Friday, February 20, 2009

Why be surprised?

A Christian ought never be surprised at wickedness. Saddened, repulsed, even disgusted (although disgust can quickly turn into anger, which isn't a good thing in us sinful folk - Satan can very quickly get us to turn righteous anger into a smoldering hate, beating down our love of the neighbor) - but we should never be surprised.

Should we be surprised at the ELCA's committee that recommends that gay and lesbian clergy be allowed to remain in life-long relationships? Um. . . as they are in fellowship with the Episcopalian Church, and that's what the Episcopalians do. . . no. As they already deny parts of Scripture. . . no. None of this should be surprising.

Should we be surprised at anything that happens in the LCMS? More problems with Issues, etc, or wild plans to radically change our structure (and consolodate power)? That the crazy Church down the street seemingly knows neither what a hymnal or the Catechism is (to say nothing of Scripture) and the Synod officials stand by and whistle? No. This sort of stuff has happened before.

Wickedness should never surprise us. In fact, the great danger for Christians is to begin believing that we are far, far, away from wickedness - that we are no longer living among the wicked. Luther, in the Small Catechism, directs us to look around at the world and see the wickedness there - not so that we cower in fear, not so that we complain - not even so that we go off on the idealistic crusade to "make people better".

See wickedness - and then repent yourself, and go to God for mercy. While this world lasts, it will be awash in wickedness. That's just the way it is. Has been since the fall. Fight what you can in truth and love. Oppose what you can using the Word. And also repent and flee to Christ's Mercy - for you are just as blind and broken as those fools out there.

What a better preparation could we have for Lent this year than all the stupidity of the past month? Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy!

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