Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Yes Sound Theology Does Matter!

In my reading of Church History, it has always amazed me when faithful men and women were not afraid to do what was right; and to do what was right often cost them their lives. Certainly, as Lutherans, we can point to Martin Luther at various times and places in his life, when he risked his life for theology. Many of our church heroes actually lost their lives for theology. Yesterday, was St. Lawrence Day, a 3rd century Roman martyr ( ). We also remember Ignatius of Antioch, John Hus, and many others. I can't count how many times I have heard people say, including pastors, that, "Yes, sound theology is important; but, we must focus more on reaching the lost. Our Synod spends too much time on incessant bickering over this teaching and that teaching. We must do whatever it takes to bring people in." Today, it seems that pastors and leaders in our church say that they care about sound doctrine, when in fact they really don't. It is just lip service. A historian of the church will tell you that sound theology was primary in the various debates throughout our history. Imagine what would have happened had Luther not cared so much about sound theology, or Athanasius, or Augustine and or even Walther. Are you telling me that these heroes fought and some even died for nothing? So for them, sound teaching was important, but today not so much? Is the need for sound teaching somehow less today? I wonder if some of our Synodical leaders were faced with the threat of death, would they hold to certain teachings? Would they be willing to die for the correct understanding of the Liturgy, of Holy Communion, Baptism, the Office of the Ministry, just to name a few? I fear that if push came to shove, many in our Synod would give in all too easily. The point is this: the battle is always about teaching the Word correctly. It started with Adam and Eve and it will continue to the blessed return of Christ. May God give us the courage to stand up and fight for what is right, no matter what! It is better to be hated for who you are than loved for who you're not!