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.