Sunday, January 2, 2011

Spare the Rod

The old adage, spare the rod and spoil the child, is no longer acceptable in our modern society. Corporal punishment is frowned upon since it may negatively affect the child’s self esteem. The more modern and enlightened parent will simply try to reason with their child, sometimes treating them as if they were equals. As we can see from our dysfunctional society, this weak handed approach is seldom successful. When there are no consequences for inappropriate behavior, there is no deterrent to prevent the child from continuing to misbehave. Our responsibility as parents is to make certain that when our children engage in behavior that is dangerous or inappropriate, that we reinforce that those types of conduct are unacceptable. The punishment meted out must be equivalent to the severity of the objectionable actions of the child. Any punishment must serve as a deterrence, so that the improper behavior will not be repeated. We must also explain why those acts are considered improper and reinforce that we love the child.

Our God has provided us His rules of conduct, delivered to us in His word, the Bible. As disciples of Christ, we are obligated to obey these rules of conduct. Although these laws were written thousands of years ago, they remain authoritative to this day. Many laws adopted by society mirror those laws that our God gave to the Israelites long ago. So, why would a church adopt doctrine to ignore those rules of conduct that are so plainly set out by our God? The leadership of the ELCA wants to preside over a truly enlightened church, complete with a variety of opinions, thereby allowing a “Big Tent” where many people that have a wide variety of beliefs can have fellowship. They feel that the similarities among them are larger than their differences, and that somehow a diversity of opinion can make them grow stronger. Well, the first foray into the diversity pool has left the ELCA in the deep end, realizing that they don’t know how to swim and are without a life preserver. What’s worse though, is that those trusting members of the ELCA that accept this false gospel are dragged under by the leadership’s plunge away from the Lord.

Lifting up the identities of the LGTB community, thereby placing the emphasis on the self, not on our God, the leaders of the ELCA have rejected Scriptural intent and have reinterpreted God’s word to feed worldly desires. By invoking the doctrine of bound conscience they have opened the door to sin freely and have placed human reasoning, experience and understanding in authority over Scripture. By accepting the validity of other religions and agreeing that there are alternate ways to Salvation, they encourage those who do believe in the Risen Christ to look elsewhere. By promoting the false gospel of affirmation, they advance the opinion that there truly is no sin, no need for repentance or forgiveness and that a Savior is unnecessary.

It would appear that this experiment into “diving into the pool of heresy with both feet” isn’t working out so well for the misguided leaders of the ELCA. Congregations are leaving at a rate that may cause this enlightened new world order of Lutheranism to fall by the wayside before the end of this decade. Pensions to retired ELCA pastors are being reduced, the operational budget of the synod has been reduced 40%, synod staff have been let go, and losses from congregations that have left or have redirected benevolence has cost the ELCA well over 14 million dollars this year alone. When will they realize that those that are searching are not looking for a social club to gather with those that they have little in common with? Those that are searching are looking for the only thing that can truly fill their longing hearts, the love of Jesus Christ. Only He can fill that empty place in our hearts. Only when we come to accept the truth that is our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ will we truly be fulfilled. As the petulant child that receives no guidance or discipline from their parents continues to misbehave, the leaders of the ELCA promote this new religion that has no consequence for sinful behavior and leads their membership away from the Lord. Romans 2:12-13, “All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law. 13 For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.” Without the rod that is God’s law, we shall truly be like a spoiled child and be disobedient to the Lord. While we have God’s grace through our faith in our Savior, Jesus Christ, we must also adhere to the law that our God provided for us. Continue to pray that the Holy Spirit will open the hearts and minds of all to the truth that our unity is in Christ, not to a church that surely denies Him.

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