Thursday, February 13, 2014

Where's the Renewal of the Lutheran Church?

Conscience is what preaching is all about in the Lutheran Confessions, from start to finish.   I have come to believe, with absolute firmness, that if we're going to see renewal in the Lutheran Church, it will begin out of the preaching office.  It will begin with pastors again recognizing that the point of their sermon is to comfort troubled consciences -- not to take the doctrine of justification and just throw it out to any and to all in such a way that you proclaim to impenitent sinners the forgiveness of their sins.  That doesn't help them, and they don't really care.  But to consciences that truly are troubled because they know they have not lived in an unbroken yes to God, and they know what the Law of God says about this, to such consciences we proclaim,  "In Jesus Christ, there is a perfection that is yours."
Taken from a recent Issues Etc

Eastern Orthodoxy considers it "humility" to not be certain of the promises of God to you.  (Hmm.  God says something.  I then suspect His word isn't sure and certain.  That sounds to me more like cheekiness than humility.  But maybe that's just me.)

The beautiful uniqueness of the Lutheran Church is comforting sinners.  When people's hearts melt from hearing awesome preachers, it's because those men comfort troubled consciences.  The glory of private confession is that the pastor comforts the troubled conscience.  Frequent celebration of the Lord's Supper is for the sake of bringing the comfort of Christ's holiness to sinners who are troubled by their sin.  "Toward forgiveness is directed everything that is to be preached" (Large Catechism).

To send faithful laborers into Thy harvest,
we beseech Thee to hear us, good Lord.
To accompany Thy word with Thy spirit and grace,
we beseech Thee to hear us, good Lord.

Hey, sing it with me!  (to the tune of "Hail, Thou Once Despised Jesus")

Christ alone is our salvation,
Christ the rock on which we stand;
other than this sure foundation
will be found but sinking sand.
Christ, His cross and resurrection,
is alone the sinner's plea;
at the throne of God's perfection
nothing else can set him free.   (ELH 484)

Pastor Weedon spoke this January at the conference at Redeemer Lutheran.  He spoke about what it means to be Lutheran and why people should stay Lutheran.  (This is from a man who nearly became Eastern Orthodox but then realized what that would mean, and who then re-embraced the Lutheran confession.)
Part 1
Part 2
Yes, it's long. 
But it's worth the time.
Thank you to the many friends who forwarded the links to our family.

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