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Author Archive -- Pastor Matt Richard


Rev. Dr. Matthew Richard is the pastor at Zion Lutheran Church of Gwinner, ND. He was previously a Senior Pastor in Sidney, Montana, an Associate Pastor of Spiritual Care and Youth Ministries in Williston, North Dakota, and an Associate Pastor of Children and Youth in Rancho Cucamonga, California. He received his undergraduate degree from Minot State University, ND and his M.Div. from Lutheran Brethren Seminary, MN. His doctor of ministry thesis, from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, MO, was on exploring the journey of American Evangelicals into Confessional Lutheran thought. Pastor Richard is married to Serenity and they have two children. He enjoys fishing, pheasant hunting, watching movies, blogging, golfing, spending time with his family and a good book with a warm latte! To check out more articles by Pastor Matt you can visit his personal blog at: www.pastormattrichard.com.

That Ain’t No Church!

March 26th, 2014 No comments

During the Reformation, the Roman Catholic Church defined and recognized the visible church by structure and polity. This made sense to the average churchgoer of the sixteenth-century. If an average churchgoer was asked in the sixteenth-century, “What is the church?” They would commonly reply, “Well, it is that structure, polity, and those Bishop rulers!” However, when Lutherans rejected the authority of bishops, the question was then raised, “Are Lutherans still to be considered a church?” To compound matters even more, the Lutherans rightly rejected many Catholic Rituals as being detrimental to the article of Justification. Thus again, the question was   More…

Just Relax, A Little Liquid Drano Won’t Hurt Anyone

I can recall hearing, as a first year seminarian, one of my professors criticize Pastor Rick Warren’s book The Purpose Driven Life. Upon hearing this critical assessment, I was deeply angered. I thought that his actions were severely inappropriate and that it was not proper to disparage another fellow Christian who was simply attempting to promote the Christian faith. From my reasoning, the presence of a Christian voice was better than the absence of a Christian voice and it was certainly better than a voice speaking contrary to Christian truths. Even though my professor took the time to show me   More…

How Much Righteousness Is Needed?

Sermon Text: Matthew 5:21-37 Audio of Sermon: CLICK HERE Grace and Peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. You have heard it said, that we are to read the Bible daily and to follow Jesus’ examples at all times. You have heard it said that we are to choose to think positive thoughts and to be patient with people in our lives. You have heard it said that we are to hold the door open for our elders and to give up parking spaces close to buildings for those who struggle with physical ailments. You   More…

Making Disciples In America And Africa

March 1st, 2014 1 comment

Last weekend I had the opportunity to speak at the ‘Making Disciples Conference’ in Fairview Heights, IL.  This was one of the conferences sponsored by Brothers of John the Steadfast.  At the conference both Rev. James May and I spoke on role of the liturgy and catechesis in the task of making disciples in American and in Africa. As a part of the conference, both Rev. May and I had the opportunity to speak on our topics with Issues, Etc.  You can access the Issues, Etc. interviews below: From Evangelicalism to Confessional Lutheranism (Rev. Matt Richard) Making Disciples In Africa   More…

The Implications Of Truth

February 7th, 2014 No comments

I recently had the opportunity to speak at the LCMS Wyoming Convocation titled, “Tell the Good News About Jesus.”   This convocation is an annual event for the LCMS Wyoming District.  At the convocation I presented on the implications of truth.  Yes, truth is very influential and it is extremely powerful.   In fact it is so powerful that it impacts our worldview, language, and emotions. Below I have posted the PowerPoint slides and presented articles for each of the sessions, as well as the recorded videos for each session.  I do need to take this opportunity to apologize for   More…

A Steadfast Lutheran Interview With Pastor Tullian Tchividjian (Combined for easier reading)

January 23rd, 2014 9 comments

“He must be a Lutheran; he sure sounds like one.”  These were some of the first words out of my mouth when I first read the writings of Pr. Tullian Tchividjian.  However, upon further investigation I discovered that Pr. Tchividjian is not a Lutheran pastor, but the pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, the church founded by Dr. D. James Kennedy.  Furthermore, I learned that Pr. Tchividjian is the grandson of the evangelist Billy Graham and the visiting professor of theology at Reformed Theological Seminary.  Even though I was able to put together a loose biography   More…

A Steadfast Lutheran Interview With Pastor Tullian Tchividjian (Part 2 of 2)

January 16th, 2014 34 comments

In part one of the Steadfast Lutheran Interview with Presbyterian Pastor, Tullian Tchividjian, I interviewed Tchividjian about his background and explored his various interactions with Confessional Lutheranism. In this second part of the Steadfast Lutheran Interview, Pr. Tchividjian discusses the reformation that is occurring within American Evangelicalism, as well as some of his thoughts on the ongoing challenges of American Evangelicals discerning and understanding Law and Gospel. __________ Pr. Richard:  Let us shift gears a bit.  What is the difference between your Grandfather’s ministry and your ministry?  In other words, what is the difference between Billy Graham’s pastoral focus and   More…

A Steadfast Lutheran Interview With Pastor Tullian Tchividjian (Part 1 of 2)

January 14th, 2014 83 comments

“He must be a Lutheran; he sure sounds like one.”  These were some of the first words out of my mouth when I first read the writings of Pr. Tullian Tchividjian.  However, upon further investigation I discovered that Pr. Tchividjian is not a Lutheran pastor, but the pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, the church founded by Dr. D. James Kennedy.  Furthermore, I learned that Pr. Tchividjian is the grandson of the evangelist Billy Graham and the visiting professor of theology at Reformed Theological Seminary.  Even though I was able to put together a loose biography   More…

Your Pastor Is Not A CEO, A Shopkeeper Catering To Ill-defined Spiritual Needs, Or A Rancher

January 10th, 2014 22 comments

Under the impact of modernity there are significant pressures brought to bear on the pastoral office that would make the office something other than the teaching office of the church. Alistar MacIntyre has argued that modernity has produced a world view that is managerial and therapeutic. Os Guiness in his excellent book Dining With the Devil: The Megachurch Movement Flirts With Modernity maintains that the managerial and therapeutic approaches spawned by modernity have subjected the gospel to the pragmatism of “whatever works” and to the subjectivity of whatever therapy brings relief. Thus the pastor is seen as a CEO, a   More…

What We Have Learned From The Duck Dynasty Controversy

January 8th, 2014 6 comments

It seems that the A&E Duck Dynasty controversy has come to a conclusion. In the aftermath of this dispute, after all the words exchanged have been reviewed, what can we learn? I believe that the public responses surrounding this recent chain of events reveal several observable trends and ideologies about us as a society. Thus, the following theses presented below are based upon what I believe is the trending American ideology and ethos towards scripture, ethics, and what it values. Thesis #1: Society is unable to apply the simple rules of grammar to scripture. In the debated GQ Interview, it   More…

The Good News That Christmas Is For Sinners

December 17th, 2013 No comments

An Advent Midweek Sermon Preached at Zion Lutheran Church, Gwinner, ND. Grace and Peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Our readings for this evening are from this past Sunday’s Divine Service. As you can recall from this past Sunday we looked at Jesus as the one who was born into humanity and then journeyed towards our sin on the cross. On Sunday we heard that Jesus is the sinless Lamb of God who was born into this world for sinners. Indeed, we heard that two-thousand years ago Jesus approached your sin in His birth   More…

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Emphasis Does Matter

December 13th, 2013 3 comments

We learn about the idea of formal and material principles from F.E. Mayer’s book, The Religious Bodies of America. In this book he shares that a church’s formal principle is the authoritative source of their theology. Authoritative sources can range from the Bible, to Church tradition, to personal experiences, to pragmatism, to local folk theology, to popular opinions, and so forth. Furthermore, it is from the authoritative source that the central teaching typically emerges. This central teaching can be considered the church’s material principle. Central teachings (i.e., material principle) can range from the doctrine of Justification, to social activism, to perfect   More…

A Divine Call To What?

December 3rd, 2013 4 comments

Several months ago I applied and obtained a job at Walmart. “But, Pastor Richard, I thought you were and are a pastor?” As many of you already know, I was in the colloquy process for quite some time. I applied for colloquy into The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod October 30th of 2012, after 10 plus years of service in my previous denomination. (Note: Colloquy is the process that pastors from other denominations have to go through in order to be certified as a LCMS pastor.) For me, this colloquy process consisted of several interviews with various church officials; interviews in Montana   More…

What Is A Pastor’s Wife To Do?

November 25th, 2013 11 comments

In a Facebook conversation the other day a person said, “Evangelicals are notorious for having impossibly high expectations for the pastor’s wife. Does the same happen in Lutheran circles? Is there a cure for this?” Indeed, there can be some very unrealistic expectations put on a pastor’s wife. Take the following humorous example: “HELP WANTED: Pastor’s wife. Must sing, play music, lead youth groups, raise seraphic children, entertain church notables, minister to other wives, have ability to recite Bible backward and choreograph Christmas pageant. Must keep pastor sated, peaceful and out of trouble. Difficult colleagues, demanding customers, erratic hours. Pay:   More…

Understanding The Distinction Between The Two Kingdoms; An Art Of The Church’s Confession

November 1st, 2013 No comments

By: Rev. Joshua Reimche It all started in the Garden, or rather, it began most immediately on the east steps of Eden. Husband and wife feared, loved and trusted the Tempter above all things, and so they sinned, failing God and thus collapsing on each other. Spiritual death was their instant inheritance, physical death their eventual wages, but the immediate pain was the loss of their home, lovingly created and fashioned for them as a free gift, the concrete form of God’s gracious giving. I wonder if Adam and Eve looked back over their shoulder at the Cherubim with the   More…