Author Archive -- Pastor John Wurst

Who let the dogs in?

August 25th, 2013 21 comments

Who is to receive the Lord’s Supper? Martin Luther teaches, as Jesus teaches in the Holy Scriptures, that the Lord’s Supper is “the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, under the bread and wine, given to us Christians to eat and to drink.” One of our readers, Matt Phillips, asked, “Is an Anglican communion even valid” after he read an article about an Anglican Vicar (Pastor/Priest) giving communion to a dog. You can read the article here: Now for Matt and all the readers of the world, the simple answer is NO! I believe John Frahm, another   More…

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Christian Behavior: HONOR!

August 24th, 2013 3 comments

Honor is a word people throw around like hero, upstanding, and faithful. What does honor mean? The Oxford Dictionary (US) defines it as high respect or privilege. The Christian defines it in the same way as we learn from the Holy Scriptures in Exodus 20:12, “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.” The Hebrew word in the Fourth Commandment that deserves a lot of attention is כָּבַד (kabad or kabed). The Lord uses this word emphasizing the relationship of the child to his/her parents.   More…

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Closing the Doors – Part 2

August 16th, 2013 59 comments

Closing a congregation is agonizing, both on the people and on the pastor and his family. My pain increased on Sunday when a member asked me this question: Pastor, why is this happening to us? I have prayed daily to God our Father that this question would never rear its ugly head. How does a pastor answer this question? How does a District President answer this question? How does the Synod President answer this question? I’d sure like to know. As for me, I answered – unbelief. Just plain old sin (generally speaking). I added to my one word answer   More…

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Can I help you?

August 14th, 2013 19 comments

Visitors? Do pastors and congregations do all they can to make the visitor’s time of worship a Christ-centered time on Sunday mornings? As a pastor, I would like some feedback on what other pastors do in the congregations they serve to engage the visitors and to get the visitors engaged in the worship of the true God: Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. I would also like to hear from the laity about what the congregation does to receive the visitors when they arrive. Mr. Jim Pierce has written a fine piece from the perspective of a visitor in a congregation.   More…

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Steadfast Lutherans: Closing the Doors

July 11th, 2013 53 comments

What happens when the members of the congregation prayerfully decide to close the doors of the congregation? I can tell you that sadness fills the rooms when the vote is completed. Tears flood the room. Doubt fills the heart. Fear stammers off the tongue, “What is going to happen to us now?” Unbelief rises as tall as the Tower of Babel. How can God let this happen? I am the Pastor of Lutheran Church of Christ the King in Duluth, Minnesota. The doors will close on Sunday, August 18 + AD 2013 with a final Divine Service at 3:00 PM.   More…

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Christian Behavior: Membership

Over on the right, you see a picture of a membership card of an individual who belongs to the National Rifle Association. That membership card means that the individual named has certain benefits belonging to the organization. What about membership in the local congregation? When is it received? Are there any responsibilities that come with membership? Can membership ever be terminated? If so, under what conditions? Personally, after examining the Holy Scriptures, I find the following areas where an individual has membership in the world or in the Church. Birth (being born of the flesh) – All men are sons   More…

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“Do You Hear What I Hear?”

“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17) What is the preacher saying? I don’t get it. I don’t understand. Who or what is that Matrix thing he was talking about in his sermon? These are probably just some of the questions the hearers are saying to themselves or to one another on Sunday after after lunch. What does the preacher do all week? How does he go about writing a sermon? After reading the text, the preacher probably sits and ruminates at least four hours looking for the right illustration, story, or   More…

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Christian Behavior: I GOT RIGHTS!

April 25th, 2013 44 comments

I had a conversation with a business man a couple months ago about about some of the pitfalls he experiences in his business as a copier salesman. He said, “Pastor, when I go into a business, I usually deal with one, maybe two people who are given authority to make a purchase or sign a lease contract. When I go into a church, it seems like I have to deal with the whole congregation.” I replied, “I agree. In a congregation, it is like having X number of CEO’s (where X is the number of members). Church is not business.   More…

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Christian Behavior?

April 16th, 2013 18 comments

How do Christians behave? Also, what is a Christian? I bet you’re thinking the answer is someone who believes in Jesus. You would be correct. Maybe the question would be served up like – What does it mean to believe in Jesus? Now, Dr. Masaki would probably say, “You ask the wrong question.” So how does someone know that another person is a Christian? Can a Christian go to church every Sunday, attend Bible study on Sunday and Wednesday and maybe even attend a midweek worship service and still condone, support, vote for, and defend abortion, gay rights, same-sex marriages,   More…

Steadfast Office – Is AC V Alive?

Associate Editor’s Note:  Please remember Pastor Wurst, his congregation and the whole community of Duluth, MN in your prayers as they have been recently struck with horrible flooding. Is AC V Still Alive? In my post on the Steadfast Office – The Divine Call (here), I spoke about the meaning and necessity of the rite vocatus, that is, the right call or the right vocation. Some people disagreed with me. They rested their argument, that is, their defense, on ordination giving the man the right and duty to preach the Word of God and to administer the Sacraments rightly. I   More…

Steadfast Office – Seminary or Bust!

June 10th, 2012 46 comments

DISCLAIMER: As the author, I do not place any blame on the men who now serve in the preaching office who went through and alternate route instead of going to the seminary. It’s not your fault! On the front page of Concordia Theological Seminary‘s website, these words appear on the banner, “Teach the faithful. Reach the lost. Care for all.” For centuries, the Evangelical Lutheran Church has held four criteria for a man seeking the preaching office. Those four areas are 1) Education, 2) Examination, 3) Call, and 4) Ordination. The Evangelical Lutheran Church has historically used the seminary to   More…

Thrivent for ???

The Star Tribune in Minneapolis, Minnesota reported (here), in an article on June 5, 2012, that Thrivent Financial for Lutherans is considering moving their enterprise to a wider audience by dropping the Lutheran requirement for membership. Is this a big deal for Thrivent? For Lutherans? Is it a theological issue? Is this merely an excellent opportunity for this financial organization? Let’s take a look at some facts. History (for more on the history, look here) In the early 20th century, two grassroots groups – German Lutherans in Appleton, WI, and Norwegian Lutherans in Minneapolis, MN – were concerned about the security   More…

Steadfast Office – The Divine Call

So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” (John 20:21-23) The Evangelical Lutheran Church reads this Bible passage and many others at the ordinations of the men our Lord Jesus Christ calls into His service to preach the Word in season and out of season. The Preaching Office is so   More…

Steadfast Office — Theology, not Politics

And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. (Matthew 28:18-20) NKJV Jesus’ words in verse 20a are important to His Church on earth. Any church body should be mindful of it.  An honest question about it   More…

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