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quod pro nobis traditum est

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

He is faithful and He will do it

Last year, in the 50th year of my birth and the 20th anniversary year of ordination into the Holy Ministry, I underwent a Lutheran Inquisition. This is when Lutherans, who believe in salvation by God's grace through faith in Christ, find or assume that other Lutherans, who believe in salvation by God's grace through faith in Christ, in fact, do not.

All I can say is, if it ever happens to you, there really is not much you can or should do. Just do not be surprised. It is certainly memorable. I think about it often, such as last Sunday (Sexagesima), when the church prayed the Collect of the Day saying, "O God, who seest that we put not our trust in any thing that we do . . ."

Of course, Christian faith does not encourage revenge or hating one's enemies, even those you did not know you had. Time helps to change one's mind from writing an unusually long apologia that may only result in further alienation and confusion and focus instead on the well-worn theological maxim and consolation - "whatever" (this has to be in Scripture somewhere). It helps bring solace also to consider the possibility that one may be ethnically challenged, or not Reformed enough, to be a good Lutheran. Ironically, while justification may be considered forensic, castigation may be experiential.

Do not be surprised if and when the time comes. Yet neither be afraid. Each day has enough trouble of its own and the Lord who called you is faithful.