Thursday, April 2, 2009

Chemotherapy For The Soul

Also they teach that since the fall of Adam all men begotten in the natural way are born with sin, that is, without the fear of God, without trust in God, and with concupiscence; and that this disease, or vice of origin, is truly sin, even now condemning and bringing eternal death upon those not born again through Baptism and the Holy Ghost. - Augsburg Confession Article 2

Sin is a disease. A nasty, virulent disease that consumes and destroys both body and soul. It is a horrific cancer acquired from the toxic environment of a fallen creation. Everyone is infected and what is worse, nobody can do anything about it. We are done for from the word go. Our bodies, part and parcel of corrupted physical creation, will be destroyed in the cleanup. Our souls, more durable, will go on in their wretched, loathsome state, forever separated from their Creator. This is the miserable natural state of humanity.

In the face of this disease what does the world offer as consolation? Chicken soup. A seemingly endless succession of inspirational anecdotes, feelgood displays of civil righteousness and gentle (or not so gentle) admonitions that we can and should pull ourselves up by the bootstraps. This is perhaps preferable to embracing the gnawing emptiness of postmodernism but the warmth of the chicken soup dissipates quickly. We are still being eaten away from the inside. The "home remedy" doesn't work, no matter how hard we try to pretend.

What we need is real medicine to fight the cancer. We need radiation therapy, the light of the Gospel to penetrate to the darkest recesses of body and soul where sin has taken hold. We need chemotherapy, the body and blood of our Lord, shed for the remission of sins. When the cancer of sin returns, as it always does, Christ has promised us free treatment, Word and Sacrament, as often as needed, to drive the disease back into remission. He has paid for it with His life, to give life and hope to us. Thanks be to God!

The next time you need treatment for disease are you going to the hospital or to the "Umpteen Things I Gotta Do To Live A Better Life" seminar?

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