Comments for Steadfast Lutherans » An international fraternity of confessional Lutheran laymen and pastors, supporting proclamation of Christian doctrine in the new media. Sun, 26 Apr 2015 04:38:58 +0000 hourly 1 Comment on Repost: Sinful Removal of Pastors — Let me count the ways… by Pastor Prentice Sun, 26 Apr 2015 04:38:58 +0000 To all,
In reality, we never know the true reasons for probably 90% of the situations. When confidentiality agreements are signed, that is it. When we want to talk about it and name names, nope.
To fix a problem, you must understand it and open it up, dissect it, to understand it.

We talk, talk talk, no true action.

Perhaps that is the way it is?

Want to talk, email me. I was involved in the removal of a pastor that should have resigned from the call. I was also forced to resign from a call.

Still, God IS good and I continue to do His work.

Comment on A Circuit Meeting Taught Me Again the Importance of the Liturgy by Pastor Prentice Sun, 26 Apr 2015 04:31:25 +0000 @J. Dean #8

Hang in there…we are sinful men, but trying to be solid with God’s Word in a trying time.

Comment on Inviting Tullian Tchividjian Gave the Wrong Impression by jb Sat, 25 Apr 2015 19:49:50 +0000 Tim Wood

Great piece of posting. Good work!


Comment on Repost: Sinful Removal of Pastors — Let me count the ways… by David Hartung Sat, 25 Apr 2015 18:09:50 +0000 @LadyM #80

I have known three pastors personally who were forced from their calling congregations. Only in one of these did the congregation have valid reason.

My only comment is that you very likely do not know the entire story in all three situations.

This is always my caution. Make certain that your information is complete and accurate, before passing judgement, especially of that judgement is public.

Comment on Inviting Tullian Tchividjian Gave the Wrong Impression by Pr. Don Kirchner Sat, 25 Apr 2015 17:24:36 +0000 From the LCMS historian, Rev. Edward Engelbrecht:

I came across a fascinating “reminiscence” from Ludwig Ernest (sic) Fuerbringer in “80 Eventful Years” (1944). Fuerbringer writes that he had attended the services of Dr. James H. Brooks, pastor of the Washington and Compton Presbyterian Church. Fuerbringer wrote, “I heard him preach off and on in my student days and also when I came to St. Louis as instructor in our Seminary” (p. 49). He then noted “In our former Walther College in St. Louis is housed at the present time a Bible School, or Institute, bearing the name ‘Brookes Bible Institute,’ because Brookes was an outstanding Bible reader and student” (p. 49).

Apparently Walther College was sold to the Presbyterians. I am amazed by this reminiscence because of the Adolph Brux case from the 1930s when the prayer fellowship issue was hotly debated in the synod. Fuerbringer, who later became [the 3rd] president of Concordia Seminary, was apparently visiting the Presbyterian services in the late 1800s without issue. I assume that he only went to listen and did not participate in the prayers. Nevertheless, an interesting story.”

It would be interesting to know what sort of speakers they had at CSL back then.

The Symposia Series at CTSFW nearly always has at least one non-Lutheran presenter, sometimes more. Its history page concludes, “Presenters have come from all over the world and include clergy from all the major Lutheran synods and the Roman, Eastern Orthodox and Reformed communions.”

Comment on Inviting Tullian Tchividjian Gave the Wrong Impression by Pastor Joshua Scheer Sat, 25 Apr 2015 16:49:09 +0000 I removed a post because it again was personal. Discussion is fine if it continues.

Comment on Inviting Tullian Tchividjian Gave the Wrong Impression by Pr. Don Kirchner Sat, 25 Apr 2015 16:13:34 +0000 Thank you for your opinion, Abby, and I have expressed mine.

Actually, I think it is quite ironic that the attack on TT as heretic generally falls within the subject of TT’s talk. I.e., the failure to properly distinguish law and gospel has been prevalent hereon. Yes, the confessional statements given are entirely correct. But the application is a failure to properly distinguish law and gospel and far from pastoral.

Actually, I think you fail to perceive how pastoral Walther was. For example do a search for how Walther dealt with the Lodge question. “The pastoral care and concern displayed by Walther in this letter [counseling a pastor on how to deal with a congregational member who was a member of the Lodge]—his concern for souls, his wisdom, his patience—can be affirmed without qualification and continue to serve as a model for pastors today in dealing with specific individuals and situations in this regard.” Check it out. Walther didn’t even suggest that the pastor not communicate the Lodge member until he quit the Lodge.

I’ve got the letter in an electronic file on a computer or memory stick somewhere. I’ll see if I can find it. I know I’ve got it in a book in my library at the church.

Note Walther’s thesis on communion fellowship and how he deals with those in heterodox denominations:

We do not place members of heterodox fellowships under excommunication or declare them to be heretics or damned by our refusal to allow them to participate in the celebration of communion within the fellowship of the Lutheran Church. Instead, they are merely suspended until such time as by their separation from the false fellowship they are reconciled with the orthodox church.”

I am quite certain that TT did not communicate at a celebration of the Lord’s Supper at the Chapel of St Timothy and St. Titus.

Did you know that Walther preached his inaugural sermon to the Trinity congregation in St. Louis which still worshiped in Christ Episcopal Church? I don’t think Walther was worried about cooties, and I suspect that he wasn’t calling the members of the Episcopal congregation heretics.

Also check out Walther’s establishment and use of open conferences to discuss theological issues with those who were not in fellowship with the LCMS.

So yes, if Walther were president of CSL today I do think that he would have asked TT to speak, given the purpose for the presentations. And I think that he would have asked the RC speaker to speak two years ago. Walther was above all pastoral and a master at the proper distinction between law and gospel.

Comment on Inviting Tullian Tchividjian Gave the Wrong Impression by Abby Sat, 25 Apr 2015 15:28:03 +0000 Pastor Kirchner, I don’t think that Walther quote you cite has anything to do with this post written by Tim. I hope Tim might come back on and explain to you why it is a quote taken out of context to apply wrongly to Tim’s good points. Although that might be a hopeless endeavor at this point.

I would like you to go ask Walther himself if he would have invited Tullian to preach to our men at the Seminary for the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. And then ask him to explain to you why he would, or why he would not. He’s not as open minded as you may think. Especially when it would pertain to the “mixing” of the two doctrines which drove Lutherans to leave Germany and come to America in the first place. I think it had something to do with the mandate issued that the Lutherans and the Calvinists would become “one” church in Germany. They were ordered to merge together. However, today we don’t need to be ordered to merge. We seem to be doing it voluntarily. And I could give you details of some of our large cowo churches doing just that. They have no problem with teaching Reformed materials as sound biblical doctrine to their adults and children. Luther would not be pleased. And he would be right.

Now, don’t misconstrue me that I don’t like Tullian because I do. I have listened to his sermons for years now, starting from before he became “popular” with us Lutherans and followed his blog. I have purchased and read 3 or 4 of his books. What I do like about him is his more Lutheran-leaning emphasis on Grace. Which has gotten him into deep trouble with his Calvinist friends. (See? The Calvinists don’t like the “mixing” of the two doctrines either. They still don’t agree with Luther. They are accusing Tullian of being too antinomian for their tastes.) I just do know he is wrong on the Sacraments, which also needs to include being wrong on the Two Natures of Christ, and that is not a small or inconsequential thing.

The thing I think he possibly could “teach” our young ministers is how to preach! (But honestly, I’ve heard him do a better job of that than what he presented at the Sem that night. And yes, I did watch it via the LiveStream that evening.) I’ve heard one of our important guys say repeatedly that “we have a serious deficit of preaching.” But that is another topic and venue altogether.

So, even as much as I like Tullian personally, I did object (to myself only of course) to his coming to the Sem that evening. And if you watch at the very beginning of his talk, he said the very same thing of himself. People are going on and on about his presentation of the Law and Gospel. What I heard, basically, was just his own personal testimony. The whole thing just did not fit as a good L/G presentation.

Comment on Tolerance: Narcissism in Disguise by Pr. Don Kirchner Sat, 25 Apr 2015 14:31:29 +0000 I found these comments by Dr. Scott Yakimow, Associate Professor of Theology at Concordia University, Portland, quite helpful and a position to which I tend to agree.

“FWIW, in my mind, no business that serves the public has a right to refuse service to any individual except for health reasons (no shirt, no shoes…) or other instances of disruptive, degrading, abusive, or offensive behavior that is occurring at that time in that place. There may be a couple other instances, but you get my drift. If people want to serve the public, they must serve all manner of the public, even those who do things with which they disagree.

I also think that the Christian baker should have baked the cake and that the Christian florist should have made the arrangement. Or maybe made two. Or maybe even went and made sure everything went as smoothly as possible. This would have given her/him the opportunity to speak to the individuals and show a generosity of spirit normally not associated with Christians in much of the secular world today.

However, I do not agree that the government should coerce private businesses to service events (not people, but events) that violate their consciences, and this includes the baker, the florist, the photographer, etc. Government-enforced violation of one’s conscience is dangerous territory and should only be done extremely carefully when there are legitimate reasons for doing so. Making sure that blacks (people) have public accommodation is a reason why this should be done, for example. Making sure homosexuals (people) receive service is another. But making a Muslim caterer cater a “Free-Thinkers Conference” (an event, not a person) dedicated to the celebration of free speech through the construction, presentation, and discussion of cartoons denigrating Muhammad would be an injustice. There is no compelling reason why the government should do so.”

“I should mention that this approach is not without its definitional problems. What constitutes an “event” is a fair question to ask. What if a gay man walked into a florist and asked for some flowers. The florist responds: “What’s the occasion?” He says: “It’s my and my partner’s anniversary, and I want to surprise him.” Should the florist then be able to say: “No, I’m sorry, but I can’t supply flowers for that event”?

I think not.

So what constitutes an “event” needs considerable examination. It seems that “public” would have to be a part of the definition. Perhaps “ceremony” and “conference” should also be part of it.

In any case, while I think the distinction between a “person” and an “event” is a very helpful one here, definitions become crucial.”

Comment on Inviting Tullian Tchividjian Gave the Wrong Impression by Pr. Don Kirchner Sat, 25 Apr 2015 13:49:19 +0000 Hmm, guess I did get the last (substantive) word… IOW, thanks but no thanks, jb. BTW,

Walther’s Law and Gospel

Thesis XX.

In the sixteenth place, the Word of God is not rightly divided when a person’s salvation is made to depend on his association with the visible orthodox Church and when salvation is denied to every person who errs in any article of faith.