31 January 2012

Old Lutheran Quote of the Day

Our Lord Jesus has an unusual way of managing His Christians.  The greater His saint the greater the cross that saint must bear.  The more He loves a man, the more roughly He rakes him over the coals of anguish.  No one should become a Christian with the intent of having a good life in this world.  Abraham's case here clearly shows this. -- Blessed Valerius Herberger, The Great Works of God III/IV, p. 84.


Unknown said...

This is another, albeit early, instance of the “it’s all about us” theology. One might first ask whether it is possible for Someone Whose love is perfect, to love someone more and someone less. Also, it makes our Lord a sadist. Surely God does not look at someone and says, “Wow, what a wonderful saint! I must really make him suffer!” How much He must have loved those victims of the Holocaust who underwent unspeakable suffering - suffering we cannot begin to imagine. Here I will boast foolishly, as Paul did, “I know I have seen and experienced more suffering than the majority of the people who sit next to me in church. But God does not love me any more, or, for that matter, any less than he loves them.” Finally, should a person think, “God does not love me,” because that person is not suffering? Or maybe he is not even a Christian?

If He loves to make those Whom He loves suffer, why did our Lord teach us to pray, “And bring us not to the time of hard testing”?

Indeed “nobody should become a Christian with the intent of having a good life in this world.” Nobody ever does! One becomes a Christian because one is called by the Holy Spirit through the Gospel.

God is not responsible for suffering any more than He is responsible for sin and death. Adam is; and we are. God does not send us suffering. It comes as the natural result of the Fall. But He is the only one Who can use suffering for redemption, as He did in His own dear Son, and as He can through His saints, whom He gives faith to accept suffering and still praise Him.

Peace and Joy!
George A. Marquart

andrew said...

Whom the Lord loves he chastens, and he scourges every son whom he receives (Heb 12).

Unknown said...

Andrew, you may want to look into the exegesis of Proverbs 3:11-12. Today we distinguish between parental discipline and abuse. When people are beaten to death, starved to death, burned to death or tortured and killed in unspeakable ways, this is not from God. Or raked over coals, for that matter.

As an aside, I am saddened that this topic has not generated as much interest as the Swedish Preface.

Peace and Joy!
George A. Marquart

Al Bergstrazer said...

In regards to this subject I would recommend a mini-article in The Lutheran Study Bible entitled 'God's Work in Healing' pg. 1800.