Thursday, April 12, 2007

an interesting quote...

"Sin boldly, but believe and rejoice more boldly still." - Martin Luther

I like this quote. Though, I do acknowledge the paradoxical nature of it. I am sure some of you are even thinking, "Yeah...but a lot of people are really going to take that first part to heart...the 'sin boldly' part. That could be dangerous."

And that's fair.

But I think that the first two words are less of a exhortation and more of an observation. Luther is saying, "We humans sin boldly. We do. Whether we want to or not, that is the reality. So if we sin boldly, then let us strive to believe and rejoice even more boldly still."

Luther was an intense realist. And sometimes the lines are blurred between realism and fatalism. Maybe that is the case here. I don't know. But I appreciate the honesty and passion of the quote.

Also, quite frankly, I don't know what the context of the quote is. I came across it in the introduction to 'Life Together' by Dietrich Bonehoeffer. So who is to say that, when expounded upon, the quote wouldn't seem less shocking.

Either way, it piqued my interest. So I thought I'd share it with you.


Anonymous said...

That is an interesting quote. And we do sin boldly. How many times have you sinned and can look back an say you were completely oblivious of the sin? We are intelligent people. We know right from wrong, but sometimes boldly choose to do wrong. Very interesting.


bill said...

thats true. and what intrigues me about the quote is that luther starts if that much is assumed...and then proceeds to call us to something higher and better.

but that something higher and better, for luther, doesn't start with piety or morality. it starts with a heart that rejoices boldly in God.

maybe more rejoicing boldly will lead to less sinning boldly.

maybe. but i don't think that there is a hard, fast rule that can be applied universally. i think for some people the chicken comes first, while for others its the egg.

but i think we church people have often assumed and taught that lethargic piety is better than honest passion...a rejoicing in God that acknowledges that we fail and will continue to fail when it comes to morality, but will strive to never fail when it comes to worshiping, honoring and adoring Him.

Kevin said...

What I find refreshing is the premise is not an aspiration but an affirmation. Not "I want" or "I would" but "I am." It's one of God's many names, and it is the starting point for both a life of honest reflection and a relationship with the Creator of every "I" there ever was. It affirms that God can create beauty and, somehow, be honored and multiply our efforts to please Him, with a starting point that is far from His best intentions for His children. I sin. You sin. We all do. So let's start with what is and go forward from there, and may God be praised.

The Anonymous Human said...

I've always been a fan of Rich Mullins. Something I love most is that he wasn't the best singer around. He didn't do all sorts of runs and trills (is that what their called?) probably because he couldn't.

But what he could do was create songs that made you long for God.

After he died, a video was made as a kind of tribute to his life. They interview family and friends. Micheal W. Smith even makes it on there. And any video with Schmitty is a good thing.

Anyway, there's this Irish guy on the video that tells a couple of stories about his experiences with Rich. Something that has always struck me was this quote. This isn't verbatim, but it's pretty dang close...

"Rich's appetite for sin was great. Probably even greater than mine. Yet he had this unique ability to journey as close to God as possible, far closer than any of us dream of going. And then coming back and writing about it."

I've heard through the grapevine that Rich liked to smoke a little doobie from time to time. I'm sure he had other bold sins in there too. But one thing is for sure. If there was ever a man who rejoiced boldly, it was Rich Mullins.

Brokenness-Quebrantado said...

"we don't just put up with our limitations; we celebrate them"(Paul in his second letter to the Corinthians) We are told to celebrate our strengths, but what about celebrating our humanity, our limitations, our moments when we can not do but lay in the pit of our sin and be a remainder of Abba's strength in us. Every time I fail it is a remainder of the rough human I am. But my weakness, my limitations are the start of the way to wholeness.