Many are probably familiar with the 5 Solas of the Reformation: Sola Scriptura, Sola Fide, Solus Christus, Sola Gratia, and Soli Deo Gloria (Scripture alone, Faith alone, Christ alone, Grace alone, To the glory of God alone), especially the “Reformed” folk; but there is another reformation cry that is often overlooked, and if acknowledged, mostly just paid lip service – Semper Reformanda (always reforming). One of my friends has said many times that he has no problem with the Reformed camp other than the “ed”. They’ve read men of the reformation, men God has greatly used by the way, and have found their set of doctrine. They hold to it and call themselves “Reformed”. And herein lies the problem. They have ceased reforming. It’s as if they have attained the status of “REFORMED” and now need to progress no further. But this is the very spirit that was opposed to the reformation they claim to support.
And lest there be any reading this who would like to draw your dagger and take a stab at those “heretical Calvinists” (by the way, not all reformed men were/are Calvinists) let me say that you have done the same thing. We think we’ve got all of Christianity figured out. We treat the Bible like an instruction manual for putting a bookshelf together instead of seeing that Christianity is a relationship with Jesus Christ – Truth incarnate. (I’ve mentioned that in a previous post, so I won’t go into it again here.)
It’s an important cry for the church to proclaim with our lips and all our heart, for if we are not truly Semper Reformanda, then we don’t really come to Scripture to let it shape us. Rather we come to it to try to support our already correct doctrinal stances. When we cease to be Semper Reformanda we cease to be sola Scriptura and when Scripture alone is out the window Christianity follows it. We are to always approach the Scriptures with humility, yet the not hold to Semper Reformanda is to approach the Scriptures with arrogance and an unteachable spirit.
So, to those who call themselves reformed, and to those who abhor the title I ask – are you Semper Reformanda, or do you have Jesus all figured out?