Monday, August 18, 2008

Keep Your Ear To the Ground

Today through Wednesday marks the LCMS theological convocation in St. Louis. This is an important event in the life of our Synod. The 22 theological principles in the "Congregation-Synod-Church: A Study on Basic Theological Principles Underlying LCMS Structure and Governance" document will be discussed, and the recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Task Force on Synodical Structure and Governance, or BRTFSSG for "short," will begin to be discussed in earnest. These discussions will culminate in resolutions that will be considered at the 2010 Synodical convention.

The significance of this convocation, and the discussions that will follow, have the potential to significantly rearrange the "furniture" in the LCMS. I'll be traveling for the next few days, so I'd recommend you follow along via the updates provided at The Brothers of John the Steadfast. I'm betting the discussions that follow will fill up the gap between now and the 2010 Convention.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

What Do We Stand On?

Rev. Peter Bauernfeind is the Pastor of Grace Lutheran Church in Palisades Park, NJ. He is also an amateur translator of German, and often translates Christian materials. On his blog, German American Lutherans, he recently posted his translation of a sermon by Rev. Dr. Gottfried Martens on the commemoration of the Augsburg Confession. Here is a portion of Dr. Martens’ sermon, as translated by Pastor Bauernfeind:
If in our Divine Service we no longer stand upon what our Lutheran Confessional writings stand, and even the Augsburg Confession stands upon, then we cannot describe ourselves as a very confessional Lutheran Church. Let us continually study anew the Confessions of our Church – not because they are interesting historic documents, but because by them we are trained to pray, to celebrate the Divine service, to worship the Triune God, to which all the Confessions ultimately aim. Yes, to Him, the Triune God, be honor and eternal power! Amen.

Monday, August 4, 2008

I Deny the Real Presence

Let’s pretend I’m a member of your church. I’m also a youth group leader. I’ve got a dynamic personality, know how to relate to kids, and dress the part, right down to the swank spectacles. I’m great at entertaining kids, and leading them to experience the “love of Jesus.”

Now let’s say you find out I believe that Jesus body and blood aren’t present in Holy Communion, and that Baptism does nothing for you, plus a whole mess of other un-Scriptural stuff. If that doesn’t bother you, then go ahead and hang up now. For the rest of you, I suspect you’d be mad that I was put in a position of trust over your kids, and you’d probably be upset enough to stand up and do something about it.

Well guess what, that’s what’s happening down in the big state of Texas. Only it’s not the local church youth group this person is leading, it’s the Texas LCMS 2008 Youth Gathering. And this person, who was invited to be the “lead worshiper” is a female pastor from a non-Lutheran church. Her name is Kari Jobe. What else could we teach our kids that’s wrong? When in Rome do as the Romans, and when in Texas...

Unionism is alive and well in the LCMS. A lack of discernment reigns. It's the difference between being interested in teaching your kids the whole counsel of God versus teaching them it doesn't really matter as long as you're properly entertained while reaching for that mountaintop "experience."

You can read all about it at Pastor Beane’s blog Father Hollywood. When you get there, don’t forget to read the comments. And when you're done, please say a word of prayer for the LCMS and our church leaders.

"I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths." 2 Timothy 4:1-4

Why Was Issues, Etc.™ Canceled?

Why was Issues, Etc.™ canceled? According to Jeff Schwarz and Todd Wilken, because it got axed in favor of preserving the FM station, and because of an antipathy towards the show from the top of the LCMS. You can listen to their Web Extra program on iTunes titled "Why Did LCMS Inc. Cancel Issues, Etc.?" It's an eye opening 41 minutes of dialogue between Todd and Jeff.

They were basically told the show would get the axe last year by the General Manager at KFUO. The reason? Because Rev. Dr. Jerry Kieschnick, the President of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, would, after the 2007 Synodical Convention, have a majority on the Board of Directors and on the Board of Communication Services, spelling the doom of Issues, Etc.™ That doom of course, was very short-lived, and the Christ-centered Cross-focused program that is Issues, Etc.™ continues to proclaim and defend the Gospel to a fallen world.

Please support the continuing mission of Issues, Etc.™ with your prayers, and if able, with a monetary contribution.