Critical reviews (by Lutheran pastors and church musicians) of books and other resources for Christian worship, preaching, and church music from a perspective rooted in Holy Scripture, the Lutheran Confessions and good common sense. LHP Quarterly Book Review asks, "Is it worth the money to buy, the time to read, the shelf space to store, and the effort to teach?"
Feed: Stand Firm Posted on: Tuesday, December 06, 2011 4:00 AM Author: Scott Diekmann Subject: Doctrinally Pure?
Considering yesterday's post, the following comments from Pastor Wilken on the November 4 Issues, Etc.listener email segment related to the teaching of truth in the Church and the use of doctrinally pure materials seem rather timely:
If you had a potluck, at church, and your pastor showed up with a case of bottled water, you know, people out there at the picnic with the pot luck. They want to have somethin' to drink. He's in charge of bringin' the bottled water. O.K.? And he comes in with a couple cases of this stuff. And you look at it and it doesn't look right. The water's kind of yellow. Maybe some of the bottles look like they've been opened before – got some like dirty fingerprints on them. You see something floatin' in one of the bottles. And you say "Pastor, um, what's going on? Why did you bring this water to the potluck? I mean everybody's going to need to drink this water. It doesn't look right." "Well, look. I could have gone to the store where I know they sell the pure water, that hasn't been opened, that hasn't been opened, that doesn't got stuff floatin' in it. I could have done that. But, but this water is so interesting – you haven't tasted it yet. Now granted, some who have drunk this water have gotten sick. But I think our immune systems are strong enough here at this pot luck to drink this tainted bottled water. Sure we could have pure, but I think it's time to try this, and by the way, they're drinkin' this water at the church down the street, at their pot lucks and they, they're turnin' people away from their potlucks, they're so popular. They must be doing something right. I think it's this water. So we're all gonna drink it." Would you drink the water, just because the big box church down the street having their pot luck is turning people away serving this tainted water? That your pastor admits is tainted, but he thinks you might be able to drink it without gettin' sick. He thinks you might have a strong enough immune system. Would you give the water to your kids to drink? Or to a newborn baby? Or to one of your old people?
Now please, someone, anyone, explain to me how that is any different, than a pastor who knows better, who knows the difference between pure and false doctrine, who can tell the difference, brings in books like The Purpose-Driven Life, or whatever it is, into his congregation and says "Look, I know that not everything in here is what the Bible teaches, on things like Baptism and conversion and sin. I know it's not exactly what the Bible teaches. It's not pure. But I think we're, our immune system's strong enough to handle it. And he wants to teach your children too, and your old people, and you. Why would you accept that? Why, when you could have pure water? Oh, and by the way, the pure water's free, and the books will cost you. I mean, how many congregations went out, when The Purpose-Driven Life went out, good old-fashioned Lutheran congregations went out when The Purpose-Driven Life came out and they bought them by the carton, for everyone in the congregation to study. And they did it knowing full well what was in there. And I had conversations with pastors and church workers at the time who said "Yes we know it doesn't teach what the Bible teaches, but you don't understand. We can drink this without getting sick. We can imbibe of this and it's not gonna hurt us because we know that it's impure. Come on. If you wouldn't do it with water don't do it with something that can actually kill you spiritually.