Archive for Steadfast Lutherans

Much Ado about Something

Pastor-HeadlessI referenced in an earlier blog post Dr. Dale Meyer’s article “Pedagogy for a Politicized Church” in the Winter 2014 Concordia Journal, pp. 6-13.  He references there a report to the 2010 convention that said the task force involved repeatedly “heard that the problem of disharmony is the LCMS is primarily a clergy problem” (6), and I believe it.

C. F. W. Walther said that a congregation better perceive that their pastor is more concerned with doctrine than they are. Don’t you want your doctor to be more concerned with disease than you are?  Don’t you want your lawyer more concerned with legalities than you are?  Do you want your doctor to overlook that mole you do? . . . Read All

New Facebook Bible Reading Group

Bible-PsalmsSince it fits well within BJS’ goal of improving laity reading the Book of Concord as well as the Bible, I found this published on facebook today and wanted to call it to the attention of our readers.

This is a group that started today. Head on over to the group: Rightly Divided: Daily Bible Meditation on facebook and join in the reading/discussion!

 

Here’s the invite to join posted by Pastors Wolfmueller and Flamme:

Pastor Brian Flamme and I are cooking up a group for daily Bible meditation. Starting this Sunday we will suggest three chapters of the Bible to read, and provide a few notes to encourage hearing, reading, marking, learning, and inwardly digesting the text. It is . . . Read All

“Peter Gets the ‘Who’ But Not the ‘How’” (Sermon on Matthew 16:21-28, by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

“Peter Gets the ‘Who’ But Not the ‘How’” (Matthew 16:21-28)

Last week’s Gospel was Matthew 16:13-20. Today’s Gospel is the verses that follow, Matthew 16:21-28. Last week we heard Peter say something that brought a hearty commendation from Jesus, who told Peter that he was the rock on which he would build his church. This week Peter says something that brings a harsh rebuke from Jesus, with Jesus basically calling Peter “Satan” and telling him to get behind him. So in just a few verses, Peter goes from commendation to rebuke, from being called a rock to being called Satan. What gives? What’s going on here? Well, what we’ll discover this morning is this: It has to do with what . . . Read All

Why I’m Optimistic About the LC–MS

Martin NolandSome folks have recently challenged my often-stated assertion since 2010 that “These are good days for the LCMS.” I think it is fair that I respond to that challenge, by explaining why I think that way.

People often judge a company by how they fare within it. Those “on top” can be expected to judge it well. Those who have been disappointed by how their “career” turned out can be expected to judge that company poorly. This is just human nature, and explains a lot of people’s attitudes toward the company that they’re with, or were with.

I don’t judge the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod by how I have fared within it. I judge our synod, first, on its doctrinal commitment . . . Read All

Steadfast Media Pick of the Week — Atheists Read the Bible

 

 

Atheists Read the Bible

I happened on The Inquisitive Atheists while looking for something completely different and curiosity got the better of me. They have some episodes where they read through the Bible. They make two major mistakes in that they star reading from Genesis and they have no idea what the Bible is about. In their episode on Genesis 1 – 20, they really show off their biases regarding creation/evolution and most sadly, when they skim over the Fall, they completely miss the promise of the Savior. Maybe someone with more time and talent could help them through their “study.”

 

Atheist’s Book Club: Genesis 1-20

. . . Read All

Sermon — Pr. Tony Sikora — A Pebble in the Savior’s Sandals

Sermon Text: Matthew 16:21-28
August 31, 2014

 

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 /evening’s sermon is taken from St. Matthew’s gospel account the 16th chapter.

Beloved in the Lord,

Steadfast Sermons GraphicPeter the pebble has spoken.  He confessed Jesus as the Christ.  He got it right.  Hi fives all around.  Dance a jig around the campfire and let everyone kumbaya around the campfire.  Even the Savior Himself lends him His praise.  “Blessed are you Simon bar-jonah.”  Surely good times are coming.  The Christ is here.  The Messiah is with us and we know it, we know Him, He’s ours.  He’s on . . . Read All

ACELC — If Not Now, When?

“I will also speak of your testimonies before kings and shall not be put to shame” Psalm 119:46

ACELCSeveral years ago, now LCMS President Matthew Harrison authored a paper entitled “It’s Time.” Appealing to Scripture, the Lutheran Confessions, and our Lutheran fathers, he outlined the strengths and beauty of Lutheranism, as well as the challenges we face today. He boldly called for a grass roots effort to identify these challenges and to offer meaningful ways to bring about true Koinonia in our midst. In answering that call, the ACELC was formed.

Since that time we have identified 10 of what we believe to be the most serious errors in the LCMS, as well as supporting documents and study . . . Read All

Great Stuff — Commentary: Should Lutherans take ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’?

Here’s a great article found on blogs.lcms.org originally written by BJS author Pr. Daniel Hinton.

 

Jim Sanft, president and CEO of Concordia Plan Services (CPS), takes the "ALS Ice Bucket Challenge" during a CPS employee picnic Aug. 20 at Kirkwood Park. Pouring the water are CPS employees Jason Williams, left, and Curtis Wooten. CPS plans to donate employee pledges of $3,155.52 to an ALS organization aligned with LCMS Life Ministries. (Concordia Plan Services/Diane Mottert)

Jim Sanft, president and CEO of Concordia Plan Services (CPS), takes the “ALS Ice Bucket Challenge” during a CPS employee picnic Aug. 20 at Kirkwood Park. Pouring the water are CPS employees Jason Williams, left, and Curtis Wooten. CPS plans to donate employee pledges of $3,155.52 to an ALS organization aligned with LCMS Life Ministries. (Concordia Plan Services/Diane Mottert)

A new wave of videos has made its way across the Internet this summer in which people are dumping ice water on their heads and challenging others to do the same. This is the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, a “viral” campaign to raise awareness . . . Read All

Remembering Robert

Dr. Robert Preus

Dr. Robert Preus

Last month marked the silver anniversary of the “retirement” of Dr. Robert Preus from the presidency of Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Indiana. On July 27, 1989 the Fort Wayne Board of Regents opened its summer meeting with a devotion led by Preus. After the devotion, they dismissed him from the meeting during its executive session, and then notified him that he was terminated. This action was later reviewed by the LCMS Commission on Appeals, which handed down its decision on December 3, 1991 that the “Board of Regents did not properly and honorably retire Preus” (see Commission on Appeals official record, May 31, 1992, p. 12).

After three years, in which some persons in the LCMS . . . Read All

“Jesus and the Church: Inseparable” (Sermon on Matthew 16:13-20, by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

“Jesus and the Church: Inseparable” (Matthew 16:13-20)

“I love your Christ, but I dislike your Christianity.” That is a quote that has been attributed to Mahatma Gandhi, the leading figure from India of the 20th century. Sometimes it’s quoted as “I like your Jesus. I don’t like your Christians.” Or something like that. Whether Gandhi actually said this or not, the point is the same: Some people want to have Jesus–or at least the Jesus of their imagination–they want to have Jesus, but without the church. They try to pit the two against each other, Jesus and the church.

Now Gandhi himself was not a Christian. But there are even people who consider themselves Christians who would say pretty much . . . Read All

Steadfast Media Pick of the Week — Dr. Marquart on the Third Use of the Law

 

 

Dr. Marquart on the Third Use of the Law

This week I ran across Dr. Marquart’s 2005 Symposia presentation entitled, “The Third Use of the Law, a Contribution of the Formula of Concord.”


Dr. Marquart’s presentation begins ~15:00

. . . Read All

The Devil Has a Rolodex of our Sin.

addresses_cartoons_182491_tnbGod knows my sin. He knows how corrupt my heart is. God sees the sins that most in the world would deem “little” and the big nasty sins of my past. God knows my sin. God knows my sin so well he sent his son, Jesus Christ to take all my sins to the cross. He does not want me to give into sin but fight against it. The Holy Spirit comes daily to strengthen me and help me fight my sin. The Word of God is my weapon of truth which declares me not guilty because of Jesus Christ. God knows my sin. Through the preaching and teaching of the law even I know my sin. My human brain . . . Read All

Heaven in Nebraska: Reflections on the 2014 LCMS Institute on Liturgy, Preaching, and Church Music

photo-1-300x225-2

 

“How awesome is this place!

This is none other than the house of God and this is the gate of heaven.”

Genesis 28:17

 

This July, several of Redeemer’s music staff and I attended the 2014 LCMS Institute on Liturgy, Preaching, and Church Music. Now, spending five days in Seward, Nebraska in late July may not sound like heaven on earth, especially for someone so acclimated to California weather, but it was. Why, you might ask?

Well, it wasn’t because the weather was incredibly perfect – no humidity, clean country air, and a refreshing breeze – though that was a welcomed surprise.

It wasn’t due to the fresh corn (Nebraska is called the Cornhusker state for good reason!) and home-style . . . Read All

Workshop — Confessing Christ in a Contrary Culture

This event is on the Lutheran Calendar that can be added to the sidebar of your blogs; add your item to the calendar by clicking here.

 

ConfessingChristWorkshop2014Saturday, September 13at 9:30am – 3:00pm

Our Shepherd Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod
9201 E County Road 100 N,
Avon, Indiana 46123

Confessing Christ in a Contrary Culture Conference: This workshop, hosted at Our Shepherd, Avon, Indiana will address how Christian congregations, families, college students, pastors, teachers, and other individuals meet the challenge of confessing the faith clearly and with conviction.

  • Rev. Todd Wilken of Issues, Etc. is the plenary speaker.
  • Cost: $20.00 per person or $30 per vehicle.
  • Lunch included
  • For more information, see the facebook event page.

BROCHURE 2014 Confessing Christ . . . Read All

The Church and the Single Mom — A guest post by Dcs. Ellie Corrow

momWhen I was in college a couple of friends were brainstorming about where I could meet a nice, Christian man, since it was clear to them that I was single, 25, and committed to my faith. The face of one of them suddenly lit up as she exclaimed “I’ve got it! You should go to church, I’m sure there are lots of Christian men there!” She smiled at me, the satisfaction obvious in her face, and when I told her that I did go to church, every Sunday, she looked confused. She frowned slightly, and asked with a certain degree of trepidation “They let you go to church?” See, it’s not just that I was 25 and single, but I . . . Read All

Sermon — Pr Martin Noland — The Proper Use of Mammon

Text: Luke 16:1-9 [Ninth Sunday after Trinity]

Our Gospel lesson this morning is one of the more difficult of Jesus’ parables. In order to understand it properly, we have to tease out every little clue, while also making sure that we don’t interpret it in a way contrary to clear teachings of Scripture.

Steadfast Sermons Graphic One of the basic rules of the interpretation of Scripture is that you always use clear passages of Scripture to interpret and understand unclear ones. What is an unclear passage of Scripture? Unclear passages of Scripture include parables, visions, and prophecies, as well as a few other types. Prophecies are unclear, because unless the Scriptures explain when and where such prophecies are fulfilled, you are left “hanging” . . . Read All

“Jesus and People on the Fringe” (Sermon on Matthew 15:21-28, by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

“Jesus and People on the Fringe” (Matthew 15:21-28)

People on the fringe. That’s what you might call them. People on the fringe of respectable society. Sometimes beyond the fringe. These are not the good, upstanding people who have their act all together and are living their best life now. No, these are people with problems in their life. People who have gotten off track and maybe now are regretting the bad choices they have made. Perhaps they’re looking for a better way, but they don’t know where to find it. People on the fringe.

And guess what? Jesus specialized in dealing with people on the fringe. He hung around with them. He was not ashamed to get to know them. . . . Read All

The Godly Kind of Mercy Killing

There’s a ungodly type of mercy killing that receives a great deal of sympathy, if not support, in our world today. Consider the Terri Schaivo case that lasted from 1990—2005. Terri had been diagnosed by her doctors as being in a persistent vegetative state, which led her husband’s attempts to end life support. His efforts were opposed by her parents, who fought to continue life-prolonging measures until her feeding tube was finally disconnected on March 18, 2005 and her death occurred on March 31. Those who advocate mercy killing and the “right to die” would argue that it is unethical to prolong the life of someone like Shaivo, whose quality of life was clearly impaired after suffering from brain damage . . . Read All

The Catechism and the Home in 1845: Wilhelm Löhe

Luther i Torslunde Kirke 15cmLuther emphasized that the Catechisms are meant not just for study by pastors, Church and school, but primarily for the Home. Fathers are to instruct their children and daily to pray the Catechism at home. The Church today cannot make the parents carry out this loving work. The Church can encourage, entreat, portray the value of this teaching. But as the cares and pleasures, the schedules and the concerns of this life take priority, the teaching of the young in the way of truth falters. And the young are taught to enjoy the good of this worldly life but loose hold on sin, repentance, and the forgiveness won by Christ, given to them in Word and Sacrament.

This is not . . . Read All

Great Stuff — Miguel Ruiz: God Has a “Wonderful Plan” for Your Death

Great Stuff found over on Internet Monk

 

by Miguel Ruiz

The Good Samaritan (after Delacroix), Van Gogh

The Good Samaritan (after Delacroix), Van Gogh

If I hear this one more time, I swear I’m gonna snap. “God has a plan.” Wonderful. And I almost thought that, maybe for just a moment, there was a lapse in omnipotence. Of course He has everything under control! That’s the problem: I’m hurting right now, and He’s sitting on His hands. I don’t like His plan right now, and reminding me that what’s going on in my life was, at the very least, passively allowed by the cosmic micromanager, that don’t cheer me up. Oh, but his plan is “not to do me harm,” eh? You’re not listening. I just . . . Read All

The Importance of The Small Catechism in 1580, 3 of 3

martin-luther-surrounded-by-his-familyWe conclude our look at how the Small Catechism was used in 1580; the year the Lutheran Book of Concord was published and adopted as the confession of what Scripture teaches.

Martin Luther’s Small Catechism is included in the Book of Concord as one of the Lutheran Confessions.

How did they use the Small Catechism?

The official Church Rules for the Electorate of Saxony (Kirchenordnung fuer Kursachsen) published in 1580 discusses the use of the Small Catechism in three different sections:

  • “Of the Catechism,”
  • “Of the Annual Examination of the Catechism Which Shall Be Held in the Lenten Season with the Young Servants,” and
  • “Of the Office of the Sacristan or Verger.”

The third of these three . . . Read All

The Importance of The Small Catechism in 1580, 2 of 3

luthercatechismWe continue to look at how the Small Catechism was used in 1580; the year the Lutheran Book of Concord was published and adopted as the confession of what Scripture teaches.

Martin Luther’s Small Catechism is included in the Book of Concord as one of the Lutheran Confessions.

How did they use the Small Catechism?

The official Church Rules for the Electorate of Saxony (Kirchenordnung fuer Kursachsen) published in 1580 discusses the use of the Small Catechism in three different sections:

  • “Of the Catechism,”
  • “Of the Annual Examination of the Catechism Which Shall Be Held in the Lenten Season with the Young Servants,” and
  • “Of the Office of the Sacristan or Verger.”

The second of these three . . . Read All

I’m a Great Husband.

groom-cake-topper---afro-american-821544-mIn the world’s eyes, I’m a great husband. I love my wife; I support her and my children. I don’t cheat on her or beat her. I don’t yell at her or put her down. That being said if I’m honest, when it comes down to it, I’m selfish. I always try to justify the way I spend my free time by telling myself things like “at least I’m not out at the bar all night getting drunk”. Often times I choose hobbies and myself over my wife. Even the many great resources out there for a Confessional Lutheran can hinder my vocation as husband. There are times when I choose to read a book or listen to a podcast . . . Read All

Luther’s View on Financial Support for the Office of the Holy Ministry

money-46814-mIn the Sermon on the Mount Jesus stated, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21) St. Paul also warned against the inordinate desire for money as a hindrance to true faith. (I Timothy 6:9-10) The Bible has many passages that concern money, riches, greed, and contentment. Money is a very difficult matter for most honest pastors to discuss. They do not want to be self-promoters or appear to be compelling others to make them rich. They know there are many charlatans and false teachers who preach falsely for riches. However, it is necessary for pastors to preach and teach on money and financially supporting a congregation’s ministry as St Paul did often (I Corinthians . . . Read All

Sermon — Pr. Tony Sikora — Wind and Waves for Faith’s Sake

August 10th — Proper 14
Sermon Text: Matthew 14:22-33

 

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 (evening’s) sermon is taken from St. Matthew’s gospel account the 14th chapter.

Beloved in the Lord,

A.     He set them in the Boat and On the Water

Steadfast Sermons GraphicJesus is and will be King for us, but He will not be the kind of King we want Him to be nor is His kingdom the kind of kingdom we fashion in the imaginations of our hearts.  Having received the bread and the fishes, having witnessed the multiplicity of a lad’s lunch, the crowds were ready . . . Read All

The Importance of The Small Catechism in 1580, 1 of 3

1580 was the small-catechism-luther-1529year the Lutheran Book of Concord was published and adopted as the confession of what Scripture teaches.

Martin Luther’s Small Catechism is included in the Book of Concord as one of the Lutheran Confessions.

But how did they use the Small Catechism?

The official Church Rules for the Electorate of Saxony (Kirchenordnung fuer Kursachsen) published in 1580 discusses the use of the Small Catechism in three different sections:

  • “Of the Catechism,”
  • “Of the Annual Examination of the Catechism Which Shall Be Held in the Lenten Season with the Young Servants,” and
  • “Of the Office of the Sacristan or Verger.”

The first of these three sections reads:

 

Of the Catechism

As there is . . . Read All

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