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Blogging my thoughts 10/20/2008

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Blogging my thoughts

This morning in the New York Times (10/20/08 page A-5), I loved reading about the Biblioburro, the teacher in La Gloria, Colombia, who takes a lending library of books to the villages and does not lend out books until the children have listened to him read them a story. His name is Luis Soriano and he travels through the war-weary hinterlands of Northern Colombia, south of Aracataca, with his donkeys, Alfa and Beto, laden with books. In the village of El Brazil, Ingrid Ospina, an 18 year old, read from Rubén Darío’s, “Margarita”:

She went beyond where the heavens are

And to the moon said, au revoir.

How naughty to have flown so far

Without the permission of Papa.

How beautiful and courageous! I love the name “Margarita” because that was the name of a dear woman who watched over our children in Coney Island. They called her “Magalita,” because they could not yet pronounce her name.

My heart goes out with our bishop and other pastors who oppose proposition 8. It wants to deny the right for Gays to have same-sex marriage. We Lutherans should be more understanding. Look how Luther himself broke through what people considered divine law in that day and as a monk, a priest no less, married a nun, Katarina von Bora!

Did you hear the one about the fellow who sued the driver of a car that had run over him so he lost both his legs? The judge threw the case out of court, because he did not have a leg to stand on.

More seriously, Luther has the following to say about those who are on opposite sides of an issue:

My translation:

Sentence 57. “When both partners can appeal to their conscience, then forgiveness comes to both of them and one should forgive the other and bear the other’s burden.”[1]

I interpreted the burden to be that of the other’s conscience and I believe that is what Luther implied.

The sentence comes up on page 261 of Ebeling’s fine book: there is a controversy about public absolution, to which I believe Osiander is opposed. So Osiander should not be burdened with public absolution, while the other churches can practice it, until in a time when people are more calm, and differences can be set aside. For both sides Luther’s admonishment dominates, in a balanced way, asking them to wait for this time soberly, calmly, and patiently (page 261).

Indeed, in the “Freedom of a Christian” Luther goes farther than that:

“I must place even my faith and righteousness before God for my neighbor, so that they cover my neighbor’s sin, and then take that sin upon myself, and act no differently than if it were my very own, even as Christ did for all of us. That you see is the nature of love when it is genuine.”[2]

Christ who knew no sin became sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21), dying on the wretched tree of the cross to change it into the tree of life.

[1]From „Sentences“ in Gerhard Ebeling, Luthers Seelsorge: an seinen Briefen Dargestellt, (Tübingen: J. C. B. Mohr (Paul Siebeck), 1997), page 501.

[2] Philip D.W. and Peter D.S. Krey, Luther’s Spirituality, (New York: Paulist Press, 2007), page 89-90.


Written by peterkrey

October 20, 2008 at 5:55 pm

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2 Responses

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  1. you need an h in the first line of the poem
    She went beyond wHere the…….

    And Luther, the priest, didn’t go against the Bible (Matthew 19:4-6 & Mark 10: 6 – 9)when he wed – he disobeyed the Roman Catholic’s.

    Helen Davis

    October 21, 2008 at 6:43 pm

  2. dear Helen,

    Thank you for your correction and for still reading my blog. But Jesus never mentions same-sex marriage in the texts that you cite. He is speaking about marriages between men and women. Jesus never once mentions homosexuality. He came to save sinners and not to condemn them.

    Paul had trouble accepting them, but I think that he would change his position if he got to know Gays that were so by their identity, and not like men in prison, for example, who violate those they dominate that way.

    The Bible says things in terms of laws of that day. We cannot possibly follow them. Like the Levirate marriage law, Deut 25:5-10 or the Law of Lamech, the Law of Revenge, Gen. 4:23-24. Jesus himself annulled Moses’ law of equity in the Sermon on the Mount, “You have heard of old, but I say unto you….” He instituted the law of love, which drives us to repentance and a life strengthened by the Good News, that in Christ there is no condemnation, but we are all sinners saved by grace. How can we therefore exclude our Gay brothers and sisters, and allow their relationships no legal standing?

    Laws have to be thought out and derived from reason for the sake of the welfare and common good of a society. In our debates, we are thrashing them out.

    Hope this comment is helpful.

    I’ll be giving one of the lectures for the Luther Colloquy at Gettysburg Seminary on October 29th. Grace, mercy, and peace to you all!



    October 22, 2008 at 12:05 am

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