the tension of &

I’m walking a pretty tight tension right now, and two of Luther’s statements sum them up pretty well:

1.

“Jesus, however, was wary of these believers. He understood people.”
– based on John 2:24

“No one understands how difficult it was when I first realized that I had to believe and teach an idea that was contrary to the teachings of the church fathers. This was especially shocking to me when many outstanding, reasonable, and educated people share their views. …Despite that, my dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ must be worth more to me than all the holy people on earth…Whenever this happens it is very difficult for me to calm my own heart and differ with people who are so greatly respected. But I dare not accept something just because a respected person says it. A person can be holy and God-fearing and still in error. ….Rather than trusting the church fathers and their writings, we should crawl under the wings of our mother hen, the Lord Christ, and look to him alone. The heavenly Father said, ‘This is my son, whom I love and with whom I am please. Listen to him.’ (Matthew 17:5).”

2.

“But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to
give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the
hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”
– 1 Peter 3:15

“When you’re challenged or asked about your faith, you shouldn’t respond arrogantly. You shouldn’t be defiant or forceful, as if you were tearing trees out of the ground. Rather, you should respond with fear and humility, as if you were standing before God and answering him…..Do not rely on your own power. Rely instead on what Christ promised: ‘When they hand you over to the authorities, don’t worry about what to say or how to say it. When the time comes, you will be given what to say. Indeed you’re not the ones who will be speaking. The Spirit of your Father will be speaking through you’ (Matthew 10:19-20). When you have to five an answer, you ought to arm yourself with Scripture. But don’t pound it home with a proud spirit. Otherwise, God will tear the verse from your mouth and from your memory even if you were armed with all the verses beforehand. Therefore, caution is needed here. But if you are prepared, you can answer princes, leaders, and even the devil himself. Just make sure you aren’t speaking in magnificent human words, but the Word of God.”