A Modern 95 Theses

Given the issues I have with modern Christian theology, culture and worship, I’ve decided to recreate the actions of Martin Luther. I don’t do this with the hope of dividing the church, as Luther did, but in the hope that people can see what is objectively wrong with the Christian world in which we live, so we can make repairs and get back to saving lives.

  1. The Word of God, the 66 books of biblical canon that are inspired by the Holy Spirit, should be the sole foundation on which we place our beliefs. (2 Timothy 3)
  2. Anything not in the 66 books of biblical canon should be seen as less valid than scripture, if not entirely invalid.
  3. The Old Testament is just as valid, inspired and profitable for teaching as the New Testament, even in this day and age. (2 Timothy 3)
  4. God created the Heavens and the Earth and everything in them, and He created man, who quickly turned against Him. (Genesis 1-3)
  5. God chose a nation to be His own, but that nation on numerous occasions refused to follow Him. (The Old Testament)
  6. From man’s first betrayal, they have been helpless victims to sin for which they are responsible.
  7. Jesus Christ is the son of God, one third of the Holy Trinity, who came in the form of man to save humanity.
  8. He was born of Mary, a virgin, conceived by the Holy Spirit, and was born in a manger as both fully God and fully man.
  9. While on Earth, He performed real divine miracles, healed the sick and the lame, and rebuked those who had warped God’s Word on Earth. (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John)
  10. For claiming to be God and standing against the Pharisees, He was crucified.
  11. On the cross, He took the punishment for all our sin.
  12. After three days, He rose from the grave.
  13. He ascended into Heaven, and left us with the Holy Spirit.
  14. Jesus will return again to Earth as described in Revelation.
  15. There is no more important person in Christian history than Jesus.
  16. The Holy Spirit is man’s connection with God while on Earth.
  17. The Holy Spirit inspires all forms of Godly study, prayer and worship.
  18. The gifts of the Holy Spirit prescribed throughout the Word are meant for now, not just until the apostles died.
  19. Those gifts all serve different purposes, but all should be considered miracles made by the Holy Spirit.
  20. No credit for the abilities we have should be given to us: for God has knitted us together to have the abilities we have.
  21. In that sense, a Christian should never abuse the gifts God gives to them for profit: namely, to make millions of dollars through healing meetings, music, missions or any other form of ministry. A salary is one thing. A fortune is selfish.
  22. If a Christian’s gifts and talents used to glorify God just happen to make that person rich, then that person should be as generous as physically possible.
  23. Every Christian has a specific role to play in the advancement of the Kingdom of God.(Romans 12)
  24. On top of that, each Christian has both the obligation and the privilege to grow and be sanctified through prayer and the reading of scripture, as well as the worship of God through music and a sacrifice of lifestyle.
  25. Worship should be done in both Spirit and truth.
  26. Musical worship should be played skillfully, with lyrics that support what the Word of God says and nothing else.
  27. Those individuals leading musical worship should be experiencing worship in Spirit and truth themselves.
  28. Both worship without emotion and worship without biblical truth are worthless (though even worship WITHOUT emotion but WITH biblical truth can be of some use, especially to those in attendance who don’t believe).
  29. People in the congregation should worship honestly, in the way the Spirit of God guides them, including their emotions but not being led by them.
  30. People leading worship should NOT take advantage of music’s ability to influence emotion in order to force an emotional response out of the congregation: that is deceitful, dishonest and manipulative.
  31. Christianity should not create a disconnect between the “real world” and the spiritual: the spiritual exists in the real world and should not be compartmentalized.
  32. Scientific evidence to the contrary should not diminish a Christian’s belief in the validity of the Bible.
  33. In fact, one should never concede that scientific evidence is contrary to the Bible in the first place.
  34. A Christian should never concede that Christianity inherently ignores science, as this is a factually false statement.
  35. Christians need to develop a full knowledge of the Word of God.
  36. Christians need to use that full knowledge of the Word of God to defend against attacks on God’s character, divinity and power.
  37. Christians should never concede that God is anything but benevolent, even if arguments to the contrary seem compelling. The entirety of scripture paints the picture of a benevolent God, even when certain passages taken out of context seem to point the opposite direction.
  38. No war has ever been fought for the sake of Christianity, but Christianity has been used as a disguise to cover up other hidden motives (see the Crusades).
  39. A Christian should not never compromise on anything the Bible says due to scientific, authoritarian or cultural pressures.
  40. “Christian culture” should not exist.
  41. If it has to exist, it should not be a copy-paste version of secular culture.
  42. Feeling negative emotions such as anger, sadness or fear is not a sin (see Jesus, Moses, Paul, etc.).
  43. Feeling negative emotions is not an indicator of secret sin (again, see Jesus, Moses, Paul, etc.).
  44. No Christian should ever be assumed to be dealing with secret sin unless that person has told you about it personally or there is physical evidence that person is doing so.
  45.  Healthy debate among Christians is not a sin.
  46. If someone disagrees with you, or calls you out on sin or tells you you’ve wronged him/her, you should not immediately go on the defensive.
  47. Rather, you should carefully consider that person’s point, and carefully and honestly consider in your own mind and heart whether what they’ve brought up is true.
  48. If you find that it’s valid, repent, apologize to the person, and move forward to improve.
  49. If you find it’s not valid, still show that you’ve carefully considered and respect the other person’ point.
  50. Treat people you’re leading like humans: not like tools for you ministry.
  51. Forgiveness does not necessarily mean restoring trust.
  52. Vulgar lyrics, images or ideas should not be part of a Christian-sponsored event of any kind, even if it’s just in the background.
  53. We shouldn’t encourage people to lie to the public about their walks with Jesus for the sake of evangelism.
  54. The way we live our lives for God’s glory is an important part of evangelism.
  55. However, simply living a certain way or loving people will not work by itself to spread the Gospel.
  56. People need to actually hear the Gospel message preached to be able to give their lives to Christ (Romans 10).
  57. Every human being that gives his/her life to Jesus has a calling to preach the Gospel to those who need it.
  58. Every Christian has a calling to be generous.
  59. This doesn’t just mean generosity to the church, as some preachers will tell you, but to the needy, orphans and widows.
  60. Occasionally speaking to needing more money from offering is okay. Preaching a whole sermon series on the issue is not.
  61. The Word of God says to go and make disciples.
  62. Jesus’ disciples were men who followed Him everywhere and grew in their own walks through His teaching.
  63. Most modern-day missionaries don’t care about making disciples: only about making Christians.
  64. Short-term mission trips don’t usually help anyone grow once they’ve come to know Jesus.
  65. Evangelism, prayer, fasting, and knowledge of Scripture are for everyone to partake in.
  66. Some Christians try to say these disciplines are for the select few who “feel called,” but these people clearly don’t understand that the Bible calls everyone to these, and the Bible should always trump someone’s feelings.
  67. Since the fall, human beings have been inherently sinful.
  68. The wages of sin is death.
  69. The only way to avoid our wages is to place our faith and trust in Jesus Christ, and to surrender our life to Him.
  70. No one is good enough to get to Heaven on their own merit, and no one is too far gone for Christ to take them back.
  71. Salvation is not a free pass to sin.
  72. While we’re free from the wages of sin, Christians should still seek to be sanctified and make themselves better people.
  73. The thought that you should love yourself just the way you are and never seek to improve is idolatry of self.
  74. Just because you “don’t feel convicted” about something doesn’t make it not a sin.
  75. People are still responsible for their own sin, no matter what outside circumstances may have led to them.
  76. There is absolutely no way to sin for the glory of God.
  77. Emotions should never be the deciding factor on a decision you make in your Christian walk.
  78. Emotions should not determine whether you concede any point in the Bible.
  79. Emotions are temporary, and they should have no impact on your theology or your walk with God, except in honest prayer and worship.
  80. Racism, sexism and bigotry are not promoted by the Bible.
  81. Any claims made in the Bible based on gender are based on the scientific fact that only two genders exist, and they’re set from birth.
  82. Therefore, conceding to today’s culture that gender and sexuality are something you can determine by choice completely ignores both scripture and science.
  83. Human babies in the womb are considered fully human by God.
  84. Therefore abortion is murder in God’s view, and Christians should not support it even in the worst case scenario.
  85. Christians should do everything in their power not to enable others to sin.
  86. This means not to condone sin when you see Christians performing it, as well as not being a part of someone else’s sin.
  87. There is no way someone can believe every Word the Bible says and still believe that people of other religions can be saved by their religion.
  88. There is no way someone can choose not to believe certain parts of the Bible and expect to live a life that is pleasing to God.
  89. Your emotions and preferences don’t affect the colour of the sky, the rotation of the Earth or the phases of the moon. Your emotions and preferences don’t affect anything factual. Therefore, your emotions and preferences don’t affect God’s Word.
  90. If you’re offended by something you read in the Word of God, you either need to do more research on the context, or you need to come to terms with the conviction you feel.
  91. However, and this gets confused a lot, getting offended by something a preacher says does not necessarily mean you misunderstand or you’re feeling convicted.
  92. If someone tells me God hates me because I listen to pop punk, I will be offended, not because I feel convicted, but because that’s incredibly offensive and factually false.
  93. As Christians, we should believe in individual justice over social justice, like Jesus did.
  94. As Christians, we should live as servants to all as we live as servants to Christ.
  95. As Christians, we have no right to look down on anyone. Rather, we should humbly look up at everyone, treat everyone as if they have high status, and continue to pursue God-glorifying relationships (friendly, not romantic) with people who don’t know Jesus, in the hopes that someday, through our influence and teaching, they could come to know Him.
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