Friday, February 03, 2006

More on Local Shooting

This morning's paper carried a column, "Parson to Person", in which the ELCA Lutheran, Rev. Carol Baumgartner, wrote, "How can we cast out the spirit of violence?" Here is the link.

A few things strike me about Rev. Baumgartner's comments. As the title itself suggests, in her remarks the onus for change and the focus of actions is human beings, not Jesus himself. Therefore, even though she mentions Jesus (as a "risk taker" and "rule breaker"), she does not mention the most important thing Jesus does - namely dying for his people. Nor is there really any talk of the forgiveness of sins. There is slight mention of what God (in general) will do (if we "let him").

Now, you might argue that this wasn't a sermon, and so shouldn't be held to the same strict standards of Lutheran orthodoxy. You might say that it was a "pep-talk" to the community. But I believe that when a Lutheran speaks out to the community in such a visible way, he (or she) must hold the cross before their eyes.

Paul says, "I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes" Romans 1:16

Her original question, "How can we cast out the spirit of violence?" can best be answered:

We can't. But Jesus Christ has - at the cross. And he continues to "create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me" through the gifts of Word and Sacrament. There's no other way.

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

Preacherboy,
After an extensive review of your website and the contents, I can understand why we have such awful tragedies and upheavals in the lives of so many "Christians". People like you,calling yourselves ministers and pastors in GOD'S Church are not doing your jobs; that is , teaching the Rightly divided Word of God to your members;enabling them to have power in their lives to overcome the temptations they face day to day.It is truly a disgrace that the church (christendom)has settled for a less than powerful message than God our Father sent to us by Jesus Christ,calling Jesus the Son and Jesus the Father.How will you and the rest of your cohorts answer God, when on that day of judgement, He will ask you to account for your doctrinal errors and false teachings to his people whom he placed in your care? What will you say when The Father asks you to account for the private interpretations and corruption of his Word that he made available for you to teach to his people? You call yourself Lutheran; but you might as well be Catholic. You teach the same errors; you believe the same lies.What will you say when He asks you to account for your failing to teach His rightly divided word instead of all the private interpretations of mortal men? What will you say? If you would truly study GOD'S WORD, you would realize that what you teach is diametrically opposed to the inspired WORD OF GOD, and you and the rest of your heady and highminded cohorts. But remember, God has made it very clear that false teachers teaching false doctrine will be rampart during the last days and "YOU" are one of them.One of your former students made an accurate statement about you, stating that you thought you were the gift of God to religion.And he was right. You're not humble; you're arrogant. You're not honest; you're a liar. You're not enlightened; you're living in the darkness of the adversary; spouting half truths and deceivings of the devil. But remember, you were told and I'm telling you; go to God's Word; study it; live it; teach it. You will probably never be given this message again, SO TAKE HEED for your own eternal life and others.

Preachrboy said...

Anonymous,

I would be more than happy to discuss whichever teachings of scripture on which you suggest I have erred. I do not claim to be above error, however, I believe what I believe for good reasons.

I also put my name behind what I write. Why don't you?

Lynn of St. John's said...

Wow Anonymous,the wind chill index must have hit a record breaking all time low for your Pastor bashing today.
This is indeed an occation for celebration, a day to praise God!
Well know that when the world hates us, it has first hated Him who has sent Pastor Chryst.
You might want to come down off your high horse your acting like Saul and those who stoned Stephan, even the devil can transform himself into an angel of light, with lies. Shame on you for trying to set yourself up as so high and mighty...Pastor Chryst hasn't done anything to you, you owe Him an appology.

Preachrboy said...

Apparently this is the same "Anonymous" who asks in the comment on my recent sermon if Jesus and the Father are the same.

Notice how he writes:

...the church (christendom)has settled for a less than powerful message than God our Father sent to us by Jesus Christ,calling Jesus the Son and Jesus the Father

I suspect this individual has some problems (confusion?) with the teaching of the Trinity. Care to respond, Anonymous?

Anonymous said...

Be patient.I will respond in time.

What is the trinity?

Preachrboy said...

Well you could start here:

http://www.bookofconcord.org/creeds.html

Lynn of St. John's said...

Thank you Anonymous for including those of us who are Pastor Chryst's
COHORTS. That makes in OK for me to be part of this thread. Let's see... you've asked several wonderful questions :

1. How will you and the rest of your COHORTS answer God, when on that day of judgement, He will ask you to account for your doctrinal errors and false teachings to His peoplewhom He placed in Your care ?

2.What will you say when the Father asks you to account for the private interpretations and corruption of His Word that He made available for you to teach to His people ?

3.What will you say when He asks you to account for your failing to teach His rightly divided Word instead of all the private interpretations of mortal man ? What will you say ?

Let's see if we can all put our thinking caps on and ask the Holy Ghost to help us answer these questions. He has the ability to remind us of everyhting God has ever said, He's part of the Trinity. Out of respect for your office Pastor Chryst would you like to prayerfully consider how these questions might best be answered , using Biblical referances.

Like Anonymous I guess I need to know the answers to these questions too ?
Pastor Chryst please help me, get the log out of my own eye :

What should I say pastor when Judgement day comes ?
Remembering our Lords words to us as they are recored in Matthew 3:7,Matthew 12:34,Matthew 23:33, here I stand convicted, Jesus Himself has seen my every sin, nothing is hidden from Him. He knows I am a sinner, He calls me a viper. He has heard every wrong thing I've ever said and He has seen every wrong thing I've ever done.In the wink of an eye I find myself hanging on the cross, a convicted thief,found guilty of breaking not one but every commandment He gave me, every law that was ever passed to keep me from burning in hell for eternity.
I thought I gave my children good advice,I thought I was a nice person , I thought I helped a few people in my 54 years of life, but now I realize I'm really just a viper that has been living here on earth by the law, trying to save myself and those I love. How will I escape being sentenced to hell Pastor Chryst ?

Preachrboy said...

Well thanks for the softball, Lynn.

Where to begin? Scripture is full of so many wonderful promises of God!

Perhaps since you phrased your question in terms of the theif, we could answer with Jesus own promise to him of paradise. If the theif can be forgiven, why not you and I?

Or John 3:16 - that whoever believes in him (Jesus) will not perish, but have eternal life.

Or "He who believes and is baptized shall be saved"

Or how about some Paul? We maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from the law.

What words will we say as we stand before the throne of God's judgment? Perhaps none, if it's like the sheep and the goats, where Jesus does the talking. After all, Jesus does the saving, and he knows his sheep.

Or we could simply say, "I am baptized", and point to the many promises of God attached to this washing of rebirth and renewal.

In fact, there are so many ways to answer this question - the entire message of Jesus Christ IS the answer to this question. If my critic truly had done an "extensive review" of this blog, and the writings of my Lutheran "cohorts", he would see for himself many, many answers to the quesiton - all founded on the promises of God in Jesus Christ.

Let he who has eyes read...

Lynn of St. John's said...

Anonymous, thank you for testing my spirit with your questions, soul searching keeps me on the narrow path instead of the wide road well traveled. Might I suggest that you not waist all that fire power on saints like Rev. Chryst but redirect your zeal and rage toward those Priests in Sciencetology, Buddism, Islamic,or Hinduism. There are hundreds of Cyberspace groups who really are false prophets misleading victums who are stupidly teaching doctinal error. Remember, All things work together for the good of those who love the Lord, Anonymouse all heaven will rejoice over the one person who might turn to Jesus as their Savior instead of Allah, Budda or some cow.

Anonymous said...

Rev Chryst and Lynne,
I will first apologize for my approach in my first post to Rev. Chryst and to all others who read it and were offended. However, I must express my total loss of confidence in the churches today; and that includes all or most of the denominations. What I have actually seen,as a result of my own experiential observations; amount to more or less a large group of social clubs that simply don't provide the spiritual leadership and teaching of GOD'S Word to their congregations. As a result of this failure, we are witnessing a massive upheaval of turning from the truth of God's Word as a compass in society; in our cities and in our local communities.My immediate reaction to Rev. Chryst's website was more frustration than anger,but no hatred.My major contention is that the major denominations have distorted and corrupted the simplicity of God's Word to the point that lay people cannot understand to believe God's Word and apply it effectively in their lives. The result is what we see in our communities; poverty;crime; immorality; premature deaths and loss of hope when it should be just the opposite for God's people.
So, instead of criticizing you as individuals, I should have directed my frustration to the heads of the churches of which you are a part of the system; that same system that has watered down the WORD of GOD in the minds and hearts of people with the private interpretations of men; but the Bible implicitly states that "no scripture is of any private interpretation".After reading Rev Chryst's website and all the isms contained therein and all the unrelated gobblygook, I decided to express what I felt would make him rethink his methods. I realize that I am not perfect; just forgiven ; but I do not have a log covering my eyes. In summation,Rev Chryst, I humbly seek your forgiveness for my personal attack on you as a minister of God and his forgiveness also if I was incorrect in my own effort to do something positive. May God bless you all.

Lynn of St. John's said...

And may God bless you also,Anonymous. Having shown your ability to express a desire to be forgiven has elevated my respect for you a hundred fold. Is there anything you want to discuss that you believe the LCMS could improve ? Realisticly speaking, we couldn't do anything to correct any of the other Christian Denominations but Pastor Chryst did offer to discuss the issues or teachings that you feel like are in error.
For starters, I can tell you that while I'm a Lutheran ( and Luther Chick to boot ) I don't approve of the doctrine of the ELCA, so Carol Baumgart may call herself " Rev." but count me out. It just isn't Biblical. I use to be a member of the ELCA but when the tide turned and they desided to start doing their own thing , it put knots in my stumic so I fond another congregation to worship together with , where they still had respect for God's Word as it is written in the Holy Bible.Do you want to add your thoughts ?

Preachrboy said...

Of course you are forgiven.

Anonynmous (who seems to be the same individual who had posted on the JT blog as "Anathema"), I would invite you to discuss further your particular problems with my teaching (or the teaching of my denomination - which are essentially one and the same). Simply making sweeping generalizations about false teaching is not very compelling.

I actually agree with you that our society is ridden with a "massive turning away from the truth", and that many churches and denominations are beset with errors. I criticize them quite often on this site.

I can appreciate the need for theologians not to "talk over people's heads" with "fancy-pants" vocabulary and unfathomable doctrinal minutae. But, you must agree that not every lay person is at the same place in level of understanding. Some need more meat, some need more milk. As the Christian grows and matures in wisdom and understanding, so too our teaching and learning rises to new levels. Never away from Scripture, but deeper into it. In other words, it would be just as wrong to "dumb-down" our teaching as it would be to over-complicate it.

My blog site is intended for a variety of readers, clergy and lay, Lutheran and non. I simply post my sermons and whatever else interests me personally and professionally. I realize it may not appeal to or benefit everyone. That's fine.

It is also NOT the summation of my ministry or teaching as a pastor. To get a better idea of that, you would have to "see me in action". For example, our congregation offers numerous weekly Bible studies, solid Biblical, textual, Law and Gospel preaching that I believe is consistently Christ-centered. Even our liturgy is rooted in and formed by the word of God. So if your criticism is that we are not biblical... perhaps you just don't know us that well yet.

So, "A", will you continue the discussion? Want to start with the doctrine of the Holy Trinity?

Lynn of St. John's said...

Pastor Chryst, by looking back over what has been said so far, we can see that our friend Anonymous has requested that we be patient.Also he added a guestion, " What is the Trinity ?"

While I'm sure you can well provide him with a full explaination, I'd like to share something here before you do that.

Shortly after I watched the movie Jesus of Nazareth, I became a fanatic on Bible Study. One morning a Jahovah Witness ( Talk about FALSE DOCTRINE !!! Put them at the top of the list of False Teachers !!!)came to my house and I told them I was a
" Lutheran ". The person responded with a worried look , telling me that the trinity was a false god and that they could prove it, the name " Trinity " can not be found in the Bible . http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trinity
That set me on a new search, to defend what I had been taught and to prove them to be wrong for myself. Thank God I was reading the King James Translation of the Bible at that time so that the Holy Ghost could lead me to
1 John 5:6-9 , finally He was able to restore my peace of mind. With this scripture I was standing back on the rock of my foundation again. After reading 1 John 5:6-9 the six point star took on a new meaning, it was more that the Creator Star, it was the Bride Groom and His Bride. Many years later I came to realized other Lutherans were clinging to the Baptism of Christ and Transfiguration of Christ as Biblical foundation for our Trinitarian Doctrine . No one seems to share my joy in KJV 1 John 5:6-9 because they say that the original texts that are recorded in Hebrew and Greek are what they have put their stock in.
As for me, I believe God is alive and can speek to my heart through any Holy Bible I may open, He knew I needed something solid to hang on to so that I wasn't misinformed by the cult so He opened up the windows of heaven and He poured me out a blessing , so great I couldn't contain it.

Preachrboy said...

Lynn,

While it's true the Bible doesn't directly teach the Trinity, it does teach it! More than just the Baptism and Transfiguration of Christ, too... from Genesis to Revelation we get the complete picture of who God is - not by what makes sense to us - but by how he reveals himself to us!

Christians have rightly summarized these scriptural teachings in the three Ecumenical Creeds (especially the Athanasian) to which I directed our friend above.

A word of caution though, translation DOES matter. In fact, the JW's Bible the "New World Translation" is full of errors and odd mistranslations - some of which seem purposely done to support their false theology. Still, most modern translations of the Bible are pretty good - and yet "useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness"

Anonymous said...

Preacherboy and Lynne,
One of the primary strategies of our adversary is "distraction" to keep us from the Word of GOD, right? So, as a result, I am opting out of this discussion/debate because of my desire to learn and accurately know GOD'S Word instead of arguing to make myself look good.We all believe something and we all have our own understanding of what God's Word says and what it means.I am sure that nothing we say will change any of us for the better. So , I wish you both a prosperous and successful future and that we all can eventually come to an accurate knowledge of God's Word. I hope to meet you both in the air when CHRIST returns for his church.May God bless you. ANONYMOUS: Signing off forever; AMEN!!!!!

Lynn of St. John's said...

"B'seder."( Okay )
"Kol Tuv."( Be well )

"Auf Wiedersehen." ( Goodbye )
"Adios." ( Goodbye )
"Au revoir."( Goodbye )
"Arrivederci."( Goodbye )
"Avtio." ( Goodbye )
"Shalom." ( Go in Peace )

If you change your mind I hope you'll come back and visit with us again. With love, Lynn

Preachrboy said...

Well, "A", I'm not sure it's been much of a discussion, since you haven't really engaged in any real issues. But I will respect your wish to depart.

Peace to you, in Christ.

Anonymous said...

Rev. Chryst,

I'm back again with a request.
Would you please, at your earliest convenience, provide an exposition on Ephesians 2:4-10?

Thank you very much.

"Anonymous"

Preachrboy said...

I will probably be preaching on this in a few weeks... but in the mean time, these notes by one of our former seminary professors may be helpful:

http://www.pericope.org/buls-notes/ephesians/ephesians_2_4_10.htm

Preachrboy said...

(Be sure to expand the window for the full link)

Anonymous said...

Rev. Chryst,
I have read the recommended reading and I thank you for that.However,I want to make a recommendation of my own.My method of studying God's Word does vary from chapter to chapter and verse to verse, simultaneously keeping in mind the greater context of the book and chapter.I have used various commentaries and texts to break out specific verses for my own understanding and at some point in the past, I discovered a very profound phenomena. That is;no commentaries or other references had any power(dunamis)of God in them. They all explained what the scripture said, but they lacked; in the respect that they just seemed to have no power(dunamis) of themselves to change me.Finally, in my quest, God led me to a scripture that changed my approach to studying His Word. Since that time, I have made multiple quantum leaps in my knowledge and understanding of God's Word and in my ability and power to live God's Word.The key scripture is Romans 12:2-And be not conformed(fashioned after) to this world,(the political/ socioeconomic/ religious sytem which is in place and ruled by the god of this world)(you know who that is!) but be ye transformed by the renewing(purging/displacement of the old) of your mind, that ye may prove that good and acceptable and perfect(without flaws) will of God. As a result of this scripture my life has become an exciting and progressive journey to acquire more of God's power in my life and to be able to share it with others.This is the secret to power from God's Word."""God is powerful, right? God's Word is powerful, right? So, the words in God's Word are powerful,right? The more of God's Word, accurately understood and put into our minds, displacing the old leaven(doctrinal errors; wrong teaching; philosophies,etc,etc, traditions), the more power we have to live powerful and vibrant lives and to share with others.The key is to remember that: the power of God is in His Word as it is written and not in any explanation as it is written by any man or woman.
I hope this message is clear to you and that it will be helpful to you sometime in the future.
I felt that I should share this with you.

May God bless you and yours; in Christ's name,

Anonymous

Anonymous said...

AMEN!!!!!