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Month: October 2014

Reformation Enemies

From Luther’s  Sermon on Matthew 11:2-10 But it must be observed that Christ says: “The Gospel is preached to none but to the poor only, thus without doubt intending it to be a message for the poor only. For it has always been preached unto the whole world, as Christ says, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to the whole creation,” Mark 16, 15. Surely these poor are not the beggars and the bodily poor, but the spiritually poor, namely, those who do not covet and love earthly goods; yes, rather those poor, broken-hearted ones who in the agony of their conscience seek and desire help and consolation so ardently that they covet neither riches nor honor. Nothing will be of help to them, unless they have a merciful God. Here is true spiritual weakness. They are those for whom such a message is intended, and in their hearts they are delighted with it. They feel that they have been delivered from hell and death. Therefore, though the Gospel is heard by all the world, yet it is not accepted but by the poor only. Moreover, it is to be preached and proclaimed to all the world, that it is a message only for the poor, and that the rich men can not receive it. Whosoever would receive it must first become poor, as Christ...

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What was the point of the Reformation?

The Reformation was ultimately about the return of the central doctrine of the Christian faith; that God justifies (declares righteous, forgiven and not guilty) sinners for the sake of Christ, apart from any works of the Law.  Sadly, the default position of human beings is that they have to earn salvation or do something.  If they don’t think that they believe that there is a spark of goodness in them that Jesus died to fan into flame.  It is a  really anti-scriptural and sad when the witness of our life and the witness of the Bible is that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”.  The Reformation brought about the separation between churches that “confess” the central doctrine and those that do not. Today it is difficult to get people to see what the churches task is because many have come to see religion as a moralistic enterprise and Jesus as life coach and a means of having your “best life now”.  Rather than seeing Jesus as Savior, he is a moral example.  His job is build your self esteem which the Bible says we have an overabundance of in the first place.  Anyway I can yammer about this all I want but here another persons view…………………………   I’ve come to realize at the tender age of 47 that sometimes church doesn’t work. What I mean is...

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What Would Reformation Look Like Today?

I have being saying for a while that our trouble as a church, at least the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod is that we still preach Law and Gospel and we still proclaim that Christ is the Savior.  Hard to get attention when we preach a Savior from Sin and Sin has pretty much been defined, educated, politicized, and corrected away.  In fact the only real sin left is to call someone a sinner. Young people have a strange understanding of religious faith as “a positive good, but one with little influence over their decision-making. For this generation, religious faith (and in particular Christianity given its prevalence in the American context) points to a banal sense of God’s desire for us to be nice to one another and pursue personal happiness.” A god exists who created and orders the world and watches over life on earth. God wants people to be good, nice, and fair to each other, as taught in the Bible and by most world religions. The central goal of life is to be happy and to feel good about oneself. God is not involved in my life except when I need God to resolve a problem. Good people go to heaven when they die.1 Luther’s Reformation started with a quest for a  merciful God.  Luther’s consciousness of sin was so severe that it almost destroyed him (which the consciousness...

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Protector of the Church

St. Michael the archangel was always considered the protector of the church.  We Lutherans have no problem with that,  Here is an article taken from CPH, Treasury of Daily prayer that I urge you all to get. The name of the archangel St. Michael means “Who is like God?” Michael is mentioned in the Book of Daniel (12:1), as well as in Jude (v. 9) and Revelation (12:7). Daniel portrays Michael as the angelic helper of Israel who leads the battle against evil. In Revelation, Michael and his angels fight and defeat Satan and his angels, driving them from heaven. Their victory is through Christ’s own victory over Satan in His death and resurrection, a victory announced by the voice in heaven: “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come.” (Rev. 12:10) Michael is often associated with Gabriel and Raphael, the archangels who surround the throne of God. Tradition names Michael as the patron and protector of the Church, especially as the protector of Christians at the hour of death. On or near September 29th each year, the Church gives thanks to God for His protection of His angels, and for their faithful service in announcing and defending the Holy Gospel, forever pointing us to Jesus Christ and His Word. (Adapted from CPH’s Treasury of Daily Prayer) The...

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Time to Build the Church

‘It is not we who build [the church]. Christ builds the church. No man builds the church but Christ alone. Whoever is minded to build the church is surely well on theway to destroying it; for he will build a temple to idols without wishing or knowing it. We must confess- he builds. We must proclaim ‘ he builds. We must pray to him ‘ that he may build. We do not know his plan. We cannot see whether he is building or pulling down. It may be that the times, which by human standards are times of collapse, are for Him the great times of construction. It may be that the times, which from a human point of view are great times for the church are times when it is being pulled down. It is a great comfort, which Christ gives to his church; you confess, preach, bear witness to me and I alone will build where it pleases me. Do not meddle in what is my province. Do what is given to you to do WELL and you have done enough. But do it well. Pay no heed to views and opinions. Don’t always be calculating what will happen. Don’t always be on the lookout for another refuge! Church, stay a church! But church, confess, confess, confess! Christ alone is your Lord; from his grade alone can...

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