Monday, August 17, 2009

Do You Renounce

In the rite of Holy Baptism the person who is baptized is asked to confess the Christian faith, which includes the following statement and vow as the very first:

Do you renounce the devil and all his works and all his ways?

What are the works of the devil and all his ways? What does a person renounce with this vow?

Is compromise of doctrine a work or way of the devil?

Is compromise of practice a work or way of the devil?

Is acceptance of divisions in a congregation or church body, divisions that stem from divided understanding of doctrine and administration of the Sacraments, is this acceptance or tolerance a work or way of the devil?

Do you renounce?

Is this for real? Do people actually mean anything when they make this promise? Do people really mean that they reject the devil and his works and his ways and refuse to have anything to do with them?

Do you renounce?

How far does this question reach? After all, if this is treated seriously, it will completely change a person’s life. If this is treated seriously, it will affect every earthly relationship that the person has. If this is treated seriously, many former associations will also be renounced. If this is treated seriously, the person will be treading a very narrow path through life.

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (Psalm 119:105)

Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. (Matthew 7:13-15)

Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know. Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:1-6)

Do you renounce?

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