Saturday, June 8, 2013

Resisting the "Ideal"

Lutherans have had (or maybe had had) a long tradition of resisting attempts of Christians around them to perfect society.  Consider Luther's response to the various anabaptist groups with their various social efforts and reforms to make the perfect society - always rejected.

Or consider the Old Lutheran response in America to Finneyism and the New Measures - the rejection of the social Gospel.  Again, it was seen to miss the point.

We stood up to this in the 40s and 50s when again, Christianity turned into a social movement.

In the 80s and 90s we in the LCMS mocked the ELCA for it's political panderings.

And now what?

See, this is why I tend to be so annoy when I hear more and more talk about trying to fix things in the world, trying to make things better, trying to restore whatever, trying to correct society.

That's not the Gospel.

The orders of creation, as wonderful as they are - not the Gospel.

Any temporal blessing is not the Gospel.

Marriage is a wonderful thing - but it's not the Gospel.  And you know what - I look forward to the day, the day of the resurrection, when my wife will no longer be given to me - but rather we will together see our Lord face to face with all the rest of the saints in a world that really is perfect.

Ain't no law on earth going to sully that.

See, what happens is this -- we become worried about law and society -- and understandably so.  Nothing wrong with a good political fight or those working in the political sphere.  The problem comes in when our fears about the inevitable decay of society (see, this is what conservatives used to believe - that all societies crumbled and at best we could slow their decay, maybe - or be around when God establishes something new) impacts our theology.

The Christian faith doesn't reside or rest in the state of affairs of the world.  Whatever it is like, Christ is still crucified and risen.  Society changes, but He is the same, yesterday, today, and forever.

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Or to put it this way:

Hank Hill once said, "You aren't making Christianity better, you're just making rock and roll worse."

I will say, "You aren't making society better, you're just making Christianity worse."

1 comment:

Steve Martin said...

You are spot on, Rev.

Do we wring our hands and joint the downward spiral and the sky is falling chorus?

Is that all we have to say? NO!

We know where it all ends and we have some good news to tell people about what Christ has done, is doing, and will yet do...for us sinners.

Keep it up, Rev. !