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Month: August 2012

Luther on Confessing the Faith – Lifestyle and Good Works

    We talked about Confessing the Faith in the 21st Century.  Luther had something to say about confessing and witnessing in a sermon on 1 Thessalonians 4. This lesson is easy of interpretation. It is a general and earnest admonition on the part of Paul, enjoining us to an increasing degree of perfection in the doctrine we have received. This admonition, this exhortation, is one incumbent upon an evangelical teacher to give, for he is urging us to observe a doctrine commanded of God. He says, “For ye know what charge [commandments] we gave you through the Lord Jesus.” Whatever Christians do, it should be willing service, not compulsory; but when a command is given, it should be in the form of exhortation or entreaty. Those who have received the Spirit are they from whom obedience is due; but those not inclined to a willing performance, we should leave to themselves. But mark you this: Paul places much value upon the gift bestowed upon us, the gift of knowing how we are “to walk and to please God.” In the world this gift is as great as it is rare. Though the offer is made to the whole world and publicly proclaimed, further exhortation is indispensable, and Paul is painstaking and diligent in administering it. The trouble is, we are in danger of becoming indolent and negligent, forgetful and...

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Confessing the Faith in the 21st Century

    The “Bold Witnesses” District Standing Committee in North Dakota is planning a conference for pastors and laity called “Confessing the Faith in the 21st Century” on Saturday, October 27, 2012, 9am-5pm at Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church, Fargo.  One of the main speakers is Adriane Dorr, managing editor of the Lutheran Witness.  Dorr will speak on “Confessing the Faith through the Lutheran Witness” and “Women’s Role in the Church.”  The other speaker is Rev. Jonathan Fisk, speaking on “Confessing the Faith through the Internet” and “Why the Small Catechism Totally Rocks.”  For more information, contact Rev. Mark Chepulis in Cavalier or Rev. Adam Moline in Hankinson. This is an interesting topic in the environment that we find ourselves in today.  America can really no longer be considered a Christian country and we have entered that strange area that Germany is in now.  Small groups of confessing Christians trying to work their way in the world and remain true to Jesus Christ.  Here in America the church has, in my opinion been relegated to the back burner of life.  We are one thing on a menu of things that people can do with their time.  One of my fears is that we are really only talking to ourselves.  Witnessing the faith for many, at least it is my observation, is protecting and reproving mistakes in dogmatic formulations; arguing about...

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Luther’s Preaching on Work and Effort, and well, Preaching.

  Luther preached on Luke 5:1-11.  It is a marvelous sermon on labor and how we make our way in this life, but it is also a great stimulant for preachers and the effects of preaching.   Preachers need to work hard and not be slovenly in their preaching.  They need to be faithful and diligent and like the net of Peters that gets wet and broken, preaching is a life of tension and sometimes frustration and sometimes we break.  Trying to get the right words in the right order is hard work. Looking at the same text that you have preached on twenty times and trying to find something “different”, finding somethig diferent may not be a good thing”.   The effort it takes ot not use a text as a “pretext” for our own little issues and foibles is hard work.  Somewhere in the sermon Luther says that preachers need to understand that “It is our comfort, however, that Christ, through our preaching, will lead his own into the boat, and will keep them there, although we know that we cannot make devout men of all to whom we preach, and that we cannot escape persecution on account of our office; yea, though we know that many will fall away even among those of whom we felt sure that we had them in the net.” This is not a built-in excuse or reason...

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More on the LWML and Anniversaries

For those who don’t read comments my friend Mr Ravi sent this concerning yesterdays blog – Ravi Jesupatham: August 28, 2012 at 2:10 am (Edit) A good tribute for the great works being done by the LWML Pastor Seter! The LWML is helping international mission endeavors as well. In India contribution of LWML in developing hospitals and schools are tremendous. The Bethesda Hospital in Ambur, Tamil Nadu State is the witness to the mammoth efforts of LWML for the India Evangelical Lutheran Church. Share this on:...

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Anniversaries -Good Things 2!

I have been going back and reading the histories of various churches in Minnesota and North Dakota.  It is interesting reading for a variety of reasons.  One is the absolute hardship these early Lutherans experienced.  I am reading about a Pastor that had a school besides his preaching duties. In January of 1887 a three day blizzard hit and he and the children managed to stay alive but he had to care for them all in a two room shack that served as the school.  It is said that 128 people died in that storm.  Whole schools and their teacher didn’t make it but this pastor did.  Another interesting part of this is the subtle way that women enter the picture.  One Pastor was picked up and taken to his new parish in an oxcart.  The driver told him that he could say hello and goodbye in the same sentence because they had no way to provide him anything let alone a salary.  A recent hailstorm had destroyed everything.  Anyway upon arrival one of the women simply said “we’ll make this work”.  She fed him for quite awhile in a one room shack.  He sat on an empty nail keg and she fed him with empty cartons as the table.  Intuition tells me that if the women would have balked he would have gone back the way he came on the oxcart. Since many...

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