Monday, January 18, 2016


A few words from Martin Luther:
Many have thought Christian faith to be an easy thing, and not a few have given it a place among the virtues. This they do because they have had no experience of it, and have never tasted what great virtue there is in faith. 
For it is impossible that any one should write well of it or well understand what is correctly written of it, unless he has at some time tasted the courage faith gives a man when trials oppress him. But he who has had even a faint taste of it can never write, speak, meditate or hear enough concerning it. For it is a living fountain springing up into life everlasting, as Christ calls it in John 4:14 For my part, although I have no wealth of faith to boast of and know how scant my store is, yet I hope that, driven about by great and various temptations, I have attained to a little faith, and that I can speak of it, if not more elegantly, certainly more to the point, than those literalists and all too subtile disputants have hitherto done, who have not even understood what they have written. 
That I may make the way easier for the unlearned — for only such do I serve — I set down first these two propositions concerning the liberty and the bondage of the spirit: A Christian man is a perfectly free lord of all, subject to none. 
A Christian man is a perfectly dutiful servant of all, subject to all. 
Although these two theses seem to contradict each other, yet, if they should be found to fit together they would serve our purpose beautifully. 
For they are both Paul’s own, who says, in 1 Corinthians 9:10, “Whereas I was free, I made myself the servant of all,” and, Romans 13:8, “Owe no man anything, but to love one another.” Now love by its very nature is ready to serve and to be subject to him who is loved. So Christ, although Lord of all, was made of a woman, made under the law, and hence was at the same time free and a servant, at the same time in the form of God and in the form of a servant.
I find it interesting that Martin Luther's words, written in Latin, transcribed in German and finally shown here in English, are more clearly understood by the people who still read them than are the words spoken by another man named Martin Luther less than lifetime ago. That may be part of it since we no longer measure a lifetime at 3 score and ten but leave it to be set by the whim of stone cold killers who walk the streets unchecked by any kind of christian morality.

It would be a mistake to consider what we have today as any kind of war on faith because an actual war requires both sides to show up to the contest and fight it out. I think it is a damned shame that the christian churches have mostly left the field and retired their faith, traditions and the word of God. As you look upon it today it is really hard to believe that men of faith once went to be burned at the stake encouraging each other on their way, "Play the man, Master Ridley; we shall this day light such a candle, by God's grace, in England, as I trust shall never be put out."

As christian faith has perished in the West, so I think has perished the notion that, "we can all just get along." As I watch from the heights it looks like the state of race relations has never been this dire at any time in the country's history. Even the surface is marred and battered and nobody at all delves into the actual depths below the surface to look at the roots of the matter because that is treated as a great crime that cannot be endured or forgiven and woe to the man or woman who attempts an honest conversation on the topic. Better to be Hugh Latimer or Master Ridley, for the end is the same even if the flames only wither and burn the reputation of the daredevil who attempted it.

It's really a shame that there is no shining city on a hill or peaceful village in the valley that one can point to and exclaim, there live and work blacks and other races in great peace and harmony where each treats his neighbor with respect and dignity. Perhaps some day, when people are judged by their character and nothing else, we will find a small village, maybe well off the highway, where all of the people are what we, in a better world, would have chosen to be, people who owe no man anything, but love one another.

No comments: