Author Archive -- Pastor Mark Schroeder

I am currently the Pastor at Concordia Lutheran Mission, authorized by Good Shepherd Lutheran, Roanoke, Virginia. I have been an AELC then an ELCA pastor since my Ordination April 24, 1983 until leaving the ELCA and being accepted by Colloquy, June 1, 2010. My wife is Natalie and we have three children, Luke, Talitha and Abraham.

In the Town, but Not of the World

October 19th, 2014 7 comments

Here in the commonwealth of Virginia, we moved Concordia Lutheran Mission from Lexington to Buena Vista because we were led to find a great rental property.  We have now worshipped in our new location three Sundays, including today.  One of our members told me about going to the Habitat for Humanity Re-Sale store in Buena Vista and some of his finds for the Mission, but he also told me something else. Our brother was talking with the clerk and he told the clerk that he was looking for stuff for our new mission.  The  clerk responded by saying that you are   More…

Persecution is One of the Lord’s Precious Promises

August 4th, 2014 1 comment

We have been reading and seeing the persecution of the Lord’s Christians throughout the world: in Nigeria, in China, in Iraq, in Syria, in Egypt (nb:  4 of the 5 linked articles are dated within the last seven days of the posting of this article).  Sanctuaries burned or leveled.  Christians fleeing Islamic countries and in some of those countries the Church has been a continual presence longer than Islam.  Christians arrested and tortured.  It is sadly commonplace to say that there were more martyrs in the 20th Century than the previous 19 centuries combined.  I can not verify that as fact   More…

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“Shuffle Off to Bethlehem” in the Age of Television

In 1985, Professor Neil Postman’s Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business  was published. Upfront, I think it is a “must read”. In a word, the book is about television. It is not merely about the content of television but what the very medium of television has done to revolutionize the way we think and feel and it is not exactly to the betterment of public discourse.  I have always found it telling in this regard the line from Jethro Tull’s song “Thick as a Brick”:  “I may make you feel, but I can’t make you   More…

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“When I was a child…”

Most articles about religion are about anti-religion.  This one caught my eye recently:  Why Millennials are Leaving the Church?.  Here is part of the author’s solution: But I would encourage church leaders eager to win millennials back to sit down and really talk with them about what they’re looking for and what they would like to contribute to a faith community. I’ve heard this ‘stuff’ before.  Before there was “rap”, there was “rapping” with us then young people, now called ‘baby boomers”, with the question of  “what we want out of church?”.  This article is like déjà vu.  This also means for the   More…

A Reflection on the Commemoration of Martin Luther, Doctor and Reformer, 18 February, 1546, and the Commemoration of the Seminex Walkout, 19 February, 1974

February 22nd, 2014 1 comment

This reflection is a comparison between two commemorations.  The first one is the death of Martin Luther, Doctor and Confessor, 18 November, 1546 and the second, the walkout at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis on 19 February, 1974.  This reflection was prompted by the second commemoration as I too was in ‘exile’.  As way of reminder about the first commemoration: Martin Luther, born on November 10, 1483, in Eisleben, Germany, initially began studies leading toward a degree in law. However, after a close encounter with death, he switched to the study of theology,  entered an Augustinian monastery, was ordained a priest in   More…

“Der Führer Prinzip”

December 16th, 2013 16 comments

On January 30, 1933, Herr Adolph Hitler assumed the office of Chancellor of Germany according to their Constitution. On February 1, two days later, a young theologian, Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer gave a radio address entitled, “The Younger Generations’ Altered Concept of Leadership.” Someone cut short the broadcast. No one knows who did that but it is easy to guess the culprit’s identity. I find it hard to believe that Mr. Hitler actually held political office.  He only used it for something else beyond his office: to become the Leader (German: Fuhrer), and leave behind the office of chancellor as an   More…

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What Would Jude Say? We Know the Answer

December 13th, 2013 No comments

For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. -Jude 4 Yet in like manner these people also, relying on their dreams, defile the flesh, reject authority, and blaspheme the glorious ones.-Jude 8 17 But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. 18 They said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.” 19 It is these who cause divisions, worldly people,devoid of the Spirit. 20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy   More…

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Ad Fontes! Doctrine

October 31st, 2013 3 comments

When I was in the ELCA, as a pastor in Hudson County, NJ,  our urban coalition of Lutheran parishes (Hudson Evangelical Lutheran Parish or HELP) had weekly Bible studies.  Usually three of us more confessionally minded pastors would go afterwards for lunch and beers to de-tox after the virulent liberals held sway with their implicit and explicit denials of the faith and practice of the Lutheran Church.  One week it was the study for Holy Trinity Sunday and a woman pastor sniffed that morning, “The only day of the year we celebrate a doctrine”. Even then, I could not help   More…

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Reformation Treasures: Hymnody on The Commemoration of Philipp Nicolai, Johann Heermann and Paul Gerhardt: Hymnwriters and Confessors, 26 October

October 26th, 2013 1 comment

Almighty God, the apostle Paul taught us to praise You in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs. We thank You this day for those who have given to Your Church great hymns, especially Your servants Philipp Nicolai, Johann Heermann, and Paul Gerhardt. May Your Church never lack hymnwriters who through their words and music give You praise. Fill us with the desire to praise and thank You for Your great goodness; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen. Bio: Philipp Nicolai (1556–1608) was a pastor in Germany during the Great Plague,   More…

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Give Me that Old Time Religion

October 18th, 2013 16 comments

On October 15th,  Rev. Antje Jackelen was elected the first woman Archbishop of the Church of Sweden in a substantial win.  She joins the ranks of Rev. Elizabeth Eaton as Presiding Bishop of the ELCA.  Before those elections, the Evangelical Church in Germany elected Rev. Margot Kaessemann as their head but she resigned in 2010 after her arrest for drunk driving.  These elections continue the feminist interdenominational conquest of the western church. An article about Rev. Jackelen’s election notes that she is a mother of two and, “…is known in Sweden for her statements questioning the Virgin birth and endorsing   More…

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Affirming Christianity and the Rise of Islam in the UK

September 18th, 2013 21 comments

My wife works for a company headquartered in England and goes to the UK at least twice a year.   She usually stays with her boss and his family.  She worked at the plant which is located in rural England, toward Cornwall. My wife’s boss  is not active in Church.  His wife and one daughter are interested. The family  knows  Natalie’s desire to attend Liturgy.  A year or so ago, the boss’ wife and one of her daughters decided to go to church and invited my wife. They went to a Church of England congregation that they thought might be   More…

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July 4th: Stand Fast!

Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.-Galatians 5: 1 (NKJV) In his commentary on this verse [endnote 1], Luther points out that to stand fast requires vigilance against the lies of the devil that by keeping the Law we can set ourselves free, for then Christ died to no purpose. In the Greek, the definite article precedes “liberty” and the divines of King James got it right in 1611: “The liberty”.  Liberty in Christ is as definite as His Cross.   The sign of the   More…

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The Father Mulcahy Syndrome

In the TV show M*A*S*H, Fr. Mulcahy wonders if he really is useful in his pastoral/priestly duties, compared to “Hawkeye” and “Trapper” and the rest of the talented surgeons of the 4077. In one episode, in order to feel useful, Fr. Mulcahy volunteers for a dangerous task. The Korean War era helicopters could only take two wounded soldiers at a time, one on each side of the helicopter.  When there was only one wounded, the pilot would use a dummy for balance.  The pilot did not have a dummy.  Fr. Mulcahy volunteered as such.  Colonel Potter was not pleased. Mulcahy explained his   More…

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“What Does it Mean to be a Lutheran?”

Intro: The following citation is from Rev. Sasse’s Here We Stand (translated by Theodore G. Tappert), published in 1937 when the armies of the night were marshalling in both Church and State as “light” (cf. Matthew 6: 23 and 2 Corinthians 11: 14).  This is from the end of the first chapter entitled, “What Does it Mean to be a Lutheran?”  Already in Germany, the unionization and fusion of Church and State had occurred after the “National Socialist Revolution”.  This was a continuance of the unionization of Reformed and Confessional Lutheran churches in Germany in the previous centuries.  Germany’s history   More…

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My Radical Marriage Proposal: What God has joined together

Recently, here on BJS, and others have stated that our churches get out of the state marriage business.  I concur.  This is in response to the onslaught of gay advocacy for pseudogamy and the possibility of the government sanctioning the same on the federal level, especially in the next four years. The prospect of government insistence of churches to preside at pseudogamous weddings looms. The best outcome may be the Supreme Court declaring that marriage in not listed in the enumerated powers of the Constitution and according to the 10th amendment, therefore, marriage is left to the states, including pseudogamy.    More…

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