Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Faith vs. Feeling

Commemoration of Joseph of Arimathea
July 31, 2012

The Lord be with you

This morning I began doing my research, some in books and some on line, to prepare my posts concerning the Feasts and Commemorations for the month of August. August 3 is the Commemoration of Joanna, Mary, and Salome, Myrrhbearers, so I typed their names in my search engine and up came an article from Memorial Lutheran Church in Texas posted August 3, 2010. The names Joanna, Mary, and Salome, are in the date line, just like Joseph of Arimathea is in the date line for this post, but the post was not about them, just like this post is not about Joseph. The post is titled “Faith vs. Feeling.”

I was quite impressed with the post. It begins:

A seminary professor of mine told the story of a colleague in the pastoral ministry who was continually confronted by psychotic delusions. The man saw visions of demons and other horrible sights, which led him to doubt God's mercy toward him and even his own salvation. On these occasions he became convinced that what he saw and felt were absolutely true, a la the character played by Russell Crowe in the movie, A Beautiful Mind, about the mathematician, John Forbes Nash, Jr. But what he saw led not merely to social faux pas for this pastor, but a kind of spiritual despair. He knew several things theologically about what he saw. First, he knew that the horrible accusations levied against him by the monsters that seemed to crawl into and out of his own mind were absolutely true. It was true that he was a depraved sinner. It was true that decaying death was stalking him. It was true that he felt God's burning wrath against him and he deserved it. Second, he knew that such things were trumped once and for all by Christ His Lord and Savior. He confessed this faithfully in his whole life's work. Everything that he did and stood for was a rebellion against the feeling of spiritual despair that he experienced when he suffered one of these psychotic episodes. He found on those occasions that he needed to return to the Word of God, which brought him something …

To finish reading the post follow the link: http://www.mlchouston.org/memorialmoments/mm_20100803.html

Blessings in Christ,
Pastor John Rickert

No comments:

Post a Comment