95 theses by reformed pastor D.J. Budding


95 theses by reformed pastor D.J. Budding

Jan van Meerten is the driving force behind the website Fundamentum (oorsprong.info). Jan’s work goes far beyond his website. He has always been very active in all kinds of study days and conferences. It is thanks to Jan that I get informed, on a regulart basis, about what is going on in the more Reformed area of the Dutch churchess.

So, on October 31, 2023, it was Reformation Day. On that day, are remembering the 95 theses of Martin Luther. Jan said on his website that Reformed pastor D.J. (Dirk-Jan) Budding had published 95 topical theses on the Dutch website, Refoweb.

This immediately triggered my curiousity! Even though I would rather call myself ‘evangelical’—if I had to give myself a label at all—I have lots of friends and close acquaintances in the Reformed churches. When I come to think of it, also in all sorts of other church flavours. The brethrenl, Methodists, Baptists, Pentecostals,you name it. God’s family is so much bigger than we can imagine!

I just want to take a look with you at Brother Budding’s theses. It won’t be a video where I’m going to substantiate everything Biblically. No. I rather want to look at how we (Christians) life our lives in relation to brothers and sisters outside our familiar church circle (or bubble, if you like).

So again, this will be a somewhat less structured video than what you are used to from me. But I think it is very much worth while going through these statements made by brother Budding.

Below you’ll find the 95 theses translated in English by me.

  1. The Lord Jesus began His preaching with: "repent AND BELIEVE THE GOSPEL."(Mark 1:15b) Every person who hears and reads this must obey Him immediately, without delay.
  2. Based on this command, everything in the church, in ministry and personal life must be brought into conformity with His will. Without delay and "yes, but!".
  3. Every one who disobeys this command maintains himself in rebellion against God.
  4. Any "pious" desire or assertion, in this context, that God should do it, turns the grace of God into disobedience.
  5. The commandment of love encompasses all the commandments.
  6. The world must be able to see from the church that we love each other. That is the only language the world understands.
  7. The commandment to be one in love is paramount. Those who ignore this commandment also lose the truth.
  8. Jesus’ commandment obliges us to seek unity with all who have loved the appearance of our Lord Jesus. Without delay. Now!
  9. In this context, it is an abomination in the eyes of Christ that we close the communion table and/or the pulpit to each other, on the basis of so-called church rules.
  10. Who says, that the problem of church division can only be solved by the Lord, and does not do all he can about it, perseveres in self-assertion, pride and disobedience.
  11. God’s Name and work are thus misused, as a cover, to persist in church iniquity.
  12. The devil is very fond of separation. He stays with those who stay and goes with those who go. It grieves the Holy Spirit. He works unity in love and truth.
  13. The Lord Jesus was everywhere. In the temple, in the synagogue, the multitude, but also among tax collectors and sinners. He says, "FOLLOW ME!".
  14. The church is not a supermarket where you can buy at will and walk away. It is the church of Christ where you belong and are faithful.
  15. The commandment of the Lord Jesus is ignominiously forgotten: "Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest that He put out labourers…"
  16. The adaptation of the church to the world, makes the church obsolete.
  17. The church is called to shine in the world as a light in the darkness. Therefore, it must stand out.
  18. A constant warning should go out from the Church and a holy appeal for the conversion of our people.
  19. There should be a constant pain in the Church and a holy indignation at the fact that God is so dishonoured, both inside and outside the Church.
  20. So-called "religious freedom" was invented by the devil. He wants every one to be free to serve his own idol.
  21. God’s Word claims everyone before the one true God, revealed in Christ. God’s Law begins with: "Thou shalt have no other gods before Me."
  22. Of the members of parliamentthe of the SGP, there should be at least one pastor with a prophetic calling to call our people back to God and His word in a compassionate and insisting way.
  23. The church has not replaced Israel. She belongs to Israel. After all, she has been incorporated into Israel.
  24. This does not alter the fact that there are still promises of God open to the Jewish people that will soon be fulfilled.
  25. The key to understanding the relationship of Church and Israel, is Christ. Where Christ is, is the Church. Where He is not, is Satan’s synagogue.
  26. Anyone who teaches that there is a way of salvation for Israel other than faith in Christ is an anti-Semite.
  27. The worst form of anti-Semitism is denying the Jewish people the Gospel.
  28. The conversion of Israel is a sure sign that the Lord Jesus’ return is near.
  29. The decay of the church begins in the pulpit
  30. Those who are not truly called by God to preach the Gospel are mercenaries.
  31. Those who themselves know nothing of "the fear of the Lord" should never climb a pulpit.
  32. Any preacher who is not driven by the love of Christ is a thief and a murderer. Such preachers must be prayed off.
  33. The "woman in office" is an invention of him who seduced Eve. He still uses the same tactics.
  34. He who does not proclaim the promise of the Gospel to all men, commanding repentance and faith, goes straight against Christ.
  35. Scriptural preaching is always doctrinal preaching. He who preaches a faith without religious experience, preaches the faith of a corpse. He has to fear that he is too.
  36. Whoever makes religious experience a ground of salvation has lapsed from the true Foundation, Christ.
  37. A preaching in which the religious experience does not arise outright from the text in its context and Biblical context is neither scriptural nor doctrinal, but misleading.
  38. A preaching that projects Biblical histories into predetermined doctrinal schemes is fantasy, but not an explanation and application of God’s Word.
  39. Preaching that focuses not on the Christ but on the Christian and his experiences should be shunned and rejected.
  40. A preaching in which not the glorification of the triune God is the Goal, but He alone is a means, to make us happy, is fundamentally false.
  41. A church building where God is not worshipped in Spirit and truth cannot be called a house of God. On the contrary.
  42. Unbelief is the womb of all sin.
  43. Unbelief keeps God suspect in all His love faithfulness and power.
  44. In a church where unbelief is not punished as the greatest sin, but is preached more as a fate, the devil has the greatest delight.
  45. Churches full of people eager to be converted and almost empty communion tables. How can that be? Who is to blame?
  46. Those whoputs predestination on the foreground in preaching end up with an infinitely terrible responsibility.
  47. Those who put responsibility on the foreground in preaching end up in the free sovereign good pleasure of God. Wonderful!
  48. The tendency to shorten church services is an adaptation to the spirit of the times.
  49. If church services take too long to our likeing, it is often a sign of spiritlessness.
  50. That may be on the preacher’s side. Men "full of the Holy Spirit" do not bore.
  51. That may be on the side of the hearer. A heart that does not burn with love for God and His Word soon finds it too long.
  52. Many churchgoers go on a talent hunt. Who comes before the Lord Jesus?
  53. Many churchgoers come to church only to "get something out of it". Who comes to "bring something to it"?
  54. Our services are often boring because the powerful and palpable ministry of the Holy Spirit is missing in the Word and prayers.
  55. Preaching is often boring and seriously lacking when the infinite seriousness of eternal judgement and lostness is absent or marginally discussed.
  56. Our services are often boring, when the infinite glory of eternal life is not proclaimed or just very little.
  57. Our services are often too non-committal because people are not "moved to faith."
  58. Our services should be a frontporch of heaven. "this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven."
  59. The idea that one can have "unconverted" or unbelieving children baptised is not from the Bible, nor is it from the baptismal form.
  60. The idea that one can make "unbelieving" profession of faith is in absolute contradiction to Christ’s command, "Repent and believe the Gospel".
  61. The idea that a minister can or may abstain from Holy Communion completely contradicts what Scripture and confession teach on the subject.
  62. Massive attendance of communion need not be a sign of revived spiritual life. On the contrary, it may be a signal of superficial preaching and much imagined faith.
  63. Low communion attendance is always a sign of spiritual poverty. After all, every one who is invited and does not come says: "I do not know Him." Or, "I refuse to break with sins that prevent me from coming."
  64. It is inconceivable that members of the church of Christ do not hardly know each other.
  65. It is biblically impossible for those who join the communion not to love each other and bear each other’s burdens.
  66. The authority of the Bible should be unassailable in the church. Practice should be brought in line with what the confession teaches about it.
  67. Anyone who denies that God created the world in six days is going against God. He Himself wrote it, without the intervention of men.
  68. Those who want to explain creation through the theory of evolution err greatly.
  69. The theory of evolution effectively denies God’s omnipotence. The church should strongly oppose this doctrine.
  70. A woman’s wearing of head covering in worship is a visible sign of her Biblical submission. It is therefore not a secondary afterthought.
  71. A Christian congregation should not be larger than about a hundred families. Otherwise it is almost impossible to fulfil the biblical calling of love, unity and compassion.
  72. Local communities should then seek ways to maintain the unity of communities or churches in larger contexts as well.
  73. Founding multi-million dollar church buildings and organs hinders the church’s calling to proclaim the Gospel to all creatures.
  74. If all the money that has been and is being spent on this was spent on proclaiming the Gospel among souls "faltering to death", unprecedented opportunities would rise.
  75. While it is Biblical that the worker is worthy of his wages, a pastor of a Christian congregation should not receive more than is necessary to live justly and moderately.
  76. The biographies of deceased pastors are often one-sided. They not infrequently promote "saint worship."
  77. It is impossible to be a member of the church of Christ and not be persecuted. "All who want to live godly lives will be persecuted."
  78. The lack of persecution exposes serious wrongs in a Christian’s life.
  79. Every Christian must be moved, from the disposition of Christ, with souls that are lost.
  80. A well-known pastor said, "I am saved to save." That should be the life programme of every Christian.
  81. The emptying of churches is largely due to the lack of a living and compassionate witness in Word and deed.
  82. The lukewarmness of Christians is the main cause of God taking away the lampstand of the Gospel.
  83. The lack of a living faith in families, greatly contributes to the decline of the church.
  84. Love your enemies! Do you do it? That is proof that you are a sincere Christian, otherwise not.
  85. Marriage between one and man and one woman is an immutable institution of God. Anything that comes against it, the church should vigorously oppose. For it (marriage) looks to Christ and His church.
  86. It is unloving and unmerciful to "bless" a union of people of the same sex. It is against the nature and clear statements of the Bible.
  87. People who are sexually attracted to people of the same sex should be shown the way Jesus shows them: Bearing cross, denying themselves. On that road is peace and freedom, whoever you are, and whatever you have done.
  88. The church is called to support, love and guide people with lgbti+ issues along the narrow path of the Bible….
  89. Also these problems are only temporary. In heaven we are no longer male or female , but are like angels in heaven. Eternal praise and glory!
  90. Life created by God is sacred from conception. From that moment, we look at God’s commandment, "Thou shalt not kill." There should be no doubt about this in the church.
  91. Any form of euthanasia should be firmly rejected by the church.
  92. The longing for Christ’s return is the thermometre of faith.
  93. He who never longs for the coming of the Bridegroom is not the bride.
  94. God uses very small means to accomplish great things. A good example is the Driebergen farmer Wulfert Floor.
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