Thursday, October 04, 2007

They still consider it fanaticism: Walther on seeking self-interest.

From The Proper Distinction between Law and Gospel, C.F.W. Walther, p. 386:

"If some one were to arise in a congregation of such people and declare with greaty joy that he is loving God above all things and that God is his all, that He is everything to him, he would be regarded as speaking out of his mind. Such people have not the least inkling that it is possible to love God above all things. The Second Table of the Law receives no better treatment from them than the First. Little it is that a member of a so-called "free" congregation know of the Second Table, spite of the zealous preaching of virtue and piety by his minister. When he returns from church, he proceeds to cheat people in enormous fashion and calls that 'business' He may be merged in sin and shame and pass for an honorable man. On occasion he may show himself liberal and give a hundred dollars to-day, but cheat people out of a thousand to-morrow. His maxim is: Charity begins at home. When he is reproved for not conducting his business in the interest of his fellow-men, but for the purpose of making a lot of money, he considers that fanaticism. You see, by means of the Law we cannot raise anything better than miserable hypocrites.

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