“The Lonely Way”
A Lutheran pastor, Rev. Sasse, wrote at the beginning of the twentieth century that to be a Lutheran is to walk on the lonely path between Roman Catholicism and Spiritualism (Reformed).1 I agree, especially in the Bible-belt, that it gets a bit lonely as a real (Bible-believing) Lutheran. However, the twenty-first century is different than the one before. To a greater degree, whether you were Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Baptist, Methodist, etc. a century ago, while you may not agree on salvation, you could agree on basic Biblical morality. There was agreement on the clear Words of Scripture and common sense that some activities were clearly sinful and unnatural. Not so today. As our culture drifts further away from the Word of God, I find that the path gets lonelier and lonelier. Many denominations on both sides of the path, and even nominal Lutherans, have quickly bowed the knee to the immoral statues that our world is quickly building.
Take for example a 2019 Graduation ‘prayer’ at Baylor University in Waco, historically a morally conservative Southern Baptist university. The ‘minister’ ‘prayed’, “God, give them the moral imagination to reject the old keys we are trying to give them to a planet that we are poisoning by running it on fossil fuels and misplaced priorities – a planet with too many straight, white men like me behind the steering wheel while others have been expected to sit quietly in the back of the bus.”2 This should be scandalous and shocking, but, the crowd didn’t boo, it cheered. This should sober you up to the kind of minds that are being shaped and sent into our world, even the ones coming out of a ‘christian’ environment. Now, to be fair to Baylor, this ‘minister’ isn’t in their official fellowship via convention. And, I know that alumni and faculty have spoken out against this prayer.3 I hope the University issues a public statement too.
Allow me to quickly point out the heresy in the ‘prayer’ and then I’ll return to my thesis of our path is getting lonelier by the day. First, fossil fuels aren’t sinful and neither is rejecting recycling and all the pharisaical environmentalism, as many have shown, it uses more energy to recycle than to not. We are free to pick a side in this argument and not call the other side sinful. Second, denouncing someone for the color of his [not her] skin is sinful. This is reverse racism and sexism at its finest. All racism is wrong. So much for judging a man by the content of his character and not the color of his skin. It also rejects God’s Order of Creation that men are to “steer the wheel” for the benefit of the women and children “on the bus.” The demonic doctrine of feminism isn’t winning the cultural war, it has won.4 And, I am not even to the worst part of the ‘prayer.’ He not only denounces whites. He not only denounces men. He denounces “strait, white men.” I wish he would have taken Logic 101 at Baylor, which I’m guessing might not be offered.
To compare the color of ones’ skin to a sexual desire and behavior is not apples to apples (maybe the orange has self-identified as an apple?). It isn’t sinful to be white or black, but it is sinful to be racist. It isn’t sinful to be male or female, as God has made you, but it is sinful not to treat both (not 99) sexes with equal value, dignity, and respect, and as an aside, this includes in the womb and outside of it. Male and female, child and parent, in the womb or outside, should all be treated with equal value, as God’s creation, even though there are distinctions in responsibilities and duties.5 But, to try to compare sodomy and other sinful and unnatural acts to race and sex is illogical. It is a state of being compared to an action in thought, word, or deed. But, this bus that he and most of academia are driving has already fallen off the cliff, including some within the LCMS.6 I’m sure you have seen the groups that are forming, like, “Pedophiles are people too.” “Why not? What is truth? Who’s to judge?” You are sorely mistaken if you don’t think things like pedophilia could become common, so thought your grandparents about sodomy. The devil’s logical weeds have already been sown and taken root in the hearts of men and women. Lord, have mercy!
Is it any wonder that the Church is shrinking to a remnant? Is it any wonder that our children are no longer Lutheran and dismiss parts of the Bible? Is it any wonder that even some in our Synod are falling off the path? Not to me. And, friends, this ‘prayer’ was at a ‘christian’ university. During my visit to Austin last month for the TX District pastors’ conference, I visited The University of Texas. It has rainbow flags everywhere. There are posters with LGBTQ, plus about 10 more letters that I still have no idea what they even mean. There were those advocating for infanticide and the like.
Yes, remaining steadfast in the faith is only going to get harder as the bus is coming to run us over. The devil and world attack the Church. What are we to do? We could flee. We could join them and sit at the back of the bus as they drive us to hell. Or, we can wake-up and realize that we are in a warzone and fight with the weapons the Lord has provided, chiefly His Word and Sacraments in the communion of saints, that will strengthen our faith.7 We should keep on preaching repentance and the forgiveness of sins. We should realize that we cannot serve two masters and be friends with the world and Jesus. Holding to and confessing all of God’s Word is hard and lonely, always has been (Rom. 1).
May the Lord strengthen our faith and give us strength to confess and die as lonely martyrs, if He so wills. Choose this day and century whom you will serve. May we say with Joshua and reach the Promised Land of heaven, “As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord (Josh. 24).” Christ, have mercy. Amen.
5 Even the comparison between race and sex isn’t equal. Men and women, child and parent, have different Biblical roles, but there are no pronouncements about different duties based on the shade of your skin or the amount of Native American blood you have.
6 While many of our Concordia Universities have remained faithful, not all have. Evolution and the gay agenda have been embraced by some. Read through our Synodical Convention minutes over the last decade and the overtures for this upcoming convention. https://steadfastlutherans.org/2019/03/concordia-portland-continues-doing-its-thing/
7 Listen to this for food for thought on what Christians might do in a post-Christian world: https://issuesetc.org/tag/the- benedict-option/
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