Thursday, October 9, 2014

LCMS Doctrinal Resolution About (Lay) Elders

1850 LCMS Doctrinal Resolution regarding "Lay Elders." (Boards of Elders, etc.)


Ruling elders may not pray publicly, though they may read a pastor’s written prayer in his place.


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Moral Therapeutic Deism

http://pastoralmeanderings.blogspot.com/2014/07/moralistic-therapeutic-deism-say-that.html



Why Be Lutheran?

Reply posted by Pr. William Weedon on the ALPB Online Forum on the question of why be a Lutheran:




George,



Been rather occupied of late, but I didn't want the question to go unanswered from my LCMS perspective. First, the reason I'd want anyone and everyone to be Lutheran is because I believe that we hold the pure and true confession of the Christian faith. Second, the way I'd share that with anyone is rather simple. I'd use the old Patristic method that St. John Chrysostom espoused:

There comes a heathen and says, "I wish to become a Christian, but I know not whom to join: there is much fighting and faction among you, much confusion: which doctrine am I to choose?" How shall we answer him? "Each of you" (says he) "asserts, 'I speak the truth.'"  No  doubt: this is in our favor. For if we told you to be persuaded by arguments, you might well be perplexed: but if we bid you believe the Scriptures, and these are simple and true, the decision is easy for you. If any agree with the Scriptures, he is the Christian; if any fight against them, he is far from this rule.  -- St. John Chrysostom, (Homily 33 in Acts of the Apostles [NPNF1,11:210-11; PG 60.243-44])

So I'd say: here's the Scripture. Here's our Confessions. If you find they say the same thing, you're a Lutheran! And when it comes to our Confessions, I'd really just stick to the Creeds, the AC, and the SC. That's the sum of the Confessions and everything else in them can be extrapolated from those documents. So it's not too hard, but it IS worthy of hard study, prayer, and thought.

If the person had any questions about why we taught X or Y, I'd certainly be more than ready to demonstrate why we do so from the Scriptures.

But that's how I'd approach it. I don't think the Scriptures are the least bit unclear (despite OUR cloudiness!) and I don't think there's a clearer exposition of the Scriptures to be found anywhere in the world than the Lutheran Symbols.


P.S.S. Let me also add (because I can hear the objection arising already), but EVERY Protestant sect claims that (as also, of course, do Rome and the East). But the great joy of the Lutheran Church is that it simply knows no other way to persuade a person and absolutely renounces every coercion of conscience. We say:

Here are the Scriptures.

and

Here is what our Church believes, teaches and confesses on the basis of those Scriptures.

You check it out and see.

There was a time when Orthodox polemics had almost persuaded me that private judgment was an evil, but then Krauth showed ever so clearly (and also St. Augustine!) that one arrives at any conviction (even the renunciation of private judgement!) only by its exercise!!! We cannot do better than what we saw the Christians do at Berea: to check what is taught against what is written.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

I Do Not want My Grandfather’s Church Nor Captain Kirk, by Pastor Klemet Preus

Reposted from Aug. 12, 2008 article at http://steadfastlutherans.org

August 12th, 2008 by Pastor Klemet Preus
 
While theology does not change, management style and theory do. And these days we are experiencing a leadership style which is painfully similar to that of my Grandfather’s church but without effectiveness.
 
The Baby Boom took place from 1946-1964. Those born before the baby boom tend to have a top down leadership theory and style. Those at the top make decisions which those under them carry out. In this system, leaders, if they are to function at maximum efficiency must have the authority to appoint subordinates, instruct them, direct them, replace them if necessary and basically lead through giving directions. The quintessential leader of this generation is Captain James T. Kirk of the Starship Enterprise. He made decisions without really consulting too many people. He rarely sought the council of his detractors and he was always flying by the seat of his pants. He delegated as little as possible insisting that he was really the one to carry out most of the crucial tasks. When McCoy is complaining “Darnn it Jim. I’m a doctor, not a miracle worker,” you know that too few people are doing the work.  
 
This is president Kieschnick’s style – kind of. He is top down in his approach. He was the president who, in encouraging us to give our money to the synod wrote, “You’ve got it. We need it. Let’s have it.” Is that top down? You bet. When the Board of Communications Services called someone to be the assistant editor of the Lutheran Witness, President Kieschnick nixed the choice because he did not like the board’s appointee. In his fundraising visits President Kieschnick has to make the direct appeals himself. This cannot be entrusted to others. And, while President Kieschnick apparently does have his advisors, most seem to be cut from his cloth. He even beseeched the convention in 2001 to elect men of his ilk to other positions of leadership. Those vice presidents who served during his first term were used sparingly if at all. In fact the 2004 convention was the first convention in recent memory in which no vice president chaired the assembly. His first vice president was consulted neither on the Benke matter nor on other matters of crucial importance to the synod such as CCM appointments. President Kieschnick would no more listen to guys like Daniel Preus or Todd Wilken than James Kirk would heed the council of a Klingon.          
 
The difference between Kirk and Kieschnick is that Captain Kirk was actually willing to endanger himself for the sake of his goals and his comrades. He fought the Klingons hand to hand. He would never have hung a colleague out to dry. Are you listening David Strand? He never intimidated by innuendo or through his minions. He did it face to face by the force of his own person. Would it have taken Kirk five years to sit down and talk to NICL? No way. He would have initiated dialog immediately and would have had the confidence to be the chief spokesmen in dialog. Top down leadership must be courageous and competent.
 
Baby Boomers tend to be drawn to a more synergistic style of leadership. They want a leader who will invite the advice of detractors, who will surround himself with people who are experts in many diverse subjects. Baby Boomers want a leader who will say, “You’ve got it. We need it. How can you teach us to get it?” Baby Boomers don’t necessarily need a leader who has all the answers when it comes to administrative decisions. They want one who will listen to a multitude of answers and sift through them. The quintessential leader for the Baby Boom generation is Jean Luc Piccard of the Starship Enterprise. He was captian in “Star-Trek: The Next Generation”. His style was to call a meeting of all his senior staff. Here he would pose the problem, analyze it with his staff and listen to possible solutions. And his staff was a thoroughly diverse group made up of aliens, Klingons, Robots and – even some detractors. Piccard knew that you can never solve problems without making room for all within the decision making mechanism.
 
Of course this style actually requires a bit of trust and respect. You can’t call your detractors “speed-bumps.”   You can’t ignore them for years on end. You can’t refuse to consult anyone you think will disagree. You can’t hoard power or grasp it. You don’t push, you – well – you lead.
 
I’m a Boomer and I enjoyed both Kirk and Piccard. Kirk was much more exciting than Piccard. But Kirk got fat, raised horses and lived off the past. And while he had power he endangered the ship recklessly. Piccard. Ah, Piccard. I wish we could find a Piccard for the church. I sure am getting tired of my grandfather’s church.
 
 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Southeast MO State University Chapel Now LCMS RSO

http://blogs.lcms.org/2014/rso-update

Congratulations to the University Lutheran Chapel of Hope in Cape Girardeau, MO, on the campus of Southeast Missouri State University. Formerly a mission of the Missouri District, they've recently been accepted as an RSO of the Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

"Oh, How They Loved One Another (How to destroy a church)" by MO District President

From June 2010 Voice of Missouri by District President Ray Mirly:


Oh, How They Loved One Another
How to destroy a church:
1. Teach false doctrine.
2. Find something that you do not like in your church, get others in the congregation to agree with you, but do not go to the pastor or other church leaders to tell them what it is you dislike and why.
3. Spread gossip, share rumors, participate in “parking lot” meetings or use e-mail to gripe and complain.
4. Demonize the pastor or other congregation workers or leaders.
5. Withhold your offerings because you are upset about something that happened in your congregation.
6. Expect others in the congregation, other than yourself, to change their negative behavior.
7. Fail to follow Matt. 18:15-18 when you feel like someone in the congregation has done something wrong toward you or someone else.
8. Expect the pastor, congregation leaders or fellow members to know that you are upset, what you are upset about, and to “fix the problem” without telling them what it is that upsets you.
9. When asked to serve on boards or committees, decline.
10. Be against every new idea without studying it, praying about it, discussing it, and joining all the members to make a decision about it.

One would think that only the teaching of false doctrine would be sufficient to destroy a congregation. Frankly, Missouri District congregations are not willing to put up with false doctrine. Members know what the Bible says, have put to memory Luther’s Small Catechism, many have studied Luther’s Large Catechism and a goodly number the Lutheran Confessions. Most everyone knows when a doctrine is being taught correctly.

Amazing as it might seem, the rest of the list above is not fictitious. Unfortunately, numbers two through 10 happen fairly regularly. The devil knows us well, doesn’t he? He can get us to do so much damage to one another’s reputation that our ability to proclaim the Gospel is severely compromised. He can get us to think that only our ideas are right and those that do not agree with us are wrong. He knows how to cause us to take our eyes off Jesus Christ.

Do you or I really believe that having the reputation as a fighting congregation, district or Synod enhances the proclamation of the Gospel? Do we believe that our attempts to destroy the reputation of fellow members, congregation leaders, the pastor, those leading the district or Synod is going to make our congregation or the LCMS stronger? The Old Adam in each of us loves the negative! He loves to hear someone tear down the good name of someone else. He wants us to destroy one another.

In the Holy Scriptures we read these simple words, “Oh, how they loved one another.” Jesus said, “Love one another even as I have loved you.” St. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 13 what Christian love looks like.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, Jesus tells us to build one another up. The Holy Scriptures encourage us to pray for one another; encourage one another; defend one another; and forgive one another. Martin Luther in his explanation to the Eighth Commandment says that we should “put the best construction on everything” we say about our neighbor.

Your pastor and lay leaders cannot read your mind. I encourage you to speak with them first before you speak about them to anyone else. Jesus encourages us to be a “light unto the world.” That light is Jesus Christ! We do this when we speak the Gospel and also live out the Gospel in our lives.

God in Christ has reconciled us unto Himself. Even as Christ has reconciled us with our
heavenly Father, so through Him we become reconciled with one another. Imagine that it is said of all of us, “Oh, how they loved one another."

--

"President Mirly, 'Can't you help us get rid of our pastor?" by MO District President

It looks like the MO District deleted most of their archives when they rebuilt their website.  I found a copy of "President Mirly, Can't You Help Us Get Rid of Our Pastor?" and typed it out.
 
 
From the president’s desk
 
 
President Mirly, “Can’t you help
us get rid of our pastor?”
 
Ray Mirly – Voice of Missouri March/April 2007
 
Yes, I have received phone calls, e-mails, letters and held office visits where this request has been presented to me. In turn, I have received e-mails, phone calls, letters and held office visits with pastors alleging that individuals in the congregations are guilty of slandering and libeling them or concerned that a small group of members are seeking to force them out of office. These situations are not unique to the Missouri District. All 35 district presidents of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod are dealing with similar situations. Pastors are not perfect! Congregations are not perfect! In fact parishioners and pastors are sinners. And yes, within the context of a congregation’s ministry, at times there are members who sin against the pastor. There are times when pastors sin against members.
 
Where should we begin with the issue of conflict between a congregation and its pastor, a congregation member with its pastor or a pastor with either of the two? What I find in many cases is that when either becomes upset with the other, they do not go to the pastor or the pastor to the congregation member in order to sit down and discuss their differences.
 
We Lutherans incorporate public confession of sins into our worship service. In that confession we all confess that we have sinned. There is not one of us who is perfect. In confession we take our sins to the cross of Jesus, lay our sins upon Him and through our faith in Him beg our heavenly Father’s forgiveness. There is nothing more important for us to hear than the words of absolution, is there?
 
What has happened to Matthew 18? There Jesus says that if our brother or sister has sinned against us, we are to go to him or her to show them their sin. In our relationships in the church today, it seems that we have forgotten this very first step in dealing with an offense, sin or hurt. We instead tell everyone but the person who has sinned against us the terrible things that that person has done to us. This includes parishioners toward their pastors and pastors toward parishioners.
 
When someone brings a complaint against their pastor or vice versa, the first question that I ask is, “Have you personally gone to the pastor . . . to the congregation member to discuss your concern?” The typical answer is, “They won’t listen to me!” Or, “It won’t do any good.” Then what often follows is a litany of other wrongs that have been committed.
 
Unresolved conflicts simply breed additional conflicts. Jesus knew that when He spoke the words of Matt. 18:15ff. Jesus also knew that when fellow Christians do not properly confront sin and sinners do not have deep sorrow for their sins that most often new sins will be added to the sins already committed. On the other hand, confessed sin that is brought to Christ’s cross and God’s forgiveness is announced to the sinner, the sin is washed away never to be charged to the credit of the one who had committed it.
 
Lay members . . . pastors are not the enemy. Pastors . . . lay members are not the enemy. The enemy is Satan, the world and our sinful old Adam. These three sinful allies have turned us Christians against each other. Instead of focusing our time and energy upon the mission that Jesus has given us to do, namely the Great Commission, we are far too focused upon personal wants, personal feelings and personal agendas. There is but one agenda that is appropriate for God’s people. That agenda is that we be in the Word, properly giving and receiving the Sacraments and using our time, talents and treasures as servants of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
 
When our hearts and souls are focused upon Jesus and our life as His disciples, Satan, the world and our sinful old Adam find it very difficult to divert our attention. When, on the other hand, they are focused upon ourselves or worldly matters, we have entered Satan’s playground.
 
If you are in conflict or bear anger toward a fellow Christian—whether pastor, parishioner, neighbor, friend or enemy—take your grievance to Him who bore all sins on the cross. If you are unable alone to bring about resolution with your brother or sister in Christ, then take a trusted fellow Christian with you in order to discuss the matters that weigh down your heart.
 
Remember Christ’s invitation, “Cast all your burdens (here He has our sins in mind) upon Me and I will take care of you.”
 
P.S. To elders and pastors . . . you have been placed into your office to restore the peace of God that comes through faith in Christ Jesus. Where there is conflict you are to bring the parties together, facilitate efforts at reconciliation and by God’s guidance and blessing see that the parties reconcile. This is one of the primary roles associated with your office. If there is no peace, then proper ministry cannot be carried out.
 

Epistles from Exile: LUTHERAN PURGATORY BOOK now available!


This short book covers subjects such as pastors improperly/unscripturally removed from their calls, and LCMS missionaries and chaplains returning to the country but unable to find work as a pastor.


Epistles from Exile: LUTHERAN PURGATORY BOOK now available!

More Quotes (Kindle "My Clippings")

The Right Stuff (Wolfe, Tom)
- Your Highlight on Page 29 | Location 565-566 | Added on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 4:57:35 PM


Khrushchev was right about one thing: when it came time to hang the capitalist West, an American businessman would sell him the rope.

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The Guardians of the Flame (Guardians of the Flame combo volumes) (Rosenberg, Joel)
- Your Highlight Location 5538-5540 | Added on Saturday, March 15, 2014 3:31:10 PM


When we are planning for posterity, we ought to remember that virtue is not hereditary.   —Thomas Paine
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The Guardians of the Flame (Guardians of the Flame combo volumes) (Rosenberg, Joel)
- Your Highlight Location 8586-8587 | Added on Sunday, March 16, 2014 5:51:00 PM


Shh. We're not required to be perfect. We're just required to do our damnedest.
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Quitting Church: Why the Faithful Are Fleeing (Duin, Julia)
- Your Highlight Location 353-354 | Added on Sunday, March 16, 2014 6:40:05 PM


People are not taught that it is possible to live up to Christianity’s high standards, and so they drift off out of shame or frustration.

NOTE: ^This was a very non-Lutheran book and much of it was from a "Church Growth Movement" and charismatic point of view. There is a lot wrong with the above claim. -Tim
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Quitting Church: Why the Faithful Are Fleeing (Duin, Julia)
- Your Highlight Location 476-477 | Added on Sunday, March 16, 2014 6:45:27 PM


“Eighty percent of the U.S. population is faith-based, but only 18 percent go to church. So where are they getting their faith content?
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The Guardians of the Flame (Guardians of the Flame combo volumes) (Rosenberg, Joel)
- Your Highlight Location 11229-11231 | Added on Monday, March 17, 2014 6:29:36 PM


If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man.  —Mark Twain
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Guardians of the Flame: To Home and Ehvenor (Guardians of the Flame combo volumes) (Rosenberg, Joel)
- Your Highlight Location 6836-6837 | Added on Tuesday, March 25, 2014 10:23:00 AM


Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.   —Robert Frost
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A Summary of Christian Doctrine: A Popular Presentation of the Teachings of the Bible, 3rd Edition (Koehler, Edward W.A.)
- Your Highlight Location 6478-6481 | Added on Sunday, April 6, 2014 12:49:45 PM


Denial of or exclusion from church fellowship is not equivalent to excommunication. Although we do not tolerate the teaching and spreading of false doctrine, it is possible that a person errs in sincerity of heart without losing faith in Christ (2 Thessalonians 3:14–15; 1 Corinthians 3:11–15). We do not have fellowship with false teachers (Romans 16:17), yet we do not regard them as “heathen and tax collectors” (see Matthew 18:17).
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A Summary of Christian Doctrine: A Popular Presentation of the Teachings of the Bible, 3rd Edition (Koehler, Edward W.A.)
- Your Highlight Location 6451-6454 | Added on Sunday, April 6, 2014 6:15:20 AM


Such action on the part of the congregation and pastor should be unanimous. This is a matter that concerns all members and should be done with the consent of all. If there are some who are not convinced of the person’s impenitence or who believe that he can still be won, then they should be encouraged to deal with the erring brother until they have either won him or are convinced of his impenitence.
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A Summary of Christian Doctrine: A Popular Presentation of the Teachings of the Bible, 3rd Edition (Koehler, Edward W.A.)
- Your Highlight Location 6460-6464 | Added on Sunday, April 6, 2014 6:16:18 AM


It sometimes happens that a person refuses to deal with his congregation. By word or deed (by joining a church of another denomination, for example), an individual declares his withdrawal from that congregation. Consequently, this congregation cannot really excommunicate him because he is no longer a member. Although it is sinful to act in such a manner, we have no right to declare such a person manifestly impenitent because we have not had the opportunity to establish this fact. In such a case we can only say that he severed his connection with the congregation in a way that is not God-pleasing. We judge and condemn this person’s act, but we do not judge and condemn this person’s heart.
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Tough-Minded Christianity: Legacy of John Warwick Montgomery (Dembski, William;Schirrmacher, Thomas)
- Your Highlight on Unnumbered Page | Location 274-276 | Added on Monday, April 7, 2014 3:01:18 AM


But Montgomery decided early in his career that Dale Carnegie's approach to winning friends and influencing people was inadequate for handling the theological disarray of his time. Stronger medicine was required.
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Tough-Minded Christianity: Legacy of John Warwick Montgomery (Dembski, William;Schirrmacher, Thomas)
- Your Highlight on Page 4 | Location 577-580 | Added on Monday, April 7, 2014 3:12:38 AM


We know, or at least we should know, that fallen human nature on its own is incapable of choosing a path that leads to real happiness; all paths that sinful humans, left to themselves, actually choose lead to disillusionment, more or less. We know that when people are encouraged to be egocentric, and to live their own lives and do their own thing in their own way, the result is a compound of pride and misery and cosmic resentment that may well find expression in antisocial behavior.
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Church and Ministry: The Role of Church, Pastor and People from Luther to Walther (Concordia Scholarship Today) (Klug, Eugene F. A.)
- Your Highlight Location 6619-6621 | Added on Sunday, April 13, 2014 3:18:58 AM


Since then the church has again and again witnessed the phenomenon of laymen keeping the ship of the church on even keel by their protest against the intrusion of a foreign “gospel” into its ranks.
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Church and Ministry: The Role of Church, Pastor and People from Luther to Walther (Concordia Scholarship Today) (Klug, Eugene F. A.)
- Your Highlight Location 6707-6713 | Added on Sunday, April 13, 2014 3:27:40 AM


“We will neither privately nor publicly speak or write anything contrary to it, but, by the help of God’s grace, intend to abide thereby; therefore, after mature deliberation, we have, in God’s fear and with the invocation of His name, attached our signatures with our own hands” (FC XII, 40). This is an oft repeated pledge, made not only by pastors who bind themselves with quia subscription to the Confessions at the time of their ordination or call into office—that is, subscribing them without equivocation because they are a true exposition of Scriptural teaching—but also by many laymen, articulate and learned in the Confessions as well, who wish to indicate their agreement in every way with the stated position of the Confessions.
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Church and Ministry: The Role of Church, Pastor and People from Luther to Walther (Concordia Scholarship Today) (Klug, Eugene F. A.)
- Your Highlight Location 6726-6731 | Added on Sunday, April 13, 2014 3:30:38 AM


The papalist authorities were in error when they excluded the people, especially the leaders among them, from the process of choosing qualified pastors and leaders in the church. Especially the leading laymen, Chemnitz acknowledges, are by their background, education, and experience able to exercise salutary judgment and discretion in this matter of procuring qualified pastors for the local churches.8 But implicit in this choice is the will of the people, and it should always be understood as a matter of expediency and wisdom when the magistrates act as representatives of the people or congregation at large.9
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Church and Ministry: The Role of Church, Pastor and People from Luther to Walther (Concordia Scholarship Today) (Klug, Eugene F. A.)
- Your Highlight Location 6733-6733 | Added on Sunday, April 13, 2014 3:30:56 AM


mobocracy
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Church and Ministry: The Role of Church, Pastor and People from Luther to Walther (Concordia Scholarship Today) (Klug, Eugene F. A.)
- Your Highlight Location 6749-6750 | Added on Sunday, April 13, 2014 3:32:15 AM


We do not intend, says Gerhard, to “make shepherds of the sheep,” but by the same token, “we do not want them to be brute sheep, which neither can nor should distinguish between shepherds and wolves.”14
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Church and Ministry: The Role of Church, Pastor and People from Luther to Walther (Concordia Scholarship Today) (Klug, Eugene F. A.)
- Your Highlight Location 6781-6784 | Added on Sunday, April 13, 2014 3:36:40 AM


“The only purpose of voting in matters of doctrine is to see whether all now understand the teaching of the divine Word and agree to it” and “not to decide the correctness of a doctrine by majority vote or even by unanimous vote.”22 This is frequently misunderstood. But for peace, unity, and concord there is need for all, laity and clergy, to bow before the Word of God, drive down personal views or private opinions, and assent freely and believingly to God’s truth.
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Church and Ministry: The Role of Church, Pastor and People from Luther to Walther (Concordia Scholarship Today) (Klug, Eugene F. A.)
- Your Highlight Location 6791-6792 | Added on Sunday, April 13, 2014 3:37:55 AM


Augustine’s dictum still obtains: In ecclesia non valet: hoc ego dico, hoc tu dicis, hoc ille dicit, sed: Haec dicit Dominus, “that which prevails in the church is not, this I say, this you say, this that man says, but, thus saith the Lord.”
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Church and Ministry: The Role of Church, Pastor and People from Luther to Walther (Concordia Scholarship Today) (Klug, Eugene F. A.)
- Your Highlight Location 6821-6822 | Added on Sunday, April 13, 2014 3:40:06 AM


St. Paul, states Luther, “delegates to Christians the power to judge and condemn even an angel of heaven, if he should preach another gospel.”33
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The Book of Concord - Concordia Triglotta Edition (Dau, W.H.T.;Bente, F.)
- Your Highlight Location 10280-10281 | Added on Monday, April 28, 2014 5:24:23 PM


godless Christians [Christians only in name].
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The Book of Concord - Concordia Triglotta Edition (Dau, W.H.T.;Bente, F.)
- Your Highlight Location 6422-6423 | Added on Sunday, June 8, 2014 11:08:35 AM


However, for the common people we are satisfied with the three parts,
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Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions, Second Edition (Pocket Edition) (McCain, Paul Timothy)
- Your Highlight Location 12770-12771 | Added on Monday, June 9, 2014 1:09:05 AM


[70] Whoever would be saved should not trouble or torment himself with thoughts || about God’s secret counsel, about whether he also is elected and ordained to eternal life. Miserable Satan usually attacks with these thoughts and afflicts godly hearts.
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Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions, Second Edition (Pocket Edition) (McCain, Paul Timothy)
- Your Highlight Location 12774-12776 | Added on Monday, June 9, 2014 1:09:48 AM


[71] According to Christ’s teaching they should abstain from their sins, repent, believe His promise, and entirely trust in Him. Since we cannot do this by ourselves, by our own powers, the Holy Spirit desires to work these things’repentance and faith’in us through the Word and Sacraments.
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Holy Bible: New American Standard Bible (NASB) (The Lockman Foundation)
- Your Highlight Location 45160-45162 | Added on Monday, June 9, 2014 1:12:57 AM


11Now suppose one of you fathers is asked by his son for a fish; he will not give him a snake instead of a fish, will he? 12Or if he is asked for an egg, he will not give him a scorpion, will he? 13If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?”
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Altar Guild Manual LSB Edition (Maxwell, Lee A.)
- Your Highlight Location 823-829 | Added on Monday, June 9, 2014 1:21:52 AM


Paul H. D. Lang states: “The crucifix emphasizes the incarnation of Christ and His atoning sacrifice. A plain or empty cross lacks this emphasis. Some say that the plain cross stands for the Resurrection. Be that as it may, it can also represent a devaluation of the Incarnation and a spiritualizing of Christ. The Lutheran Church, however, believes that ‘apart from this man there is not God’” (What an Altar Guild Should Know [St. Louis: Concordia, 1964], 52). Lang cites the Formula of Concord, Solid Declaration, VIII 81, from Theodore G. Tappert, ed., The Book of Concord: The Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1959). As Lang goes on to point out, however, the use of the crucifix is not necessarily a confessional matter; if it is not, the altar guild should not make an issue of it.
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The Plantagenets: The Warrior Kings and Queens Who Made England (Jones, Dan)
- Your Highlight on Page 184 | Location 2988-2990 | Added on Monday, June 16, 2014 1:06:28 AM


The rebels wished to reform government, not so as to depose or fundamentally hobble kingship but to bring it within what they regarded as reasonable bounds. They wanted to force the king to govern peacefully and fairly within the law, yet they were doing so by breaking the law. It was a situation of deep complexity for both sides.
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The Plantagenets: The Warrior Kings and Queens Who Made England (Jones, Dan)
- Your Highlight on Page 186 | Location 3024-3024 | Added on Monday, June 16, 2014 1:10:09 AM


As a peace treaty—for this is what it was—the Magna Carta was an immediate failure.
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The Plantagenets: The Warrior Kings and Queens Who Made England (Jones, Dan)
- Your Highlight on Page 228 | Location 3729-3731 | Added on Monday, June 16, 2014 4:25:26 PM


In comparison with the staple tactical set pieces of siege and plunder, battles were wasteful, uncertain, and chaotic. So strenuously did medieval commanders avoid them that few, if any, of the knights on either side had ever fought in one.
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The Plantagenets: The Warrior Kings and Queens Who Made England (Jones, Dan)
- Your Highlight on Page 235 | Location 3840-3842 | Added on Tuesday, June 17, 2014 6:03:31 AM


There would be no reprieve for de Montfort himself. A twelve-man hit squad independent of Edward’s main army stalked the battlefield, their sole aim to find the earl and cut him down.
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The Plantagenets: The Warrior Kings and Queens Who Made England (Jones, Dan)
- Your Highlight on Page 450 | Location 7183-7185 | Added on Sunday, June 22, 2014 2:38:22 AM


Serfdom was dying out as an institution in the late fourteenth century, but it seemed to many of those who rebelled in 1381 that it was giving way to a new and equally oppressive system, by which lawyers and justices kept the rural poor in just as deep a misery as they had suffered when they were bonded to the land.
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The Plantagenets: The Warrior Kings and Queens Who Made England (Jones, Dan)
- Your Highlight on Page 471 | Location 7528-7528 | Added on Sunday, June 22, 2014 4:10:57 AM


palatinate (that is to say, quasi-royal
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The Plantagenets: The Warrior Kings and Queens Who Made England (Jones, Dan)
- Your Highlight on Page 471 | Location 7536-7538 | Added on Sunday, June 22, 2014 4:12:12 AM


Whereas in the past English kings had been addressed as “my lord,” now titles such as “Your Highness” and “Your Majesty” were introduced for the first time, in mimicry of styles fashionable in France.
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Holy Bible: New American Standard Bible (NASB) (The Lockman Foundation)
- Your Highlight Location 48844-48849 | Added on Sunday, June 22, 2014 6:39:30 AM


9 I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people; 10I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters, for then you would have to go out of the world. 11But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler—not even to eat with such a one. 12For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? 13But those who are outside, God judges. REMOVE THE WICKED MAN FROM AMONG YOURSELVES.
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The Plantagenets: The Warrior Kings and Queens Who Made England (Jones, Dan)
- Your Highlight on Page 502 | Location 7991-7993 | Added on Monday, June 23, 2014 1:24:16 AM


(Indeed, after Henry VII had legitimized his usurpation of the throne with a wealth of pageantry attempting to demonstrate his descent from Edward III, he and later his son Henry VIII set about murdering and destroying every surviving member of the English aristocracy with a trace of Plantagenet blood.)
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Lost to the West: The Forgotten Byzantine Empire That Rescued Western Civilization (Brownworth, Lars)
- Your Highlight Location 183-184 | Added on Monday, June 23, 2014 3:05:45 PM


Replacing the chaotic system with a clean, efficient military one, he divided the empire into twelve neat dioceses, each governed by a vicar who reported directly to his emperor*
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Lost to the West: The Forgotten Byzantine Empire That Rescued Western Civilization (Brownworth, Lars)
- Your Highlight Location 671-674 | Added on Tuesday, June 24, 2014 7:07:21 AM


The emperor, however, stubbornly refused to give up. If paganism wouldn’t recover, then Christianity must be crushed. Christ had prophesied that the Jewish temple wouldn’t be rebuilt until the end times, and in order to disprove this and cast Jesus as a false prophet, he ordered it to be rebuilt. Work started quickly enough, but an earthquake (and, according to Christian sources, “great balls of fire”) shattered the foundations, forcing the terrified overseers to abandon the project.
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Lost to the West: The Forgotten Byzantine Empire That Rescued Western Civilization (Brownworth, Lars)
- Your Highlight Location 750-754 | Added on Tuesday, June 24, 2014 7:24:57 AM


From the east came a new and terrifying power, wild Huns so barbaric that the frightened Germanic tribes ignored the decaying imperial forces guarding the frontiers and came flooding across. This time, however, they came as settlers, not invaders, and the prize they sought was land, not gold. The influx of new people, unwilling to assimilate, provoked an identity crisis within the Roman world and stretched the creaking empire to its breaking point. The pressure would redefine what it meant to be a Roman and nearly bring down the classical world.
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Lost to the West: The Forgotten Byzantine Empire That Rescued Western Civilization (Brownworth, Lars)
- Your Highlight Location 817-819 | Added on Tuesday, June 24, 2014 7:40:54 AM


spoke their own language, and maintained their own customs. They had no reason to blend in and so failed to become Romanized, remaining a semiautonomous group within the borders of the empire. Within a generation, they would completely dominate the government and push Europe toward the terrible chaos of the Dark Ages. Though
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Lost to the West: The Forgotten Byzantine Empire That Rescued Western Civilization (Brownworth, Lars)
- Your Highlight Location 851-853 | Added on Tuesday, June 24, 2014 7:51:46 AM


Ambrose turned up the pressure by denying him communion or entrance to a church until he performed penance. After several months of endangering his soul without the sacrament, Theodosius caved in. Dressing in sackcloth and sprinkling ashes over his head, he publicly apologized and submitted to the bishop.
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Lost to the West: The Forgotten Byzantine Empire That Rescued Western Civilization (Brownworth, Lars)
- Your Highlight Location 860-861 | Added on Tuesday, June 24, 2014 7:52:22 AM


Christianity had triumphed, and the coup de grĂ¢ce came in 391, when Theodosius made it the only religion of the Roman Empire.
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Lost to the West: The Forgotten Byzantine Empire That Rescued Western Civilization (Brownworth, Lars)
- Your Highlight Location 862-865 | Added on Tuesday, June 24, 2014 7:53:19 AM


By making Christianity the state religion, he had merely put the finishing touches on a movement that had begun at the Milvian Bridge. Christianity had become so entwined with the Roman way of life that for barbarians and Romans alike, to be a Christian and to be a Roman were essentially the same thing.
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Lost to the West: The Forgotten Byzantine Empire That Rescued Western Civilization (Brownworth, Lars)
- Your Highlight Location 867-870 | Added on Tuesday, June 24, 2014 7:53:58 AM


Even the ceremonies of the church and the court had begun to mirror each other. Priests and courtiers dressed in luxurious vestments, elaborate processionals and singing choirs heralded the beginning of services, and incense and candles were carried as a sign of honor. Where the court had its emperor, the church had its bishops, and both were accorded the same outward signs of respect.
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Lost to the West: The Forgotten Byzantine Empire That Rescued Western Civilization (Brownworth, Lars)
- Your Highlight Location 870-871 | Added on Tuesday, June 24, 2014 7:54:47 AM


There was a comforting sameness to it all, a familiarity that reassured each celebrant of the divine order.
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Lost to the West: The Forgotten Byzantine Empire That Rescued Western Civilization (Brownworth, Lars)
- Your Highlight Location 878-880 | Added on Tuesday, June 24, 2014 7:59:22 AM


There were, however, troubling signs on the horizon. Most of the money from taxes had been drawn from the nobility, and these families were exhausted. As more and more of them fled their burdens by joining the clergy or embracing the monastic life in the deserts of Egypt or Asia Minor, the government responded by leaning more heavily on the poor and working classes.
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Lost to the West: The Forgotten Byzantine Empire That Rescued Western Civilization (Brownworth, Lars)
- Your Highlight Location 880-882 | Added on Tuesday, June 24, 2014 8:00:28 AM


Successive governments would raise taxes and try to bind peasants to the land, arguing that this was necessary to keep society running smoothly, but the end result for many was grinding poverty.
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Lost to the West: The Forgotten Byzantine Empire That Rescued Western Civilization (Brownworth, Lars)
- Your Highlight Location 885-889 | Added on Tuesday, June 24, 2014 8:01:28 AM


*Although Gratian was the last emperor to use the title Pontifex Maximus, it didn’t disappear into the mists of history. In 590, Pope Gregory I adopted it in his role as “chief priest of Christianity.” and from it we get the title “pontiff.” Literally, it is translated as “bridge builder,” because the Pontifex Maximus bridged the gap between the world of the gods and the world of man. Constantine had kept the title because he saw himself as the “Bishop of Bishops”—a title that the pope also assumed.
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Lost to the West: The Forgotten Byzantine Empire That Rescued Western Civilization (Brownworth, Lars)
- Your Highlight Location 899-901 | Added on Tuesday, June 24, 2014 8:02:22 AM


Even the army was unrecognizable; the traditional Roman infantry had given way to barbarian cavalry, and the orderly legions were now a strange, heterogeneous mix with each group sporting different armor and speaking a different language.
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Lost to the West: The Forgotten Byzantine Empire That Rescued Western Civilization (Brownworth, Lars)
- Your Highlight Location 2095-2097 | Added on Saturday, June 28, 2014 9:23:22 AM


Every emperor from Augustus to Heraclius had been hailed as Imperator Caesar and Augustus, but after him they were known only as Basileus—the Greek word for king.
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Lost to the West: The Forgotten Byzantine Empire That Rescued Western Civilization (Brownworth, Lars)
- Your Highlight Location 2244-2247 | Added on Sunday, June 29, 2014 1:19:06 AM


†That war still splits the Islamic world today. An assassin loyal to the fearsome general Muawiyah assassinated the caliph Ali while he was praying in a mosque in central Iraq. Those who rejected Muawiyah and held that only a descendant of Ali could become caliph are known as Shiites, while those who accepted Muawiyah as caliph are called Sunni. Iraq remains largely a Shiite country to this day.
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Lost to the West: The Forgotten Byzantine Empire That Rescued Western Civilization (Brownworth, Lars)
- Your Highlight Location 2646-2654 | Added on Sunday, June 29, 2014 3:38:48 AM


The pope’s men had a head start, but they alienated the Slavs by insisting that all services be conducted in Latin, even though their new converts didn’t understand a word of it. Cyril and Methodius, by contrast, set to work immediately learning Slavic, and when they found it had no written alphabet, Cyril provided one.* Western bishops angrily complained that Hebrew, Greek, and Latin were the only tongues worthy of a sacred liturgy, but Cyril countered by saying that since God’s rain fell on all equally, then all tongues were fit to praise him.† The Bulgarian khan, impressed by the new freedoms promised by Photius (and in any case unwilling to subordinate himself to Rome), traveled to Constantinople to be baptized in the Hagia Sophia, and Bulgaria entered the Byzantine cultural orbit, in which it remains to this day. By allowing Byzantine culture to be separated from the Greek language, Photius had spread the empire’s influence far beyond its borders and immeasurably strengthened the bonds that held the diverse Byzantine world together. It would be more than six centuries before Latin was similarly dethroned in the West.
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Lost to the West: The Forgotten Byzantine Empire That Rescued Western Civilization (Brownworth, Lars)
- Your Highlight Location 2897-2898 | Added on Sunday, June 29, 2014 5:46:39 AM


†The normal custom would have been to name the boy after his grandfather,
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Lost to the West: The Forgotten Byzantine Empire That Rescued Western Civilization (Brownworth, Lars)
- Your Highlight Location 3101-3103 | Added on Sunday, June 29, 2014 6:23:08 AM


*These were the descendants of Viking warriors who had as yet to be absorbed into their Slavic surroundings. Elsewhere in Europe, they had already ripped apart Charlemagne’s empire, and for centuries Western prayer books would include the plea “O Lord, spare us from the fury of the Northmen.”
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The Fall of the Roman Empire (Heather, Peter)
- Your Highlight Location 187-191 | Added on Tuesday, July 1, 2014 3:33:47 AM


The legionaries constructed these themselves, according to a standard pattern: ditch, mound, rampart and defensive towers on the outside, barrack blocks within. The length of the walls was dictated by an ancient formula: two hundred times the square root of the number of cohorts to be accommodated. Subdued tribes in the immediate neighbourhood were responsible for supplying the troops through the winter, until the grass grew again to support the pack animals, and campaigning could begin anew.
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The Fall of the Roman Empire (Heather, Peter)
- Your Highlight Location 217-218 | Added on Tuesday, July 1, 2014 3:36:32 AM


veni vidi vici – ‘I came, I saw, I conquered.’
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The Fall of the Roman Empire (Heather, Peter)
- Your Highlight Location 535-535 | Added on Tuesday, July 1, 2014 7:59:24 AM


imperator (commander of the army)
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The Fall of the Roman Empire (Heather, Peter)
- Your Highlight Location 537-540 | Added on Tuesday, July 1, 2014 7:59:56 AM


For one thing, all pretence of republicanism had vanished. Augustus had worked hard at pretending that the power structures he had created around himself did not represent the overthrow of the old Republic, and that, in a mixed constitution, the Senate continued to have important functions. But even in his lifetime the veneer had looked pretty thin, and by the fourth century no one thought of the emperor as anything other than an autocratic monarch.
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The Fall of the Roman Empire (Heather, Peter)
- Your Highlight Location 542-545 | Added on Tuesday, July 1, 2014 8:00:56 AM


The first among equals became a sacred ruler, communing with the Divinity, and ordinary human beings had to act with due deference. By the fourth century, standard protocols included proskynesis – throwing yourself down on the ground when introduced into the sacred imperial presence – and, for the privileged few, being allowed to kiss the hem of the emperor’s robe.
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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Update on LCMS' Specific Ministry Pastoral Program

"I'm very pleased to say that this class of SMP men are orthodox and highly eager to serve as ministers of the Gospel. I enjoyed teaching them the SMP "Means of Grace" course. I'm sad to report, however, that the second class I taught wanted their relatively light workload cut in half, and that I suffered rebuke by the Chair of the Systematics Department at CSL for teaching Pieper and being critical of Schlink on his views of Baptism, which are weak and lean towards the Reformed. Star in my crown, as they say." --Robert C. Baker, M.Div., M.S.  

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Fleeing Faithful?

Eighty percent of the U.S. population is faith-based, but only 18 percent go to church. So where are they getting their faith content?


Quitting Church:  Why the Faithful Are Fleeing (Duin, Julia)







Sunday, April 13, 2014

Klug

1. "St. Paul," states Luther, "delegates to Christians the power to judge and condemn even an angel of heaven, if he should preach another gospel."


2. Augustine's dictum: "That which prevails in the church is not, this I say, this you say, this that man says, but, thus saith the Lord."


3. "The only purpose of voting in matters of doctrine is to see whether all now understand the teaching of the divine Word and agree to it" and "not to decide the correctness of a doctrine by majority vote or even by unanimous vote." This is frequently misunderstood. But for peace, unity, and concord there is need for all, laity and clergy, to bow before the Word of God, drive down personal views or private opinions, and assert freely and believingly to God's truth.


4. We do not intend, says Gerhard, to "make shepherds of the sheep," but by the same token, "we do not want them to be brute sheep, which neither can nor should distinguish between shepherds and wolves."


Eugene Klug, Church and Ministry: The Role of Church, Pastor and People from Luther to Walther (CPH)

Monday, November 12, 2012

Apologetics to Homosexuals (Does it work?)

Tim Schenks (Member of Zion Lutheran Church) – Original Post on Facebook I must echo and embellish a comment by Illinois LCMS Pastor David Juhl, that is, you really shouldn't add your pastors or elders on Facebook when you're going to be posting images or opinions that are most likely going to clash with what your congregation believes, teaches and confesses. I'm talking basic Ten Commandments here.

When you post about your drunken raves, strip club activity, homosexuality, pro-abortion stance and shacking up, yet you or your family members tell the church officers that you want to remain a member, you're going to be asked to explain yourself and why you still want to remain a member of that church.
February 3 at 2:48am

Heather Ganime, Laurie Reed and Tonya Michel like this. (Members of Zion Lutheran Church)

Gonzalez Shellie (Member of Zion Lutheran Church)
II Timothy 3:16 & 17 KJV 
February 3 at 7:05am

Rodney Wilson
Sounds like religious tyranny to me, suppression of free speech and free thought and free association -- but that's what so much religion is about. So glad I'm not in a strait-jacket that is denominational religion -- especially the arch-conservative variety such as LCMS.
February 3 at 7:06am

Gonzalez Shellie
I Timothy 5:14 I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.
February 3 at 7:34am

David Juhl (LCMS Pastor)
Rodney: As a Christian, I am free. Full stop.
February 3 at 7:45am

Chris Fiske (Member of Zion Lutheran Church)
I agree Tim in so much as we should not do those things that are against the Christian beliefs. And you do, dont post them to facebook. Me as Youth leader try not to post anything or share someone else's post if it would like bad toward...s me. Because I am freinds with all the Youth. How would that like towards them if the would read something that would shed a bad light on my as a Christian. Does the rambling make sense?
February 3 at 7:47am

Tim Schenks
Rodney, Christianity isn't freedom of expression, it's repenting of your sins and receiving forgiveness and eternal life by the grace of God for the sake of Jesus Christ. Of course you're going to say that -- you are a homosexual. I pray that all homosexuals repent of their sins, but it is a kindness for me to say if you do not repent of that activity and cease then you will find yourself in hell after you die.
February 3 at 7:48am

Rodney Wilson
You remind me of Martin Luther now -- didn't he talk likewise about the Jews in those insane anti-semitic screeds of his. (Why anyone would call themselves Lutheran, I'll never know.) Come on, Tim, this is 2012, and there's no room for prejudice or hatred in the Body of Christ. But I won't condemn you to hellfire for your prejudice as you just did me. I know we're all just doing the best we can here below and that God's grace is sufficient for all of us and that God's strength is revealed in our weaknesses. Now, let's all let go of the hatred, for God is love and love is from God.See More
February 3 at 7:53am

David Juhl
God is love in His Son Jesus Christ, who died for sinners. Christ's death is for sinners. Christ's death is not merely to show God's love for everyone. Please read Holy Scripture. God's Word clearly teaches what I just wrote.
February 3 at 7:59am

Tim Schenks
I'm not condemning anyone, Rodney. If anyone is condemned it is through their own actions and choices, not by me crying wolf. Maybe you will convert in your old age, that's fine...but in the meantime there's going to be years of very poor witness and bad example that you as a teacher are going to be imparting to the youth.
February 3 at 8:00am

Rodney Wilson
David, I've read the Bible cover to cover at least seven times and I've studied it for thousands of hours. I bet I could beat you and Tim in a Bible trivia contest. ha, ha (Just lightening the conversation a bit.) Tim, your religion bores me. Jesus excites me. End of story.
February 3 at 8:03am

Tim Schenks
My religion tells me that it's not about you. It's about what Jesus did for you. That's exciting.
February 3 at 8:06am

Rodney Wilson
I'm all for Jesus -- but I'm not for Lutheranism or the laws of the LCMS, handed down like holy writ, with those who disobey cast aside. That's what Luther did to the Jews and others. I don't like it.
February 3 at 8:13am

Tim Schenks
I'll agree. That is most certainly true. The laws of the LCMS were handed down like holy writ, because the Bible is exactly what they use.
February 3 at 8:14am

Rodney Wilson
And that's what they all say, friend. Everyone wants to believe that their little denomination is *the one.* I say that Jesus is the one, not any human contrivance called denomination.
February 3 at 8:15am

Gonzalez Shellie
I would hope that if my youth was ever posting something that is questionable that my youth would have it brought to his/her attention and remove it because as a mom, if it were in opposition to the church then it would not be profitable for either the church or us. Profitable in my understanding does not always mean monetary gain.
February 3 at 8:16am

Gonzalez Shellie
It's also true that this is a free country but the opposition should never be towards one who is doing good because it would be rewarding the bad and then it would never leave your house. Now if I'm guilty of adding or deleting from His words so help me in the Name of Jesus. Forgive me in Jesus name. Love does cover all sins. :) Peace Out. :)
February 3 at 8:18am

Tim Schenks
Rodney, you make it sound like people are cast aside for nothing. That's not how it works. Anything can be forgiven, and there are plenty of passages in Holy Scripture about that including how to address it, but not manifest, unrepent, persistent sinful behavior.
February 3 at 8:20am

Rodney Wilson
One man's sin is another man's virtue. No one has a stranglehold on truth. Those who claim they do, are deceived.
February 3 at 11:09am

David Juhl
I am sorry you do not recognize objective truth. I cannot have this discussion with you if you are not willing to recognize objective truth.
February 3 at 11:10am

Rodney Wilson
If by objective truth, you mean Jesus, we are in agreement. If by objective truth you mean the doctrines of Martin Luther or the Lutheran Church or any other denomination, then indeed we will not be able to agree. I'm with Jesus on opposing the power of religion and the power of the religious elite.
February 3 at 11:49am

Gonzalez Shellie
It would be my preference to have a subjective walk with Jesus and take him personally rather than to look at my religious perspective objectively as to examine the outwardness of my internal being. Rather it's the inward man that counts.
February 3 at 1:14pm

Chris Rosebrough (Lutheran Layman; Apologist)
Rodney - and yet you're acting exactly like a member of the religious elite. You're casting aside anyone who disagrees with your doctrinal views regarding doctrine. Odd tactic dontcha think?
February 4 at 2:47pm

Rodney Wilson
I disagree, Chris. I'm saying allow all to be free -- don't enslave others with one's religious yokes. Jesus said it best: "my burden is easy, my yoke is light." Too bad few believe him.
February 4 at 3:27pm

Chris Rosebrough 
Rodney - define the term "religious yoke".
February 4 at 3:37pm

Rodney Wilson
The rules of the LCMS, for example.
February 4 at 5:16pm

Scott Diekmann (Lutheran Layman; Apologist)
Rodney, did you see Jefferson Bethke's You Tube video "Why I Hate Religion but Love Jesus?": http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=1IAhDGYlpqY
February 4 at 8:03pm

Rodney Wilson
Yes, Scott, I did see that. The young man has some good ideas. I hope that the next generation of Christians -- his generation -- is not so uptight.
February 4 at 10:39pm

Scott Diekmann
Did you see this similar one?: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=TbsadOQK_6A#!
February 4 at 10:49pm

Rodney Wilson
Some good points there, too. Bottom line -- all this debate is beside the point. Can't we all agree that we need to cultivate the fruits of the spirit; that love is the greatest of these; that love of God, self, and neighbor are supreme; that the Sermon on the Mount, followed, could tranform the world. We all can do so much better!
February 4 at 11:01pm

Tim Schenks
I think most will agree about the fruits of the Spirit, but also about the fruits of the flesh in that same chapter of Galatians.
February 5 at 12:38am

Tim Schenks
--cultivate fruits of the Spirit; avoid fruits of the flesh.
February 5 at 12:41am

Scott Diekmann
We do need to cultivate the fruits of the Spirit Rodney, and love is very important. Yet we will fail in the transformation of the world. The Gospel is not about us transforming the world, it's about Christ transforming people – killing th...em and making them alive by His Word. Law and Gospel. Without first considering that, all we're talking about is a social Gospel. Since we're sinner and saint at the same time we always need to keep both the Law that convicts us of our sin, and the Gospel which frees us to serve our neighbor in love, in view. Consider the following words St. Paul writes to Timothy. They illustrate a proper balance of Law and Gospel. Note here that Paul specifically points out that sound doctrine is important, and directly related to the Gospel. These aren't the words of some denomination or another, they're straight from Scripture: "The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. Certain persons, by swerving from these, have wandered away into vain discussion, desiring to be teachers of the law, without understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they make confident assertions. Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully, understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been
entrusted" 1 Timothy 1:5-11 ESV.
February 5 at 1:00am

Rodney Wilson
Here's a difference, Tim -- I believe that if we cultivate the fruits of the spirit and the lifestyle of I Cor 13 love, the works of the flesh are murdered. That's how we fulfill the law of love, the law of Christ -- not by trying to follow... the stone cold Law of Moses or the stone cold Law of the LCMS or any other denomination. By walking in the Spirit, as Paul wrote, we put to death the deeds of the flesh. Grace. Grace. Grace. And more grace! That's good news. "Follow these rules of my church and believe what we all believe and think how we all think and vote how we all vote is not Good News -- it's bondage, fleshly slavery."See More
February 5 at 6:20am

Tim Schenks
The problem is that you're cultivating the fruits of the flesh and saying it's the Spirit. That is not Christian. That's re-writing the Bible.
Tuesday at 4:31pm

Rodney Wilson
That's putting yourself in the judgement seat of Christ, something Christians are famous for. :-(
Tuesday at 4:46pm

Tim Schenks
I must not know the same people you do, Rodney. I don't know any Christians who put themselves in the judgement seat of Christ.
Tuesday at 5:46pm

Rodney Wilson
I, a Christian, shall now put myself in the judgement seat of Christ by saying that it seems to me that you did that when you looked into my heart and soul, godlike in your discernment, and pronounced judgement: "You're cultivating the fruits of the flesh and saying it's the Spirit."
Tuesday at 6:08pm

Scott Diekmann
Rodney, I think it would be better to recast the direction of the discussion somewhat. St. Paul says in Romans 6 "Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instrume...nts for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace." From this it can be deduced that sin exists, and that it has been defined by God's Commandments. We can't get away from the reality of sin, since we all sin daily, and without Christ, we would die eternally, because the wages of sin is death. Thanks be to God that He sent His Son to die in our place. The above verse also tells us not to let sin have dominion over us, and the flip side, if we do let sin have dominion over us, we are no longer in a state of grace, and have instead allowed Satan to rule in us. While it sometimes seems like Christians are being judgmental (and maybe some of them are just being hypocrites, or it certainly seems that way at times), Scripture tells us to help fellow Christians who have fallen into willful sin. This can be seen in Matthew 18. If I as a Christian see someone sinning, I should care about them enough to kindly point it out to them, showing them their sin, that the Law may do it's work of killing the old Adam, and the Gospel can then raise them up. If I don't do this, I myself would be sinning against my brother by not helping him. Matthew 18:18 tells the Church to bind and loose - to forgive the sins of those who repent and to hold the sins of those who refuse to repent against them. This is JESUS HIMSELF TALKING. We still need to hear the Law, all of us, including you too. If we ignore the Law, we become complacent, think that sin can't hurt us, and eventually fall away from the truth and lose our salvation. I hope you will consider these things seriously. I am not judging you, since I don't even know what started this whole conversation. I can only tell from some of what you've said up above that you'd benefit from what I've said. Yours in Christ, Scott
Tuesday at 10:19pm

Tim Schenks
The conversation started as a post to members of my own congregation. I'm not sure why Rodney replied to it.
1:31am

Rodney Wilson
Tim, if you had written "For LCMS Members Only," I would have ignored it. (I usually ignore your, in my view, cult like devotion to the LCMS). Instead, you threw it out to everyone on your FB list and judged homosexuals. Your post sounded l...ike just one more religious Pharisee judging the outcasts, when all the while Jesus is having dinner with them. Ah, history doth repeat itself. Once again, the religious elite abandon Jesus and the sinners and prostitutes enter the Kingdom.See More
6:13am

Rodney Wilson
Scott, thank you, brother. I love those words of St. Paul. I love most of the words of St. Paul. Not the ones that tolerate slavery. Or the ones that subject women to inferior / weaker status. Or the ones against gays. But most of Paul's stuff is excellent and inspiring!
Yesterday at 6:14am

Tim Schenks
Rodney, when I mentioned pastors and elders and church officers and members of a congregation, how could you NOT know that I was talking about my own church?
7:23am

Tim Schenks
http://issuesetc.org/2009/03/07/playing-the-pharisee-card/ would be a good site to check out about now.
Sample Article: "Playing the Pharisee Card" - Issues, Etc.
7:35am

Rodney Wilson
I know nothing about your little denomination, to be honest, so I had no idea you were referring only to your clan. On the Pharisee issue, I always try to side with the sinners, the whores, the alcoholics, the despised and marginalized ones -- like my example Jesus did.

-----------
I then showed this "conversation" to Pr. Borghardt from Higher Things, who suggested I ignore Rodney's posts in the future.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Various Quotes I Want To Remember

The Inspiration of Scripture: A Study of the Theology of the 17th Century Lutheran Dogmaticians, Robert Preus, CPH, 1955, 1957

Preface - [B]itter invective was the rule in all controversial issues, the fact that abhorrence, hatred and intolerance of false doctrine, all of which seems so strange now, was a guiding principle then ...

...their stubborn, unrelenting assaults on Romanism, Calvinism, unionism and everything not strictly Lutheran.

...their rigid adherence to the Lutheran principle of sola scriptura and in their doctrine of verbal inspiration, tenets which are not cherished by the majority of modern theologians and historians.

They would not have hesitated to overthrow the doctrine which they had inherited if they had thought it contrary to Scripture.

Church and Ministry Today, The Luther Academy, 2001

Pg. 23 - ... Maurer says, "Therefore, to fear no one and to set for the truth freely and openly is not a test of the pastor's courage; it is a matter of office and command. Those who preach should not wear out and let themselves be chased into a corner, nor should they become impatient and creep away into the wilderness. Public service demands a person who is willing to risk everything and who is totally committed, who is tough when things are tough, and who will not be frightened or silenced." To minister publicly means to witness for the truth in season, at every opportunity, no matter what the consequences. And the minister has the divine call to do this. (Dr. Robert D. Preus, The Doctrine of the Call in the Confessions and Lutheran Orthodoxy)

Pg. 33 - The call is always permanent. The notion of a temporary call is inconceivable in the nature of the case, and therefore the matter is not even considered by Luther or the Confessions or any Lutheran theologian. The function of the ministerial office, Calov asserts, is to work for the church as a servant (diaconus), not as a lord, to do the work of the evangelist to the grave, to guard and be an example to the flock, an angel of God's revelation of His Word. One never quits such a calling. As the immediate call in apostolic times was for life (until God Himself called the person to a new place), so it is with the mediate call. It is permanent and irrevocable, unless God Himself intervenes. (Dr. Robert D. Preus, The Doctrine of the Call in the Confessions and Lutheran Orthodoxy)

The Theology and Life of Robert David Preus, The Luther Academy, 2009

Pg. 49 (David Scaer) - In some ways the post-Seminex war syndrome presented the LCMS with more problems than those the conflict resolved. Where the liberalism of the 1960s was soon recognized as a not-so-subtle form of unbelief, neo-evangelicalism with its dependency on the Bible slipped its nose under the LCMS tent "while men were sleeping" (Mt 13:25).

Pg. 118 (Oliver Olson) - [At the 1953 convention Robert Preus commented:] "Issues of life are not decided by counting noses but by the Word of God."

Pg. 119 (Oliver Olson) - God does not hold us responsible for our "impact," but for faithfulness.

Pg. 122 (Kurt Marquart) - In the case of Piepkorn -- whom Sasse somewhere dismissed as the "high priest" of the American Lutheran liturgical movement -- we are dealing, for all the pedantic detail, with a very one-sided, not to say eccentric, interpretation of the Confessions.

Sasse's case is much more like that of Robert Preus, in that both men rose to global theological importance. For one thing, Sasse was a historical theologian and Preus a dogmatical one.

The standard orthodox Lutheran divines were for him (Preus) the legitimate heirs and executors of the Lutheran Reformation's legacy, laid down once and for all in the Book of Concord.

That explains why Robert Preus founded no distinct theological party or school of thought. Like Walther he strove only for the Lutheran equivalent of C. S. Lewis's Mere Christianity, that is, plain unvarnished, generic Lutheranism, if you will. Frills and eccentricities and hobby-horses Preus left to others. They did not interest him.

Pg. 132 (Kurt Marquart) - The point, however, is not to pine for new confessions while ignoring the ones we've already got.

Book of Concord

Preface 21 - In our lands, dominions, schools, and churches no other doctrine should be proclaimed and accurately set forth except that which is founded upon God's Word and contained in the Augsburg Confession and the Apology (when properly understood it its genuine sense). Opinions conflicting with these are not allowed.

At Home In The House Of My Fathers. Matthew Harrison, ed. Lutheran Legacy, 2009.

Pg. 68 - Despite our willingness to understand him [Grabau] and to do him justice, we are yet closer to the side of our brothers from Missouri, Ohio and Other States and their practices, even though regarding the so-called renegade preachers [Rottenprediger], they have become amiss here and there. (Letter from Wilhem Loehe October 24, 1851)

Pg. 103 - But as unpleasant as the first clash was at times, thus it always showed in the long run that despite many theoretical differences that have existed until now, the one love that binds all true Christians with a bond that cannot be broken -- the love unto the truth --  bound us on both sides so intimately together that not only could no discord generated by the intensity of the conflict remain but also, almost always to the end, we, unified in the truth, had to extend the brotherly hand anew. (Walther, Trip Report of the visit to Germany)

Pg. 108 - There is only one point that could violate our consciences deeply, if we are forced to bear it in the old way. It is communion fellowship with the United and Reformed. We do not recognize this as a mere emergency or exceptional state (Not- oder Ausnahmszutstand]. It burdens our consciences as a sin. No peace can be made with this situation. It is to be renounced as soon as possible and in every way ... as difficult and sorrowful as this could be for ourselves here and there. (Walther, Addendum to the trip report)

Pg. 130 - For loyal, positive Lutherans believe what the Lutheran Church teaches in its Confessions. A doctrine does not become an open question when supposedly loyal Lutherans are not in agreement. And whoever permits such doctrines to be treated as open questions surrenders the fortress of the Confession of our Church and is in reality no loyal Lutheran. (Walther, Why Should Our Pastors Subscribe Unconditionally?)

Pg. 247 - Furthermore, a synod that is "faithful to the Confessions," must also "c. supervise the confessional faithfulness of its members." (Walther, Duties of an Evangelical Lutheran Synod)

Pg. 248 - It is not even enough that it receive only such pastors and teachers as prove themselves faithful to the Confessions. It must also see to it that they remain that way; for only he that is "faithful to the end shall be saved" (Matthew 10:22, Luther Bibel). (Walther, Duties of an Evangelical Lutheran Synod)

But it is impossible for a sizeable church body to remain in the true faith if there isn't a constant check to see that everything is as it was in the beginning, when the pastor came to the congregation. Without visitation it is probably impossible for a church to remain in the unity of faith and confession. (Walther, Duties of an Evangelical Lutheran Synod)

Pg. 251 - The Preface to The Book of Concord says: We likewise purpose to cooperate with one another in the future ... through diligent visitation of churches and schools. (Walther, Duties of an Evangelical Lutheran Synod)

Pg. 253 - How we are slandered, what nasty names people call us, how horribly we are portrayed as loveless, contentious, arrogant, proud spirits, who regard themselves alone as orthodox and infallible! It is indeed not easy to bear this insult to which we are subjected. But, dear brethren, we must bear this insult. Regardless of how repugnant it may be [to people] in this age of religious unionism and religious indifference to remain aloof from those who do not teach pure [doctrine]: God's Word demands it. Someday God will make a fearful separation, against which no creature will be able to say anything. That is simply God's governance: always separate. According to 2 Corinthians 6:14, the Church is not allowed to "be unequally yoked with unbelievers." (Walther, Duties of an Evangelical Lutheran Synod)

Pg. 253 - But that is how false teachers usually condemn the witness of the orthodox Church; they say: "They are excommunicating us!" No, we say only, "We do not belong together, and we cannot participate in the falsification of God's precious Word." They want us to say, "We are of one heart and mind; you indeed falsify God's Word and proclaim your own ideas, but we won't let that make us enemies." No, a true church must consist only of those who are united in the true faith, as we heard in the opening sermon (on Ephesians 4:3), "One Faith."

For that reason, the Formula of Concord says:  We believe, teach and confess that no church should condemn another because it has fewer or more external ceremonies not commanded by God, as long as there is mutual agreement in doctrine and in all its articles as well as in the right use of the holy sacraments. [FC Ep X 7; Tappert, 493] (Walther, Duties of an Evangelical Lutheran Synod)

Pg. 260 - We read in Matthew 18 that in dealing with church discipline, the final step takes the matter to the congregation; and when it has been decided, Christ does not say, "Then the sinner can appeal to the pastor," but it says: "Let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector". Therewith Christ declares that the congregation is the final and supreme court from which there is no appeal. When [the congregation] has decided in conformity with God's Word, then the matter is settled. No one can protest against it. That is what Scripture teaches. (Walther, Duties of an Evangelical Lutheran Synod)

Pg. 264 - If a manifest sinner has been dealt with according to the steps of Matthew 18 and refuses to listen also to the congregation, Christ does not say, "Then go to the synod (or a consistory) as to a higher court," but He says: "The case is closed; then he is to be considered a heathen and a publican." (Walther, Duties of an Evangelical Lutheran Synod)

Pg. 265 - Yes, even a small rural congregation of seven families has as much power as all the congregations in America combined, because it also has Jesus in its midst, with all His grace and all the rights and merits He won for us on the tree of the cross. Let everyone who is in such a tiny little congregation take note and know that church matters are not like worldly matters. The smallest congregation is just as important as the largest one, and the largest is no more important than the smallest, because every congregation is great only because Christ is present in it. (Walther, Duties of an Evangelical Lutheran Synod)

Pg. 269 - For instance, Huelsemann [1602-1661] writes: "There is difference between dependence on the jurisdiction of another (church) and the obligation to preserve unity of faith and doctrine with all other particular Christian churches. The latter (obligation) is a matter of divine law (1 Corinthians 12:24f.); the former (dependence on jurisdiction) is a matter of human law governing the relationship of one congregation to another." (Walther, Duties of an Evangelical Lutheran Synod)

So the old Leipzig theologian wants to say: "Don't confuse the matter. That one church should always have the same faith [and] the same doctrine as the other, and on the basis of that doctrine, [have] the same practice -- that is a matter of divine law; for God says" "Endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. One body and one Spirit ... one Lord, one faith, one baptism" (Ephesians 4:3-6); [Luther Bibel]). And in 1 Corinthians 1:10, the apostle says: "I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there shall be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgement." However, that several congregations unite and that there then should be some sort of superiors over them -- that is a matter of human law. (Walther, Duties of an Evangelical Lutheran Synod)

Pg. 285 - On the subject of other pastors and whole churches becoming involved when false prophets arise, Luther writes:
... Such as situation is similar to a fire; if the landlord can't put the fire out by himself, then all the neighbors must come on the run and help to put out the fire ... so that the rest of the houses can be saved. ("On the Councils and the Church," 1539; Walch 16:2765f. Cf. WA 50:509-653; Aland 382) (Walther, Duties of an Evangelical Lutheran Synod)

Pg. 286 - But is the synod is upright [rechtschaffen], it is the greatest possible blessing for a congregation to have a group of other congregations and pastors for support. For if a fire breaks out, there are hundreds, -- yes, thousands -- of helping hands, or better yet, the united voice of a thousand people to help out. (Walther, Duties of an Evangelical Lutheran Synod)

Our synod has had the experience of a pastor giving offense to his entire congregation and dividing it into an endless number of factions. The synod, through its President and his assistants, came to their aid, with the result that almost all of the members were saved [gerettet]. The pastor had to leave ... But if there is a synod that maintains close doctrinal supervision, such cases will become more and more rare, for such as pastor knows that he cannot get by with what he's doing. And if he tries to lord it over the congregation, they will tell him, "Perhaps we should have the [District President] come down for an investigation," and then he'll quietly back down so as to head off such an investigation. (Walther, Duties of an Evangelical Lutheran Synod)

Pg. 287 - To put it another way: Synod as a whole, or by means of its District Presidents and Visitors [circuit counselors], or through its members in general, must provide sound counsel for the pastors who need it. (Walther, Duties of an Evangelical Lutheran Synod)

Pg. 289 - However, if this divine purpose is to be achieved, it is essential that Christians band together, mutually sharing and benefiting from these many gifts. That is what happens when you have a synod, and when the individual Christian knows, "I do not stand alone; I have a large number of brothers and sisters with whom I can share my needs; and if one of them has no solution for my problems, I can go to another for help, and eventually one of them will have the solution, because God will help them to find a solution." God leaves no one without help, so long as he uses all the means that are at his disposal. It is only the proud and haughty whom God allows to remain stuck. (Walther, Duties of an Evangelical Lutheran Synod)

Pg. 299 - God forbid that we ever get to the point where we merely put on a big show and then have a convention in which we discuss all sorts of peripheral piffle about ceremonies, rules, and insignificant trifles [armselige Lappalien]. Instead of that, may we always concentrate on the study of doctrine. (Walther, Duties of an Evangelical Lutheran Synod)

Pg. 300 - There are many things that one person cannot administer all by himself. How much more will it be necessary for a larger church body, consisting of a large number of congregations, to be able to discuss and consult with one another about possible ways to promote its interests! Therefore a synod's primary purposes are 1) unity of confession and 2) integrity of practices. (Walther, Duties of an Evangelical Lutheran Synod)

Pg. 301 - If the study of doctrine is not the number one priority at synodical conventions, then one of two things will happen: Either the convention will be manufacturing laws, or even worse, it will degenerate into an affair of mutual praise, love, assurance, and life insurance. (Walther, Duties of an Evangelical Lutheran Synod)

Pg. 305 - Regardless of how limited in ability your pastor may be, you can be sure of this: If you derive no benefit from the service, it is your own fault. (Walther, Duties of an Evangelical Lutheran Synod)

Pg. 317 - We cannot avoid offending one another, but we can let ourselves be reconciled, and then we can forget the whole incident. Otherwise God will say, "I shall do as you have done. I'll make up with you, but you'll have to go to hell anyway, because of the way you've acted; 'With the measure you use it will be measured to you' (Matthew 7:2)." (Walther, Duties of an Evangelical Lutheran Synod)

Of course, if he refuses to accept admonition, I must proceed to tell him in a friendly fashion, "It is your own fault that your sin has become public knowledge. Why didn't you accept our brotherly admonition?" (Walther, Duties of an Evangelical Lutheran Synod)

When someone goes too far but says, "Dear brother, I didn't intend to be so mean," I should immediately forgive him. But if I would respond, "Do you realize the full enormity of your conduct? Do you really repent of what you've done?" then I am being too legalistic [da wird die Goldwagegenommen]. That is wrong. We should not do that unless the offender has clearly demonstrated that he is a hardened and unrepentant sinner. In that case we must firmly inform him, "If you do not repent of your sin, you are lost." That is the proper procedure. (Walther, Duties of an Evangelical Lutheran Synod)

Article VI Conditions of Membership (2007 Handbook)

Conditions for acquiring and holding membership in the Synod are the following:

1. Acceptance of the confessional basis of Article II.
3. Regular call of pastors ...

Article XIII Expulsion from the Synod (2007 Handbook)

1. Members who act contrary to the confession laid down in Article II and to the conditions of membership laid down in Article VI or persist in an offensive conduct, shall, after previous futile admonition, be expelled from the Synod.

Bylaw 1.3.6 (2007 Handbook)

Districts and circuits are component parts of the Synod are obligated to carry out resolutions of the Synod and are structures for congregations to review decisions of the Synod, to motivate one another to action, and to shape and suggest new directions.

C.F.W. Walther -- The True Visible Church and the Form of a Christian Congregation, pp. 31-32

Quoting Hollaz: "Are schismatics true members of the church? I answer: Those who knowingly, willingly, maliciously, contrary to their own conscience, and moved by admiration of their own virtues and the purpose to offend others, incite trouble in the church, are not true members of the church. Schismatics, properly so called, are those who voluntarily and deliberately separate themselves from the church and cause divisions in it without any just cause, purposing only to disrupt its unity.

Martin Luther -- "On Maintaining Friendship and Love," Commentary on the Gospel of St. John, volume 24, pages 244-246.

It does not require such great skill to begin to love; but, as Christ says here, remaining in love takes real skill and virtue. In matrimony many people are initially filled with such ardent affection and passion that they would fairly eat each other; later they become bitter foes. The same thing happens among Christian brethren. A trivial cause may dispel love and separate those who should really be bound with the firmest ties; it turns them into the worst and bitterest enemies. That is what happened in Christendom after the days of the apostles, when the devil raised up his schismatic spirits and heretics, so that bishops and pastors became inflamed with hatred against one another and then also divided the people into many kinds of sects and schisms from which Christendom suffered terrible harm.

C.F.W. Walther -- "The Motives and Qualifications of a Genuine Church Member," Church Membership: Addresses and Prayers at the meeting of the Evangelical Lutheran Joint Congregation of St. Louis, MO., and Its Board of Elders, by Dr. C.F.W. Walther, CPH, St. Louis, MO. 1931.

A member of a Lutheran congregation should be able to distinguish pure doctrine from false doctrines. Only spineless Lutherans can say: "What do I care about doctrinal controversies! They do not concern me in the least. I'll let those who are more learned than I am bother their heads about such matters." They may even be offended when they observe that religious leaders engage in doctrinal disputes. A genuine Lutheran will not forget that in the Epistle of Jude also lay Christians are admonished "earnestly to contend for the faith which was once delivered to the saints." What is more, Christ warns all Christians: "Beware of false prophets." And St. John writes in his first epistle: "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God, because many false prophets are gone out into the world." It is a settled fact that whoever is indifferent to false doctrine is indifferent also to pure doctrine and his soul's salvation, and has no right to bear the name Lutheran and the name of Christ.