So there’s this Brand New BMW in the Clergy Parking Space at the Hospital… by Pr. Rossow

Enough of the worship wars and the convention scene for a while. Here’s a little stream of consciousness type post to give us something else to think about…

So I pull into the hospital parking lot today to make a call and one of the three clergy spots is filled with a brand new BMW. I didn’t look that close. It was probably a 5 Series (starting at 45k) but could have been a 7 series (starting at 70k), I am not sure. I am not that much into cars.

Our church is in a fairly well to do area (Naperville, Illinois) that is mostly new and mortgaged money and not old and seasoned. I suppose a pastor on a decent salary, if he saved his pennies, could afford a fancy car in his years close to retirement. It’s not that big of a deal. I just thought it was an interesting thing to share to take a break from everything else going on here at the go-to place for Lutheran news and commentary. So, what do you think?

Oh and by the way, the license plate frame on the back said “Got Christ? If not, Hell is Mighty Hot.”

About Pastor Tim Rossow

Rev. Dr. Timothy Rossow is the Director of Development for Lutherans in Africa. He served Bethany Lutheran Church in Naperville, IL as the Sr. Pastor for 22 years (1994-2016) and was Sr. Pastor of Emmanuel Lutheran in Dearborn, MI prior to that. He is the founder of Brothers of John the Steadfast but handed off the Sr. Editor position to Rev. Joshua Scheer in 2015. He currently resides in Ocean Shores WA with his wife Phyllis. He regularly teaches in Africa. He also paints watercolors, reads philosophy and golfs. He is currently represented in two art galleries in the Pacific Northwest. His M Div is from Concordia, St. Louis and he has an MA in philosophy from St. Louis University and a D Min from Concordia, Fort Wayne.

Comments

So there’s this Brand New BMW in the Clergy Parking Space at the Hospital… by Pr. Rossow — 94 Comments

  1. OK, if this is story time, I’ll tell you the tale of my little red ragtop convertible. The Dodge body, Chrysler radio, Pontiac motor and five retread tires were sold to us by a mechanic (who put it together in his spare time) the night before my teaching colleague and I started from Minnesota to Berkeley for summer school.
    Five tires (retreads are not good for long distance driving) a battery (the existing one was cracked as we found out along about Kansas) and brakes whose linings were finished on the way down from Donner Pass, we arrived in Berkeley.

    My 16 year old cousin (his uncle owned a Ford garage) and his cousin took over the car for the essential repairs. I asked periodically how it was doing as we intended to sell it and take the bus home.
    All my cousin would say was, “Those crazy women! I don’t know why they weren’t killed.”
    [Privately, I suspect the car got fixed in two/three weeks and the teenagers enjoyed it for the summer.] At the end, my uncle told me, The convertible is in better shape than it ever was; you may as well drive it back to Minnesota. And we did, via San Diego, San Antonio and Des Moines. 🙂

    Things change. Teaching colleague got married. I drove the convertible through a couple of Minnesota winters. (It started when new cars were frozen up.) Then I got married and when I left Minnesota, the car was sold [mistake #2] to one of our high school students. It ran another five years with no attention but oil and gas, I was told.

    Thanks for the memories! 🙂

  2. Oh…my first car (sniff, sniff). 1990 white Pontiac Sunbird SE, 2DR sport package. Flip top lights, baby spoiler, bought from Enterprise Rental Co. Blue pinstripe racing stripe, blue fabric interior & a dash that at night, looked like an airplane cockpit. Wow, was it sweet.

    It ran like a dream. Oil, gas, 1 muffler, & brake maintence, that was it. Sold it w/120K miles, & the girl who bought it, had it another 3 years, after me.
    Oh, did I love that car. Got me through a tornado, blizzards, a Florida flood, and washboarded ice after an ice storm in ’91 or ’92. That was the best car I ever owned.

  3. @helen #51

    reminds me of…
    what model is it?

    Well, It’s a ’49, ’50, ’51, ’52, ’53, ’54, ’55, ’56
    ’57, ’58’ 59′ automobile
    It’s a ’60, ’61, ’62, ’63, ’64, ’65, ’66, ’67
    ’68, ’69, ’70 automobile.

  4. @Balance #47

    How well does it run?

    I do not know whether it’s a good car, but at least he did not buy a Land Rover (also owned by Jaguar’s parent company). Heard that it breaks down easily and hard to repair.

    It could be worse. He could have owned a Hummer H2. (Google “Hummer Salute” to get the gist of the general sentiment. NSFW for profanity, duh!)

  5. Carol Rutz :t could be worse. He could have owned a Hummer H2. (Google “Hummer Salute” to get the gist of the general sentiment. NSFW for profanity, duh!)

    I’ve never owned an H2, or any Hummer for that matter, but I do love my 2003 Jeep Wrangler. They’re going to have to pry my cold dead fingers off the steering wheel of my Wrangler before I would give it up. 🙂

  6. The resale value on Jags is really poor. If you are willing to own used cars you can have luxury on the cheap.

  7. ’06 Mazda 6 and ’06 Saturn Vue 4 banger that both might be paid for some day. Gotta have relaible transprot for my wife and I as I do NOT do mechanics.

    And can’t we stop with the ACELC comments already Prentice, my dear DELTO friend? It really wasn’t called for.

  8. @Kebas #17

    Diocesan priests do not take a vow of poverty. They are not member of religious orders. Only members of religious orders take specific vows to poverty, chastity, etc.

    Yes, diocesan priests must practice celibacy because it’s a matter of discipline.

  9. When I was in Chicago, I stayed in a condo above an Greek Orthodox church, which had a VERY nice Mercedes in the Metropolitan’s parking place…

  10. @Balance #47
    Just to be clear… I’ve heard the story of Pres. Elect Harrison’s Jag first hand over beer. It is clearly a story of how looks canbe deceiving. Let’s just say that one can find an inexpensive Jag.

    It is definitely interesting how we can jump to conclusions by the cars that we drive.

    Someday maybe I’ll own my 70’s Vette.

  11. Rev. Strawn,
    Police auctions are fabulous places to pick up those type of cars. My husband’s friend found a 944 Porsche at one. Old, but running beautifully & cherry red to boot. All that for just a song. Your absolutly correct, there are plenty places to snag a Jag or Porsche, w/o paying the price of a ticket on the Orient Express. One, if one is wise, never assumes.

  12. @Rev. Roger Sterle #59
    Thanks, guys! I found a video of the song on line. Funny!
    The little red ragtop looked like a Dodge; the odds & ends were out of sight.
    Right now I have a vintage Dodge Dakota. I hope it will last as long as I do.

  13. A priest and a rabbi operated a church and a synagogue across the street from each other. Since their schedules intertwined, they decided to go in together to buy a car. After the purchase, they drove it home and parked it on the street between them.

    A few minutes later, the rabbi looked out and saw the priest sprinkling water on their new car. It didn’t need a wash, so he hurried out and asked the priest what he was doing.

    “I’m blessing it,” the priest replied.

    The rabbi considered this a moment, then went back inside the synagogue.

    He reappeared a moment later with a hacksaw, walked over to the back of the car and cut off two inches of the tailpipe.

  14. @young blood #70
    @Helen #8
    Kinda ironic if he’s a prosperity Gospel guy visiting someone in the hospital…
    some prosperity they’ve got!

    People have been quoted as getting a vicarious thrill out of Joel Osteen’s high living, even if they never hope to get there themselves. “Go figure!”

    [Of course, from the strictly Lutheran POV, the hospital patient may be one step from his ultimate & eternal ‘prosperity’.]

  15. @Helen #73

    Both had a band, the doghnut coffee church had a band in the front ( as in in front of the altar) the other one had a band, but it was on the balcony. The second one followed LSB with some additional music, although I did not notice doctrinal issues with the lyrics of the music. I should have stayed at the first one to find out what the lyrics were going to be 🙂

  16. @Andrew Strickland #72

    Andrew, you make a good point. Tacos in the sanctuary could be very messy. On the other hand, they might keep people from waving their hands in the air and being a distraction. 😉

    PS—The above is my attempt at humor. I am not being serious. Disclaimer is for those who might have taken me seriously. 🙂

  17. Dear Pastor Rossow and BJS bloggers,

    Since you are talking about BMWs, I wonder if you all can answer this question:

    “What is the most Lutheran car made in Germany?”

    One way of answering this question is by region, i.e., which German manufacturer of cars is located in a region, or town, with the most Lutherans or the greatest Lutheran heritage?

    Here are the specs on the top German automakers by region:

    BMW – Munich, Bavaria – definitely Roman Catholic.

    Daimler, aka, Mercedes-Benz – Stuttgart, Baden-Wurttemberg – mixture of Catholic, Union, Reformed, and Lutheran. A good candidate for the car most like the German Union church.

    Porsche – Zuffhausen, Stuttgart, Baden-Wurttemberg – same as above, but faster.

    Weissmann – Dulman, Norder-Rhine-Westphalia – Catholic and Lutheran, but getting warmer.

    Opel – Russelheim, Hesse – strong Lutheran credentials, but has the heritage of Philip’s bigamy. “Two for one” is a hard sell, no matter which way you look at it.

    VW – Wolfsburg, Lower Saxony – near Braunschweig, where Martin Chemnitz was bishop; but also near Helmstedt, where Calixtus invented “syncretism.” So this is a “mixed bag.”

    Audi – Zwickau, Free Saxony – this is the most promising candidate, because it is actually in historic Saxony. But I would be worried about a car manufactured by the descendants of the Zwickau prophets.

    FINALLY – MY TOP CHOICE FOR LUTHERAN AUTO (alas, now defunct):

    VEB Automobilwerk Eisenach: THE WARTBURG

    [see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wartburg_(car) ]

    Besides being manufactured within sight of the Wartburg Castle, in the town where Luther attended Latin school, the Wartburg also has a very unique feature. It has an electronic “black box” that warns the driver when it stalls, which says, “Here I stand! I can go no further” 🙂

    Yours in Christ, Martin R. Noland

  18. @Carl Vehse #81
    Reminds of my first p’up with the “three on the tree” (yeah, I’m dating myself). BTW, what was the fate of the Wartburg? Was it set “Ablaze!”?

  19. @Jim Pierce #76
    Enjoyed your attempt at humor!

    But I’m old fashioned [Yeah, that, too.] I think anyone over two should be able to sit an hour in church w/o putting something in their mouths.
    I don’t honestly remember feeding anyone under two in church.
    If I did, the bottle, baby and I went to the back.

    [There were literally no babies/young parents in that church till we “started a trend”.
    (Every time there was a baptism, the ushers worried that there were two, the first six months.) They got used to it. By the time we left, after seven years, there were several pews of families with babies in church.]

    But this was “car talk”! 😉

  20. Dear BJS Bloggers,

    Re. German cars. I forgot one German automaker that, though also now defunct, deserves some mention. That is the Trabant or “Trabi”. See:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trabi

    It was, like Audi today, made in Zwickau, Saxony. But since it was the “official party” car of East Germany, you could hardly say that it was Lutheran. Following my previous analogies, it would be the most East-Euro-Socialist car in the bunch. That it was made in Zwickau, the home of the original Anabaptists, whom the German Marxists saw as their forerunners, is an even greater irony.

    The first time I “met” a Trabi was in Eisenach, about five years after the wall had fallen. Eisenach was the first town we visited in East Germany. My wife and I were walking the city streets, which are bereft of lawns and gardens. We were approaching a street corner and heard a lawnmower approaching around the corner. I knew Trabis were two-stroke engines, so I said “That noise is a Trabi car.” She said, “No. You’re kidding, that’s a lawnmower.” Then it came into view, and turned the corner. We both stared as it drove by; then laughed out loud. Fortunately, no one else was around, or we would have been tagged as “rude Americans.”

    That was the first of many experiences in East Germany where we saw just how “far behind” that country was economically behind Western Europe. It was a sad thing to see. It made me appreciate the economic and material blessings we have in the USA; and thank God for it.

    Yours in Christ, Martin R. Noland

  21. 1. As a kid, I wondered aloud about the pastor driving a new Cadillac. Grandma took me to task for quite a while over this, pointing out that if the Lord blessed the pastor with the means to acquire it, it was quite none of my business what he drove.
    2. Instead of questioning what a pastor drives, how about what church members drive? It’s got to swing both ways.
    3. The BMW can’t belong to a woman pastor. No such person exists.
    3. I’m riding a Harley – 12 months a year, every day it doesn’t rain or the rare snow.

  22. Love this!

    My pastor has taken a lot of “ribbing” about his TWO Lexus’. Would the be..Lexii? Anyway, to my point…..he certainly does drive two VERY nice looking cars. But, upon closer detail and if you just simply ask him, he’ll fill you in!

    In all seriousness, one from 199_(?) and the other is at least 10 years old with over 140k miles on it. If i’m not mistaken , the older 90’s model has over 200K miles. Combinded dollars spent at he dealership don’t add up to over $15K.

    At first glance, you’d never know it – they are quite pristine. Knowing him, he will drive each one for another 10 years or more. He keeps on top of maintenence as if they were the $50k model off the showroom floor.

    He’s always the first to tell us on any subject of earthly tresures that “we own NOTHING. EVERYTHING belongs to God.” He is certainly correct. How easy we all forget that at times.

  23. @Rev. Allen Strawn #62

    True. VERY true. Mercedes Benz….40K miles for under $16K out the door. Ok, it was also 6 years old, but…..they all look the same!

    We bought it because we could. Why not? I love to tell people “um….yeah…it’s USED and the payments are less than the JEEP we traded for it!” If it works…it works….. It CAN be done.

  24. @Andrew Strickland #86
    Andrew,
    My second son was 18 months old when his sister was born. He’d done very well in potty training and getting off the bottle because his older brother was there to emulate.

    However, with a new baby in the house he wanted some of the old attention and I did not argue the point.

    The following summer, when he was taking a bottle with juice along to nap time he would let it fall between the crib and the wall. Ants discovered the treat. I pointed out the ants and told him we could not have a bottle at naptime because of them. He accepted that. He was two.

    Are you telling me that you cannot train your three year old? 😉

    [BTW : Other people have told me that their children could sing the liturgy when they were three. I wasn’t that good.] 🙂

  25. helen :@Andrew Strickland #86 Andrew,My second son was 18 months old when his sister was born. He’d done very well in potty training and getting off the bottle because his older brother was there to emulate.
    However, with a new baby in the house he wanted some of the old attention and I did not argue the point.
    The following summer, when he was taking a bottle with juice along to nap time he would let it fall between the crib and the wall. Ants discovered the treat. I pointed out the ants and told him we could not have a bottle at naptime because of them. He accepted that. He was two.
    Are you telling me that you cannot train your three year old?
    [BTW : Other people have told me that their children could sing the liturgy when they were three. I wasn’t that good.]

    Helen,
    He is noisy that is just how it is. He does pray. Singing hyms well maybe This is the Feast because that is the only one that is routine. He does imitate a pretty somber face during communion though. 🙂

  26. A pastor friend of mine once told of how his little girl walked through the house chanting the Words of Institution. This is one argument against, “Throw the kids in the nursery during church ’cause they’re rowdy”. We may not see it, but IMO the liturgy (the Word) is “getting through.” If we think not, how can we argue that the infant/child has Faith through the Holy Waters of Baptism, despite the fact that he/she may be unable to articulate his/her Faith? My four-year-old grandkids may doodle in coloring books and test their grandpa’s patience during the Divine Service, but when it’s time to approach the altar for their Baptismal Blessing, they are all business, usually with “praying hands.” (Mark 10:13-16)

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