Monday, June 2, 2014

Times that Try Men's Egos

Sometimes people are born into times that try their souls - where there is fierce and open battle on great and grandiose epic scales -- like the Revolutionary War, let's say.  Or maybe even the halcyon days of the Reformation.


You know what?  That's not today.  Even with all the troubles facing the Church, even with the growing disdain of the Gospel... it's not something sweeping and grand with passion stirred souls on both sides.  If anything the problem we face in the Church is just simple... people don't care.  We aren't important.  We are losing our cultural impact.  And we don't have a great theological opponent because... well... no one wants to do theology.

These are the times that try men's egos - where there is no glorious battle for us to fight, no great opponents whereby to show our mettle. 

Do we claim gay marriage or some other social issue as the great struggle of the day?  Well... um... it's not a theological struggle, because, well... theology doesn't really come into play.  Really, it doesn't.  Even the theologians in the fight are all going "natural law" arguments.  Which is basically, if you think about it, a concession that in the US theology doesn't matter.

Or what about within the Church?  The "worship wars"?  Um... yeah... is that really being contested?  On a large scale?  No, we've just split.  It's sort of done except for some skirmishing within congregations.

I hear about an antinomian crisis - of the pastors in the LCMS corrupted by terrible theologians....  Oh ack, preaching to bounds wills (which I don't think is that bad of an idea)... which maybe 40, 50 pastors total think about weekly?  Or the scourge of Finnish approaches to Luther... again... 40, 50 at most.

That's not exactly epic or epidemic when it's at most 1 percent of the clergy.

And so here we are.  There is no great battle for our generation - not even a good old fashioned battle for the bible.  We're just kind of... here.  And there's no great glory for us to win.

Which is a great and wonderful thing, because our focus ought not be on our glory, or the crushing of our enemies, or making a great name for ourselves (theological wars do not make one great!).  And instead, God in His wisdom does what He loves to do - He leaves us with nothing to do but proclaim the Cross - its folly, its power.

Maybe for such an egotistic generation and such an egotistic people, having nothing but Christ to preach and proclaim in our own congregations from our own pulpits, with that being the extent and sweep of our influence is precisely, precisely what we need. 

Only send Your Holy Spirit to be with us, lest we bring it all to utter destruction!


Christopher Gillespie said...

This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.

Rev. Eric J Brown said...

This is how democracy dies... to thunderous applause.

Or something.

Carl Vehse said...

Let's not forget the imprecatory prayers to God to bring destruction to the satanic plans of the wicked political regime and its supporters now terrorizing our nation.