Psalm 61:3

Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer; for You have been my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Open Letter on Religious Freedom

"Free Exercise of Religion: Putting Beliefs into Practice" is an open letter from the leadership of the Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod along with signers from various other denominations and religions. The letter can be found at this link http://www.lcms.org/president?erid=1442401&trid=24ac60ff-1c71-411e-9203-ed8bacd8064c Also on this page is a video from President Matthew Harrison explaining the need for such a statement at this time.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Love Hurts. Truth Hurts.

I always find it interesting that Saint Paul does not say in I Corinthians 13 that love is "accommodating" or "un-opinionated" or "wishy-washy".  He does not say, "love tells you what you want to hear" or "love tries to make you feel better about yourself".

Paul does say, however, that "love...rejoices in the truth".  Love and truth are two sides of the same coin.  Jesus is the love of God for us.  Jesus is the Truth.  This is why the Church must always be loving, and it must always speak the truth. 

So here are some ideas that sound loving, but are really lies.  And following are some hard truths which are really loving.

1.  Nice lie: It does not matter what anyone believes as long as they are a good person.

     Hard truth: If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised
     Him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9)

2.  Nice lie: A man can do as he pleases as long as he does not hurt anyone else.  And he can have no
     physical, psychological, or spiritual consequences.

     Hard truth: You were created to live according to God's design and every infraction, no matter how small
     it may seem, will only hurt you and the people around you. (Take a look at Genesis 3)

3.  Nice lie: Death is not so bad.  It is natural, and there is no reason to be afraid of it.

     Hard truth: Ask anyone who has lost a child.  Death is evil.  It is the enemy.  And Jesus has conquered it.
     He has risen from the dead.  Christ is risen indeed, and we too shall rise by faith in Him. 

Love hurts.  It speaks the hard truth, the truth that hurts.  There is nothing loving about lying.  Nice lies are alright at smoothing things over for a time, but when someone is really hurting, these lies are exposed for what they really are.  The truth hurts, but it also heals.  Only the truth of Christ's resurrection can heal our hurts.