Tattoo sermons

Another way to make your church relevant! Preach a whole sermon series about tattoos. And during the sermon, have someone actually getting a tattoo so the whole congregation can watch. From the Tuscaloosa News:

The sight of a woman being tattooed live on the altar accompanied by the sound of a buzzing ink gun provided a startling backdrop to Sunday's evangelical sermon.

Your parents' church service this was not. In the drive to stay relevant, the Gold Creek Community Church has been hosting a series called 'Permanent Ink' that featured Sunday's live-tattoo finale.

The Mill Creek, Wash., church is not exactly staid — booming 20-minute rock sets launch regular sermons — yet the pastors acknowledge this series was pushing societal norms.

'We've said from the start that we are not advocating tattoos — nor discouraging them,' said pastor Larry Ehoff.

'We think of it as amoral. It's neither immoral nor moral, it's just the choice of a person.'

Ehoff said the church is telling the same story of Jesus as always, it's just finding different ways to tell it.

Sharon Snell was one of several congregants who volunteered to be tattooed Sunday. At the noon service, she got on stage and faced away from about 150 parishioners while tattoo artist Matt Sawdon worked on the image of a police shield on her lower back. . . .

As Snell's tattoo took shape, pastor Dan Kellogg told the congregation that permanent markings, both good and evil, are mentioned in the Bible. The most famous symbol, he said, is '666,' the sign of the devil.

But there's also mention in the Bible of markings on Jesus, saying he is the king of kings and lord of lords, Kellogg said. . . .

Last week, as part of the Permanent Ink series, a member of the church had a tattoo of Texas removed.

Because the equipment was too cumbersome to transport, parishioners watched a video of the process.

The man now lives in Washington, and he doesn't see much need for the Lone Star State anymore.

So what need is there for any of this? Why is preaching THE WORD OF GOD somehow not enough? What does preaching about tattoos, complete with live-action object lessons, have to do with ANYTHING, other than, perhaps, trying to project an aura of coolness that the church really doesn’t even have, since aficionados of tattoos already know how they are made?

First the Gospel is dropped, leaving only Law, and next the Law is also dropped, leaving I’m not sure what–a sense of belonging? feeling good? just coming to church for its own sake?

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Pete

    Tattoos (and motorcycles): A pass/fail intelligence test. This church fails.

  • Pete

    Tattoos (and motorcycles): A pass/fail intelligence test. This church fails.

  • Jack Kilcrease

    Arminian theology assumes that our free will has to be engaged some how. In other words, there’s no concept of the Holy Spirit creating faith “when and where he chooses” as the Augustana puts it. Consequently, there has to be some sort of appeal to engage our free will. Jesus has to be made attractive in some sense so that we can choose him like we would Pepsi. Unfortunately, Jesus isn’t really that attractive to sinful human nature. So let’s focus on Tattoos!

    What’s actually sad about this is that the law isn’t being eliminated, contrary to what you said. As Gerhard Forde puts it, the Antinomianism is an impossible theology. The law is always present no matter what. If forgiveness isn’t being preached, then the default mode of all human linguistic interaction is law. So, it’s just another law based message.

    Of course, human nature loves the law. It loves it because it thinks it’s what’s relevant. Hence whenever anyone pleads for relevance in church teaching it just means they want law. It’s the code word for law. Human nature also thinks that it can control God by obeying the law. When that illusion is struck down, won’t that be an unpleasant surprise!

  • Jack Kilcrease

    Arminian theology assumes that our free will has to be engaged some how. In other words, there’s no concept of the Holy Spirit creating faith “when and where he chooses” as the Augustana puts it. Consequently, there has to be some sort of appeal to engage our free will. Jesus has to be made attractive in some sense so that we can choose him like we would Pepsi. Unfortunately, Jesus isn’t really that attractive to sinful human nature. So let’s focus on Tattoos!

    What’s actually sad about this is that the law isn’t being eliminated, contrary to what you said. As Gerhard Forde puts it, the Antinomianism is an impossible theology. The law is always present no matter what. If forgiveness isn’t being preached, then the default mode of all human linguistic interaction is law. So, it’s just another law based message.

    Of course, human nature loves the law. It loves it because it thinks it’s what’s relevant. Hence whenever anyone pleads for relevance in church teaching it just means they want law. It’s the code word for law. Human nature also thinks that it can control God by obeying the law. When that illusion is struck down, won’t that be an unpleasant surprise!

  • http://uest fws

    a look at their web site explains it all..

    their purpose is:

    “impact our community and world with Christ-like love, acceptance, and forgiveness.”

    So their purpose is solely about earthly outward righteousness. Adding “christ-like” does not baptize anything as christian. All pagan religions make room for Jesus as a prophet or teacher or example.

    There mission, how they achieve their stated purpose is:

    “celebrate. church is a party with God at the center.”

    Even pagans, if they are smart, know to put God at the center. Only Faith In Jesus makes anything “christian”. God does not ask us to put Him at the center of worship. Muslims do this. He asks us to put Christ Crucified at the center. The Augsburg confession says: “True worship is faith in Jesus christ”. This is right. only that which is about faith is christian. invisible faith ALONE is what separates weed/wheat sheep/goat. When we talk about what we do, even as christians, faith is excluded.

    “connect… we connect to God through Jesus Christ. real church takes place in small groups.”

    Mentioning Jesus as ‘The Great Connector’ does not make things christian either.

    “contribute… We are made to contribute. We believe we find our God given purpose through giving to our community, our church, our small groups. God has made us to make a difference.”

    IF this means following and doing the outward righteousness of the 10 commandments, then God is pleased with this and has promised to bless it with earthly blessings. and these will all perish with the earth. So this church is declaring that their purpose is wholy in the earthly kingdom. NO faith in christ is required for any of this.

    finally this little nougat from their statement of faith (which otherwise actually looks pretty good):

    “We believe that the finally impenitent, not feeling regret about ones sin or sins, are hopelessly and eternally lost.”

    so feelings of remorse over sin is finally what separates christian from non christian. this too requires no faith at all. think Judas.

  • http://uest fws

    a look at their web site explains it all..

    their purpose is:

    “impact our community and world with Christ-like love, acceptance, and forgiveness.”

    So their purpose is solely about earthly outward righteousness. Adding “christ-like” does not baptize anything as christian. All pagan religions make room for Jesus as a prophet or teacher or example.

    There mission, how they achieve their stated purpose is:

    “celebrate. church is a party with God at the center.”

    Even pagans, if they are smart, know to put God at the center. Only Faith In Jesus makes anything “christian”. God does not ask us to put Him at the center of worship. Muslims do this. He asks us to put Christ Crucified at the center. The Augsburg confession says: “True worship is faith in Jesus christ”. This is right. only that which is about faith is christian. invisible faith ALONE is what separates weed/wheat sheep/goat. When we talk about what we do, even as christians, faith is excluded.

    “connect… we connect to God through Jesus Christ. real church takes place in small groups.”

    Mentioning Jesus as ‘The Great Connector’ does not make things christian either.

    “contribute… We are made to contribute. We believe we find our God given purpose through giving to our community, our church, our small groups. God has made us to make a difference.”

    IF this means following and doing the outward righteousness of the 10 commandments, then God is pleased with this and has promised to bless it with earthly blessings. and these will all perish with the earth. So this church is declaring that their purpose is wholy in the earthly kingdom. NO faith in christ is required for any of this.

    finally this little nougat from their statement of faith (which otherwise actually looks pretty good):

    “We believe that the finally impenitent, not feeling regret about ones sin or sins, are hopelessly and eternally lost.”

    so feelings of remorse over sin is finally what separates christian from non christian. this too requires no faith at all. think Judas.

  • Tom Hering

    God can create faith in those who hear just a little of His Word in a tattoo service. No foolishness of ours can stop Him from saving those whom He will save.

    A rightly-ordered Divine Service is for the sake of those who already believe. So they may grow in faith without being tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine.

  • Tom Hering

    God can create faith in those who hear just a little of His Word in a tattoo service. No foolishness of ours can stop Him from saving those whom He will save.

    A rightly-ordered Divine Service is for the sake of those who already believe. So they may grow in faith without being tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine.

  • http://uest fws

    #4 tom hering

    I respectfully disagree tom. even the cross itself is a terrible punishing preaching of the law, and as such will only drive one to the despair of judas. Only when trust that it is “for me, and for my forgiveness” is added does it become saving gospel.

    the only word that creates faith is the message of christ crucified.

    a rightly ordered divine service is only rightly ordered specifically because it is ONLY about christ crucified for our forgiveness. not even “christ centered” is good enough here as though the gospel is one of several things, along with sanctified living, that is what makes us christian as distinct from pagan. this alone can create or increase faith and sanctification.

  • http://uest fws

    #4 tom hering

    I respectfully disagree tom. even the cross itself is a terrible punishing preaching of the law, and as such will only drive one to the despair of judas. Only when trust that it is “for me, and for my forgiveness” is added does it become saving gospel.

    the only word that creates faith is the message of christ crucified.

    a rightly ordered divine service is only rightly ordered specifically because it is ONLY about christ crucified for our forgiveness. not even “christ centered” is good enough here as though the gospel is one of several things, along with sanctified living, that is what makes us christian as distinct from pagan. this alone can create or increase faith and sanctification.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    FW.
    one wonders doesn’t one. Christ-like? Why Christ-like? Sounds like a sham, it is like Christ’s love, acceptance, and forgiveness, but it really isn’t. Like buying imitation Gucci at the swap meet.
    Why would one want to impact the community with that. Seems to me if they stopped preaching on amoral subjects, and started preaching some real law, and some real Gospel, they could impact the community with Christ’s love, acceptance, and forgiveness. It isn’t that hard, being as Christ is not dead, but very much alive and well, still loving the world. I don’t need Christ-like love. I really don’t, couldn’t pay me to take it. What I need, and the rest of the world too, I presume any way, as they are a bunch of hypocritical sinners, is Christ’s love.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    FW.
    one wonders doesn’t one. Christ-like? Why Christ-like? Sounds like a sham, it is like Christ’s love, acceptance, and forgiveness, but it really isn’t. Like buying imitation Gucci at the swap meet.
    Why would one want to impact the community with that. Seems to me if they stopped preaching on amoral subjects, and started preaching some real law, and some real Gospel, they could impact the community with Christ’s love, acceptance, and forgiveness. It isn’t that hard, being as Christ is not dead, but very much alive and well, still loving the world. I don’t need Christ-like love. I really don’t, couldn’t pay me to take it. What I need, and the rest of the world too, I presume any way, as they are a bunch of hypocritical sinners, is Christ’s love.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in 21st Century

    I would agree with fws to an extent. The cross is where the Law and Gospel collide. For in the cross we see the cost of our sins and at the same time we see the extent of God’s grace in his willingness to pay the price.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in 21st Century

    I would agree with fws to an extent. The cross is where the Law and Gospel collide. For in the cross we see the cost of our sins and at the same time we see the extent of God’s grace in his willingness to pay the price.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Tom,
    Are you proposing some sort of bait and switch?
    I won’t say where or when the Holy Spirit can work, as long as the word is there, even a muddled gospel can bring about conversion. The problem is false doctine. It leads to false belief, which leads to despair (if your lucky) and that leads to other great shames and vices. Pretty soon your faith is lost altogether.
    A properly ordered divine service is for everyone, the believer and the non believer, the neophyte, and the mature believer. It is for the children and the adults, those who have control of their mental faculties and those who don’t. And it keeps all from being blown about by every wind of doctrine. Which makes me wonder, do you think it is better for the neophytes to be blown about by every wind of doctrine. I would much rather bring my elders to a tattoo service than the couple that first attended last week, read Veith’s book, and now want to become members. My elders are mature enough to see the tattoo service for what it is.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Tom,
    Are you proposing some sort of bait and switch?
    I won’t say where or when the Holy Spirit can work, as long as the word is there, even a muddled gospel can bring about conversion. The problem is false doctine. It leads to false belief, which leads to despair (if your lucky) and that leads to other great shames and vices. Pretty soon your faith is lost altogether.
    A properly ordered divine service is for everyone, the believer and the non believer, the neophyte, and the mature believer. It is for the children and the adults, those who have control of their mental faculties and those who don’t. And it keeps all from being blown about by every wind of doctrine. Which makes me wonder, do you think it is better for the neophytes to be blown about by every wind of doctrine. I would much rather bring my elders to a tattoo service than the couple that first attended last week, read Veith’s book, and now want to become members. My elders are mature enough to see the tattoo service for what it is.

  • http://www.geneveith.com geneveith

    Read my book! It continues to amaze me to hear about people reading “Spirituality of the Cross” and not only becoming Lutherans but becoming Christians! Thanks for mentioning this, Bror. (That book is coming out in a new, slightly revised and expanded, edition in February.)

  • http://www.geneveith.com geneveith

    Read my book! It continues to amaze me to hear about people reading “Spirituality of the Cross” and not only becoming Lutherans but becoming Christians! Thanks for mentioning this, Bror. (That book is coming out in a new, slightly revised and expanded, edition in February.)

  • Bruce Gee

    Veith: “So what need is there for any of this? ”

    Call it “entertainment desensitization”.

  • Bruce Gee

    Veith: “So what need is there for any of this? ”

    Call it “entertainment desensitization”.

  • http://uest fws

    #7 Dr. Luther in 21st Century said:
    I would agree with fws to an extent.

    since I plagarized everything I wrote either directly from the Lutheran confessions or from Luther´s sermons, I would be very curious to know…. to what extent … you do NOT agree with what i wrote heartily?

  • http://uest fws

    #7 Dr. Luther in 21st Century said:
    I would agree with fws to an extent.

    since I plagarized everything I wrote either directly from the Lutheran confessions or from Luther´s sermons, I would be very curious to know…. to what extent … you do NOT agree with what i wrote heartily?

  • http://uest fws

    Comment #6 Bror Erickson said:
    FW.

    “one wonders doesn’t one.
    Why would one want to impact the community with that.”

    Because they think outward righteousness avails before God.

    It is not only important to remember that when we talk about Justification by and through faith, that works are excluded. The converse is equally true:

    Whenever we talk about works and what we do, faith is excluded. Fact: there is NO work of outward righteousness that a christian does that pagans cannot also do using fallen willpower and reason.

    This FULLY includes what reformed-in-lutheran clothing call sanctified works, implying thussly that being a christian is invisible faith plus visible sanctified works. faith+works=christian. not.

    Any and all talk of works, however we chose to call them “sanctified” or “christian” excludes faith. faith is unnecessary here. instead, for Lutherans, what this really is falls under the heading “Mortification (killing) of the flesh. The fact that this too is a work of the Holy Spirit, even in unbelievers, does not make this “christian”.

    faith justifies apart from works.
    if we talk of works, faith is unnecessary.

  • http://uest fws

    Comment #6 Bror Erickson said:
    FW.

    “one wonders doesn’t one.
    Why would one want to impact the community with that.”

    Because they think outward righteousness avails before God.

    It is not only important to remember that when we talk about Justification by and through faith, that works are excluded. The converse is equally true:

    Whenever we talk about works and what we do, faith is excluded. Fact: there is NO work of outward righteousness that a christian does that pagans cannot also do using fallen willpower and reason.

    This FULLY includes what reformed-in-lutheran clothing call sanctified works, implying thussly that being a christian is invisible faith plus visible sanctified works. faith+works=christian. not.

    Any and all talk of works, however we chose to call them “sanctified” or “christian” excludes faith. faith is unnecessary here. instead, for Lutherans, what this really is falls under the heading “Mortification (killing) of the flesh. The fact that this too is a work of the Holy Spirit, even in unbelievers, does not make this “christian”.

    faith justifies apart from works.
    if we talk of works, faith is unnecessary.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Yes Veith,
    I certainly hope you get royalties on that book. As I hand it out like candy around here.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Yes Veith,
    I certainly hope you get royalties on that book. As I hand it out like candy around here.

  • http://uest fws

    dr veith, is your theology of the cross book translated into portuguese yet?

  • http://uest fws

    dr veith, is your theology of the cross book translated into portuguese yet?

  • http://www.redeemedrambling.blogspot.com/ John

    More to the point, why the heck would anyone REMOVE a Texas tat? Once a Texan, always a Texan. We are all eternally secure in this state…

  • http://www.redeemedrambling.blogspot.com/ John

    More to the point, why the heck would anyone REMOVE a Texas tat? Once a Texan, always a Texan. We are all eternally secure in this state…

  • http://planetaugsburg.wordpress.com Andy Adams

    Just wondering what “sermon series” follows the tattoo one? What spectacle will they find to top that? Live piercings?

    I wonder if anyone from the congregation will volunteer to have their hands and feet nailed to a block of wood?

  • http://planetaugsburg.wordpress.com Andy Adams

    Just wondering what “sermon series” follows the tattoo one? What spectacle will they find to top that? Live piercings?

    I wonder if anyone from the congregation will volunteer to have their hands and feet nailed to a block of wood?

  • nigel

    I don’t know, I’m pretty sure that the J-man would freak out and turn some tables over if he found folks tattooing in the temple.

  • nigel

    I don’t know, I’m pretty sure that the J-man would freak out and turn some tables over if he found folks tattooing in the temple.

  • Ryan

    “a woman being tattooed live on the altar”

    Have no problem with tattoos, but can anyone say B-movie? This is wrong in so many ways.

  • Ryan

    “a woman being tattooed live on the altar”

    Have no problem with tattoos, but can anyone say B-movie? This is wrong in so many ways.

  • Joe Griffin

    A few weeks ago in my seminary class one student praised his church for helping him learn by setting up a boxing ring complete with the pastor in a boxing robe with gloves to deliver a sermon series entitled “The Fight of Your Life.” He said that he is a visual learner and this was helpful for him to understand Paul’s teachings about fighting the good fight. The tatoo story sounds similar. This is both foolish and demeaning. As though the congregants cannot sit still unless a clown is dancing around making balloon figures. Do you think that Paul set aside every weight to make certain that his hearers understood?

  • Joe Griffin

    A few weeks ago in my seminary class one student praised his church for helping him learn by setting up a boxing ring complete with the pastor in a boxing robe with gloves to deliver a sermon series entitled “The Fight of Your Life.” He said that he is a visual learner and this was helpful for him to understand Paul’s teachings about fighting the good fight. The tatoo story sounds similar. This is both foolish and demeaning. As though the congregants cannot sit still unless a clown is dancing around making balloon figures. Do you think that Paul set aside every weight to make certain that his hearers understood?

  • http://Bror0122@hotmail.com Bror Erickson

    Wow Joe,
    So do your sem profs help this guy out with the same shenanigans, or do they expect him to learn by hearing and reading?
    I’m trying to figure out what visuals you might get to help this guy figure out the contents of his systematics classes, or what the aorist, is verses the perfect.

  • http://Bror0122@hotmail.com Bror Erickson

    Wow Joe,
    So do your sem profs help this guy out with the same shenanigans, or do they expect him to learn by hearing and reading?
    I’m trying to figure out what visuals you might get to help this guy figure out the contents of his systematics classes, or what the aorist, is verses the perfect.

  • Tom Hering

    fws @ #5. Before I believed that Christ paid for my sins and gave me His righteousness, I came to believe that (1.) God was real and (2.) dwelt among us as Jesus of Nazareth. I had no convincing proof of these things. I believed them because of His Word. So, the Holy Spirit was at work through the Word, creating faith in me, before I knew what faith was all about. Faith preceded both knowledge and repentance. “… a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish.”

    Bror Erickson @ #8. Yes, bad doctrine leads to despair. I know this from experience. Why would you think that I think it’s better for new Christians to be blown about?

  • Tom Hering

    fws @ #5. Before I believed that Christ paid for my sins and gave me His righteousness, I came to believe that (1.) God was real and (2.) dwelt among us as Jesus of Nazareth. I had no convincing proof of these things. I believed them because of His Word. So, the Holy Spirit was at work through the Word, creating faith in me, before I knew what faith was all about. Faith preceded both knowledge and repentance. “… a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish.”

    Bror Erickson @ #8. Yes, bad doctrine leads to despair. I know this from experience. Why would you think that I think it’s better for new Christians to be blown about?

  • http://Bror0122@hotmail.com Bror Erickson

    Tom,
    I am just trying to get some clarity from your post. It almost sounds as if the well ordered divine service is only for mature believers. your reason for the divine service was so that they are not blown about by every wind of doctrine. Yet you seem to think that the tattoo service is good for others, even though it, ostensibly, would blow them about with every wind of doctrine.
    Quite frankly, I don’t think these services do anything to advance the kingdom of God. They all but make a mockery of God’s word, and at best trivialize it. I don’t think you need to resort to this sort of gimmickry to get people to come to church. In fact, I believe it is counter productive.
    It may help to invite people to a church where that well ordered divine service is happening. At least, that has worked for me.

  • http://Bror0122@hotmail.com Bror Erickson

    Tom,
    I am just trying to get some clarity from your post. It almost sounds as if the well ordered divine service is only for mature believers. your reason for the divine service was so that they are not blown about by every wind of doctrine. Yet you seem to think that the tattoo service is good for others, even though it, ostensibly, would blow them about with every wind of doctrine.
    Quite frankly, I don’t think these services do anything to advance the kingdom of God. They all but make a mockery of God’s word, and at best trivialize it. I don’t think you need to resort to this sort of gimmickry to get people to come to church. In fact, I believe it is counter productive.
    It may help to invite people to a church where that well ordered divine service is happening. At least, that has worked for me.

  • http://uest fws

    #21 tom

    “(1.) God was real and (2.) dwelt among us as Jesus of Nazareth. I had no convincing proof of these things. I believed them because of His Word. ”

    you are so right to distiguish faith, which is where you believe that what Jesus did is FOR YOU from that historical faith that is really no faith at all. the devil and his angels know and also believe as true that Jesus is God. That Jesus on the cross can be a terrible preaching of the law in fact, that drives men to despair like Judas without the faith that the holy spirit has now worked within you.

    The work of the holy spirit is not only to create faith but also to use the law to force men to serve each other and to terrify us over our sins. so yes, your knowledge, from the bible of Jesus as God was the work of the Holy Spirit. The law is our school master to bring us to christ.

    I am not sure that I understand what your point is from that.

    the Lords peace be with you Tom.

  • http://uest fws

    #21 tom

    “(1.) God was real and (2.) dwelt among us as Jesus of Nazareth. I had no convincing proof of these things. I believed them because of His Word. ”

    you are so right to distiguish faith, which is where you believe that what Jesus did is FOR YOU from that historical faith that is really no faith at all. the devil and his angels know and also believe as true that Jesus is God. That Jesus on the cross can be a terrible preaching of the law in fact, that drives men to despair like Judas without the faith that the holy spirit has now worked within you.

    The work of the holy spirit is not only to create faith but also to use the law to force men to serve each other and to terrify us over our sins. so yes, your knowledge, from the bible of Jesus as God was the work of the Holy Spirit. The law is our school master to bring us to christ.

    I am not sure that I understand what your point is from that.

    the Lords peace be with you Tom.

  • Tom Hering

    Bror,

    Protection from bad doctrine (and/or the personal enthusiasms of a pastor) in a rightly-ordered Divine Service is not just for mature believers. I agree. But we don’t order the Service around evangelism, the way Evangelicals do. We order it to remind us of our need to die and rise daily, and above all else, to share God’s grace with His people – through God’s chosen means.

    No, I don’t think the tattoo service is a good thing. I do think God can use it to save. I thought I was clear about that @ #4.

  • Tom Hering

    Bror,

    Protection from bad doctrine (and/or the personal enthusiasms of a pastor) in a rightly-ordered Divine Service is not just for mature believers. I agree. But we don’t order the Service around evangelism, the way Evangelicals do. We order it to remind us of our need to die and rise daily, and above all else, to share God’s grace with His people – through God’s chosen means.

    No, I don’t think the tattoo service is a good thing. I do think God can use it to save. I thought I was clear about that @ #4.

  • Tom Hering

    fws,

    At what point is belief a saving faith? Looking backward, at the point God creates it in order to save. Which stretches back before the creation of the world.

    So let’s be careful not to extinguish belief that appears inadequate to us. Let’s instead encourage others to grow in the Truth, gently. The clear, unadulterated Gospel IS appealing – to those who haven’t hardened their hearts. (Do we know the heart of another?)

  • Tom Hering

    fws,

    At what point is belief a saving faith? Looking backward, at the point God creates it in order to save. Which stretches back before the creation of the world.

    So let’s be careful not to extinguish belief that appears inadequate to us. Let’s instead encourage others to grow in the Truth, gently. The clear, unadulterated Gospel IS appealing – to those who haven’t hardened their hearts. (Do we know the heart of another?)

  • http://Bror0122@hotmail.com Bror Erickson

    Tom,
    “But we don’t order the Service around evangelism, the way Evangelicals do.”
    Perhaps not. But neither do I think we should. I do think that the liturgical service can be a great service in Evangelism though. Even the apostle Paul recommends an ordered coherent service rather than the speaking in tongues spectacle as a witness to the unbelievers.
    The historic liturgy, that we inherited from the synagogue through the apostles, and have carried with us from the very beginning is an awesome way to absorb the whole counsel of God.

  • http://Bror0122@hotmail.com Bror Erickson

    Tom,
    “But we don’t order the Service around evangelism, the way Evangelicals do.”
    Perhaps not. But neither do I think we should. I do think that the liturgical service can be a great service in Evangelism though. Even the apostle Paul recommends an ordered coherent service rather than the speaking in tongues spectacle as a witness to the unbelievers.
    The historic liturgy, that we inherited from the synagogue through the apostles, and have carried with us from the very beginning is an awesome way to absorb the whole counsel of God.

  • Wyldeirishman

    I hate this subject.

    Having ink of my own, I’ve been subjected to no end of well-meaning (?) pugilists armed with OT texts disparaging my tattoo.

    The flipside of that, then, is this unimaginative chicanery.

    I’m a big kid, so I can handle the former.

    The latter merely causes me to throw up in my mouth a little bit.

  • Wyldeirishman

    I hate this subject.

    Having ink of my own, I’ve been subjected to no end of well-meaning (?) pugilists armed with OT texts disparaging my tattoo.

    The flipside of that, then, is this unimaginative chicanery.

    I’m a big kid, so I can handle the former.

    The latter merely causes me to throw up in my mouth a little bit.

  • http://uest fws

    Comment #25 Tom Hering said:
    fws,

    The clear, unadulterated Gospel IS appealing – to those who haven’t hardened their hearts. (Do we know the heart of another?)

    yes, in fact we do tom. the bible says that the gospel is foolishness and that the heart of all men is set at enmity against God. that man cannot, by his own reason or strength believe in Jesus or come to him.

  • http://uest fws

    Comment #25 Tom Hering said:
    fws,

    The clear, unadulterated Gospel IS appealing – to those who haven’t hardened their hearts. (Do we know the heart of another?)

    yes, in fact we do tom. the bible says that the gospel is foolishness and that the heart of all men is set at enmity against God. that man cannot, by his own reason or strength believe in Jesus or come to him.

  • CRB

    FWS #23

    “The work of the holy spirit is not only to create
    faith but also to use the law to force men to serve
    each other and to terrify us over our sins.”

    The first part of this statement is correct, however,
    the h.s. does not “force” a believer to serve others. Rather, it is love of Christ and what He has done that
    cause this to happen as one grows in faith.

  • CRB

    FWS #23

    “The work of the holy spirit is not only to create
    faith but also to use the law to force men to serve
    each other and to terrify us over our sins.”

    The first part of this statement is correct, however,
    the h.s. does not “force” a believer to serve others. Rather, it is love of Christ and what He has done that
    cause this to happen as one grows in faith.


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