Monday, August 12, 2013

A Pulpit for Bullies

Here is a powerfully written argument concerning an altercation that occurred at a public school and the court's ruling about it.

It's a shame that a school teacher is able to get away with this and an even greater shame that the court brought upon itself in its verdict.
To campaign against the bullying of LGBT people as if disagreement with the gay lifestyle were an evil is itself a form of bullying.

On June 19, the US District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan ruled in favor of a high school student named Daniel Glowacki, who had charged that his high school teacher, Jay McDowell, had violated his constitutional right to freedom of speech. He was granted one dollar in compensation. The court’s verdict, in vulgar terms, was that the pig had the right to say what he said.
The facts, according to the court’s judgment, are these.

On October 20, 2011, the Gay Straight Alliance at Howell High School planned to take part in a national “campaign aimed at raising awareness of the bullying of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered youth.” The court acknowledges that the day is also called “Spirit Day,” which, the plaintiffs contended, is so-called to foster acceptance in the public schools of the homosexual lifestyle. The Gay Straight Alliance made up flyers to be posted all around the school, urging students to wear purple on that day as a sign of their solidarity with homosexual teenagers. The principal approved the flyer.

Wendy Hiller, one of the teachers, printed a batch of purple T-shirts, reading “Tyler’s Army” on the front and “Fighting Evil with Kindness” on the back. She had, in the past, worn a black shirt reading “Tyler’s Army.” The name refers to Tyler Clementi, a freshman at Rutgers who took his own life after his roommate had secretly filmed him in a homosexual encounter. Hiller, says the court, in evident agreement, did not believe that the shirts would be controversial, since the topic was bullying and not homosexuality. Hiller sold some of the shirts to other teachers at cost.

Jay McDowell, an economics teacher, bought one of those shirts and wore it in class that day. McDowell then showed his students a video about a gay teenager who committed suicide, and devoted the rest of the class period to discussion.

Daniel entered McDowell’s classroom for the sixth period that day. McDowell noticed that one of the girls in class was wearing a belt buckle with the Confederate flag. He ordered her to take it off, because it offended him. Daniel then asked the obvious question. Why should it be all right for so many students and teachers to wear the purple T-shirts, but not all right for the girl to wear the belt buckle?
 Read the rest at Public Discourse.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

A Depraved New World

Stumbled on this piece that is said to be from Gene Edward Veith, though the blog that this piece comes from does not cite where Veith may have written this. Regardless, the conciseness and accuracy by which this article describes our current state is very well-crafted, and should drive us all to repentance to realize its truths.

From The First Premise:

Sexual immorality is nothing new, of course, as we can tell from the Bible’s warnings against it. What is new is that sexual immorality now has cultural approval.

Men and women who had sex without being married to each other once felt ashamed and practiced their fornication in secret. Now, having sex outside of marriage is taken for granted as part of the single life and has become the rule, not the exception. Young women who became pregnant out of wedlock once dropped out of sight to go to special homes where they could have their baby out of the public eye. Now, they either get an abortion or openly embrace their identity as single mothers. Among teenagers, sex used to be reserved for marriage, then for “being in love,” but now even dating has become obsolete, replaced with an impersonal, one-night-only “hooking-up” with someone they do not even know. Instead of waiting until marriage to have sex, couples live together — having not only sex but sometimes children together — with marriage being reduced to an optional ritual, with no real consequence in itself.

A taste for pornography used to be an embarrassing vice, to be satisfied in out-of-the-way, “dirty” movie houses and book stores. Now, porn is sold in reputable hotel chains and as pay-per-view TV. Homosexuality used to be a vice committed in secret. Now, homosexuals have not only come out of the closet, our popular culture insists “nothing is wrong with it,” and the cultural elite is demanding that homosexuals should have the right of marrying each other.

Other cultures have been tolerant of sexual immorality, but even these stopped short of seeing sexual immorality as a good thing. In ancient Greece, prostitution was commonplace, but not for young women of respectable families, who valued virginity and for whom promiscuity would be anathema. Homosexuality was rampant, especially for young men in the military, but no one ever so much as suggested that homosexuals should marry each other. (What happened is that men who indulged in this vice in the army then married a woman as soon as their service was over and had normal families, showing that homosexuality is not innate but culturally constructed.)

Contrary to those who insist that the prohibitions of such sexual immorality in the New Testament are merely “cultural,” it is clear that Paul and the other inspired authors were being counter-cultural, since the vices they condemned were quite acceptable in the Greco-Roman world. And yet, even the immoral Greeks saw the necessity of protecting the institution of the family.

Those who complain that moralists focus too much on sex, to the exclusion of more important moral problems in the culture (such as poverty, the environment, and health care) are staggeringly na├»ve. Sex is the most foundational issue in culture, determining whether there even is a culture.

This is because, as all anthropologists agree, the basic unit of any culture is the family. And families come into being because of sex. A man and a woman are brought together by sexual desire for each other and so get married. Their sexual activity engenders children. The parents care for those children, protect them, and teach them how to grow up to form families of their own.

Sex is a “family value.” But when sex is divorced from marriage and having children, the family and thus the culture as a whole are put in serious danger.

So what caused this dramatic, unprecedented shift in our culture’s attitude towards sex?

Hunter S. Thompson

First was the decline of the cultural authority of Christianity after the Enlightenment. Beginning in the eighteenth century and accelerating into the twenty-first, the biblical view that moral absolutes have the status of objective truth has been fading from people’s understanding. This was the necessary loss of foundation that made what would happen later possible.

At first, the alternative moralities continued to agree with the Christian absolutes, just getting there via a different philosophical route. The approach to ethics that was most fitting to the post-Enlightenment Age of Reason was “utilitarianism.” Under a utilitarian ethic, which could be comprehended by reason and scientific evidence, something is good if it is useful, if it “works.” That is, an action that contributes to the smooth running and the practical benefit of society is considered morally good. (Of course, this is philosophically very weak, since “benefit” implies a prior objective good.)

Utilitarianism still affirmed sexual morality. Instead of citing revealed absolutes such as “Thou shalt not commit adultery,” utilitarians disapproved of adultery because sex outside of marriage weakens the family, and strong families are necessary for social stability. Sex outside of marriage is wrong, according to the utilitarians, because this practice will make for babies being born without a committed father and mother to take care of them. Neglected children are a burden for the mother and for the society, resulting in increased welfare expenses, poverty, and crime.

Christians can agree that moral truths have practical implications, but the utilitarian ethic is, by its nature, changeable. Get rid of the unfavorable consequence, and what once was immoral can be just fine.

On May 9, 1960, the birth control pill was approved by the FDA. Now one could have sex without having to worry about that side-effect of having children. There was no longer a utilitarian reason not to have sex outside of marriage.

What birth control technology did was to separate sex from procreation. This was at first within marriage, but then the contraceptive mentality made sex before marriage acceptable, as long as young couples know how to avoid pregnancy.

It is not necessary to take the Roman Catholic position that all birth control is wrong or to agree on all points with the Roman Catholic theology of natural law to recognize that separating sex from having children would have enormous cultural consequences.

Sex has been designed by God for His miraculous work of creating new human beings, each with an immortal soul. The physiology of sex in every detail works to engender new life. The emotions of sex exist to bring a man and a woman together to constitute a family. Yes, sexuality is distorted by the Fall, so that lust and fornication can work against God’s purposes and be tainted by sin, but God’s created order remains.

But now sex is reduced simply to a physical pleasure, with no necessary connection to its God-designed, family-making function. If it is merely a highly-pleasurable physical sensation, what difference does it make how that sensation is brought about?

If a man and a woman want to have the pleasure of sex without having children, why should they be married? If someone is sexually-stimulated by a person of the same sex, what could be wrong with that? After all, sex need have nothing to do with procreation, so why should the biological equipment of one’s partner make any difference? Conversely, if marriage is simply a sexual attachment, unconnected with having children, why shouldn’t homosexuals be able to get married too? If sex is just a pleasure to enjoy, why do we need any relationship at all? A person can just have sex with himself, aided by pornography.

In the shadow of the pill, the Sixties continued to unfold as a time of cultural revolution. The liberation movement; the touchy-feely romanticism of the hippies; the rebellion against traditions and institutions fomented by the times; the commercialization of sex in the entertainment industry; the apotheosis of the self — all of these played a role in the sexual revolution, and they remain powerful cultural forces today.

The next decade took the next step. On January 22, 1973, Roe v. Wade legalized abortion. Contraception never completely prevented sex from producing children. Now it became legal to kill children once conceived. To mere permissiveness was now added unspeakable cruelty, all in the service of the alleged right to have sex without engendering children.

Marriage is certainly no longer necessary to have children, to the point that some sub-cultures have all but dispensed with marriage altogether. But now we have come even further. Just as it is possible to have sex without children, it is possible to have children without sex.


Babies can now be conceived sex-free, in Petri dishes. The egg and sperm can come from anonymous donors. But not even egg and sperm are necessary any more with the technology of cloning, in which one cell of any kind can be replicated until it constitutes a human being. When cloning is perfected, parenthood will be obsolete, since one’s child will really be one’s identical twin.

We will depend on technology both to prevent children being conceived and also to conceive them. The artificial womb is on the verge of development. Women will be freed from the pains of childbirth, and gender itself will be obsolete. Children will be manufactured, not born, engineered to be just as we want them. Abortion will take care of the mistakes and make possible a new much-heralded industry, conceiving babies in order to grind them up for their stem-cells to make medicine for adults.

All of this is not only possible, but, more ominously, it is thinkable. Our cultural elite does not even see anything wrong with this, and is lobbying to make it happen. In the absence of a biblical understanding of moral absolutes, the family will soon be obsolete, genuine culture — and genuine sex — will be impossible.

Friday, May 17, 2013

The "Trial Period"

To any readers who read my posts without linking from Facebook, this is a blog post worth checking out:

Pastoral Meanderings: The pursuit of fulfillment. . .

This is perhaps the biggest lie my fellow collegiate age adults have bought into. I will agree that we grow wiser over time, but we are never less sinful. Let the blessings of marriage and family be blessings and not be delayed, for as any happily married couple will tell you, their fulfillment isn't that they waited until it was the right time and they kept themselves from screwing up with one another by not rushing into marriage or parenthood by not being "ready," but rather their joy is that they kill their own desires on a constant basis for the sake of the other and their children, and nothing could be a greater blessing to one another, and no time is a better time than now.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

From Norman to Fort Wayne to the New Jerusalem

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.  He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away."
Revelation 21:1-4
Nearly 5 years I've spent growing up in this town. Norman has seen my best and has seen my worst. It's provided me the highest of joys and the lowest of despairs. I am forever grateful for the people I've been given the opportunity to serve and love, who have been a blessing to me in so many ways. I'm grateful as well for those same people who I've failed in countless ways to love as myself, and who yet forgives me and continues to care and be there for me.

As I plan to move in the coming weeks, I think on how another city will now be the place where I will continue to be given people to serve and love, a task I will undoubtedly continue to fall well short of doing as well as I ought. This new city and the people and opportunities it will bring will take over the role of showing me my pride so that I may always see Jesus who took upon Himself my punishment that I deserve to the cross, and who has called me to be His own by His blood and righteousness, given to me freely as a gift.

Lord, have mercy, and may you continue to provide all that I need to lead me to my final move, to the New Jerusalem, where my worst will turn into only my best and all my despairs will turn into only joy.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

2012: A Humbling Year

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good.  - Romans 8:28a
I know I know, it’s been awhile since I’ve posted. I’ve honestly loved the thought of maintaining a regular blog, but with working full time, commuting 7 hours/week, and preparing for seminary (by the way in case any readers weren’t aware), I haven’t been incredibly motivated to keep posting regularly. As much as I love sharing material I come across and as much as I love writing, I’m not quite at the time of my life where blogging can be as much of a priority as I’d like it to be. That being said, blogging is still a fantastic way to form and communicate thoughts in a semi-private/semi-public way that holds me accountable to my words and yet won’t grade me on every single grammatical or syntax error. So resetting expectations, you might see weeks, months, or even years pass between posts, but check back from time to time because I do intend to post if time and priorities and interest allows.

Like now! I want to finish 2012 with some reflections on this last year tied in with what I initially intended to this blog to be: sharing what I am learning. And boy am I...

1.    I am learning that I miss college...a lot. While I certainly am happy to have graduated and to be in a well-paying job, nothing beats the constant day to day interaction with so many awesome people and the intellectual stimulation classes bring and oh, not to mention, the Pride of Oklahoma. One thing I don’t miss though is late, late nights doing homework, that’s for sure. I have also been incredibly blessed to still be in Norman in order to strengthen and maintain certain friendships with those who I wish to remain friends with long after our vocations lead us away from one another (geographically).

2.    I am learning that I got SUPER lucky with finding a great job to start me off out of college and hopefully transition me to seminary. It is definitely not something I want to do my whole life, but it requires a college degree, pays more than Best Buy or waiting tables, and I am genuinely challenged every day with interacting with diverse people, making quick and important decisions, strengthening my organization and time management skills, and serving a heck of a whole lot of people who get into car accidents. Not to mention the people I work with are awesome, and my boss is pretty chill. I am pretty much used to my 45 minute commute each way by now, and I really am enjoying the time to wind down after a day’s work. I am thankful for having been given such an opportunity.

3.     I am learning how remarkable these people are, and how much I will miss my sister when she goes to Italy all next semester:

4.    I am learning that I do not take a long-term relationship breakup all. Combining that with the changes that come with graduation made for a pretty darn difficult summer and fall. I could almost write a novel with how much this breakup has taught me and the struggles I’ve gone through, but I’ll just give a brief cliffnotes version about what it’s taught me that avoids some of the messy details. 
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. - Isaiah 55:8-9
This breakup, as in the complete termination of our relationship (even a platonic one) and the hopes of a future family together rooted in Christ, has flat out sucked. There’s no sugar coating it. The effects of our sin against each other, the lack of honesty, and the lack of forgiveness has been felt hundredfold and has been hard as could be to put away and move on. One thing that has happened, though, is that I have grown immensely from it. Despite how horrible this experience has been, I am being made better for the trials I have had to endure. That being said, I will be the last person to say that God is the one who caused our breakup, for I know that nothing that happened in the course of our breakup is anything God would actually call good. However, just as God constantly in Scripture takes the horrifying events caused by our sin and the devil’s influence and makes good out of them (you know, like that whole promising a Savior to Adam and Eve after they rebelled against God thing or the whole never forsaking Israel and bringing forth a Messiah despite how wretched and unfaithful Israel was to God...thing), likewise, I have seen the good that has come out of this awful breakup and I’m positive that God will reveal in due time out of his love and mercy even more blessings as a result. For starters, I see my mistakes, even from the beginning, and I see certain things that were done and not done that led to what became. Lastly for this post, I am learning just how hard forgiveness really is, and it has given me an incredible appreciation for how our Lord never forsakes those who believe in Him and always forgives us despite how constant and how terribly we live as the unfaithful wretched sinners we are.

5. I am learning that time doesn’t heal. Jesus does.

6. I am learning immense empathy (Note: Sympathy is to have compassion towards someone, even though you may never have gone through what they are. Empathy, on the other hand, is having compassion and being able to relate as someone who has gone through something similar) towards those who go through hard long-term breakups, or even divorces. Although as unbearable at times as my breakup has been, nothing can compare to the tragedy of a wife or husband sitting alone with three children because he or she has been abandoned by one who has said the “I do” at marriage. Nevertheless, I know now how real that pain is. Call me crazy, but I am convinced that divorce and separation is just as bad of an effect of the fall into sin as death itself. For divorce and separation represents a living death, that is, losing a loved one to sin who is yet still living and a constant reminder that it is our own sin that caused such a living death.

7.  I am learning how to recognize the devil’s voice, and also how powerful the devil can be when he presents the lie that God can be found in our feelings, our hands, and our minds to lead us away from the one true God who can only be found in His Word, and only through the Word are we shown what our purpose in life is. Yes I know, I am reflecting the thoughts of Jonathan Fisk’s Broken: 7 Christian Rules that Every Christian Ought to Break as Often as Possible, but it’s impossible to not also use what he has to say and relate it to the experiences I’ve endured this year.
So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.  - 2 Corinthians 12:7-10
8.  I am learning that I may not have great direct revelations from God like our friend Paul to keep me from becoming conceited, but holy crap, my back hurts. It started with a little neck soreness right around graduation when everything stressful was coming to a head: finals, graduation, people I love leaving, new job. This little neck soreness became infinitely worse and started to extend down my entire back after the breakup and it’s been a constant battle trying to relieve the pain. To say it’s been humbling would be an understatement, and yet, by it I am learning what it means to suffer alongside my Savior who no matter what will never leave or forsake me.

9. Along the same lines, I am learning patience. Patience that my job will get better as I become more familiar with the systems. Patience that I will be seen through the pain of the breakup. Patience that in due time I will be back in the classroom and surrounded again by awesome like-minded people. Patience that I will be healed of my back pain eventually, even if that eventually isn’t until I’m delivered from all evil and am brought to the side of my Lord. Patience that the Lord will provide for me another chance at a wife and family, and if that never does come, that same patience that in the end everything will be redeemed and exceedingly better in the next life anyways.

10. I am learning that baseball may just be the best sport on the planet, but man, the Rangers are a hard team to be a fan of. Patience, Kurt, patience...

11. I am learning the beauty and genius of Luther’s Small Catechism. Re-committing it to heart has been so helpful at times that my mind wants to wander away to less than pleasant thoughts. Get it. Learn it. Love it.

12. I am learning that Facebook is not always the greatest place for discussing certain issues, though it certainly isn’t the worst.

13. I am learning about this guy and his total kick-butt pagan temple destroying story:

Seriously though, I’ve “read” the Old Testament before, but to read it in such depth and along with such a phenomenal overview commentary that places Jesus at the center has been such a revitalizing journey.

14. I am learning that I can grow a pretty sweet and full beard!

15. I am learning that through everything the devil and the world throws at me, God is there for me and will always work in mysterious ways and through the humble means of water, bread, wine, and of course, people. I am thankful for every single person who has brought the love of God to me either in the form of the saints at Trinity Lutheran Church (and especially Vicar who has been there for me so much), family, faithful friends in K-Psi and TBS, and even my colleagues at work. Thank you all. I truly am blessed to the fullest, even in the midst of down moments.

What I look forward to learning this coming year:
  • How to cook! Okay, this one might take awhile...
  • How to be accepted to Concordia Seminary and/or Concordia Theological Seminary and make a decision to attend one of them for the next four years of my life which I will then look forward to learning how to become a faithful pastor!
  • How to be academic again and write gooder
  • How to maintain a more athletic lifestyle
  • How to not rely on my gut, my hands, or my head but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.
  • How to read the New Testament in its original language
  • How to see without glasses OR contacts
  • How to love a new nephew and other new family members
2012 had its ups. It certainly had its downs. One thing it certainly did have though: Humility. This is a good thing. Here's to 2013!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Forgiving the Unforgivable

Thomas Lake at Sports Illustrated, a magazine I used to read religiously in my youth, recently wrote a piece about how former NFL receiver Rae Carruth murdered his pregnant girlfriend, and remarkably the unborn boy survived. In probably the best piece of journalism I've read in a VERY long time entitled "The Boy They Couldn't Kill," Lake tells the story of how the boy's grandmother, Saundra Adams, has handled the cross of mourning the death of her daughter, caring for the miracle child, all while fighting for custody from the man who wanted to kill both her daughter and her grandson, and got away with only her daughter. Probably just as remarkable as the boy surviving is how the grandmother speaks of Carruth:
"I'm not gonna have anything negative to say about him," she says. "I thank him for my grandson. I thank him for my grandson."
There's no way I can appropriately summarize such a story. You've got to go and read it all yourself. You'll be glad you did. As for me, this story helped me think about something I've been struggling with for some time now—what the author refers to as the second kind of forgiveness:
The first kind of forgiveness is the easy kind. Someone wounds you, and in time this offender comes to see what he has done. He returns to lay the crime at your feet. And when you reach down to pull him up a sort of charge passes between you, a cleansing force that refreshes both souls.

Candle flame and volcano. The second kind of forgiveness is a rare occurrence that becomes rarer as the crime grows more severe. In this case the offender gives nothing. He never comes to you. And when you go to him, he turns you away. This leaves you alone with your open wound and a solitary choice. No one will blame you either way. But the wound is yours to keep, or let go, and that choice may plot the course for the rest of your life.
The past few months I have struggled with this second kind of forgiveness. The kind of forgiveness that every sin-stained bone of your body doesn't want to give. The kind of forgiveness that rarely those who you talk to who knows the sin says the other person is deserving of such forgiveness. The kind of forgiveness that you may never be rewarded with that "cleansing force" that comes when the brother or sister who wrongs you lays down the crime at your feet.

The wound is mine to keep or let go. No person will blame me either way. However, I am reminded of The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant in Matthew 18:21-35:
Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.

“Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. When he began to settle, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. And since he could not pay, his master ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made. So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ And out of pity for him, the master of that servant released him and forgave him the debt. But when that same servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii, and seizing him, he began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay what you owe.’ So his fellow servant fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ He refused and went and put him in prison until he should pay the debt. When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their master all that had taken place. Then his master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’ And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers, until he should pay all his debt. So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.”
 This parable comes immediately after a teaching from Jesus about your brother sinning against you:
"If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone . . . And if he refuses to listen . . . let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."- Matthew 18:15-18
I have the choice to allow my brother to refuse to listen to me and let him be, but I do not have the choice to not forgive. And how often? Not just seven times, but seventy seven times, even if I'm turned away seventy seven times. For whatever I bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever I loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. While no person will blame me if I never forgive the one who sinned against me, my lack of mercy on my brother will be bound to me in heaven. Thanks be to God for the Christ who shows mercy on all of us who sin against Him and His creation day in and day out, and yet never ceases to forgive.
If you, Lord, kept a record of sins,
    Lord, who could stand? - Ps. 130:3

Sunday, September 16, 2012

New Favorite Hymn

Issues, Etc. did a series this week where each day they studied one of the top 5 hymns voted on by their listeners. The hymn they studied on Tuesday, "The Church's One Foundation," has without a doubt become my new favorite hymn. I hope to hear this masterpiece played at my wedding, my funeral, and many many more times in my life.
The Church’s one foundation
Is Jesus Christ her Lord;
She is His new creation
By water and the Word.
From heav'n He came and sought her
To be His holy bride;
With His own blood He bought her
And for her life He died.

Elect from ev'ry nation,
Yet one o’er all the earth,
Her charter of salvation:
One Lord, one faith, one birth.
One holy name she blesses,
Partakes one holy food,
And to one hope she presses,
With ev'ry grace endued.

Though with a scornful wonder
This world sees her oppressed,
By schisms rent asunder,
By heresies distressed,
Yet saints their watch are keeping;
Their cry goes up, “How long?”
And soon the night of weeping
Shall be the morn of song.

Through toil and tribulation,
And tumult of her war,
She waits the consummation
Of peace forevermore
Till with the vision glorious
Her longing eyes are blest,
And the great church victorious
Shall be the church at rest.

Yet she on earth has union
With God, the Three in One,
And mystic sweet communion
With those whose rest is won.
O blessed heav'nly chorus!
Lord, save us by Your grace
That we, like saints before us.
May see You face to face.
Which is your favorite hymn?