Friday, May 11, 2007

Conventions and the Abomination of Desolation

And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)

Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.
(Matt 24:14-18)

I have noticed a considerable amount of hubbub being generated by those who are preparing for synodical convention. This I have noticed from various blogs and e-mails of pastors who are members of the LC-MS. I have read mentions of the size of the synodical workbook. It sounds as though it is bigger and carries more weight than the Bible! For years I have heard and read plans by conservatives and confessionals as well as the broad spectrum to the left of these, regarding the means by which they hope to save the synod or to reform the synod. All of these involve legal machinations in convention or even through courts of law.

With this I have come to wonder about the applicability of our Lord’s warning in Matthew 24. Are these things signs that should be noted with concern?

As I observed these things, it caused me to realize that I could no longer pretend to be a part of them. Many people think that I chose to leave the LC-MS. The reality is that I finally allowed myself to be honest with myself so that I admitted that I was not really a part of the LC-MS.

On the matter of conventions and the many machinations of a synodical body, a question has surfaced that will not allow itself to be submerged or buried.

What do these conventions and various machinations demonstrate regarding church bodies that are created and maintained by these inventions and works of men?

The Lord declares that He creates and maintains His Church by means of the pure administration of His Word and Sacraments.

Those who write constitutions and bylaws and present resolutions in convention and boards and committees and commissions and seek to create and maintain the Church through these, what do they thereby demonstrate regarding their confidence in the means by which the Lord declares His Church to be created and preserved? When a church is created and ruled by means of constitutions and bylaws and amendments and resolutions and Roberts Rules of Order, who really creates and maintains the church? Whose marks does such a church bear. Whose image does such a church reflect?

When this is what is observed standing in the holy place, is this to be counted as signs of God’s gracious activity or as an abomination of desolation? Are the churches that are ruled in this manner places of unity in the Gospel of God’s mercy in Christ, or are they places from which the Lord Jesus warns that we should flee into the mountains to avoid the destruction that is coming upon them? Should we turn back to get what is in the house or to gather our clothes? Should we stay until those who are busy gathering the household items and their clothes are ready to flee with us? Should we try one more set of resolutions in convention just to be sure that what we see is really as bad as we know it to be? Or should we submit to the goading of the Holy Spirit, and having fled to the safety of the mountains ourselves, pull out our binoculars and keep watch for those who eventually stumble along the mountain paths, running to them to help them and to tend their wounds?

What does the Lord Jesus say?

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Revelation 3:22 "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.""

Does ANYONE ELSE hear besides this man?