changed the course of world history. Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the Wittenberg Castle Church door on October 31st, 1517. This day has become known as Reformation Day. His 95 Theses were a list of 95 questions and propositions for debate on the abuses and practices of the Catholic Church and the Pope. That hammer and nail sparked the beginning of what would be the reemergence of the scripturally based God-glorifying gospel of salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, by Christ alone.  The Protestant Reformation had begun.  500 years later, the Reformation must continue…

The Church Needs Reformation

“I worship God on the golf course.” “I worship God at home—just my Bible and me." The buzz of a tattoo gun accompanies the voice of the preacher as he gets “inked” while preaching. Some of his church members follow suit and receive tattoos which they say “helped them experience God’s love.”[1] The call to worship goes forth in the form of “Uptown Funk,” a secular upbeat song by Bruno Mars.[2] Misunderstandings of who God is and what worship is have created a crisis in worship that will have generational ramifications.

According to a recent study by Lifeway and Ligonier Ministries, half of professing evangelicals today hold to heretical beliefs.  According to the study: 46% of evangelicals believe that God accepts the worship of all religions.  54% believe that Jesus is a created being.  57% believe that the Holy Spirit is a force and not a person.  52% think that the good works that they do contribute to their salvation. You can view this research here https://thestateoftheology.com/.

It is time for church leaders to wake up and realize that our churches need reformation now.

Luther spearheaded the Protestant Reformation 500 years ago this year.  Emerging from the Reformation came the doctrines known as the Five Solas of the Reformation: Scripture Alone Sola Scriptura, Faith Alone Sola Fide, Grace Alone Sola Gratia, Christ Alone Solus Christus, and the Glory of God Alone Soli Deo Gloria.  Flowing out of the Reformation was the belief that the church must always continually reform itself according to Scripture.

The Churches of the Christ-Centered Churches conference believe a return to the Five Solas of the Reformation will purge our churches of the unbiblical and heretical beliefs revealed by the Lifeway/Ligonier study. Man-centeredness is wreaking havoc in our churches. Only a return to the biblical Christ-Centered Gospel that humbles man and elevates and glorifies God can and will reverse this horrific trend in our churches. 

In remembrance of the 500-year anniversary of the Protestant Reformation and in hopes that God will bring lasting reformation to our churches, the theme of this years Christ-Centered Churches Conference is, “The Five Solas of the Reformation." 

Dr. Tom Nettles, one of the leading Baptist historians in America, will speak in two sessions on the history of the Reformation and the importance of the Five Solas in today’s churches. He has most recently served as the Professor of Historical Theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Dr. Nettles previously taught at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School where he was Professor of Church History and Chair of the Department of Church History. Before that, he taught at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary. Along with numerous journal articles and scholarly papers, Dr. Nettles is the author and editor of nine books. Among his books are By His Grace and For His Glory, Baptists and the Bible, and Why I Am a Baptist.

In addition to Dr. Nettles, five local pastors will preach sermons on each of the Five Solas.  We hope you will join us on October 6th and 7th in Lawton, OK, for the conference.  

[1] Andree Mitchell, “Christian Pastor Gets Tattoo About Jesus’ Love During Church Service,” Christianity Today, October 12, 2016, https://www.christiantoday.com/article/christian.pastor.gets.tattoo.about.jesus.love.during.church.service/97801.htm.

[2] Travis Jeffords, “Why Play Secular Songs in Worship?,” Worship Leader, October 27, 2015, https://worshipleader.com/leadership/why-play-secular-songs-in-worship/.