Take, for instance, this brief and powerful write-up from Josh Brisby on Facebook today (someone I've never met and never talked to before, but have grown to admire for his willingness to share such things)...
It is disturbing how much evangelical piety still stays with me sometimes. Like I feel as though Christ is "far from me" or I have "sinned Him away" or my "relationship" with Him is terrible. The whole idea of "Christ in your heart" leads to doubt.
But then I remember that I am a Lutheran. I am a weak and weary sinner. I am simply a beggar, this is true. And I remember that God clothed Himself with Christ, and Christ clothes Himself with His Word and Sacraments.
And my soul leaps for joy, knowing that, this very night, and tomorrow, I will go and meet with Him in Church. He will speak gracious Words of forgiveness to me in Absolution. He will remind me that I have been Baptized and therefore am clothed with Him. And He will forgive my sins by giving me His very Body and Blood to eat and to drink in the Eucharist.
And where there is forgiveness of sins, there is also life and salvation.
Thankful for Lutheranism. No hope without it.
This is most certainly true.
Short and sweet, but it definitely resonated with me for obvious reasons.
I too am "thankful for Lutheranism" after having languished on American Evangelicalism's Waters of Works Righteousness for several years.
This is also why Martin Luther's last words were, "We are beggars. This is true."
In a Lutheran layman's terms, yes, I'm simply a beggar who's desperately in need of His body and His blood, which can be found "in, with, and under" the bread and wine that I will get to receive as the Lord's precious "Means of Grace" FOR ME (and FOR YOU!) tomorrow morning!
NOTE: Please understand that I'm not a called and ordained minister of God's Word and Sacraments. I'm a layman or just a regular Christian, Corporate Recruiter, Husband, Father, Friend who lives in the "City of Good Neighbors" here on the East Coast. As another Christian Blogger once wrote, "Please do not see this blog as me attempting to 'publicly teach' the faith, but view it as an informal Public Journal of sorts about my own experiences and journey, and if any of my notes here help you in any way at all, then I say, 'Praise the Lord!' but please do double check them against the Word of God and with your own Pastor." To be more specific, and relevant to the point I want to make with this disclaimer/note, please understand that I'm a relatively new convert to Confessional Lutheran who recently escaped American Evangelicalism a little more than 3 years ago now. That being said, please contact me ASAP if you believe that any of my "old beliefs" seem to have crept their way into any of the material you see published here, and especially if any of the content is inconsistent with our Confessions and Lutheran doctrine (in other words, if it's not consistent with God's Word, which our Confessions merely summarize and repeatedly point us back to over and over again) so that I can correct those errors immediately and not lead any of His little ones astray (James 3:1). Also, please be aware that you might also discover that some of the earlier/older pieces I wrote for this blog back in 2013 definitely fall into that "Old Evangelical Adam" category (and they don't have a disclaimer like this) since I was a "Lutheran-In-Name-Only" at the time and was completely oblivious to the fact that a Christian "Book of Concord" even existed (Small/Large Catechism? What's that!?!). This knowledge of the Lutheran basics was completely foreign to me even though I was baptized, confirmed, and married in an LCMS church! So, there are some entries that are a little "out there" so-to-speak since the subject matter was also heavy influenced by those old beliefs of mine. I know that now and I'm still learning. Anyway, I decided to leave those published posts up on this website and in cyberspace only because they are not blasphemous/heretical, because I now have this disclaimer, and only to demonstrate the continuing work of Christ and the Holy Spirit in my life (Hebrews 12:2; Philippians 1:6). Most importantly, please know that any time I engage in commenting on and/or interpreting a specific portion of the holy Scriptures, it will always closely follow the verse-by-verse footnotes from my Lutheran Study Bible and/or include references to the Book of Concord unless otherwise noted. Typically, I defer to what other Lutheran Pastors both past and present have already preached and taught about such passages since they are the called and ordained under-shepherds of our souls here on earth. Finally, I'm going to apologize ahead of time for the length of most entries (this disclaimer/note is a perfect example of what I mean! haha). I'm well aware that blogs should be short, sweet, and to the point, but I've never been one to follow the rules when it comes to writing. Besides, this website is more like a "Christian Dude's Diary" in the sense that everything I write about and share publicly isn't always what's "popular" or "#trending" at the time, but is instead all the things that I'm studying myself at the moment. For better or for worse, these posts tend to be much longer than most blog entries you'll find elsewhere only because I try to pack as much info as possible into a single piece so that I can refer to it again and again over time if I need to (and so that it can be a valuable resource for others -- if possible, a "One-Stop-Shop" of sorts). Thank you for stopping by and thank you in advance for your time, help, and understanding. Feel free to comment/email me at any time. Grace and peace to you and yours!