“I don’t like or agree with the Church’s Position on ________.”
“I don’t like or agree with the church’s position on (insert topic here).” “I don’t agree with the church’s position (or, pastor’s position) on abortion and euthanasia.” “The LCMS needs to change its position on homosexuality like the Pope and other churches have.” “If the church doesn’t change its position on not doing weddings for couples living together to fit with the times, it is going to die.” “What is the church’s position on divorce?” What is the church’s position on women pastors and the roles of men and women in home, church, and state?” “Is the church’s position still teaching a literal 6-day creation?” “What is the church’s current position on worship or who may commune?”
The major assumption or accusation behind phrasing questions this way is that Christ’s Church is a human and fallible institution that teaches the opinions and positions of man. Certainly, this is true when a church body takes a position that contradicts or goes beyond the Word of God. But the true Church is not a human institution. It is a divine institution that preaches God’s position not its own. The true Church, the body of Christ, is created by the Word of God and is charged to preach faithfully that Word of God. When I preach that abortion is a sin—Christ died for all sin and sinners—and all who repent and believe will go to heaven— this is not first my position or the church’s position. This is God’s position. The Church, publicly through her Called ministers, preaches God’s position, and by grace it is our position too—we believe, teach and confess it. But, again, first and foremost it is God’s position, I am just the messenger.
When people say they don’t agree with the Church’s position on something like a literal 6-day creation, they are really denying the inspiration of Holy Scripture. They are putting themselves above the Word of God, denying the Word of God, and reducing the Church to the place where men preach opinions and not the place where God speaks His ‘opinions’ to us. Pastors and local churches change, but the message remains the same, and Christ Church (believers) will endure to the end of time.
Martin Luther in his Church Postil of 1522, insisted on calling the Church a ‘mouth house.’ God’s Word is meant to be preached in and by the Church. It is God’s mouth, His Word, His position. We are to listen to God’s Word preached into our ears and not follow the opinions and myths of men. My sermons are not what I say or what the church says, but thus sayeth the Lord.
I leave you with the Holy Spirit’s Word via St. Paul to Pastor Timothy and to all true Christian preachers: [2Ti 4:1-5 ESV] 1 I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. 3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. 5 As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
God’s mouth to you,
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