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Month: October 2015

Perspective part 4

When you are out tricking and treating or turning off your lights and hiding in your basement or whatever you do on Halloween I hope you take a few moments and remember the Reformation…… Reformation Day can too easily become a day of pride for those who claim the legacy of Martin Luther, but it can also too easily be forgotten or distorted. We are not here for hero worship of a man but to give thanks to God for Luther and those of every generation whose voices have been raised in faithful witness to the Gospel. At the same time, we are here to affirm that this Gospel remains under threat from both within and outside the Church. So we must take up in our own generation the call to renew the careful distinction between Law and Gospel, to affirm the authority of the Word of God as source and norm of our faith and teaching, and to herald the clearest proclamation of Jesus Christ crucified and risen to pay the cost of our redemption and justify the sinner before God. With joy, we affirm this salvation is by grace alone and not of our own works and that we apprehend this by the Holy Spirit’s work of faith in our hearts. ( From CPH Creative Worship)   Share this on:...

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Perspective part 3

On the eve of the Reformation I am thinking about Psalm 46 – the psalm which we believe Luther based the hymn “a Mighty Fortress is Our God”.   After listing all kinds of things that are going on in the world, the psalmists pictures God saying be still, desist and be quiet and know that I am God. I love going back and reading the thoughts of folks that were around before I was born.  Here is a study of the last verse of Psalm 46 that was written a year and a month before I was born.  It was written by a Pastor Viehweg.  I can imagine him drinking his coffee on the eve of the Reformation celebration and worrying about his world and writing………. Desist and know that I (am) God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted on the earth.” These words are spoken to the discomfited foes of Jehovah and also to His people . It is a majestic “Hands off”. God wants to bring also His enemies to their senses, to repentance, while they still have a chance.  All their attacks cannot dethrone Him, put Him out of existence. They are destroying themselves. These words may also be applied to believers when they are in danger of being overwhelmed by fear. Then the Lord tells them: “Be still, stop fretting and worrying,...

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Perspective -part 2

I believe that this is Pastor Benjamin.  I met him in Wamba and milked his camels.  Well I tried to milk his camels.  Pastor Benjamin has taken a new position in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Kenya.  He is showing some of our Pastors a Project 24 Boarding School.  It struck me as I looked at the building and the bunk beds that an interesting perspective emerges.  We have a lot of folks out there with ideas about mission and ministry and many of them have strong opinions about theological education being the most important thing that we can share with out partner churches.  I don’t disagree with that at all.  But another perspective tells me that for theological education to take place there need to be folks to educate.  In order for there to be folks to educate we have to have religious instruction in the primary grades.  In order for that to be effective we need to have some boarding schools for children with special needs or who come from special circumstances and for that to happen we need something as simply as mosquito nets to keep children from dying before they can even learn about Jesus. Share this on:...

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Perspective

Some believe that perspective is everything.  We don’t get much perspective in this country anymore.  No one wants to be called a sexist, racist, homophobe, or any of the other myriad label’s that liberal theologians and politicians lay on us.  To be called a member of the Taliban because we object to butchered baby parts being sold out of coolers doesn’t really contribute to a reasoned debate, but the fact that we have to approach baby parts being sold at all is pretty unreasonable so… http://www.washingtonpost.com/people/anthony-faiola Writing about the Vatican City Synod on family issues held the other day Anthony Faiola gives us an interesting perspective. Sometimes it’s nice to hear other perspectives. The synod on family issues marked the Vatican’s second in two years, with a meeting last year touching off the debates on divorce and homosexuality. Unlike last year, when several controversial clauses failed to garner a required two-thirds majority, all the recommendations made this time reached that bar. But some said that was partly because of an attempt to make the language more palatable and ambiguous. Signaling the intensity of the debate, there were more than 1,300 amendments proposed by the more than 260 delegates. This year, homosexuality became less a focus than divorce. But some conservative bishops argued that the synod was being hijacked by liberals overwhelmingly focused on “Western” or “Eurocentric” issues. Bishop Joseph...

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The Christian and the Culture.

Malcolm Boyd said something already back in 1957 (completely unaware of the even more massive changes that were coming), “We cannot disengage ourselves, as Christians, from the mass media themselves or from the problems with which they challenge us. This is true for two main reasons. First, our missionary imperative commands us to preach the Gospel to all men. How can we, in the face of our Lord’s will, refuse to use such potentially vital methods as mass media in reaching out with God’s Word to desperately isolated men and women? Secondly, it is increasingly becoming obvious that we are being evangelized by our secular technical society far more than we are in the process of evangelizing it for Jesus Christ. The Church’s manifest task is to evangelize this society and age and condition.” Boyd was an Episcopalian priest and a counter culture hero.  He was also a homosexual who might have been surprised to see how the “mass media” has sought to proselytize for homosexual “rights” while denigrating evangelizing for Jesus Christ.  Another example of the problems by which we are challenged is the proclamation of a truncated Gospel and use of frail human beings to use it to advance their ends, rather than the Kingdom of God and of His Christ. Lutherans believe that the Holy Spirit calls, gathers enlightens and sanctifies.  That is his task.  Our is to witness in word and...

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