Wednesday, June 18, 2008

If I Procrastinate Long Enough...Someone Else Will Do It For Me

A while back, I posted a portion of a sermon by Luther. Really, the reason why I posted it is because it was so harsh. It really hit the law in a way that was very strong.

At first I was waiting for the very existence of time, but that never comes. Then I was waiting for my e-version of the Book of Concord (woo-hoo), but then that still means I need time to write, because the posts that I write where I am citing take more time than anything else. You wouldn't think so, since I am letting someone else do the writing. The citations are there (and not just in the Formula), so maybe someday.....

There were two points I was trying to make. Luther ended his sermon with Law, and he often did, early in his career or late in his career. His sermons often had the structure of Law - we don't fulfill it, Gospel -- we are forgiven, and then He would tell us how we should respond to the fact that we have received Christ's forgiveness, by praying for our neighbor, or desiring to do God's will. In reality, the structure of his sermons often follow the same outline he puts in each little explanation in the catechism.

The second point was that Lutherans do preach good works. The Augsburg Confession, the Apology, the Smalcald Articles, the Intro to each Catechism say that we do as well. When I was on Wittenberg Trail a while back, someone was asking "why don't pastors preach vocation" and a number of church workers came back with the thought that they weren't supposed to. Yet Luther said in His catechism that if you have a lot of mechanics in your congregation, you should preach on the 7th commandment, since they are prone to stealing, and that applies to merchants and servants as well. I am paraphrasing, because I don't have time to look it up. The person that asked this was really questioning this, she wanted guidance from her shepherd on what good works are. Yet she was bitingly told that what she really wanted was an easy list to know whether or not she had done good enough that day or reasssurance on whether she "measured up" or not, and that was not what Christianity was about. When no, this was a woman who loved God, was happy to be saved, and wanted guidance. Luther understood that. He preached on it, wrote on it, taught people how to pray (his booklet to his barber on how to pray the catechism and the Psalms comes to mind), how to examine themselves, and explained what good works were, frequently -- from his explanation to the Ten Commandments -- to the Apostles Creed "for all of this, we should thank and praise, serve and obey Him"
Anyway, The Confessional Gadfly today has a post about good works and how they show they can serve as a Christian self-diagnostic, and what you should do about it if you don't like what you see (and we probably should not generally like what we see, though at times, our works and the attitudes in which we do them do show how much we have grown in faith, and we can praise God for making that happen in us!!!) In reality, it is a reiteration of what Luther was talking about in the sermon section that I posted in April.

The batteries in my keyboard are going, I menus are popping up all over the I guess it would be time to go now!

1 comment:

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