The Glory Has Departed
Norma Boeckler, Artist in Residence
Bethany Lutheran Church.
Thursday, April 28, 2011
"Holy Scripture carries with it its own evidence of its divine source and authority. While the historical evidence of its claims is to be gratefully cherished, and affords the proof of highest probability, Holy Scripture speaks with absolute certainty to those to whom it portrays the deepest secrets of their hearts, and whose felt wants it completely supplies. The inner testimony of the Spirit is the strongest and most convincing of all arguments. The fact that this is always at hand and universally applicable, raises it above all arguments that depend upon the researches of the learned. Here is an argument that the humblest and most unlettered apprehend with no less force than the profoundest of scholars."
Henry Eyster Jacobs, The Elements of Religion, Decatur: Repristination Press, 1997, p. 28.
GJ - This quotation explains why so many laity run circles around the clergy in Biblical knowledge and understanding. The clergy--especially the mediocre students--like to claim an MDiv as proof that they know more. Here Jacobs shows why the the power lies in the Word and not in the sheepskin.
An abusive priest-sect like WELS is always eager to bully the laity into submission, based on their descent from Mount Sausage Factory and their official positions in one of the fastest dying cults in the Western hemisphere. The CLC (sic) is racing it to the bottom.
I feel real sorrow for people like the attorney from St. Peter, Freedom. He knows the truth from the Word of God, but he is ordered to play by a set of rules that do not apply to the clergy, the Circuit Pastor or the Doctrinal Pussycat. The SP is working on it - give him another 30 years or so.
Here is the great shame of the Syn Conference seminaries. They teach their boys to worship Holy Mother Synod. No matter which sect they belong to, theirs is the best, the greatest, and the most perfect. The others are pitiful, even though they are remarkably similar in abusing people and teaching false doctrine.
The LCA had the same triumphalistic attitude. They took their superiority right into a black hole of rapid decline on all fronts.
When laity try to get the clergy to deal with justification by faith, they are ridiculed and intimidated. Luther explained this well - the apostles were not spared, nor was the Son of God. The cross is painful because it is the cross, not a temporary annoyance.
The cross is God's gracious plan, to purify our faith, to deepen our trust in His Word - not in human institutions. In Luther's day, the Catholic Church was the only Christian entity. The pope had spiritual and earthly power over his subjects. Clinging to the Word meant abandoning all the securities and verities of life. It is better today in many ways, but the feeling of jumping off the cliff is similar.
Those who trust in human institutions quickly adapt to the fad of the day, from Bible translations to various movements. They juggled the Word of God and impress themselves with their clever arguments, fed to them via the official synod talking points.
In contrast, those who place the Word of God above all will resist the fads and movements of the moment. They are taught by the Holy Spirit in the Word, not by wolves beating them with sheepskins.