Madness in the Making

the_rakes_progress_8I’ve been blogging for awhile now, not consistently by any stretch of the imagination. It all began around my junior year in high school, I was 17. A momentous change swept into my life, not by choice but out of necessity. I was engulfed in a worship war, the year was 2005.

I belonged to the ELCA and a church whose people, even the ones I would come to disagree with, were my people. My people because they shared with me the bonds of friendship and churchly fellowship. I had grown to love church out of a reverence to Christ. One ought to give a rip about the Christ who died for us, I figured, otherwise what good is Christianity? The Bible must be true, I figured, otherwise what good is the Christ who thought so himself? Thank goodness my Lutheran family believes at least these things, I figured, otherwise what good is Lutheranism?

I figured wrong.

Lutheranism burned me, at least the Lutheranism I had come to know my whole life. Before the meteoric rise of all things sexual, and our present culture of all things sexual are permissible, the ELCA was on the cutting edge. Already pushing beyond the unbiblical ordination of women, my congregation took to vote on the acceptance of homosexual clergy. A topic that by today’s standard is passé. An already heated topic was clearly news to me.

I was unaware, completely naive. I thought again about how my pastors (husband and wife) would certainly address this matter. I figured there must be an explanation, perhaps a Biblical explanation, otherwise what good is a pastor who cannot or will not speak God’s clear word on this matter?

Again, I figured wrong.

The madness was not that the vote split the church or that the pastors did little to speak God’s word on the matter. The madness was that we voted at all on a clearly Biblical mandate that forbids homosexual practice. Clearly, I understood, that Jesus died for that sin and a wealth of mine own, so what gives? Why shy away or cower? I realize now what I could not comprehend then, timidity and fear were not of the equation. Perhaps they beckoned in the background but only in relation to their support and desire to advance the acceptance of gay and lesbian clergy.

I guess I should be forthright, my shock at such an event was really a deep sorrow and anger. What else did I not know?

I didn’t know the ELCA’s doctrinal position on God’s Word or even what the Book of Concord was at the least. I assumed God’s Word was authoritative and that we confessed it openly and honestly. I assumed we all were sinners justified by Christ alone. I did not expect that some sins would be dismissed like homosexuality, or that Hell was more of a concept and less of a reality. I was unaware that I was wrong, and those hyper-conservative nut jobs in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS) were right. (Yes I was really taught that.)

The story of my blogging began soon after an LCMS pastor took the time to dispel my worries over spoiled Lutheranism, correct my refuge in fundamentalism (Baptist), and gave me an open door to talk theology. He fielded a lot of questions. Blogging was my outlet of all I was learning. Those were the days many blogged on Xanga. Fast forward to my seminary years, another time of great learning and insight. I began a blog called Rubric, with a mild following, I addressed the matter of Christian Formation and the crucial role liturgy plays in the success of such education. I enjoyed it, but when I received my call as pastor I wanted to rethink my creative outlet and allow time to develop into the Office of Holy Ministry. Now, approaching my two year anniversary and with the state of affairs our country and culture is in silence is no longer an option. The madness, the audacity, to stand up to the vicious vipers of nay sayers and haters of Christ is sorely needed. We must speak up.

Rubrica is that reimagined outlet, to speak Christ (however mild a following) to a pagan practicing, culturally corroded, and Christologically weak people. Look for serious and fun articles, and many series: Lyrical Lies, The Yellow Journalist, Warriors and Wimps, Idiotic Idioms, Meaningless Words, and much more.

Rubrica’s first official article is set to launch on July 6th, the anniversary of my ordination and installation as a pastor in the LCMS. Join me in the madness, the sanity of Christianity. Let the rubrications begin!

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