Sunday, November 05, 2006

Would You Buy Meth From This Man, How 'bout a Massage?

So everyone has heard of Ted Haggard's crushing, burnin up in re-entry, fall from his leadership position with the New Life Church that he founded. At first, while watching the news, I felt very sorry for his wife, she had such a pained expression on her face. Then I thought, what is a 50 year old married man with kids doing buying Meth? How screwed up in the head do you have to be to get to that point? Leave all the massage's from a man in a hotel room out of it for now. Which made me think, where in the hell does someone in his position get the time to go cruisin' for male muscle rubbers. Like Tom Foley, we are always told that "our congressmen are soooo busy, pastors of huge ministries are soooo busy." Not too busy to go for a stroll on the wild side though, even if just looking. Oh and one more random thought, a 49 year old male prostitute?! That sounds like the old Saturday Night Live skit Fred Garvey - Male Prostitute.
I'm listening to the old Issues ect. interview with Haggard again right now, Wilkens just asked Haggard if a christian needs to hear of his sin and depravity on a weekly basis and Ted answers oh no. A Christian doesn't need to hear that every time. There is so much more to talk about in the bible. Haggard also states that as we mature as Christians we will sin less and less, becoming more righteous. This is used as proof of our salvation.
I think we see some of the danger's of not having a clear, Lutheran understanding of our sinfulness. Meaning, if I believe that I will have proof of my salvation in my rightousness and will expect to not sin anymore, my sins will get less and less. If thats what I believe, then yes I have to marginalize the thoughts and actions that I'm doing. After all I was only tempted by Meth, buying it but not taking it, and massages from men in hotel rooms for several years on end isn't like cheating on my wife, so no sin there. What a terrible tyranny this theology must be, to rely on my miserable works for proof.
But blessedly, Christ does not ask me to gather proof of my salvation, rather I am to believe in the promise of Christ, to the cross we must flee and cling to Christ and Christ alone.
I pray that Ted Haggard remembers his discussion with Wilkens and come to a true understanding of sin and santification.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Introducing the Most Reverend General Scuttlebutt

A very funny blog. Aardvark gave a link to the site, but didn't elaborate on it. I managed to stumble to it yesterday, I'm still laughing. Whoever is writting it has some real talent for humor. It's written by the personna of a retired LCMS Chaplain man's man. The curmudgeon like writtings remind me of my favored Fireside Chat With the Rector site that has been abandoned. Warning though, if you hold the synod's politics dear you will need to pass on this, but if you don't and need a laugh try it here.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Mask's of God?

Occasionally things happen that even I am able to see and apreciate the workings of God.
I was heading to work on a Saturday morning, not feeling especially thankful at the thougth of most likely 16 hours of work for the umpteenth weekend in a row. On top of this self pity I managed to feel bad for myself at having to get around in an old, unheated, noisy, bouncy Samuri since my last ride was totalled by a banzai Bambi. As I neared work I noticed a man walking along the road. As I passed him I thought, he looks like a guy I work with. I pulled over and stepped out to ask if he needed a ride, explaining that I was only going several more miles. Initially he confused me because he looked down, mumbled something for a few moments, and then crossed himself. I was stunned for a second, this man was thanking God for a ride with miseable me, in my cold little jeep. I took him down the road to his destination, talking little but feelling warmer, in the presence of a Christian who reminded me what thankfullness to God looks like.
Why did I pull over? I was running late for work, and even though he looked like a co worker, I knew it wasn't him.
Is this the "masks of God"? Did God use me, to give a ride to a man with out a car,(he wasn't just broke down, he had no car) on a cold morning, to go see his son. Who in turn, through his quiet, personal and pious display reminded me that I should in all things be thankful unto the Lord.
I still wonder at the thought of crossing ones self. I feel, like it says in our catechism, it is a good thing. (although I don't do it) Unlike some, who claim it does nothing but promote self rightousness, if not superstition, I have experianced how this simple act can serve a neighbor. I would pray that our church would explore these instruments of faith. The fear of Roman tradition is strong in many of our churches. I don't expect much to change though. No one at our LCMS church participate in any traditional practices, and when aksed about some of these things half our elders recoil in revulsion at anything so old, so traditional.