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Dr. Angus Menuge of Concordia University-Wisconsin

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rosebrough Pastor Chris Rosebrough of Fighting for the Faith


Fighting for the Faith

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death-bed_fullsize I’d like to die in my sleep. I’d like to be in my eighties or even my nineties. I’d like to have roast beef with potatoes and gravy for dinner that night. Maybe even a glass of my favorite beer or a Scotch before bed. I’d like to be able to do my nightly prayers and go sleep soundly thinking of my savior. I’d like to peacefully fall asleep and await the resurrection of my flesh. This seems like a good way to die. Others have different ideas on how they’d like to die. Maybe you’re an avid motorcyclist and would like to be on the road in your last moments on earth. Maybe you’d like to die with your family around to comfort you. Or have your pastor there to recite with you the Creed, the Lord’s Prayer and comfort you with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Though most of us have really good lives on earth – and compared to others I know I have it easy – when God calls us home to be with Him our sinful flesh still fights to have it our way.

Currently there is much debate going on over assisted suicide with the case of Brittany Maynard. I won’t attempt to address that specifically since a much better response was given by Maggie Karner  in The Federalist and  also on Issues Etc . Throughout our lives there are moments when we all succumb to the world, sin and the devil. Whether it’s the sin of pride and selfishness (in thinking we can be God by controlling inevitable death) or the sinful brokenness of our mind and body (while dealing with mental illness which can cause suicide), both are derived from the brokenness of our bodies inherited by Adam and Eve.

Control over the Uncontrollable.

Let’s face it, there are plenty of things in the world to kill us, and most aren’t too pleasant. Cancer, heart disease, car accidents, natural disasters, murder, and (Insert current disease in the news). The list goes on and on. I think it’s a safe bet that most people would like an easy and painless death. No one wants to suffer or be in pain. Many of us even want things done our way after our death. I want my funeral to be all singing and confessing Jesus Christ rather than a celebration of me.  In my death I want my family to be comforted with the Gospel and know that Jesus Christ has redeemed me and them. I’d like my family to be able to bury me. And it bothers me to think I might not get these things I want. Sinful men, like me, always want control. While a lot of these things can be controlled – to a point – the manner in which we meet God should be controlled by him.

moses-ten-commandments You Shall Have No Other Gods.

I have a tendency to always consider my life under the 1 st commandment more than any other, to always link my sins back to breaking of that 1 st commandment. Perhaps that’s why God made it the 1 st of the ten. Generally speaking, I always put myself first before others and before God. My desire for a painless death or a particular funeral isn’t in itself sinful. However, I am not really trusting in God as I should. I am not trusting that through whatever pain and suffering I may have in this life, He will see me through it. I am, therefore, making this life and my temporal body into my God. It’s very difficult in this body of sin to accept that fact that I am not in control over the manner in which I die. But the wages of sin is death.

That fall into sin by Adam and Eve has thrown us all into temporal pain and suffering. Death was not meant for us but is now part of what will finally bring us home to our eternal place with our God. Yet even in death we are confessing something, and death by our own hands confesses that we want to be God. But we must remember that while the manner of our deaths will all differ, God is always with us regardless of how we are dying. Surrounded by family or alone on the side of the road, God is with us. Peacefully in our sleep or suffering in pain, God is with us. He doesn’t take the day off or call in sick. The proof of His faithfulness is in the cross of Jesus Christ. God has overcome the world, including our sin and our death.
Therefore in Christ, we need not worry about our death.  As Christians, when we die we die into Jesus’s death. Jesus Christ died every death, felt every pain and bore every sin of the world. Pain and suffering in the world will come, but in the end Jesus Christ has taken away our eternal death and the damnation we rightly deserve because of our sin.  To the world death is never a good thing. The death of Jesus Christ for us was a death which is our greatest confession of faith, our only confession. His death confesses something big. It confesses victory. It confesses the forgiveness of sins. It confesses the love of God in Jesus Christ by putting all the pain and death of the world on His Son. While I struggle with my sin to want this or that in my life and death, I pray that God would continue to strengthen me with His Word and Sacraments that He would continue to point me back to my baptism into Christ and Christ’s death for me. Regardless of how God chooses to call us home, let Him call us all into his eternal kingdom confessing the death of Christ for our salvation. Regardless of the manner in which I will die – I will die in Christ.

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You believe the Word too much. . .

  Posted:Oct 22, 2014 By Pastor Peters (Pastoral Meanderings)
It was a discussion of sacramental theology, of the water of baptism that saves and of the bread and wine that is now Christ's body and blood in the same manner as the incarnation married divinity to humanity.  It was an argument of sorts over infants and children -- whether they were somehow aloof from sin and its consequences and therefore not in need of baptismal gift and grace or if they possessed some kind of rudimentary faith or must await an age of accountability.  It was a frustration of wills conflicting, of theological lenses that precluded the other from seeing what the one saw, and of posturing defined less by what the Scripture said than by rational and reasonable theological presupposition.

And then the arrow broke through...  But even then, once the point was understood, it was not granted.

"You believe the Word too much..." 

A blessed accusation, to be sure!  If one is left with the choice, the Lutheran chooses to believe more in the Word than in human work or act as the basis or promise of salvation.  It is the all encompassing sacramental theology of Lutheranism boiled down to the fewest of words -- you believe the Word too much ...

But we do.  Hidden in the water of baptism is the ark that saves us.  The Word put it there.  No matter that you cannot see it with the eyes in your head.  It is there.  The Word has promised it.  Hidden in bread is the Body of Christ and in the cup His blood.  The Word put it there.  No matter that it still looks and tastes like the bread and wine it was, and still is, by earthly sense, it is the Body and Blood of Christ.  The Word has promised it.

We believe the Word too much.  If there was ever a Lutheran fault, I think it might be this.  But what we might call a fault in our world of seeing is believing is the greatest of all virtues.  We learned it from Mary, Blessed Virgin, who heard and at once became the Mother of God, the Son of the everlasting Father living in her womb!  Yes, shocking as it is, the BVM is the Mother of All Lutherans.  She believed the Word too much.  We believe the Word too much.

That is why I am not Roman Catholic or generic Protestant or even Orthodox.  This is why I am Lutheran.
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Stand Up for Jesus. . .

  Posted:Oct 22, 2014 By Pastor Peters (Pastoral Meanderings)
All over the media is the buzz about the Houston pastors whose sermons were subpenaed.  What is a strange and foolish act on the part of the openly gay Houston major in support of her measures to help the cause of GLBT there has backfired.  It was an outrageous overstep.  Of all the responses, one of the most thoughtful is that penned by LCMS 4th Vice President and also Pastor of Memorial Lutheran Church in Houston.  Read it here.  It is good stuff.

Why I stand with the Houston five .


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A great post found by original BJS columnist Mollie Hemingway found over on TheFederalist.com excerpted below:

 

shutterstock_220418719-998x665 I just received an email asking me to “save the date” for a “Christmas” party to be held on Wednesday, Dec. 3. “Hi friends, get a jump start on your holiday planning with our Save the Date for the [redacted] Christmas party,” the email read. Attached was a card that read “sleigh bells will ring, JINGLE, JINGLE, JINGLE So let’s get together to MIX & MINGLE.”

Even though Advent is marked in this country by millions of Catholics, Lutherans, Episcopalians and many other Christians, it’s almost invisible in media coverage and cultural celebrations. And Christmas, in this country, “ends” on the day it begins for Christians, which makes things weird. The season after Christmas, by the way, is Epiphany. A traditional time of celebration was the night before Epiphany, the 12th night of the Christmas season. Perhaps you’ve heard of the play “Twelfth Night” by Señor William Shakespeare? There you go.

So if you really want to fight on the right side of the War on Christmas, you also have to fight on the right side of the War on Advent, OK? This will require something we’re very bad at in this country: a modicum of restraint and patience.

  1. Advent is for preparation. Christmas is for partying.
  2. If you’re going to throw a secular party about sleigh bells ringing, don’t bother calling it a Christmas party. Christmas parties celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the incarnate God.
  3. If you are going to host a “Christmas” party during Advent, be mindful that many traditional Christians go to Advent services on Wednesdays.
  4. Don’t buy Christmas decorations during the summer.

OK, so are we clear on all this? About how the “War on Christmas” can not be fought at the expense of the “War on Advent”? And that liturgical seasons are very cool ways to get the proper amount of preparation and contemplation before the big celebration? Great. Glad we got that settled.

 

To read the whole article, go to TheFederalist.com .

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Oktoberfest Luncheon

  Posted:Oct 22, 2014 By Divine Shepherd Lutheran Church (Divine Shepherd Lutheran Church)

Guten tag! Join us on Sunday, October 26 (11:30am) for our annual Oktoberfest, hosted by our local Thrivent group and served by our youth group. Brats, German potato salad, sauerkraut, red cabbage, and corn casserole are just some of the many items that will be available. Feel free to bring a side dish or dessert to pass (it can be German, but does not have to be). Lederhosen and dirndls—while fun and certainly welcome—and not required. The free-will donation collected will help our youth group attend next summer’s Higher Things youth conference. Come and enjoy a wonderful meal and conversation with your brothers and sisters in Christ. Auf wiedersehen!

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Show #313: When a Lutheran becomes a Muslim

  Posted:Oct 22, 2014 By Table Talk Radio (Table Talk Radio)

After answering emails, Pastor Wolfmueller highlights an article about a woman who converts to Catholicism then to Islam. Then Pastor Goeglein finds a website to do his show prep for Bible Bee.

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Pastor Jordan Cooper of Faith Lutheran-Watseka, IL


Just and Sinner

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gernander Pastor Jerry Gernander of Bethany Lutheran-Princeton, MN

“Compassion Fatigue: A Problem for Pastors” by Jerry Gernander

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Indulge Me: A Reformation Special (Romans 3:19-28)

  Posted:Oct 21, 2014 By Worldview Everlasting (Worldview Everlasting)

Click here to view the video on YouTube .

Strap in for a lightning survey of the people and issues involved in the Reformation. Why? Because this Sunday is Reformation Sunday! And WEtv has all your favorite Reformation videos, plus a few extra gems! You won’t want to miss this Greek Tuesday as Pastor Fisk gives a history lesson and then applies Romans 3:19-28 to the times. Heavy Law, but awesome Gospel!!

Videos used:
95 Theses Rap – http://youtu.be/dt5AJr0wls0
Paladin runs thin on threats – http://youtu.be/5kNpvCVQPm0
Reformation Polka Song – http://youtu.be/xPNXYoneiPo
Frank the Hippie Pope – http://youtu.be/WEchg1KhmTY
The Reformation Polka – http://youtu.be/b4TeJJmQJqU
Horrible Histories Cash My Sin – http://youtu.be/un2qxIlqLP8
Messy Mondays: How to Write a Praise Song – http://youtu.be/GhYuA0Cz8ls?list=RDGhYuA0Cz8ls
Nobody Likes Me – http://youtu.be/SiBe2_xvZRk

Questions about the Lutheran Ninja Clan and WEtv’s goals? Watch this video: http://youtu.be/k6FtVusAcc0 or contact Peter Slayton at peter[at]worldvieweverlasting.com.

Join the Lutheran Ninja Clan

http://www.worldvieweverlasting.com/Lutheran-Ninja-Clan

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Ask a question at: http://www.WorldviewEverlasting.com
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The post Indulge Me: A Reformation Special (Romans 3:19-28) appeared first on Worldview Everlasting .

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FB-ThrowdownCoverImage Posted over on Steadfast Throwdown :

How does a person become a Christian and stay a Christian? Not by doing things, but by hearing the Word of Christ. And should we really condemn someone for their faults, foibles, and sins in life, or should we focus more on the doctrine? Dr. Matt Phillips, professor of history at Concordia University, Seward, Nebraska, joins us to discuss his articles “Becoming a Christian by Listening” and “Distinguishing Between Doctrine and Life.”

 

Read Dr. Phillips’ article “Becoming a Christian by Listening”

Read Dr. Phillips’ article “Distinguishing Between Doctrine and Life”

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Pastoral VS Doctrinal

  Posted:Oct 21, 2014 By Pastor Peters (Pastoral Meanderings)
I have said this more than once.  When did "pastoral" become an antonym of "doctrinal" or "dogmatic"?  When we describe pastors as pastoral what we tend to mean is that they do not follow the rules but bend the rules out of love or charity.  So a pastoral pastor will open the altar rail to whomever while a doctrinal or dogmatic pastor will insist upon following the rules and allowing only people in fellowship to commune.  There are a thousand other issues we could use to juxtapose pastoral with doctrinal or dogmatic and we would probably not cover them all.

It seems that Rome has picked up on this idea as well.  The designated replacement of Francis Cardinal George of Chicago is described as a "pastoral" bishop.  In other words, unlike, say, Cardinal Burke, this fellow will not be so intent upon enforcing the doctrinal stance of the Roman Catholic Church and will be more likely to, say, bend the rules rather than follow them.  No one is saying he is a heretic or out on the fringes but he is described as a moderate or pastoral -- sort of like Francis.

Frankly, I am sick and tied of the way we use pastoral to describe those who are more likely to ignore doctrine and toe the line on its practice.  There is nothing pastoral about a pastor (bishop, pope, you name it) who thinks doctrine is less important than people.  There is nothing pastoral about a pastor who has decided that dogma is optional and it has no particular practice associated with its belief.  Whether you are Lutheran or Roman Catholic or Orthodox or Methodist -- it does not matter -- holding to doctrine should not be a bad thing.  In fact, we have far too many people questioning doctrine, challenging the truth of Scripture, wondering about the historicity of this person or that event, dismissing the historic boundaries of morality, and discounting the ability of anyone to know for sure about much of anything of Scripture, truth, and God.

There is little love in the person who refuses to tell the truth to people who might be offended by it.  The Gospel is just as offensive as the Law, just as scandalous to the modern heart, and just as far fetched to the modern mind.  Love means telling the truth, telling it not as a weapon to wound but as the only means to salvation, healing, forgiveness, and life.  No church body needs people who are less likely to be truth tellers because people might not understand it, might be offended by it, or might use this truth as an excuse for keeping their distance from the God who made and saves them.  Just the opposite!  We believe that God's Word is truth and that this truth has the power to save, to bring about repentance, and to create faith.  It is the promise of Isaiah 55 that God will not find His Word empty but will rejoice in the fruit for which He has issued that Word (through the mouths of His people and through the faithfulness of pastors who are not ashamed of doctrine and dogma).

A wise retired Army chaplain once said to me that the kiss of death for a chaplain is to only say "no" to his commander.  "No, I cannot do that, but I can do this."  said the same chaplain.  In other words the real distinction here should be between those who only say no to wrong and those who say no to wrong but find in it the occasion to speak the yes of God's grace.  Pastoral should not mean that you do not say God's "no" but rather that in addition to speaking God's "no", you also speak God's "yes".

The real pastoral pastor (bishop, pope) will seek the truth of God's Word and its faithful confession and practice and follow it.  This is not in antithesis to love but its fullest expression.
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