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Monday, October 08, 2007 

One Of These Things... Part Deux, The Answer

I just about forgot to give my answer to the second of the One Of These Things posts. I’ve been a little busy on the vocational side of the house here in the haut south. I was only home for two weeks last month and clearly my posting suffered. So I’m back now and hopefully I’ll be able to post with a little more frequency.

The one picture that is not like the others is picture number four. While some folks thought the first One Of These Things was really a trick question, it was this post that I was having a little fun. In the first three pictures, three different Christian bodies, (as in denominations, but none of them Lutheran. I just don’t believe this a Lutheran vs. everybody else issue.) are at least talking about Jesus.

A number of folks seem to think that my criticism of the national youth gathering was focusing on what they were doing. Nothing could be further from the truth. My criticism was of what the focus of the national youth gatherings seemed to be. Nearly everybody that either I talked to personally or who commented on my comments brought up the fact that the highlight of the gathering was the emotional impact of the event. One of the kids in my youth group had said they enjoyed the national gathering precisely because didn’t remind them of church. I’ve said ad nauseam that I have trouble supporting events that say purport to be church but has to be explained as church. At the end of the day I wasn’t criticizing what the kids were “doing” but where their focus was.

The reason that is important is that Christ and His gifts are objective rather than subjective. Nothing we do effects the gifts themselves. But if we look inward and make those gifts dependent on how we feel, we have taken our eyes off the prize, Christ.

With that being said, picture four “looks” like something we do in church every Sunday. But looks can sometimes be deceiving. The Unitarians in picture four do not preach Christ crucified as the only way to the Father. Instead the Unitarian congregations put forth a theology where the all paths lead up the same mountains, if such a mountain even exists, and espouse that week after week. So while pictures two through four look like church, the Unitarians rejecting the Way to the Father and embracing a generic more “loving” and inclusive god, are by their very confession not Church.

So again, the second post was the trick question. Most everybody got the joke, some unfortunately didn’t. Hopefully, this post will clear up my position just a little bit. We shouldn’t focus on what we do, but rather the focus should be on the Him who should always be at the core of the Divine Service as well as all our theology, the Crucified Lord, Jesus the Christ, the Son of the living God.

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  • I'm Frank Gillespie
  • From The Haut South
  • Confessional Lutheran
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