BOB’S FULL CANCER TREATMENT—LIKE THE SACRAMENTS
For those who say, “I don’t need Christ’s full treatment of His Word, especially Christ’s Sacraments because I get all that I need at my ‘non-denom’ church, and besides, I have more joy at my non-denom church,” I offer this compelling and current story.
For years, we who prepare and publish the GOOD NEWS magazine have had the assistance of Bob, a very gifted local computer specialist whose service is to make sure the exact and brilliant color of Biblical art is most effectively reproduced in the pages of GOOD NEWS.
Last October 1, Bob got the news he was/is afflicted with NK T-cell lymphoma, cancer located in his sinus passages. This is a particularly aggressive and hard-to-kill type of cancer. Bob started treatment immediately with a drip-bag. As he came to visit us, big and strong as he is, Bob began to lose his hair. When he was done with drip chemo, the doctors told Bob he needed more. He needed the “full treatment.” This meant the next step was a much more focused concentration of radiation, focused toward his face, with a lead mask to protect vital areas. To control this vicious cancer demanded a “full treatment,” something Bob agonized over; he and his wife struggled over whether or not he really needed this to attack the cancer cells from several areas, or if his basic chemo treatment was enough. His life was at stake!
This is exactly how it works with Original Sin, a very vicious, deadly, incurable power within us that we are all born with. Lutheran have always taught that there is salvation in all churches where Christ is preached in a Law-Gospel format. But most churches outside the Lutheran church deny the salvation power of Christ’s sacraments. However, just as an earthly physician is often frustrated and even angered at patients who refuse to take the “full treatment” for cancer, so also is Jesus not just upset, but angry at all who attend churches where His “full treatment,” His miraculous and healing sacraments, are not administered.
Again, in these churches that specialize and emphasize only inerrancy, and where the efficacy of the Word is not the key, the precious and blessed, healing sacraments of Christ fall to the wayside. On the other hand, in the Lutheran Church, where historically the Word is taught as the miraculous power of God, even God Himself, Christ’s sacraments are all part of the “full treatment,” the “full-court press” to control the deadly power of sin that operates within each of us, as described in Romans 6:6–23.
To return to the main essay, click here.