Tuesday, November 23, 2010

An excellent read

I would highly recommend that everyone read Pastor Mason Beecroft's Article in the Last Issue of the Issues, Etc Journal. It tells of his move from random American pap to the Missouri Synod.

Of particular note and love to me was this:

"One thing I heard often in evangelicalism was the full weight of the Law. In
evangelical circles, the Gospel is mostly assumed. The proclamation of Christ and
Him Crucified for the forgiveness of sins and salvation is reserved for non-believers,
sinners who have not yet made a decision for Jesus. Now when a person has
walked down the aisle, raised their hand, or signed the card, then they are “saved.”
Once saved, then you are always saved. The emphasis of the Christian life is then one of obedience. The evangelical congregation is exhorted, commanded, manipulated and instructed toward more prayer, more giving, more faith, more love, and more holiness. The sermon is intended to convict people and direct them to greater piety. Well, as a student required to attend chapel four days a week and local church on Sunday, I heard on a weekly basis some 15-20 things I should be doing as a good Christian. This constant preaching of the Law results in either self- righteousness or self-loathing, both problematic to true faith. The self-righteous, in their delusional mind, suppose they are fairly good at keeping God’s demands, at least better than most. Thus, there is little need for Christ. This was not my problem. Instead, I was burdened by the weight of my sins and my inability to be faithful. No matter how hard I tried, I could not meet the expectations of God’s Law or those rules, regulations, and principles preached from the pulpit. So when I finally kneeled for confession and absolution in a Lutheran Divine Service, I was struck by the proclamation that my sins were forgiven for the sake of Jesus Christ. I was comforted to hear the Gospel applied to me."

It is not about rules, it is not about works, it is not about increasing piety - it must always be about bring sinners the Gospel (and if they don't know they are sinners, well, afflict the comforted, but only so that they might receive the true comfort of the Gospel).

1 comment:

Mike Baker said...


This is a fundamental difference between the Theology of the Cross and the Theology of Glory.

Is the cross the center of the life of a Christian? ...or is it just the red tape that needed to be done so that we can truly embrace our purpose.

Is the cross the refuge of poor miserable sinners? ...or is it the recruiting tool that grows the church so that it can get on with the really important task of "kingdom building".