Saturday, March 21, 2009

Issues, Etc., the Metaphor

One final audio clip of Pastor Wilken: Called to preach the unchanging truth of the Gospel.

The Metaphor

Everybody’s left, the lights are turned down, and we’re just sweeping up the mess. It’s been a busy week. I’m thankful that you stopped by one last time.

What is it about Issues, Etc. that attracts us anyway? Is it the topics? Certainly, they touch on the great questions of our time, as well as delve into the past as it relates to the present. But that’s not quite it is it?

Why did people protest so vehemently when the show was previously canceled? Is it the guests? They certainly have guests who rival any show on the radio or elsewhere, but I don’t think that’s it either.

Why would people bother to sign petitions – even people from other denominations? Is it the host? Pastor Wilken is a great guy and superb at what he does, but I don’t think that’s exactly it.

You know what I think it is? I think it’s because what the show really offers is what people really thirst for, and that something is the truth. Truth is in short supply in our world. It isn’t manufactured, so you can’t buy it. You usually can’t find it on the television, so you can’t watch it. But truth does exist, and it’s found spoken, through plain ordinary words. It’s most often found spoken from the lips of God’s called servants of the Word, faithfully laboring in a pulpit on Sunday mornings, but sometimes on other days too. Sometimes even on the radio, or on the internet.

The Samaritan woman at the well didn’t know exactly what it was she was looking for, but yet she knew she had found it. People today often don’t know what they’re looking for either, but through the power of the Holy Spirit, they know it when they’ve found it, or more properly, when they’ve been called. When they find it, they rejoice. They’ve found what no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined.

People thirst for the water of life that only Jesus Christ can provide. They search for water that is pure. Issues, Etc. is one source of that pure water. From the lips of Pastor Wilken and his guests flows that pure water, the Word of God that is the power of God to grant forgiveness to fallen sinners. They find spoken the Confession of the one catholic Church – the same Confession spoken by our fathers and their fathers before them.

Though this water is pure, it is still spurned by many. Some want to pollute it, thinking that it is nothing but foolishness that we should drink this water without first sweetening it with man-made ingredients. By adding those ingredients, they taint the water and turn it brackish, sometimes to the point that it loses its salvific power.

It is this water, this truth, that sates people’s thirst. This is why people are willing to fight for Issues, Etc. The Gospel spoken. The Gospel defended. The Gospel of the one Holy Christian and apostolic Church. The Gospel that the Lutheran Church stands upon, and proclaims to the world through its Confession. Isn’t this really why we defend the show with such fervor? I know when I punch that button I’m going to hear the Gospel, and not some watered down nonsense that cannot save. I’m going to hear the Word, taught in a way that leaves no doubt that Christ came to save sinners. I don’t have to worry about hearing some plug for the church growth gimmick of the month.

I listen to the show on my iPod almost exclusively. Sometimes I’m running while I listen, dodging threatening dogs and slippery slopes. Sometimes I’m driving while I’m listening, dodging potholes and traffic jams. My mind isn’t always fully engaged with what’s being said, much to my own chagrin. But there’s one part of the show that I never miss, a part where I’m always fully engaged. It’s not the bump music. It’s not the announcement of the Blog of the Week. It’s when Pastor Wilken, at some point in every show, proclaims the Gospel. That’s the part that sends chills up and down my spine. It is then that God’s chosen instrument becomes God’s mouthpiece. That’s the part I crave. That’s the part I thirst for. That’s the part I fight for.

The bump music is fading. It’s time to head home. I’d like to thank my guest bloggers who took time out of their busy lives to spend some time with us this week. Thanks to you too for being a part of the CAnniversaryTM bash. Let’s raise our hands together one last time in celebration of that Christ-centered cross-focused radio program that is Issues, Etc.

"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, "For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered." No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:35-39 ESV).

God bless.

cross photo credit: Darren Hester


Dennis Peskey said...

Scott - Thank you for an excellent week, although I realize this was far more than one week's work. Well done as the faithful servant you are.

Scott Diekmann said...

Thanks Dennis. You're welcome!

Susan K said...

Thank you so much for giving us the CAnniversary celebration! I loved reading all the guest blogs and listening to all the clips, especially the Chelada special. :) I think you've hit the nail on the head--hearing the gospel spoken every day is like a cool drink of water on a hot day.

wrmyers said...

Scott, ditto what Dennis and Susan said; thanks so much!

Rev. Thomas C. Messer said...


Ditto what Dennis, Susan, and wrmyers said; thanks so much for all the hard work you put into the CAnniversary. I've enjoyed the posts and listening to all the clips. Great stuff!

Thanks again,
In Christ,
Pr. Messer