Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Lutheran’

Great Stuff — Thrivent Has Directly Funded Planned Parenthood and NARAL

January 15th, 2014 13 comments

By Pr. Michael Schuermann Found at http://daringlutheran.net/2014/01/15/thrivent-has-directly-funded-planned-parenthood-and-naral/ Thrivent Financial promotes itself as “a faith-based, not-for-profit membership organization nearly 2.5 million members strong.” Thrivent confesses to do business in this way: “Being membership-owned, Thrivent Financial does what’s best for our members, supporting the values of faith, family, stewardship and service.” And in this way: “We’re a faith-based organization, called to care for others.” “The common bond of Thrivent Financial for Lutherans is Christianity.” But, according to statements and documents provided by persons familiar with the matter, Thrivent Financial has directly funded Planned Parenthood Federation of America, at least four Planned Parenthood affiliates throughout the United States,   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…

The Divine Service Can Be Like Going to Mars

August 12th, 2013 37 comments

Have you ever been to a foreign country where the language and customs of its people were utterly strange to you? Visiting some countries is nearly an extraterrestrial experience and interestingly enough, going to the divine service for the first time can feel like one has traveled to Mars! Understanding what is going on in the divine service can be daunting for the “noobie” Lutheran, to say the least. I know something about this, since I am not a lifelong Lutheran and my first divine service was somewhat puzzling to me. Prior to becoming a Lutheran, I was an atheist.   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…

Guns, Commandments, and a paper Caesar.

Gun control seems to be a big topic politically in our nation.  Among the fallout from the horrid shooting in Newtown, politicians have set their cross-hairs on guns again.  This is certainly a topic by which people can very passionately disagree, but I have been trying to think of some theological things in regards to the ownership and use of firearms. You can see in the graphic to the right, others have already started to mine the depths of Scripture to find answers.  In this case Luke 22:36 is cited. He said to them, “But now let the one who   More…

Steadfast on Campus — The Spirituality of the Dross

If you’re looking for the opposite of what Gene Veith describes as The Spirituality of the Cross, here it is!  Since dross rhymes with cross and, in as much as dross is waste matter, I think “The Spirituality of the Dross” is a fitting title for what our students are being taught. One of our students thought he would attend the spiritual wellness seminar offered on campus.  He returned to my study with high delight and placed into my hands a worksheet for “Developing Spiritual Wellness”1 (You may find a pdf copy here).  I read it.  I laughed.  He knew   More…

Women in combat? The Law has been changed – But the original question must still be answered by Rev. William Foy

January 31st, 2013 19 comments

Associate Editor’s note:  This article is a guest article by Rev. William Foy, pastor of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Valparaiso, IN.  He was my wife’s pastor and is also the godparent of my second child.  As a former officer in the U.S. Marine Corps, pastor, husband, and father he is well-qualified to give comment on this current event. Are women just men with a few different biological parts? Can or should women be welcome to fill all of the vocations of men with the exception of the ones that they cannot due to biological impediment? Is Christ’s sacrifice   More…

Human Machines, Free Will, and Moral Evil

January 22nd, 2013 17 comments

There’s a popular view on love and free will that I regularly encounter. It goes something like this: In order for love to be genuine, the agent has to have the ability to choose not to love. Unless there is freedom of one’s will to either love someone or hate them, it isn’t really love. I’ll call this the Genuine Love Principle. This principle is regularly called upon to support claims on a variety of subjects. Something like it was behind Western culture’s shift away from arranged marriages to marriages based on mutual choice. Many Christians, most notably C. S. Lewis (for whom a   More…

The Baptist: a conversation

B: “Well, we don’t really agree with you. You see, we don’t add to the Scriptures. We only use the original King James Version. And we don’t add the idea that Baptism can save.” Me: “That’s very interesting. I also believe that Scripture shouldn’t be added to, and I would say also that it shouldn’t be subtracted from either. That’s why I believe that baptism does also now save us, not the removal of the filth from the flesh but the answer of a good conscience toward God, by the resurrection of Christ. Just as He says in His Word.”   More…

A Reformation Sermon

October 29th, 2012 No comments

nota bene: This sermon was preached on October 28 for the High Plains circuit Reformation festival, at King of Glory Lutheran Church in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Grace, mercy, and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. The sermon is based upon the gospel reading from St. Matthew, chapter 11. Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of   More…

Redeeming Holy Days from Pagan Lies — Hallowe’en: A short history

Associate Editor’s Note:  With this post we want to introduce a series of articles written by Pastor Joseph Abrahamson, a personal friend who grew up not far from me and also then served a parish not far from where I first served.  The series is called “Redeeming Holy Days from Pagan Lies” and will focus on the true history behind some of our holidays (holy days) and how pagans and even some Christians help promote the lies. There is a lot of new mythology about Halloween that has been invented to claim that Halloween is a pagan holiday. It is   More…

Dear God, please speak to me about… (Prayers and Decision Making)

October 17th, 2012 16 comments

Often I hear well-intentioned Christians talk about prayerfully considering major decisions going on in their lives in such a way that sounds like they are waiting for God to talk to them specifically.  This waiting can finally end for them when they feel right or actually hear something from “God”.   As an example, people often waiting for God’s voice on what kind of car to purchase.  This is an over-spiritualization of our prayers, which in the end soils prayers and decision making. What does it mean to prayerfully consider something?  What should a good Lutheran do in regards to   More…

Why the Reformation Still Matters

October 15th, 2012 4 comments

This is a post by Peggy Pederson found at lutheranchurch.ca and was published in the magazine The Canadian Lutheran for Sept/Oct 2012. The full edition can can be found here.   On October 31, 1517 Martin Luther nailed 95 Theses on the door of Wittenberg Cathedral. If that hammer could have announced the seismic changes to come in Europe and the Christian Church, its echoes would have shook the world. Today, however, it is hardly more than a whisper. For many Protestant churches, it has been like the “telephone” game, where a little was added here, a little changed there,   More…

Steadfast in Society: A Gold for God

August 16th, 2012 11 comments

I must admit that like most of America I watched every moment of the Women’s team and individual gymnastics. What these women are able to do is simply amazing to say the very least. I know Aly Raisman did at least 14 back flips before landing back on the balance beam. I can’t seem to keep my Durango in between the white and blue line, but these 17 year old girls can land one toe on a dime. It was quite inspirational to watch our American ladies represent our fine country, however no one won the hearts of America Like   More…

God and “The God Particle”

August 1st, 2012 1 comment

Humans have always loved to simplify complex theories and ideas with nicknames.  Physicist Fred Boyle referred to the theory that the universe expanded from a singularity with the derogatory phrase “the Big Bang.”  Einstein referred colloquially to the phenomenon of “quantum entanglement” as “spooky action at a distance.”  In 1993 physicist Leon Lederman wrote a book to explain another idea in physics, the Higgs field.  The concept, originally named for British physicist Peter Higgs, needed a splashier name: the “God particle” was born. Of course the Higgs field and the elementary particles that presumably constitute it, Higgs bosons, don’t have   More…