Friday, February 6, 2015

Glory Hounds

Luke 20: 45- 47
And in the hearing of all the people he said to his disciples,  “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and love greetings in the marketplaces and the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts,  who devour widows' houses and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”
2 Timothy 4: 3
For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions.
Luther's  1518 Heidelberg Disputation:
Thesis 21. A theologian of glory calls evil good and good evil. A theologian of the cross calls the thing what it actually is. This is clear: He who does not know Christ does not know God hidden in suffering. Therefore he prefers works to suffering, glory to the cross, strength to weakness, wisdom to folly, and, in general, good to evil. These are the people whom the apostle calls “enemies of the cross of Christ” [Phil. 3:18], for they hate the cross and suffering and love works and the glory of works. Thus they call the good of the cross evil and the evil of a deed good. God can be found only in suffering and the cross, as has already been said. Therefore the friends of the cross say that the cross is good and works are evil, for through the cross works are destroyed and the old Adam, who is especially edified by works, is crucified. It is impossible for a person not to be puffed up by his good works unless he has first been deflated and destroyed by suffering and evil until he knows that he is worthless and that his works are not his but God’s.
A theologian of glory craves applause, and the respect of congregations above the purity of God's Word. In so far as the two polar opposites conflict, he will choose the plaudits of goats over the other out of fear of ruffling their feathers and losing his livelihood and place in the community. Such people who exist amongst the Office of the Holy Ministry are the shifting sand that buckle in times of trouble, suffering and persecution.  Christians, true to God's Word, often find themselves isolated and abused in a church populated by goats in all manner of ways, when the cowardly theologian of glory aping the role of pastor leaves suffering Christians to their fate without comment or reply. His preaching lightens sins to the vocabulary of "mistakes" and reduces the gospel to how Jesus made us happy so that any painful or potentially 'upsetting' talk of Law, God's Wrath against sin, or eternal damnation might be relegated to the lower leagues around the coffee table so that itching ears might continue to be amused by his repertoire of parlour games and anecdotes.  Against such superficiality that leads people to hell, true Christians speak out for church discipline and reform to his irritation, which demands respect and an unblemished reputation where none is deserved as he surrenders God's Word and the confessions to the postmodern hordes for whom truth is relative and who all agree to disagree on the fundamentals to their ruin.  The kingdom of the theologian of glory is never built to last.  Jesus won't tolerate its soiled existence among the true lampstands in his kingdom and would rather tear it loose from his branches, than let it inflict his people further with its thorns and briers.  In such places there will be no clapping of hands, but an absence of God's Word as he refuses to grace such temples of man made glory with his presence, and leaves them to their sacraments of ash.

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