Pastor's Message



DISCIPLEGRAM

The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod

St. Paul Lutheran Church, Preschool & Child Care

743 22-1/2 Avenue, Cumberland, WI

Area Code 715; Office 822-8690; FAX 822-5018

Web Site:www.stpaulcumberland.com; E-Mail: spc100@ centurytel. net

Pastor: John Miels, jmiels89@gmail.comt

Secretary: Barb Ohlemann (Tue-Fri, 8-1)

 

Disciplegram

But I Have a Granddaughter Who….


“But I Have A Granddaughter Who . . .” is a phrase that a pastor in our circuit heard from a member. Maybe we have heard something similar with just a different relationship. The conversation goes to excuse their behavior because they are close to you.  

As Christians, we have to come to grips with the fact that we are living with a world that is hostile against the things that we hold dear. We are called to cling to God's Word, to listen to what He says, in spite of, and even in defiance of the world all around us. As such, it's a wakeup call. What credit is it to us if we follow the words of our Lord when they are popular, or they make us feel good? What good is a Bible if its word has hold on us only when we like what it has to say? If that's the way we think about it, we might as well just throw out the Bible, and be done with it all. Teaching them to observe all things, says Christ. 

But now, it's all personal. And I suppose that's the way it's always been. The conversation went something like this; “My granddaughter is in a gay marriage, so who am I to say anything?” A couple of things. First, in Christ, we have a new family. Our ultimate allegiance goes to God our Father, and to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This is the family that will endure beyond the grave. But what of our earthly family? What of friends? Well, I've often said that our friends can be our worst enemy. And I don't mean that in a bad way, or in a way that discounts the blessing of friendship. But so often our friends will be enablers, to as not to upset us. And we will in fact enable our friends, when we really should give them a word of caution or warning, precisely because we love them.

So also, family. Our Lord is the Lord of peace. And yet, Jesus asks, "Do you think that I have come to bring peace? No. I have come to bring a sword. To divide sister from sister, mother from daughter from son, and all the like. So, we have a decision to make when a family member goes against God's will. Whether it’s a gay marriage issue or just disobedient to mom and dad. We can pretend that it is ok, and even support the decision, or we can speak the truth. Now, this is hard for some to recognize, but the side of love is the side of the truth. Worth repeating, the side of love is the side of truth. When we accept and even celebrate our the sins of our loved ones, we show them no love at all. If we love, truly loved our friends and family, we will not run from the truth.

Now, this gets us to the hot button topic of the day, homosexuality, and following that, gay marriage. I am convinced that the greatest spiritual danger comes not in the sin itself, which is grave, but in its effects on others. So, Paul can say, "For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error." That's Romans 1, right after Paul talks about not being ashamed of the gospel. You see, you can't be ashamed of what Paul says here, without being ashamed of the gospel. 

But that's not the worst of it. A worse sin still follows. After all, Paul speaks of envy, murder, strife, deceit. He throws in gossips, those who are disobedient to their parents, as well as the heartless and the ruthless. And yeah, we can all be indicted by such a list. Who among us is not such a sinner? But here is the rub. The problem comes not simply with the sin, but when we throw as parade for it. When smile and even bless the sin. Imagine, now a parade for disobedience to parents, or imagine a movement called "Murder Pride" or a deceit rainbow. As Paul writes, "Though they know God's decree that those who practice such things deserve to, they not only do them, but give approval to those who practice them.

 True love begins with God, and comes from truth. True love means wanting our loved ones to be faithful to the God who loves them. True love has nothing to do with embracing sin, and everything to do with repentance, knowing that we must all appear before the judgement seat of God, and knowing that what we need is not acceptance, but forgiveness. And, if we love our granddaughter or friend, we won't withhold from them this truth, which alone can say, for this gospel is the power of God for salvation for all of us poor, miserable sinners. Repentance and forgiveness. That's the way.

Pastor John, walking with you as we journey to Christ in heaven.



 


Your brother in Christ,

Pastor John