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Month: September 2016

Living In Fear or Living In Fear.

I am amazed at the political climate that we are in.  There are people who live in fear and one politician has pointed it out while the other side says it is not that bad and the media says it cannot imagine what is being talked about.  “Where is the dystopian nightmare that some have described?”, they ask.  Well, it is not on beautiful planes or gated communities or limousines, but the inner cities and many small towns that never saw crime before and now are invaded by new comers who don’t live by the same rules.  There are places were people do live in fear and wonder how they can get to a store safely, or how long they can be gone from their homes before someone breaks in.  There are places where policeman fear to go. The Bible talks about another kind of fear.  “Working out or accomplishing, or finishing our salvation in fear and trembling means that we live as God’s person in this world doing the good works he prepared for us to do.  12Therefore, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not only in my presence, but now even more in my absence, continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling. 13For it is God who works in you to will and to act on behalf of His good pleasure.…(Phillipians 2).  It...

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Unlimited Horizons

I used to wake up to a view much like this everyday when I lived in Leadville Co.  I can still remember getting out early in the morning on those crisp Fall days and feeling like the mountains were so close I could touch them and yet the vault of air was such that they seemed endlessly far away.  There was always a momentarily feeling of disorientation over something that lovely.  The mountains where I was always had a dusting of snow and so they were always a reminder of seasons coming and going and the rhythm of life. My Grandfather was a child of the plains and he would come and visit on occasion but was never comfortable.  The endless vistas of the prairies made him feel free and able to “see what was coming”.  The mountains were beautiful to see but also a barrier to his vision and he didn’t like that. The Bible is full of images of mountains and high places where one went to encounter God.  Jesus often took the disciples up on a mountain.  He also reminded them that there was work to do down on the plain as well. My nephew took this picture and it is quite something.  It should be in a magazine. Share this on:...

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Lutheran Social Ethics

Many years ago professor F.E.Meyer wrote this in the Concordia Theological Journal Vol XV no 6 1944 – “In recent theological literature (Neo-Orthodoxy) the charge has been made that the Lutheran ethic is not sufficiently social. The specific charge. The Lutheran emphasis on the doctrine of justification by faith and on the otherworldly character of the Christian religion leaves little or no room for a genuine interest in society’s welfare. The charge is unfounded and rests upon a twofold error: 1. Misunderstanding the essence of Christ’s work and of the Gospel. If the Church’s program is the saving of immortal souls by improving man’s character, then the Lutheran Church has failed to develop a genuine social ethic. 2.Misunderstanding the nature of faith. Faith is the hand which appropriates Christ’s merit, and therefore in sincere gratitude becomes active in the social realm. Trigl., 941, 10 f.; Luther’s The Liberty of a Christian Man, St. L., XIX: 986 ff. The Lutheran Christian does not withdraw from the world but is keenly aware of his obligation to his fellow man; he has a genuine social ethic. In fact, his social consciousness does not stop with alleviating man’s social ills, but concerns itself primarily with his fellow man’s eternal welfare. As his Master, so the Christian is a “friend of sinners.” All these years later after a great revival and interest in mercy work...

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Eternal Habitations

Jesus says in Luke 16, “The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light. 9 I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.”  Richard Caemmerer writes, One of the reproaches leveled against this pericope (reading) is that it seems to set almsgiving and investment before us in prudential terms. Take care of people now, and you will get an eternal return. This seems to be the opposite of Jesus’ definition of love in Matt. 5 :46, 47. And yet quite the opposite is true. Jesus says that we are to invest our cash and property in such a way that a relation to the brethren which has everlasting quality be assured. Safeguarding the place of our brethren in God’s dimension of life is indeed an act of love, in its highest meaning. Jesus depicts His people at Judgment as those who used their resources on earth in order to sustain one another (Matt.25:31-46). In this parable the objective of the investment is not simply to get a future return in general that is the impulse of the man of “this world” -but to establish people in a situation in which...

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The Uses of Money

After last Sundays Gospel from Luke 16:1-113 there is a great summary from Richard Caemmerer in an article called “Investment for the Future”. The uses of money.-Old and New Testament alike set before us two major areas in which the money of God’s people can profitably be invested. The first is charity, providing for the needy. The first church in Jerusalem is an illustration of Christians gathering and disbursing their money for those in need. Many of our standard texts on Christian giving stem from the counsel which St. Paul gave in his epistles concerning giving for famine sufferers in Jerusalem. The giving of alms and the care of the poor is a commonplace in Jesus’ teaching (Luke ll:41; 12:33; Matt. 19:21,22). The second field for the investment of money toward eternal ends is the provision of Word and worship. The tithes of the Old Testament people of God supported the priests in their labors (e. g., Lev. 27). While St. Paul made a point of it that he had not preached for pay, he quickly counseled to reimbursement of servants of the Word (e. g., Gal. 6: 6; 1 Tim. 5: 17) -not failing to rebuke avarice in preachers too (1 Tim. 6: 5-11) . Actually, as John 12:7, 8 imply, the thought for the total life of the brother need not attempt to concern itself for the...

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