Pastor's Message:

The Theology of the Cross

As Lutherans we center our faith and belief on the cross and its meaning for us in our daily life. Martin Luther said we should become theologians of the cross not theologians of glory. Today the theology of glory is more prevalent than ever. We have churches which teach a gospel of prosperity where Christians are promised materiel things for believing in God. Martin Luther saw the church of his day as a church which used religion as a jumping off point for getting the things one wanted. Jesus was the key to everything good and wonderful not the key to forgiveness. Many Christians today use Jesus in the same way­- follow Jesus and bam everything will go your way. If you don’t get what you want it is because you are not good enough or don’t believe hard enough. The theology of Glory places the burden on the individual to be perfect and if perfect bam everything will go your way- God will bless you. Martin Luther said that the theology of glory was a false theology.

How does the theology of glory see the cross? The theology of glory uses the cross as the beginning of something wonderful. Christ has died for you and now you are a very special person that God will bless because you are part of the elite family of God. Everything that comes your way comes your way because you are one of the chosen. You are a member of the country club and those who are not part of the club deserve what comes their way from God and from you. The theology of glory leads to moral superiority and righteous indignation at others. The theology of glory says we are better than others.

How does the theology of the cross differ? The cross is the end point of our journey. We can go no farther than the cross because we are unable by ourselves to conquer death, sin and our own damnation. Each and every day that we begin anew as sinners who have failed to live up to God’s ideals we are fallible mortal beings who daily must face death. When we look at the cross as an end point upon which Christ died so that we might be free we no longer ask God now what is the prize for the cross is what is sought. The person who places the cross at the center of one’s life will not care about power or wealth or popularity these will be seen as nothing more than that which leads one away from the real gift- the cross itself. Our lives when focused on the cross are lives of service and humbleness we are not the center; it isn’t all about me it is all about God and you. Focus on the cross and everything will change.

 

 

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