Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Forgetting we are a remnant

The great danger to Christianity is expecting the glorious revolution - where God will raise up a "great leader" who will take us to the promise land and we will have earthly glory. This even impacts us who desire to be honest Lutherans - we see the theological tomfoolery done by those who share our name, and we can begin dreaming about the day when the changes will come - if this person gets elected, if this measure doesn't pass, if we all go off on our own and start over - then things will be great!

We forget that on this earth the faithful will have tribulation. Period. There is no glorious revolution in terms of what the eye can see. We see this from the Scriptures.

Moses lead folks to the promise land. But they all died in the desert.
David led the Kingdom of Israel. And his own son rebelled against him.
Elijah defeated the priests of Ba'al. Then he had to flee for his life.
The prophets preached on and all. Then the kingdoms fell and we taken into exile.
Christ came preaching and healing. Then they shouted Crucify.
The Apostles (misused heroes of tacky pop books) went out. Then they were martyred.

Or even Church History.

Ignatius of Antioch - martyred.
Ireneaus of Lyon - only got to write because his predecessor was slaughtered.
Athanasius, who helped defend the Nicene Creed (which was attack for 60+ years even after the good convention) - spent over 17 years in exile.
The Venerable Bede - had to deal with Vikings.
Martin Luther - couldn't even get all of Germany - instead Rome becomes more adamant and then you have all the Protestant spinoffs doing crazy things.
Johann Gerhardt - life in the 30 years war was nasty.
Walther - the beginnings in the US were horrid, and then at the end of his life the Synodical Conference crumbles when Ohio leaves, prepping the way for all the mess of the 20th Century.

This is the fact - the Lord will always preserve for himself a remnant - and it won't be a hidden remnant - it won't be a remnant off on it's own in it's own holy land - it will be a remnant in the world but not of the world.

Do not seek peace in the world. We won't have it. Do not seek glory in the world. That is not the Light which we ought to seek. Rather - be faithful, and pray that God would give you endurance.


Mike Baker said...

Great post.

Anonymous said...

It's hard to imagine our Lord saying: "Dear God, look at this filthy carcass I've been dragging around. It carries all kinds of sin. It is bruised and bloodied. In fact, it is dying. What a stinking mess. I don't think I can trust God to pull me through all of this. I'd better get off this cross and go and find a better body."

If it's good enough for Christ's body, it's good enough for the body of Christ. Or something like that.

Good post.

Tom Fast

Pastor D said...

agree! Have a number of people who need to read this!