Wineskins of Faith – March 8, 2015

OT Lesson: Ezekiel 16:53-60 NT Lesson: 2 Corinthians 5:11-21 Gospel Lesson: Luke 5:27-39 During Lent, we have been looking at the issue of discipleship and how we can use these 40 days to grow in Grace and perhaps set some new priorities for our lives. Most of you know I am drawn to the writings of American Theologian Reinhold Niebuhr who is perhaps best known for his study of the task of relating the Christian Faith to the realities of modern politics and diplomacy. An example is what he said of the Ku Klux Klan: “It is one of the worst specific social phenomena which the religious pride of peoples has ever developed.” He singled out the KKK as representative of a broader issue within the Christian Faith, which he labeled ‘frantic orthodoxy’. As I have mentioned several times,  according to Niebuhr, frantic orthodoxy – like many examples of self-righteousness – distorts itself through a layered prism The quote – so insightful and so true “Frantic orthodoxy,” said Niebuhr, “is never rooted in faith, but in doubt. When we are not sure, we are doubly sure.” Indeed, frantic orthodoxy frequently masquerades as the Christian Faith’s true religion – always with hurtful and harmful results. Frantic orthodoxy stands in stark contract to discipleship. You may remember our definition of discipleship we discussed a few weeks: Discipleship is ‘a willingness to learn new things.’ Discipleship thrives on revelation as we grow ever-closer to Jesus. But, in keeping with the Adversary’s methods, frantic orthodoxy can seem so appropriate; so logical; so necessary.  Jesus had returned to Galilee, the region of His upbringing....