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Majoring in the Majors

The color of your Advent candles doesn’t matter. Nope.

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Calvin on Tradition

Preparing for my last sermon, I found some choice quotes from Calvin on submitting to traditions. (These are from the Institutes 3.19.7-11, with tiny modifications for readability).

We are not bound before God to any observance of external things which are in themselves indifferent (“adiafora”), but that we are now at full liberty either to use or omit them. … Once the conscience is entangled in the net, it enters a long and inextricable labyrinth, from which it is afterwards most difficult to escape.

In one word, we see whither this liberty tends viz., that we are to use the gifts of God without any scruple of conscience, without any perturbation of mind, for the purpose for which he gave them: in this way our souls may both have peace with him, and recognize his liberality towards us.

“A haughty mind often dwells in a coarse and homely garb, while true humility lurks under fine linen and purple.” Let every one then live in his own station, poorly or moderately, or in splendor; but let all remember that the nourishment which God gives is for life, not luxury….

… We should assert our liberty before men. This I admit: yet must we use great caution in the mode, lest we should cast off the care of the weak whom God has specially committed to us.

… Our liberty was not given us against our weak neighbors, whom charity enjoins us to serve in all things, but rather that, having peace with God in our minds, we should live peaceably among men. What value is to be set upon the offense of the Pharisees we learn from the words of our Lord, in which he says, “Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind,” (Matt. 15:14).

Bend over backwards to accomodate the weak, and ignore the Pharisees. How easy it is for me to do just the opposite!

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