Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A Wider Perspective

One of the things I am grateful for is the fact that I did not go to Lutheran Schools all the way through my education.  Now, please do not misunderstand me -- PK-6 and then 8th grade were at Lutheran schools, and I am convinced that I received at both Trinity and Holy Cross a wonderful, fantastic education.  But I'm glad I didn't go to a Synodical college.

College on a secular campus is an eye opening thing.  There is simply so much going on, so many different views - indeed, many views that attempt to destroy your faith.  But here is the positive part of this -- you get to see what other ideas and things try to replace your worldview.

I heard lots of things about ethics, morality, love, freedom - all these things.  I even heard about virtue and service and dedication.  These things are talked about in virtually every worldview around -- now, some talk very poorly about these things or in a skewed fashion, but they are there.

Indeed, it seemed like most Christians simply wanted to contend with these worldviews on these topics -- we have better ethics, better morality, better love, etc...

Which is missing the point.

There is one thing these all miss - and the Christians can be tempted to miss as well.


And not Christ as an example, not Christ as a mere empowerer, but Christ the Crucified for the sins of the world.

Do we Christians not realize that while the world is full of wisdom (it is, the Greeks seek wisdom), we alone have redemption?  That we alone have peace with God?  That we alone have Christ, the Way by which we are reconciled to the Father?

I often wonder, perhaps, if that part of the problem for some pastors and teachers who seem to... overlook this isn't that they aren't, overly sheltered.  If they haven't spent too much time mainly interacting within Christian or Lutheran circles - where instead of having swum in the wide open pool, they just see other ideas from inside their own sheltered bubble - the bubble where the Gospel is simply... assumed.

Of course, there is the old adage - the Gospel assumed is the Gospel denied.

When we see the folks "out there"... it's not that they *need* first and foremost better ethics, or better morality, or better love.  Sure, they do need this... but man, the Law is written on man's heart.  At some level they will get this, however repressed or twisted it has become.

They NEED Christ the Crucified.  They need to receive His love and forgiveness and mercy.  They need the things that only the Church has.

And I think its sad that we so often forget that, that we so often as a Church place Christ on a back burner, or service to our neighbor on a back burner in an attempt to make sinners less sin-y by their own strength and attempts at moral and virtuous living.

A Christless Christianity is no better than anything else out there - oh, maybe in the short term it is - but in the long term it just leaves us in death and hell and in our sins. 

With a wider perspective, you always see the need for Christ.


aletheist said...

What most people do not realize--even most Christians--is that the greatest need of every single human being is the forgiveness of sins. Ethics, morality, love, etc. cannot obtain it; only Christ can, and He has already done so for all.

the Old Adam said...

Spot on.