>Devil – Kiss My Backside

>images-1“It is the supreme art of the devil that he can make the law out of the gospel.  If I can hold on to the distinction between law and gospel, I can say to him any and every time that he should kiss my backside.  Even if I sinned I would say, ‘Should I deny the gospeI on this account?’ . . . Once I debate about what I have done and left undone, I am finished.  But if I reply on the basis of the gospel, ‘The forgiveness of sins covers it all,’ I have won.”
Martin Luther, quoted in Reinhard Slenczka, “Luther’s Care of Souls for Our Times,” Concordia Theological Quarterly 67 (2003): 42

>Seize the Moment to Confess

>
Basketball coach Rick Petino confessed to an adulterous affair and made this very wise observation:

Pitino said:

“When you have a problem, if you tell the truth, your problem becomes a part of
your past. If you lie, it becomes a part of your future.”

When the Spirit of God convicts me of specific sin, if I run to First John 1.9 it is gone (more than in the past, God chooses to remember it no more). If I ignore, suppress, deny; it remains in my present, and my future.

When the Spirit of God convicts a lost person of their sin and guilt before God, if they run to the Cross and the Gospel it is buried and gone; if they suppress…they may never have another opportunity.

“Today is the day of salvation,” “now is the accepted time.”

>Pair of Ponderable (and Perplexing) Quotes

>This is from a tweet received today:

“The gospel of sin management produces Christian vampires who wants Jesus for his blood and nothing else.” – Dallas Willard

And this from A. W. Pink, who died in 1952.

“The nature of Christ’s salvation is woefully misrepresented by the present-day evangelist. He announces a Savior from hell rather than a Savior from sin. And that is why so many are fatally deceived, for there are multitudes who wish to escape the Lake of fire who have no desire to be delivered from their carnality and worldliness.”

Think these through…

>The Death of ELCA

>The Evangelical Lutheran Church of America voted Friday to allow homosexuals in life-long monogamous relationships to be ordained.

Here is some of the “reasoning,” : “We live today with an understanding of homosexuality that did not exist in Jesus’ time and culture,” Tim Mumm, a lay delegate from Wisconsin and supporter of Lutherans Concerned, a gay-rights organization, said during the debate. “We are responding to something that the writers of Scripture could not have understood.”

Duh. Even if “the writers of Scripture could not have understood” the Holy Spirit who superintended the scripture writers understood!

Once again, as soon as one waters-down the inspiration of Scripture, any kind of “justification” of any sin is okay.

Grrrrrr.


>The World Gets It Better Than the Body

>Sometimes the world “gets” it so much better than the church. When a pastor stumbles into adultery, all too often we talk about forgiveness and restoration (which is part of the package) but ignore the tragic hurt caused to the wife and children.

The July 13 issue of Time had a cover story titled “Unfaithfully Yours,” of course focusing on Mark Sanford and John Ensign.

Here’s part of the article:

“During the press conference in which he admitted his affair, Mark Sanford warbled that he had broken ‘God’s law,” a sentiment that served only to emphasize the narcissism that had gotten him in trouble. Wrestling with God’s law had apparently been the subject of many of his Bible-study group, a seminar that may have spent a little too much time on the Song of Solomon, given Sanford’s e-mailed encomium of his lover’s physique…Sanford told reporters the affair had begun ‘very innocently,’ which reveals that he still hasn’t been honest with himself about the willfulness of his actions. When a married man begins a secret, solicitous correspondence with a beautiful and emotionally needy single woman, he has already begun to cheat on his wife.

Just a week before, another blue-blazered elected official – Senator John Ensign of Nevada – was forced to make a similar confession, although he left God out of it, which must have been a nice break for the Almighty. Ensign had done ‘the worst thing’…’I violated the vows of my marriage.’ The mood on both occasions was funereal; it might have been touching to see two such buttoned-up guys welling with tears if the corpses weren’t their political careers.

The one thing both men refused to admit was that, back in the heyday of these affairs, they must have been having a blast…

In the e-mails exchanged between the governor and his girlfriend, they trip over themselves to praise each other’s virtues…These two humanitarians were engaged not only in worshipping each other’s high mindedness but also in destroying another woman’s home, hobbling her children emotionally and setting her up for humiliation of titanic proportion. The squalor and pain that resulted from the Sanford and Ensign midlife crises make manifest a bleak truth that the late writer Leonard Michaelson once observed in his journal: ‘Adultery is not about sex or romance. Ultimately, it is about how little we mean to one another.'”

The whole article is worth reading…

>THINKABOUTIT – Who is the Worst Sinner You Know?

>Don’t play this if you are not willing to pay attention and think. This is between James McDonald and C. J. Mahanney, two of my favorite pastors. James is confused a bit by C. J.’s statements, and that’s okay, because it makes those willing to think, think. And that’s a good thing:

>Fading Meteorites

>
C. J. Mahaney writes of “spiritual meteorites,” who burn bright with the love of Christ for a while, then suddenly fade from fellowship and faith.

Why?

I fear such things happen primarily because “soulwinners” do their thing their way, produce “decisions” rather than converts, and, even if the salvation is Spirit-born, the “soulwinner” then trucks off to score more “decisions” and leaves the new-born child of God on his own.

The contemporary “evangelist” all-too-often makes “decisions” for Christ easy (heads bowed, eyes closed, raise your hand etc). Contrast that with the gospels, where, at least in my reading, Jesus always made it easier to say “no” than to say “yes.”

Are invitations bad? Not at all.

But when there is no focus on the horribleness of our sin, the need for repentance, and the radical-ness of following Christ in obedience, there will be simply more spiritual meteorites…rather than growing disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ.