Thursday, October 19, 2006

No joke, no satire, no sarcasm

Yesterday, I spent two hours pouring over the Scripture references, checking the cross-referenced passages, reading and re-reading the comments, and trying to make sense of “What’s Wrong with Ablaze! – part 6.” None of what follows will make any sense if Frank’s post and posted comments (mine included) are not read first. I am posting a follow-up comment here on my own blog, rather than on Frank’s, as my reply is lengthy, and I do not want to hijack his intent to explain his concerns over Ablaze! by his shedding the light of Scripture and the Confessions on it.

Dear Rev. McCain,

I wasn’t kidding when I said it took me a great deal of courage to write you in the first place. This is no false praise or toadyism. I really DO have a great deal of respect for you. After your return from your summer break, you questioned the pros and cons of blogging. I’m glad you stuck with it, because your posts at Cyberbrethren have been a valuable part of what I consider my training in the Confessions. Like it or not, to many of us you ARE an imposing (and I mean that in its most positive construction) figure in the LCMS, CPH, and the blogosphere. I was truly hoping you would shed some additional light on this post and comments.

Though it was a harsh blow, your chastisement of my having no integrity or courtesy was not wholly unexpected, as I’ve read the same chastisement given to other blogs/bloggers who have attempted to contact you anonymously. I do respect your personal policy of not responding; that is why I have never posted a comment at your site. But since you’ve recently communicated with an anonymous aardvark, an anonymous dead theologian, and most immediately, the anonymous comment-writer known as “A. Blaise” in this post, I thought you might also grant exception to an anonymous mouse. I obviously misread your cues; the fault is mine. I believe I have also misread the dynamics of the comments posted before mine. In retrospect, they appear to be a private (though posted publicly) discussion between you, Frank, and “A. Blaise”. I apologize for butting in and furthermore apologize for injecting the question of your believing Frank’s comments. Whether you do or not is between you and Frank, and my input was neither necessary nor helpful. Please forgive me. As for my own comment, I ask you to re-read it, picturing in your mind’s eye someone who is eagerly hopeful of knowledge, not someone full of haughty disrespect. I have re-read it numerous times, and can see how easy it would be to picture my “voice” as belligerent. Please know this was never, never the case.

Rev. McCain, I have shed more tears over the LCMS than I ever thought my body was capable of producing. Over the last several years, my contending for the sound doctrine of the Lutheran Confessions has reaped personal attack and/or betrayal by two boards of elders, a pastor, a congregation, a circuit counselor, a reconciler, and two district presidents. I try not to feel overly sorry for myself at this. Through the pain, God has matured my faith a great deal, and for that I give Him thanks and praise. Many in the synod have suffered worse than I, yourself included, and Jesus suffered far, far worse -- and that for my transgressions. So, like yet another anonymous blogger, I, too, trust when dark my road.

I know there is no way you could have known any of my personal background as my blog entries are usually of a more frivolous nature, and I am, after all, anonymous. I understand that knowing a bit of it now may make no difference whatsoever in your no-anonymity policy, and since I am remaining anonymous, I have no expectations that you will take me any more seriously now than you did at Putting Out the Fire, nor do I expect any response. Truth be told, I actually fear that you will respond, and only beg you not to hit me again, remembering that behind every anonymous blogger lies a flesh and blood person, and some of them already quite bloodied and scarred.

Dear “A. Blaise,”

If this is your real name, I apologize for putting it in quotes. As the home of Luther N. and Justin Stauld Pastor, I thought A. Blaise was just a clever take on Ablaze!.

Dear Readers,

I am now approaching 32 hours without sleep, the bulk of it spent in thinking about and working on these posts and this reply. Even now, I am concerned that I may be perceived as some self-styled martyr, tooting my own horn like an obnoxious, twelve-chorus, I-I-I praise ditty, but frankly, I’m too weary in body and especially spirit to invest any more time in it, and it's still another ten days before I taste the comfort of our Savior’s Body and Blood. My pastor has suggested my cruising the internet (reading blogs and researching doctrine) is, at least for now, constantly renewing the pain of my battle scars, and he has prescribed rest. It obviously is not helping my insomnia and depression so I guess he’s right. Therefore, I’m going back into another posting-hibernation, maybe until spring, maybe permanently.

Lastly, Dear Frank,

Thank you so much for everything. I look forward to your next fine, timely, step-by-step critique of Ablaze! They’ve been of great assistance in yet another defense-of-doctrine situation I’ve found myself in. I hope you will continue them.


Frank said...

Mouse, I'm afraid you are in error concerning the intent of my last six posts. The reason I wrote them is merely to explain to "B" why I didn't think Ablaze! was a good program. While the result may have to expose the theological weakness of Ablaze!, I promise you it was only ancillary. "B" wanted to know if I could back up any argument with something from the Confessions or Scripture. I've tried my best to do that.
Thank you for the kind words!

Twice Burned said...

You are right, Frank. Your intent was to explain, not expose. It is the Scripture and Confessions that are doing the exposing. My apologies, and I am changing my post to reflect this.

Not Alone +++ PAS said...

Dear Burned Mouse,

I find myself wanting to express sorrow over the fact that you have been burned as you have, but I'm not sure that is really appropriate. I actually think that instead I should praise God for it and to tell you how glad I am for your burns.

After all, St. Paul says that this is your glory because it shows whom you are following and with whom you are truly in communion.

As one who is no longer unequally yoked, no longer living in communion with the false church body in which I was baptized, confirmed, ordained, married, persecuted from state to state and congregaton to congregation, I know the pain of the burns that you have. I know the tears that you shed. I know the long nights of searching for God where He has not declared Himself to be.

Noah, Abraham, St. Paul, Luther, all true saints experience this and finally flee from the communion that is not of the Lord. After all, this is what God calls us to do, to flee that which is false and abide in the truth.

I can tell you from my own experience that no matter how much you seek pure doctrine, you will find no peace while you are unequally yoked. You will end up doing one of two things:

1. You will continue as you are, seeking and seeking until finally you give up hope for finding the Church of Christ where compromise is not tolerated, thereby settling for the impurity that surrounds you and vexes your soul.


2. You will follow Christ rather than your church body, even if that means standing alone as did Noah for 120 years, and as did St. Paul in prison and in the arena and before kings and many accusers, as did Luther when told to recant.

The Lord Jesus declared that He did not come to bring peace but a sword. You are experiencing this and you are confused. But your confusion and your pain is not the Lord's doing. You already know His will and you are resisting it, and this causes you much grief. As the Lord told St. Paul/Saul, "it hurts to kick against the goads." The reason that the goads hurt is because we resist them rather than going the direction that the Holy Spirit is prodding us to follow.

Something to consider . . .

God's peace to you in Christ Jesus, and restful sleep,

Orycteropus Afer said...

Dearest Mouse, this Aardvark misses your writing and hopes that soon you'll return to the keyboard.