Thursday, January 13, 2011

Order Not Everything

We can love order, but order is not the heart of the Church. The forgiveness of sins which sets us free in Christ is. We can be tempted, though, to impose new laws for the sake of order, in order to hedge people (according to our human wisdom) from error and keep the Church safe. We can come up with rules to protect the Church.

You cannot protect the Church by imposing a man-made order which contradicts freedom, for you cannot protect the Church by destroying that which forgiveness gives.

Shall we have order? Yes. But not to protect the Church, not to preserve the Church, not to grow the Church. That alone is the task of the Spirit, who works through the Gospel to call, gather, enlighten, and sanctify the Church. Order should only be to clear the table so that the Word can have free reign - it cannot save or protect or grow the Church - only the Word and Spirit do that.

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