“[Are most Christians] concerned about their sins? Do they seek to understand them ever more clearly? Do they battle against them? Do they despite their flesh diligently watch and pray, hear and read God’s Word, that all sins may be purged from their hearts and life and thus grow in sanctification? Not at all! Most of them think: ‘To be that worried about sin is enthusiasm. That is pietism and Methodism. That is false legalism.’”
-CFW Walther, Gospel Sermons. St. Louis: CPH. 190.
(Quoted by Chris Jackson in the recent First Things blog: Losing Luther.)
Is this an accurate depiction of “most Christians?” In your experience, are “most Christians” unconcerned with their sins, intentionally lazy in prayer, negligent in attending to the Word? More broadly, are generalizations, like the one Walther makes here, helpful or harmful to pastoral ministry, preaching, and love for the neighbor?
Share your thoughts in the comments below