Author Archive -- Pastor Karl Weber

Karl has been serving St. Paul’s Richville LC and St. John’s, Ottertail, MN since Labor Day, 2004. He was raised in the Roman Church receiving his BA from Fordham University. Before going to seminary he was a computer programmer in Minneapolis. He served as a short term missionary in Guatemala and Kenya, East Africa. He spent time as a member of the ELCA and studied two years at Luther Seminary, St. Paul, MN pursing his M. Div. before transferring to the LCMS for theological reasons and continuing his studies at Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne. He was ordained in 1991 and earned his D. Min. in May 2002 from the same institution. He has contributed study notes to The Lutheran Study Bible. He enjoys deer hunting, going to the gym, swimming, and reading. He is married to Mary and has five wonderful children.

Contending for Creches and Crucifixes

December 19th, 2014 2 comments

            Nativity crèches (mangers) are popular and acceptable at Christmas time among Christians yet resistance or misunderstanding accompanies the use of crucifixes. Both are graven images and yet we find the graven image of Jesus in a crèche acceptable while the graven image of Jesus on a cross is not. Christ on a cross leaves us unsettled and supposedly is a violation of the Second Commandment. What is going on? For starters let us go back to the Ten Commandments and realize three versions of the Commandments exist: 1) the most ancient versions still used   More…

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Did Jesus Claim to be God?

December 12th, 2014 6 comments

Soon we will be celebrating the season of Christmas where the Second Person of the Trinity by the working of the Holy Spirit took up residence in Mary’s womb to be our Savior. This miracle is called the “incarnation”. Sometimes the word “incarnation” loses non-Christians and can even intimidate Christians. So let us look at the word, “incarnation,” and see what it means. The word, “incarnation” is a fifty-cent theological word from the Latin language which means that God “took on flesh,” or, that God is in flesh(ed). Think of it this way. There are two or three types of   More…

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

November 18th, 2014 15 comments

“Pastor, my friends are visiting over the weekend. May they take Communion?” Implicit in the request is the assumption that love does not withhold Communion from guests. This is what many faithful pastors have been told by advocates of hospitality. Biblical revelation, the confessional witness, and historic evidence attest to the fact that Holy Communion is offered to those who are of the same confession of faith. This unity of faith is not based on a hasty exchange two minutes before the beginning of the Divine Service whereby people talk about what is in their hearts. We never, ever, look   More…

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Your Testimonies before Kings — Reformation Day sermon

October 25th, 2014 No comments

Title: Your Testimonies Before Kings Text: Ps 119:46 Reformation Day (Observed), October 26, 2014 Prior to the Lutheran Church there was no denominational church in western Christendom. There was simply the Medieval Church, sometimes called the Church Catholic. You were either a member of the Church Catholic or, you were a pagan. There were only two options. An Augustinian Monk named Martin Luther began to see from Scripture that the teachings of the Medieval Church were not in line with Scripture. Over the course of time the first church to be formed in the West was the Lutheran Church. Many   More…

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True Love is Built on Doctrine!

October 17th, 2014 34 comments

“We have a relationship with Jesus. We are not interested in doctrine.” This talk is heard so frequently it has taken on an air of truth. But are such words true? Can we have a relationship with Jesus or with anyone apart from words, apart from doctrine? The word “doctrine” is a Greek loan word brought into English. Simply translated “doctrine” means, “teaching.” What is taught is no more than the data and facts that arise from Holy Scripture which is where Jesus speaks to us. People claiming to have a relationship with Jesus apart from teaching, apart from doctrine   More…

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By Whose Authority? A Sermon on Matthew 21:23-27

September 27th, 2014 2 comments

Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost, September 28, 2014 Some people ask questions because they do not want to learn. Let me repeat that: Some ask questions because they do not want to learn and this is what we see in our text for today. The Pharisees believed in the resurrection and that is the main thing which separated them from the Sadducees. But the Pharisees were becoming uncomfortable for they would hear in Jesus’ words that he is the resurrection and the life and no one come to the Father accept through him. For Jesus to make this claim or to   More…

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July 24th, 2014 1 comment

            Perhaps you have heard the latest from Religious News Services reporting the recent decision of the Anglican Church of England which in the United States is called the Episcopal Church, USA. The Church of England has purged references to the devil and to sin in a new baptism ceremony, saying it is easier to understand compared to the older service. From the Ecumenical News we have: In the current wording, parents vow to “reject the devil and all rebellion against God,” “renounce the deceit and corruption of evil” and “repent of the sins that   More…

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Our Vocation is Stewardship

June 4th, 2014 2 comments

  As a parish pastor these last twenty-three years I have neglected preaching on stewardship. Don’t let this surprise you for the more my parishioners know me the more they see how I lack and need to be filled-up in Christ (Col 2:10). I preached on stewardship when it appeared in the pericopel system. Even then I hesitated laboring under the mistaken notion that preaching on stewardship was self-serving; and pastors can’t do that! Also, quite honestly, I had been turned off by the many legalistic stewardship sermons preached by our evangelical friends, “Tithe this amount and God will give   More…

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E-Harmony, Virtual Learning and SMP Pastoral Formation

        On-line dating sites are proliferating. And, to head this one off at the pass, I am not employing their services! Many options including “Christian Mingle,” and “E-harmony,” provide services to singles in society. Data and facts are checked in the appropriate boxes and communication commences. But a virtual relationship based on “facts” goes only so far. Should things continue in a positive direction, individuals then consider the “big” question: should they meet in person? An unspoken realization confronts these individuals: facts are important, but not sufficient for authentic community. Instinctively they know that meaning is found   More…

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About Our Lord’s Work — Sermon for Confirmation Sunday on Lk 24:13-35

Title: About Our Lord’s Work Text: Lk 24:13-35 Third Sunday of Easter, Confirmation Sunday, May 4,  2014 It is on the Emmaus Road when Jesus meets two men who are dejected. They knew Jesus had been crucified. In their world view death was final and nothing could reverse it. And so they thought the forces of nature had again won. A bodily resurrection was not on their radar screen—not yet. And so they, like so many imagined that thieves, or some con artist had been at work; but the miracle of God; nah. On this dusty, quiet, and for these   More…

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Reaffirming the Resurrection

April 24th, 2014 2 comments

             Easter is when Christians rejoice in the resurrection of Jesus. In addition to Scripture additional circumstantial evidence can be used to affirm the empty grave. First, not even Jesus’ staunchest enemies were able to produce a corpse. The entire message of the resurrection could easily have been squashed by depositing Jesus’ body in downtown Jerusalem. The second rational has to do with the primary witnesses—two women (Mk 16:1). In Rabbinic Judaism women were not viewed as reliable witnesses especially in a court of law. If the resurrection was a fraud by Jesus’ friends they   More…

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The Energy Drink — Sermon on John 4:5-26

March 22nd, 2014 1 comment

Title: The Energy Drink Text: Jn 4:5-26 Third Sunday in Lent, March 23, 2014   In lake country we are unaware of what many in the world are facing. Additionally, we are close to the Great Lakes which contain 85% of the fresh water in North America and 20% of the world’s. Whether it is in the Middle East or, in California, or Richville, water is life. If you are in reasonable shape and in ideal conditions—that is, not in the heat or cold without exerting yourself, a human can probably live for about 3 to 5 days without any   More…

On Making the Sign of the Cross

March 14th, 2014 32 comments

Through the millennium physical gestures have accompanied those who have prayed to their “higher power”. Such physical gestures whatever they may be are “signifiers” that the individual is speaking to one who is unseen. It is the attitude of the heart that determines the use of these physical gestures. In our prayer life as Lutherans Martin Luther encourages Christians to make the sign of the cross. This is seen in his Morning Prayer where he encourages: Morning Prayer In the morning when you get up, make the sign of the holy cross and say: In the name of the Father   More…

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Neutrality is not Christian, compassion and forgiveness are

February 13th, 2014 No comments

Note:  The following was written in reaction to a community event in Perham, MN where abortion was discussed.  The following certainly does not seek to be neutral.             St. Henry’s Catholic Church blessed the Perham, MN community when they hosted the PALS Panel Wednesday night, January 29th. Five women from PALS; (Post Abortive Ladies) spoke for an hour-and-a-half to a nearly full sanctuary.              They shared how they had elective abortions and how abortion is not safe and nor is it a harmless choice. For years and in some instances for decades they grieved and sorrowed from the consequences of   More…

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Looking at Giving Records

January 19th, 2014 100 comments

Recently I came across John Kieschnick’s article found in LCEF encouraging the pastor to familiarize himself with the giving amounts of his parishioners. Since a person’s attendance in the Divine Service and Bible Study is public to all he goes on to reason; why not the tithe as well? To the pastor who is reticent about garnering such information Kieschnick candidly writes:  While I would never encourage a pastor to violate his conscience in this regard, I would ask that pastors seriously consider the consequences of their attitudes. Members are influenced by the attitude and actions of their pastors, both   More…

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