Welcome to this week’s blog from the great folks of redroofchurch.org, St. Paul Lutheran Church of Bulverde. You can find us on Hwy. 281 near the 1863 exit. We’re the ones with the red roof. I’m Lee Harder, the senior pastor. I look forward to the opportunity of sharing some thoughts with you every week. If you’d like to visit us in the flesh, we worship every Sunday at 8:30AM and 10:45AM. In between, we’ve got some wonderful educational opportunities for all age levels. And don’t forget the coffee and donuts. There’s enough to satisfy any sweet tooth. We’d love to have you visit or better yet, consider making us your spiritual home. You won’t get a light show, but you will be enlightened in the love of Christ. We’ll be looking for you.
It was brought to my attention that Pope Francis has done it again. Apparently, in a lengthy letter to Eugenio Scalfari, the founder of La Repubblica newspaper, he said that non-believers (atheists) would be forgiven by God if they followed their consciences.
WOW! That must have stirred up a hornets nest of argument. Yet, coming from this liberal pope, it doesn’t surprise me. In fact, a part of me wonders why it took so long.
There is a growing trend in Christian denominations to eliminate talk of sin and subsequently the need for confession and forgiveness because we’re all saved and going to heaven. People don’t want to hear about their sin anymore. Well, it’s okay to hear about your sin, just not about mine.
Hearing that non-believers (atheists) can go to heaven is basically saying we can believe in any false god and the one true God doesn’t care. To this false narrative I am instantly drawn to the 1st commandment (or nor maybe it’s only a suggestion) — You shall have no other gods before me. And let’s not forget (which we conveniently do) the line that follows that adds — For I the Lord your God am a jealous God.
Simply put, that means God doesn’t want to share. I suppose that’s fair since He is the one who made us.
In a similar way, I cannot help but remember the attitude God took in the Old Testament when confronted by His people worshiping and sacrificing to false gods. I don’t recall the Almighty having a sense of humor at the golden calf or with the contest with the Baalist priests or a host of other incidents. I do recall a whole lot of wrath and rage about disobedience.
It doesn’t get any less pronounced in the New Testament. Jesus warned the disciples and us repeatedly about the dangers and the consequences that come from worshiping false gods.
No, I suggest to my fellow clergy, including the pope, it might be a good idea to go back to Scripture and study God’s thoughts on worshiping any false gods. As to the folks in the pews or chairs, make sure you’re not being led astray from God’s truth. It happened to Israel. It can happen to us if we are ignorant to God’s Word in Scripture. And many of us are so we follow any message that is self satisfying.
And those are my thoughts.
God bless and have a great week.
Pastor Lee R. Harder