Author Topic: More proof Law/Gospel is only way to go  (Read 8329 times)

Darrell Wacker

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Re: More proof Law/Gospel is only way to go
« Reply #15 on: September 09, 2008, 01:45:07 PM »
I still maintain, however, that the pulpit on Sunday morning is NOT the place for political speech.  It is the place for God's law of condemnation and the Good News of Christ to be preached-no more than that, and certainly no less.  Our biggest problem is sin, death, and the devil, not government policies or political parties.  I prefer first things first.

Agreed. But, insofar as some out in the world have criticized the preaching of the Law (e.g., in the form of condemning unrepentant homosexual behavior, or condemning abortion and a political candidate's/party's support of it), and threatened the loss of tax-exemption, or worse. Sometimes, the proper proclamation of Law and Gospel will bleed over into the political. And that's ok. It might even result in the levying of taxes or in persecution. And that's ok, too.

-ghp
I see where you are coming from and agree whole-heartedly.  A pastor should not be fearful of proclaiming the truth because he is concerned with losing tax exempt status.  The truth is what it is, no matter the situation.  God's peace to you, brother.

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: More proof Law/Gospel is only way to go
« Reply #16 on: September 09, 2008, 02:34:19 PM »
Agreed. But, insofar as some out in the world have criticized the preaching of the Law (e.g., in the form of condemning unrepentant homosexual behavior, or condemning abortion and a political candidate's/party's support of it),
So, where in that preaching does the Gospel show up?

The law also condemns the unrepentant heterosexual bigot and those who are self-righteous because they are pro-life. I think that it is a misuse of the Law to single out only certain sins for condemnation without also condemning the sinners on the other side. We all are sinful and fall short of the glory of God. If the Law hints that only "they" are sinners and we are not, it is being misused.

Quote
Sometimes, the proper proclamation of Law and Gospel will bleed over into the political. And that's ok. It might even result in the levying of taxes or in persecution. And that's ok, too.
How does proclaiming the forgiveness of sins bleed over into the political? How does justification by God's grace through faith in Jesus Christ bleed over into the political?
"The church had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: More proof Law/Gospel is only way to go
« Reply #17 on: September 09, 2008, 02:36:23 PM »
I see where you are coming from and agree whole-heartedly.  A pastor should not be fearful of proclaiming the truth because he is concerned with losing tax exempt status.  The truth is what it is, no matter the situation.  God's peace to you, brother.
The truth we are to proclaim is that we are all sinners and God justifies sinners by his grace through faith in Jesus Christ. I don't see how that would have any bearing on our tax exempt status.
"The church had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

TravisW

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Re: More proof Law/Gospel is only way to go
« Reply #18 on: September 09, 2008, 02:52:45 PM »
It really depends on how far the left-hand kingdom wants to go with its legislation.  Granted, it's a hypothetical situation, but such a time could come that preaching certain aspects of law could qualify in some ways as "hate speech". It's not just a question of the church encroachin on the govt, but also the degree to which the govt decides to legislate morality. 

Layman Randy

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Re: More proof Law/Gospel is only way to go
« Reply #19 on: September 09, 2008, 02:56:52 PM »
It really depends on how far the left-hand kingdom wants to go with its legislation.  Granted, it's a hypothetical situation, but such a time could come that preaching certain aspects of law could qualify in some ways as "hate speech". It's not just a question of the church encroachin on the govt, but also the degree to which the govt decides to legislate morality. 

It seems that a movement is underway to declare the sinful nature of abortion at will and homosexual marriage as "hate speech", and to use tax-exempt status to attack it short of civil rights violation charges or actual legislation.

Dan Fienen

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Re: More proof Law/Gospel is only way to go
« Reply #20 on: September 09, 2008, 03:07:11 PM »
No matter what the legal system, and what the organization, sooner or later someone will try to subvert it to serve their own ends and they are to be resisted.  Whether it is the kingdom of the left trying to label preaching of law/Gospel hate speach, or preachers pretending in the pulpit that they are political flaks.  For that reason we need to be constantly vigilent and constantly careful to cooperate as much as possible with each other.  I do a weekly Bible study at a local senior residence, funded through HUD and administered by Lutheran Social Services.  One week our ususal meeting space and time was preempted by a rep from Social Security giving a presentation on some aspect of new Social Security rules and programs.  One of the Bible study went balistic - separation of church and state!  Well, they can use it that one day without throwing me out.

As to partisan politics from the pulpit, perhaps someone would know what would happen if say the United Way, or Red Cross, came out and endorsed/supported specific political candidates?  It seems to me that they would be in trouble with the IRS.  It seems to me that the rules are not so that churches don't endorse candidates, but that non-profits don't.

Dan
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Brian Stoffregen

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Re: More proof Law/Gospel is only way to go
« Reply #21 on: September 09, 2008, 03:09:35 PM »
It really depends on how far the left-hand kingdom wants to go with its legislation.  Granted, it's a hypothetical situation, but such a time could come that preaching certain aspects of law could qualify in some ways as "hate speech".
Sometimes it is! There are those who are not ashamed to proclaim their hatred towards homosexuals and/or abortion activists.

Quote
It's not just a question of the church encroachin on the govt, but also the degree to which the govt decides to legislate morality. 
The government is in the business of legislating moral behaviors.
"The church had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Darrell Wacker

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Re: More proof Law/Gospel is only way to go
« Reply #22 on: September 09, 2008, 03:53:03 PM »
Agreed. But, insofar as some out in the world have criticized the preaching of the Law (e.g., in the form of condemning unrepentant homosexual behavior, or condemning abortion and a political candidate's/party's support of it),
So, where in that preaching does the Gospel show up?

The law also condemns the unrepentant heterosexual bigot and those who are self-righteous because they are pro-life. I think that it is a misuse of the Law to single out only certain sins for condemnation without also condemning the sinners on the other side. We all are sinful and fall short of the glory of God. If the Law hints that only "they" are sinners and we are not, it is being misused.

Quote
Sometimes, the proper proclamation of Law and Gospel will bleed over into the political. And that's ok. It might even result in the levying of taxes or in persecution. And that's ok, too.
How does proclaiming the forgiveness of sins bleed over into the political? How does justification by God's grace through faith in Jesus Christ bleed over into the political?
The Gospel shows up in the declaration that our sins have been fully paid for by the life, death, and resurrection of our sins. I don't believe the poster meant that the proclamation of the Gospel bleeds into the political, but it's naive to think that the declaration of God's law won't do that.  No one likes to have it pointed out that the choices they have made are sinful, but that truth isn't any less truthful.   

You are certainly correct that the law condemns all sin-I've not seen anyone say anything contrary to that said here.  Homosexuality is no more of a sin than adultery, beating your wife, or hating your neighbor.  Sin is sin, and a pastor cannot be afraid to point it out, even when it is agains political correctness or the prevailing winds of the world.

Charles_Austin

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Re: More proof Law/Gospel is only way to go
« Reply #23 on: September 09, 2008, 04:13:22 PM »
No one can tell anyone what to preach or not to preach. But in our civil society, we have decided certain conditions attendant to being a tax-exempt organization. That status is a privilege, not a right. And there is a long history of case law, regulations and precedents relating to all tax-exempt organizations, both religious and non-religious.
If a pastor or church believes that God is calling them to support a particular candidate or party, or to raise funds for that candidate or party, or to issue "voters' guides" leading people to that candidate and party, no one will tell them that they cannot do so.
But it will cost that church their standing as a 501c3 organization.

ghp

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Re: More proof Law/Gospel is only way to go
« Reply #24 on: September 09, 2008, 04:22:45 PM »
Agreed. But, insofar as some out in the world have criticized the preaching of the Law (e.g., in the form of condemning unrepentant homosexual behavior, or condemning abortion and a political candidate's/party's support of it),
So, where in that preaching does the Gospel show up?

The law also condemns the unrepentant heterosexual bigot and those who are self-righteous because they are pro-life. I think that it is a misuse of the Law to single out only certain sins for condemnation without also condemning the sinners on the other side. We all are sinful and fall short of the glory of God. If the Law hints that only "they" are sinners and we are not, it is being misused.

Quote
Sometimes, the proper proclamation of Law and Gospel will bleed over into the political. And that's ok. It might even result in the levying of taxes or in persecution. And that's ok, too.
How does proclaiming the forgiveness of sins bleed over into the political? How does justification by God's grace through faith in Jesus Christ bleed over into the political?
The Gospel shows up in the declaration that our sins have been fully paid for by the life, death, and resurrection of our sins. I don't believe the poster meant that the proclamation of the Gospel bleeds into the political, but it's naive to think that the declaration of God's law won't do that.  No one likes to have it pointed out that the choices they have made are sinful, but that truth isn't any less truthful.   

True. Thanks for the positive construction, Darrell. I will add this clarification -- The Gospel is an "offense to the Jews, and folly to the Greeks", and in being such it's not good politics. It doesn't garner too many votes to tell folks that they are sinners, even if/when you follow it up with the good news that they are saved by Christ on the cross. In order to apply the Balm of Gilead, they must be first lashed with the Law.

You are certainly correct that the law condemns all sin-I've not seen anyone say anything contrary to that said here.  Homosexuality is no more of a sin than adultery, beating your wife, or hating your neighbor.  Sin is sin, and a pastor cannot be afraid to point it out, even when it is agains political correctness or the prevailing winds of the world.

In a certain sense, you are correct; however Paul does speak to homosexuality as being somewhat different, in that it represents a particularly nasty hardening of the heart towards God...

-ghp

Dan Fienen

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Re: More proof Law/Gospel is only way to go
« Reply #25 on: September 09, 2008, 05:35:04 PM »
Let us not forget, in addition, that just because you are being offensive, doesn't mean you are right.  The Gospel is offensive to many, but so are many other things that should be offensive.  The trick for us Christians is to not add to the offense that some will take at the Gospel by being unnecessarily offensive ourselves.

Dan
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Darrell Wacker

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Re: More proof Law/Gospel is only way to go
« Reply #26 on: September 09, 2008, 05:38:51 PM »
Let us not forget, in addition, that just because you are being offensive, doesn't mean you are right.  The Gospel is offensive to many, but so are many other things that should be offensive.  The trick for us Christians is to not add to the offense that some will take at the Gospel by being unnecessarily offensive ourselves.

Dan

Agreed.  My wife says Lutherans are offensive due to their afinity for bratwurst, sauerkraut, and adult Lutheran beverages.

pearson

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Re: More proof Law/Gospel is only way to go
« Reply #27 on: September 09, 2008, 05:45:14 PM »
The government is in the business of legislating moral behaviors.

I'm guessing here, Brian, that this statement is related to your description of how the first use of the Law works.

But I gotta say, regardless of its motivation, this is as indefensible an assertion as any I have ever read on this forum.

Tom Pearson

edoughty

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Re: More proof Law/Gospel is only way to go
« Reply #28 on: September 09, 2008, 05:52:43 PM »
Let us not forget, in addition, that just because you are being offensive, doesn't mean you are right.  The Gospel is offensive to many, but so are many other things that should be offensive.  The trick for us Christians is to not add to the offense that some will take at the Gospel by being unnecessarily offensive ourselves.

Dan

Agreed.  My wife says Lutherans are offensive due to their afinity for bratwurst, sauerkraut, and adult Lutheran beverages.

Don't be forgetting lutefisk. . .

Erik

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: More proof Law/Gospel is only way to go
« Reply #29 on: September 09, 2008, 06:40:23 PM »
You are certainly correct that the law condemns all sin-I've not seen anyone say anything contrary to that said here.  Homosexuality is no more of a sin than adultery, beating your wife, or hating your neighbor.  Sin is sin, and a pastor cannot be afraid to point it out, even when it is agains political correctness or the prevailing winds of the world.
So are you willing to proclaim from the pulpit as strongly that those who are anti-homosexuals are sinning and those who are anti-abortion are sinning just as much as the homosexuals and the women who seek abortions?
"The church had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]