Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Ant and the Grasshopper

Aesop’s Fables contain the story of the ant and the grasshopper. If you can recall from your childhood, the ant toiled to prepare for the coming winter, saving his food and building shelter for the anticipated storm. The ant chided the grasshopper for not planning for the future, while the grasshopper ridiculed the ant for not living for today. The grasshopper fiddled away the summer, partying, binging, eating all of his food and failed prepare at all for the future. When the harsh winter arrived, the ant was warm and cozy while the grasshopper starved to death in the cold. Our Lord and Savior would call on us to open our homes and feed and clothe the grasshopper, even though he did nothing to deserve our compassion. So it is with our brothers and sisters of the ELCA. The doctrine of bound conscience and the gospel of radical inclusiveness allow those that choose to do so, to create a god on their own terms and believe as they wish, simply disregarding any and all Scripture deemed to be troublesome. Those true to the authority of Scripture plan for a future with our Lord by reading and listening to the pure Gospel of Jesus Christ, believing through the Holy Spirit, and endeavoring to obey our Father’s rules for us.

The long hard winter will eventually arrive and our brothers and sisters in the ELCA that accept and believe these false gospels are very much at risk of falling away from God. When one chooses to interpret Scripture to placate their personal desires, they risk being charged and convicted of placing themselves above our God. When one chooses to raise up the gospel of radical inclusiveness over the Gospel of Jesus Christ, or as Bishop Hanson proclaims that one cannot exist without the other, they risk rejecting the grace of God and losing the very salvation that our Lord offers them. Those that have left behind the heresy of the ELCA and decided to “walk together” with a church that upholds the authority of Scripture have planned for and secured their salvation. What of those that continue to trust a church that preaches a gospel other than the one our Lord preached? Will those who have attended to their own spiritual safety sit back and allow our brothers and sisters in Christ to starve?

James 5:19-20, “My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back, 20 remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins.” Christians are called to proclaim the Truth to the world so that they too may be saved. What of those who fall away, chasing the pleasing words of affirmation, welcoming, and tolerance? What are we if we sit by, safe and secure, and do nothing to save our brothers and sisters? It is all well and good to save yourself, but once saved, do we not burn to share our joy? We cannot simply stand by and watch fellow Christians be led down the path that the leadership of the ELCA would have them travel.

This fight is for the souls of those that belong to Jesus Christ. We are the Lord’s soldiers and we are charged to love our neighbor as ourselves, and that means sharing the Gospel with everyone, especially those who are being led astray. Bishop Mark Hanson leads his merry band of grasshoppers, choosing to advocate for those wanting the affirmation of their sinful lives rather than the daunting task of denying themselves and turning their lives over to the Lord. His two-step dance of the gospel of radical inclusiveness and the Gospel of Jesus Christ, omits the need for self-denial. This leaves his flock simply hopping around on one foot, not dancing to the Gospel that our Lord taught. It is time that Christians take the lead in this dance and lead them back to the Lord. Most that choose to accept and believe these false teachings, still have the love of Jesus burned in their hearts. It is our responsibility to make sure that flame continues to burn, overwhelming those false gospels so that the love of our Lord brings them back to path our Lord wants them to follow.

1 comment:

  1. I am an ELCA member, at my church for 12 years, having met my wife there. She has been there over 30 years, and has no desire to leave, since our current new pastor isn't preaching any universalism, or opposing the penal subsitutionary Atonement of our Lord on the Cross. But I perceive subtle hints in what I've heard from the pulpit that trouble me. So I sent a letter to 18 of the church households that I considered the most conservative, behind my wife's back, which pointed out the false gospel in the ELCA. In these mailing I mentioned that there were other Lutheran denoms we could be affiliated with. Most of our church are ex-LCMS and support open Communion (While I affirm the Real Presence of Christ's Body and Blood in the Sacrament, most non-Eucharistic Christians treat the Elements with the very same reverence they are due, and also strongly believe the Sacrament/ordinance is reserved for baptized persons who trust in Christ as Savior, coming with repentant hearts to the altar rail.)and women's ordination (our least heterodox pastor was a woman, and Paul did not explicitly say that God Himself did not prohibit female pastors, but Paul was inspired of God, so I'm "on the fence" on this one. But I believe women could be pastors to youth). These mailings reached at least 50 of our 150 confirmed members. Only one member acknowledged my bold proclamation of my belief that trust in Jesus as Savior, into which we were baptized and instructed, is the only way to salvation, and that our gay Christian brothers and sisters are indeed loved by God and His people, but that they are doing things that grieve the Lord, and should repent as they are able, rather than be comfortable with their sin. This applies equally to straight Christians living in adultery or fornication. As a shy, timid man, I've made my best attempt to warn these dear people of the Enemy at our doorstep, and taken my stand for Christ Jesus. Pray that they and my wife will be delivered from this denomination whose leaders have been deceived, and that these leaders would return to the Lord. This is a time of great heresy. Note the "Emergent Church", Evangelicals falling to the likes of Brian McLaren and Rob Bell. Observe the Roman Catholic Church proclaiming that "the righteous of other faiths" are saved outside of faith in Christ. Kyrie eleison...