Saturday, December 15, 2012

Without a thought

The sorrowful events at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, have inspired a new and ferocious round of calls for "gun control", by which they generally mean dis-allowing the Second Amendment and taking all guns from law-abiding citizens everywhere.

The events at the school are terrible.  They are, however, no worse than the Benghazi murders, except in scale.  They are no more of a tragedy (and no less!) than any of the murders that take place routinely in this country.  The sad fact is that if the  gunman had no access to firearms, he could still kill.  The progress of this twisted soul was aided by the legal requirement that no law-abiding person in that place have a gun, unless he or she might be a police officer -- which apparently was not present at the school.  There was no one who could have effectively responded to the evil-doer with the gun.  That requirement is part of the agenda of those who now use these unfortunate deaths to promote further gun-control.

Scale doesn't actually justify calling this a tragedy.  For each family involved, it is a horror and great sorrow, but for mankind, or even for this nation, hardly a tragedy.  The events in Newton equal about ten minutes worth of our daily average of abortions; all children, all helpless, all murdered, deliberately, by a heartless killer.  The only real difference is that the killer in abortion has the apparent complicity of the mother of the child.  But the roughly 4,000 that die each day in abortion is surely a greater tragedy than those twenty murdered children.

Except, abortion is defended as a "right" and celebrated by many of the same people who now cry out for the disarming of the decent, law-abiding people who had nothing whatever to do with the murderous rampage of that sick man.  One Democrat politician in New York, a member of Congress, was refreshingly honest about it, saying that we need to "exploit" these shootings to advance the gun-control agenda.  Apparently, this is not a tragedy, it is an opportunity.

Do not misconstrue my remarks: I feel great compassion towards those who suffered a loss in this shooting.  For the families involved it is a tragedy.  We would only compound it if we were to withdraw from Americans yet more liberties as a response to this event, and disarm those who obey the law in the face of those, well-armed, who disregard the law and have evil intent toward the innocent.

Let us pray for those who suffered loss, and let us approach the issues before us rationally and not merely on the emotion of the moment.

Monday, November 12, 2012

No Wonder

The election board certifies the results of an election while admitting that the number of ballots cast was 141% of the registered voters.  In another state, President Obama records 100% of the votes in 56 precincts -- a feat rarely accomplished by dictators.  These are just two of the stories circulating on the internet news sites interested in reporting the truth.

It is clear that there is massive and repeated voter fraud, seemingly always in favor of the Democrat candidates, and there is hardly a peep.  Democracies die of such injuries.  What sorrow at seeing the deliberate destruction of our nation by our citizens, and overseen by those who were charged with preventing it and protecting us!

Friday, November 09, 2012

The Election

The election has locked the United States into socialism.  The newly re-elected president has already shut down oil drilling in the west.  He appears to be set on a course of deconstructing the nation into a second-rate third-world country.  The many groups that conspired to achieve this end will go down with the rest of us.  That is the single consolation in this mess.

Democrats have proven themselves the successors to the communist party - as the communist party has already said publicly.  They have no loyalty except to being elected and controlling power.  That the route they have chosen will unravel the "great experiment" that once was America means nothing to them.  They won the election.  They manipulated the electorate - deceitfully but effectively.  That is all that they care about.

The Republicans are already scrambling to surrender their convictions and go along with the flow, once again, to the detriment of the people, is one of the reasons I could never support them.  They say one thing and do what ever the Democrats tell them to.  Pathetic and miserable politicians.  The sad thing is that there are few representatives of the people in Washington.  Just rich people fighting over the scraps of power and wealth, while the rest of us go down the toilet.

By the time a change of power in Washington is possible, policies will be set in stone, and there will be only one opinion, shaded to be sure, but socialist and third-world.  I am delighted that I got to live in America while it was America.  I am saddened that I lived long enough to see it pass away.  I imagine that there is a special place reserved in hell for the media.  They betrayed us all and their own fundamental values to battle for the re-election of The President.  That reservation in hell is probably not true, but it is a comforting thought to entertain as I weather the bitter disappointment of seeing capitalism rejected and socialism embraced by the majority of this nation, and their (the Media's) willing betrayal of us all to that end.

"Trust not in princes."  That is what the Bible says.  I place my hope and comfort in the Lord.  The politics of man simply demonstrate his venality.  Still, the world has lost a wonderful thing, and the date its demise may be marked is November 6, 2012.

I have come to really dislike politics.  I cannot bring myself to vote for the "winning" side and voting for the losing ballot each election is really depressing.

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Does Being Lutheran Matter Any Longer?

A number of fine posts have appeared addressing the question of whether being a Lutheran matters any longer or not.  The answers, and the clarification sought by Pastor Wilken, are excellent. Still, the question is not fully addressed until one understands that the question is actually, "Does truth matter any longer?", or "Does it really matter if one is a Christian any longer?".

One senses a reluctance in certain quarters to identify the Lutheran confession with truth, or the Lutheran faith with the Christian faith.  But what else is it?  If our confession is not the truth, why do we stand on it?  As one wise (and inspired) man once wrote, ". . . what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?  Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever?  Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols?"  And, if there is a difference between the Lutheran faith and the Christian faith, that the two may be distinguished as readily as many seem to do, why do we cling to that which is not fully or truly Christian?

No, Lutheran is Christian, and Christian is Lutheran, whether one bears the label or not.  To the degree that one's faith departs from true Lutheranism, ones faith also departs from the Christian faith.  Clever and sophistic evasions of this confession abound, but the truth of the matter is that if we cannot make that confession, we ought not to call ourselves Lutheran, and ought not to seek to cling to the Lutheran faith because the failure to be able to clearly confess this truth is to manifest that one is not really Lutheran, or one does not believe themselves and their faith to be fully and honestly Christian.

Now, this is not necessarily the approach to discussing the faith that I would recommend for outreach, but it surely a reasonable approach to teaching the faith to those who also call themselves "Lutheran".  People need to learn first about the faith before they will be ready to confront the reality of the counterfeits of the faith and the distortions of it that abound in the world.  But, if those who are charged with teaching the faith cannot readily confess the truth of what they teach, and say clearly that their faith IS the Christian faith and those confessions that disagree have disagreed with historic Christianity, who will?  And, what does their refusal to say so say about them?

Are there Christians outside of what is called "The Lutheran Church"?  I believe so, and surely hope so, but they hold a Lutheran confession to the extent that their confession is Christian.  I will also admit that everyone who calls themselves a Lutheran may not truly be a Lutheran.  That is sad, but it is also one of the logical conclusions of this post.  Those believers who do not call themselves Lutheran may hate the name, "Lutheran", but if they believe in Jesus Christ, and trust in His grace and hope for the blessings of the Gospel - like forgiveness of sins, resurrection of the body, and life everlasting, all by grace - then they hold to the Lutheran, and therefore the Christian, faith. 

There is no real distinction between Christian and Lutheran, except, perhaps, the labels one chooses to apply to oneself.

Saturday, September 22, 2012


I have been coming upon the meme in other blogs that people want to sit the election out because they do not like either candidate.  There is nothing less intelligent.  There are two men in position to be elected President.  One is the incumbent and has demonstrated what his agenda is and will be.  The other has staked out a position distinctly different from the current president.

Either Obama or Romney will be elected.  A vote for anyone but Romney strengthens the position of Obama, since incumbency has its own natural advantage.  Not voting also weakens the challenger and strengthens the incumbent.

Vote for Romney unless you want Obama as president and desire to see this nation slip into third world insolvency.

Choose.  Either you want Obama, or you want someone else.  Happily or sadly, only one man is in the position to be that someone else. 

If you love Romney, vote Romney. 

If you want Obama vote Obama.

If you honestly don't care, then vote anything but Romney, or don't bother voting.  But trust me, you WILL care within just months of the election, should Obama win re-election.

If you want a change in the occupant of the White House, vote Romney.

It really is just that simple.

Vote.  No matter what your political position is, VOTE!  It is a gift from God that we have the right do do so.  Use that gift.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Its Not Error.

The troubles in the church are always doctrinal.  Someone is trying to introduce something alien.  Usually it is called "something new", but as it says in Ecclesiastes 1:9, there is nothing new under the sun.

Typically such alien intrusions are referred to as "error".  By that word, people tend to want to communicate that something is wrong.  But the word carries with it a connotation of a mistake.  When teachers in the modern church try to introduce something contrary to Scriptures and the Confessions, it is not a mistake, a misstep of reason, or a misunderstanding, it is deliberate evil.

The conversation in Bible Study strayed to the discussion of "modern Biblical scholarship", which is to say, unbelieving Biblical scholarship.  The question was posed, "How did the field of Biblical studies become the tool of unbelievers?"  The answer involved the need, or desire, to make a name in the field for one's self, to establish credibility with others in the field, and to do or say something "new".

The problem is that the field is currently fixated on the idea that the Bible is a work of fiction.  Many Bible "experts" would not say it so bluntly.  They would talk about traditions, oral and written, about redactors and their work, and such, in a wondrously esoteric technical language, but when it comes down to the final sense, it means that the things the Bible reports probably never happened in real-world history, and that the best one can hope for from the Scriptures is a sense of the religious sensibilities of a previous and primitive people as they wrestled with life and questions of its meaning and purpose.

Even the New Testament is treated to this apriori assumption.  Scholars do not believe the individual documents were actually penned by the authors traditionally held to have written them.  The events, particularly the miraculous events, are assumed to have never occurred,  Jesus is treated as basically unknown and unknowable, and therefore the Jesus of the Bible is a work of pious fiction.  Observe the work or the Jesus Seminar as evidence of this attitude.

I hasten to note that there are believing Bible Scholars.  They are simply in the minority and have little influence on the course of the discipline.  The big thing is still to teach the documentary hypothesis, and the diversity of deities and theologies presented in the text as we have it today, and to deny and ignore rectilinear prophecy.  The precise points of the dominant hypotheses being debated is always in flux, but the discipline begins today with the notion that the text is unclear, non-historical in what it reports, and unreliable.

The scholar who absorbs this attitude must fall from the faith, for the source of all of the knowledge and the foundation of their faith is demonstrated by the "science" of their discipline to be fiction, not real, not true in the sense of correlation with reality.  To go anywhere in the field and do anything impressive and new, one must adopt the critical approach and attitudes of the discipline.  One may know the content of the discipline while rejecting that it is true, but to really do something that moves the discipline, you gotta be a member of the club, a true believer -- not in God, but in the skepticism of the discipline.

The prime mover in this industry of unbelief is, of course, the devil, the father of lies.  He would have everyone doubt and disbelieve.  Human pride plays a part, for rather than laugh unbelief off the stage, the church cautiously tiptoes around it, tries to curry the favor of the proponents of unbelief, and tries to salvage scraps of truth and knowledge, so-called, from the work of the unbelievers who study the text of God's Word.  Something in us yearns for the acceptance and validation of the "experts", even when they are clearly the enemies of our faith.  We want to wear the mantle of being "intelligent" when we should be striving to wear the mantle of being faithful.

But the false teachings and the denial of clear truth is not an error, nor should we honor it by giving it that title,  it is, more clearly now than ever before, deliberate and despicable evil.  Let them stand up and say that they reject the faith, denounce the sounds words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and have a new path, and I will respect them as committed errorists, who champion their faith, which is clearly another (see Galatians 1:6-7).  Until they do, however, they are quisling, fifth-column traitors, and deliberately and despicably evil, attempting to sneak in error to pollute the truth and lead the unwary to their destruction! 

May God ever guard and keep His faithful people from such men and women.  It is not error -- it is evil!

Monday, July 23, 2012

How Do You Identify a Hypocrite?

He (or she) would be the one who says something that is inconsistent with his own actions.

The “Green Crowd” holds Earth Day rallies and tries to impress us with their pro-environment, anti-carbon-footprint message, while running generators that spew exhaust into the air at terrific rates.

The “save the animals” crowd wear leather.

The “we must dramatically reduce the economy” crowd - Van Jones and Henry Kissinger, et al., live rich and opulent lives.  They don’t really want us all to stop using petroleum products, to reduce our consuming, and to live with less consumption – they want to do as much consuming as they can, they just want us “common folk” to have access to less.

The “fix healthcare” crowd doesn’t want to change their healthcare – just ours.  So Congress exempts itself, and the President and select others from the abysmal law they want to foist on ‘We, the People’.

I am in favor of one size fits all.  If the law applies to anyone, it must apply to everyone equally.  And we need a new enforcement system that will arrest congressmen and even the President if they - or he - should break the law.  We the People need protection from those who are elected to serve us but choose to lie to us, take advantage of us, and abuse us.  The President, our Senators, and our Congressmen and women (and all their staff and appointees) need to be subject to the law and liable to arrest and prosecution just like any citizen, or we do not have a free country, or a representative republic, but an oligarchy.

Those who say one thing and do another are hypocrites - and often dangerous.

Friday, June 29, 2012

T'ain't Necessarily So.

I am a pastor who has experienced the aggressive attempt to force me out of the ministry.  I read Pastor VanMehren's letter of resignation on a popular conservative site, and although I thought it was unfortunate that he resigned, I found the typical conservative responses disheartening.  Almost every time the aggressively evil in the congregation succeed in destroying a man, some conservative jerk will make the point that it is almost never the way the pastor describes it, that there are always two sides to every story, and that the pastor did himself no favors doing this thing or that.

As a former participant in the survival game, I can attest that just because there are laymen who want to blame the pastor, and tell stories on him, does not mean that the laymen are honest.  I have stood in meetings where people I had counted as close friends in the congregation stood up and announced that I said or did something that I did not.  It was not a case of misunderstanding, it was a case of total fabrication.  And when I responded that it was simply not so, that I never said or did what was announced, others would leap to their feet and cry out that I had "attacked" and defamed the brother or sister who stood up to boldly lie.

I am not a participant in Pastor VanMeheren's situation and cannot judge the laymen's response, but the automatic assumption that the pastor is presenting perspective that does not comport with reality and that he is at least half of the problem is not necessarily justified, as many can tell from their own experiences.

We (conservatives and confessional pastors) tend to shoot our own and comfort the enemy reflexively.  I know of situations where pastors have been driven out, and the congregation (the majority of it) accused the pastor of abandoning them because they were blissfully unaware of the attacks on the pastor or the controversies that had consumed their shepherd.  Further, attempts to keep the congregation informed while the attacks proceed are decried as violations of the Eighth Commandment.

The topic of these sorts of dismissals needs to be talked about in our Synod, but when highly respected men do the cry of "It is never just the way the pastor describes it", and cows others into apologizing for even bringing the topic up, the needed discussions will never take place.

Let the churches beware: the Word of Jesus is, "He that hears you, hears Me and He that despises you, despises Me, and he that despises Me despises Him who sent Me."  Let the leaders of the church bodies and districts remember that there is a God, and He is watching how they deal both with the people of God, and His called servants.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Be What You Are, not what you are not!

The article was highlighted by a friend on Facebook.  Ontario's Premier, Dalton McGuinty, who styles himself as a Catholic, is promoting an amendment to a supposedly "anti-bullying" law which would require Catholic schools to permit the establishment of "Gay-Straight Alliances" on campus and under the school's auspices.  McGuinty cites this aberrant behavior, and the opinions behind it as a freedom of conscience, I can believe differently than others, issue.  What is actually reveals is that McGuinty does not understand what "being a Catholic" is or involves, or what Catholic doctrine is.

The Canadian Premier is a fine example of what is rampant in the Western Church today.  A significant segment of those who present themselves as Christians, Baptists, Lutherans,and so forth, are not what they pose as, or think that they are.  Too many don't know what their church bodies teach, and when they know they disagree and feel that such disagreement does not alter their status.

Their denominational bodies may not protest, but reality does.  One does not become a Lutheran, for example, by simply adopting the name and saying that they are such.  Even those who start as Lutherans cease to be such when they cling to and espouse teachings and values that are in contradistinction to the clear teaching of historic Lutheranism.  Entire church bodies have forfeited their character as Lutheran by proclaiming this or that which is contrary to the Scriptures and inconsistent with the Lutheran Confessions.  They continue to use the name, because their is no body on earth that honestly regulates such usage, but they are no longer Lutheran.  They are not, in some cases, even Christian any longer.

My appeal would be for honesty.  If you don't want to hold to the doctrines that have historically identified a belief system, then don't but surrender the good name of whatever it is that you once pretended to be, and find or invent your own name.

If you do not, then be prepared to be called out as a deceiver and a seducer and a hypocrite of the first order.  Claim the name that fits your confession and stop trying to claim a confession you no longer confess!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

My Confession

Serously, Call Jerry Goetz
His Mission is truly worthy!

I cannot tell you why it is.  Not yet. But it troubles me to my soul when I see my brother pastors, retired men I truly respect, seeking opportunities to preach the Gospel in emails and Facebook, and such.

I understand their zeal.  I share it.  I just feel like they quit too early.

I have the same sorrow about those who left the Missouri Synod for solid confessional reasons.,  Obviously I don't share their decisions, but I understand their reasons and I support them.  I love these brothers and sister of mine (see, Ste. Em, I respect and admire you also).  But I don't share their decisions.  I have chosen a different path, a path they have rejected and disclaimed.  Their condemnations rest heavy on my soul, but I believe they are in error.  Not the error of making the wrong choice, of course, but the error of condemning  the differing confession --- or path.

Some of my brothers, toward whom I would look for support in my struggle, have condemned me for not abandoning my call and the first church body that I took my oath of ordination within.  They leave me to doubt whether my confession, shared with them, is honored by them or disdained by them.

Take note, fellow pastors, and deaconesses, that your swift condemnations are brutal and difficult to bear.  I have counted you as my brothers and sisters, and now your words have condemned me for not being as swift as you to abandon my first confession.  I rejoice that you can, with such facility, deny that to which you have proclaimed life-long fidelity.  I cannot.  I serve a body of believers (my congregation)  who have stood shoulder to shoulder with me in the confession of the faith.  I cannot deny them, and I will not move on without their agreement and confession. But you call me coward and unfaithful for not following your sudden change of commitment.  but let us leave that issue behind.

The issue I began with are those pastors who retired, and now are seeking "preaching engagements".  If you are retired, then honor your theology, and await a call.  Let the Lord call you to speak.

You know, I observed the pitiful practice of the "Reformation Lands Tour".  Pastors, or those who once held that highest office in the church, seeking laymen to pay inflated prices to facilitate their travel to the holy land, or somewhere in Europe.  It is an abuse of the laity to trick them into paying your way to the Holy Land.

Anyhow,  those brothers of mine, and I do still call them brothers, who call out for preaching opportunities:  listen to your theology, and not to the spirit of our age.  When the Lord calls you, He calls you.  Do not advertise.  Advertise the mission, but not your desire to preach.  Ask for the Lord's blessing, but not for the preaching date.  There is something truly creepy and unfaithful about seeing those who were faithful messengers of the Gospel peddling the message and seeking opportunities to preach.  I cannot tell you what it is -- someone will, doubtless, write a gripping and astute theological piece about it some day, but there is something truly  wrong and sick about such seeking.  The verse that comes to mind is something about casting one's pearls before swine.

I confess.  I often find my unease with what is happening is correct while it precedes my understanding of the theological problem.  I can only say with certainty that something is amiss.  If you want to preach, serve a parish.  If you want to be "retired", sit down, and shut up.  Or at least, join a parish and participate as a member.

Thursday, January 19, 2012


As I watch Hollywood celebrities stand up and march for liberal and anti-American causes and politics, I wonder why movies don't come with disclaimers:  "I am a communist!", or "I stand for the destruction of the very society that has made me rich!", or "I am glad that you are making me rich, but I oppose you ever getting rich!"

Celebrity after celebrity gets rich on capitalism, and seems to think the system owes them that, but then they stand next to Castro, or Chavez, and condemn the society and the people that made them rich and notorious.  They prove themselves right, we are stupid to make such imbeciles famous, rich, or influential, but they are morons to condemn that which made them rich and influential.

Movies should come with disclaimers:  "The film you are about to see employs idiots who will try to destroy you and your economic well-being.  Purchase a ticket with the knowledge that you are shooting yourself in the head."