Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Can't We All Just Get Along?

One of the common arguments given against a rigorous application of the Confessions at church is the need to not allow things to seperate us as Christians from one another. The fear being that someone who hasn't been exposed to Lutheran theology will visit and be turned off by what they percieve as an arrogance, meaning we believe the Confessions interpretation of God's word to be the truest and correct one. "We all believe in Christ, so we don't want to focus on little things and drive people away, that would be legalistic, and we know what the Bible and Confessions say about that." Last time this was thrown out at church I backed down at the legalistic comment, I certainly don't want to commit this error. Now, I realize just how terrible and wrong an accusation that is. Legalism as we know it has all to do about our salvation and how it is attained. It is not appropriate and even a false accusation on someone who is only questioning the practice of watering down our message, and ignoring our tradition for the sake of getting along with other Christians.
Why don't we try to correct our fellow Christian's wrong views? I myself have missed opportunities here. I'm afraid of offending them, of looking arrogant, of not speaking my point well, ect. I imagine the list is the same for many. Explaining our beliefs as classic Lutheran thought is exactly what we should be doing though, not watering it down or ignoring it completly, all for the sake of "getting along". Our message is the Gospel plain and simple. Many Christians I know believe that part of getting to Heaven depends on them living a good life and being a good person. It's that kind of thinking we are going along with for the sake of a false fellowship, without proclaiming the Truth to them. Instead of speaking Christ and what he's done, boldly before men, we smile and exchange pleasantries, and stay silent with people who don't totally understand God's Grace.
So how far do we go along with this in the name of fellowship? Can we agree that this is too far? I admit that I have never really seen much of Benny Hinn, but I'm completly shocked. I think this is Hinn's take on being "Slain in the Spirit" but I'm not sure. This seems like a joke to me, but for thousands it's real, and caused by people who feel that Creeds or Confessions are not needed. After all Benny is revelating and interperating for them, who needs something like a Confession. That's my fear for us, we become embarressed by our Confessions and put them away, relying on our own interperatations. Not understanding what we believe then we're ripe for falling to a personality cult like Benny, or worse.

Friday, August 11, 2006

AAAHCH! Tagged!

Tagged like a spring hog by Old School Confessional. Everyone should reflect on the books they read though so here goes.

1. One Book that changed your life: The Writings of Martin Luther by Dillenberger. A simple collection but one that sparked my interest and helped my understanding of original Lutheran thought and study.

2. One book you've read more than once: Dungeon, Fire and Sword by Robertson. Robertson is a closet Freemason, but his book on the Templars is a good historical read on the Crusades, no one can read of the acts of courage and faith many Crusaders displayed and not question "what is this faith that made them go willingly to painful death?"

3. One book you'd want on a desert island: Other than a KJV bible, it would be How to Make a Boat Out of Sand and Palm Fronds

4. One book that made you laugh: All the Trouble in the World by P. J. O'Rourke

5. One book that made you cry: The Yearling. (The part where the only son returns home to his father, not where the deer dies silly, how soft do you think I am?)

6. One book that you wish had been written: How to Win Lutheran Worship Style Debates in One Easy Step.

7. One book that you wish had never been written: There are so many, but how about Dianetics, Battlefield Earth or any other waste of paper by Ron L Hubbard.

8. One book you're currently reading: Nero's Killing Machine, The True Story of Romes Remarkable 14th Legion

9. One book you've been meaning to read: Lutheran Worship and Practice edited by Precht (actually I just need to finish it)

10. Now tag someone else. This thing has pretty well made its way through the bloggosphere, even Luther took a tag. Here's two who haven't played though, enjoy if you will.

St. James the Hoosier
Virginia Lutheran

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Back from Vac!

Spent a week in the South Haven area of Michigan just beach bumming and hiking. Weather was great but as always one of the best things about travelling is coming home. We really like the southwestern area of Michigan, and would even consider relocating. If we could find a good confessional church with Lutheran dayschool in the area that would probably seal it, job wise it should not be a problem, only requiring timing. It's something that I am seriously kicking around.
While we were in the area we worshipped at Lord of Life in Holland. It's an ELS church with a smallish congregation, but everyone was friendly and loving to us. Who says confessional churches arn't outgoing, the folks at Lord of Life certainly can prove that wrong. From the moment we pulled into the driveway to the time we left people were reaching out to us and making us feel welcome. I pray that God blesses them richly.

As for our churches change of mission statement it evidently passed. I'm mostly ambivalent about it. Thanks to virginialutheran and Old School for the comments.