Tuesday, April 4, 2017
Romans 16:17-18: I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.
There are many people today who are "health conscious." Being health conscious is good. We need to be aware of what we eat and drink and to be good stewards of the bodies we were given. And there are extreme health conscious people. Extreme health conscious people are perceived as "health nuts." They are perceived as "meat haters," "radical vegans," and the like. Then there are the responders to the extreme health conscious people. They are people perceived as "veggie haters" and "radical meat eaters." And now a controversy is over food. And "everybody loves a controversy."
The problem with controversies is what happens as a result. Nothing happens as a result. No discussion over truly healthy eating habits. No activity regarding truly beneficial ways to live better. Only arguing ensues.
The same thing happens in God's Church. There are times we get embroiled in some theological controversy. Sides are taken. People are called names. Accusations fly. And you know what happens when this takes place? Nothing. No souls are saved. No disciples are being formed and equipped. The light of the Gospel is covered over with controversy. And Satan is laughing.
God calls us to avoid the controversies. God leads us to "make disciples." God directs us to "seek and to save that which is lost." Engaging in dialogue regarding theology and practice is great. We need the dialogue because it helps us to better know what and in whom we believe. It helps us to better practice our faith and life. Let us use the dialogue to strengthen our faith in God and in the work of Jesus for the forgiveness of sins. Let us BOTH learn and grow from God AND connect people to Jesus. Let's pray.
Father God, lead away from controversial stuff that leads us away from the calling and life at hand. Let us love and forgive and empower us to learn and serve You with all of our hearts and minds. We pray this in Jesus' name. And all God's children say...
Pastor Robert Hemsath joined Faith Lutheran Church and School as the Senior Pastor in January 2017. Pastor Hemsath comes to FLC from Christ the King Lutheran Church in Waxahachie, TX. He has also served congregations in Aberdeen, ID and Pocatello, ID. He has been a Lutheran pastor for the past 20 years.