Since a previous post called, True Reformers Always Buck the System — I had some questions about what is the difference between someone who is a reformer versus someone who is in rebellion against authority. I thought it was a very good question, so I would like to try to take a stab at it.
I believe it comes down to a couple of simple questions that will determine what category one might fall under: What is your cause? and What is the motive behind it?
All forerunner’s in the Kingdom (or reformers) in any area of leadership will come up against their biggest enemy which is spiritual and social injustice. The early reformers came up against spiritual injustice. By translating the Bible into the common language of that time made them an enemy to the Roman Catholic Church. By offering the Bible to every man was not only raising the spiritual lid, it blew it up! It was breaking spiritual injustice. And, in doing so it made guys like Martin Luther an outlaw in his country and throughout Europe.
What is spiritual injustice? Spiritual injustice can be in any church and denomination anywhere. Any church or religious institution that hinders people’s growth in the context of Biblical teaching and in their organizational systems (either intentionally or unintentionally) are examples of spiritual injustice.
Because of this fact all reformers will be viewed as rebels because they are going against a system that is limited and wrong. But, sometimes people will go against authority based off their own ego’s and selfishness. When this happens they are not reformers, they are sincere rebels with no cause and no purpose except to fulfill their own ambition. You see this in the church and business world all the time. People fight to make changes in the name of “we need to change things” or “we need to do things differently” in order to give themselves a platform, cushion their pocket book, promotion, recognition, etc…
People who are in the business to serve themselves are not reformers…they are rebels that become part of the family of injustice. When you are driven with a cause that helps serve the needs of people spiritually or socially…you are a reformer.
So, in a nutshell:
- Fight against spiritual and social injustice
- Are driven to meet the needs of people
- Are passionate about serving
- Value personal growth from different circles
- Are willing to risk everything
- Give their lives away for the cause
- Are willing to live a life of uncertainty and faith
- Fight against established authority
- Are driven by ambition
- Are about serving themselves
- Are unteachable
- Are not willing to risk anything
- Won’t give anything of themselves if its an inconvenience
- Have to be in control consistently