Archive for Steadfast Lutherans

Great Stuff — Koinonia Project One year On… Part 2

Great stuff found over on Pastor Lincoln Winter’s blog, Musings of a Country Pastor

 

koinoniaThe discussions in the Koinonia Project (KP) are welcome. For years, the Wyoming District has been requesting serious theological dialogue regarding our divisions. After several convention cycles of nothing more than chirping crickets for a response, it is a welcome relief to see that our requests and prayers have been answered.

That having been said, however, there is a problem built into the structure of the Koinonia Project itself. It was not really an issue the first time around. But as we have discussed in our own district exactly what happened and what it means, this fundamental structural problem has come to the fore. In . . . Read All

Sermon — Pr. Tony Sikora — Thirsty Bones

May 24, 2015 — Pentecost Sunday
Sermon Text — Ezekiel 37:1-14
Audio —

Come back later for audio of this sermon.

 

In the Name X Jesus.  AMEN!

Can These Bones Live?

SermonGraphic_300x200It is the Lord who opens eyes and it is the Lord who unstops ears.  He loosens tongues and causes the lame to leap.  Such is the One who brought us into being, who formed and fashioned us in the womb.  In this the psalmist delights when he sings, “For you [O Lord] formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. 15 My . . . Read All

LadyLike: A Book Every Man Should Read

LadyLike BannerLadyLike: Living Biblically is an outstanding collection of forty-four short essays which provide an unapologetically biblical perspective on matters significant to life in family, church, and society today. Sisters Rebekah Curtis and Rose Adle write in a style that is engaging, easy to read, and very much to the point, and they do not shy away from taking on the controversial issues.

This book benefits from having been written by women, as they are able to be critical of “female small-mindedness” (their term) without having to worry (much) about charges of misogyny. When men extol the virtues of patriarchy, it can be seen as self-serving (and sadly, this has often been the case). This cannot be true, however, when women . . . Read All

Dr. Becker’s Ever Shrinking Word of God (Part 2)

Associate editor’s note: In the part 1, we saw Dr. Becker pit Jesus against Scripture and his dismissal of certain biblical books (Hebrews, James, 2 Peter, 2 John, 3 John, Jude, and Revelation), saying that they cannot serve as principal sources or norms for Christian teaching. Here in part 2, we see Dr. Becker further denigrate Scripture.

Contains the Word; Witness to the Word

In his argument, Scripture continues to shrink even smaller than the homologoumena. He combines Liberal Protestantism’s view that the Bible is not the Word of God but only contains the Word along with much error, and Neo-orthodoxy’s view that the Bible is not the Word of God but only a “witness to the Word.” . . . Read All

The Intolerance of the “Tolerant”

hyprocritefishChristians are often accused of hypocrisy and intolerance. As sinners, we routinely fail to practice what we preach. However, hypocrisy is not synonymous with moral failure, Merriam-Webster notwithstanding. Hypocrisy is claiming to hold beliefs that you don’t actually hold. Samuel Johnson was right:

“Nothing is more unjust, however common, than to charge with hypocrisy him that expresses zeal for those virtues which he neglects to practice; since he may be sincerely convinced of the advantages of conquering his passions, without having yet obtained the victory, as a man may be confident of the advantages of a voyage, or a journey, without having courage or industry to undertake it, and may honestly recommend to others, those attempts which he neglects himself.”

. . . Read All

Litany to the Holy Ghost, for Pentecost.

Pentecost Icon (2)Kyrie Eleison
Kyrie Eleison
Christe Eleison
Christe Eleison
Kyrie Eleison
Kyrie Eleison

O God, the Father in Heaven
Have mercy upon us!
O God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
Have mercy upon us!
O God the Holy Spirit, true Comforter,
Have mercy upon us!

Lord God the Holy Ghost,
You are the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and might,
and You are the Spirit of the knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
Have mercy upon us!

Lord God the Holy Spirit,
You are the Spirit of Love,
the Spirit of Joy,
the Spirit of patience, kindness and goodness,
and You are the Spirit of faith, humility and chastity,
Have mercy upon us!

O Holy . . . Read All

Sermon — Pr. Christopher Maronde — Seventh Sunday of Easter

Sermon from Pastor Christopher Maronde at Good Shepherd in Lincoln, NE, originally posted here

Sermon Text — John 15:26-16:4
May 17th, 2015 — Seventh Sunday of Easter

SermonGraphic_300x200“But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, He will bear witness about me.” Grace, mercy, and peace to you from God our Father and from our Lord and our Savior Jesus Christ, Amen. The text for our sermon this morning comes from the Gospel lesson read a few moments ago from the fifteenth and sixteenth chapters of the Gospel according to Saint John. Dear friends in Christ: It was only a month ago when another video came . . . Read All

Dr. Becker’s Ever Shrinking Word of God

Dr. Matthew L. Becker[1] is known for teaching publicly that qualified women should be ordained as pastors.[2] Many wonder how he can reach this conclusion, since they believe God’s Word plainly says pastors should be qualified men. The explanation lies in his perspective on the Word.

When laypeople just don’t like something the Bible says, they casually cast it off. For an ordained theologian, there are restraints against casting it off as casually. For them, it takes a lot more work because they need to justify false teaching professionally and theologically.

Shocked man holding shrunk shirt and looking at camera isolated on white background

Therefore Dr. Becker’s view of the Word is involved and tedious. Through a series of stages, some of which are orthodox and others of which are not, he gradually . . . Read All

Luther on Rulers and History

MattPhillips“A prince must also be very wise and not always try to impose his will, even if he has the right and the best of all reasons to do so.  For it is a far nobler virtue to put up with a slight to one’s own rights than [it is to risk damage] to life and property, where this is to the advantage of the subjects.  As we know, worldly rights are valid only with respect to the things of this world.” Martin Luther, Treatise on Good Works, in Luther’s Works, vol. 44, p. 94.

Dr. Luther wrote these words in his discussion of the Fourth Commandment (Thou shalt honor thy father and mother) in this famous treatise . . . Read All

Why do I use the liturgy? Reason #8

Guest article by Pr. Bruce Timm.

Previous articles, reasons 1-3, found here; reason 4 found here; reason 5 found here; reason 6 is found here; and reason 7 is found here.

 

Reason #8: Using the hymnal prevents global warming.

BJS_BruceTimmThis isn’t my own idea.  I heard this from other pastors, but I loved it.  Here is another similar argument.  “Save a tree.  Use your hymnal.”  My current congregation has saved many trees and greatly reduced our printing costs when we moved away from printing out an “edited” service very week.    Too many trees are killed (in vain, I believe) to produce services that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow.  The First . . . Read All

Why do I use the liturgy? Reason #8

Guest article by Pr. Bruce Timm.

Previous articles, reasons 1-3, found here; reason 4 found here; reason 5 found here; reason 6 is found here; and reason 7 is found here.

 

Reason #8: Using the hymnal prevents global warming.

BJS_BruceTimmThis isn’t my own idea.  I heard this from other pastors, but I loved it.  Here is another similar argument.  “Save a tree.  Use your hymnal.”  My current congregation has saved many trees and greatly reduced our printing costs when we moved away from printing out an “edited” service very week.    Too many trees are killed (in vain, I believe) to produce services that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow.  The First . . . Read All

“Confidence, Unity, and Joy: God’s Gifts to Our Church” (Sermon on 1 John 5 and John 17, by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

“Confidence, Unity, and Joy: God’s Gifts to Our Church” (1 John 5:9-15; John 17:11b-19)

Today we are very happy to receive yet another family into our congregation. That makes seventeen new members added to our little church so far this year. Seventeen! That is remarkable. From out of the blue, quite unexpectedly, God has gifted us with these brothers and sisters in Christ, who are joining our church. Thanks be to God!

Yes, today we give thanks to God for the gift of these new members, who already are being a real blessing to our church. But now I want to tell you about some other gifts that God has for our church, and these are gifts that are spoken . . . Read All

Kenya’s Oldest, Most Read Newspaper Reports on Bishop Obare’s Coruption Including Allegations Involving LCEF Loan, by Pr. Rossow

The Standard Digital (the internet arm of the oldest and most read newspaper in Kenya) has reported the corruption of Bishop Obare in an article titled “How Clergy Ate Cash Cows Intended for Church.” You can read the article online here.

The article title gets at the most despicable aspect of Obare’s corruption. He diverted to his own construction company funds that were donated by LCMS members intended for the “Cows Program” which was to provide cows for villagers to lift them out of poverty. This is a documented abuse based on invoices retrieved from Obare’s office. I have seen these documents myself in person and Obare’s accusers have posted them online.

The article also mentions Obare’s abuse of . . . Read All

“The Past, Present, and Future of the Ascension” (Sermon on Luke 24, Ephesians 1, and Acts 1; by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

“The Past, Present, and Future of the Ascension” (Luke 24:44-53; Ephesians 1:15-23; Acts 1:1-11)

“He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. From thence he will come to judge the living and the dead.” That’s what we just confessed about our Lord Jesus Christ, isn’t it? This portion of the Apostles’ Creed captures what this day, Ascension Day, is all about. These three things: He ascended into heaven. He sits at the right hand of the Father. And he will come again. A past act. A present reality. And a future hope. And all of these things are good news for you. So now let’s consider these blessed truths, under the theme: “The . . . Read All

Steadfast Media Pick of the Week — Walther’s Works: Church Fellowship

 

Walther’s Works: Church Fellowship

 

Dr. Martin Noland discusses C.F.W. Walther’s book, “Church Fellowship.” The highlight of the interview starts at 31:45 when Dr. Noland discusses the relationship between church fellowship and communion fellowship and the Galesburg Rule.

. . . Read All

Sermon — Pr. Tony Sikora — Jesus Prays for You

Sermon Text: John 17:11-19
May 17, 2015 — Seventh Sunday of Easter
Audio —

Come back later for the audio of this sermon.

 

Grace, mercy and peace be unto you from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Amen!  Our text for this morning’s sermon is taken from St. John’s gospel account the 17th chapter.

Beloved in the Lord,

Jesus Prays for You

SermonGraphic_300x200The battle for our salvation was not brought about by the forging of plowshares into swords. The war for your redemption was not waged against flesh and blood but “but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the . . . Read All

BJS Update – a new Associate Editor and more….

BrothersofJohntheSteadfastIt has taken a little while to get things in order since taking over the organization and the blog, but things are beginning to move.  First and foremost for the blogs’ sake, we now have an Associate Editor to help out – our very own Pr. Eric Andersen.  He has shown dedication and hard work in his blogging for us, co-hosting Steadfast Throwdown, and the many other things that he is involved with (Around the Word Bible Studies to name one of the best).  He also preserves the St. Louis/Fort Wayne balance here.

Congratulations to Pr. Andersen!  As a bonus your “electability” factor in the LCMS just went down ten points!

Some other things going on at BJS – we . . . Read All

Sermon — Pr. Tony Sikora — The Ascension of our Lord

Sermon Text — Acts 1 and Luke 24
May 15, 2015 — Ascension
Audio —

Come back later for the audio of this sermon

 

In the Name X of Jesus.  AMEN!

Beloved in the Lord,

To the Skies

SermonGraphic_300x200For three and a half years they followed Jesus.  That’s what disciples do, they follow their teacher, they go where He goes, hear what He speaks, and learn what He teaches, receive what He gives, and do what He bids.  The Life of a disciple is always one of going, hearing, learning, receiving and yes, even doing.  It has been forty days since Easter and the disciples are still following after Jesus in much the same way they did before Easter.  . . . Read All

Sermon – “The Communion” – Rolf Preus

The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we, though many, are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread.

It is called the Eucharist, from the Greek word for giving thanks, since this sacrament is received with thanksgiving. It is called the Lord’s Supper. The Lord Jesus instituted it, saying: “This do, in remembrance of me.” Sometimes the Bible refers to it as the breaking of the bread. The Catechism calls it the Sacrament of the Altar. A common designation of this sacrament is Holy Communion. That is based . . . Read All

I don’t enjoy coffee with my pastor — the honest frustrations of a layman

coffeeI take that back, I really do enjoy a cup of coffee with my pastor. As long as our conversation stays within the realm of family, hobbies and things happening in our congregation it’s usually quite a joy. It is however rare that our conversation does not enter the not so happy theme of the many issues of the LCMS’s seemingly large amount of disunity and failings. I’m not a lifelong member of the LCMS so maybe these things have been going on for years or maybe I just see the great things we have in the Lutheran church that seem to be just thrown to the wayside by pastors and congregations. It makes me need something stronger then coffee.. . . Read All

Support Needed for Zion Lutheran in Delmont, South Dakota

800px-Delmont_Zion_Lutheran_2A tornado swept through Delmont, SD yesterday and destroyed the church building of Zion Lutheran Church.  I know Pastor Brian Bucklew, the pastor there well (from seminary days and after, I had the honor of preaching at his ordination) who is a faithful shepherd to his sheep.  No one was killed by the storm.  It seems that not only was the church destroyed, the parsonage and a number of parishioners homes were also destroyed or severely damaged.  This congregation is a part of a dual parish with Emmaus Lutheran Church in Tripp, SD.

See pictures of the damage here.

Pr. Bucklew posted this right away on Facebook (he was on vacation when the storm hit).

The church BUILDING of

. . . Read All

Doctrinal Supervision and the Becker Case

This article was written by Rev. Dr. Martin R. Noland, and was first published in the The Lutheran Clarion, a publication of The Lutheran Concerns Association. You may download the entire May issue of the Clarion here, and previous editions of the Clarion here, as well as free subscription information.

 

What is the real business of the synod? In Chapter IV of its 1854 Constitution, the Missouri Synod stated that the business of the synod is:

1) watching over the purity and unity of doctrine within the Synod; 2) supervision over the performance of the official duties on the part of pastors and teachers of Synod; 3) common defense and extension of the church; 4)

. . . Read All

Is the Southern District of the LCMS falling for Pagan Lies? Let’s hope not. They should read BJS more.

Circuit 1 of the Southern District has submitted an overture to its district to discontinue the use of “Easter” from the LCMS.  You can find it on page 8 here.

This is when we would suggest here at BJS that the district consider reading the “Redeeming Holy Days from Pagan Lies” series which has become one of the best series we have ever published here at BJS.  Pastor Joseph Abrahamson’s knowledge and hard work in producing these should be spread far and wide.

Here a link to the series.

You can find there many of these pagan (and all too often their deceived Christian friends) lies confronted and shown the truth regarding the holy days of the Church and . . . Read All

The Cost of Becoming a Pastor

students-loans2I absolutely love being a pastor. There isn’t a single thing I would change about what I do—not even the meetings (which often include one of the prayer offices and theologically-driven conversation). It is a joy to be in the pulpit, to comfort terrified consciences, to baptize sinners, and to teach God’s Word to His people. My father drives a truck for a living, and I have in a sense followed in his footsteps. I’m just the delivery guy. I have the privilege of delivering the most precious gift the world has ever known, day in and day out: the Gospel.

My purpose in writing about the expenses involved in becoming a pastor is not to discourage men from pursuing . . . Read All

“Water, Blood, and Spirit Crying” (Sermon on 1 John 5:1-8, by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

“Water, Blood, and Spirit Crying” (1 John 5:1-8)

“Water, Blood, and Spirit Crying”: That’s the hymn we just sang (LSB 597). Listen again to the words of the first stanza:

Water, blood, and Spirit crying,
By their witness testifying
To the One whose death-defying
Life has come, with life for all.

The One to whom the Spirit, the water, and the blood are testifying is, of course, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who has defied and defeated death for us, who comes with life for all, and whose Easter victory we are celebrating during this season.

But now where did the hymn writer get the idea for this hymn and the very words that he uses? He got them . . . Read All

Sermon — Pr. Tony Sikora — All Love is not the Same Love

Easter 6 — May 10th, 2015
Sermon Text — John 15:9-17
Audio —

Come back later for audio of this sermon.

 

Christ is risen!  He is risen, indeed!  Alleluia.  Our text for this morning’s sermon is taken from St. John’s gospel account the 15th chapter. (John 15:9-17)

Beloved in the Lord,

The Father’s Love

SermonGraphic_300x200“God is Love.” (1 John 4:8)  There is no love in the world except the love which comes from the Father.  Anyone who does not love does not know the Father.  The Father loves the Son.  The Son loves you.  This is God’s sharing of Himself with His beloved creation.  Being loved of God we know Him and He knows us. This is eternal life: . . . Read All

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