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Showing posts from October, 2017

Why My Conscience Loves Martin Luther

Martin Luther swore himself into a monastic life in a moment of dread during a fierce lightning storm. His prayer ironically was offered to St. Anne, inaugurating a journey that would lead him down the road to reformation that would include, among other things, denouncing the intercession of saints.
This month commemorates the 500th anniversary of the start of the Protestant Reformation. The story of its conception has had a share of the kindle that sparked a world-wide reform of Christian faith. It is an account in which many, among them pastors like me, can refresh our fretful consciences.
It was during Martin's time as a monk that he became overwhelmed with guilt over his depravity. He went to confession, again and again, seeking absolution for his sins, “He confessed frequently, often daily, and for as long as six hours on a single occasion.” Johann von Staupitz, Luther’s spiritual adviser, of whom he said, “if it had not been for Dr. Staupitz, I would have sunk in hell,” grew t…

Trust, Faith, Belief

Trust, faith and belief are synonyms. Trust is a powerful thing. When we say we trust someone or something, it affords it the character of being trustworthy. This is true of living beings as well as inanimate objects. If I trust a bridge, I am putting my faith in a structure to hold the weight of whatever I put upon it. I trust it enough to walk over, to drive a vehicle on top of it, or to be undaunted that traffic transverses it daily. I have faith in that bridge.

When we say we have faith in God, or we believe in Jesus, what we are saying is that we are confident he is fully capable to do what we trust him for, namely to save us. Like a bridge, faith in Jesus is to trust he will support us to cross over to the other side.

Trust is usually not given, but earned. We don't altogether trust strangers (for good reason) and we certainly don't trust those who have demonstrated themselves to be untrustworthy (for even better reason). I would not hand a newborn baby to a complete st…