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Month: October 2011

Luther’s Debate Placard revisited

    Luther’s debate placard, also known as the 95 theses was basically a call to discuss the issue of “indulgences” or the purchase of guarantees that would release people from purgatory or in some way forgive sins.  My great interest is the Christian life of mercy.  Here are some of the debate points that speak to mercy. Papal indulgences should only be preached with caution, lest people gain a wrong understanding, and think that they are preferable to other good works: those of love.  Christians should be taught that the pope does not at all intend that the purchase of indulgences should be understood as at all comparable with the works of mercy. Christians should be taught that one who gives to the poor, or lends to the needy, does a better action than if he purchases indulgences. Because, by works of love, love grows and a man becomes a better man; whereas, by indulgences, he does not become a better man, but only escapes certain penalties. Christians should be taught that he who sees a needy person, but passes him by although he gives money for indulgences, gains no benefit from the pope’s pardon, but only incurs the wrath of God. Christians should be taught that, unless they have more than they need, they are bound to retain what is only necessary for the upkeep of their...

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Luther’s Debate Placard

  “I never wanted to fight, either with the strongest or the weakest. My single intention was to stay hidden in the corner. But now that I have been, as it were, grasped by the ear, and dragged into the public eye by a single debate placard, I believe that this has happened according to God’s will. . . . I will fear neither the strong nor the loud. . . neither will I despise weak or any other completely unlearned man. Then I would be a truly miserable Luther . . . if I would not fight entirely in the faith of the God who alone works in me.”  Martin Luther after the publication of the 95 Theses.   Share this on:...

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Walther on the church and the poor.

  C.F.W Walther is going to have a birthday.  The father of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod would be 200 years old this month.  The drawing of him at the organ reminds me of the wonderful hymn he wrote called “He’s Risen, He’s Risen, Christ Jesus the Lord” sung to the tune of “My Darling Clementine” some say. He has an interesting thing to say about so called “secret societies” or lodges as we call them today.  I had a tour of a Masonic Temple the other night and that is what brought this to my mind.  Walther is upset that many Christians were joining societies for the insurance back in the day.  He also goes off on what he saw as the coming welfare State.  He is probably spinning in his grace today.  Here is a quote from “The Pastor’s Responsibility to Care for the Physical Needs of Members of his Congregation”Translated by Rev. Matthew C. Harrison  The zeal of congregations against the secret societies is completely pharisaic if it is not tied with sufficient concern for their poor and suffering. A Christian congregation can not simply claim that there are state funds for the poor and homes for them, which they also support. No Christian congregation should allow their poor to be cared for in this way. The state should much more see that it need not...

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Ibada Takatifu

New Hymnal for our African Partners Sorry about the picture from my computer through my camera – still learning.  One of the great honors of my life was preaching at the dedication of the Uhuru Highway Church in Nairobi to be the cathedral for the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Kenya.  I got the “goose bumps” standing outside the church and singing “A Mighty Fortress” in Kswahili.  At that time the standard hymnal for the ELCK was Mwimbieni Bwana or “Let us sing unto the Lord”.  My friend John Halake was visiting this week and we discussed the new hymnal project and John gave me these insights. Archbishop Walter Obare understands that a hymnal would help unify the church in its worship practice as well as unifying it with the church at large, and give the church a clearer identity. Hymnals are that important to a church body. While resources in Kenya are limited, a close relationship exists between the ELCK and the LCMS; thus Bishop Obare approached the LCMS in 2008 for assistance in the production of its first official hymnal. Dr. Kieschnick, LCMS president at that time, gave his blessing on the work, and six Concordia Theological Seminary faculty who had significant roles in producing Lutheran Service Book were encouraged to lend their expertise to this important work. Deaconess Sandra Rhein was appointed as Coordinating Editor. A Kenyan...

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“On the Blessed Sacrament of Christ’s Body and Blood” by Martin Luther –

 I found another blog that I am enjoying written by a women up in Canada.  You can find her at http://thoughtsbrigitte.blogspot.com/2010/06/christ-have-mercy-lords-supper.html.  This blog is attempting to show how the Lutherans in North Dakota and Minnesota North are bound together in many ways not the least of these is our faith and the bond that unites us in the body of Christ.  What creates that bond and feeds it and animates it is the Lord’s Supper.  Brigitte is interested in Luther and the Lord’s Supper and put together a long string of quotations.  I believe this one comes from Luther’s Treatise of the Blessed Sacrament of Christ’s Body and Blood”.  If I am wrong please. someone correct me.  Whatever treatise it comes from this section takes my breath away. This is also a reason, indeed the chief reason, why this sacrament is received many times, while baptism is received but once… There is the devil, the world, and our own flesh and conscience, as I have said. They never cease to hound us and oppress us. Therefore we need the strength, support and help of Christ and of his saints. These are pledged to us here, as in a sure sign, by which we are made one with them–incorporated into them–and all our woe is laid down in the midst of the community… There are those, indeed, who would gladly...

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