Thursday, November 8, 2018

Give Satan no help. . .

It is clear that Satan has delighted in some recent victories.  He has scandalized Christian morality with the constant news of sexual abuse within the churches and covered up or ignored by those charged with ecclesiastical supervision.  He has marginalized orthodox Christianity as an offensive voice which modern culture finds intolerable and therefore limited to the private sphere of what happens inside the worship service alone.  He has stolen the cause of virtue from Christ and the Gospel and made it the domain of the individual and his or her own preference, consent being the primary operative.  He has shown the leaders of the churches to be flawed people whose sinful desires and actions have used good office as cover or advantage for the pursuit of their lust.  All of this is true and with good cause gives people inside the church and outside some pause to reconsider the claims of Christianity and the essential character of the church as an institution.  Yet, we should give Satan no help.

It is our duty, though without any delight, to hold church leaders to the high standards of their offices but it is not our duty or domain to abandon the good offices of the pastoral ministry or dismiss those who faithfully preach the Word and administer the Sacraments of Christ to His people.  We should not fall victim to the temptation to add our voices to the voices outside the church who mock God's kingdom and work because of its fallen and sinful clergy.  We dare not suggest that morality is in the eye of the beholder nor should we consider the sins of the moment to be greater than the silent sins no longer condemned.  We have no cause from God to abandon the worship of God's people gathered around His Word and Table and those whom He has charged to deliver these means of grace to the people.  We can be shocked and offended, morally outraged and demanding of better supervision and more transparency, but we dare not offend the Lord by treating the church for whom Christ died and the public life of that church gathered around His Word and Table as something less than worthy or noble.  We are to give Satan no help and aid in tearing down what Christ has established!

Think about this when you speak about your leaders (Hebrews 13:17; Ecclesiastes 10:20; 1 Timothy 5:17; Romans 13:1, among others).  It is certainly not wrong to criticize wrong, especially when that wrong is not being noted by others.  But it is certainly and truly wrong to foster an attitude of criticism, to delight in that wrong, and to focus only upon the wrong and those who perpetuate that wrong.  We are not to give Satan aid and comfort in his quest to tear down what God has made.  That does not mean we are to remain silent but it does mean that we have a solemn responsibility in the manner in which we speak of one another and how we address things within our common life as Christian people.  To do otherwise is to aid Satan and become one of his own minions against the Lord and His work and kingdom. 


Anonymous said...

Pastor Peters, Tuesday, October 16, 2018 you wrote:
"In the end, however, when we speak it ought to flow from and back to Scripture as the source and norm;
• Confession as faithful exposition of that Scripture, • creed as summary of what Scripture says, • catechism as instructional book of doctrine and Scripture, and • liturgy as prayed Scripture.
If it doesn't, the talking, however nice, will be rather fruitless."
Thank you for these posts. Confessional and comforting. The Word gives me instruction on what I should do and your instruction gives me hope. Preach on.
Ex-Deacon Timothy Carter. Kingsport, TN

Carl Vehse said...

"It is clear that Satan has delighted in some recent victories."

For example, Satan relishes St. Andrew’s Presbyterian "Church", Austin, Texas, based on the description of a recent visit there by Rev. Paul Harris, pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church, in his article, "Message by Humanism; Music by Disney – Visit to a PCUSA."

Anonymous said...

Is Trinity your home congregation, Mr. Vehse? Who is your pastor, Pastor Harris?

Carl Vehse said...

Why do you want to know, Anonymous?

Anonymous said...

Pastor Peters wrote:

"We are not to give Satan aid and comfort in his quest to tear down what God has made."


"Ethically sourced porn," Pastor Peters?

However, Rome is not far behind:

Anonymous said...

Just curious, Mr. Vehse. Is it a secret?

Carl Vehse said...

That doesn't sound like a very good reason, especially coming from an Anonymous.