Archive for Steadfast Lutherans

Rick Warren Provides Definitive Clarification of “Sacramental Entrepreneur”

It’s an old joke that the S.B.C. in Southern Baptist Convention stands for Slowly Becoming Catholic. Rick Warren, Founder of the Purpose Driven multinational, made it a concrete reality at last week’s Vatican organized “Humanum” event.

Rick Warren was one invitee among dozens selected by Pope Francis for the colloquium “in order to support and reinvigorate marriage and family life for the flourishing of human society”. No, Christ and Him crucified was not mentioned except in passing. About the only faith not represented was Lutheranism – presumably because the Liberal ones don’t support traditional marriage or limits on abortion, and because the Confessional ones are still anathema since 13 January 1547.


The Bridge to Nowhere, Courtesy

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Martin Luther, Augustine and the Languages

Originally posted on my blog at



“And, further, if I could bring it to pass among you, I should like to ask that you do not neglect the languages but, since it would not be difficult for you, that you have your preachers and some of your gifted boys learn Latin, Greek, and Hebrew well.  I know for a fact that one who has to preach and expound the Scriptures and has no help from the Latin, Greek, and Hebrew languages, but must do it entirely on the basis of his mother tongue, will make many a pretty mistake.  For it has been my experience that the languages are extraordinarily helpful for a clear understanding of the

. . . Read All

Great Stuff — Engage the Culture? Don’t.

Found over on


by Aaron D. Wolf

The Lutheran Witness

The Lutheran Witness

Interpreting the contemporary world from a Lutheran Christian perspective.

Do you engage the culture?  Are you culturally relevant?  If not, then how can you say that you believe in sharing the Gospel?  Or didn’t you know that “lost people matter to God”?

I hear this a great deal, in the broader evangelical world, and now more than ever it is making an appearance among Lutherans.  It’s a point of view that’s nothing to trifle with, because at its core is a bold accusation of sin.  And such an accusation brings with it a burden of guilt for faithful pastors and congregations who, by the standards of some . . . Read All

There is no Greater Rush than Chanting Shalom at the 5/2 Wiki Conference, by Pr. Rossow

The attached video is part of a presentation by Ian Morgan Cron at the Five Two Wiki conference this fall. It has the feel of a youth convention. Here is a tweet on the video clip on the Five Two web page:

There is something incredibly beautiful in chanting “shalom” together as a body of believers. Thank you Ian Morgan Cron

Ian Morgan Cron is an Episcopal priest, lecturer, psychotherapist and apparent docent to the universe.

Here is a clever, contrary tweet on the same post by confessional Lutheran James Wilson:

Some folks are known to say ‘shalom, shalom’ where there is no peace.

Wilson is right. This is not the shalom that passes understanding through the forgiveness of . . . Read All

“Separating the Sheep from the Goats” (Sermon on Matthew 25:31-46, by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

“Separating the Sheep from the Goats” (Matthew 25:31-46)

Judgment Day is coming! Are you ready? This is an important question, because the Day of Judgment is indeed coming, and you will be judged. Now that judgment could be positive or it could be negative, but you will be judged.

In fact, everybody will be judged, all the people who have ever lived. Many people don’t want to hear this, but it is the truth. The Holy Scriptures throughout teach that there will be a final judgment, that the Lord Jesus Christ is coming again from heaven to do the judging, and that everyone will be included. Likewise, then, the Christian creeds confess the reality of this coming judgment. We just . . . Read All

Sermon — Pr. Tony Sikora — There Will be an End:  Thank God!

Sermon Text: Matthew 25:31-46
November 23, 2014 AD




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. Matthew’s gospel account the 25th chapter.

Beloved in the Lord,

A. The Advent of Judgment

Steadfast Sermons GraphicThere will be an end.  With each step the Savior of the World marches towards the passion of His Cross.  And there will be an End.  Sin’s domain shall be conquered.  The Devil’s work shall be undone.  The world’s rebellion shall be squelched.  No more shall the saints stand in gardens of stone.  No more shall a husband grieve for his . . . Read All

Steadfast Media Pick of the Week — An Atheist Defends Religion


An Atheist Defends Religion

This is an Issues, Etc. interview with Bruce Sheiman, author of “An Atheist Defends Religion.” It is an altogether interesting interview with the highlight at the 37:00 mark where Pr. Wilken presents the Gospel. The interaction is instructive and the reaction memorable.

Original Air Date: July 30, 2009

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Sermon from the 2013 BJS Conference

John the SteadfastWe are reposting this as a reminder to our users on what they might expect at the 2015 conference — be sure to register for the conference, especially taking advantage of the early register discount before Jan 20th, 2015.


The original post (dated February 2013) was found here:

On Friday night of our conference, right after hearing stand-up comedy by Pr. Wolfmueller we gathered in the sanctuary of Bethany Lutheran Church in Naperville to pray Evening Prayer together.  Pr. Hans Fiene preached a fine sermon in which the Law was preached sternly and the Gospel sweetly.  This sermon is a must watch for our regular readers.


Here is the video:



Here is a link . . . Read All

Walking in Di$agreement

SacredCow-243x240During the 2013 Synodical Convention in St. Louis it was a great blessing to witness the affirmation of altar and pulpit fellowship between the LCMS and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Liberia (ELCL), and the Siberian Evangelical Lutheran Church (SELC).

The Synod spent tens, perhaps hundreds, of thousands of dollars and many hours to ensure that the ELCL and SELC met its standards for doctrine and practice. Good for them.

Now place yourself in the shoes of a member of the ELCL or SELC. Having passed the test of purity required by the de facto mother Synod of global confessional Lutheranism, you happen upon Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS). As an African or Siberian brother / sister in Christ . . . Read All

Guitar Setting: Wachet Auf, P. Nicolai, from Bach’s Setting

This is a transcription of J.S. Bach’s setting for P. Nicolai’s Wachet Auf.

This particular setting is used for Hymn 544 in the Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary “Wake, Awake, for Night is Flying.”

A slightly less complex transcription of Wachet Auf is used for ELH 518 “Rise! To Arms! With Prayer Employ You.”

Lilypond file
Tuxguitar file
Midi file.

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Help buy a kid a Bible – Lutherans in Africa’s “Operation Christmas Child”

BibleReadingRecently a question was posted on the Confessional Lutheran Fellowship page on Facebook asking about alternatives to Operation Christmas Child. While it is nice to receive a present on Christmas morning, this is actually quite unusual in Africa. Most families live day to day. Nevertheless, Christmas is a big deal. It is the time when we remember that our Savior came into the world, took flesh like ours for the specific purpose of dying for our sins so that we may have the gift of eternal life with Him in paradise. Many families in Africa spend many hours celebrating this gift in church on Christmas and then they will splurge on a special meal together.

The greatest gift that many . . . Read All

Sanctification Wars: Losing for Lack of a Lord

Worship wars. Mission wars. Ministry wars. We’ve got problems. Not the least among them, the Sanctification wars.

Jesus saves us from sin. But we sin on. This sinning on bothers people. We are saved from the penalty of sin in justification. We will be saved from the presence of sin in the resurrection. For the bothered, that won’t do. Salvation from penalty and presence but not from the power of sin? Sounds to them like half a Gospel.

Where is the power? The spawn of this question is the Holiness Movement, Pietism, Pentecostalism, Charismaticism, Moralism, Theosis, and so on. All of these movements fail because they locate a power intra nos, within ourselves. They try to make us lords . . . Read All

The Fort to Provide Weekly Lectionary Podcast, by Pr. Rossow

CTSThe following is from an email I just received. This looks like a really great service to pastors and those laity who want to take a look.

Providing valuable resources for the clergy and laypeople of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) is a task the faculty of Concordia Theological Seminary takes seriously. The latest offering from the faculty is a weekly Lectionary Podcast based upon the Gospel reading for the upcoming Sunday from the three-year lectionary. The podcasts will be posted every Tuesday on the Seminary’s Facebook page,, beginning November 25 with the reading for Advent 1. No login is required to view the podcast.

“Our Exegetical Department wants to share with the whole church a portion of

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Redeemer Conference with Dr. John Stephenson

Found on the Lutheran Calendarpost your items here and put it on your blog’s sidebar to announce events to others.


redeemer-ftwayneThe Good News: It is free! No registration.

More Good News: Dr. John Stephenson, of Concordia Seminary St. Catharines, will be our speaker.

Monday, January 19, 2015, from 8am to 8pm

Stephenson will spend his time with us reconsidering and visiting his volume on Eschatology – which was published 21 years ago. What has changed? How has his thinking on this expanded? He will speak, in particular, about God’s wrath and also the case and fate of those who’ve never heard the Gospel.

Bad News: It is in Ft. Wayne, in January.

Here is the schedule:
8:00 . . . Read All

Senkbeil in CSL Quarterly: Cultural Accomodation is What Ails Confessional Lutheran Church

Readers of this site know how theologically vacuous and banal the writings are of many who have held themselves out as experts in the area of missions.  Constant are their calls to “accomodate” or even import the world’s culture into the church in hopes of “reaching Jesus’ lost ones” with anything but the voice of the Good Shepherd who laid down His life for the sheep.

It was deeply refreshing, then, to see Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, dedicate a significant number of pages to an extremely thoughtful and thought provoking article entitled, “Engaging Our Culture Faithfully,” in their Fall edition.  In this article, Dr. Harold Senkbeil, the executive director for spiritual care for DOXOLOGY: The Lutheran Center for Spiritual Care. . . Read All

Mark and Avoid: Sandlin Says Jesus Isn’t God

presbyteriansThe absolute worst place to discuss anything is the comments section on a website. Best construction: threads get too long to read (thus making it difficult to enter the discussion). Worst construction (although still true): comments sections have become the example par excellence of concupiscence, man’s inborn, churning propensity and desire for evil. When religion is involved, the wickedness of man goes into hyper drive, as internet atheists try to vanquish their Christian opponents. Typically, I like to read what liberal (not used as a political term here) theologians have to say about orthodox, historic, and confessional Christianity to help me better understand their arugments. Instead of wading into the mire of comments sections, however, I’m beginning a series of . . . Read All

Cuisine for BJS Conference Set: The Lutheran Church Basement – We Need Your Ideas, by Pr. Rossow

BJS_2015_RossowThe 2015 BJS Conference cuisine has just been announced. The two day conference will include all the usuals (manly man breakfast, Chicago pizza banquet, complimentary snacks for the road, the infamous no pietists allowed parties, etc.) served with the usual world class hosting and special touches by the Bethany staff, volunteers and local BJS chapter. This year’s cuisine is being planned around the theme of the Lutheran Church Basement Dinner. (Cuisine maybe a bit too high brow of a word for the church basement.)

We need your ideas. We already have some great casseroles and classic jellos in mind for lunch but we need a few more. Please use the comment section below to inspire us to further greatness with . . . Read All

Open Communion and Same-Sex Union Advocates United in Faulty Understanding of “Love”

love“Pastor, my friends are visiting over the weekend. May they take Communion?” Implicit in the request is the assumption that love does not withhold Communion from guests. This is what many faithful pastors have been told by advocates of hospitality.

Biblical revelation, the confessional witness, and historic evidence attest to the fact that Holy Communion is offered to those who are of the same confession of faith. This unity of faith is not based on a hasty exchange two minutes before the beginning of the Divine Service whereby people talk about what is in their hearts.

We never, ever, look at or judge a person’s heart. And so in our discussion we don’t ask the individual what they believe in . . . Read All

“Christ Has Brought Us out of Darkness” (Sermon and hymn on 1 Thess. 5:1-11, Matt. 25:14-30, Zeph. 1:7-16; by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

“Christ Has Brought Us out of Darkness” (1 Thessalonians 5:1-11; Matthew 25:14-30; Zephaniah 1:7-16)

Well, here we are in the middle of November. It’s cold. It’s dark outside. The trees are growing bare. The days are growing shorter. The earth seems to be dying. Darkness seems to be winning. So it seems appropriate that at this time of year–every year, in November–in the church we focus our attention on the end times. We’re coming toward the end of the church year, before Advent comes and we start all over again. The end times, the last things, Judgment Day, the Second Coming of Christ, and what to do while we’re waiting for Christ’s return–these are all themes we get on these . . . Read All

You’re On Five Two’s Enemies List Bud, by Pr. Rossow

10407905_371024113062687_6396330700239818648_nWhy do people put Face Book blogs up on the internet and then delete comments that they don’t like? I guess it is their prerogative since it is their page but it smacks of fear and propaganda. It is peculiarly odd when a group that stands for everything new, out of the box, fearless and cutting edge does it.

The 5/2 Group has deleted numerous comments that raise questions about their Lutheran pedigree and have even banned several BJS writers from commenting at all on 5/2 blogs. BJS author TR Halvorson coined the phrase “Banned Brothers” to describe his fellow BJS writers who have been stricken from commenting at 5/2.

So far BJS authors Daniel Hinton, Matthew Dent, Joe Abrahamson, . . . Read All

ACL / Luther Academy – Marriage, Sex, and Gender in the Lutheran Church Today

As found on the Lutheran Calendar here. Mark your calendars for this event!


The Association of Confessional Lutherans   and   The Luther Academy

are in the process of planning the next Congress on the Lutheran Confessions

ACL National Free Conference # 26

Luther Academy Lecture Series # 22


April 15 – 17, 2015

Ramada Mall of America

Bloomington (a suburb of Minneapolis), Minnesota



The overall theme for this congress is:

Marriage, Sex, and Gender in the Lutheran Church Today — In Light of the Lutheran Confessions






  1. Same-sex Marriage: The Challenges of its U.S. Legalization for Pastors and Congregations
  2. Homosexuals in the Congregation: Pastoral
. . . Read All

Sermon — Pr. Tony Sikora — The Giver of Good Things

Sermon Text: Matthew 25:14-30
November 16, 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 sermon is taken from St. Matthew’s gospel account the 25th chapter.

Beloved in the Lord,

What do you have that you have not Received?

Steadfast Sermons GraphicAs the great Day of the Lord approaches we who bear the burden of Adam’s sin are prone to suffer Adam’s curse.  Adam’s sin produces in us all sorts of ungodliness, the most vexing of which is fear, fear of God and fear of one another.  Such a frightening condition manifests itself in many and various ways but . . . Read All

Things your pastor’s wife wishes you knew – Guest post by Holly Scheer

Luther-Familythumb-640xauto-5This is a collection of sentiments from all of my sisters in Christ that I have met over the years. Please know that not all will ring true for each situation.

The pastor’s wife occupies a strange space in the parish. She is not a called worker (usually) nor is she a normal pew sitter. She may be involved with every activity and committee or none. She may have a brood of children she is busy minding, children grown and flown from the nest, or arms that have longed for children and never been blessed with them. The make up of each pastor’s family will look different but there are some quiet commonalities that escape notice.

She is far from . . . Read All

Check Out the D Min Program at Fort Wayne, by Pr. Rossow

I completed the D Min program at Concordia Theological Seminary a few years back and it was one of the highlights of my pastoral career. They have recently revamped the program and it looks great. I cannot recommend it highly enough. I never felt burnt out or that I was just treading water in the Lord’s ministry but when I started taking classes in the D Min program I was greatly energized and motivated for my last twenty years or so of service to the Lord. I probably was a little worn out and didn’t realize it. (You can click here for details on the program.)

Check out the list of classes offered in the program and I . . . Read All

ACELC — Are the Errors We Face Serious?

Here is the latest email blast from the ACELC:


ACELC-LogoIt is Sunday morning, I have a few minutes before church begins, and I decide to look at Friday/Saturday’s mail. In my mail is the latest issue of the “Reporter.” I begin to read. I see in it that enrollment for our Concordias have hit a record 36,250 students. I think to myself, “that’s great since 2 out of 3 of my children graduated from Concordia, Seward, and another one will graduate this December.” I read on. I see that there was a conference in Fort Wayne where 170 pastors and lay leaders gathered to discuss disasters and how we respond to them. That, too, is wonderful. We always . . . Read All

Laodicea on the Mississippi – A Primer for those Late to the FiveTwo Controversy

FiveTwoTwoThis past September a church in a tony suburb of Houston hosted a small conference that ignited a prairie fire in the Lutheran Church — Missouri Synod. Two months later the fallout continues from the “#Wiki14” event arranged by ecumenical parachurch organization FiveTwo Network with its “missional” focus.

FiveTwo has attracted criticism for being a solvent that is desalinating the Lutheran Confessions and dimming the lights of LCMS doctrine.

“FiveTwo” is a play on the five loaves and two fishes of Matthew 14. According to FiveTwo’s interpretation, “The disciples were blind to the resources in front of them and blind to Jesus’ power to multiply them. Modern translation:  Everything the planter needs to feed his community is already in . . . Read All

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