Biblical Text: Luke 12:49-53 (Hebrews 11:17-31, 12:1-3, Jeremiah 23:16-29)
The text is an apocalyptic saying of Jesus. “Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division.” On the face of it, it contradicts the message of the angles of Christmas. This sermon attempts to keep them together. How do we have both divisions and peace?
Liberalism has not expanded because it has not had a Martin Luther, a leader committed to stripping away the corruptions, complexities and indulgences that have grown up over the years.
If you’ll forgive some outside advice, President Obama might consider running for re-election as Luther. It’s not enough to pick a series of small squabbles and then win as the least ugly man in the room. He might run as someone who believes in government but sees how much it needs to be cleansed and purified.
Just two thoughts. First, politically (which you should care about my opinion as much as the crank on the street), he’s probably right, and it would take someone with a D after their name to do it. Just like it took a former extremely pious monk. Second, and this is the deeper problem, arguing for greater purity of anything this side of heaven is a losing battle. That doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be done. The first use of the law is as a curb – the civil use of the law. In this case the corruptions, complexities and indulgences need to be curbed. But the law does not save. The more you focus on the law the more it exposes the depth of our degradation. We would create new ways of selling indulgences (cross reference K Street Project, Fannie Mae, TARP – friends of Angelo were just plain refreshing old school corruption). The good news is that there is a Lord who knows our plight. He was crucified under Pontius Pilate. And the increase of his government and his peace will never end. (Isa 9:7)