Wednesday, September 7, 2011

No More Reformations (as explained by an orthodox rebel)

"When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, it walks through dry places seeking rest; and finding none, it says, 'I will return unto my house whence I came out.' And when he comes, he finds it swept and prepared. Then he goes and takes to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first." Luke 11:24-26

Reformation is not enough. Resolutions and promises and sheer moral efforts will only take you so far. You can clean yourself up as much as you can and "exorcise the demons" that plague you, but it will never be enough. Great hopes and dreams are devised and longed for, and great plans are laid to accomplish them with great efforts made to achieve them, but it is all for naught in the end. Somehow, someway, the machine will conk, the foundations will crack, the house of cards will tumble. All of our best efforts to straighten ourselves out will be just that: our best efforts. Never any successes, just an endless series of "almost-but-not-quite" rises and subsequent falls. That is the key to human history: revolutions and reformations and reconstitutions and rehabilitations and revitalizations in an endless well-intended yet futile succession. They are not enough; they are never enough. We do not need anymore reformations. What we need is regeneration.

It is not enough to sweep yourself clean of old vices, for they shall return with friends, finding their former house clean and dolled up and still vacant. The mere banishment of evil things is insufficient; their former presence must be replaced by something stronger, something that can cut all the ties of the former tenants. The old man has many hooks in us, and though we cast him out he will rebound soon enough. We need something that will remove the hooks, someone to cut the cords that bind us. We need the Christ who came like a sword, quick and powerful and alive evermore. Would you be free from your burden of unrelenting, never-tiring, always-returning sin? Reformation for the umpteenth time will not help you; you must be born again (John 3:3).

-Jon Vowell (c) 2011


  1. The 'old man'? That's a new one.

  2. Pardon my King James (Eph. 4:20-24 KJV; Col. 3:9-10 KJV). 8^D