Monday, August 15, 2011

Sweet Surrender

To fall in love is to give oneself completely to that person. That person becomes central to your world, your very reason to live. We feel that we are not worthy of that person’s love and we fall all over ourselves to make certain that we meet that person’s every need. We will do whatever it is that is necessary to make our lover complete. We put aside our own desires to try to anticipate the wants and needs of our lover. We surrender completely to our lover. The term “sweet surrender” is usually applied to the absolute submission of a bride to her husband and husband to his new wife on their wedding night. As lovers of Christ, we are called to surrender ourselves to His will. We are called to follow our Savior’s lead and endeavor to become “Christ like”. Jesus said in Matthew 5:17-20, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19 Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.” While the Gospel frees us from the penalty of the law, we are still called to not only obey God’s law, but the church is charged to promote the truth of God’s word, not promoting that God is now saying a "new thing" in order to placate worldly desires.

The new doctrines promoted by the leaders and scholars of the ELCA surrender not to our Lord, but to the proclivities of the flesh. Bound conscience allows one to choose their own interpretation of Scripture and directs those that disagree to respect that interpretation, not to gently correct, rebuke, or encourage those that are in obvious error. This doctrine places human opinion and experience above the authority of Scripture. There are those that place conditions upon God, that their chosen lifestyle must be affirmed by His church in order that they feel welcome. In order to more politically correct the leaders of the ELCA brush God’s law aside and proclaim that He is now telling them a new thing, and by a vote of imperfect and sinful humans, God’s law is amended. Galatians 3:23-25, “Before this faith came, we were held prisoners by the law, locked up until faith should be revealed. 24 So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. 25 Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law.” So, where does this “new thing” lead those that accept this doctrine? If the law leads us to Christ, where does deliberately disobeying His law lead? It is clear that this “new thing” is of man and not of God and those that accept this errant doctrine are sure to fall away from Him.
Bishop Mark Hanson naively supports Palestine when their leadership, Hamas, has the stated intent to eliminate Israel, God’s chosen, from the face of the earth. Psalm 14:4-6, “Will evildoers never learn—those who devour my people as men eat bread and who do not call on the Lord? 5 There they are, overwhelmed with dread, for God is present in the company of the righteous. 6 You evildoers frustrate the plans of the poor, but the Lordis their refuge.” The leadership of the ELCA continues to support immorality and disparage our Lord’s word while promoting “new”doctrine that disregards His word. Human depravity is rampant and the leaders of the ELCA are preoccupied with the things of this world, or political correctness, instead of performing the tasks our Lord has placed before His church. All humankind has the opportunity to gain the knowledge of God if they so choose. The leadership of the ELCA has chosen to deliberately neglect those opportunities and allow those in sin to remain apart from God. That the leadership of the ELCA would choose to promote the welfare of Palestine while promoting actions against Israel is unconscionable and contrary to God’s will.
The leaders of the ELCA provide insurance to their employees that subsidizes abortion procedures, tacitly authorizing the murder of unborn children. In Matthew 5:21, Jesus said, “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago,‘Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.” What is troubling is that the leadership of the ELCA does not understand or simply chooses to ignore the contradiction of that policy. Continue to pray for those trapped within the ELCA. Pray that their leadership opens their minds, eyes and hearts and choose to surrender their lives back to the Lord. Pray that one day the leadership of the ELCA will uphold their responsibility to their membership. Far too many of our brothers and sisters in Christ are at risk to simply walk away.

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