Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Who are you for?

I am for Paul, I am for Apollos, I am for Cephas, I am for Christ.  Each person, each denomination, each group declaring their allegiance to a particular person.  It isn't that honoring a person is wrong, but when it is done to the division of God's church it is damnable.  Leaders don't make it any easier.  Some seemingly want people to follow them.  Sing their music, listen to their talks, read their books, study their commentaries!  They produce and expect the sheep to consume.

Luther hated monasticism and sometimes for good reasons.  But we sure have come a long way from the quiet brothers and sisters who ran from the accolades of men, writing in secret and teaching small numbers and then running to a new hiding place when popularity grabbed their throats with its cold, dead hands.  Instead we capitalize on the popularity and actually believe God is doing it for his glory.  I'm reminded of the rich man whom our Lord turned away.  The disciples gasped to hear Jesus say, "It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven", thinking that no one could be saved.  Why did they think this?  Because in their minds the rich were the ones whom God was blessing and therefore if the ones whom God blessed could not enter the kingdom how could they, poor as they were, enter the kingdom?  But Jesus didn't see it this way.  He said, "Blessed are the poor, blessed are those who week, blessed are the hungry".

When Luther and his Reformation destroyed monasticism (or attempted to) they  were not just razing an institution they were removing safeguards long in place since earliest times to protect the Church from the backwards slide she would continually find herself in.  How can those who live "in" the world possibly understand that they are becoming "of" the world if they judge themselves by themselves?  They need a standard.  They need a picture of what they were meant to be (albeit in its extreme) in order to see how far they have drifted.  Then, inspired, they will fight to regain what they once had: their first love.