Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Would Luther Spank His Kids?

As I was reading through the large catechism this strange question went through my mind. It is take from the section of the catechism on the Second Commandment.

"Those who can only be forced by means of rods and blows come to no good; for even if hey seem to make improvement they will stay good only as long as the rod is on their backs."

Luther brings up some valid points in his statement. Forcing people to do things out of fear that they may be physically harmed is not the best way to reach people. Of course this idea is the doctrine of law which is important to teach to people, but once they become convicted through the law they should be allowed to hear the redeeming truth of the Gospel. This is the essential hinge of the idea of a separation of Law and Gospel.

So would Luther spank his kids. If he had kids it is my belief that he may have thought it a quick fix for an issue but not something to be permanent. Much the same way the Law came before the Gospel (which is the ultimate fix for redeeming us from sin). The Law serves a purpose when it is used correctly but it is important to use the Gospel as well. Back to whether it is right to spank kids as long as they are told how they are loved after then there is no fear that this is the only form of punishment.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Importance of the Catechism

So I received the new Book of Concord for my birthday about two months ago. I am now in the third week of the reading schedule in the front of the book. The first part led me through the small catechism and now I am in the large catechism. This is a territory that I have not really entered before. I am really enjoying the elaborations that are provided by Luther.

In the introduction I was particularly struck by the importance that Luther places on the catechism. I am finding that there is great benefit in reading about the points of the Christian faith as well as reading from the Scripture.

I would like to post the whole introduction, but I will end this post with a good quote from Luther from it on the importance of the catechism.

"As for myself, let me say this. I too am a doctor and a preacher. In fact, I am as educated and experienced as any of those who have all that nerve and brazen self-confidence. Yet I continue to do as a child does that is being taught the Catechism. Mornings, and when I otherwise have time, I read and recite word for word the Lord's Prayer, the Ten Commandments, the Creed, Psalms, etc. I must still read and study the Catechism daily, yet I cannot master it as I would like, but must remain a child and student of the Catechism. This I do gladly."

Friday, August 26, 2005

What About?

There is plenty of times during the course of a week where different people will ask me questions about where the LCMS stands on certain issues. Sometimes I know what the position is and am able to make a statement. Other times it causes me to wonder and ask the same sorts of questions. Our synod has provided a great source on how to respond to many different topics that people often ask about. The series is called "What About....". It was written by former synod president A.L. Berry. They are a great quick reference guide for any lay person. Of course they should not be a replacement to Scripture and the catechism but they can be a good starting point. All in all they are one of the best sources I have found and they are free and available online.

What about series

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Interesting Wedding

So I thought I might share an interesting story about a wedding I went to on Saturday. Well it started out that we couldn't find where the wedding chapel it was supposed to be at was. It was supposed to be over by a gazebo which clearly was not a very good description because it was hardly visible.

But that is not really the interesting part. The minister who proceeded over the wedding was female. Obviously being Lutheran and all this was a little strange to me. So not only was I a little wierded out by the sheer fact that a female minister performed the wedding it gets better. While we were at the reception I happened to overhear the bride talking to one of her family members and I quote "She really is a AAA insurance adjustor but she is also an ordained minister." At that point I didn't really know what to think. But as far as people being ordained this didn't seem like the type of person who qualified. First being female but then to be an insurance claims adjustor. Who knows all I know is that to call yourself ordained seems to need a little more respect given to the position.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Carnival is coming to town...

...well the Lutheran Carnival that is. There will be a new blog started this week over at Lutheran Carnival. Other confessional bloggers will be sending in some of their favorite posts here so that others may be able to sample some of the writings and hopefully become new readers of some different blogs. Take a look the first carnival will be this Sunday.

I will hopefully be coming up with a new post tomorrow. I have been thinking about some things to write. Look for something on the importance of the catechism.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

The Weaker Force

As I look around the world that I live in I am constantly experiencing the trappings of the devil. By my thoughts, words, and deeds the devil works to lead me away from God. It is so that he can rejoice in feeling more powerful than the all powerful. This of course is not the fault of our God but rather the fault of humanity. Thankfully Jesus has removed this fault from the eyes of his father. We no longer are required to be the slave to sin that we once were. The righteousness that has been proclaimed for us by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is more than enough to fill that empty void in our lives.

"Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour."
(1 Peter 5:8)

This is clearly a warning against the great power which the devil possesses. He is a strong tempter and is constantly working to prevent us from our true faith in God. When he is able to turn us against our faith he has been able to devour us in his evil plan. Lest we forget the devil does exist and he is where he is because he thought himself to be more powerful than his creator. No creation can be greater than the one that had the ability to form it from his own will.

"Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." (James 4:7)

When we turn the struggle of temptation to the guidance of God we are able to avoid the trap which has been set for us. Our God is much stronger than his adversary. More so than we can ever know. He is the weaker force. When he hears a voice from Heaven he will flee to where he knows that he belongs.

Lord, thank you for allowing us to use you as our refuge for our daily struggles. Struggles which are initiated by the evil one who knows no friend but sin. But through a confidence in your triumph over sin we can rejoice. Thank You. Amen!

Friday, August 05, 2005

Nothing without Him!

As I was reading through God's No and God's Yes: Proper Distinction of Law and Gospel by C.F.W. Walther tonight something finally clicked with me. Nothing I do is good enough and only with God does anything I do have any ounce of value. There is no command in the Bible that I can keep to the standards that God wants.

All that I have is to praise him for giving his one and only Son to die for the sins that I am always committing. No matter how hard I try to stop myself from sinning it is futile. There is no way to follow the Law. Instead I must depend on someone else to do it for me. Cue Jesus. He took care of everything for me and I just have to rejoice in this great gift that has been given to me. How simple is that, I do nothing I can be secure knowing that everything is already taken care of for me.

Does this mean that I can sin all I want now knowing that I will be forgiven? Of course not. For doing things against my conscience is not living in a way that is faithful to my Lord. But rather living willfully against my conscience shows that I am still putting my faith in sin. This is something which is clearly not acceptable.

Our Lord Jesus Christ died so that we may have the confidence that we do not need our own merit to survive. His death is the merit that we need. Our obedience to God is lived from him through our faith. For it is by grace alone that we are saved. My mind is reeling from this new light that has been shed on the Scriptures for me. I can now see that anything I thought that I did was really only God working in me through my faith.

Praise the Lord for the gift that he has so freely given to us. We would be nothing without the wonderful gift of grace.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Does it ever rest?

Tonight I had a thought while thinking about how the Law convicts us of our sins and then the Gospel takes that sin and clears it from our records with God.

"The doctrine of the Law never takes a moment to rest, and thankfully the doctrine of the Gospel is awake right there with it."

Monday, August 01, 2005


So these are a group of guys that have always bugged me. Clearly they are spelled out in scripture in chapters such as Timothy and Titus to be the type of leaders to guard against. If you look into what they are doing any further than the surface you find their motives to be the money that they can make off people who are "lost". These guys are preying on the very people that need the presence of Jesus in their lives. I am hard pressed to find a more disrespectable profession.

Right now I am extremely angered by these types of things that I see on TV. In case you are wondering who set me off it was Peter Popoff. Of course this guy as I found out was proved to be a fraud back in the 80's. But he is still hanging around preaching his so called "prophet of prosperity" messages. He even claims that if you annoint yourself with his Miracle Spring Water that you will get instant prosperity within a week. Ahhhhhhhhhh! It makes me crazy when people use God to swindle people out of their money. I still can not believe what I heard in the few minutes that I watched him.

Anyways I just needed to vent that out a bit. I figured this might be the right place to do it.