Friday, June 6, 2008

The “Old Me” is Back

Path with fence on each side
The “old me” is back. There’s no place like home. I’d been working on upgrading my stolid old diction, but it seems most people liked the “old me better than the “trendy me,” the “bureaucratic me,” or the “emerging” me.

You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool well catechized Lutherans for very long. Sooner or later they rise up with one mighty voice, the voice of the Gospel, to rid themselves of falsehood in their midst. I think that’s what’s about to happen on a very large scale.

I was able to meet some nice people on my journey. I met people with some really stupefying acronyms, and some other people that speak fluent bureaucratese. I also met one Lutheran pastor who speaks a mean Emerging Church dialect. But I also found that trendiness can often get in the way of the real message. Trying to make the message appealing by using the most chic words often detracts from the message itself. Trying to make the message appealing by using modern business techniques turns the message into a pre-packaged slick looking box, but once you unwrap the box, there’s nothing inside. Trying to make the message appealing à la Emerging Church turns the message into a social Gospel, full of “the love of Jesus” but lacking the means of grace, repentance, and the forgiveness of sins.

The other thing I noticed on my journey is that while contemporary trendy charlatans of all breeds, while they often talk about the Gospel, forget to preach the Gospel. They’re too busy focusing on the lingo of their particular method to actually get around to preaching Jesus Christ and Him crucified. I don’t want to make that mistake. No amount of worldly appeal is worth forfeiting your soul, or anybody else’s.
Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you--unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 1 Corinthians 15:1-9
Thanks to all my friends who stood by me and led me back to the straight and narrow. I promise I’ll never stray again - I recognize the voice of my shepherd.

1 comment:

Becky said...

Happy and relieved to hear that!