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Posts Tagged ‘Confession’

Löhe on Koinonia, Novelty, and the “Modern” Pastor

October 3rd, 2014 4 comments

A great deal of practical wisdom for the church today can be found in Wilhelm Löhe’s “Three Books about the Church.” In this first excerpt, Löhe considers the possibility that a communion might need pruning from time to time, especially as that communion experiences growth. Where is true koinonia to be found, how are we to proceed when differences arise, what impact will ignoring our differences have, and is numerical growth always a good thing? “…it could happen—not only on the Roman side but also in the case of the Lutherans—that there are so many that the Lord will have to   More…

My First Time — An experience of Private Confession and Absolution

January 13th, 2014 7 comments

I was scared. I wasn’t sure what I would say. Could I really be honest? I wanted to do it but wasn’t sure if I was ready. You may have heard of it, but thought it wasn’t for you. You probably feel like there isn’t anything that really troubles your conscience enough to warrant it. You probably think the confession and absolution in during the divine service is enough, don’t worry it is. For some people that isn’t enough. That general confession of sins isn’t enough to ease a troubled mind. I don’t know about you but the moment of   More…

Christmas Catharsis

December 26th, 2013 3 comments

There’s nothing like a family gathering to raise the blood pressure. If your family is anything like mine, you’ve probably experienced your share of holiday drama (but that’s why we love our families, right?). Things are said and done—often not out of malice, but ignorance—but we can only take so much before the pressure becomes so great that we finally burst. When this happens, it’s not pretty. The typical aggressive and passive aggressive ways of dealing with our frustrations (screaming matches and gossiping with others) are poor surrogates for true relief and only add fuel to the fire. But as   More…

Rejoicing in the Violence of the Cross: A Sermon for Gaudete on Matthew 11:2-10

December 14th, 2013 3 comments

The introduction to this sermon has been adapted from Pastor Ken Kelly’s excellent Gaudete homily. You can read the whole thing at: http://homofactusest.com/2013/12/10/gaudete-rejoice-in-the-lord/. That John the Baptist was in prison should come as an absolute shock to everyone who reads the Gospel of Matthew. John doesn’t belong in a prison; he belongs in asylum! What’s wrong with this guy? Either he had finally eaten one locust too many, or maybe all that time in the wilderness wearing camel skin had finally gotten to him. Either way, how could John, of all people, ask a question like Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for   More…

Thanksgiving Day- Jesus is Not Ashamed of You (Romans 1:16)

November 28th, 2013 No comments

  Thank God for the Gospel! As we celebrate this day of Thanksgiving, it is meet, right, and salutary to give thanks to God for the Gospel. You’re probably thinking, Of course! I know that, preacher! Let’s get on with it, tell me something I don’t already know. Fair enough. But what did you expect to hear from a preacher of the Gospel on Thanksgiving Day? Don’t be thankful for the Gospel? Of course not! So now that you know you’re going to get another routine Thanksgiving sermon, you can safely go back to letting your minds wander of doing   More…

Lutherans: The Confessing Church

August 9th, 2013 17 comments

Lutherans confess their faith in Christ; that is, we actively give reasons for the hope of Christ in us. Evidence of this is clearly seen with the Book of Concord which spans fifty years and displays the profound seriousness Luther and our fathers took in putting clear Biblical expressions of our faith down on paper to be read by all and especially by any who would dare make these expressions their own confession of faith. Of course, written expressions of what one believes, teaches, and confesses was not something invented by Lutherans. Perhaps the earliest Christian expression of the faith   More…

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…

Sermon on Genesis 2-3

Have you ever had the dream where you were up in front of a crowd giving a speech, only to realize at some point that you were totally naked?  It’s difficult to think of something more embarrassing than this.  Many people won’t even be caught dead wearing a bathing suit in public!  Fewer still are comfortable being totally naked, even with their spouse.  Even models don’t like it when photos are released of them without first having been touched up.  We’re not comfortable in our own skin. Now contrast this with these words from Genesis 2: “And the man and   More…

Polycarp and the fire which only burned for a season — A sermon by Rev. Eric Andersen

Associate Editor’s Note:  With this posting we welcome Pastor Eric Andersen to our regular writers.  He will usually be writing in the category of Steadfast in the OT.  Rev. Eric Andersen of Faith Lutheran Church in Johnstown, CO wrote this sermon as part of a series of services during midweeks that revolve around the commemorations found in Lutheran Service Book.  This sermon was given on the occasion of the commemoration of Polycarp.  Rev. Andersen is a regular attendee of the Northern Colorado/Southern Wyoming Confessional Lutheran Study Group which meets monthly in Greeley, CO. St. Polycarp was put to death for   More…

Steadfast in the Pew: Do We Really Want Reform?

February 27th, 2013 6 comments

Confessional Lutheranism during the middle to late 19th century, when the “New Measures” of Charles Finney were wreaking havoc within American Lutheranism, was threatened with extinction. At that time, American Lutheranism was undergoing an identity crisis and looked to Revivalism for the change believed necessary for their survival in the golden age of American expansion. One Lutheran not interested in following the pop-church fad of the day was Charles Porterfield Krauth, author of the incredibly brilliant tome, “The Conservative Reformation and Its Theology” (CPH, 2007). The American Lutherans of Krauth’s day wanted to look and sound like American Revivalistic Evangelicals   More…

Steadfast in Society: Poprah

January 9th, 2013 23 comments

Nothing calls for confession quite like getting caught red handed. At least that is what Lance Armstrong is coming to learn. The 7 time Tour de France winner has been accused time after time of cheating by using performance enhancing drugs. He has denied it time after time. Okay. Who cares? But let’s take it back to confirmation class. If you lie, you confess. When you sin, you confess. We seek absolution for our offenses. Lance Armstrong knows this why else would he be going to confession with the great and powerful Oprah? Yes, Oprah. The post-modern, new age, check   More…

A Hymn on Holy Absolution

December 15th, 2012 7 comments

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, I wrote this hymn with two men in mind. First, my father, Pr. Rolf Preus, who was my pastor who absolved me in the divine service throughout my youth and taught me what the absolution is; second, my first father confessor, Pr. David Kind. Thank God for His faithful ministers. The tune is Ich Sterbe Täglich (I Come, O Savior to Thy Table) until someone writes something better. Come, you who feel sin’s heavy burden, For Christ’s ambassador is here. Receive from him your Savior’s pardon, That covers shame and ends all fear. Lord, may Your absolution   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…

“Frequently Asked Questions about an Infrequently Used Practice” (Confession), by Pr. Charles Henrickson

March 26th, 2009 7 comments

(I’ve been doing this series on the Catechism, especially because we have a Book of Concord Reading Group that has just finished reading the Small and Large Catechisms. This coming Monday, March 30, we start the Augsburg Confession. Anyone in the St. Louis area who wants to join us, our class meets on Mondays, 9:30-11:00 a.m., at St. Matthew Lutheran Church in Bonne Terre, Missouri.) “The Six Chief Parts of Lenten Catechesis” The Ten Commandments The Creed The Lord’s Prayer The Sacrament of Holy Baptism Confession The Sacrament of the Altar “Frequently Asked Questions about an Infrequently Used Practice” (Confession)   More…