What Christian Unanimity Does and Does Not

Advent 2 Monday

Romans 15:5-6

“Yet may the God of patience and comfort give you that you may be of one mind among one another according to Jesus Christ, so that you may with one voice unanimously praise God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

You should not go ahead and become a judge with your teaching in this matter and divide Christian unanimity by saying: “You are doing the right thing and should do it; but he does not do the right thing and should not do it.” This is the teaching of the teaching of the devil’s apostle and Satan. The pope and the papists do this. A pastor should only preach to the wolves like this. Otherwise, Christian unity will be divided. Many judgments follow from this: You are a heretic; you disobey the church and do not do the right thing, etc. This would please the devil…Yet I say these things only about matters that are left free by God’s Word: Here you may offend the pope, as a wolf, with his crazy laws, while allowing the weak believers to remain in those laws for a time in order to lead them to liberty eventually lest they be offended too quickly and be destroyed in their conscience. However, in matters that are not left free, but are forbidden or commanded by Christ, there is no need for much discussion: Weak or strong consciences alike, they all are duty-bound to resist the pope, the greatest and the smallest, e.g., where the pope teaches to regard the Lord’s Supper to be a sacrifice and good work. This is the most abominable abomination that has come about on earth. The pope’s government with all religious
foundations and monasteries is founded on the sacrifice of the mass. No one is excused here, be he weak or strong. For Christ established the Lord’s Supper as a sacrament and testament. It cannot be sold, imparted, or given to someone else; rather, like baptism, each must receive it for himself…The apostle adds that we should be of one mind among one another according to Jesus Christ. That is, we should be unanimous in a Christian manner. For the unbelievers are also unanimous, not according to Christ, but according to the flesh and the world and the devil. The Jews also were unanimous against God and his Christ, as Psalm 2:2. Christian unanimity wars against sin and against everything that is
unchristian; it neither does nor imposes sin. This is why it has a way of making all Christians one, first in the faith, then also in morals or life. Yet if someone is weak in the faith or deficient in life, Christian unanimity does not let the person remain such; much less does it quarrel with them or reject or condemn them. Rather, it receives them and does for them what it would like to have done for itself, and as Christ has done for it in the same and even greater case. In this way, everyone does what pleases the other and hits on what the other has in mind; thus, they remain unanimous. Opposed to this are those who are headstrong where each leaves the other, despises and condemns the other; where one does not receive the other; where each goes his own way as he sees fit, as we now see in the religious orders, priests, and all other sects.

St. Louis ed., 12:38-39.

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