That’s Human Nature

December 16, 2009

What I thought would be a touching father-daughter moment turned into a lesson on human nature. I gave my daughter, ten years old, a new Bible and we were reviewing a few verses.  After looking at John 3:16 I said, “Let me show you the John 3:16 of the Old Testament”. I turned to Exodus 34:5-8 and thought how wonderful it would be for her to read about God’s mercy, love, and faithfulness. As human nature goes she commented on God punishing not only the guilty people, but also their children, their grandchildren, their great-grandchildren, and their great-great-grandchildren. How many time does God speak mercy, love, and faithfulness to us and we hear punishment?

Exodus 34:5-8

5 Then the Lord came down in the cloud and stood there with Moses, and the Lord called out his name: the Lord. 6 The Lord passed in front of Moses and said, “I am the Lord. The Lord is a God who shows mercy, who is kind, who doesn’t become angry quickly, who has great love and faithfulness 7 and is kind to thousands of people. The Lord forgives people for evil, for sin, and for turning against him, but he does not forget to punish guilty people. He will punish not only the guilty people, but also their children, their grandchildren, their great-grandchildren, and their great-great-grandchildren.”

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Pray, And Then Pray

December 9, 2009
Today I was looking at a devotional published in 1926 titled “FIVE MINUTES DAILY WITH LUTHER”. Reading the devotion for today it ended with this quote…

Those haughty spirits, Lord, restrain,
Who o’er Thy Church with might would reign,
And always set forth something new,
Devised to change Thy doctrine true. 

All we can do when the pure truth of the church is challenged is PRAY.  


My Two Year Old Lutheran Blog

December 8, 2009

I started my blog two years ago with Martin Luther’s Heidelberg Disputation Thesis 26.

“The law says, “Do this,” and it is never done.
Grace says, “believe in this,” and everything is already done.”

I started this blog to track my Lutheran journey. I didn’t expect it to be read by anyone but me, to reflect on what I had written. The past two years I have thought often about Thesis 26 and have seen the effects of it in my life. I spent many years thinking that since God saved me, I then had to work as hard as I could to become worthy of God’s grace. While working with all of my might I knew deep inside that whatever I did I could never do enough, but I must work hard. My greatest seasons of peace came when I realized that I could not do it and I called out to God for help. Time after time I have seen that His grace is made perfect in my weakness. He is the supplier of everything I need. I now understand more that ever…

“The law says, “Do this,” and it is never done.
Grace says, “believe in this,” and everything is already done.”


A Sad Day As A Lutheran

December 4, 2009

A couple of months ago in a small meeting I asked Dr. Rod Rosenbladt, a highly respected Lutheran theologian, what do I say to my pastor who is in full support of the ELCA decision to allow openly homosexual clergy. His response, along with a deep sigh was… “I don’t know…I don’t know…” I didn’t know either. I prayed again, studied again, and looked for wise counsel again. This week I had a meeting with my pastor to tell him that I would be leaving the ELCA. It was a very surreal meeting. I was admonishing my pastor to return to the orthodoxy of the church and the teaching of Scripture. He stated that he believed the vote of the ELCA was led by the Holy Spirit and time will tell the story. I said that the Holy Spirit is not doing anything other then what He did on the day of pentecost and He has been doing the same thing for the last 2000 years. Saying that he was sorry that he could not change to see it the way I see it we part ways as fellow servants of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. He sent me an email later that afternoon thanking me for the work I have done in the church and expressed his sadness to see me and my family leave.

I replied to his email with this response…

Pastor —–,
 
After reflection on our meeting I wanted to leave you with a few thoughts. I do consider you a dear brother in Christ and I know that your desire is to serve our Lord with your whole heart. It’s not my place to turn you from your firm convictions. However, since you are taking a position that is contrary the historic position of the Christian church I encourage you to revisit this subject often and be open to change. If our dear brother Martin Luther had gone along with the church and not wrestled continually with the issues of his day we might not have the rich reformation heritage of justification by faith that we both hold as precious.
 
“Love the sinner but hate the sin.” This saying has many different meanings to many different people. This saying can be used as law or gospel. For me I do not hate the sin for the sin as an action. I hate the sin for the separation it creates between man and God. One of the most impacting portion of scripture in my life has always been St. Matthew’s narrative telling about Jesus looking over Jerusalem. Never has man been able to see so clearly into the heart of God. “Jerusalem, Jerusalem! The city who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her. How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, yet you were not willing!” I find my peace in the shadow of His wing.
 
Grace and peace.
 
Your brother,
Byron