Author Topic: Jesus as Personal Lord and Savior  (Read 5657 times)

RogerMartim

  • ALPB Forum Regular
  • ****
  • Posts: 329
  • Vede que grande amor nos tem concedido o Pai...
    • View Profile
Jesus as Personal Lord and Savior
« on: January 08, 2015, 01:20:57 PM »
I know this isn't Lutheranspeak but I have heard a few Lutherans express their faith that they have "accepted" Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior. Just the other day in the newspaper there was an obituary that quoted this very same thing and that the woman was a life-long Lutheran. My mother's neighbors who have always been Mr. and Mrs. Lutheran left the Lutheran church because not enough of us are expressing that Jesus is our personal Lord and Savior. (They left to join a megachurch.)

While I wouldn't say that it is exactly heretical language, there seems to me that there is a form of work-righteousness at play here that if you haven't "accepted" you aren't going anywhere.

As a pastor, would you counter this view or not?

Donald_Kirchner

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 11776
    • View Profile
Re: Jesus as Personal Lord and Savior
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2015, 01:30:28 PM »
Don Kirchner

"Heaven's OK, but itís not the end of the world." Jeff Gibbs

peter_speckhard

  • ALPB Administrator
  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 18098
    • View Profile
Re: Jesus as Personal Lord and Savior
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2015, 01:49:34 PM »
I always ask people what they perceive to be the meaning of "personal" in the phrase "personal Lord and Savior." What does it add that merely describing Him as "Lord and Savior" leaves out?

Michael Slusser

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 5387
    • View Profile
Re: Jesus as Personal Lord and Savior
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2015, 01:56:48 PM »
I always ask people what they perceive to be the meaning of "personal" in the phrase "personal Lord and Savior." What does it add that merely describing Him as "Lord and Savior" leaves out?
Possibly the pro me ?

Peace,
Michael
Fr. Michael Slusser
Retired Roman Catholic priest and theologian

Charles Austin

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 13966
    • View Profile
    • Charles is Coloring
Re: Jesus as Personal Lord and Savior
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2015, 02:19:31 PM »
Do we not say that at confirmation our young people affirm for themselves the faith imparted to them at holy baptism? Is this not a "decision for Christ"?
I have never understood the Lutheran suspicion of such things as "decisions" for Christ or "personal" Lord and Savior, except that we are obsessively afraid of anything in faith that might sound like a "work."
Retired ELCA Pastor: We are not a very inter-Lutheran forum. Posters with more than 1,500 posts: ELCA-6, with 3 of those inactive/rare and 1 moderator; LCMS-25, with 4 inactive/rare and 1 moderator. Non-Lutherans, 3; maybe 4 from other Lutheran bodies. 3 formerly frequent posters have gone quiet.

Weedon

  • Guest
Re: Jesus as Personal Lord and Savior
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2015, 02:43:15 PM »
I think people became suspicious of it because of what it often is used to say about God's decision to BE that person's Lord and Savior, a decision that Baptism proclaims and reveals. I.e., that God's decision and choice is not what make a person a Christian. "You did not choose me, but I chose you..."
« Last Edit: January 08, 2015, 02:45:34 PM by Weedon »

David Garner

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 7525
    • View Profile
    • For He is Good and Loves Mankind
Re: Jesus as Personal Lord and Savior
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2015, 02:53:03 PM »
Do we not say that at confirmation our young people affirm for themselves the faith imparted to them at holy baptism? Is this not a "decision for Christ"?
I have never understood the Lutheran suspicion of such things as "decisions" for Christ or "personal" Lord and Savior, except that we are obsessively afraid of anything in faith that might sound like a "work."

I don't think it has as much to do with works (though I share your view on the Lutheran suspicion of works in other areas).  I think the issue is that it comes from a sectarian source, specifically, Arminian evangelicalism.  A "decision for Jesus" is not so much a term to be viewed apart from that context, because if we view it that way, you're right -- we all make such decisions all the time.  In most American Christian use, rather, it is a term of art which comes from a flawed theology.  That, I think, is the root of Lutheran objections to the use of the term, and I share those objections in that sense.

I would add that "personal Lord and Savior" is way too "me and Jesus" for my theological grounding as an Orthodox Christian.  We believe we are saved in communion rather than in isolation from others.  Jesus isn't my "personal Lord and Savior."  He is the Lord and Savior of the entire universe.  I simply hope to be counted among those who receive the great benefit of His mercy. 
Orthodox Reader and former Lutheran (LCMS and WELS).

Richard Johnson

  • ALPB Administrator
  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 10440
  • Create in me a clean heart, O God.
    • View Profile
Re: Jesus as Personal Lord and Savior
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2015, 02:57:48 PM »
"I believe that Jesus Christ, true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true man, born of the Virgin Mary, is my Lord, who has redeemed me, a lost and condemned person . . ."

So yes, he's my "personal Lord and Savior." BUT it's his work, his grace, not my own choice.
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

Weedon

  • Guest
Re: Jesus as Personal Lord and Savior
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2015, 03:11:07 PM »
Richard,

As we sing:

"Lord, tis not that I did choose Thee,
That I know could never be,
For this heart would stilll refuse Thee
Had Thy grace not chosen me..."

J. Thomas Shelley

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 4062
    • View Profile
Re: Jesus as Personal Lord and Savior
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2015, 03:15:39 PM »
It is a syllogism:

Jesus is the Savior of the world.

I am in (but not of) the world.

Therefore Jesus is my Savior.
Greek Orthodox-Ecumenical Patriarchate

Baptized, Confirmed, and Ordained United Methodist.
Served as a Lutheran Pastor October 31, 1989 - October 31, 2014.
Charter member of the first chapter of the Society of the Holy Trinity.

Chrismated Antiochian Orthodox, eve of Mary of Egypt Sunday, A.D. 2015

peter_speckhard

  • ALPB Administrator
  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 18098
    • View Profile
Re: Jesus as Personal Lord and Savior
« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2015, 03:29:31 PM »
I refer to President Obama as the president, not my personal president. In cases where there are many possibilities, like doctors or lawyers, where being a doctor is not the same thing as being my doctor, the word "personal" or at least the possessive "my" can make a difference. But there is only one Lord and Savior. There is no logical way of recognizing Jesus as Lord and Savior without recognizing Him as "personal Lord and Savior."

Richard Johnson

  • ALPB Administrator
  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 10440
  • Create in me a clean heart, O God.
    • View Profile
Re: Jesus as Personal Lord and Savior
« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2015, 04:34:43 PM »
Richard,

As we sing:

"Lord, tis not that I did choose Thee,
That I know could never be,
For this heart would stilll refuse Thee
Had Thy grace not chosen me..."

Or, as some sing (but this one, by an anonymous author, hasn't made it into Lutheran hymnals, far as I know):

I sought the Lord, and afterward I knew
he moved my soul to seek him, seeking me.
It was not I who found, O Savior true;
no, I was found by thee.
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

Dave Likeness

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 5153
    • View Profile
Re: Jesus as Personal Lord and Savior
« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2015, 04:41:06 PM »
The Billy Graham Rallies from yesteryear brought
decisions for Christ to the forefront for our generation.
He would ask the people in the stadium to come forward
and confess Jesus Christ before men.  He told them the
buses would wait and to start walking down the aisles to
receive some free literature.  This peer pressure tactic
worked inside the heads of people that conversion was
up to them.

Charles Austin

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 13966
    • View Profile
    • Charles is Coloring
Re: Jesus as Personal Lord and Savior
« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2015, 04:47:56 PM »
"peer pressure tactic"? What a cynical view of a pastor's attempt to get people to respond to the Gospel! Have you ever been at Billy Graham rally? Have you ever talked to the people who came to Jesus during one of those rallies?
Retired ELCA Pastor: We are not a very inter-Lutheran forum. Posters with more than 1,500 posts: ELCA-6, with 3 of those inactive/rare and 1 moderator; LCMS-25, with 4 inactive/rare and 1 moderator. Non-Lutherans, 3; maybe 4 from other Lutheran bodies. 3 formerly frequent posters have gone quiet.

David Garner

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 7525
    • View Profile
    • For He is Good and Loves Mankind
Re: Jesus as Personal Lord and Savior
« Reply #14 on: January 08, 2015, 05:28:55 PM »
"peer pressure tactic"? What a cynical view of a pastor's attempt to get people to respond to the Gospel! Have you ever been at Billy Graham rally? Have you ever talked to the people who came to Jesus during one of those rallies?

I was a Baptist for 31 years.  I don't think Pastor Likeness has expressed a universal characterization of the altar call.  But I think he has expressed an accurate, if non-universal characterization.

I've been to services where if no one shows up, the altar call continues until someone comes forward.  I will also say that for this very reason, my Baptist relatives hate it when a pastor has an altar call at a funeral.
Orthodox Reader and former Lutheran (LCMS and WELS).