Steadfast in Society: Poprah

PoprahNothing 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 under your seat for salvation cleric will be hearing the confession of Lance Armstrong and will or will not pronounce forgiveness upon him on the OWN. How far have we fallen when one needs to run to Oprah to receive absolution? How skewed has our vision of Scripture become when we no longer fill the need to confess our sins before God and His Pastors for the American public judgment must certainly be more harsh than that of God himself.   Here is a related article.

This certainly is a problem that we are facing in our society. The confessional has been replaced with either an attitude of “it ain’t none of his business” or “public/societal justification.” Let us return to hearing the sweet, sweet words of absolution spoken through the mouths of God’s own servants. There is something wholly freeing about the words, “Pastor, please hear my confession and pronounce forgiveness in order to fulfill God’s will.” God’s will. Not Oprah’s ratings. May we confess our sins to God and be freed by the Holy Gospel. The world is fickle, may we never run to it for comfort and consolation, but ever more may we cling to the freeing word of Christ. After all Oprah wasn’t the answer to Simon Peter’s question, “Lord, to whom shall we go?”


Steadfast in Society: Poprah — 23 Comments

  1. Rick Warren is on this week, Sunday. He said on the promo, not to avoid temptation.

    How many LCMS & WELS Churches still have those books in their library?
    How many bylaws, are based on the “Purpose Driven” drivel?!

    Clean our/His Own first. Stroke of a pen, a bylaw here, a vote there, and here you have Lutheran Poprah’s abounding.

  2. @Dutch #1
    Clean our/His Own first. Stroke of a pen, a bylaw here, a vote there, and here you have Lutheran Poprah’s abounding.

    We have enough problems of our own.
    We aren’t called to judge the rest of the unbelieving world.

  3. I’m afraid I’m confused by your posts. Either I’m missing your point or you’re missing mine.

  4. Pastor Scheer,
    Please don’t misunderstand! Helen & I, didn’t say pointing out, what the Oprah Sunday’s do, wasn’t good, right or true. It most certainly is! I just wonder if ya really know what she’s a’ doin’ there…
    However, considering who’s been on, how many a Congregational library, has Joel O’ & Rick Warren in them? Purpose Driven, has sent many a bylaw, into many a Constitution.

    I think what at least I was trying to get at, is let’s us tackle our own issues w/unionsim & heterodox, before we shift any focus away, to ug….Oprah & her personal brand of universalism.
    Rick Warren is on this Sunday, on OWN. Saw the commercial for it. He said on said same, “we should not avoid temptation.”

    Again, how many a library has his writings in it? That is the focus, that is the heterodox, clean house here, w/us first.

    Helen, has nooooo problem speaking for herself!!! She is quite a lady!!!! She isn’t afraid of Pastor L, I am! lol

  5. @helen #2
    Helen and Dutch,
    Certainly you have heard that where God builds a church the devil builds a chapel. That is exactly what I am pointing to here, in this case using confession as the crux of the post. The world has it’s own “sacraments,” “pulpits,” and yes even “confessionals” that mimic and mock the true marks of Christ’s church. It is both heathy and helpful to look at the evils the world mimics that we may runnl ever swiftly to the true Holy things of God!

  6. @Dutch #5
    This is not an apologetic against Oprahism. It is a pointing out I the worlds confessional with the absolution of public opinion up and against true repentance, confession, and the absolution from God himself. I’m affriad you might be reading the post with the wrong intent of understanding than the writer intended. Blessings.

  7. No, Pastor Mize, I don’t think I am. Warren changes on a dime & has for years. Unionism & Universalism, on many a front, have made it’s way into the back door of Confessional Lutheranism. This is dangerous, because this plants a seed, w/those who are not taught & trained in the way they should go. That can happen in alot of ways.
    Public opinion, is the world, and if we are not well taught & trained, inside, sheep, naive, blind, deaf, & dumb as we all know ourselves to be, bring it in.

    This is the world, doing what it does & we were warned about in Scripture, to keep outside, His 4 walls, of our Congregations & our Synods.

    I know what ya meant, it’s just a take, from someone who just warms the wood, but sees & hears this often, this with many outside Her & 6 days a week. It’s not just by chance, Oprah does this now on Sundays, is it?

  8. @Dutch #8
    So you are simply adding too my post with another example rather than negating it? I’m confused as how Rick Warren came up in a post regarding the the world mimicking confession through the Armstrong interview with Oprah. But, hey have it it, my friend.

  9. @Dutch #8
    By the way, I completely agree with what you are saying regarding Warren. He is a plauge. A wort on the butt of the church. I’m just having a hard time connecting the dots from my post on confession and Warrwn being on Oprah. Unless that is the only connection. Is that it?

  10. No, it’s not, Pastor!
    I often wonder about many (ck the home page) about what many teach Confirmands. I often wonder what parents, read, listen to or watch, in regards to this. Ravi Z, Warren, pick one of the litter. I’ve met Joel O’. Not what he appears at all. That smile, is just for TV.

    But if we refuse to “hold the line” as Lutherans, who do we think is going to fill that up? Oprah, Joel, Warren, again, ck some mentioned on the Home Page here. As a child of Christ, well taught & trained, as a child, wife, mother, & friend, who do you think hears all this in & out of context?

    Your members, your laity do. And as we’ve seen, so do some who’ve attended Sems & Programs, our own Synod runs. Watching this stuff, is cheaper, but much more costly.

  11. I don’t disagree. But hat does this have to do with my post? That’s why I’m confused.

  12. I have made my case very plan. Go to confession, not to the world for absolution. That’s the heart of my post. Does that help?

  13. I do understand and agree with your post regarding confession. Armstrong was using confession in order to achieve cheap publicity during a time of ongoing legal troubles. Confession should remain a private matter. Similarly, we should not expect an LCMS congregation to applaud the soloist at the conclusion of a modest musical offering during a contemporary church service. To whom should we approach for worship and prayer? Perhaps there is a reason why the praise band is positioned in evangelical churches (and in some Lutheran churches) in front where the altar should be.

    You wrote: “The post-modern, new age, check under your seat for salvation cleric…”

    In your article, you question the credibility of Oprah as a spiritual leader. Dutch and Helen raised concerns that Oprah’s theology has a damaging influence on confessional Lutheran churches. Can we all agree that the theology of OWN is heterodox and universalist.

    We learn from the programs on Pirate Christian Radio that Oprah’s heterodox theologians are frauds. However, within the church libraries of hundreds of LCMS congregations, the ongoing promotion of Oprah-endorsed worship and study materials remains “the elephant in the room.”

    Theologically speaking, many LCMS congregations are in a state of dissonance:

  14. From ABC news (your link)

    Herman told The Associated Press he had no knowledge of Armstrong considering a confession and said: “When, and if, Lance has something to say, there won’t be any secret about it.”
    Armstrong, who has spent so much energy bitterly fighting accusers and whistleblowers, has left many questioning whether Winfrey’s televised absolution will be able to help his cause.

    Pastor Mize,
    I read your link… which is as close as I’ve gotten to Oprah’s TV activities in years.
    I see ABC news calls it “confession and absolution”… is that what Oprah is calling her act these days!?

    @Lumpenkönig #14
    We learn from the programs on Pirate Christian Radio that Oprah’s heterodox theologians are frauds. However, within the church libraries of hundreds of LCMS congregations, the ongoing promotion of Oprah-endorsed worship and study materials remains “the elephant in the room.”

    You’ve got it! Thank you!

    Pastor Mize,
    If all you were saying is that Oprah’s into imitating Christianity….
    what’s new, or worth putting her mug shot (with halo yet!) on BJS?

    Oprah’s got an “anxious bench”!? [How new is that?]
    Should I stay home from church and watch? 🙁

    @Pastor Joshua Scheer #4
    @helen #2
    There is nothing wrong with pointing out how the world has got it wrong as an example for us to correct ourselves.

    Thank you. You’re right, if that’s what you achieve.
    But with that photo, it looked like a “puff piece” for Oprah!

    [Put the moral in the first para, because many aren’t going to read more.]

  15. Lumpenkoni?ng?

    Spot on. If ya have many Church libraries, w/those books on the shelf, & let us not forget, The Purpose Driven Church, not just Purpose Driven Life, & Warren is on this Sunday, w/the spots for it saying, “don’t avoid temptation”, what does that really say?

    I don’t need to avoid being tempted, the Lord’s Prayer has me asking Him, to keep me from being lead into temptation, yet, if I’m not to avoid it, why do I have any need, whatsoever, for confession? If I have no need & no confession, what need is their for absolution?

    I think a great follow-up to your wonderful article, is for you to (pray before, please & at your own risk) reccord that tv spot w/Warren & Oprah. It isn’t Oprah per say, it who she has on, saying what they say, & those who in the LCMS or WELS, who know it & watch it. They know the names well, many LCMS members I knew, maybe a decade ago, were offerred the opportunity to have in home studies about Purpose Driven. Pastors & Churches, once, were encourged to read them. Unionism & Universalism, Pastor Mize, that at it’s black heart, is what this really is. We know full well, what it breeds & the fruit it bears.

  16. @Pastor Gaven Mize #13
    January 9th, 2013 at 20:18 | #13 Reply | Quote I have made my case very plan. Go to confession, not to the world for absolution. That’s the heart of my post. Does that help?

    “Go to confession, not to the world for absolution.”

    Very good. Maybe, as some journalists have mourned,
    your story was done in by the “header”!

    [Oh, and BTW, it’s not open season on young Pastors.
    Honest! It just seems that way at the moment.] 🙁

    God bless!

  17. @helen #17
    I’m not concerned about it being open season on young Pastors. Further, I stand by my post.

    “If all you were saying is that Oprah’s into imitating Christianity….
    what’s new, or worth putting her mug shot (with halo yet!) on BJS”

    This was not only what I was saying… I was using Oprah as an example how how the WORLD imitates the holy things of God.

  18. Pastor Mize #18,
    I don’t think Helen, was in any way, causing you to not stand by your post. No one here posting, even thought to do so.

    Helen & I, are old enough to remember what Oprah, was like at her very first (I was local once), long ago & far, far, away.
    She was not always like this. When you expose yourself, to things, best left far away from you, & ya don’t, you take away bits & pieces of it. Ya just don’t willingly, compromise or consult, what the Scriptures say to stay away from & those who proport it.

    Oprah is a public figure, as are many others. Let’s be equal though, how many have lied, cheated, stole, betrayed, abused, etc, in many a pew, & at best, walked away, with just a “stop it”? We’ve done that here in our Synods, Circuits, Districts, & Congregations, we’ve done with our own, Pastor. I know a few, who are little Oprah’s & Poprah’s. They were taught & trained well, why did they fall prey? That is the golden question key, that unlocks the door, so we can finally shut the world’s entrance into our lives & Churches. Bottom to top, if the underShepherd isn’t wise in guarding for or against, that filters down to laity & it most certainly flows upwards, just like smoke does.

    In a way, & you’ll see it w/Warren if ya watch, what sheep are exposed to, inside & outside our pews. Even the best & brightest trained & taught, are not exempt, from being temped. It’s not always trial, tests, & tribulation, that tempt. It also can be success, accolade, fame, fortune & tangibles.

    Ya hit a home run, Pastor, I just don’t think you realized all the facets, that came w/it. Pastor the father of lies, has seen His Face, been in His Courts, he knew Job, he knew what could bruise, bloody, hit, & harm. God the Father, Christ the Son, & His Holy Ghost, do too. This is that battle that goes on, every moment, of every day, in a realm, every child of Christ never sees. Pastors included. We see the effects & affect, we rejoice, our eyes, do not see that realm, yet. We just see the consequences & fruit this bears. The world is what it has always been, lost. That is what your post tried to convey, yes? As were we all, just a different facet, Pastors, thankfully, may not see or know on our level & daily basis, as a simple sheep.

  19. Oh Pastor Mize,
    To you also!
    I know many who listen & watch this drivel. Guess who the call after they do?!

    This is not just an outlet, for me. I learn here. I point others here, sometimes, at quite a risk. I gain nothing by it, but have quite a bit to loose, by the doing, lol.

    I really hope & pray, you do watch or hopefully record, this on OWN this Sunday.
    For years here at BJS, Warren has been discoursed. You do not lack anything!
    Blaze the trail, Pastor. Far too many, have not being willing to risk, the doing. Bylaws have been penned for this drivel, & still do stand in far too many a Congregation & District. Primary or secondary, does not matter.

    It was done, based on what you brought up in this article. Run your race, take it is far a field, as He deems fit & allows. Many a year here at BJS, in a post have endevored the try.

    Your wrote, what many have watched, wondered, decried, & posted, direct or indirect.
    See it through, not through your own eyes, but for all those, who have seen what it bears!!!!
    Pax Domini Sit Semper Vobiscum!!!!

  20. Pastor Mize #9,
    No one, any member of laity, would ever assume or endevor to add to a post, from a Holder of the Office, here, if they do, & that is in the hidden heart, shame on them!

    No, I just saw, what I see, hear, defend, refute, or encourage, on a daily basis, in a way, that only a simple member can. Many know what I believe, what I state in private & most certainly in public. I can be “Googled”!

    If I can do anything, w/what meager means I’ve had or have, I will do so. The Solas, Concordia, and those I love, care, & ask me, are far & away worth the doing, regardless of the risk. I know full well & have felt the sting, for the doing.

    I can do nothing else or less. Nor do many here at BOJS, & many another. What good is a fort, when those who have eyes to see & watch & those called to man the towers, ….don’t?
    Once a youth, did, w/a very large person a whole nation feared. He didn’t, nor should we now:
    The reason both did & do & don’t & won’t, is still the same. He said so

  21. This type of secular confession also smacks of ex opere operatum. Mr. Armstrong has gone through the mechanics of ‘confession’ in the courts of public opinion for the show of ‘absolution’ and the restoration of status and salary. The requisite crying probably accompanied this ‘confession’ as a ‘sign’ of contrition for the public. In our spiritual warfare against the powers and principalities, this takes the pearl of great price, forgiveness in Jesus Christ, and drags it through the mud and muddies what should be clear and distinct: confession and absolution. Pr. Mize you correctly point to this clarity of Christ’s forgiveness.

    I also thought of the quote below from C.F.W. Walther in Proper Distinction, especially, when you point out that Mr. Armstrong was caught and is now ‘penitent’. This is the stuff of our public life from presidents to bankers to athletes to politicians to the kid who breaks the neighbor’s window and a neighbor saw him breaking it. It is as old as Adam: I was afraid and so I hid. Then old Adam becomes ‘sorrowful’:

    “There is a passage in Scripture that is frequently misunderstood, namely 2 Cor. 7, 10, which reads: For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.” “Godly sorrow” is supposed to mean sorrow of contrition from love of God. This is a mistake. The apostle refers to sorrow which man has not produced himself, but which God has caused in him by His Word. The Greek text reads: kata theon lupa, sorrow in accordance with God or produced by God. It is another grievous perversion of the Christian doctrine to tell an alarmed sinner that he must first experience contrition, and when he asks how he must go about that, to tell him that he must sit down and meditate and try to draw, or elicit, repentance from his heart. That is what the papists teach. But their teaching is sheer hypocrisy. There is not in all the world a person who can produce contrition in himself. He may labor to bring it forth until he becomes dissolved in tears, but it is all a hypocritical sham. Godly sorrow is required because faith is required. God, by terrifying us, wants to produce this sorrow. We must not imagine that contrition is a good work which we do, but it is something that God works in us. God comes with the hammer of the Law and smites our soul. A person who wants to make himself sorrowful desires ever to increase his sorrow over sin. But a person merged in the right kind of sorrow yearns to be rid of it. He is tormented day and night. He may frequent saloons and make a futile attempt to drive away his sorrow by drink. Among his companions he may be a braggart, but when he is at home, his conscience tells him: You are damned; if you die tonight you will go to perdition. That is godly sorrow, produced not by man, but by God Himself. God has no regard for any miserable product of man.”

    The deception and lies inherent in such “worldly grief” is frightening. The Biblical example of “worldly grief” is Judas. “Wordly grief” is a dodge and it is the wide and easy path which leads to destruction and sadly many find it. The restoration of individual confession and absolution is paramount for the care of souls, including the pastor’s, within the Church. We only have a deadly parody of confession and absolutionparaded in the courts of public opinion, and finally the only courts that count are the courts of the Lord’s House.

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