You get too much change back from the cashier and that little voice is telling you to correct that mistake and return your windfall. You see that confused elderly woman apparently lost and you take the time to approach her and help. You pass the bell ringer at the local market and you dig into your wallet and take out a ten dollar bill and place it in the red container. Every time we feel that gentle nudge, that so many call our conscience, is nothing of the sort. Our conscience is simply God’s laws that are written upon every human being’s heart. Even unbelievers have these pangs of conscience. Criminals, those from broken homes, those that were never taught any moral values, those that have never stepped foot in church, and even sociopaths do know right from wrong. This is not a learned response. Whether or not we want, what breaks our Lord’s heart does indeed break ours. Romans 2:14-15, “(Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.)”
When we are faced with ethical and moral choices, God’s law shows us the way, even though He does not require that we obey. Romans 10:14-19, “because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy. The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says: “This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.” Then he adds: “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.” And where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin.” Our Lord and Savior, our Redeemer Jesus Christ has already paid the penalty for our sin. We are free and clear if only we believe in God’s one true Son. If we were required to obey the law in order to gain our salvation, we would all fall woefully short and Heaven would be a truly empty and lonely place.
So, what of those that choose to invoke their bound conscience and willfully disobey? For certain, God is not pleased. It takes much convincing from the misguided leadership of a church to overcome what God has indelibly imprinted on His children. Lies, disguised as “new things” must be repeated over and over, hidden behind the flawed goals of social justice and the imperfect love of the neighbor, masquerading as imparting God’s perfect love. Acceptance of alternate lifestyles, fixing our “broken” planet, decrying white privilege and promoting anti-heterosexism, as what is called anti-racism, and siding with terrorist nations while denouncing God’s chosen people, Israel, are promoted in numerous social statements and messages from misguided churches looking to diminish sin by affirming what an immoral society has accepted. This new religion persuades the faithful to engage with the world and transform God’s word to conform with secular values, rather than working to change the world and bring the lost closer to God. Those engaging in this ill-advised assault on God’s law know full well the evil they are promoting. Every brother and sister in Christ lost in the apostasy of the ELCA, UCC and Episcopal churches, adds another millstone around the neck of those leaders that promote these false gospels.
When we fall into the selfishness that so permeates our society, we push our God aside and worship ourselves, our identities and our accomplishments. Love your God with all your heart, all your mind, with all your soul, and all your strength is replaced with affirmation of the self, minimization of sin, and human experience and tradition replaces the authority of Scripture. Want to please the Lord? Dwell in His word and keep His commandments. Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ inspired the authors of Scripture, through the Holy Spirit and put to words our Father’s instruction manual for His children. Anyone who teaches a gospel other than the one Jesus taught, teaches a false gospel and leads those who listen away from Him. Galatians 1:9, “If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!
For Lutherans, the doctrine of Sola Scriptura (Scripture alone) guides us in our spiritual lives. Study and learn God’s word and the false teaching of charlatans disguised as “ELCA Biblical scholars” will be apparent. Our obedience is an insignificant undertaking for those who love God and want to please Him in all we do. Continue in prayer for those lost and adrift in those churches that lead them away from the Lord.