Sunday, June 4, 2017

Devotion 6.5.17

History books today are built largely around a movement that I refer to as "deconstructionist" history.  That means that there are historians who write to present what they feel is a more accurate picture of what happened at that moment in history.  They seek to separate myth from fact.  To an extent, as the event grows further in distance, a more sober picture of what happened and its causes moves away from the political influences that may shape it early on in its history.  Unfortunately, the down side is that the lens that is used to present this history may be just as clouded.  For example, Founding Fathers are looked down upon for not only allowing slavery, but for having slaves, so what happens is we view history through the moral lens of the present.  While slavery is abhorrent, it was the practice during their time, so does that take away from what they accomplished and does it "deconstruct" their moral standing, their efforts, and their own accomplishments? 

This happens in the church as well.  People look at scripture in two ways:  the inerrant Word of God or an account written by men that needs to be viewed through a critical historical analysis.  We begin to deconstruct what has been traditionally taught and put today's world view in its place. This creates a broad array of viewpoints as to who Christ is, what he stood for, and what parts of the Bible are factual or story?  It is that precipice on which we need to tread carefully... and it's nothing new. 

As we near the 500th anniversary of the Reformation and reacquaint ourselves with the roots of our faith, I look at this kind of challenge for the church and often wonder what Martin Luther might say. His statement would be uncompromising for one, and it would be based on scripture which is the basis of our faith.  His explanatory letter for writing the Small Catechism may be a good place to hear what he would say about today's various views of faith, the scripture, and the issues we face:  "The deplorable and miserable conditions which I recently observed when visiting the parishes have constrained and pressed me to  put this catechism of Christian doctrine into this brief, plain, and simple form.... The common man ... knows practically nothing of Christian doctrine, and many of the pastors are almost entirely incompetent and unable to teach."  If we know little about our faith (Lutheran or other), then almost anything can pass for "truth." So, here is a summary of what we believe that will shield you and protect the integrity of what we teach from such assaults.

Paul, dealing with similar issues in his time, says it this way:  "I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel, not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ." (Galatians 1:6-7)

We pray that we learn to read, mark, and inwardly digest the Word of God not just for salvation's benefit, but to maintain the accuracy of the truth of the Word of God so that we can boldly proclaim it to others.  We pray that our faith is one that is based on the true Word of God and that we remain sober and alert at all times for teaching that may cause us to stray from the truth.

Hope Men's Ministry

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