Monday, August 11, 2008

I must be getting old

I just read the Lutheran Witness for August 2008. I remember a time when it was a theological magazine. Today it is something else. Actually, it has been for sometime now.

In the present issue is an article of personal recollection with no apparent point, except to vent the author's memories. Of course, there was also the cutesy use of the nickname, "Shabby".

The article on marriage was nice, but it almost seemed like a set-up for the reprinting of a widely reported statement by President Kieschnick on the issue of same-sex marriage. The statement is fine, except for the unfortunate use of the term "Judeo-Christian", and the omission of the stance of the Missouri Synod that homosexual inclinations are also not according to the will of God.

The next article dealt with Mormon plural marriage. It makes no point, except to inform in a general sort of way.

Then there is an article by the CEO of the Lutheran Social Service of the South. Judging by the accompanying picture (and the first paragraph) , it takes off from the point of plural marriage to make a heart-felt appeal for dealing in a socially responsible (and culturally mandated) way with abuse of children. It is really about following society's values and doing what our laws instruct us to do.

The high point seemed as though it would be the article on Music. It highlighted a note that organists were becoming harder to find, especially in smaller parishes, but then offered no hope and no ideas workable in my situation, or other situations I am familiar with. Seemed to me that it would have been the right place to talk about the need for standard MIDI music for the parish, but no such luck.

Next was a fine advertisement for the LCMS Foundation, disguised as an article. Give more money was the message. It was followed by a full-page ad entitled, "Have You Discovered the Joy of Giving?", for the Foundation.

Then we have a heartwarming article about people who raise miniature donkeys, and apparently use the coloration of the fur on the animal's shoulders as an evangelism tool.

Then we have a discussion of suicide from the statistical and psychological points of view. No theology here, either.

I confess there was a Bible Study. I tried to read through it, but it was . . ., well, dull. But that is my problem.

And the magazine wraps up with a paean to "Fan into Flame", the fund-raising portion of the "Ablaze " program. More money. Another appeal to give.

Reading the "Official publication of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod" is depressing. There was nothing uplifting in it. Like I said, I must be getting old. I expected more.

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