WELS President Comments on NIV 2011 and New Translation

As one reads BJS lately, you may get the impression that this is an in-house LCMS production. We may not be posting as much lately, but there are non-LCMS contributors and readers, and we, too, will be having synodical conventions … Continue reading

“O Day Full of Grace”: A Scandinavian Hymn for Pentecost

What a joyous, happy event a birthday is! When a child is born, the family rejoices. A birthday is something to remembered in a special way each year. The Day of Pentecost, the 50th day after Easter is a birthday, … Continue reading

Redeeming Holy Days from Pagan Lies — Pentecost

So we can see there is an anti-God bias affected the way academics and popular writers from that time to today portray Christmas, Easter, Pentecost, Ash Wednesday, and Hallow E’en (All Saint’s Eve) as having “evolved” somehow from pagan origins. … Continue reading

The Fetus and the Incarnation: Martin Chemnitz

The horrors committed by Kermit Gosnell have been largely ignored by mainstream media, but his killings of children are only a small portion of the unborn sacrificed in this country every day. Millions of children are murdered because their parents … Continue reading

Evaluating Bible Story Books/Videos for Devotions

We have 10 children. And so we have collected lots (way lots) of Bible story books. Most were given to us or the various kids. We also strive to have morning and evening devotions with the whole family. What we … Continue reading

Redeeming Holy Days from Pagan Lies-Easter 2

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 … Continue reading

Redeeming Holy Days from Pagan Lies-Easter 1

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 … Continue reading

The Cross Shows Us Our Sin and Our Savior

When the movie, “The Passion of the Christ” premiered, TV news showed people leaving the theatre either crying or in stunned silence.  Those of you who have seen the film may have experienced this first-hand.  Does Jesus’ cross make you … Continue reading

Redeeming Holy Days from Pagan Lies — Annunciation

Annunciation (March 25th) is the day that the Church celebrates when the angel Gabriel came to announce to Mary that God conceived His eternally begotten Son in her virgin womb (Luke 1:26-38). The day marks the celebration of the Incarnation … Continue reading

How to Kill a Small Lutheran Congregation (sarcasm alert)

This is published with the explicit warning to the reader that the article is sarcasm. If the reader does not understand what sarcasm is, then the fault is the reader’s. For the past few years there have been more and … Continue reading

Jesus’ Genealogy: Forgiven Sinners

Researching one’s family history can turn up surprises. A couple years ago, a distant cousin of mine researched our family line using a computer program. How surprised I was to learn that my family had been in this country for … Continue reading

“Teaching Children to be Thankful”

A child’s first word is usually “mama” or “dada.”  For my son, his first word was “Thank you.”  While he pronounced it “Tay-due,” we knew what he meant.  We started calling him “Tay-due” for his nickname.  What a polite and … Continue reading

Living as Citizens of Two Kingdoms: A Post Election Sermon

Matthew 22:15-22. 15 Then the Pharisees went and plotted how they might entangle Him in His talk. 16 And they sent to Him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that You are true, and teach the way … Continue reading

What is Objective Justification?

What is justification? For Lutherans, the central teaching of the Bible is justification by faith apart from the works of the law. The classic expression of this doctrine is found in Article IV of the Augsburg Confession, “Also they teach … Continue reading

Marriage and Natural Law

During its annual convention in June 2012, the ELS resolved that “our members be alerted to this recent challenge” to the Biblical teaching on marriage (the “preferential treatment given to those who live together outside of marriage due to the … Continue reading

Steadfast at Camp

A recent edition of Rock Center with Brian Williams featured hilarious selections from the book, “P.S. I Hate It Here!: Kids’ Letters from Camp” by Diane Falanga. In this book, kids are brutally honest about their summer camp experience. You … Continue reading

What is decision theology?

What is decision theology? Decision theology is the teaching that a person is saved and born-again when he makes a decision to accept Jesus Christ. To come to faith, a moment of decision must be made by the individual sinner. … Continue reading

ELS Convention Update

On Sunday, June 17, the 95th annual convention of the ELS began in traditional fashion, with an afternoon Synod Sunday service, following the “Bugenhagen” order of service, also known as the Danish-Norwegian rite of 1685. It was chanted in a … Continue reading

Steadfast ELS — Confess and Defend

The 95th annual convention of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod (ELS) is fast upon us. It will begin with “Synod Sunday” services and a picnic (our conventions are like a big family reunion) on the Bethany Lutheran College campus on June … Continue reading

Unity in Worship

         There was a time in the not so distant past when one could step into any Lutheran church in the United States on Sunday morning and know what to expect: the familiar common order of service.  Now this is … Continue reading

The Catechism — Learning God’s Word by Heart

Training in God’s Word begins at home.  With this in mind, Luther wrote this heading before each part of the Catechism, “In the plain form in which the head of the family shall teach them to his household” (ELS Catechism … Continue reading

The Small Catechism: The Christian’s Book for Life

  What comes to mind when you hear the word “catechism?” You might think of a book of question and answers, a textbook for learning the Christian faith.  The word might make you think of a classroom setting and being … Continue reading

Steadfast ELS — Do this often: How often should we receive communion?

Many of us may remember growing up in a congregation where Holy Communion was offered once per month. Where communion is offered more frequently, questions arise in the minds of the laity and pastors regarding why communion should be offered … Continue reading

Steadfast ELS — It is written.

Gegraptai, “it is written.”  This was the motto found on the seal of the old Norwegian Synod.  It has served as the byline for the Lutheran Sentinel, the official monthly publication for the laity of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod, for … Continue reading

Steadfast ELS — Contending for the Faith

It is an honor to be asked to add the occasional ELS perspective to the Steadfast Lutherans. The ELS is the little “sister synod” of the Wisconsin Synod (WELS). The ELS consists of 132 member congregations in 19 states, for … Continue reading