Much has been written on this blog about opposite perspectives on issues ranging from the role of women, fellowship principles, worship practices, sermon writing, and much more. A recent commenter had this to say:
In all our WELS piousness, we always forget a very important factor. WELS is an organization. We are humans. Sinful humans. So was Luther. So are each of our pastors. And in our sinfulness, no matter how biblically-educated we are, we are still limited in our understanding of God's word. We can never begin to know what God meant when he said the many things he did in his gospel. To think we can puts us at his level and into his mind. How blasphemous.
This thought brings me to my current dilemma because in these issues I see a paradox of thinking. In the Bible I see a paradox too. Jesus was both God and man which is the ultimate paradox. The commenter above alluded to the fact that as humans we are finite (limited) and God is infinite (unlimited) (a paradox). So I write as does the WELS and LCMS and others in a finite way about an infinite God. My slogan on this blog has been to be Lutheran is to always point to Christ. The Bible is a holy Book about a holy God read by sinful men (a paradox). Yet this Holy Book is meant to point to Christ. So my perspective as a sinful human being has been to try to have my life and church point to Christ through all things.
Yet, I must confess as Job does:
Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know. ..my ears heard you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore, I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes." Job 42:3, 5-6).
Therefore I see that I need to humble myself and repent of my finite understanding of God. My thinking is not clear on many issues in the WELS. Yet in conversations with WELS pastors, teachers, laypeople, and those on this blog it seems that the WELS (and others) cannot admit to the finite and limited view of God's plan. Don't misunderstand me. I don't believe we are free to do all things. I strongly believe that the historical church should not be abandoned. The Gospel of Christ is not a license to sin even though Luther told his followers to "sin boldly." The Gospel proclaims that we should teach everything that has been commanded and to do this boldly. Yet knowing that the meek shall inherit the earth.
So as I live as a sinner and saint I will embrace the paradox I am living through. I am a Lutheran learning the truths of God, yet as a sinful human being my understanding and knowledge is impaired. I believe that life emerges through death (a paradox) and that is the theology of the cross we must preach. The kingdom of heaven and the kingdom of earth stand under the rule of God. In reading Luther I see that the sacred and secular spheres overlap but don't conform to the cut and dry distinctions that my finite mind is hoping to see.
In that respect, I find the debates we WELS love to engage in, to be tedious and trivial. Our "always-right," and "only-ones-who-are-right" attitude is often detrimental to the faith of others.
So this blog will remain a paradox of understanding and it will remain Lutheran as it points to Christ.