Just a Wife and Mother on “Sister, Daughter, Mother, Wife”

I’ve recently written a post for the Lutheran women’s blog “Sister, Daughter, Mother, Wife” about being just a wife and mother. Feel free to check it out. Or, at the very least, see what others have written for the site–they have some wiser women than me writing for them. 🙂

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29 Comments on “Just a Wife and Mother on “Sister, Daughter, Mother, Wife””

  1. Rebekah says:

    I loved your words on vocation and especially loved seeing a picture of you, your husband, and Babykins. You guys are all adorable.

    p.s. I think we’re in a FB group together. (Kitty Luther Fan Club) Not on FB much right now but I think I recognize your name from somewhere.

  2. mcglaut190 says:

    I thought it was a nice post. Everyone does have different vocations. I think sometimes we become too worried about our “impressive” list of accomplishments, and God is more concerned about how we are living our lives and the values that we are living by.

    • Katrina says:

      To a certain extent, yes. But for a Christian, it’s not a matter trying to earn God’s approval with our values and choices. It’s knowing that we are already forgiven through Christ Jesus’s death. Because of this, we are free to live out our vocations in whatever way as long as it doesn’t go against God’s commands. Not that any of us are perfect, we simultaneously live as a saint and sinner (it doesn’t make sense, I know. We Lutherans are pretty comfortable with not fully comprehending how God works 🙂 ). But we know that God continues to see us blameless because Christ’s death was for ALL sin.

      Thanks for reading! 🙂

      • mcglaut190 says:

        I wish I could have responded to you sooner. I think I like you very much, and I always enjoy reading your posts. I was reading a news article recently, and it made me think how grateful I am that you and I both live in a time and place where we can discuss our religious beliefs (especially as they differ) openly without any fear. I suppose that the role of Christ is the main difference in our religions, as we believe that he was a prophet and messenger but not God or the son of God. This is the central part of the belief system that God should be worshiped alone without partner, and the messengers are examples to us to emulate and teach us our religion. I remember that I asked the pastor at our church when I was a teenager why Jesus’ death was necessary when God is all merciful and all powerful and perfectly capable of forgiving us without it. He said of course, but that is just the way God chose to do it (we were also Lutheran by the way). Perhaps with your husband being a pastor you have come to a more satisfying answer.

      • Katrina says:

        Thank you for continuing this discussion! I agree, it is wonderful that we live in a place that allows us to have an open discussion about religion without fear. And judging from your blog, it looks like we’re both tackling new motherhood at the same time. 🙂

        What denomination of Lutheranism were you when you were growing up? First off, you are correct that God is all merciful and powerful. He is also only good, which means He cannot abide to let evil live. Death (in understanding that death is eternal separation from God) is the consequence for evil. God’s mercy is found that He sent His Son to take our punishment for our evil. It was an atoning sacrifice on the cross, washing our sins away. It’s more than God just saying, “We’re cool guys, I’ll just let your sins go.” Sin is serious and it must be punished. That is why there needed to be death to cover sins.

        When talking this over with my husband, he said Romans is a good book in the Bible that discusses God’s righteousness, the Law, and justification. Romans 3:21-26 stood out to me, “But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it—the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.”

        I hope that makes some sense. It’s a complex topic to tackle, but it’s hard for us humans to understand why an all-powerful God would take on human nature for our sake. Thanks again for the discussion!

      • mcglaut190 says:

        I think I came across your blog to begin with because of the baby connection. I believe we were ecumenical, I had a friend in high school whose family was missouri synod, and I’m not aware of any other denominations. The Quran really makes sense to me. It says that the people who have studied the book will recognize it as they recognize their own children, and that’s how I felt when I first encountered it. It surprised me because I didn’t realize that’s what it was, but I could see so very clearly that the religions were all from the same root. I will have to read over your response again so that I can really think about it, as you are right that it can be a complex topic. I have a terrible time concentrating sometimes. I’m sure you can understand that! Babies can be quite a distraction.

      • Katrina says:

        Haha, I understand how concentrating with a baby goes! 🙂

      • mcglaut190 says:

        I want to be upfront with you that I am not interested in being Christian or anything like that. I am interested in understanding your point of view and what you are saying to me. I am also enjoying the discussion with you. I think our society too often avoids discussion of religion. I am also not trying to convert you. Our religion teaches that we should not hide the revelation which was given to us, which means we should share it and be open about it, but only God gives guidance, so what a person does with awareness or knowledge of revelation is ultimately up to them.
        I have read over your response again, no guaranteeing that I have completely understood what you have said. Sometimes people talk, I think, without understanding each other. My father asks me the same questions over and over again, which shows me that he is not really understanding my responses. For example, every year during Ramadan, he asks me what is the purpose of fasting, and every year we tell him that the Quran tells us that we have been commanded to fast as the people before us were so that we may learn self restraint (there may be other benefits, but I have to say in my personal experience that that is the biggest). Then again every year, the same question.
        I will have to try reading over Romans since your husband has recommended it. It has been a very long time since I have tried to grapple with some of these more complex ideas of Christian theology. I could see even in reading over your response that it really is a very different mindset and world view, and I think that can lead to difficulty in understanding because some of the basic concepts and ways of thinking are not the same.
        According to our religion, the way that people are cleansed from sin is through sincere repentance and God’s mercy. God states in the Quran that He forgives any sin except that of joining others in worship with him (and even that is with repentance).
        There is also, I think, a different concept of heaven and hell. The people who believe ultimately end up in heaven, but they may be punished beforehand. The people who reject faith go to hell permanently.
        The pastor at my church growing up, was I think very liberal. He taught us basically to believe that everyone (absolutely everyone) went to heaven, therefore hell was entirely irrelevant. He also told us that Satan was merely a personification of evil, not something that actually existed. I do not think these are really typical mainstream views.
        My husband likes to listen to a man called Dr. Zakir Naik. He is intelligent and can be interesting to listen to, but he likes to get into debates with Christians. There is another speaker who is similar. I feel like they are missing something because they act like it is just totally about their logic and winning a debate, and in matters of faith there is so much more. It touches the heart. It is what the heart knows.

      • Katrina says:

        That is fine that you are just interested in discussing our beliefs and not converting. I’m not interested in converting to Islam, but this is an interesting conversation!
        I’m sorry I cannot answer your question more clearly. I think the question of why God chose to send His Son to die for our salvation is one of the more difficult points in Christian theology. It’s hard to answer it sufficiently without going into “heavy” theology—stuff that I don’t even fully understand. Please let me know if you do get a chance to read Romans (but I understand if it takes you awhile to get to it. Again, babies take up so much of our time right now!). I should reread it as well since it’s been awhile since I’ve read that book in its entirety.
        I agree that our religions have different worldviews. I think it’s good to acknowledge that in discussions like these. Too often, it seems that Americans don’t want to acknowledge these differences and try to make all gods into one god. It makes it difficult to have meaningful conversation.
        I’ll confess that my knowledge of Muslim teachings is limited. I knew that Muslims fasted during the month of Ramadan, but I never knew why. Does the Quran only teach to fast to learn self-restraint or does it add other lessons? In the Old Testament, people often fasted as a sign of repentance and contrition for their sins. There are also times in the New Testament that talks about fasting as a way of disciplining your body. However, this isn’t commanded by God, so Christians are not bound to fast a certain times. It’s one of those things that fall under Christian freedom—it’s neither commanded nor forbidden.
        It seems that our means of salvation is very different in our religions. I’ve already talked to you about Christians believing that our forgiveness is found in Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. In Christianity, the only unforgivable sin is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit (Mark 3:28-29), but only God can judge that (that means we cannot look at a person and say that they are too terrible to be forgiven). Given that in Islam the unforgivable sin is worship with other faiths, what do you make of America’s tendency to do large, interfaith services after a national tragedy? I know the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod does not approve of that practice.
        The pastor you had growing up does sound quite liberal. The Bible does not teach that everyone will go to heaven. It teaches throughout that only those who believe in Christ and His forgiveness will go to heaven (John 11:25). This faith is given to us by the Holy Spirit. Granted, Christ’s death was done for all people, but many choose to reject this forgiveness. Likewise, Satan and demons are absolutely real. He is likened in 1 Peter 5:8 as being like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Americans are much more likely to pooh-pooh the idea of evil supernatural beings because they are much more subtle in the United States. I’ve talked to some people who grew up or lived in places like Africa where witchcraft is much more commonly practice and they have seen firsthand how powerful these demons can be.
        I agree, matters of faith cannot be fully explained by apologetics. Then it wouldn’t be faith.  I’ll have to wrap this up because my daughter is up for the day and will want to eat. Thanks again for continuing this discussion!

      • mcglaut190 says:

        I like that you are like me, and you have a lot to say. Some people you wouldn’t have a very interesting discussion with because they would only make a very brief comment or not really say anything. I know what you mean about getting around to reading with a baby. I have a pile about 2 feet high of things I have been meaning to read.
        As Muslims we do believe that we worship the same God as Christians and Jews, but you are right that that does not mean we have the same beliefs about God or the same understanding. I read somewhere that one of the main problems with most interfaith dialogues was that people did not like to talk about differences, which left them at a rather superficial level.
        Let’s see, about fasting, there are numerous benefits to fasting. The main verse that I was quoting is 2:183 “Oh you who believe, fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you that you may learn self-restraint.” Then after telling us times when we may be allowed not to fast or make the fast up from later days, such is being sick, traveling, pregnant, breast-feeding, etc. it says: “to complete the prescribed period and glorify Him in that He has guided you and perchance you may be grateful.” Then again in 2:187, it says “Thus does Allah make clear his signs to men: that they may learn self-restraint.” So I would say self-restraint is definitely the big one here. Scholars also mention things like being more conscious of God because you will remember him every time you feel hunger and some people say it gives us more empathy and compassion for the poor. There is some mention in the Quran of fasting as a penance for specific sins, such as killing game while on pilgrimage, breaking an oath, but this isn’t related to Ramadan, and I don’t think those are issues that most modern people think about very much. We can also do voluntary fasts if we choose to.Ramadan is also very much more than fasting as it is a blessed month when the revelation was sent down and the devils are chained, and many people stay up late into the night praying and reading Quran. I can really feel the difference in this month.
        About not being able to judge whether a person can be forgiven, I attended a lecture last year, which impressed me very much. It was about the Sweetness of Iman (Faith, there are 3 levels, Islam is submission to God, Iman is faith, and Ihsan when everything a person does is done only to please God, but I don’t think many people can make it to those higher levels). The Prophet said that in order to taste the sweetness of faith a person had to have 3 qualities: 1. Love God and His Messenger more than anything else. 2. Love all of humanity. 3. Hate to revert to disbelief.I think the speaker touched on all 3 points, but it was the loving all of humanity that really got to me because I think it is something so few people practice. He said that loving them doesn’t mean that we have to love the evil things that they do but we have to believe that no one is beyond the possibility of forgiveness , and everyone is capable of repenting and changing their ways. So we can hate the evil that they do, but we have to love them because they are God’s creation. And loving them can mean praying for them and hoping that they change their ways.
        I definitely know that devils are real. I have had some experience in that regard. Our religion teaches that there are unseen beings called jinn who were created out of fire before humans were created. Satan was one of the jinn. He considered himself very pious, and he used to be in company with the angels. Then when God created Adam, he told the angels to bow down to Adam, and Satan refused because he said he was better as he was created out of fire and we were created out of clay. So he and his offspring hate us because he blames us for his downfall, although it was his arrogance that caused his fall. In Arabic shaitan is the word not just for Satan but for any very evil jinn. As for the jinn some of them are believers (of any religion including Christianity) and some are not. But we are not to involve ourselves with them or anything else supernatural, because the shaitan are liars and mean us harm, and in general jinn are mischievous beings. I think your saying they are more subtle in America is exactly the thing. One of my friends said that she thought it was a big problem in America that so many people don’t believe that demons exist because people don’t take precautions against what they don’t believe in. Of course we believe that nothing can harm us without God’s permission, but God has warned us very specifically that Satan is our enemy. The shaitan have the ability to whisper in a person’s mind so that they person thinks that those are their own thoughts, and they will try to entice them to sin, and even failing that they will try to divert them from good deeds.
        I am enjoying the discussion with you, probably spending more time at it than I should. Time becomes such a commodity when you have a baby.

      • mcglaut190 says:

        I forgot to respond to one of your questions. The unforgivable sin in Islam is worshiping something else alongside God, such as idols, false gods, human beings, whatever things that people worship. The pagan Arabs believed in God, but they used to worship many false gods and idols as well, and God doesn’t allow that (which I’m sure makes perfect sense to you). Islam is very strict monotheism, the central point of our faith is that there is nothing worthy of worship except God. However, interfaith worship still seems somewhat problematic to me. For one thing I think it is pretty hard to make such a thing really neutral and not being doing something contrary to someone’s beliefs. And if it was that neutral, would it still have anything meaningful left in it? Also we are told that when we join a people we are counted among them, so in general we aren’t really supposed to celebrate their holidays or participate in such things. I don’t know about the response to national tragedies. I guess I’ve been a little cut off from that. But it has been an issue for me, as part of our religion is maintaining good relations with relatives (regardless of whether they are good to you) and I feel I should attend weddings and funerals, etc. I deal with this by going to the wedding, but when they pray to Jesus, I say to myself la illaha il Allah, there is no God except Allah, which is our statement of faith. I just got asked yesterday about attending a passover seder (I know it’s a long ways until passover). I have attended them in the past because my family has a lot of Jewish friends, and one year they specifically bought a kosher turkey so that I could eat it, so I felt rather obligated to attend. I kind of want to go as it is very good food and enjoyable, but I’m not sure that I’m supposed to.

      • Katrina says:

        Thanks for your response! I just wanted to pop in and let you know that I’m a little behind on, well, life right now but I’m hoping to give you a proper response soon! 🙂

      • mcglaut190 says:

        I did get around to some reading over the weekend. I probably should have taken note of the topics that I was interested to discuss with you, but I always think I will remember and then I don’t. Mommy brain. I think it comes from trying to keep track of too many things really.
        Anyway, one thing that Paul said that left an impression on me was that those who try to follow the law always bring down punishment on themselves. I understand that Christians believe that their salvation is through faith in Jesus, but surely Paul isn’t advocating that people shouldn’t try to follow the law. What (in your opinion because I’m sure this is a question that could have a lot of different answers) is a Christian’s motivation for trying to live a good and moral life? I have heard some people imply that since they are already forgiven through faith in Jesus they can simply do whatever they want, and I’m sure that’s not the attitude.
        Also Paul said that Abraham was righteous through his faith in God, and Abraham came before Jesus. If faith in God alone was enough for Abraham, why wouldn’t it continue to be so?
        Now this isn’t related to Romans at all, but I’m just curious historically when certain ideas or beliefs became more prominent or accepted and who were the people who promoted them. I know that very early Christians were much more divided on certain beliefs that are very much a part of mainstream Christianity today, such as Jesus being God/ the son of God. I know that it was not until around 300 that they canonized the books of the Bible, and they tried to burn or destroy everything else, and also they wrote the Nicene Creed (or was it the Apostle’s Creed? There’s that foggy brain again). I know that prior to that point there were the Arians and other heretical sects, and they got killed off (Certain points in history, it doesn’t seem the church was really living up to Jesus’ main teachings. I guess that’s the world we live in.). I guess what I’m trying to ask is with so many different beliefs among early Christians, how did the church come to its present teachings? It always left quite an impression of me that in the gospels Jesus never made any of these claims for himself and referred to himself as a prophet and the son of man. It does seem to me that Paul was quite influential in this regard.

      • Katrina says:

        So, you have a lot of great questions and comments—so much that I don’t think I can tackle all of them in one response. I’ll respond to your comments from November 19 first and see if I have time to respond to today’s questions. If I don’t tonight, I will eventually! 🙂

        First, off Christians would say that we do not worship the same God as Jews and Muslims. Even though we have the Old Testament as part of our Bible, we believe that Jews rejected God’s teachings and promises when they rejected Jesus as the promised Messiah. Likewise, since Muslims do not worship the Triune God (Father, Son, and Holy Ghost as 1 God in three parts), we do not hold your God to be the same as ours.

        I think there are some similarities for fasting between our two religions. I think I’ve already mentioned some of the reasons a Christian may fast—to show repentance, to focus on prayer, etc.
        Forgive my ignorance, but who is “His Messenger” that you refer to? Is it Jesus or Muhammad (or someone else)? Or is “The Prophet” Muhammad? I think I understand what you mean about loving humanity. Christianity has a similar teaching. Unfortunately, American culture has confused “love” and “complete acceptance”. We can love people and disagree with them. We can even tell them that we think they are wrong. 🙂 But we are also commanded to pray for our enemies.

        It’s interesting to learn about your jinns. I’ve only heard of them referenced briefly in a novel—for some reason I was under the impression they were genies, I have no idea why. So do jinn have a human form sometimes? The reason for Satan’s fall from heaven is different in our religions as well. We teach that Satan’s fall occurred sometime between the creation of the angels and Adam’s fall into sin. Satan was cast out of heaven because he tried to overthrow God. He is evil and already damned, so his goal is to take down with him as much of humanity as possible.

        When I mentioned interfaith worship services, I was talking about services that try to combine all religions. I didn’t even think about attending other religious services as a non-believer of that religion! I think I agree with the way you do it, although I don’t really go to any other religion’s services. In the past I’ve gone to other Christian denomination services and I just observe if they do something I don’t believe in (for example, LC-MS Lutherans do not take the Lord’s Supper with Christians from other denominations unless we are in altar fellowship with them. If I go to another denomination that is serving the Lord’s Supper, I just don’t go up for it). I realize it’s not quite the same, though.

      • mcglaut190 says:

        I think genie might be the plural. I think a lot of the stories I heard about genies before learning about Islam are more like folk tale type stories than really getting into their true nature. Yes, they can take on human form sometimes, but usual they are invisible. I think the root of the word actual refers to them being unseen or hidden. The angels were made out of light; they were made out of fire; and we are made out of clay.The goal of Satan to take down as much of humanity with him as possible. Here are some quote of the Quran that tell the story of Satan: 7:11-18 “It is We who created you and gave you shape. Then we bade the angels bow down to Adam, and they bowed down; not so Iblis (a name of Satan); He refused to be of those who bow down. Allah said: ‘What prevented you from bowing down when I commanded you?’ He said:’I am better than he: you created me from fire and him from clay.’ Allah said: ‘Get down from this: it is not for you to be arrogant here; get out for you are the meanest of creatures. He said:’Give me respite till the day they are raised up.’ Allah said, ‘Be among those who have respite.’ He said, ‘Because you have thrown me out of the Way, I will lie in wait for them on your Straight Way: Then will I assault them from before them and behind them, from their right and their left. You will not find in most of them gratitude for your mercies.’ Allah said: ‘Get out from this, disgraced and expelled. If any of them follow you, hell will I fill with you all.” 15:39 “Iblis said: “O my Lord! Because you have put me in the wrong, I will make wrong fair-seeming to them on the earth, and I will put them all in the wrong, except your servants among them, sincere and purified (by your grace).”
        I hope that is not too long for you. It seemed reasonable for you to assume I would have access to a Bible, but I didn’t necessarily think you would have a Quran if I just gave you the reference numbers.
        It is interesting that you say, you do not worship the same God. The opinion on that must depend upon the denomination. During our confirmation class, our pastor specifically told us that Muslims worship the same God as one of the students made a comment saying they worshiped a moon god.
        What is the altar fellowship?
        What is your opinion about other denominations then? Do you think that you are all still Christians? Does it depend on the denomination, etc?

      • Katrina says:

        Thank you for writing out that passage. You’re correct in assuming that I don’t have ready access to a Quran, so I appreciate you typing all of that out.
        I’m not entirely sure what every denomination teaches about Jews, Muslims, Christians worshiping the same God. I’m inclined to think that most conservative Christian denominations wouldn’t teach that. I know that I’ve always been taught that Christians worship the Triune God, which is one of the things that set us apart from other monotheistic religions.
        Altar (or pulpit) fellowships just means that our synod is in agreement with another synod or denomination’s doctrine, so we can take communion together.
        I believe that there are many denominations that call themselves Christian but have strayed away from Christian doctrine. Many of these denominations have given up Biblical teachings in order to seem more acceptable to our culture. However, I would not declare every person in another denomination as not Christians. For the most part, I think the average layperson where I live still holds to many parts of traditional Christian doctrine, even if their denomination doesn’t. So I guess to answer your question, it depends on the denomination. 🙂
        Silly question that I should probably know: Do Muslim teachings reference the Bible at all or is the Quran your only holy book?

      • mcglaut190 says:

        The Quran is our only holy book. We believe the Quran is direct revelation from God to the Prophet Muhammad. The English translations are just translations and interpretations, but the Quran in Arabic is considered to be the literal words of God. Muslims believe that the Quran is the final revelation to all of humanity. It has a very different style than the Bible, like God speaking to you directly. It says in the Quran that the people of the book, meaning the Christians and the Jews, will recognize it as they recognize their own children. For myself, I find this to be true, as from the moment I started reading it I recognized it. I felt when I first encountered it that the Quran assumes a familiarity with earlier scripture, although it is considered complete in and of itself.
        Although the Quran is our only scripture, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was a well-documented historical personage, and his companions memorized and passed on his sayings, his teachings, what he approved and disapproved of and many details of his life. When these were recorded, they went through a rigorous process to determine their authenticity. The ones that are considered absolutely authentic are labeled sahih. The best known and most authentic are Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim. These aren’t considered scripture or holy books because they aren’t direct revelation from God, but they are sources of religious knowledge. Most Muslims believe that the Bible is not in its original form and has become corrupted over time. We are not supposed to seek religious knowledge from it as the Quran is considered complete, but we may read it in order to talk with and understand other people as I am doing with you.
        I think your denomination is more conservative than the one I was raised in. I know what you mean about giving up teachings in order to seem more acceptable to the culture. I think if you believe in a religion, you should follow it. Picking and choosing what to follow is like taking the authority away from God, and, to me, it’s kind of like saying you don’t really think it’s from God. Some people don’t get that. They think if something is popular in the society at the time, why can’t you just change your religion to go along with it, but that would be like saying you know better than God.

      • Katrina says:

        Thank you for your explanation of the Quran. I’ve only flipped through a copy for a project in high school, so I’m really quite ignorant about it.

        If you went to a Lutheran church, I’m guessing it was an ELCA church. They are the largest Lutheran church body in America and their doctrine is incredibly liberal. Not that some ELCA churches aren’t conservative, but the Synod’s doctrine doesn’t view the Bible as God’s inerrant Word, allowing them to pick and chose what they follow from scripture.

      • mcglaut190 says:

        YES. You are so right with that. I definitely observe that people pick and choose what to follow. Some of the popular culture doesn’t mesh with what’s in the scripture, so people seem to think they can take what they want and leave the rest.
        I’m not quite sure how our family ended up Lutheran anyway. My mom wasn’t raised religious at all. She was baptized the same day as my sister and I. My grandfather on my dad’s side came from a long line of Methodist ministers. Then my grandfather became Lutheran in order to marry my grandmother who insisted upon it, so I guess it all came down to my grandmother. Were you raised Lutheran?

      • Katrina says:

        Sorry for taking so long to respond! I was out of town last week and wasn’t online as much. I was raised Lutheran. I was baptized in a conservative ELCA church when I was a baby (there weren’t any nearby LCMS churches) and then my family rejoined the LCMS when we moved to the Midwest. Most of my mom’s side of the family have been Lutheran for many generations.

        If it’s not too personal of a question, how did you come to convert to Islam?

      • mcglaut190 says:

        It’s fine. Sometimes I go quite a stretch without going online.Do you want the long story or the short story? The short story is I read a translation of the Quran, and I knew I had to be Muslim. There one sentence. I think I might do a post on my blog on this topic.

      • Katrina says:

        I would like to read that post! 🙂

      • Katrina says:

        Okay, I’m back for round 2 of responses. 🙂
        You’re ahead of me on our reading assignment—I haven’t cracked open Romans yet! How far into Romans did you read? Paul addresses the issue of not following the law. In chapter 6:1-2, he states, “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?” In chapter 6:15-16, he again states, “What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?” Paul’s teaching that we are forgiven through Christ does not give Christians permission to disregard the Law.
        As for the reasons why a Christian would still follow the law and try to lead a decent and pure life, Lutherans have a very clear teaching on this. We teach that there are 3 uses of the Law: 1) to help control violent outbursts of sin and keep order in the world (a curb), 2) to help show us our sin (a mirror) and our need for a savior because nobody can keep the Law perfectly and 3) to teach what we should and should not do to lead a God-pleasing life (a guide). We do this not to earn our salvation because we know that our salvation is won through Christ. However, like Paul said in Romans, living under grace doesn’t mean we can do whatever we want. I like his likening to being slaves. Either we can be slaves to sin or slaves to righteousness. Sorry if that’s not very clear—the 3rd use of the Law is complicated to explain.
        Good question about Abraham! Part of Abraham’s faith in God was faith of a coming Messiah. That is what the Jews in the OT believed in. The sacrifices the Jews performed in the OT pointed to one final sacrifice, the death of Jesus on the cross. This may seem unclear just reading the OT, but the New Testament explains this (we have a practice when reading the Bible called “Scripture interprets Scripture”. Specifically, Galatians 3:16 talks about “And to offsprings” actually referring to 1 offspring: Christ (the term offspring can also be translated into “seed”).
        My husband would be able to answer your questions about the canonization of the Bible better than I can, but he’s a bit busy this week with extra services. I’ll try to answer the best I can and ask him when he has a bit more time. When you say, “It always left quite an impression of me that in the gospels Jesus never made any of these claims for himself and referred to himself as a prophet and the son of man,” do you mean that Jesus never referred to Himself as the Son of God or as God? He did, actually. “Son of Man” is actually a messianic title referencing the Old Testament. Likewise, Jesus did refer to himself to Son of God. One example is Matthew 16:15-17 “[Jesus] said to [his disciples], ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Simon Peter replied, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ And Jesus answered him, ‘Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.”
        Anyway, this just touches on some of your questions, but I have to go because Babykins is up from her nap and coloring on me. 🙂 Sorry to cut this short!

      • mcglaut190 says:

        Sorry, I haven’t even really been thinking about our discussion until now. We’ve had a little bit of a stressful week because we have a big, expensive trip to visit my husband’s family planned, and we just found out this week that his passport which was supposed to be valid for another couple of years is no longer valid because they are switching from hand written to machine readable. The soonest they can get him a new passport, even paying double the fee is after we are due to travel.
        Anyway, it really has been a long time since I’ve read a lot of this. I read about 5 pages of Romans, but that doesn’t really tell you much about how far I got as it would depend on. The verses you are telling me, I remember reading with my sister when we were teenagers, and she said they gave her a greater understanding of Christian belief.
        Even though we agreed there are some major differences in belief between religion, I think the deeper we get in discussion, the more I can see that there are also a lot of common beliefs. I think there are some similarities in the view of the law. The prophet Muhammad (s) also said that no one would each heaven except through grace.
        I guess people’s religion plays a big role in how they interpret the scripture. The Jewish people say that son of man was a phrase that was commonly used in order to show humility. As to the other reference you are giving me, it’s amazing how sometimes you can just plain miss things because I used to read the Bible quite a bit when I was younger, and that does seem fairly clear.
        That does bring into question why the early Christians would have been so divided. Even though there are a great many Christian sects, it seems like this is a part of belief that pretty much all Christians are in agreement on in the present day.
        I’m enjoying our discussion as always. I think conversation about religion gives lots of opportunities for reflection. I hope you find it so also. I had quite a time getting the baby to bed tonight. I think these babies know they have to keep us mothers from spending too much time online.

      • Katrina says:

        I’m sorry that your husband is having difficultly with his passport. I hope you can find a solution soon!
        Yes, I can see that there are some similarities between our religions, which is interesting to realize I think the grace aspects in our religions since Christians believe that God shows His grace to us by sending His Son.
        It makes sense that Jewish people would see “son of man” not necessarily pointing to Jesus. I do know it was a phrase used in the Old Testament and since Jews don’t use the New Testament to interpret the OT, it may be harder for them to connect it to Christ. I forgot to mention before that the book of Matthew often points back to OT prophesies in relation to Jesus’ work and ministry.
        I know some of the reason there were so many sects in the early church was misinformation. But I would have to do more research to properly answer your question. 🙂
        I had problems getting my daughter to bed as well–I think she’s overtired from our trip!

      • mcglaut190 says:

        I meant to ask you, just for the fun of it, which is your favorite gospel? I read somewhere that the gospel that you prefer says something about your personality. I also read somewhere that most people like John. I always liked Matthew best, which I definitely think says something about my personality as people say Matthew is the most legalistic of the gospels.

      • Katrina says:

        I haven’t heard before that your favorite Gospel reflects your personality. 🙂 I can’t say I’ve thought about which one is my favorite, but I think I like Luke–there’s so many details in it. Plus, the bulk of the Christmas story is from that book. 🙂

      • mcglaut190 says:

        I’m going to have to look it up. Now I’m wondering what our favorite gospels say about us.


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