Thursday, September 8, 2011

Don't We Read? A Tale of Fear

There are times when I simply wonder about us... about Lutherans. About men who I know should know better. I mean... I see people befuddled by concepts that I would expect my confirmands to have nailed down. You mean Lutherans *aren't* opposed to Good Works, but rather simply understand that Good Works flow from justification, never lead to justification?

What does such baptizing with water signify?--Answer.

It signifies that the old Adam in us should, by daily contrition and repentance, be drowned and die with all sins and evil lusts, and, again, a new man daily come forth and arise; who shall live before God in righteousness and purity forever.

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What is the benefit of such eating and drinking?

That is shown us in these words: Given, and shed for you, for the remission of sins; namely, that in the Sacrament forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation are given us through these words. For where there is forgiveness of sins, there is also life and salvation.

I mean... in each of the two sections on the Sacrament, this is an idea that is taught. Forgivenesss leads to and shapes life... or I could go all third article, the the Holy Spirit calls by the Gospel... then enlightens and sanctifies.

Shoot, if we don't get that part and parcel of the Lutheran understanding of a Sacrament is that it gives forgiveness, which always leads to Sanctification, maybe this is why we have folks running around debating whether Ordination is a "Sacrament", I mean, sheesh.

But lest you think this is just me being cranky - this is actually a post of fear. In the span of History I have noticed a common and simple pattern. Things go wrong theologically when people simply assume they know the faith and then get bored. Things go bad when instead of focusing on the simple truth of the Gospel, we end up focusing on other things.

This is what happened back in the 40s in the LCMS... just saying.

Those of you who would be faithful - actually go and ponder your catechism - pay attention - go read through Chemnitz's Enchridion. And quit trying to be so different.

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