Friday, March 28, 2008

Thoughts on the Direction of the Missouri Synod

Hermann Sasse once wrote, "The religious future of the United States does not lie in the gradual, peaceful, and joint rise of the Christian churches into higher unity. It lies rather in the intense struggles of the old confessions for the soul of the American people." (American Christianity and the Church, 1927)

I do wish that those responsible for cancelling Issues, Etc. would heed these wise words. I also wish that those at the Purple Palace would heed these words as well.

Enough said.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

A Blessed Easter!

Christ is risen! He is risen, indeed. Alleluia!

The grave, it could not keep Him,
Although dead in it he lay,
On the third day He is risen,
For your sins and mine He did pay.

On the cross, He suffered hell,
Shut in a barrowed tomb He lay,
God accepted Christ's sacrifice,
He is no longer dead the angels say.

In your baptism you died with Him,
In His life you live again.
Praise Him and glorify Him rightly,
He has conquered death and sin.

Christ is risen! He is risen, indeed. Alleluia!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

I Walked Out of Hell Today

My husband describes hell as the place where God's gracious presence is absent. I know I came close to this in my last place of work. There was no grace in that place. No understanding that people can and do make mistakes that they can be sorry for and will work to never do again. No, I worked in a zero tolerance environment where people were plotted against, slandered, disrespected, and treated harshly. It is a place where appearences were important; so important that they candy coated the dung that was underneath to make everything appear peachy. Lies were courted while the truth was hidden. Hard workers were not appreciated. People who aligned themselves with the popular and powerful, no matter how distasteful it might be to them, were the ones who were rewarded and recognized. Keeping up appearences was more important than solving real problems. The ones who were unlucky enough to be in the "in crowd" were blamed, put down, and degraded. I don't know what hell really is like, but it sure seems this place was close to it.

Yesterday was my last day. I got to walk out of there. And I walked out triumphant and with my head held high. I did the best I could. I worked the hardest I was able to work. I loved my charges and took care of them as if they were my own. I did what was right, despite the consequences. I was persecuted for my faith and did not falter. In fact, I even was able to witness to Christ in that time. I am now on to bigger and better things in a Christian environment and I am really looking forward to it!

I walked out of hell today, triumphant and with my head held high. It wasn't anything I did, really, but Christ who worked through the circumstance for His good will, that I would witness to those He put in my life. He forgave me when I sinned and pointed me back to the cross. I am glad to say: Chapter over. I completed it. Now, I can't wait to get to the next chapter of my life.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Quiet Persecution- The Secular Side of Things

A quick search on Google for cartoon images of Christian persecution brought up all sorts of images of how Christians persecute others in our country. I guess it is easier for people to honestly believe that Christians are pushing their views on others than it is that these same people are pushing their views on Christians. It's sad, really. Christians are finding themselves in positions where verbalizing their beliefs might cause a failing grade in school, a lost job in the workforce, and ostracizing anyone who doesn't believe as they do. This doesn't leave much room for sharing the Good News, but I guess that is the point.

What's more, is that it's everywhere, even in places we don't expect. In politics, religious and moral decisions have been given into the hands of popular vote. Issues such as abortion, the sanctity of marriage, and the theory of evolution versus creation have all been politicized to where their "right" and "wrong" are determined by popular vote and then should be ratified by all. Anyone who does not agree with this voted on opinion is accused of being closed minded and not capable of the post modern thought process needed to succeed in this life. Sin is then renamed to be "a choice", "a biological imparative", or "false or misleading doctrine". The most important part of this renaming is that it falls on the individual to decide what is right and wrong, and that decision is also driven by popular vote. Thus, anyone who disagrees with popular thought and clings to Biblical truths of what sin is, is accused of infringing on freedom and rights. This leaves the Christian with a dilemma of how and where to demonstrate who they are, that is, a baptized child of God. All too often Christians are faced with the fact that their livelihood will be threatened because of their beliefs. Thus, they are faced with two choices: hide who they are or loose what they have worked for.

There is a story I have heard quite often. It is of a frog who is placed in a hot frying pan and jumps instantly out knowing the danger. Later, the same frog is put into a frying pan that is cold but is slowly turned up until the frog finally succumbs to the heat and dies. Why didn't he jump out like he did the first time? The first time, the danger was much more obvious. This, I believe, is how things got to where they are in the political realm. Chrisitans didn't catch on until it was too late.