Archive

Author Archive -- Pastor Joseph Abrahamson


Pastor Joseph Abrahamson serves Clearwater Lutheran Parish (E.L.S.): a parish of four Confessional Lutheran congregations in very rural Northwestern, Minnesota. He and his wife, Mary, have 10 children. Pastor Abrahamson is a graduate of Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary, and of the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Department of Hebrew and Semitic Studies. He has served on the Faculty/Staff at Bethany Lutheran College teaching Religion, Linguistics, Archaeology, and Self-Defense; and was on Staff at the University of Wisconsin as an Information Processing Consultant (Computer Geek) while doing graduate work in Semitics. Pastor Abrahamson has served Clearwater Lutheran Parish (ELS) for since Dec. 2001.

Blood Moons and Joel 2

 On Friday, Pr. Todd Wilken interviewed James Patrick Holding of Tekton Education and Apologetics Ministries  concerning his review in the Christian Research Journal of televangelist John Hagee’s book Four Blood Moons. Holding’s review article is titled “Hagee’s Magic Apologetics.” Holding’s book is titled Blood Moon Lunacy and was written to evaluate Hagee’s claims and history of false predictions. The interview was generally very helpful in evaluating Hagee’s faulty dispensationalist theology, his newspaper exegesis, and his cherry picking of data.But there was one point in the interview where Holding’s remarks seemed to catch Pr. Wilken off guard. I know that even with the small amount of experience that I   More…

Redeeming Christian Holy Days from Pagan Lies: Nativity of St. John (Part 3)

This is the third article on the Nativity of St. John. This article will deal with the Neo-Pagan practice of claiming Celtic origins, “Blame it on the Celts,” or “Claim it’s from the Celts.” We’ll also look at documented German and wider European practices. Keep this question in mind as we conclude this series: Is it realistic to think that the Church Fathers of the 1st and 2nd centuries went to the extreme of sending out scouts to the British Isles, to western and northern Europe in order to find out when ancients pagans held their festivals so that the   More…

Redeeming Christian Holy Days from Pagan Lies: Nativity of St. John (Part 2)

 The Claims about Pagan Origins for St. John’s Nativity This is the second of three articles on the Nativity of St. John and its relationship with the Pagan Midsummer. In the previous article we looked at the documentation about the origins of the Feast of St. John’s Nativity. In this article we will look at the claim about ancient pagan origins and the information available to evaluate these claims.   The dating of St. John’s day on or near the Summer solstice, a.k.a. Midsummer’s Day, has made very fertile ground for conjecture and historical claims that Christianity invented this holiday   More…

Redeeming Christian Holy Days from Pagan Lies: Nativity of St. John (Part 1)

This is the first part of three on the Nativity of St. John the Baptist/Midsummer Day June 24th is celebrated as St. John’s Day, also called the Nativity of St. John the Baptist. This festival is part of the cycle of liturgical dates tied to the date of Christmas. The early Church had already established December 25th as the liturgical festival of the Nativity of Christ. For example, this is demonstrated by documents from: before 215 A.D. in Alexandria, Egypt (St. Clement’s Stromata), before 235 A.D. in Rome (Hippolytus of Rome writes of the festival in his Chronicon and in   More…

Steadfast Throwdown Series on Luther’s Catechisms

Steadfast Throwdown on KNGN and Pirate Christian Radio has started a series of interviews that focus on the structure and use of Martin Luther’s Catechisms in personal, family, and congregational devotional life. This first program discuses what a Catechism is, what catechesis is, and the value of such Biblical instruction, especially when confronted with mainstream christian preachers like Rob Bell, Joel Osteen, David Aschcraft. The first half of this week’s show deals with Pr. Christopher Neuendorf’s article on Blogia regarding former LCMS pastor Joshua Genig’s abdication from the Lutheran faith into Eastern Orthodox. Much of what is discussed in this   More…

Redeeming Christian Holy Days: St. Walpurga and Beltane

The evening of April 30th through May 1st is a significant date in the modern neo-Pagan and Wiccan calendar. It is called: Beltane, Witches’-eve, Witches’ Sabbath, May eve’, May Day, and Walpurgisnacht (and variants). Today the main significance that is emphasized it that this date is exactly 6 months opposite that of Samhain/Hallowe’en and therefore a significant Pagan date that has been somewhat “baptized” by the Church. There are several historical issues to separate out and examine for these May 1st festivals. What we will see, based on the actual historical evidence that survives to us, is that May 1st   More…

IDTIMWYTIM: Fake Hymns: L. Cohen’s “Hallelujah”

A devout observant Jew, who began studying Zen in 1970, became a Zen Buddhist monk in 1996. In 1984 he wrote and released one of the most covered and widely loved pop-songs in history: “Hallelujah.” It is simple, powerful, and visceral. It has references to Scripture–or at least appears to, and even refers to “the holy dove.” Most importantly it says “Hallelujah” lots and lots of times. Hundreds of Christian artists have covered this song as if it were a Christian hymn. The letters IDTIMWYTIM mean “I don’t think it means what you think it means.” The reference to “the   More…

Redeeming Christian Holy Days: Another Bunny Attacks

A brief note on the misuse of Bodleian Library Manuscript Bodl. 264 Folio 21 This image is now being used to demonstrate pagan origins of the Easter Bunny: An example from California State University-San Marcos The drawing is from Prudence Jones and Nigel Pennick‘s 1995/7 A History of Pagan Europe, a Neopagan revisionist history and polemic against Christianity. In Jones’ and Pennick’s book the image is used as an example to prove that pagan rituals survived even though they were repressed by the church. The image is used in the context of equating Christianity with Nazism in the way it persecuted   More…

Redeeming Holy Days from Pagan Lies-Easter 2

This is a reposting of a pair of articles published last year on the origins of Easter and some Easter traditions. The sources are given so that the reader can better be able to debunk the popular “historical” nonsense about the origins of Easter. The whole series is available at Diatheke Christianity and Paganism. — Second Part: Attacks On The Name and Traditions There are three main things people attack about this Holy Day: They claim that it is pagan because the name Easter is from a pagan goddess. They claim that Easter eggs are a symbol of pagan worship,   More…

Redeeming Holy Days from Pagan Lies-Easter 1

This is a reposting of a pair of articles published last year on the origins of Easter and some Easter traditions. The sources are given so that the reader can better be able to debunk the popular “historical” nonsense about the origins of Easter. The whole series is available at Diatheke Christianity and Paganism. — Easter is the English/Germanic name for the Festival of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. This particular Feast Day is the heart and center of the whole liturgical practice of the Christian Church Year. Because it is at the center it is under great attack by   More…

Passiontide: Passion Sunday, Palm Sunday, Holy Week

Passiontide (Passionalia) is the historic name for the last two weeks of Lent. From ancient times these two weeks were called “The Great Week” (Μεγάλη Εβδομάδα) and “Passion Week”. It was not only the last week as Holy Week, but the fourteen days from Passion Sunday until Holy Saturday. But is Passion Sunday (Dominica Passionis) the Fifth or the Sixth Sunday of Lent? This is a difference between the One Year Series and the Three Year Series. In the Historic Lectionary the Fifth Sunday in Lent is called Passion Sunday and the Sixth Sunday is called Palm Sunday. The Three   More…

Gutting the Lord’s Prayer: an Example

Sometimes the familiar Scripture we grew up with is given such a bizarre twist that we are caught off guard. People tend to be trusting of something that looks like it is researched and has a seemingly sound explanation. Ironically, the more bizarre the twisting, it seems the more people cling to it. The following is an example of how the Lord’s Prayer was gutted and twisted by something pretending to be a scholarly source. This example demonstrates an attempt to redefine the Lord’s Prayer so that it can serve in Newageism and Neopaganism. I picked up the San Antonio   More…

Luther’s Small Catechism and Lent

Dr. Martin Luther’s Small Catechism has been associated with the season of Lent since the time Luther first published in chart in time for Lent in 1529. In his sermon of March 25, 1529, he says: “This exhortation ought not only to move us older ones, but also the young and the children. Therefore you parents ought to instruct and educate them in the doctrine of the Lord: the Decalog, the Creed, the Prayer, and the Sacraments. Such children ought also to be admitted to the Table that they may be partakers” [of the Lord's Supper]. (W. 30, 1, 233.)   More…

Redeeming Holy Days from Pagan Lies — Ash Wednesday and Lent

Image via Wikipedia Falat Julian Ash Wednesday, watercolor, 78 x 113 cm (detail) So, what are the supposed pagan origins of Ash Wednesday and Lent? There are two aspects of Ash Wednesday and Lent that need to be emphasized. First is the historical nature of the forty days of Lent; the second is the use of ash on Ash Wednesday. To put it plainly: the claim that Ash Wednesday and Lent are based on pagan origins is a relatively new fiction that comes out of several different sources. First is the irresponsible work of Alexander Hislop and those who followed   More…

Redeeming Holy Days from Pagan Lies — Ash Wednesday and Lent

Image via Wikipedia Falat Julian Ash Wednesday, watercolor, 78 x 113 cm (detail) So, what are the supposed pagan origins of Ash Wednesday and Lent? There are two aspects of Ash Wednesday and Lent that need to be emphasized. First is the historical nature of the forty days of Lent; the second is the use of ash on Ash Wednesday. To put it plainly: the claim that Ash Wednesday and Lent are based on pagan origins is a relatively new fiction that comes out of several different sources. First is the irresponsible work of Alexander Hislop and those who followed   More…