Viva La Revolucion

The whole and entire purpose of the Protestant Reformation's emphasis on the authority of scripture lays in shattering the hold of a corrupted ecclesiastical system. By declaring itself the ultimate authority and the sole mediator between God and human beings, the church set itself up for idolatrous misuse of it's authority.

Does that mean that the church is a bad thing? Hardly. She's the Bride of Christ. Or, if you'd rather another metaphor, the Body of Christ. But too often she gets so full of herself that she becomes Bridezilla, pitching a primo hissy about the centerpiece at the head table.

And when the Body thinks it exists only for itself, it soon becomes little more than one of those shambling soulless George Romero megachurches, seeking hapless cerebellums on which to snack. Brains...braiins....

The teachings and guidance we find in our Bibles served as a corrective for the excesses of the church. By opening up the Bible to all of us, and permitting everyone to have access to the texts that form our faith, the reformers were attempting to shatter centuries of accretions and additions to the faith that were either irrelevant to faith in Christ or active impediments to the faith. In order for the Reformation to take hold, it was necessary that more and more individuals become literate, and thus able to engage deeply with the texts themselves. In that demand for a more personal and intimate participation in the foundational stories of Christianity, the reformers were riding the wave of early humanistic thinking. Their approach empowered the faithful into a state of constant revolution, guided by a Spirit-filled text.

But literalism forces scripture into a single mold, presenting itself as the only legitimate framework in which you can both understand and respect the authority of Biblical texts. The great mantra of the Reformation...that we are always reformed and reforming according to the Word of God...has been turned into "we are always reformed and reforming according to the way that the Bible was interpreted back in 1673." Instead of bringing us into relationship with Him through His dynamic and living Word, which calls us to constant revolution and reform, literalism calcifies our faith.

In that, it betrays the intent of the Reformation.