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What Luther Says

What Christians Think The 95 Theses Said (Or Should Say)

I thought this was too good not to share it.

I saw this shared on Facebook this past week from a Lutheran Pastor and it's pure gold for the tongue-in-cheek wisdom is espouses...

What Many People Might Imagine Luther's 95 Theses Said: 
1. God loves us. 
2. This means that we don't need to worry about how we worship him. 
3. He just wants us to be happy. 
4. Grace alone means that God stopped caring. 
5. Sure, you can go to heaven. 
6. Who cares about all the other doctrines of the Bible. 
7. We aren't saved by doctrine anyway. 
8. Relationships. 
9. Jesus is our friend. 
10. This means that we understand how Jesus is by looking at how our friends are. 
11. We are free in Christ. 
12. This means that we can do whatever the unbelieving world and our own flesh want us to do, as long as we can't find any passage in the Bible that explicitly tells us not to. 
13. And if we find one that does, (1 Timothy 2:12, for example, tells us not to have our girls read the lessons in church), then see again thesis 7. 
14. If someone points out 1 Timothy 4:16, then see again thesis 8. 
15. People don't care how much pastors know. 
16. They care how much they care. 
17. And by "care," this means that they want you to dance when they play and mourn when they cry. 
18. Therefore, pastors should care more about this type of caring than they do about knowing doctrine. 
19. The minor premise is proven by relationships. 
20. God's wrath doesn't exist. 
21. It is just your own negative attitude about God's grace. 
22. Faith alone means that we believe in ourselves and that God would never send us to hell. 
23. Christ alone means that nothing the Bible actually teaches about Christ matters at all. 
24. This is proven again by the fact that doctrine doesn't save. See thesis 7. 
25. How we worship God doesn't matter as long as we are sincere. 
26. As long as the children in the marketplace are laughing then we know that we are being evangelical (Matt 11:16 ff.). 
27. We should fear, love, and trust in God. 
28. Therefore, we shouldn't take theology too seriously. 
29. I prove this by leaving out any minor premise that might say something like, "Taking theology seriously is antithetical to true adoration of God," which would need at least a few more proofs. 
30. Making false dichotomies is ok just as long as it produces results and makes the children happy. 
31. Unless children are always laughing then they are miserable and it isn't worth it. 
32. The gospel is all about passing cultural boundaries. 
33. Therefore, it is properly evangelical to obsess over cultural boundaries. 
34. It follows that Africans, African Americans, Hispanics, and anyone who is not of white, European descent should not be taught the gospel in all its richness and articles. 
35. This is proven by the fact that these cultures are incapable of learning doctrine the way that Germans, Norwegians, and other white people have learned it for years. 
36. This totally isn't a racist assumption. 
37. This is because white people are racist. 
38. And therefore to teach what white people have been teaching would be racist. 
39. And besides, Africans, African Americans, Hispanics, and others aren't able to learn this stuff. 
40. No, totally not racist! 
41. Relationships. 
42. Doctrine doesn't save. 
43. Earth and All Stars. 
44. Everyone is special. 
45. You can be whatever you want when you grow up. 
46. God the Father is mean. 
47. The Son is nice. 
48. The Holy Spirit agrees with whatever we think and feel. 
49. Shoot for the stars! 
50. If you are happy then God is happy. 
51. History will judge . . . 
52. Tradition doesn't matter, 
53. Except for the tradition I am about to start. 
54. I know what we can do to fix our problems! 
55. Our best days are still ahead of us. 
56. The resurrection? Oh, yeah, I guess. 
57. Doctrine doesn't save, you know. 
58. I mean we have a promising future, what with all the kids we see. 
59. They are our future. 
60. Now, let's teach them that being a Christian means being driven by your emotions. 
61. And let's teach them that being connected with God feels a lot like sitting next to a girl you kind of like. 
62. Oh, and make sure you don't have too many of them. 
63. They're expensive, you know. 
64. Discipline is law. 
65. This has its place 
66. for 30 seconds in the sermon, just to make us feel a little bad, 
67. or maybe as a quick "Serve the Lord" after a peaceful dismissal. 
68. Gospel is letting people believe and do what they already believe and do. 
69. Anything else just isn't practical. 
70. Don't judge. 
71. Be nice. 
72. Everything else is a mere evangelical counsel. 
73. It's not that I don't agree with what the pope said. 
74. It's just how he said it. 
75. Preaching the gospel means speaking in a way that never offends. 
76. Or it is speaking in a way that doesn't talk enough about what we already all agree with. 
77. Being legalistic is thinking that God actually cares about what I say, teach, and do. 
78. It's not about relationships. 
79. Offense is a purely subjective term, completely dependent upon an individual's emotional response to words or actions. 
80. Those who say that God doesn't approve of what I do and say offend me. 
81. Offending me makes one legalistic. 
82. Therefore such people are legalistic. 
83. I prove the minor premise by assuming that being legalistic is bad and disagreeing with me is bad. 
84. If God didn't want you to have these desires then he wouldn't have made you that way. 
85. God made you this way. 
86. Therefore, indulge! 
87. You mean there's a difference between original sin and God's creation? 
88. What God created is good, but it has been corrupted by sin? 
89. That's doctrine. 
90. Doctrine doesn't save, you know. 
91. Insisting in pure doctrine is to turn people away. 
92. Jesus never turned anyone away. 
93. Therefore, those who insist on purity of doctrine are not Christlike. 
94. What? He turned the Pharisees away for refusing to listen to his Word? 
95. No, it was because they took his Word too seriously. Those are the only ones God turns away.

Yes, I realize this was meant to be a somewhat humorous indictment of the contemporary Christian Church (and just how ridiculous things have become), but it's also a pretty sober reminder that we are still the "Church Militant" even some 500 years after the start of the Reformation.

Regardless, we need to recall that "doctrine is heaven" and we would be wise to always keep that in mind during these turbulent times.

Unfortunately, that means that sometimes we'll have to be the lone voice in the wilderness through our various vocations, and the only one proclaiming the truth in the face of half-truths and outright lies. The vocation of Pastor is particularly challenging too.

The tasks of a pastor of Jesus Christ are many, difficult, and demanding. The most difficult and demanding task of all -- beyond question -- is the task of proclaiming the pure doctrine of the Gospel of Christ and at the same time exposing, refuting, and rejecting teachings that are contrary to the Gospel. A pastor who does this will discover by experience the truth of the old saying: “Telling the truth makes enemies” (Latin: Veritas odium parit)… 
Worldly people and all false Christians cannot help but attack those who teach a faith and doctrine different from theirs. These fake Christians regard those with sound doctrine as “disturbers of the peace” -- peace-hating, quarrelsome, and nasty people. These unfortunate people have no idea of the blindness that surrounds them. They do not know how gladly the boldest champions of Christ wish to keep peace with all people, how much they would prefer to keep silent. These fake Christians do not know how hard it is for the bold champions to go public and become targets for the hatred, enmity, slander, scorn, and persecution of people. However, they cannot help but confess the truth and at the same time oppose error. Their conscience forces them to do this because such behavior is required of them by the Word of God… 
Besides, righteous preachers remember that the Church is not a kingdom that can be built up in peace. It is located within the domain of the devil, the prince of this world. Accordingly, the Church has no choice but to be at war. It is the Church Militant and will remain such until the blessed end. Whenever a church appears to be not a militant church but a church at ease, that is a false church. You can rely on it!… 
Keep these facts stored up in your memory, my dear friends. If you wish to be a faithful servant of Christ, you cannot possibly do so without striving and fighting against false doctrines, a false gospel, and false belief. In the view of worldly people, your lot will not be particularly enviable. Even wise Sirach says, “If you come to serve the Lord, prepare your soul for temptation” (Sirach 2:1). What he means is this: It is impossible for you to escape affliction if you wish to be a faithful servant of God. Anyone who is without affliction may be ever so passionate about fulfilling the duties of his office, yet his passion is nevertheless not of the right sort. Where there is genuine passion, not only does one plant and build, but the workers will also have the sword strapped to their waist, going out to wage the wars of the Lord… 
So ignore any view that people would express in opposition to your teaching. Doing this will let your cause shine with even greater luster in heaven. On the Last Day, God will say to you, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.” We will be refreshed when we quit this wicked world and the association of false Christians who shamefully slander our best efforts, calling them the worst horrors. Then our Lord Jesus will say, “Well done! Good joy. You did not look for ease and comfort. Rather, you focused on keeping what was entrusted to you.” 
-- C.F.W. Walther (Law & Gospel: On The Burden of Pure Doctrine)

In short, right doctrine leads to right practice, which leads to a right understanding of God and His holy Word.

My dear friends, we all should be loving our erring brothers and sisters to the extent that we are willing to have the difficult conversations that exposes their common errors, and we do so not out of arrogance or pride, but out of humility and love for their benefit (Jude 1:17-23).

Yes, we rightfully contend for and defend the faith, which is pure doctrine.

In a Lutheran layman's terms, I hope that you will consider joining me in light of this very special anniversary of the Reformation to reflect on where we are in relation to where we came from.

NOTE: Please understand that I'm not a called and ordained minister of God's Word and Sacraments. I'm a layman or just your average everyday 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 Lutheranism" and one who recently escaped an American-Evangelical-Non-Denominational mindset a little more than 4 years ago now despite being a Christian my whole life. That being said, please contact me ASAP if you believe that any of my "old beliefs" seem to have crept their way back into any of the material you see published here, and especially if any of the content is inconsistent with the Bible, our Confessions, and Lutheran doctrine in general (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 not only correct those errors immediately and not lead any of His little ones astray (James 3:1), but repent of my sin and learn the whole truth myself. With that in mind, 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 heavily 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 will 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!

About JKR

Christian. Husband. Father. Friend.

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Thank you for visiting A Lutheran Layman! Please feel free to leave a comment or a question since we do not exercise censorship. We've seen a similar policy with other blogs and it's worth repeating: Please act as if you're a guest in my home, and we'll get along just fine. I think anyone would agree that the kind of back-and-forth that is characteristic of blogs/chat forums and social media is becoming tiresome for all of us. Still, we should confess, edify, and love (and contend and defend when needed). Bottom line? Search the Scriptures! Apply Acts 17:11 to anything and everything you find here and, if you do happen to disagree with something you find here (which is certainly ok), or think I'm "irresponsible" and "wrong" for writing it, then please refute my position by supporting yours with Scripture and/or the Confessions. I don't think that's an unreasonable request, especially for those who identify themselves as "Christians" here, right? Besides, Proverbs 27:17 tells us "Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another" and 2 Timothy 3:16 says, "all Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness." If you have an opinion that's great, I welcome it, but try to support it using God's Word. I mean, if the goal here is to help us all arrive at the truth of God's Word (myself included), then it should be easy to follow through on this one simple request (I'm talking to all you "Anonymous" visitors out there). Grace and peace to you and yours!

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