(Preached by Rev. David Kind, pastor of University Lutheran Chapel, Minneapolis, MN. www.ulcmn.org)
Let no one doubt that you are being sinned against in this. You are, but more importantly Christ is being sinned against. Yes, those who claim a fellowship with us as members of His mystical Body, who have been raised up as leaders in the Church, have chosen to serve two (or maybe more) masters. They will exchange the work of the Gospel in this place for 3.5 million dollars of mammon. And they are convinced that they will be serving God by doing so, but they are wrong. It is a pious lie, they have bought into long ago, a lie about how the Church could be better than what Christ and the Holy Spirit have made it; a lie that says if we just do things our way, if we compromise our way of worship, the forcefulness of our preaching, the strength of our confession, the discipline of Christ’s table, then the Church, and we as her people, will prosper. And if we conduct our churches more like cold-hearted businesses, then we will grow. And I say, what is this but unrighteous mammon, the mammon not only of money, but of man’s method, the idolatry of serving something other than our One True Master, Jesus Christ.
This is a frightening thing, for St. Paul warns: “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.” Those who sow deceitfully and unrighteously against Christ’s flock will reap God’s judgment if they do not repent. For attacking the Body of Christ is the same as attacking Christ Himself, no matter how pious the misguided intention may be.