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Archive for December, 2010

Great Stuff Found on the Web — Christmas Eve With Lutheran Baptists

December 31st, 2010 29 comments

Thanks to a loyal BJS reader for pointing us to a new to us blog by the Fearsome Pirate .. Cruising Down the Coast of the High Barbaree. This post was put up a couple of days ago about his experience Christmas Eve at a LCMS Baptist church.     I made the mistake of going to an LCMS church for Christmas Eve service. I had originally planned to go to a Catholic church, since few Lutherans do a late night Christmas Eve, but I saw that one not too far from where I was staying had one, and the   More…

Supper for Thirteen, Halos for Twelve

December 30th, 2010 72 comments

One of the big problems being tolerated in our Synod is a wide variety of practices in communion fellowship.  Some examples are blatant “open” communion, “real presence believer” communion, “agree to these five points” communion, and “I know I am in the same Synod but I won’t commune with you” communion.  This article is about open communion, which is one of the worst of these variations of communion fellowship.  By open communion I mean that there is essentially a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy in regards to attendance of the Lord’s Supper. First of all, open communion is against the   More…

Upcoming Article in LOGIA Tells the Truth about “Contemporary Worship”

December 29th, 2010 6 comments

By Martin R. Noland I am privileged to work as one of a number of editors at “LOGIA:  A Journal of Lutheran Theology.”  As an editor, I see final proofs of the issues before they go to print and our subscribers.  Today I received the final proof of Volume 20, #1, Epiphany 2011, on the topic of “Lutheranism in Europe” with a beautiful stained glass cover. What the readers of “Brothers of John the Steadfast” will be most interested in, I think, is the article by Pastor Robert Mayes titled “Controversial Church Music:  Then and Now.”  I don’t think Pastor   More…

Question for our Readers – Decision Theology v.s. Affirmation of Faith

December 27th, 2010 110 comments

The following was submitted to me from a BJS reader about a concern at a church. We are opening up the question to other readers.     This is the last two or three minutes of the Christmas Eve Service at my LCMS large contemporary church. My question: does this border on decision theology or is it an affirmation of faith by repeating line by line of a prayer spoken by the pastor. My 20 year old son attended the service with us and said he didn’t like that the pastor had a “repeat after me” type of a prayer.   More…

LCMS Ministerial Growth and Support Department Eliminated – “Good Riddance,” by Pr. Rossow

December 27th, 2010 89 comments

The December issue of the Reporter includes an insert in which the LCMS Department of Ministerial Growth and Support announces that due to the structural changes approved at the July synod convention, their department has been eliminated. To that, I say “bravo” and “good riddance.” I pray this is only the first in a number of psychologically and sociologically ginned up programs based on felt needs to get the axe in the LCMS. It is too bad that it took a financial crisis to bring this about. I do not know the people in the department personally. My guess is   More…

Video Sample of Authentic Worship #4 – Sign of the Cross Baptismal Remembrance and Taizé Song

December 24th, 2010 31 comments

(by Pastor Rossow) This series of posts is intended to do two things: 1) be instructive on how to do the liturgy and 2) demonstrate that the traditional liturgy is rich, varied, fresh, vibrant and creative. When done well, the traditional liturgy can satisfy many of the illicit cravings for so called “contemporary worship.” As an example of the creative and fresh side of the traditional liturgy we offer this final Advent video of a meaningful baptismal ritual and a midweek Advent service built around Taizé music. The service included hymnody and psalmody in this style, which we will include in future   More…

A Christmas Wish (Prayer) List

December 24th, 2010 22 comments

A Wish List in no particular order: Men and women would consider the Word of God once again as authoritative and efficacious Preachers would remain preachers, and hearers remain hearers (stop the spiritual abuse) Pastors take the Word seriously which says that great harm can come from wrongfully communing Pastors would take seriously the confession of others by their church membership (let the special cases of pastoral care and concern be indeed “rare”) Pastors would stop being islands unto themselves, acting as though their actions didn’t affect their congregation, circuit, district, and Synod Pastors would view their God-given task as   More…

Discover Again the Good News

December 24th, 2010 3 comments

This was written as a newsletter article by a pastor in Minnesota and distributed on the pericope list for use by other pastors or laity. According to the records, our area has never received so much snow in December—and all before the official start of winter! The largest snowfall came from the northeast, with snowdrifts that were dramatically different than most of our snowfalls. A huge drift, about five and a half feet tall, swept across the front of our Zion school. This was so massive that it covered the nativity scene that had just been set up earlier that   More…

White Horse Inn — A Christmas Sermon From Luther

December 24th, 2010 No comments

Thanks to a loyal BJS reader Jim for bringing this to our attention; White Horse Inn posted this yesterday. Dad Rod Thursdays — A Christmas Sermon From Luther Once again we are featuring a treat for Christmas from Dr. Rosenbladt. Listen to Dr. Rosenbladt preach a Christmas sermon borne of Martin Luther’s writings, constructed by Dr. Roland Bainton, who taught history at Yale University from 1936 to 1961. Though Luther never wrote nor preached this sermon, it is assembled from his writings as a series of parts, as Dr. Bainton envisioned Luther could have written a Christmas sermon. This audio   More…

Helping Pastors All Year Long — the Augustana Ministerium

December 23rd, 2010 6 comments

But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. Galatians 4:4–5 Dear friends in the Lord Jesus Christ, Since the middle of the decade now closing, The Augustana Ministerium (link) has done what no one else is doing: taking care of pastors in distress and their families. Through the The Augustana Ministerium (TAM), a 501(c)(3) corporation, our donors have been God’s instrument to keep pastors’ families clothed and fed while paying   More…

Great Stuff Found on the Web — Better Late than Never, by Wild Boar from the Forest

December 23rd, 2010 10 comments

Pastor Lincoln Winter posted this over on his blog Wild Boar from the Forest, and it brought to mind the sermon that my pastor preached that helped me understand this. This particular pericope has bothered me for most of my life — why does Jesus’ cousin John doubt whether Jesus is the Messiah? He jumped in his mother’s womb when Mary came to visit while pregnant with Jesus. He’s probably known him most of his life. I just could not wrap my mind around why he would doubt. Here’s Pastor Winter’s take on this pericope: Better Late than Never (link)   More…

A Synod by Another Name…

December 21st, 2010 107 comments

In another article here on BJS someone commented that because of the mess with ELCA/NALC/LCMC we should change our name.  The frustration of the commenter is valid and as the alphabet soup of more liberal bodies expands, it is harder and harder to define “Lutheran” anymore (so we have come up with “confessional” to modify it, which is now claimed by all as well – I wonder which adjective is next). I wrote this post to allow some to be serious, but for others to joke a bit.  I remember that there was almost universal rejection to the proposal of   More…

More on the Little Old Ladies – Do the ELCA and the LCMS Teach the Same Thing About the Lord’s Supper? by Pr. Rossow

December 21st, 2010 52 comments

One of our readers asked a very good question over on the “Little Old Ladies Communion Post.” I thought it deserved its own post. Here is her question. PR, I have a question. Does the ELCA view the Lord’s Supper differently than the LCMS? I moved from the LCA many years ago to the LCMS. The Catechism that we used when I was a teen was the same as that used by the LCMS, as far as I know. If these ladies were as old as you indicate, they were probably even quizzed by the church body as to their   More…

BJS Newsreel: BJS Chapter Monday Night Football Event Included a Toast in Thanks that We are not Baptists

December 21st, 2010 7 comments

(By Pastor Rossow) The Naperville, Illinois chapter of the  Brothers of John the Steadfast met for a Monday night football party. Attendance was stunted by a four inch snowfall right at rush hour but we still managed a good bunch of guys for food, fellowship and beer. Each member was asked to bring a sample of one of their favorite beers. We ended up with beers from Goose Island (mild and white winter), China (Tsing Ta0 – my personal favorite), Ireland (Guiness), various Miller products and a few others. The highlight of the night was my toast to the fact that   More…

Video Sample of Authentic Lutheran Worship #3 – The Royal Highway Like You Have Never Seen

December 20th, 2010 20 comments

(by Rev. Tim Rossow) Authentic Lutheran worship is not the same as repristinating Lutheran worship. Lutheran hymnody can be presented and led in a variety of ways and still be authentically Lutheran. The attached video of “Prepare the Royal Highway” is from one of Bethany Lutheran’s  (Naperville, Illinois) mid-week Advent services. Some might call it non-Lutheran. It is certainly a lively leading of the hymn but the emphasis is still on leading the congregation. Notice how well the congregation is singing. Cantor Magness (at the piano), is an expert in training the congregation to sing. Even though this may sound like a “pop” presentation   More…