Do We Need a New Reformation?

Chris Wright, Chair of The Lausanne Movement’s Theology Working Group, called today for a new reformation of the church, starting with evangelicals. He compared the corruption of the evangelical church as on par with the worst years of the Catholic Church prior to the Protestant Reformation. They had their indulgences. We have our prosperity gospel. Femi Adeleye, a senior leader with the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students, called the prosperity gospel “a false gospel.” He noted that the verse often quoted before the offering plate is passed, “Give and it shall be given to you…” from Luke 6, is completely taken out of context. “It has nothing to do with giving to God. It’s about relationships. Jesus is talking about showing mercy and forgiveness. In the same chapter, Jesus says, ‘Woe to you rich.’”

Both men spoke forcefully and refused to stop for applause as they delivered their message at the Cape Town 2010 Congress.

After the session, participants were asked to stop and discuss among themselves how they are affected by the sins of greed, dishonesty, and lust for power and success that Wright said so permeate our movement. He said the biggest barrier to the spread of the gospel is not the hold of other religions. Rather, it is our own sin.

I heard Chris give a similar address to a Lausanne planning meeting 3 years ago in Budapest. That night I had tears in my eyes. I believe he’s right, although the idea that the evangelical church is that corrupt was shocking to me that night. May God use this address to kill this false gospel and call His church to repentance.

Chris will be featured at our daily press conference today. Our communications team will do all we can to get this message out widely. If you agree, please pray it would be so. We’ll post a link as soon as the video and audio is available online.

Steve Woodworth