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Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Ephesians 6:10-13 KJV

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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Luther's Words Once Kept the Faith Alive in All the Synods.
Now He Is Gausewitzed,
Praised But Ignored.

Here is text from a couple of selections from the Sander devotions.  They came along just at the time of the post of the ELCA pastor's resignation from the ELCA.  I thought of sending it as a comment to that post, but wasn't sure it would fit in one frame.
Luther on two texts:

1 Peter 4:11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God...

“It is necessary that both preachers and hearers take heed to doctrine and have clear, unmistakable evidence that what they embrace is really the true Word of God revealed from heaven; the doctrine given to the holy and primitive fathers, prophets and apostles; the doctrine Christ himself confirmed and commanded to be taught.  We are not permitted to employ the teachings dictated by any man’s pleasure or fancy.  We are not allowed to adapt the Word to mere human knowledge and reason.  We are not to trifle with the Scriptures, to juggle with the Word of God, as if it would admit of being explained to suit the people; of being twisted, distended and patched to effect peace and agreement among men.” (Page 143)

Ezekiel 34:2 Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flocks?

“It is not enough that we preach correctly, which the hireling can also do; but we must watch over the sheep, that the wolves, the false teachers, may not break in, and we must contend for the sheep against the wolves with the Word of God…..Such are the good shepherds, of whom few are found.  They are the righteous apostles and preachers, who are but the mouthpieces of Christ, through whom Christ preaches.  The hirelings do not care for the sheep, receive temporal wages, riches and honor and feed themselves.  They are good to a certain extent, and Christ also preaches through them, but they are not true to the sheep.  This may be seen in our shepherds today who almost entirely subvert their office.  In times past, the princes gave bishops and priests great treasures, besides land and people, so that pious bishops did not want to accept the office, they even fled from it; but that is entirely changed at present and there is a running and racing after the best bishoprics.  The greatest rush is for the offices which afford the best livings.  They seek their own, not the things of Christ.”  (Page 144-145)

Devotional Readings from Luther’s Works for Every Day of the Year, Augustana Book Concern, Rock Island, IL, 1915, Sander, John; readings for April 19 and 20.

Ray Klatt