On the basis of Holy Scripture, Lutherans believe, teach, and confess that Holy Scripture is Divinely inspired and therefore also that all that Holy Scripture says is entitled to the same faith and obedience that is due to God; that Holy Scripture effects things in people that far exceed human power, especially working faith in people; that Holy Scripture teaches everything people must know to be saved; and that Holy Scripture teaches everything people must know to be saved in language that can be understood by all, so that, for example, members of congregations can judge the teaching of their pastors.
People in various religious traditions may not completely agree on those statements or on other Biblical teaching, but such disagreement is not caused by Holy Scripture but by people who depart from Holy Scripture and substitute their own thoughts concerning God and Divine matters.
Similarly, they may wrongly think that some matters are peripheral or inconsequential, when it is rightly asked what gives anyone the right to reject any Word of God as peripheral or inconsequential when it has been revealed on the lips of prophets and apostles.
Holy Scripture is the source of the Christian religion, whose central idea is the Son of God’s taking on human flesh to suffer and die on the cross for the sins of the world.
The children’s song is right that we know that “Jesus loves me” for “the Bible tells me so,” but trust in Jesus necessarily comes before trust in His Word, though trust in His Word does of necessity come with trust in Jesus.
Rejection of Jesus and His Word by people such as our professional colleagues and school classmates, even more by our friends and family, no doubt produces a range of emotions, including frustration and sadness, in us and all the more in our Lord, Who calls all people to repent and trust in Him for His free salvation.
Yet, that faithful Christians encounter such rejection should not surprise us, since our Lord Himself encountered such rejection and said that we likewise would also.
Ultimately, we, faithful pastors and people, are not responsible for whether others disbelieve. God works through us to try to lead people to Him and His Word, but, if they persist in their rejection, then we must avoid them and trust God and His Word to save us (Romans 16:17-18; 1 Timothy 4:16).
The Rev. Dr. Jayson S. Galler is Pastor of Pilgrim Lutheran Church in Kilgore. You can reach him through the congregation’s website: www.pilgrimlc.org.