Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Weedon's Blog: Questions for the Day

The Return of the Prodigal Son by Rembrandt Van Rijn, 1662
Oil on canvas
The Hermitage, St. Petersburg

Introducing Weedon's Blog, written by Pastor William Weedon. I found his blog through his Vicar Lehmann, aka Chaz. His recent post: Questions for the Day, helps me in my quest to answer my question, "Is God Angry?". My pondering of this question leads to why God is angry, how he still loves us and what he did to gather us back to Him. The true gospel message is NOT what I can do to reconcile myself back to God, but the OVERWHELMINGLY good news that God loves me so much that He provided atonement for my sins. It is He who reconciles us to Him, never the other way around. That little key bit of information is how to determine whether the message my pastor preaches is true or false.

2 Corinthians 5: 11-21: The Ministry of Reconciliation
11Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade men. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience. 12We are not trying to commend ourselves to you again, but are giving you an opportunity to take pride in us, so that you can answer those who take pride in what is seen rather than in what is in the heart. 13If we are out of our mind, it is for the sake of God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 14For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. 16So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 18All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21God made him who had no sin to be sin[a] for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Pastor Weedon writes:

Did the cross *change* God's disposition toward us or *manifest* His disposition toward us? Think of the difference it makes.

Did our Savior die to reconcile God to us or to reconcile us to God? What does 2 Cor. 5 actually say in that regard?

Is the problem that God was our our enemy or that we were HIS enemies?"

Read on for a learned discussion of this topic. Thank you also to Vicar Charles Lehmann for linking to Pastor Weedon's blog. He also has a good post on this topic.

Vicar Lehmann writes:

Luther always understood the "righteousness of God." But before he was given to understand the Gospel, he understood it only in the way of the Law. That God is righteous was terrifying to him, because Luther was a sinner! How can a sinner stand before the righteous God? But then Luther came to understand Romans 1:17.

He wrote, "Then I finally came to understand what God's righteousness was, that the righteousness of God does not mean I must be righteous like God is or He will damn me forever, but when I finally understood that the righteousness of God means that God does the righteous thing for me - because His Son has paid my debt already, He now pardons me from all my guilt and declares me innocent and not guilty."

Chaz, you are blessed to be in such a congregation; furthermore, any soul pastored by you will hear God's Word and our joyous gospel proclaimed rightly.

Thanks to all pastors (and vicars) for taking the time to bolster the saints through the blogosphere.

More on God's anger/God's love can be found here.

1 comment:

ghp said...

Fr. Weedon is indeed a wonderful & well-read undershepherd. I'm glad he's finally getting more engaged in the blogosphere, as I've always enjoyed his contributions on Issues, Etc. re: the Historic Liturgy, and all things Christ-centered. It's hard not to get excited about Word & Sacrament, the Liturgy, etc. when you hear Fr. Weedon talk about them!