I believe it was Martin Luther who observed along the lines of telling the people to learn from me how difficult a thing it is to throw off errors confirmed by the example of all the world, and which, through long habit, have become a second nature to us.
This whole idea is rather scary as it suggests that we have been walking so long down the road that we may not even be in a position to recognize we took the wrong fork in the road way back when. And this isn’t something necessarily that I might have missed during this walk, but it may have been a collective wrong turn generations back and I lack the awareness and/or the courage to reverse direction or cut through the underbrush to get back to the right road.
Stanley Hauerwas wrote a great little essay, “America’s God is Dying” for the ABC Religion and Ethics website, wherein he noted, “Protestantism came to America to make America Protestant. It was assumed that was to be done through faith in the reasonableness of the common man and the establishment of a democratic republic. But in the process the church in America became American.”
Hauerwas goes on in the essay to suggest American Protestantism accepted the idea of liberty and individualism – both centerpieces of the American experiment – but in that process Protestantism “lost the ability to maintain those disciplines that are necessary to sustain a truly free people – people who are capable of being a genuine alternative to the rest of the world.”
This brings me back to Martin Luther and the long habit. How are our habits working out for us?
What do you think?
Be blessed and be a blessing.