Monday, April 21, 2008

Faulty Predestinarianism

Is the LCMS guilty of faulty Predestinarianism? Pastor Harju thinks so. I'd have to agree with him, as far as it used in the context of his post LCMS Ablaze! Here's a portion of what he has to say:

It seems that in the LCMS a different model of Predestination is at work. The salvation of the elect is not dependant on God's secret decision from before the foundation of the world. Otherwise, why does our leadership illustrate the Ablaze! missions agenda by rapid finger snapping (snap, snap, snap, snap, etc.) and then say something to the effect of, 'This is people dying without knowing Jesus, and we need to do something about it.'?

Now for Dr. Mattes' Uzzah analogy: what happened when Uzzah reached out to steady the Ark? He died. Why? Because of his lack of faith. The Ark was not his to steady. It belonged to God, and it was the sacramental vessal [sic] of God's presence among His people. God had provided means for its care. Uzzah looked up and saw how the Ark was unsteady, and he attempted to rescue God. His faith was not in God's word, command, and promise, but like St. Peter who sank in the water when he experienced the wind and waves, Uzzah's faith became distorted and misplaced. And what happened to Uzzah? He died.

The Church is the Ark of God. The Church fulfills the OT Ark of the Covenant (as does the BVM, but we won't go into that correlation here right now). The Church is the bearer of His presence, but it is God who is at the helm, God who is driving everything, and God who has arranged for His elect to come on board and receive safe passage. What will happen to the LCMS if, by taking our eyes off of God's promises and worrying over the "wind and the waves" and the "stumbling oxen", we insist on reaching out our hand to steady things? The answer is obvious. (Great analogy, Dr. Mattes.)

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