Friday, December 09, 2011

Sad Sign

My next door neighbor, who was ninety-one years old, died. The memorial service was conducted. The family came for the precious memories attached to some of his possessions. Tuesday the auctioneer came to tote away the rest. All that remains is this sign:

Everyday this sign reminds me that my old friend is no longer to be found next door. Everyday I walk out to prepare for the day’s work and look to his back yard where he sat and called to me to visit, but his chair is no longer there. Every night I come home and see the same.

Death is not kind. It is a thief. But it is not the master thief, Satan is, who used God’s own words with just the tiniest change to trick our first parents so that they exchanged God’s gift of life for the delusion of free will, and with it, the choice of separation from God, that is, Sin. And the wages of Sin is death. Death is what so-called free will accomplishes. It is not free at all, but people imagine that it is.

Upon listening to the serpent, Adam immediately discovered the trap that the devil had set with the delusion of free will. Previously mankind lived in perfect freedom, the freedom of the communion of God’s holy and perfect will. All things were possible. All things were free. All things were good! But with the choice to “be like God” freedom was cast away for the bondage of “the knowledge of good and evil.” Now everything was corrupted and Adam had no freedom, no ability, to restore what he had destroyed. Now all of his offspring would be in bondage to this delusion, to this hopeless corruption of understanding and knowledge and will. Never again would mankind have the freedom of knowing only good.

This is why we dare not allow the Gospel to be compromised in even the tiniest degree. Any change, any compromise, has the same result as the tiny change that the serpent presented to the woman and through her to Adam. The Gospel is pure. The pure Gospel is life. A corrupted or compromised or adulterated Gospel is death.

Truly, the “For Sale” sign that has been placed over the churches and their preaching and practices is a very sad sign. But the true Church shall stand by the Lord’s promise and decree, and even the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Wherever the Holy Spirit gathers the few to the Pure Gospel and Sacraments, there the Church still stands, offering the pure water of Life and freedom to all who gladly receive it.

+ + +

No comments: