Wednesday, November 09, 2005

HELP FROM LUTHER

As a part of my time with the Lord each day I read three devotionals in addition to my regular Bible reading. After reading the Word of God, I spend time in a daily devotional from Calvin, Luther and Edwards. Today's reading from Martin Luther was eye opening. In considering false teachers and how we are to relate to them Luther makes this statement:
"If you spend too much time with false teachers, you will eventually share in their false doctrine, lies and errors. If you play with tar you are going to get dirty."

A great line as only Luther can deliver. He is speaking to the importance of hating what is evil and holding to what is good. He makes an important distinction in this sentence:
"When the Word of God is at stake,love ends and hate begins. But if only personal things are at stake, such as our property, honor or body, we should show respect and serve others. God gives us these gifts to help others. We can risk them in order to serve. However, we cannot risk God's Word, because it belongs to God."

Luther helps us and reminds us of the importance to fight for the truth of God's Word, along with the danger of spending too much time with erroneous teachers. And the fight is more often in the Church then outside. It is in the confines of the "Evangelical" Church where the fight needs to be waged. We live in a church culture of easy believism and moral relativism. Where unity is the highest ideal for many, even at the expense of the truth of God's Word. We live in a climate where professing believers are buying , "I Watch Joel Osteen" lapel pins.
I kid you not. There is a website where you can buy a pin that reads: "IWJO", or I watch Joel Osteen!

And people buy these ridiculous things. But more concerning is that professing believers buy the teachings of people like Osteen and so many others who are not preaching a true gospel. We live in the times where people love to have their ears tickled as God's Word said they would. What is our response to be? When it comes to us personally we take what comes our way. We endure and serve with love. But when it comes to the Word of God, we fight for truth and we hate what is evil and cling to what it good. As Luther writes about that type of hatred;
"Our hatred is a sacred animosity that flows from love."
Amen!

blog you later,
pastor tom