Revelation is always reformation as well, the only true and possible reformation. All human attempts to find the origins, the true teaching, beneath the rubble of conflicting forms of Christianity and theological systems-- for instance through "demythologizing"-- always turn out to be defective, inadequate and doomed to failure. For every reformer is missing two vital things, a binding standard and a generally acknowledged authority. That is why the Reformation leaders did not achieve any unity either and immediately split into Lutherans and Zwinglians, then Lutherans and Calvinists, feuding violently with each other-- to say nothing of the many secondary Reformation offshoots and sects. The Reformation has given Christianity, which was never a solid unity, a "theological pluralism" which is shown today in the fact that there is bitter conflict on central questions of faith (like divinity of Christ and the Resurrection). Werner Harenberg describes the situation thus: (88:1)
"On the factor which should unite its members, belief, it (the Church) lets its theologians say different and contradictory things. You can believe that God exists or that he is "the origin of my safety with and committedness to my fellow-man" (Braun). Jesus may have been only a man, or both God and man. You may believe that Jesus has been from eternity and came into the world by virgin birth. But you may also believe "he is the Son of God because of his conduct... in that he fears, loves and trusts God above all things" (Zahrnt). You may believe 'in' Jesus but also believe 'like' Jesus... "Belief is based on premises and is secured by them" or "is unsecured and must dispense with security" (Knevels)... Whether it is about God or the Faith, the Holy Ghost or Eternal Life, the author of St. John's gospel or the authenticity of a saying of Jesus-- there are always at least two opposing doctrines or schools... The church is schizophrenic, pulpit and professional chair remain different worlds." (Jesus und die Kirchen) (88:2)
The Church, which does not clearly take up a position itself, has turned into a "debating hall, " in which "unauthoritative religious declamations are presented" (Kuenneth), theology has "become a maze in which even the experts... often lose their way" (Harenberg). Meanwhile theological dispute has brought out such a mass of contradictions that Walter Kuenneth speaks of "a high degree of confusion" and Gerhard Ebeling, who deplores the "obstinate non-understanding and misunderstanding in the discussions between theologians of the same denomination, " even speaks of "chaos." Hermann Diem sees among the Protestant university theologians "hardly any longer a common basis for discussion... on which agreement could be reached." Some Protestant theologians today hold positions which make their opposing experts talk of "the end of theology" and of "total theological sell-out." (88:3)
Christ Degraded by Baha'is?
This state of affairs, the total confusion and utter depletion of central articles of faith, is to a Baha'i, who recognizes the divinity of Jesus's revelation, a clear sign that the process of disintegration in Christianity is now taking place. It is also the sign of the Last Days-- end of the old era