As many of you know the ELCA has recently decided to (1) Make a social statement on homosexuality where it has decided to avoid any language calling it a sin and (passed by 2/3 vote) and (2) voted and is now allowing openly, unrepentant, homosexual clergy in the ELCA Lutheran Church on a Church by Church/congregation by congregation basis.
The ELCA has been going down this slippery slope for a number of years. It has abandoned one of the main solas of Martin Luther — namely sola scriptura and has allowed humanistic interpretation to enter the ranks of what was a divinely empowered interpretation of scripture in the Bible. The ELCA now openly neglects some scripture.
As many of you know my BLOG has always maintained a grace and mercy narrative to sinners. I, myself, have sinned greatly and I am not proud of it. I have always proclaimed, as Martin Luther did, a deeper level of sin…. looking at mans religious idols as well as his irreligious worldly idols and at both our younger brother sins as well as our elder brother sins (pharasaism). I have not ever, as the ELCA is doing, redefined something as sin, as being openly ok to proclaim, unrepentedly, in front of other Christians. I encourage many of you in the ELCA to do some Church shopping. If your Church will not make a stand against this then its time to split the ELCA or join another denomination to maintain the “real” legacy of Martin Luther.
Martin Luther once said.
“If you are a preacher of mercy, do not preach an imaginary but the true mercy. If the mercy is true, you must therefore bear the true, not an imaginary sin. God does not save those who are only imaginary sinners. ………… rejoice in Christ who is the victor over sin, death, and the world. We will commit sins while we are here, for this life is not a place where justice resides. We, however, says Peter (2. Peter 3:13) are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth where justice will reign.” [Letter 99.13, To Philipp Melanchthon, 1 August 1521.]
The ELCA has elected to make homosexuality an imaginary sin thereby lessening the power of Gods mercy shown to us on the cross for the forgiveness of sins.
I want Churches to appeal to sinners and I do not want religious sinners talking down to irreligious sinners. I hate religious self righteoussness with a passion since my own sin has been thown in my face several times in my life…. but sin is sin. Religious self rigtheousness drives people from the Church and inoculates them against the Christian faith. Religious self righteoussness is an atrocious sin against Christs’ bride — the Church!!!!
In my heart of hearts, my desire, is to walk arm in arm with others that are struggling with their sins and to share our victories and our shortcomings. In some circumstances we may never overcome some of the sins we have or the sins of others in our lives. It is clearly because I proclaim sin at such a deep level that I also have a reason to show grace and mercy to other sinners. Because I see the Mercy of the cross I can not look down on any other sinners and I can look them evenly in the eye and say Jesus loves you and died on the cross for your sins and mine. Because of Christs mercy I cant look down on you and I wont allow you to look down on me because of my sins and struggles.
The good news is we have Christ who is the atoning sacrifice for all sinners who has justified me and made me perfect and atoned for my sins past, present, and future. I proclaim Christ boldly because I see my sin so clearly. It because of this depth of my sin that the Cross calls to me so loudly. In Christ I have already achieved perfection through the Cross.. but what remains is the not yet of moral perfection and the remaining of sin in my life that I struggle with.
I proclaim loudly, today, to all people reading this that the not yet of moral perfection (ie sin) remains in my life. What of it! Christ is with me and I have been declared perfect due to what Jesus did for me.
It is due to what Christ has done for me that I have elected, willingly, to struggle against my sin in a freedom , love-filled, relationship that is calling me to the cross.
Today, I will not allow my past sins to overcome me and I won’t allow anyone to look down on me because of my sin. I wont even allow myself to look down on me! Today I do not boast about my sin, I boast about about the cross and Jesus …the author and perfecter of my faith. My sin demonstrates Jesus power on the cross for me, a sinner.
I boast about the Gospel … because the news is good for sinners!!!!!