Thursday, June 14, 2012

Laying It Out Plainly

C.F.W. Walther began a lecture in September, 1885 with this paragraph:
Currently, anyone who insists that pure doctrine is a very important matter is immediately suspected of not having the right Christian spirit.  The very term "pure doctrine" is considered taboo and is outlawed.  Even contemporary theologians who regard themselves to be among the confessional Lutherans usually speak of pure doctrine only in scornful terms, treating it as the embodiment of "dead letter" theology.  If anyone holds fast to pure teaching and attempts to fight against any false doctrine, he is put down as a heartless and unloving fanatic. *
How much more so today.  Pure (i.e., unadulterated) doctrine is scorned by postmodernists because it posits a transcendent and knowable truth, thus inhibiting conversation with those who disagree over faith traditions.  My experience is that more is learned and exchanged among debating parties by making objective truth claims.  They can and will disagree.  So much the better.  Conversations work when a common bond already exists, but when worldviews collide, each must articulately and accurately state his or her position in order to gain ground.

Just recently, David Mason wrote an op-ed in the New York Times entitled "I'm a Mormon, Not a Christian." What a breath of fresh air! Instead of making the case that Mormons and Christians are somehow following the same path, he freely admits the truth.  No hiding behind the doublespeak that they are just another denomination.  I respect that, even though he is completely wrong and will suffer the consequences at the judgement seat of Christ.

Christians are called to do no less.  This is not a day to sit idly by and "make nice" just to get along.  If the Bible is true and God is God, we must stand on that truth.  If they are anything less, we should give up and never darken a church door again.

* Law and Gospel: How to Read and Apply the Bible, (trans. Christian C. Tiews; St Louis: Concordia, 2010), 393.

1 comment:

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Too often apologists such as myself are labeled "heresy hunters." Too often I have been told, "Doctrine doesn't matter - only love matters!