Thursday, July 14, 2011

Fool Me Once

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. If someone pulls one over on us, we can chalk this up to our naivety, learn from it, and not be fooled again. When that person attempts to deceive us in this manner again, that person should know better than to try to mislead one who has already experienced this same deception. If you fall prey once again, there is no one to blame but yourself. This old saying fits in well with the false teachings of the ELCA. They use the doctrine of bound conscience to fool their membership into believing that they can reinterpret Scripture in order to empower themselves within their chosen sin. This doctrine contradicts the very foundation of Lutheranism, that the Bible is the written word of God, our sole authority in matters of faith and theology.  This errant doctrine is used to not only justify sinful activity, but serves to question the reality that we are by nature sinful and unclean. So, those that choose to engage in sinful activity and don’t want to give up that behavior, are fooled into believing that they can continue in that sin because the false gospel of affirmation teaches that God loves and affirms you within that sin. The leaders of the ELCA promote that bound conscience allows one to believe just about anything.  They deliberately deceive their members into believing that since God created them, they are inherently good and any and all proclivities that feed the flesh are acceptable.  This "new thing" promotes that there is nothing that is unacceptable in the eyes of the Lord, since He loves and affirms us unconditionally..

One of the verses excluded from the Revised Common Lectionary is the last verse of the story of the paralytic that Jesus healed on the Sabbath. John 5:14, “Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.” Our God does not affirm us in our sin, but He will forgive us of our sins if we only ask for His forgiveness. For if we fail to confess our sins to our Father, believing that we are without sin, or that somehow, it doesn't matter what we do, will only allow our sinful acts to lead us away from Him. Over and over again, those that believe that they are acting in true Christian love, are fooled by the deceitful leaders and scholars that foist these errant teachings upon the faithful. It is terribly wrong for a church to lead its people astray by pursuing doctrine that is contradictory to God’s law. It is the responsibility of the church to preach the pure Gospel of Jesus Christ and that through the Holy Spirit, those that hear may understand and accept.

Even though our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ died on that cross, suffering the punishment that was meant for us, we must not engage in the willful disregard of God’s laws with an unrepentant heart. We all fall short of God’s glory and our feeble attempts at righteousness are met with abject failure. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak, so we fall into a myriad of sinful activity, intentionally and unintentionally. 1 John 2:1-6, “But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. 2 He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. 3 We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. 4 The man who says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: 6 Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.” There is no truth in the false gospel of affirmation.  We cannot turn to our modern sensibilities and reject our Lord's teachings and still remain a good Christian.  Although we try to walk as Jesus did, we all continue to fall into sin. But, we know that we have our Savior to intercede on our behalf, to plead our case, who aids and defends us, and who represents our interests before the Father. It is when we decide that our Father is not the authority in our lives and place ourselves and our own opinion and experience above the Lord that brings us all kinds of trouble.

When the leaders and scholars of the ELCA concocted the doctrine of bound conscience, confessional Lutherans disagreed. This doctrine, explained as a way to welcome more of God’s children who view themselves as on the fringe of society, who felt it was necessary for them to be truly  loved by the church, their lifestyle choices needed to be accepted. It has become nothing of the sort. This doctrine calls upon the faithful to recognize differences of opinion in spiritual matters and to respect the opinions of others, even if that opinion is contrary to Scripture. In the matter of human sexuality the ELCA went even further. Now those that uphold the authority of Scripture and accept God’s word that marriage is between one man and one woman, and that sexual relations are acceptable only within this relationship, actually hold beliefs contrary to official ELCA doctrine. A synod bishop of the ELCA tried to explain that Scripture is not clear on the matter of homosexuality and questioned whether it is actually sinful. He also said that since God loves us all and because we all fall short, God accepts us as we are, no matter what our sexual preference may be. He further explained that this doctrine was never intended to pertain to matters affecting the salvation of one’s soul. But, since the leaders of the ELCA have already fooled so many of their members, it is being cited to bolster arguments that deny the existence of hell, promote universal salvation, questions the truth of the Resurrection, casts doubt upon the Scriptural account of the Virgin Birth, and even the deity of Christ was debated in the featured Easter essay in the Lutheran in April of 2008.

The definition of synod is to “walk together”. Shame on those that continue to walk together with a synod that denies the very truths of Christianity.  Shame on those that accept bound conscience in order to place their own opinion over the will of our Lord.  Shame on those that continue to lead the faithful astray with false doctrine.  Ecclesiastes 10:2, “The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left.”  We won't be fooled again!  Choose to walk the right path with our Lord and expose the heresies promoted by the leaders of the ELCA. Pray unceasingly for the ELCA to return to the Lord.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Under Penalty of Law

It is very troubling that more and more of these so called modern and enlightened preachers proclaim that God is love and only love. So many of those responsible to save the lost have become so enamored of themselves and of this world, that they actually teach unsound doctrine that can and does affect the very salvation of those who accept their false teaching.  These "new age" preachers proclaim doctrine that supports the "new thing" that God is allegedly saying and pen essays that sound so appealing, especially to those thirsting for a church to approve and welcome them and their lifestyle choices, in spite of what our God commands.  Just like the evil one revels in half truths within his lies, these teachers are only partly correct.  Yes, when Jesus Christ took sin to the cross, suffered and died, He freely received the punishment we so rightly deserved.  When His death and resurrection was complete, we were freed from the judgment of the law.  We are no longer due punishment for our never ending sinful behavior.  Jesus suffered our punishment and through His death we are sanctified before God.  By faith, we are freely justified and are granted eternal life.   

So many teachers in the ELCA and others embraced by the ELCA preach that this justification is freely given without condition and with or without faith.  They teach that God would never place conditions upon His children, and promote the doctrine of universalism.  From the Defense of the Augsburg Confession, Article IV: Justification, “they condemn us, for teaching that men obtain remission of sins not because of their own merits, but freely for Christ's sake, through faith in Christ. [They reject quite stubbornly both these statements.] For they condemn us both for denying that men obtain remission of sins because of their own merits, and for affirming that, through faith, men obtain remission of sins, and through faith in Christ are justified.”

In the Augsburg Confession, Article III: Of the Son of God, “He ascended into heaven that He might sit on the right hand of the Father, and forever reign and have dominion over all creatures, and sanctify them that believe in Him,”  Article IV: Of Justification, “Also they teach that men cannot be justified before God by their own strength, merits, or works, but are freely justified for Christ's sake, through faith, when they believe that they are received into favor, and that their sins are forgiven for Christ's sake, who, by His death, has made satisfaction for our sins. This faith God imputes for righteousness in His sight.”  Article V: Of the Ministry, “That we may obtain this faith, the Ministry of Teaching the Gospel and administering the Sacraments was instituted. For through the Word and Sacraments, as through instruments, the Holy Ghost is given, who works faith; where and when it pleases God, in them that hear the Gospel, to wit, that God, not for our own merits, but for Christ's sake, justifies those who believe that they are received into grace for Christ's sake.”  Article VI: Of New Obedience, “It is ordained of God that he who believes in Christ is saved, freely receiving remission of sins, without works, by faith alone.”  Article XII: Of Repentance, “Now, repentance consists properly of these two parts: One is contrition, that is, terrors smiting the conscience through the knowledge of sin; the other is faith, which is born of the Gospel, or of absolution, and believes that for Christ's sake, sins are forgiven, comforts the conscience, and delivers it from terrors.” (All emphasis mine.)

Over and over these enlightened scholars ignore Scripture and doctrine to promote a god in the image that they desire.  It is abundantly clear that faith in the Risen Christ is necessary to gain one’s salvation.  Without faith, we remain apart from our God.  The last command Jesus gave to His disciples was to proclaim the Gospel to all nations, Matthew 28:19-20, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”  If it is not necessary to have faith, why would our Lord and Savior tell us to make disciples of all nations?  God grants us the gift of grace, by faith alone.  God loves all His children, and that means everyone who lives upon this world, but requires that we believe to receive the gift of eternal life with Him.  Those that teach otherwise, simply utter pleasing words that lead their flock astray, in the same manner as the evil one deceives the world.  

The unaltered Augsburg Confession is cited by the ELCA as the true witness to the Gospel and acknowledges it is as one with it in faith.  The Bible is cited by the ELCA as the written word of God.  The ELCA continues to accept teaching that makes faith in the Risen Christ optional and then has the audacity to state that these diverse opinions make the church stronger.  This clearly contradicts their statements of belief and is contrary to God’s command.  Further, teaching that all are saved regardless, renders Christ’s command in the Great Commission moot.  For if all are saved, it is no longer necessary to proclaim the Gospel or lead the lost to Him.  Without faith, we are not washed clean by the blood of Christ and are not justified before God.  Without faith, we remain under penalty of the law.  By accepting this errant doctrine, the leaders of the ELCA make their own compelling argument that they are no longer functioning as a Christian Church. 

Unless you are more interested in supporting social statements and the things of this world, rather than worship of the Lord, why would one look to attend an ELCA church?   Continue in prayer for all the lost souls trapped within the ELCA.  Mark 10:27, “Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Now What?

It may be someone you've just met or it may be a life long friend.  A lively discussion turns to religion. Then that person asks you about your relationship with Jesus Christ and salvation.  During the discussion the Spirit inspires that person to be open to giving their life to Christ.  Now what?  Sometimes that gentle nudge from the Holy Spirit is more like a kick in the teeth.  Someone is searching for Christ and the Holy Spirit has chosen you to bring one of the lost to Him.  How do I help lead this baby Christian to the Lord?  We can simply pray for the Lord to give us the words and not to let us mess this up or we can prepare ourselves for that eventuality.  2 Timothy 4::3, "Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction." The following may help you if you are ever faced with the task of leading one of the lost to Him.

Prayer For a New Christian

The Lord has been waiting patiently outside, and now you have chosen to let Him in.

Let us pray together,


“Father, I know that I am broken and my sinful nature has separated me from you. I am truly sorry, and now I want to turn away from my past sinful life and toward you. Please forgive me, and lead me on the path you have set before me. I believe that your Son, Jesus Christ suffered the punishment and died for my sins, That He was resurrected from the dead, is alive, and hears my prayer. I invite Jesus to become the Lord of my life, to rule and reign in my heart from this day forward. Please send your Holy Spirit to lead me to do Your will for the rest of my life.  In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.”

The Holy Spirit now dwells within you, and you have been reborn to life in Christ.
You have begun an incredible journey and an exciting new life in Christ!  I pray the Lord will bless you wondrously.

The Lord has entered fully into your life; your sins are now forgiven from your past; Let us pray that you turn away from your past sin and don't look back. The Lord has granted you eternal life; Let us pray that you share it joyfully with Him.  You have become a blessed child of God.  Let us pray that you and I strive to do our Father's will. A great adventure lies ahead for you; Let us pray that you will triumph in His love.

And when the Great Deceiver tries to tempt you, let us pray that you resist his every move.

We pray this In Jesus' name, Amen.