Is This Thing On?
Yes, it's still on. I've just been...busy.
Yes, it's still on. I've just been...busy.
Over the last three days, I've added 13 new sermons to my site. Here are the links:
So, I've been sitting on this month's sermons for a little while, some longer than others, obviously. They have now been posted to the site. You'll find them all listed in the menu bar if you hover over the word "Sermons." These four will be listed there for 30 days from the set posting date, which for the first one, Rogate, is May 1 (so only a few more days).
Today is the sixth anniversary of my installation as pastor at Christ Our Savior Lutheran Church. Six years! It's hard to believe that I've been here that long. For one thing, it simply doesn't feel like I've been here that long. For another thing, my life has been lived having never spent this much time in one place; it feels weird, in a way—it's not that I'm looking to move, but that I'm simply not used to living as long as this in one place.
Though not all is said and done, on July 15, Rev. Dr. Matthew Becker will be removed from the roster of the LCMS. It's a shame it had to happen, but the man teaches falsely, contrary to sound Biblical doctrine, and refuses to repent of it. You can see his response here.
Frankly, this is the right thing to do, and should have been done some time ago. Truthfully, it hurts. Would that these things could be discussed and handled cordially, and the error be brought back to orthodoxy peacefully and gently, but it was not the case this time.
He needs prayers. Where he ends up needs prayers. And what he is leaving needs prayers.
Some certain congregations in my past could do well to read this and question their practice or label:
People now regard the holy sacrament of the body and blood of our Lord so lightly and assume an attitude toward it as if there were nothing on earth which they needed less than just this sacrament; and yet they want to be called Christians. They imagine, because they have now become free from papal coercion, that they are no longer obligated to use this sacrament but may well do without it and freely despise it without sinning at all. And if this sacrament were never used or were lost, it would not matter to them.Martin Luther, "Admonition Concerning the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of our Lord"
It is with great confusion that I write this letter. I recently read that Rev. Dr. Matthew Becker has been exonerated of teaching false doctrine in the LCMS. He has been declared not a heretic. I want to rejoice in that decision, and if that truly were the case, I would certainly rejoice in it. However, I find that what he has been teaching and preaching is diametrically opposed to what I have been teaching and preaching, and what is believed, taught, and confessed at my congregation.
First, there is the count of women's ordination in the LCMS. I have long been taught and believe and now teach that the Office of the Holy Ministry is to be filled by men. This has nothing to do with any kind of hierarchy among the sexes. This has nothing to do with any ability or lack thereof in any woman, as not all men are cut out to fill this sacred office, either. It has everything to do with propriety and the conscience of the believer. To men, Jesus gave the authority to forgive and retain sins as validly as if it were God Himself doing it, because He is. (John 20:21-23) It follows, then, that these are the ones to whom it was given to administer the rest of the Sacraments, even as St. Paul says. (1 Corinthians 4:1) It should follow also that since the pastor is to speak with the voice of God, that since the Voice of God, Jesus, is male, perhaps the voice the Christian hears from the Altar be that of a man. Then, there's the line from the Augsburg Confession, a book to which Rev. Becker and I have both subscribed: "Of Ecclesiastical Order [our churches] teach that no one should publicly teach in the Church or administer the Sacraments unless he be regularly called" (Augsburg Confession XIV, emphasis mine). This is what I have taught, but Rev. Becker teaches otherwise.
When you read Genesis 1, how to do read it? "Even and morning were the nth day," right? There has long be controversy that the day that Moses wrote about (at least in the first chapter of Genesis) isn't really a day, but refers to a period of time that is much longer than a day—an era or epoch, perhaps. Word studies conclude that the word day that Moses uses is nothing other than a day. There is a marvelous little book by Joel D. Heck, In the Beginning, God: Creation from God's Perspective, which goes into great detail what the Scriptures teach and we in the LCMS believe and confess regarding the Six-day Creation. However, Rev. Becker wants you to think otherwise. Included in his views on the creation comes also a favorable view of Darwinian (or perhaps Theistic) Evolution.
So, I have this question. Since Rev. Becker has been exonerated, I must conclude that he is not teaching false doctrine (as was stated in that previous article), and since he and I teach differently, am I teaching false doctrine? Do the Scriptures and Confessions say things differently than I have believed all along; am I wrong? If so, then I suppose charges of false teaching ought to be leveled against me.Sincerely,
Dear brothers and sisters, the glory of the Lord has shone upon us, and shall ever be manifest among us, until the day of His return. Through the rhythms of times and seasons let us celebrate the mysteries of salvation.
First, let us recall the year’s culmination, the Easter Triduum of the Lord: His last supper, His crucifixion, His burial, and His rising celebrated between the evening of 2nd April (Maundy Thursday) and the evening of 5th April (the Resurrection of Our Lord).
Each Easter—as on each Sunday—the Holy Church makes present the great and saving deed by which Christ has forever conquered sin and death.
From Easter are reckoned all the days we keep holy.
Likewise the pilgrim Church proclaims the passover of Christ in the feasts of the Apostles and Saints, and in the commemoration of the faithful departed. The following feasts and commemorations occur on Sundays:
To Jesus Christ, who was, who is, and who is to come, Lord of time and history, be endless praise, for ever and ever. Amen.
I actually went into the office today. I needed to do so in order to write the sermon for tomorrow's Divine Service. I went in with one idea for a sermon; what I ended up writing was something completely different. I find it interesting when that happens. I also put together half sheet handouts for tomorrow and Epiphany.
I made a trip to Walmart to get a few fixings for tonight and tomorrow. I found some cupcakes decorated with the Minions from Despicable Me 2. They happen to be some of Tirzah's favorite fictional characters.
Back home, I texted a couple of folks to determine whether or not we should have Bible Study this week. We decided to cancel.
Then, it was time to get stuff ready for tonight's activities. As usual, we had snacks for supper: cocktail sausages, chips and dips, tater tots, nachos, and carrots and dip...well, carrots were available.
We were going to watch the ball drop in New York for Eastern New Year, but the station cut out with a minute to go for 10 minutes of uninterrupted news...great. Oh well, the kids will still go to bed, as we have church in the morning.
I don't know if I'll last to midnight or not, though...