Friday, May 21, 2010

Bucer on division among Christians

The disunity of those who call themselves Christians is certainly an unfortunate vestige of our fallenness that will not be remedied until Christ returns. Certainly the prayer of Jesus in John 17 will not be fully realized until sin is no longer in the mix. Why this division as Christians?

Martin Bucer , the great reformer of Strasbourg, issued a strong challenge to the leaders of Berne, Switzerland as they were being pressured by the Roman Catholic Church to declare loyalty to the Pope and his authority and renounce the work of the Reformers who called for loyalty to the Word of God. Bucer spoke powerful words that help us understand why there remains division among those who call themselves Christians-

"Whosoever preaches Jesus as the only Savior we recognise as our brother...Neither Luther, nor Zwingli, nor Ecolampadius, desires the faithful to bear his name. Besides, you should not boast so much of a mere external unity.

God permits divisions, in order that those who belong to Him may learn not to look to men, but to the testimony of the Word, and to the assurance of the Holy Spirit in their hearts. Thus, then, dearly beloved brethren, to the Scriptures, the Scriptures! O Church of Berne, hold fast to the teaching of Him who said, 'Come unto me', and not, 'Come unto my vicar!"


Rick Calohan said...

Thus, the difference between the invisible and the visible church and the difference between God’s will, and man’s will. For in the invisible church there is unity, but in the visible church, there is disunity.

Woody Woodward said...

It is so cool to learn about these great Reformers. Have to confess until this reading I had never heard of Martin Bucer nor “Ecolampadious”. But along with Epaphroditus, this guy sounds like a united brother, Paul would be proud to call friend!

Perry said...

I know you have a family; but, you now have all that time to study. What a gift!