Thursday, August 25, 2016

A mad dog

A seminarian wrote,

I remember listening to a debate in my apologetics class regarding good works. One classmate made the point that Mother Teresa never did anything good because she did not have a regenerated heart. This is a controversial statement for two reasons. The second is that most people assume that she was a Christian because of her works, though that is debatable based on her writings and what she professed.

To be sure, this debate was taking place in a Calvinist (I would like to say evangelical, but I no longer know what this term means to others besides myself) seminary, where they will be very careful to reiterate that we are never saved by works (which by the way, all Christians believe, even Roman Catholics), but the conclusion that they came to, that it is doubtful that Mother Teresa was a Christian, is incredible.

Mother Teresa is someone whom I know fairly well, from reading about her work among the poorest of the poor (including among us who are not so poor), and her testimonies as well as what others have written about her. I know a fellow Christian when I see one. How can anyone doubt that she was a Christian? Well, I suppose the same people would doubt that a Roman pope could be a Christian… but my point is, that we are wasting our time and efforts to no avail, and in fact endangering our own souls, to judge others like this. In our effort to discern what is the correct doctrine of salvation or whatever, by our shallow judgments we trample the work of Christ in His saints, when they do not fit our presumptuous dogmatic schemes. Lord, have mercy!

Just call me a mad dog barking at a dumb wall that will not fall down no matter how hard I bark, but bark I must just the same. There are people trapped behind that wall, separated from the simple Truth who is Jesus Christ, the Lord and Savior of our souls, who also is knocking on the doors in that wall, seemingly to no avail.

Like the merchants of Gadara, they fear the Man who sent their livestock careening to their deaths down the cliffs by the Galilean lake. They care little about the man whose life was straightened by the Master's words, nor that he who ran naked and gashed himself is now in his right mind and clothed. They hear the Man knocking whose teachings they say they glorify and guard against the wrong-minded, and they themselves do not open the door. He might cast their livestock, their investment, into the lake too, and then they would have nothing, be nothing, except (if they still wanted it) to be His disciples. He might tell them, as He told the Gerasene demoniac, that He didn't want him to follow Him, but rather to go and tell others what had been done for him. And that's just not good enough for them. They want to sit on thrones to the Master's right and left. But can they drink the cup that He has drunk? Or will they, like the one ‘enthroned’ on the cross to His left, say, "Aren't you the Christ? Save yourself and us!"
(Luke 23:39)

No comments: