Wednesday, January 28, 2004

The church is no substitute for faith

I would have to draw myself that good 'ol third-way of confessional Lutheranism in terms of ACVII. Both the American Protestant love-fest with growth and the ELCAUSARCPCUSA dependence on some kind of visible authority both seem to use visibility as a substitute for faith in Christ Jesus.

The radical nature of the Gospel slams this big-church pastor in the heart in the realization and confession that I cannot know who belongs to the church. My job is to preach the Word and rightly administer the sacraments.

But what about our endless scouring of the membership rolls to see who might be falling through the cracks? What of the survey after survey sent out to see if we are "meeting needs" and what new things we might try to "fill the pews?"

In my reading of ACVII this is all shown to be poppycock.

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