Accidentally Lutheran lyrics: When a popular artist or songwriter, probably by pure accident, gives expression to the Christian faith in keeping with Lutheran confession.
That’s me in the corner.
That’s me in the spotlight-
LOSING MY RELIGION-
Trying to keep up with you
But I don’t know if I can do it.
SONG: “Losing My Religion”
There was once a very religious young man. He sought out Jesus and called him “good teacher.” He very respectfully and sincerely wanted to learn from Jesus what good thing(s) must be done to ensure eternal life—to ensure heaven.
Jesus cared very much for this man, too. So he asked him what he knew about what “good” means… Turned out, the religious man didn’t know much at all about what “good” was. So Jesus gave him the tools to know. He gave him God’s demands of holiness (the 10 Commandments) one table at a time. The religious man heard all the demands about being “good to our neighbor” and he still felt pretty “good” about himself — like he was keeping up with the “good-standard” — like he was managing the spotlight pretty well.
Then Jesus loved him so much that He helped the young man lose his religion. Jesus gave him the law of “love God above all things” — even all his wealth and possessions. The man left Jesus very sad — not because he lost all his wealth, though (He seems to have kept it!). He was sad because Jesus’ words had just stripped him of his religion — getting right with God by good deeds done.
We don’t know if this wealthy young man ever came to faith. What we do know is the loss he sustained that day is the best of all losses. It’s the loss that must precede good religion — THE religion that saves. This is the loss of any goodness or righteousness before God made by our own hearts, hands, or minds. Sometimes it’s us in the corner trying to be “sorry enough” to earn God’s favor. Other times we’re standing in the spotlight trying to get our pat-on-the-back from God’s proud hand. Either way, it’s us trying to “keep up” with God’s law. Either way we’re brought to the cold, hard truth that there’s no way we can do it. That’s us ready for God’s gracious subtraction — the losing of OUR religion.
In Holy Baptism, God graciously loses our religion in the flood. Washed away is our native-born self-righteousness. Supplied in its place is His religion — JESUS, our perfectly clean conscience before Him. In confession and absolution, this best of all losses is fast at work: our sins with all their guilt are taken from our lips in confession. God puts them away, forgiving them fully and freely for Jesus’ sake. In Holy Communion we approach God’s altar as beggars. Singing the Sanctus (singing of the holiness and glory of God) finds us stripped of any notion of righteousness we might be bringing to that altar. And there with our religion lost, God’s hand doesn’t strike.
It serves. It supplies His Son’s body given for you; His Son’s blood shed for you. God gives the religion that saves — the forgiveness of sins.
Losing OUR Religion… Yes, we are.
Yes, indeed! And happily so.
“…there is no quality in my heart at all, call it either faith or charity; but instead of these I set Christ Himself before me, and I say, ‘There is my righteousness.’” – Martin Luther
Reverend Kyle Madson
Managing Editor, Lutheran Sentinel
Divine Mercy Lutheran Church
Hudson Oaks, TX