Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Offend them boldly...

Originally uploaded by ericblauer.
"If you wish to use your freedom, do so in secret as Paul says, (Rom 14:22) "The faith that you have, keep between yourself and God" but take care not to use your freedom in the sight of the weak, On the other hand, use your freedom constantly and consistently in the sight of and despite the tyrants and the stubborn so that they also may learn that they are impious, that their laws are of no avail for righteousness and that they had no right to set them up...These...resist, do the very opposite and offend them boldly lest by their impious views they drag many with them into error. In the presence of such men it is good to eat meat, break the fasts, and for the sake of the liberty of faith do other things which they regard as the greatest of sins. Of them we must say..."Let them alone, they are blind guides".
-Martin Luther in "Freedom of a Christian"

I know that most of you probably have never heard anything like what Luther wrote above, ever preached in your churches. If fact it probably sounds like heresy to you, because it seems so contrary to the messages you have been taught. That is unfortunate that we in protestant churches have not even really been exposed to Reformation truth in the true potency that birthed the radical churches we attend.

But our gospel isn't really that radical anymore is it? At least it doesn't seem to birth many reformers anymore...not in the caliber of Luther it seems. It's seems funny to me that when you mention "defense of the gospel" today, you wouldn't think of the above passage...you would think about cults or evolution or something like that. But the reformation was a cataclysmic confrontation between Grace and Works and it needed reformers that had been transformed in their own hearts by the power of God that is released by the liberating freedom of the Gospel of Grace! Fiery men and women that had been set free from the distorted gospel of works that had permeated the church...the leaven of the Pharisees as Jesus called it.

Martin Lloyd Jones once said that unless people misunderstand your preaching as a license to do what you like then you are not preaching the Gospel.

I truly think that we need a fresh rain of grace again but it is going to take thunderstorm producing men and women, who will dare to live out the tempest of grace again. Are we willing to embrace the storm of protest by those who would rather have a congregation of eunuchs, who are bred to work but not produce life...in fact they can't give life because they have been castrated on the sword of legalism!

God give us a new reformation again, that is birthed out of the PUB instead of the Seminary! Proclaim the truth of the gospel once again through the lips of liberated hearts that have come out of the hamster wheel of works. Grateful voices that have their messages seasoned with grace...salty souls that create a thirst for the living God, who did not come to judge men but save them.


The Pfeiffer Family said...


I'm a bit confused. You make it sound like protestant churches are preaching a gospel of works rather than grace alone through faith alone for salvation.
I'm sure some protestant churches teach this or subtly imply that grace alone is not sufficient for salvation, but is this true as a whole? Or is it more the exception than the norm?
When Martin Luther said what he did in the first paragraph you quoted, was he not addressing pharisee types who were perverting the gospel?
Maybe your getting at an attitude that seems to pervade the church, an attitude that doesn't care so much for our lost and dying world, an attitude that lacks passion for our freedom we have in Christ?

If I'm missing the point entirely it wouldn't be the first time and surely won't be the last.


Matt said...

I don't know so much about the church, but I see this struggle in my life a lot. I tend to judge myself a lot on what I'm doing or did or didn't do. I can't help it, and it ends me up dissapointed every time. Only by the grace of God does He send me someone or something that reminds me that I'm not being judged by performance, or by man's means but by God's, which are beyond understanding and full of grace and truth. I breathe easy again for a bit, at least until I bind myself up in some other project or idea... ~Matt

Unknown said...

It's the "for salvation" part that I am trying to get at...obviously I am not saying that all churches are not preaching the gospel. I am saying that the same problem exists today that motivated Paul to write Galatians.

I think the key verse for today is:
This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you recieve the Spirit by the works of the law or by hearing with faith?"Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit are you now being perfected by the flesh? -Galatians 3:2-3

I think the thinking goes a lot like it did for the galatians...Get saved one way and live another way. Grace through faith to get in the kingdom...then faith through works to stay in the kingdom.

It is taught...you can see it in the way people struggle in trying to live their life...not IN Christ but they try to live FOR Christ.

It is a big differeance...sometimes it is only understood through failure to do so for most.

Todd Bacon said...

It's a heart issue regarding why you are doing said works. If it's because you think you have to perform in order to still be in God's loop or to remain on the team, then you're a little confused on your position in Christ. However, if it's an outpouring of your heart due to an understanding of what your King has done for you and the magnitude of his love and care, then, "spot on, mate."

Unknown said...

Ughhhh...dont you think this is ground that is always talked about...isn't anyone shocked by the actual words written by Martin Luther?

Read them again and turn them up to 11...because 11 is better.

"do other things which they regard as the greatest of sins."

Doesn't that scandalize anyone else besides me!
Isn't anyone else fascinated by Luther's categorizing people who fall into law as "impious".
I don't know, I found this whole snippet simply tantalizing and packed full of interesting conclusions.

I get bored with the same old paths that we christians seem to wander around. It's like those dogs tethered to a tree...they only go around and around the same stinking circle all the time! Never free to wander away from that beaten and worn out path.

No disrespect to you who have posted...I understand those thoughts but can we see the edge on these words and not treat them like they were a butter-knife. These words are razor sharp and should make our little hearts bleed a bit. Am I alone in my surprise by these words? Maybe I am in the dark but they seemed like a pretty bright flood light to my spiritual eyes!

Maybe I need to get more specific in my next post and really throw the gauntlet down...

Anonymous said...

In everything there is a balance. Luther's words are for a specific purpose of breaking chains and not for a personal vendetta against the religios sect. Once pride comes in, the meaning would become swallowed up in flesh. But Eric, I understand what you are saying and feel the earth moving with God's Spirit as He is getting ready those who he has called to move and shake the slumbering out of their slumber. God will use whatever technique He wants and will offend all to save all if necessary.

Unknown said...

I understand your comments but "balance" simply has never been the norm in my experience. We would never be where we are today if we chose the middle zone of balance. It seems for me that God throws us off balance to get us where He wants us. If I listened to the voices that spoke balance I would never have done most of the crazy and insane stuff we have done. In order to shake anything you have to be willing to lose your balance...don't you?

Anonymous said...

You're right,you are crazy AND insane and have accomplished so much of God's work in your off- balance approach to walking with Him :)) I don't have place to talk really.

But I think that you feel that I'm talking about walking the fence, keeping the peace,or even complacency.

Is there really a time for peace(compromise) and a time for war? When I speak of balance, I speak about knowing which one of these "seasons" God is in and moving in it in my personal life whether that is creating calm or havoc.

I don't feel that I am to sit down, bring out my picnic basket and eat my meat given to idols everytime I see an individual or a group that is in bondage to a religious belief or faction. Sure I might bring a few rebellious natured people out of their stupor and they end up following me but what then?

I AM stirred by Luthers words. I want to break chains,throw a whip ,turn over some tables, and make a pharisee minded person really angry at me, I do. But, I don't move on the stir, not anymore. Do you judge me for that?

By the way. Your pic is really scary.

Unknown said...

First of all...who are you?

Second of all, I detect a bit of Lutheresque sarcasm in your post...ummm so good.

Third...is there a time for peace and war...do I need to answer, or are you patronizing little o me?

Fourth...the stir...hummm, I sure wish someone would of turned over a few tables for me to come to my senses and escape the years of mind-numbing legalism that stole many years of fruitful ministry from me because of all my introspective navel gazing and hyper-sensitive religious hand washing.

God have mercy! Please send us some people that can lead some of us "bewitched" christians out of this pen of circumcising legalists that have invaded the church with their tape measures, watered down gospel and fleecing ministries! If you qualify...than weave a cord! It should stir you...

As for judging you...I say enough here to rain down judgment on myself...thats enough judgment for me.

FCB said...

What I particularly like about this is that I have no idea what he is talking about. I find it a piece that I cannot make fit into my regular Christian fare. I like to read a piece, flatten in out, crease it and fold it up, soften it up, and turn in the corners and put it into my pot of understood doctrines. I can't do that with this. I have read and re-read it. I have tried to apply it to my life and it makes me nervous, curious, and certain. Certain that I do not have the understanding to apply it.
I see a stallion with froth at the bit and nostrils flared, eyes set, ears back, pawing the ground ready to do battle. He has a goal, knows the enemy, understands his part and is ready to go to war.
Will the carnival pony tethered to the same circular task ever understand?

These words, I would suspect, have been beaten out on the anvil of action against oppression.
I may never, with my level of devotion, entirely understand the spirit and vision of these words. But I want to.
These words make me think, examine, consider. I like thoughts like that. I like a spirit like that. I love him most that cuts me deepest. He that stirs me to self-examination.

Anonymous said...


Firstly, you know as well as I do that even those who proclaim freedom in Christ will bring out a spiritual measuring stick sooner or later.

Secondly, if I had known that you were not enjoying your ministry in navel-gazing, I would have cut short my wanderings in the belly of a whale and hurriedly come to your rescue.

Who wouldn’t thoroughly enjoy being the whip-bearer, the castrator of circumcising legalists or the reformer? I must admit running out to battle with a big chip on my shoulder as my only means of protection would be intriguing and could possibly win me a spot on America’s Funniest Home Videos. But I’ll pass.

As far as my experiences in the world of insanity - I have spoken in the “prophetic” with other “prophets”; I have chewed through my tether of religious bigotry and only ended up tied to another tree; I have left my husband and children in search of the “cross”, leaving them widowed and orphaned in my absence and I have forced seasons in my life where I faked religious experiences for the mystical “high” that everyone else seemed to be have “caught”.

You asked me earlier if I would be willing to lose my balance in order to shake something. I would think that shaking something because I fell on it would not be as effective as having my two feet firmly planted on the Rock and shaking the heck out of it with Purpose and Power.