Monday, July 5, 2010

Don't Build on Feelings!

I found this video (below) on google.  We have an original or two in our church library.  The quality of the video on google is not good but, I think, better than nothing.  You can watch by clicking on the video below or at this link on google video:

I ran into it because I was trying to recall a scene in this movie where Martin Luther hurts the feelings of a young woman--he hurts them terribly.  Why?  She bought an indulgence, based on her faith in the Roman Catholic church.  She bought an indulgence to help her poor sick daughter.

The scene begins about 35 minutes into the movie.  The woman who buys this indulgence has all the best intentions in the world.  She wants to help!  But as Martin Luther knows, help based on a lie is no good.

Martin looks at the paper she has bought and says, "It's just paper, Hanna.  These words mean nothing."  The look on Hanna's face shows her hurt and disappointment.  She says, "It's no good?" She is about to cry.  Martin then puts money in her hand and says she should trust in God's love and save her money to feed her daughter.

When Hanna leaves, Martin's turns and his face hardens.  And he begins writing the 95 theses that set in motion the Reformation--resulting, though Luther did not intend it, in the forming of a new church--a church that eventually took on his name.

Are the 95 theses just "paper" too?  Not if they are based on God's Word.  That has been the teaching of our church since its founding.  Our church is not based on making people feel good.  Even though it is painful to have our feelings hurt, something else is even more important--and that something is the truth.  Yes, we need to love, but truth must never be cast to the side.

If we encourage people to base their life on feelings because the Truth of God's Word is "inconvenient," or hard to interpret, we are wrong.  Building on anything other than the Word of God is building on feelings.  A church, or a life, based on feelings--it will fall.

Fortunately, the truth of the Bible has a shining center--the life, love, death and resurrection of the one who is the Way, the Truth and the Life, Jesus Christ, who came down from heaven as the Living Word of God born to live among us and to die for us.  Jesus hurt people's feelings too.  We saw that as we've been reading scriptures for the past few Sundays.  But that's okay. Feelings are always a poor foundation.  Good to get rid of it and build anew on the Truth--the truth that has within it the loving heart of God.

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