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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.

Redeeming Holy Days from Pagan Lies: All Hallows’ Eve in the Mediaeval Church and the Reformation

On All Hallows’ Eve 1517 a monk named Martin Luther posted a list of points for discussion and debate at the University of Wittenberg campus church. The campus church is named All Saints’ Church. The regular bulletin board for such announcements was the front church door. All Saints’ Church was the largest repository of relics of the saints outside of Rome. Many of those relics would be put on display on All Saints’ Day. Indulgences would be granted to those who came to the Church to view the relics of the saints on that day. The location, the date, the   More…

Redeeming Holy Days from Pagan Lies: All Saints’ Day/Eve and Samhain

October 30th, 2014 1 comment

All Saints’ Eve, All Saints’ Day: Origins and Samhain-ization Today it seems that everyone knows that Halloween is originally a Celtic pagan holy day named Samhain [pronounced: Sow-in] which the Christian Church supplanted for the sake of forcing pagans to convert to Christianity. Obviously, in this line of thought, Christianity has nothing of it self to offer and must co-opt, adopt, adapt, and use non-Christian sources for the sake of gaining converts from the world outside of Christianity. A read through the Old Testament will show that the people of God have many times adopted religious practices and celebrations from   More…

Wiki14 5/2 Cribbing From Social Entrepreneurs

Katy, TX–Bill Woolsey’s Five Two explains Sacramental Entrepreneurship in an article titled 7 Marks That Say You’re A Sacramental Entrepreneur. The title is reminiscent of Martin Luther’s Seven Marks of the Church–which Luther drew from clear Scripture. One would expect that if being a Sacramental Entrepreneur is something that God desires it should be found in God’s Word. But the sources for this idea come from a different arena. In the article Woolsey states: You have to get out and do some new. Biblically speaking, the Church needs to regain its apostolic focus. So we’re looking for the apostolic folk   More…

Pastor Moves His Church into the 1980s!

Katy, TX–Pr. Bill Woolsey, favoring suits styled like those of Sonny Crockett and Rico Tubbs, expressed his contempt for the stagnation of his own church body, the LC-MS: “The mainline, historical, sacramental church – a small slice of which I belong [sic.] – has been stumbling to the bottom since the 1960s,” wrote Woolsey. The problem is clear. Woolsey says, “most of the mainline churches in my denomination spoke a language long gone.” Not wanting to be out-of-date, he embraced a New terminology of “sacramental entrepreneurship:” a term that was already in use in the 90s with regard to Franscois   More…

The Catechism and the Home in 1845: Wilhelm Löhe

Luther emphasized that the Catechisms are meant not just for study by pastors, Church and school, but primarily for the Home. Fathers are to instruct their children and daily to pray the Catechism at home. The Church today cannot make the parents carry out this loving work. The Church can encourage, entreat, portray the value of this teaching. But as the cares and pleasures, the schedules and the concerns of this life take priority, the teaching of the young in the way of truth falters. And the young are taught to enjoy the good of this worldly life but loose   More…

The Importance of The Small Catechism in 1580, 3 of 3

We conclude our look at how the Small Catechism was used in 1580; the year the Lutheran Book of Concord was published and adopted as the confession of what Scripture teaches. Martin Luther’s Small Catechism is included in the Book of Concord as one of the Lutheran Confessions. How did they use the Small Catechism? The official Church Rules for the Electorate of Saxony (Kirchenordnung fuer Kursachsen) published in 1580 discusses the use of the Small Catechism in three different sections: “Of the Catechism,” “Of the Annual Examination of the Catechism Which Shall Be Held in the Lenten Season with   More…

The Importance of The Small Catechism in 1580, 2 of 3

We continue to look at how the Small Catechism was used in 1580; the year the Lutheran Book of Concord was published and adopted as the confession of what Scripture teaches. Martin Luther’s Small Catechism is included in the Book of Concord as one of the Lutheran Confessions. How did they use the Small Catechism? The official Church Rules for the Electorate of Saxony (Kirchenordnung fuer Kursachsen) published in 1580 discusses the use of the Small Catechism in three different sections: “Of the Catechism,” “Of the Annual Examination of the Catechism Which Shall Be Held in the Lenten Season with   More…

The Importance of The Small Catechism in 1580, 1 of 3

1580 was the year the Lutheran Book of Concord was published and adopted as the confession of what Scripture teaches. Martin Luther’s Small Catechism is included in the Book of Concord as one of the Lutheran Confessions. But how did they use the Small Catechism? The official Church Rules for the Electorate of Saxony (Kirchenordnung fuer Kursachsen) published in 1580 discusses the use of the Small Catechism in three different sections: “Of the Catechism,” “Of the Annual Examination of the Catechism Which Shall Be Held in the Lenten Season with the Young Servants,” and “Of the Office of the Sacristan   More…

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…