Who cares about the gospel? That’s what I often wonder, especially when it comes to those in Ashland who are supposed to be ministers of that gospel.
It frequently seems that "Israel's watchmen are blind, they all lack knowledge; they are all mute dogs, they cannot bark; they lie around and dream, they love to sleep...They are shepherds who have no understanding." Isaiah 56:10
A service was held on the campus of Ashland University regarding the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. Unfortunately, the meeting was a powwow of Catholics and Lutherans that shows us that a new reformation is needed.
If it would have been reported that the priests and pastors knelt together and repented of works based religion, lamented how they have cheated out God’s grace in salvation, wept over their having followed the doctrines of men, rather than the pure word of God, the service may have been something worth while.
If the Catholics would have been noted to have said, “Luther was right, we are justified by faith alone, and not by virtue of our baptism, acts of penance, sacraments, or other good works," that might have been reason to be hopeful.
If they would have announced that they are now looking to Scripture alone as the final authority for all life and faith and renounced the foolish edicts of popes and men, we may have had cause to rejoice.
If the priests would have declared that trust is to be in no other but Christ as the sole mediator between God and man, and all who cling to sacraments, prayers, priests, or anything else to bring them savingly to the Father have forsaken the true gospel put forth in Scripture...if that were said, there might have been common ground upon which to enter into worship.
But, so far as I can tell, nothing like that was said. Instead, there were dopey platitudes and silly side issues that had nothing to do with the true life giving gospel. It was more of a "lets hold hands and sing Kumbaya" moment, proving that no one cares about the fundamental concerns of the Reformation.
May God give us men who are willing to speak the truth.
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Matt is blessed to be a husband, father, and pastor in Ashland, Ohio.