Monday, July 11, 2005

Swat Those Flies- Traditional Values

As you may remember, the theme for 2005 is Building Bridges. God has built his bridge down to us by the person and work of His Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ. As a result, we can approach God with freedom and confidence. Our sins are forgiven. We have access to God. In addition, He has built bridges between us. We are united together in His church, here at St. John. Furthermore, He helps us build bridges to those around us in the community. Our foundations for this bridge, as you also may remember are 6-fold: 1) The Bible 2) Lutheran Confessions 3) Lutheran Liturgy and Hymns
4) Traditional and Conservative Values 5) Practical Faith 6) Outreach to the Community and world.

This month, we look at the fourth foundation: Our Traditional and Conservative Values. In our Gospel lesson for June 19th, Matthew 10:24-33, Jesus warns the disciples about the persecution that they will endure from the world. As they are out spreading the Gospel, Satan will be there, around every corner, attempting to stop it. In the above Gospel lesson, Satan is called an interesting name. He is called Beelzebub. Satan has many names in Scripture, but this particular one is insightful. Literally, Beelzebub means, “Lord of the flies.”

For me, the summer time is a wonderful time of year. I admit that the hot temperatures can be difficult at times; but generally, it is wonderful to get outside and enjoy the sun. What is not so nice about the summer is all the flies that are out-and-about. These flies can annoy us especially when we are outside doing something enjoyable. These flies can even bite us and cause us pain.

There are many other types of “flies” that are out in our world today, not just in the summer time, but throughout the year. These “flies” can also annoy and cause us great pain. Some can even be deadly. These “flies” come from Satan himself, “the Lord of the flies.”

What are some of these flies that I am talking about? There are so many in our American culture. One of them is certainly the elevation of the individual. What matters most is me and only me, the world would say. My needs are the only thing that motivate me. When we stop caring about others and only look to ourselves, then there are so many problems.

What are some of the other flies that fly around our country today? They are: the undermining of the family, along with the refusal of parents to discipline their children; illicit immortality and sexual depravity, especially the acceptance of homosexuality; rampant drug use; the lack of concern for life at its beginning and at its end; a post-modern attitude that results in an unwillingness to take a stand for what is right and what is wrong.

The church has many “flies” in its midst as well? What are some of those flies? They are: a denial of the inerrancy of God’s Word; a refusal to teach God’s Word rightly and correctly; a rejection of the Sacraments of the Church; a false understanding of the mission of the church; a love of worldly and business philosophies; and worst of all, the love of money.

What can we do to deal with these flies? Get out the ultimate fly swatter: God’s Word. The precious Word of God gives it to us straight. It knocks the flies right out of the air. It flats them and takes the sting right out of the them. God’s Word lays out a traditional and conservative philosophy for us as Christians. So, let us cling to God’s Holy Word. It won’t let us down. It never has and it never will.

In Christ,

Pastor Jim Haugen


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