The disciples had been sent out and returned from a time of ministry. And Jesus knows they are tired and need a time of rest.
Which they do not get. Instead, when they depart to the wild country, away from the farms, away from the markets and water, the crowds follow. And Jesus teaches them. All day. Now the disciples are saying (a) it’s late and there is no food, send them away!
The disciples are tired. They are now hungry. And they wanted a quiet time to recover, instead of a further time of service. But Christ instead feeds five thousand.
The apostles returned to Jesus and told him all that they had done and taught. And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. And they went away in the boat to a desolate place by themselves. Now many saw them going and recognized them, and they ran there on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. And he began to teach them many things. And when it grew late, his disciples came to him and said, “This is a desolate place, and the hour is now late. Send them away to go into the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.” But he answered them, “You give them something to eat.” And they said to him, “Shall we go and buy two hundred denarii worth of bread and give it to them to eat?” And he said to them, “How many loaves do you have? Go and see.” And when they had found out, they said, “Five, and two fish.” Then he commanded them all to sit down in groups on the green grass. So they sat down in groups, by hundreds and by fifties. And taking the five loaves and the two fish he looked up to heaven and said a blessing and broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples to set before the people. And he divided the two fish among them all. And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up twelve baskets full of broken pieces and of the fish. And those who ate the loaves were five thousand men.
Immediately he made his disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. And after he had taken leave of them, he went up on the mountain to pray.
(Mark 6:30-46 ESV)
After the people ate, Christ dismissed them. I’m not sure if there is a parallel with what we do each week in Kirk, where the spiritual food of the word of God proclaimed and the table of remembrance should be given so we are fed and renewed before we are dismissed into the world.
I do know that we need to feed true food and not false. The church has to be confessing. The Jews did not leave their villages and synagogues to travel into the wild for something that conformed to the systems of that world and supported them, but instead something new, something else. Christ was in public ministry, but this was no state sponsored cultus: that was the Sadducees.
And in this time our public religion is Atheist socialism.
The religion of liberalism is the default degenerating influence in the absence of explicit religions. It is the religion we live under today, and it isn't 'private' at all. It's public, brazen, and will destroy your life in a heartbeat....
This is what your society sometimes looks like if you want to not have things degenerate into a democratic hellhole where a woman or a homosexual's word is worth twice yours. Sorry, but it's the price you pay. The 'Golden Years' as you put them were what Peter Hitchens called the 'afterglow' and they were always ephemeral. Any culture not explicitly religious will eventually succumb to the implicit religion of liberalism. Thus, your priesthood today are not the gentlemen in robes mediating to divine forces, but rather the angry feminists with purple hair telling you how bigoted you are.
Secularism doesn't exist. You will always have a state religion. The question is, do you want mutating liberalism as your state religion with different doctrines every hour, or a static tradition where you will believe the same things that your great grandchildren will believe. I choose the latter.
NOw, there is a time for rest and recovery: it is probably at a later time than most people expect and less than most people would want. Most people do work sixty to eighty hours a week, not forty: they take work home or lose a day in the weekend. Because the alternative is not being employed. This is normal, it has always been normal. It will always be normal.
[This is also why traditional societies divide labour with the husband working these kind of hours either for a salary or in two jobs with overtime… while the wife concentrates on keeping the home going and the kids raised, Which used to be forty to fifty hours a week before electric ovens, vacuum cleaners, and washing machines). The husband went hunting, the wife kept the hearth. You still see this in farming families: the wife concentrates often on the home, and works the farm during lambing and the harvest. Along with the kids — though locally the corporate nature of large farms means this way of life is ending].
In the service of God, we can rest when we are dead. Yes, this is a marathon, not a sprint. Yes, we should look at the beautiful when we can find it. Yes, we should take comfort in our fellowship.
But we need to confess the true gospel and confront error. An example.
Becker’s heresies stem from two fundamental intellectual commitments, which are related. One is a higher-critical view of Scripture, and the other is a rejection of natural law. These views result in a denial of the authoritative and unified witness of both the Church and creation. Christianity then becomes subject to the whims of the day, and the Church must consistently stick Her finger in the wind to determine whether Her teachings are acceptable in the light of popular morality and popular science.
So it predictably follows that Becker has been a promoter of women’s ordination, the ordination of homosexuals, and same-sex marriage. He also denies that the Bible is accurate when it plainly says things that make liberals uncomfortable.
Terry Forke who took the necessary step of charging Becker with false doctrine, and backed it up by supporting a resolution against Becker (passed by delegates) at the Montana District’s recent convention. Following the convention, Becker was finally asked by his own District President (Paul Linnemann) to resign. Becker nobly refused (“I thought such a decision would lend credence to the accusations of my accusers in the Synod, namely, that I have indeed acted improperly and taught falsely"), and DP Linnemann responded by filing his own charges and requesting Becker’s expulsion from the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Becker refused to appeal, and is now heading for his true home among the tattooed priestesses on the clergy roster of the Evangelical Lutheran Church (sic) in America.
Not exactly a “heresy trial.” But it is a triumph, nonetheless.
Liberal onlookers will never understand or accept the public and decisive condemnation of heresy, because they hate Christian doctrine with the zeal of a fundamentalist. It is not enough for them to mock the Bible and its teachings; they cannot fathom the continued existence of a millennia-old religion that, when pressed, refuses to embrace everything it has always opposed. They clutch their pearls and express surprised horror whenever a conservative church body like the Missouri Synod expels someone for repeatedly and openly violating its clearly stated beliefs.
If this Rainbow Summer has taught us anything, it is that the liberals are winning in the public square. But they can never win in our churches, so long as faithful clergy and laity stand up to them boldly, decisively—and swiftly, before damage is done.
This is not a time for rest. We are facing opposition. The secularists are out and proud. Appeasing them will not work. It is time for a confessing church, and that will require that we reform ourselves, heresy trials included.