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Thursday, April 27, 2017

A Bunch of Do Do

Now that I have your attention with that title, let me tell you what I am talking about.

I woke up at about 7am to get ready for church, looking out the window I noticed that we are having quite an ice storm, but I figured that since Jesus was going to be at church, as the pastor, I should get to church, but first, I need to hit the snooze button for an extra 7 minutes of much-needed sleep since I never sleep well on Saturday nights.

The phone rang and woke me from my brief slumber, it was my head elder. He said that all the churches in the area were closing due to the weather. He asked me if we should follow suit? I gathered my thoughts and said it may be better to cancel church today than do a bunch of funerals this week for those who had driven into ditches. I felt some sort of sinful relief, rolled over and went back to sleep for another hour.

I woke up at 8am and turned on the radio. As I channel surfed, I had the opportunity to listen to all sorts of preachers and all I can say about them is they were a bunch of do do.

You may be thinking that is harsh and you also may be thinking that my spelling is one “o” off, but you only caught one of the meanings. As I listened to preachers including the "pope of the protestants", Billy Graham, all I heard was how Christians need to do this or do that or do some other thing in order to be pleasing to God. I heard about how I had to be more giving of myself, how I needed to have a love for justice and how I need to appropriate God’s forgiveness with my decisions and public professions. What a bunch of do do.

Do do, appeals to us for we like to insert ourselves into our salvation and when we do, we frolic in our do do. It is man’s nature to love do do, for we are totally turned in on ourselves and when we are turned in on ourselves, we find that faith is not a gift, but something we do, do.

The theology of the cross, tells us that we are sinners in all that we are, and in all that we do. This theology tells us that we have nothing in and of ourselves that is appealing or meritorious before God. We confess in this that we need to be salvaged from our sinfulness, we need to be raised from the death of our sins to eternal life. We also find that we dead men cannot raise ourselves from the dead, but we need a Savior to raise us.

With this comes a theology of done done. Jesus has done our salvation for us. Jesus has done for us the sacrifice to end all sacrifices. Jesus alone has conquered death and sin as we could not do that for ourselves.

When our faith is looking in on ourselves, we hear do this and do that, we hear sermons of do do. Do love your neighbor, do give your time and money, do give your heart to Jesus do do do. And when we are told to do, we are directed not outward toward Jesus, but inward to our own sinful hearts. But what comes out of the heart of man? Nothing but sin, Matthew 15:19 "For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.”

When we are told “do this” or “do that,” we will never have peace, for this sort of do do is about what we do, but when we hear done, done for you and for your salvation, then we find rest for we find our salvation is not up to us, but already done and fulfilled in Jesus Christ from the cross and through the resurrection.

Next time you listen to Christian radio, ask yourself, is this a bunch of do do or is this done in Christ?

If it is do do, turn it off for nothing is more harmful to the soul than this sort of, well, as Martin Luther would gently put it, well… he wouldn’t be gentle, you supply the expletive.

- Rev. Craig Donofrio

This is something that I wrote for Higher Things about 10 years ago.  It is no longer to be found in their archives so I thought that I would share it here

Find out more about The Donofrio's Mission work in Eurasia at www.craigandpaula.org
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3 comments:

  1. "Certainly not just water, but the word of God in and with the water does these things, along with the faith . . . ." I just noticed this in my morning time with the Lord. ". . . along with the faith" does not mean that "faith" is something we create any more than "to those who 'received' Him to them He gave the power to become the children of God" means that we created the "receiving" without the work of God through the Word.

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  2. Certainly not just water, but the word of God in and with the water does these things, along with the faith. Keep it up.

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