A simple way to take measure of a country is to look at how many want in and how many want out. Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you: Jesus Christ and the American G. I.; one died for your soul, the other for your freedom.
‹Tony Blair›
Atlantis: the domain of the Stingray
25Nov
2019
Mon
11:55
author: Stingray
category: My Ramblings
read/add comments: 1
trackbacks: 0

I'm Ditching Tags

They seem to cause an issue with my site, specifically on the back end with my host. I don't know exactly what the deal is, but it is spiking my resource usage. I got an error twice in the last post trying to include tags. I've since rebuilt the tag database and omitted the use of tags in that post, and things look to be running a little more smoothly.

Oddly enough, the tags are loading more quickly, too, in the blog back end...

4Apr
2019
Thu
08:43
author: Stingray
category: My Ramblings
read/add comments: 0
trackbacks: 0

Busy, Busy, Busy

What's going on?

Here I am, nearly a year after the last entry, only to say that I have been very busy. I have a second job—have had it for over a year, now—and that has constricted my office time a little. Tack on taking kids to school, and that means that I can't get into the office earlier to "relieve" some of that constriction on the front end. Of course, the second job means I'm also spending more time out of the house now.

Consequently, the time I have to update my blog in any meaningful sense has severely decreased. I want to include more sermons; I have plenty to share. I also have other things that I would have liked to have written about, some of which I'm sure I have forgotten.

So, here's a short entry just to keep things "going" here; a quick update on what I've been doing and not doing.

29Mar
2018
Thu
23:39
author: Stingray
category: My Ramblings
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Is This Thing On?

Hello?

Yes, it's still on. I've just been...busy.

30Dec
2016
Fri
13:17
author: Stingray
category: My Ramblings
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trackbacks: 0
26May
2016
Thu
13:21
author: Stingray
category: My Ramblings
read/add comments: 0
trackbacks: 0

Big Update

sermons finally posted

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).

20Dec
2015
Sun
22:18
author: Stingray
category: My Ramblings
read/add comments: 1
trackbacks: 0

I Can't Believe that It's Been Six Years

how long have we lived here?

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.

2Jul
2015
Thu
18:21
author: Stingray
category: My Ramblings
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trackbacks: 0

Removal from Office

false teaching and heresy

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.

22Mar
2015
Sun
20:19
author: Stingray
category: My Ramblings
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trackbacks: 0

Let Us Pray

Erhalt' uns, Herr, bei deinem wort
Und steu'r das papst's und turken mord,
Die Jesum Christum, deinen Sohn,
Wollen st├╝rzen von deinem thron.
4Feb
2015
Wed
16:31
author: Stingray
category: My Ramblings
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The Sacrament of the Altar

a quote from Martin Luther

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"
24Jan
2015
Sat
14:18
author: Stingray
category: My Ramblings
read/add comments: 3
trackbacks: 1

If He's Not a Heretic, Am I?

An Open Letter to the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

Dear LCMS,

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.

NOW District Affirms Women's OrdinationFirst, 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,
Rev. Geoffrey A. Wagner, pastor
Christ Our Savior Lutheran Church - Elizabeth, CO