Great Stuff found on the Web — Marriage in Minnesota

Found on the Evangelical Lutheran Synod website:

 

marriage_torn-200x200We are deeply saddened that Minnesota lawmakers have chosen to go well beyond their God-given responsibilities as governmental leaders and impose a new morality upon the citizens of the state of Minnesota by legalizing homosexual “marriage.”  This decision not only defies the Word of God, but discards even secular views of marriage, based on natural law, which have been in effect for thousands of years of human history.  We believe that, in addition to the eternal consequences of rejecting the Word of God, this social experiment will have grave consequences for generations to come.  We pray that God, in His great love and mercy, will change the hearts of all who oppose His teachings and bring them to repentance.

About Norm Fisher

Norm was raised in the UCC in Connecticut, and like many fell away from the church after high school. With this background he saw it primarily as a service organization. On the miracle of his first child he came back to the church. On moving to Texas a few years later he found a home in Lutheranism when he was invited to a confessional church a half-hour away by our new neighbors.

He is one of those people who found a like mind in computers while in Middle School and has been programming ever since. He's responsible for many websites, including the Book of Concord, LCMSsermons.com, and several other sites.

He has served the church in various positions, including financial secretary, sunday school teacher, elder, PTF board member, and choir member.

More of his work can be found at KNFA.net.

Comments

Great Stuff found on the Web — Marriage in Minnesota — 30 Comments

  1. For the Children.

    He who has ears to hear, let him hear.

    “But to what shall I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to their playmates,
    “‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn.’

    Woe to you who desire the day of the LORD!

    Why would you have the day of the LORD?
    It is darkness, and not light,
    as if a man fled from a lion, and a bear met him, or went into the house and leaned his hand against the wall, and a serpent bit him.

    Is not the day of the LORD darkness, and not light, and gloom with no brightness in it?

    And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them?
    I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”

    For their vine comes from the vine of Sodom and from the fields of Gomorrah; their grapes are grapes of poison; their clusters are bitter;
    their wine is the poison of serpents and the cruel venom of asps.
    “‘Is not this laid up in store with me, sealed up in my treasuries?

    Vengeance is mine, and recompense, for the time when their foot shall slip; for the day of their calamity is at hand, and their doom comes swiftly.’
    For the LORD will vindicate his people and have compassion on his servants, when he sees that their power is gone and there is none remaining, bond or free.

    ” The Church says that the time of grace lasts as long as life. Yet
    there is already a judgment before death for living people whose sin is
    so grievous that St. John does not say that one should pray for them (1
    John 5:16). In spite of seeing life as a time of grace, there are warning
    examples along the path of life, which lead us to conclude that mercy
    might end its work before we breathe our last. Where there is suffering
    and pain, a longing and desire for grace, then there certainly is grace
    and mercy. But where there is a false security and the illusion of selfrighteousness,
    there the gruesome air of death blows across deathbeds.
    Therefore, joyfully comfort all who cry for grace and mercy, but you
    yourself watch so that you do not pit any evil resistance of your own
    will against the merciful powers of the Word, lest mercy leave you.”

    Löhe on Mercy

    1858–1860
    By Wilhelm Löhe

  2. Beloved Germans, buy while the market is close at hand! Gather while the sun is shining and while there is good weather! Make use of God’s grace and Word while it is here! For you should know this: God’s Word and grace is a passing downpour,2 which does not return to where it has already been. It has been with the Jews; but what’s lost is lost, and they now have nothing. Paul brought it to Greece; what’s lost is lost, and they now have the Turks. Rome and Latin-speaking regions have also had it; what’s lost is lost, and they now have the pope. And you Germans dare not think that you will have it forever, for the ingratitude and disdain will not let it remain. Therefore take hold and hang on tightly, while you are able to grab and to hold. Lazy hands are bound to have a hard year.3 (Letter to the Town-Councilmen, Volume 10, 464.)

    German: An die Rathsherren, Band X, 464. Pieper is citing Dr. Martin Luther’s Sämmtliche Schriften, published by Concordia Publishing House in 1885. A translation can also be found in Volume 45 of Luther’s Works (Walther I. Brandt, ed., Muhlenberg Press: Philadelphia, PN, 1962), pp. 352-353. Notice, however, that the main phrase under consideration is translated “passing shower of rain.” This does not accurately reflect Luther’s thought behind the phrase (as Pieper aptly shows).

    http://www.studiumexcitare.com/content/44

  3. From our NID, for those Illinois Churches that are concerned with the issue (all of us I pray):

    Update on Senate Bill 10

    This bill has been stalled in the Illinois House. The General Assembly is heading toward a May 31 adjournment deadline. Contact state representatives to vote NO on Senate Bill 10, the same-gender “marriage” bill. This needs to be done again.

    Please see Northern Illinois District for more information. They have bulletin inserts and all sorts of helps. http://www.ni.lcms.org

  4. We believe that, in addition to the eternal consequences of rejecting the Word of God, this social experiment will have grave consequences for generations to come.

    Anyone know what these grave consequences might be? So far, states like Iowa and Massachusetts seem to have been spared.

  5. This Statement was meant for our local paper that was never published last fall when minnesota voted on changing Minnesotas constitution to say marriage is between 1 man and 1 woman – it failed to pass. I think it is very well written when I talk to people about this issue.

    ——————–

    According to the clear and profound Word of God, we, as pastors of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod, stand in favor of marriage between one man and one woman and say “yes” to the upcoming vote on the Marriage Amendment. We also stand against labels and hate-filled rhetoric on both sides of this issue. We acknowledge that many bigoted and hateful words and actions have been perpetrated upon homosexuals (some even allegedly committed in the name of Christ.) Neither we nor Jesus condone any such malicious treatment of homosexuals. We advocate neither hate nor harm. Therefore, we agree with the many voices in the media and in our culture who consistently condemn the ridiculing and slandering of homosexuals. However, it is our sense that Christians are not afforded this same courtesy, often being referred to as “bigoted” and “hateful” in regard to this issue.

    Our message and ministry are neither of those things. Jesus said that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be preached in His name. He also said, “Repent, and believe the Good News.” Jesus did not say we should accept sin, rather, He said, “Repent” of sin; that is, turn from sin and, in faith, be renewed by the forgiveness that is in His Name and by His cross. In Christ’s forgiveness we live with joy and peace now and with the hope of eternal joy and peace in Heaven to come.

    The fact that we preach according to the Word of God to repent of sin and look in faith to Jesus for forgiveness and life is in no way bigoted or hateful. It is not bigoted because we apply the message of repentance and forgiveness to all people beginning with ourselves and our own sin. Second, it is not hateful, for as Christians, we believe this message alone brings salvation and life eternal to all people.

    Thus, when we preach that gossiping is a sin and we should repent of it, this does not mean we or any Christians hate gossipers. When we preach that greed is a sin and we should repent of it, this does not mean that we or any Christians hate greedy people. Further, we are not afraid of sinners. We are no more “gossip-a-phobes” or “greed-a-phobes” than we are “homophobes,” as we are often slandered. We make no distinction among people in their sin, and we make no distinction among people in our message.

    “Repent, and believe the good news.” This is the ministry that Jesus gave us and the message that we, to the best of our ability, lovingly proclaim at the command of our Savior. While we gladly accept whatever may come to us for taking a stand on the Word of God, it is our hope and prayer that marriage between a man and a woman will be preserved and Christians and those on the other side of this issue will be spared hate-filled labels and slander.

  6. Rev. McCall :
    @#4Kitty #4
    I’d start by checking God’s Word, He appears to say something very similar. (Numbers 14:18)

    This would be a great time for you to help me with Exodus 20:6, especially when I talk with an orthodox pastor about his gay child (which appears to be consistent with this topic). Also, I sincerely need help to matrix all the above with Ezekiel 18:4-5 and Jeremiah 31:29-30.

  7. Probably pretty unlikely this go-round Kitty. Too many other things going on in the legislature.

    And honestly, the state of IL putting it’s imprimatur on gay state unions is no big whoop. That they’ve held off this long is pretty amazing.

    T’aint marriage, though. Our Lord gave us the template for marriage, and the gays don’t fit it. Too bad, so sad. Corrupt and evil pols/judges in any state do not change reality.

    Just the way it is.

    Oh, and the gay child should be told to repent of his/her sin. The parent should be told to not enable said child in the sin.

    It’s the neighborly(as in love) thing to tell ’em.

  8. We are deeply saddened that Minnesota lawmakers have chosen to go well beyond their God-given responsibilities as governmental leaders and impose a new morality upon the citizens of the state of Minnesota by legalizing homosexual “marriage.”

    Don’t be saddened.

    Be outraged at the unAmerican, flatlined Demonrat voters who elected these obscene and traitorous oxygen thieves to public office. Express that outrage in public letters to your state representatives (especially if he is one of the oxygen thieves), and in imprecatory prayers (e.g., Psalms 109:8-13) at Lutheran church services. Check the state laws to see if recall elections are allowed; if so work to get the necessary signatures.

    Conduct public protest demonstrations while carrying signs that mock and ridicule the legislative perversion (you may need to hire some bodyguards to stop any union thuggery). Demand that politicans who want your support must publicly commit to overturning legalized homosexual “marriages.”

    Or, alternatively, you can wear a t-shirt that says, “Shhhhhh… I’m a Missouri Synod quietist.”

  9. @Elizabeth #10

    Corrupt and evil pols/judges in any state do not change reality.

    You forgot to mention the “corrupt and evil” popular vote as in the case of Maine, Maryland, and Washington.

    Oh, and the gay child should be told to repent of his/her sin. The parent should be told to not enable said child in the sin.
    It’s the neighborly(as in love) thing to tell ‘em.

    There’s the rub. Most “corrupt and evil” parents simply skip a step and love their children. I mean, imagine that! You’ll be disappointed to learn that when it comes to a decision between one’s child and an old book, many parents eschew the shining examples of Jephthah and Abraham
    and love their children unconditionally.

    And do you suppose God should be told to stop enabling this sin as well? I mean after all, how could Minnesota possibly legalize gay marriage when God could have easily stopped it? It’s not like the Democrats entered the Senate Chamber riding iron chariots (see Judges 1:19).
    He DOES work in mysterious ways doesn’t he?!! LOL

  10. @Quasicelsus #8
    What is your question? How can God be both compassionate and just? How can He be loving and yet allow people to go to hell? I need a little more direction on your question other than the three random verses you threw out there! 🙂

  11. @Quasicelsus #8

    But to the extent to which the will of a man rebels against justice and the pain of the wounds struck by it, ignores the call to repentance and hardens itself in defiance and pride, to this extent mercy yields to justice and eventually hands the haughty, impudent sinner over to a most holy, cruel sword. Thus the tension of this double divine effect on the sinner does not last forever, but in one way or the other the divine effect becomes just a single one. Men for their part become either children of God’s mercy or people of His avenging hand. And certainly the use and abuse of the remains of His free will is what leads man to mercy. Therefore, the bowls of the scales go up and down. But you, however, are the one to tip the scales, for, because of the way you are, you can do no good, and only hinder all the good that your God wants to do to you. Beware for from your stubborn unwillingness, according to divine decree, even almighty mercy retreats. How long can you go on resisting God’s merciful will? When will mercy turn away from you and leave you to justice? Where are the divisions between justice and mercy? You do not know these answers, but grace is there for everyone that seeks it, even in their last moments.

    Lohe

    The LORD GOD is not a sucker.

  12. @Rev. McCall #13

    compassonate/just, loving/damning are not personal difficulties of mine. If that’s where you went with my questions, then i must have completely misunderstood the implications of your response to #4kitty. So to start over, what were you saying in your response. Could you spell out what you were saying/implying with your quote of Numbers?

    @mark

    I am uncomfortable with the idea that the old adam can resist the holy spirit. Just because I don’t like something, doesn’t not mean it isn’t true, and I get that. I’m just voicing a sorrow. And I’ve brought this sorrow to God.
    moreover, I’m familiar with the tension of which you speak, and I am grateful for your response. I’ll respond more after I have a chance to hear what Pastor McCall meant in his initial reply to the cat.

  13. @Carl Vehse #11

    While I’m listening –

    I am not bringing ANYTHING against what you said.

    I would like to know if you are engaged in practicing what you’re suggesting.

    Also, I’d like to know what actions you are personally active in taking in regards to the democrats in the pew.

    Thank you.

  14. @DonnaNobleSmith #5
    4Kitty wins!

    Kitty wins what?

    @#4 Kitty #12
    And do you suppose God should be told to stop enabling this sin as well? I mean after all, how could Minnesota possibly legalize gay marriage when God could have easily stopped it?
    The classic response of an unbeliever to any evil thing…. the tornadoes last night in Texas, the massacre in Boston, the plant explosion (Texas, also), the shooting in Newtown, the BP oil spill, the war around the world… you name it. “Why didn’t God” stop any evil thing from happening?

    “Why didn’t men” [generic], who have His Word, live according to it?
    Good question and one the Bible answers, “because their hearts are inclined to evil”.
    And it specifies their ‘reward’ for refusal to believe that sin is disobedience to God and their refusal to repent of it. They may not believe that either, of course.

    Kitty is on track to losing….

  15. @helen #17

    Kitty is on track to losing….

    No, on the contrary, it’s those who are against marriage equality who seem to be losing.
    Which begs the question, if God is against the legalization of gay marriage why doesn’t he simply put an end to it?
    “Good question and one the Bible answers”:
    1Kings 18:27 “Perhaps he is daydreaming, or is relieving himself. Or maybe he is away on a trip, or is asleep and needs to be wakened!”

    Or maybe he just doesn’t care as much as our religious leaders do.

    One would think that if God were really on your side of these issues then nothing could stand in your way. The evidence suggests otherwise.

  16. @Quasicelsus #15
    Kitty seemed to not so subtly imply that there have been no consequences for sin in Iowa and Massachusetts. I simply quoted Numbers to disagree and show that God actually says there are indeed consequences for sin and sinful behavior and that these consequences can and do affect generations beyond the current one.
    For instance, because of the toleration and acceptance of sinful behavior in generations past we now have 3rd and 4th generations dealing with those consequences of our actions. They are those who think abortion is not a sin, who believe divorce for any reason is not sinful, who think it is not sinful to get pregnant out of wedlock, generations who think making a sex tape is an OK way to gain fame and fortune, and on and on. So my point was to say, Kitty is wrong. Our actions, especially our sinful ones affect not only us right here and right now but also 2nd, 3rd, and 4th generations beyond us.
    (I may have indeed misunderstood you which is why I was asking for clarification! Thank you! Hope this helps!)

  17. @#4Kitty #18
    Which begs the question, if God is against the legalization of gay marriage why doesn’t he simply put an end to it?
    “Good question and one the Bible answers”:
    1Kings 18:27
    “Perhaps he is daydreaming, or is relieving himself. Or maybe he is away on a trip, or is asleep and needs to be wakened!”

    Kitty, I believe (best construction) that most of what you write is for “shock value” to get a rise out of people. If it is more than that, you have just equated God with Baal! An idol.

    If you’ll remember all that story, the prophets of Baal “had the backing of the government”.
    And they died.

    Elijah was the prophet of GOD, and GOD won that day.

    Shouldn’t you be just a little more careful in what you say!? God is patient, but in the end he may not be as patient as our moderators.

  18. Oh, Kitty-cat. There is no such thing as marriage between gays. The State can call it anything they like, but it doesn’t make it so.

    There’s a little bit in Romans you may want to consider, Ms Kit. A storing up of wrath, a giving over to perversion/abomination AS judgement.

    We, as His children, hold high His banner, even as the culture around us sinks into decay because of its disregard of the King.

    Nothing WILL stand in His way, m’dear. Certainly none of us in our impudence. Take heed.

  19. @Quasicelsus #16: “I would like to know if you are engaged in practicing what you’re suggesting.”

    Yes, I am engaged in the practices I have suggested. I’ve had the opportunity to meet my Congressman who is excellent, and to meet one of my U.S. Senators who doing a fantastic job of causing the leftist political cesspool to sputter to the boiling point.

  20. @Rev. McCall #19

    I’m sure there are plenty of other passages that express the continuing consequences of sin and how they continue on to the next generation. The fact that you chose Numbers, specifically, was troublesome. I’m hearing that you interpret “visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children” as (i’m trying to paraphrase you) that sin has real life consequences down the line. I will never argue that the Bible says otherwise. The Numbers passage, however, appears to be talking about God actively (and justly) punishing children for the sins of their fathers. God may do this if He pleases (i.e. “Haram”). The texts I offered suggest, to my ears, that God punishes people for their own sin. I believe Jesus mentions this as well. None of this suggests that sin isn’t infectious. I just don’t find the Numbers passage useful if the context is specific to punishment. I appreciate the prompt reply. I’m also open to correction.

    @Carl

    Thank you for your response. What you said says a lot.

  21. Protestant Churches lost their credibility on the topic of marriage when they turned a blind eye to divorce. How many members in your church are divorced? How many elders, trustees, etc. are divorced? How many pastors in your denomination are divorced?

    The greatest threat to God-sanctioned marriage between a man and a woman is not from the gay community…it is heterosexual divorce.

    Shame on the Church for abandoning the sanctity of marriage by ignoring the issue of divorce. Divorce, not based on infidelity, is a sin. It is adultery.

    Homosexuality is a sin! And according to God’s Word it should not be tolerated in the Church. We should never give in to social pressures and allow a sexual free-for-all in our congregations. However, our credibility is tarnished by our leniency on the sin of divorce.

  22. @Quasicelsus #23

    The same phrase appears in Exodus 20:5-6 and Deuteronomy 5:9-10, as past of the 1st (or 2nd, depending on who’s numbering) Commandment.

    Here’s how it plays out. Through our TCN consult, the words churched, dechurched and unchurched get thrown around. I work with a woman on the vison team. She is an active member, who drought her kids to church. As it is, her children stopped coming to church. She is hoping they find their way back. ut the bigger tragedy is since they don’t come, their own kids have never set foot in a church. These grandchildren have nothing to come back to, since they were never part on the family of God to begin with. things can turn that quickly, and now there are all these lost souls, whose eternity is serverely threatened. Why is that? (I odn’t know, and I don’t want ot get accusatory, other than Satan pulling people away)

    Or for a Biblical reference. David’s first son with Bathsheba died because of the father’s adultery. Or better yet, King Saul. His turning away had God strip the kingdom rfrm him. His sons were killed in battle. His daughter Michal was David’s first wife and beloved, but also with her own actions, she never bore any children, and her position faded. Jonathon had a feeble son, whom David took in and cared for (mercy), but he disappears from the scene. A family destroyed, and a bloodline extinguished.

    Sin has grave consequences. Sometimes it is public and grand, other times sublte and hardly noticed. But society as a whole is devolving as more and more ignore God and His design for living. It is the great falling away at the end that Jesus predicted.

  23. @#4Kitty #18
    Kitty,
    “If God is against the legalization of gay marriage why doesn’t he simply put an end to it?” – really?

    This is a silly argument that requires you and the reader to delve into the mind of God, which is a very dangerous place to go. If God is against [abortion, homosexual behavior, Hitler, Marx, Hinduism, …, sin, pick your favorite answer] , why doesn’t he simply put an end to it? You should try to come up with better and more useful arguments than that.

    BTW, the answer to you question is found in Romans 1, and if winning means having the greatest numbers, then you should be some kind of non-Christian because their numbers overwhelm those whose names are written in the Book of Life.

  24. @Drew
    God is against gay marriage but does nothing to prevent its legalization. The answer to (or excuse for, rather) God’s indifference on this issue is supposedly found in Romans 1. Great, then I’ll use the same excuse the next time I’m called to oppose gay marriage, abortion, euthanasia, ~”pick your favorite answer”.

    Yes, why doesn’t he simply put an end to it?!!!
    If you or any one of the editors of this blog had God’s magical powers then gay marriage would be dealt with in a heartbeat. And if it wasn’t, then you could be sure that the Matthew 18 Militia would be at your door even faster.
    Here’s an example of what I mean from current events~ If you had the ability to stop Adam Lanza from murdering 26 children at Sandy Hook Elementary, there’s no question in my mind that you would. However, God wouldn’t; in fact he didn’t.
    You want to know why? Yeah, you guessed it; Romans 1.

    You want to know why abortion is legal in the United States? ~Romans 1

    So, why should we care about an issue that God has declared his indifference to way back in the first chapter of Romans? If he decided to give “them over to their shameful lusts” then why should our intentions be any different?

  25. @#4 Kitty #27

    Kitty,
    You say that God “does nothing to prevent its legalization.” So what? Was God “indifferent” to Job? To the plight of the martyrs of the early church? To His only begotten Son? Is he indifferent to me in my sin (my baptism says otherwise). Perhaps God works through means, his Church, to work against these sins.

    “God’s magical powers” … interesting way to phrase it … hmmmmmm.

    Your Adam Lanza example is an interesting one. I don’t think the answer is so cut and dried. For example, if by “stopping” him you mean call the police, block him, i.e., do something legal to stop him, then I agree the answer is I would. If you mean use any means, such as murdering him, then I think most folks on this blog would say that we wouldn’t. If you think the correct answer is “yes” up to and including murder, then I imagine you’d be in favor of murdering abortion providers, which pretty much the entire Christian church has rightfully condemned.

    Re legal abortion – agree 100% – Romans 1 – we as sinful beings find children to be a nuisance – let’s see how this abortion thing works out when we need a bunch of young folks to pay for our medical care, social security, etc. Bottom line is that God clearly allows the temporal and eternal consequences of sin to play themselves out.

    Re your last point, the fact that God gives them over to their shameful lusts in no way means he condones it. Our job as the Church is to condemn these behaviors (Law) with the full intent to bring these people (and ourselves, as we too sin daily) to repentance and trusting in the promises of God in Christ Jesus (Gospel).

    Seems pretty simple to me. Or am I being obtuse?

  26. Telling God to “stop it” is like those that taunted Christ to “come down from the cross and save yourself”. There is God’s Law and man’s law. God gave us His law because we sinners needed some rules. Man’s law is not God’s. Let this sinful world have its own laws, but if you don’t base those laws on God’s, then what do you base it on? If it is based on feelings or opinions, then the sky is the limit because everybody has an opinion.
    God’s judgement for all sin will come, maybe not next week or next year, but on God’s time. So, in the meantime we teach each other about sin and forgiveness and the gift that God has given us in the form of His Son, our Savior Jesus Christ. We look for the resurrection and the New World. I would not recommend putting your faith in man’s law and this world.

  27. #4 Kitty :
    @Elizabeth #10

    There’s the rub. Most “corrupt and evil” parents simply skip a step and love their children. I mean, imagine that! You’ll be disappointed to learn that when it comes to a decision between one’s child and an old book, many parents eschew the shining examples of Jephthah and Abraham
    and love their children unconditionally.

    I love my children, I love them unconditionally, but I am not going to love them to death. If my son picks up a bottle of bleach and tries to drink it I will love him so much that I stop him from doing it because it will harm or even kill him. Part of true love is being willing to tell a person when they are doing something that is wrong; something that could cause them harm or cost them their life either here or in eternity. My child, or another person, may not like it when I tell them that they should not do something harmful, but I will still do it out of love.

    #4 Kitty :
    @Elizabeth #10
    And do you suppose God should be told to stop enabling this sin as well? I mean after all, how could Minnesota possibly legalize gay marriage when God could have easily stopped it? It’s not like the Democrats entered the Senate Chamber riding iron chariots (see Judges 1:19).
    He DOES work in mysterious ways doesn’t he?!! LOL

    You are correct, God could easily stop gay marriage, and all the other evil in the world. He could destroy all the evil in this world. But that means that none of us would be around any more, because we in our sinful nature are evil.
    So why doesn’t God just go ahead and destroy us because we are all sinners and therefore evil? For the same reason that He sent His Son to die in our place, because He loves us. In His love He does not want anyone to be destroyed but all to come to the knowledge of the truth and be saved. This is why He “allows” evil to continue in this world, not because He loves the evil or has changed His mind about evil. No instead, He is patient wanting all men (and women) to repent and be saved.
    Do not confuse God’s patience with not caring, being asleep or far away. He has warned that there will be a judgement day. On that day He will judge all men according to their deeds. Those who trust in Jesus Christ and what He has done for them in His life, death and resurrection have nothing to fear on that day because Christ has paid the penalty for their sins. But for those who reject Christ and His work there will be nothing but God’s eternal wrath and punishment.
    My prayer is that all men (and women) will repent (no matter what sin they have committed). I do not want to see anyone go to eternal punishment because they continue their rejection of His mercy and grace for them in Jesus Christ.

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