Tuesday, August 2, 2011

If we lived back then....

Matthew 23:29-36 (ESV)
"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and decorate the monuments of the righteous, [30] saying, 'If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.' [31] Thus you witness against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. [32] Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers. [33] You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell? [34] Therefore I send you prophets and wise men and scribes, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some you will flog in your synagogues and persecute from town to town, [35] so that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of innocent Abel to the blood of Zechariah the son of Barachiah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar. [36] Truly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.
“If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have taken part with them in the shedding the blood of the prophets.” Ever heard that line before? I hear it every now and then. People looking back on history, and thinking we are so much more enlightened now. We wouldn’t have done that. Or that was so silly. I rest assured history will be no less harsh on my generation. It’s easy to sit in judgment over Israel in the first century, or throughout the Old Testament. But the truth is, they are but a mirror of ourselves. We are just as guilty of the same things, and but by the grace of God we would not believe. In fact, I find it is most often those most appauled by the events of Biblical history, who are most often most guilty of these things today. In the end I think the best we can do with our hypocrisy is recognize it, confess it, and be forgiven of it.
Not that Luther was a Prophet in the OT sense of seer, though as outspoken proclaimer of God’s word he certainly was, but he makes for a great illustration of this point taking place today. I find today that people who appeal to Luther most, are not actually Lutherans. I actually think reformed are more apt to quote Luther in a sermon or lecture than Lutherans. It’s quite amazing. They quote him, praise him, and still manage to ignore him. They take over Wittenburg and ban his theology in the same breath with which they order a statue to be raised in his honor. They treat the Bible in the same way. They quote what they like, and ignore what they don’t want to understand. They praise it, talk about inerrancy and inspiration and in the same breath they defend women’s ordination, deny baptism to the children Jesus says bring onto me, and refuse to believe it is his body and blood in the Lord’s Supper. But yes, had they lived back then, they’d be different.

No comments: