"Unique to the Kirk [church] at the time of the Reformation, however, was the insistence that no other days be credited with religious significance. In fact, when asked in 1566 to review the Second Helvetic Confession, a respected document penned by the Reformer Heinrich Bullinger, the Scots felt compelled to offer qualified appreciation of the text, calling attention to their disapproval of the confession's tolerance for the celebration of Christmas, Pentecost, and Easter, “feast days” with no warrant in Scripture.
"The Kirk, to be sure, never entirely succeeded in discouraging Christmas festivities in Scotland, and rarely have churches or Christians elsewhere in the world embraced the Kirk's argument for the complete eradication of a Christian calendar, and thus the refusal to attribute religious significance to any day beyond Sunday.
"Nevertheless, the Kirk's general privileging of a weekly rhythm for work and Sabbath rest over a liturgical calendar year orienting believers toward various seasons and days defined by Christ's earthly ministry has affected attitudes toward both worship and work throughout the world. Fewer holy days translates, not only linguistically but also socially and historically, into fewer holidays. What sociologists have called “the Protestant work ethic”—an orientation in historically Protestant countries toward good, honest, hard work—is arguably the fruit of not only a general emphasis in Reformation thought on the godliness of every vocation but also a peculiar insistence in Scotland that believers should pause every Sunday for worship and respite, and more or less work the rest of the time." --Aaron Denlinger (2016)
"The sisters of Lazarus acquainted the Lord with the desperate condition of their brother, appealed to His love, and then left the case in His hands, to be dealt with as He saw best. They were not so irreverent as to tell Him what to do. In this they have left all praying souls a worthy example which we do well to follow. 'Commit thy way unto the Lord': that is our responsibility. 'Trust also in Him' [Psalm 37:5]; that is our happy privilege. 'Trust also in Him,' not dictate to Him, and not demand from Him. People talk of 'claiming' from God. But grace cannot be 'claimed,' and all is of grace [Ephesians 2:8]. The very 'throne' we approach is one of grace [Hebrews 4:16]. How utterly incongruous then to talk of 'claiming' anything from the Sitter on such a throne!" —A. W. Pink (1886–1952)
This would have been more edifying had you included Calvin’s definition of Enthusiasts without it we don’t know if Calvin is talking of those that deny the Word of God or simply deny the word of man.
Throughout history man has attempted to define, explain, and marginalize God. Some do it as deceived pawns of the adversary while others believe their intellect, their logic, their ability to communicate is so superior to mere man, that they must for man’s sake make known to man what God really meant. Though they are quick to deny it they usually have an agenda, a motive and have so convinced others of their great abilities they are given the soap boxes.
Men that constantly seek the leading of the Holy Spirit, dedicate their entire lives to prayer and the study of the word are often ignored and looked down upon as not having such rich mental abilities, faulty logic or being deceived by the adversary. What Prophet speaking for Gold was ever given the audience that many that tickle the ear are given to explain, define and marginalize God and holiness are given.
1 Peter 1:15-16 (NASB)
but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, "YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY."
Romans 12:1-2 (NKJV)
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
There seems to be confusion between trying to earn salvation through righteous living and being saved and trying to walk in Holiness. Through the generations men have invented words to describe what they fail to understand, usually in derogatory terms.
Salvation can not be earned; it is freely given by grace to all that rely on Jesus Christ for their salvation.
However Christians are called to walk in obedience, righteousness and holiness as much as our sin tainted world will allow. Are we perfect? No! Not by a long shot but our advocate, Jesus Christ, in heaven makes intercession to cover our imperfections. But that does not open the door to living as if nothing we do, nothing we think affects our relationship with Christ.
Scripture repeatedly tells us to be lead of the Holy Spirit but when this is attempted many that fail to seek the fullness of the Holy Spirit stand back and mock. Yet scripture tells us Romans 8:1 (NKJV)
There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.
"But if they do not hear, they shall perish by the sword And they will die without knowledge. But the godless in heart lay up anger; They do not cry for help when He binds them." (Job 36:12-13)
"It is an illusory [based on an illusion; i.e., not real] belief of the Enthusiasts that those who keep reading Scripture or hearing the Word are children, as if no one were spiritual unless he scorned doctrine. In their [the Enthusiasts'] pride, therefore, they despise the ministry of men, and even Scripture itself, in order to attain the Spirit.
"I maintain that it is easy to judge the spirit that actuates those who scarcely allow men to teach what the apostle bids to handle constantly (Hebrews 5:14); who pretend that the neglect that is here so severely reproved is in fact praiseworthy; who take away the Word of God, the only true rule of discernment, which is declared here to be necessary for all Christians." --John Calvin (1509-1564)
What the author seems to miss is the fact that there is a vast difference between trying perfect oneself and obedience to walk in holiness.
We can only be made acceptable to God by the blood of Jesus. But we are also called to walk in holiness. This is often confused with pietism by those that would rather live neglecting the call to holiness.
This is far different than what the Galatians were doing. They were trying to gauge their acceptability to God by their holiness. This is far different than walking in obedience toward holiness. True both require self effort but the Galatians were trying to base salvation on works where the other is walking in obedience to Christ's call to us to be holy.
"How many of us try to clean ourselves up before approaching the Lord's Table, as if there were some degree or level of purity that we could reach that would make us acceptable to God? The command to love God with all your heart and your neighbor as yourself should be sufficient to make you recognize your utter inability to do so. In all likelihood, the thinking that we have to make ourselves right and acceptable before God before he will accept us probably derives its origin from the influential but flawed theology of Pietism. For what man could ever clean himself up enough to make himself acceptable to God? And if he could clean himself up to that degree, then what further need would he have of a Savior or the nourishment of the Lord's Supper? He would be self-sufficient. The whole point of both the gospel and the Lord's Supper for Christians is to continually recognize our own spiritual bankruptcy and dependency on the grace and promises of Christ.
"In his letter to the Galatians Paul asks Christians who were in danger of thinking they could add to Christ's work or make themselves acceptable by some other way, 'Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?' (Gal 3:3). No, this is folly, because what God still wants from us as Christians is a broken Spirit, one which still recognizes its own moral and spiritual inability and complete need of God's grace to move on. One that says, 'have mercy on me, I am insufficient for the task.' Anyone who thinks, therefore, that they can approach the Lord's table with a pure undefiled heart are really missing the point of the gospel.
"This erroneous concept of post-Christian self-sufficiency, I believe, comes from the mentality that we were saved at some point of time in the past, when we prayed or confessed our faith, but now since we are already a Christian it is our job to keep ourselves 100 percent pure. If not 100 percent, what will God accept? 99 percent? We don't even approach that. We start by grace but think the Christian life is maintained by self-effort and that Christ blesses us in accord with how well we are doing. We believe we got into the kingdom without works but now think that to maintain good standing before God we must personally maintain our justification before God. Now we must scale the mountain of the Christian life by making ourselves good enough for God." --John Hendryx (2006) from his essay, Pietistic versus Biblical Sanctification:
Interesting commentary but ignores the fact that the church often fails to equip the saints, choosing instead to preach at them. I wonder how many would answer in the infirmative if asked, as they left the Sunday morning service, if they felt empowered to preach, teach and serve Christ? I fear most would say no.
People attend church with many expectations but I wonder how many expect to be equipped? Church today is often focused at convicting sinners and trying to win souls instead of equipping the saints. Some churches focus on worship and ceremony to revitalize the members emotions but do little to teach them discipleship or serving others.
If more churches today would refocus on equipping it's members to do the work the members were called to! the church would once again be an effective force in our society.