Friday, July 19, 2013

Confess! Reacting Forfeits Too Much

I have a T-shirt that I like to wear.  It's simple black with a mere line of text in white.

"By Reading This Shirt You Have Given Me Control of Your Mind."

I think it's humorous, but it does point to a larger reality, a reality too many of us in Lutheranism have forgotten.  Too often the "other guy" sets the terms of the discussion and controls you.  If you are reacting, you are no longer in control... you have already let your opponent win.

What do I mean by that?  Consider - who are we to be?  We are to be those who preach Christ and Him Crucified, who proclaim the Cross in season and out of season.  We are those who speak the Truth.

But what happens when you... react?  Even if you are trying to speak the Truth... your primary focus is not "the Truth" - but it is reacting, responding, dealing with what "they" say.  And so your actions, your thoughts, your responses are no longer shaped by the Truth, but rather shaped by their language, their assumptions.  Even if you fight against their definitions... you're responding and acceding to their definitions.

I see this all over the place.  It comes up in theology when we will debate the Reformed while using Reformed categories.  It will come up when people fight "feminism" but rather let feminist assumptions about what was and what is rule the day.  It comes up when people fight any social ill.

Rather, as those who are servants of the Word, as those who are children of God, we are to rather apply the Word.  We say what the Word says and we remain silent where the Word is silent.  We don't dance to any tune except that laid down by the Scriptures.

So, no, we don't try to defeat any enemy.  We don't try to prove X, Y, or Z wrong.  Instead, we confess what is true.  We take the Word of God and we apply it to any situation we come across... not seeking out counter X or prevent Y, but merely to proclaim that which is true.

Do you, oh "Confessional" Lutheran wonder why you are caught in such terrible dogfights, why you are surrounded by foes? 

It's because you are fighting and not confessing.

We Confess.  And if the Emperor wants to take out heads off, so be it, we do not abandon our Confession.  Fighting at best leads to concordats... not Concordia.

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