Monday, July 12, 2004

When you get a good night's sleep after a bottle of Chimay Ale that gets rid of the lactic acid that has made you crabby because of twelve hours of basketball, you tend to look at things just a little differently. Thomas too the time to send me an e-mail and my friend Ryan sent me an e-mail as well. They both told me the same thing, and it was a conclusion I had reached already without their help, but thank you for the e-mails. I'm staying. As I sat back and thought about it, things are not nearly as bad as they might look at first. We still have the seminaries, who both came out with opinions to the effect that the Dispute Resolution Panel decision in Benke's case was theologically unsound. John has an excellent point about the smaller synods we are in altar and pulpit fellowship around the world. So, I sit here like a fly on a garbage can, waiting. Patiently. Waiting.

Bunnie brings a little good news.

It seems my comment on the church not being mission-minded or purpose-driven (note on grammar: the first thing that stuck out to me about The Purpose Driven Life was the fact that the author failed to hyphenate the compound adjective purpose-driven. How do people get Ph.Ds without knowing basic grammar?). So, the good Lutheran question has to be asked: what do I mean? Do I mean missions are bad? No. Do I mean missions are not important? No. Do I mean missions don't have their place? No. Do I mean missions shouldn't be our top priority? Yes. For those who wish to beat me over the head with a stick, you might want to quit reading that lousy English Bible translation and actually pull out your Greek Bible before burning me on a stake like John Hus. Like Monty Python said, "Blessed are the Greek." Do you have Matthew 28:18-20 yet? No. OK, I'll wait.

You will notice that the first verb is very poorly translated in most English Bibles. There is no imperative verb there. There's no command, which makes you wonder why most English Bibles translate a command there. Hmmmmm. That's besides the point, however. What you do see is a verb representing something that happened in the past and that action is continuing to now. Rather than go, we are just going. We are going because that's just what we do. A healthy church will baptize and teach, not because of any command, but because it is its nature. It cannot be a church without baptizing and teaching. So, what does a church teach? Pure doctrine. A church cannot be healthy without having the foundation of doctrine to sit upon. An unhealthy church puts missions on par with pure doctrine, and I believe that is because that church is reading the great commission as law rather than gospel. So, if we're so healthy and doctrinally pure, why are we trying to set the world ablaze?

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