Lutherandom Musings Along Memory Lane (7/4/15)

Remember when Saturday mornings used to be so much fun when you were a kid?

For me, I'd usually stay up as late as I could the night before (after what I thought was such a "hard" and "long" week at school), and then sleep in as late as I wanted to on Saturday morning.

The best part? Whether Dad would make us breakfast or not (his French Toast!), the even better part of my Saturday mornings growing up was plopping myself down in front of our TV to watch cartoon after cartoon! You know, the kind that were only on once-a-week and not available in an instant through YouTube and/or Netflix?

I thought about that recently and decided it might be cool to come up with a new weekly tradition of sorts for us adults to enjoy each and every Saturday morning now that we're all grown up (ok, at least some of us more than others anyway). I mean, isn't it time for us to look forward to Saturday mornings again?

Besides, it will be good for us to recall that childlike faith in fun and laughter if only for a few moments each week. You'll remember that laughter was, for Luther, a sign of divine grace and also an antidote against the devil too.

From the very beginning, humor had been a theological topic for Martin Luther, embracing the dramatic scope of his whole world view. He himself explained: "When I was unable to chase away the devil with serious words of with the Scripture, I often expelled him with pranks." And so this unique concept is born! Ok, so it's really not all that "cool" or "original" or "fun" to be sure, but it will be our new tradition here, and I'll try to make it worthwhile too. So who's with me then?

Please keep in mind, it won't be flashy, and it will hardly grab and hold your attention like a classic episode of the Care Bears, G.I. Joe, Thundercats, or Voltron would, but these "Lutherandom Musings Along Memory Lane" should satisfy the Confessional Lutheran's appetite for a balanced breakfast that includes your VDMA Vitamins which include Vitamin A (Amusement), Vitamin B (Best of the Blogs), Vitamin C (Confessional), Vitamin D (Doctrine), and Vitamin E (Everything Else).

Each Saturday morning, God willing, I'll do my best to share some of the things I remember coming across in my unpredictable journey through Cyberspace during the week (hence, the "Along Memory Lane" part). For the most part, these will be things I either bookmarked, read, wrote down, and/or simply couldn't get to myself during the week. Of course, this is also where the things you send me via email (if any) will show up too.

Ok, enough with all the "commercials" when all we want is some "cartoons," right? Let's get the show started already, shall we?




8:00AM DOSE OF VITAMIN A (AMUSEMENT): Have you seen Lutheran Satire's newest production yet? Just in time for "Vacation Bible School (VBS)" in churches across the country this summer comes "Mr. Thompson And The Vicar Invent Children's Church" which was created as a result of the "fussy little children in the sanctuary" who "are causing quite the consternation at the local parish." Another instant classic! Enjoy!

8:30AM DOSE OF VITAMIN B (BEST OF THE BLOGS): I feel a little weird referencing something that I wrote myself here in the "Best Of" category this week, but given it's relevance to the topic du jour, I thought I would highlight it right out of the gate in case you encounter this video from one of your family members or friends in the days and weeks ahead. It's my response to the video "What If Straight Was Gay And Gay Was Straight?" that I wrote a year ago.

9:00AM DOSE OF VITAMIN C (CONFESSIONAL): 
Seems the Smalcald Articles in the Book of Concord has some interesting things to say about marriage in the section titled "Part III, Article XI - Of The Marriage Of Priests" that reads: "1] To prohibit marriage, and to burden the divine order of priests with perpetual celibacy, they have had neither authority nor right [they have done out of malice, without any honest reason], but have acted like antichristian, tyrannical, desperate scoundrels [have performed the work of antichrist, of tyrants and the worst knaves], and have thereby caused all kinds of horrible, abominable, innumerable sins of unchastity [depraved lusts], in which they still wallow. 2] Now, as little as we or they have been given the power to make a woman out of a man or a man out of a woman, or to nullify either sex, so little have they had the power to [sunder and] separate such creatures of God, or to forbid them from living [and cohabiting] honestly in marriage with one another. 3] Therefore we are unwilling to assent to their abominable celibacy, nor will we [even] tolerate it, but we wish to have marriage free as God has instituted [and ordained] it, and we wish neither to rescind nor hinder His work; for Paul says, 1 Tim. 4:1ff , that this [prohibition of marriage] is a doctrine of devils."

9:30AM DOSE OF VITAMIN D (DOCTRINE): Matthew 19:4-6 (ESV) "4 He answered, 'Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, 5 and said, 'Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'? 6 So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.'" My Lutheran Study Bible has this to say about this passage: "Rather than immediately answering His opponents' question, Jesus first underlines God's intent for marriage. Quoting Genesis 1:27 and Genesis 2:24, Jesus emphasizes God's will that married couples share a lifelong, monogamous union, and that gender is an essential feature of God's created order. Marriage is a divine institution, not merely a cultural institution that can be changed at will. God desires that married couples remain together until parted by death."

10:00AM DOSE OF VITAMIN E (EVERYTHING ELSE): Since we celebrate the 4th of July here in the U.S. today, and given all the talk of the likelihood of a terrorist attack before the day's through by Law Enforcement Officials at all levels of government, I thought I'd share what Martin Luther had to say about Islam, Muslims, and Jihad that I first referenced back in January 2015. You might want to also look through our Archive and read the series we did a few months back titled "9/11 Through Martin Luther's Eyes" for a more comprehensive view of what the good Dr. had to say about the Christian perspective on fighting, revenge, terrorism, Turks, violence, and war and peace. Of course, while Martin Luther's words are just as relevant to us today as they were nearly 500 years ago, let's all keep in mind that it's only God's Word that holds the cure for the sin of false religion, terrorism, violence, and war.
 

Sorry, but that's all I have for you this week.


In a Lutheran Layman's terms, you've been fed a balanced spiritual diet this morning so I hope you're full and wide awake and ready to face the day in your God-given vocations.


Grace and peace to you and yours!



NOTE: Please understand that I'm not a called and ordained minister of God's Word and Sacraments. I'm a layman or just a regular Christian, Candy-Making, Husband, Father, Friend who lives in the "City of Good Neighbors" here on the East Coast. To be more specific, and relevant to the point I want to make with this disclaimer/note, please understand that I'm also a newly converted Confessional Lutheran who recently escaped American Evangelicalism almost 2 years ago now. That being said, please contact me ASAP if you believe that any of my "old beliefs" seem to have crept their way into any of the material you see published here, and especially if any of the content is inconsistent with our Confessions and Lutheran doctrine (in other words, if it's not consistent with God's Word, which our Confessions merely summarize and repeatedly point us back to over and over again) so that I can correct those errors immediately and not lead any of His little ones astray (James 3:1). Also, please be aware that you might also discover that some of the earlier pieces I wrote for this blog back in 2013 definitely fall into that "Old Evangelical Adam" category since I was a "Lutheran-In-Name-Only" at the time and was completely oblivious to the fact that a Christian "Book of Concord" even existed (Small/Large Catechism? What's that!?!). This knowledge of the Lutheran basics was completely foreign to me even though I was baptized, confirmed, and married in an LCMS church! So, there are some entries that are a little "out there" so-to-speak since the subject matter was also heavy influenced by those old beliefs of mine. I know that now and I'm still learning. Anyway, I decided to leave those published posts up on this website and in cyberspace only because they are not blasphemous/heretical, because we now have this disclaimer, and only to demonstrate the continuing work of Christ and the Holy Spirit in my life (Hebrews 12:2; Philippians 1:6). Most importantly, please know that any time I engage in commenting on and/or interpreting a specific portion of the holy Scriptures, it will always closely follow the verse-by-verse notes from my Lutheran Study Bible and/or include references to the Book of Concord unless otherwise noted. Typically, I defer to what other Lutheran Pastors both past and present have already preached and taught about such passages since they are the called and ordained shepherds of our souls here on earth. Finally, I'm going to apologize ahead of time for the length of most entries (this disclaimer/note is a perfect example of what I mean! haha!). I'm well aware that blogs should be short, sweet, and to the point, but I've never been one to follow the rules when it comes to writing. Besides, this website is more like a "Christian Dude's Diary" in the sense that everything I write about and share publicly isn't always what's "popular" or "#trending" at the time, but is instead all the things that I'm experiencing and/or studying myself at the moment. For better or for worse, these posts tend to be much longer than most blog entries you'll find elsewhere only because I try to pack as much info as possible into a single piece so that I can refer to it again and again over time if I need to (and so that it can be a valuable resource for others -- if possible, a "One-Stop-Shop" of sorts). Thank you for stopping by and thank you in advance for your time, help, and understanding. Feel free to comment/email me at any time. Grace and peace to you and yours!

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Martin Luther: 'The Worldling And The Believer Look At Marriage'

We Christians believe, teach, and confess that God established the holy institution of marriage despite what the rest of the world tells us we should believe, teach, and confess.

My copy of What Luther Says contains more than 5,100 quotations on 200 subjects from the writings of Martin Luther. All quotations are alphabetically and topically arranged for quick and easy reference.

I took the liberty of looking up what he wrote about "Marriage" and discovered a whopping 78 total entries on that topic alone!

At first, I was going to select just one or two of what I thought were the best to share here, but then I decided that it might be much more beneficial to actually share every single one of those 78 entries with all of you.

Some are really short and some are really long, but all of them are rooted in the truth of God's Word, and that's what we all need to remind ourselves.

We shouldn't be surprised by the U.S. Supreme Court's recent ruling to legalize so-called "Same Sex Marriage" and we shouldn't be scared to confess the truth that stands in complete contrast to this new reality.

The answer is as simple as making sure we know not only WHAT we believe, teach, and confess, but also WHY we believe, teach, and confess it to the world.

Otherwise, we end up trotting out into the public square unhelpful platitudes like "It Was Adam And Eve, Not Adam And Steve!" which is a dead horse that you can no longer beat.

Anyway, I hope to publish two or three of Luther's writings on marriage per day to help to arm us with the truth and give us a firm foundation as our soapbox to stand on.



"WHEN LUTHER returned from the Wartburg (1522), he found so much ignorance concerning what the Bible teaches about marriage that he decided to do what he could to remedy this state of affairs. One of his sermons presents a study in contrasts."
*- Ewald M. Plass

2765 THE WORLDLING AND THE BELIEVER LOOK AT MARRIAGE 
The world says of marriage: A short joy and a long displeasure. But let it say whatever it please. Whatever God has created and wants is bound to be a mockery to it. What kind of pleasure and joy the world finds outside of marriage, I think it will best become aware of in its conscience. To be married and to understand married life are two very different matters. He who is married but does not understand married life can never live in it without displeasure, trouble, and misery. He must complain and slander, as the heathen and unreasoning, blind people do. But he who understands it finds in it delight, love, and joy without ceasing, as Solomon says: "Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing" (Proverbs 18:22). These are the people who understand, who firmly believe that God has instituted marriage and joined man and woman together.
(W 10 II, 297 -- E 16, 530 f -- SL 10, 618 f)


What was true back in Luther's time is still true today, because it's source is God's Word.

I'm reminded of a verse from the Book of Judges (Judges 17:6) where we read, "In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes."


In other words, when there's no absolute authority to decide right and wrong, everyone has their own opinion as to what they should do.

As Christians, however, we know that there is an Authority and that Authority has already spoken on this subject quite clearly and emphatically.

So, how should we respond to others who ask us questions about our "unpopular" stance regarding so-called "Gay Marriage" following the recent SCOTUS decision?

Please consider using this Biblical answer from now on...


"First of all, Jesus (Who created us and therefore owns us and has the authority to determine 'right' and 'wrong'), DID deal directly with homosexuality and the 'gay marriage' issue, in the Bible's New Testament, in Matthew 19:4-6. 
Matthew 19:4-6 (ESV) 4 He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, 5 and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” 
Christ quoted directly from the Book of Genesis (and its account of the creation of Adam and Eve as the first man and woman -- the first marriage) as literal history, to explain the doctrine of marriage as being one man for one woman. Thus, marriage cannot be a man and a man, or a woman and a woman. 
Because Genesis is real history (as can be confirmed by observational science, incidentally), Jesus dealt quite directly with homosexuality and the 'gay marriage' issue when He explained the doctrine of marriage. 
Not only this, but in John 1, we read: 
John 1:1-3 (ESV) 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 
Jesus, the Creator, is the Word. The Bible is the written Word. Every word in the Bible is really the Word of the Creator -- Jesus Christ. 
Therefore, in Leviticus 18:22, Jesus actually deals directly with the homosexual issue, and thus the 'gay marriage' issue too. This is also true of Romans 1:26-27 and 1 Timothy 1:9-10. 
Because Jesus in a real sense wrote all of the Bible, whenever Scripture deals with marriage and/or the homosexual issue, Jesus Himself is directly dealing with these issues."


Now, if that's too "churchy" and "religiously deep" of a response to share with others, then perhaps there's a much simpler approach you can take.

See, even in a secular context, the only answer a Christian should offer is this...


The Bible is the Word of our Creator, and Genesis is literal history. Its science and history can be trusted. Therefore, we have an absolute authority that determines marriage. 
God made the the first man and woman -- the first marriage. Thus, marriage can only be a man and a woman because we are accountable to the One who made marriage in the first place. 
And don't forget, according to the Scripture, one of the primary reasons for marriage is to produce godly offspring. Adam and Eve were told to be fruitful and multiply, but there's no way a 'gay marriage' can fulfill this command!


When you stop and think about it, it's very interesting because we can quote passages against homosexuality from Genesis, which is before the Law. We can quote verses from Leviticus, which is Moses' Law. And then we can quote from Romans and other passages in the New Testament, so this is something that runs throughout Scripture.

It's important to remember what 1 Corinthians 6 says, "Such were some of you." You were homosexuals, you were effeminate, you were adulterers, you were liars, it goes on and on, but you were washed and you were cleansed, and that's what the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ offers.

We're not trying to use the Law to bring damnation on the head of homosexuals and then just leave them in the midst of hopelessness and despair. We're trying to bring conviction that only the Holy Spirit working through the Word of God (the Law) can bring so that it will bear the fruit of repentance in their lives and lead them to the only hope of forgiveness and salvation for all of us sinners, which is faith in Jesus Christ.

So, to quickly recap, and to make sure that none of this was lost on anyone who might be reading this, now it's time for some bad news and some good news or a little Law and Gospel.

The "bad news" is that the rebellion of the first man, Adam, against God's command brought death, suffering, and separation from God into this world. We see the results all around us. All of Adam's descendants (that's you and me) are sinful from conception (Psalm 51:5) and have themselves entered into this rebellion (sin). They therefore cannot live with a holy God, but are condemned to separation from God.

The Bible says that "all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23) and that all are therefore subject to "everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power" (2 Thessalonians 1:9).

Ah, but the "good news" is that God has done something about it! "For God so loved the world, that He gave his only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16). Jesus Christ the Creator, though totally sinless, suffered, on behalf of mankind, on behalf of you and me, the penalty for our sins, which is death and separation from God. He did this to satisfy the righteous demands of the holiness and justice of God, His Father.

Jesus was the perfect sacrifice; He died on a cross; but on the third day, He rose again, conquering death, so that all who truly believe in Him, repent of their sins and trust in Him (rather than trust in their own merits or their own "good works"; Isaiah 64:6) are able to be reconciled to God and live for eternity with their Creator.

Therefore: "Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God" (John 3:18). What a wonderful Savior! What a wonderful salvation in Jesus Christ our Creator!

So, what is our tone? What is the content of our message supposed to be? We need to make sure that people hear two things coming from us when this topic comes up in conversation from now on: (1) That this area of activity (i.e., homosexual behavior) is a sin like all the other activities that a person can do that are called a sin by God AND (2) Jesus Christ is a friend of sinners, and Jesus died for sinners, and if you're reading this message and you're a sinner (i.e., homosexuals and non-homosexuals alike) then Jesus commands you to repent and believe in Him, because He loves you and He died for you and does not want you to be separated from Him for all of eternity in Hell!

Let's make sure they hear that compassion and that good news at all times. Talk about "Love Wins" huh? And, if people still think that you're a "bigoted" and "hateful" and "intolerant" person for such views, then maybe consider sharing with them what a real Christian response to a homosexual should sound like, and pray for the Lord to finally open their eyes and ears to the truth.

Friends, I hope you found all of this as edifying as I did. Please be sure to check out one of the very first posts I published here back in 2013 titled "Lessons From Luther On Marriage" for four valuable lessons he encouraged people to prayerfully consider about married life since it's a nice exclamation point to add to all of this.

In a Lutheran layman's terms, Martin Luther's influence on marriage was profound and permanent at a time when it had become so perverted that he often felt he had to return to the basics and clearly define its nature and purpose.

Sounds a lot like today, doesn't it?



NOTE: Please understand that I'm not a called and ordained minister of God's Word and Sacraments. I'm a layman or just a regular Christian, Candy-Making, Husband, Father, Friend who lives in the "City of Good Neighbors" here on the East Coast. To be more specific, and relevant to the point I want to make with this disclaimer/note, please understand that I'm also a newly converted Confessional Lutheran who recently escaped American Evangelicalism almost 2 years ago now. That being said, please contact me ASAP if you believe that any of my "old beliefs" seem to have crept their way into any of the material you see published here, and especially if any of the content is inconsistent with our Confessions and Lutheran doctrine (in other words, if it's not consistent with God's Word, which our Confessions merely summarize and repeatedly point us back to over and over again) so that I can correct those errors immediately and not lead any of His little ones astray (James 3:1). Also, please be aware that you might also discover that some of the earlier pieces I wrote for this blog back in 2013 definitely fall into that "Old Evangelical Adam" category since I was a "Lutheran-In-Name-Only" at the time and was completely oblivious to the fact that a Christian "Book of Concord" even existed (Small/Large Catechism? What's that!?!). This knowledge of the Lutheran basics was completely foreign to me even though I was baptized, confirmed, and married in an LCMS church! So, there are some entries that are a little "out there" so-to-speak since the subject matter was also heavy influenced by those old beliefs of mine. I know that now and I'm still learning. Anyway, I decided to leave those published posts up on this website and in cyberspace only because they are not blasphemous/heretical, because we now have this disclaimer, and only to demonstrate the continuing work of Christ and the Holy Spirit in my life (Hebrews 12:2; Philippians 1:6). Most importantly, please know that any time I engage in commenting on and/or interpreting a specific portion of the holy Scriptures, it will always closely follow the verse-by-verse notes from my Lutheran Study Bible and/or include references to the Book of Concord unless otherwise noted. Typically, I defer to what other Lutheran Pastors both past and present have already preached and taught about such passages since they are the called and ordained shepherds of our souls here on earth. Finally, I'm going to apologize ahead of time for the length of most entries (this disclaimer/note is a perfect example of what I mean! haha!). I'm well aware that blogs should be short, sweet, and to the point, but I've never been one to follow the rules when it comes to writing. Besides, this website is more like a "Christian Dude's Diary" in the sense that everything I write about and share publicly isn't always what's "popular" or "#trending" at the time, but is instead all the things that I'm experiencing and/or studying myself at the moment. For better or for worse, these posts tend to be much longer than most blog entries you'll find elsewhere only because I try to pack as much info as possible into a single piece so that I can refer to it again and again over time if I need to (and so that it can be a valuable resource for others -- if possible, a "One-Stop-Shop" of sorts). Thank you for stopping by and thank you in advance for your time, help, and understanding. Feel free to comment/email me at any time. Grace and peace to you and yours!

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Martin Luther: 'What Ties The Two Together?'

We Christians believe, teach, and confess that God established the holy institution of marriage despite what the rest of the world tells us we should believe, teach, and confess.

My copy of What Luther Says contains more than 5,100 quotations on 200 subjects from the writings of Martin Luther. All quotations are alphabetically and topically arranged for quick and easy reference.

I took the liberty of looking up what he wrote about "Marriage" and discovered a whopping 78 total entries on that topic alone!

At first, I was going to select just one or two of what I thought were the best to share here, but then I decided that it might be much more beneficial to actually share every single one of those 78 entries with all of you.

Some are really short and some are really long, but all of them are rooted in the truth of God's Word, and that's what we all need to remind ourselves.

We shouldn't be surprised by the U.S. Supreme Court's recent ruling to legalize so-called "Same Sex Marriage" and we shouldn't be scared to confess the truth that stands in complete contrast to this new reality.

The answer is as simple as making sure we know not only WHAT we believe, teach, and confess, but also WHY we believe, teach, and confess it to the world.

Otherwise, we end up trotting out into the public square unhelpful platitudes like "It Was Adam And Eve, Not Adam And Steve!" which is a dead horse that you can no longer beat.

Anyway, I hope to publish two or three of Luther's writings on marriage per day to help to arm us with the truth and give us a firm foundation as our soapbox to stand on.



"IN ONE of his earlier sermons on this estate (1519) the Doctor points out what really makes a couple husband and wife. On January 16 Luther had preached a sermon on marriage, with the story of the wedding at Cana as his text (John 2:1-11). An unauthorized and inaccurate publication of this discourse so exasperated the Reformer that he issued on himself. Here Luther still calls marriage a sacrament (SL 10, 640). The pirated sermon is reprinted SL 10, 630 ff. It is understandable that for years certain papal and monastic views somewhat color Luther's presentation. Since these are of little practical value, we do not trace them. The interested student may consult W. Elert, Morphologie, II, 81 ff. and J. Koestlin, Luthers Theologie, II, 311 ff." 
*- Ewald M. Plass

2762 WHAT TIES THE TWO TOGETHER? 
Precisely speaking, matrimony is based on the mutual consent of man and woman.
(W 2, 169 -- E 16, 64 -- SL 10, 642)


I told you some were really short!

I'm reminded of a verse from the Book of Judges (Judges 17:6) where we read, "In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes."


In other words, when there's no absolute authority to decide right and wrong, everyone has their own opinion as to what they should do.

As Christians, however, we know that there is an Authority and that Authority has already spoken on this subject quite clearly and emphatically.

So, how should we respond to others who ask us questions about our "unpopular" stance regarding so-called "Gay Marriage" following the recent SCOTUS decision?

Please consider using this Biblical answer from now on...


"First of all, Jesus (Who created us and therefore owns us and has the authority to determine 'right' and 'wrong'), DID deal directly with homosexuality and the 'gay marriage' issue, in the Bible's New Testament, in Matthew 19:4-6. 
Matthew 19:4-6 (ESV) 4 He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, 5 and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” 
Christ quoted directly from the Book of Genesis (and its account of the creation of Adam and Eve as the first man and woman -- the first marriage) as literal history, to explain the doctrine of marriage as being one man for one woman. Thus, marriage cannot be a man and a man, or a woman and a woman. 
Because Genesis is real history (as can be confirmed by observational science, incidentally), Jesus dealt quite directly with homosexuality and the 'gay marriage' issue when He explained the doctrine of marriage. 
Not only this, but in John 1, we read: 
John 1:1-3 (ESV) 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 
Jesus, the Creator, is the Word. The Bible is the written Word. Every word in the Bible is really the Word of the Creator -- Jesus Christ. 
Therefore, in Leviticus 18:22, Jesus actually deals directly with the homosexual issue, and thus the 'gay marriage' issue too. This is also true of Romans 1:26-27 and 1 Timothy 1:9-10. 
Because Jesus in a real sense wrote all of the Bible, whenever Scripture deals with marriage and/or the homosexual issue, Jesus Himself is directly dealing with these issues."


Now, if that's too "churchy" and "religiously deep" of a response to share with others, then perhaps there's a much simpler approach you can take.

See, even in a secular context, the only answer a Christian should offer is this...


The Bible is the Word of our Creator, and Genesis is literal history. Its science and history can be trusted. Therefore, we have an absolute authority that determines marriage. 
God made the the first man and woman -- the first marriage. Thus, marriage can only be a man and a woman because we are accountable to the One who made marriage in the first place. 
And don't forget, according to the Scripture, one of the primary reasons for marriage is to produce godly offspring. Adam and Eve were told to be fruitful and multiply, but there's no way a 'gay marriage' can fulfill this command!


When you stop and think about it, it's very interesting because we can quote passages against homosexuality from Genesis, which is before the Law. We can quote verses from Leviticus, which is Moses' Law. And then we can quote from Romans and other passages in the New Testament, so this is something that runs throughout Scripture.

It's important to remember what 1 Corinthians 6 says, "Such were some of you." You were homosexuals, you were effeminate, you were adulterers, you were liars, it goes on and on, but you were washed and you were cleansed, and that's what the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ offers.

We're not trying to use the Law to bring damnation on the head of homosexuals and then just leave them in the midst of hopelessness and despair. We're trying to bring conviction that only the Holy Spirit working through the Word of God (the Law) can bring so that it will bear the fruit of repentance in their lives and lead them to the only hope of forgiveness and salvation for all of us sinners, which is faith in Jesus Christ.

So, to quickly recap, and to make sure that none of this was lost on anyone who might be reading this, now it's time for some bad news and some good news or a little Law and Gospel.

The "bad news" is that the rebellion of the first man, Adam, against God's command brought death, suffering, and separation from God into this world. We see the results all around us. All of Adam's descendants (that's you and me) are sinful from conception (Psalm 51:5) and have themselves entered into this rebellion (sin). They therefore cannot live with a holy God, but are condemned to separation from God.

The Bible says that "all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23) and that all are therefore subject to "everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power" (2 Thessalonians 1:9).

Ah, but the "good news" is that God has done something about it! "For God so loved the world, that He gave his only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16). Jesus Christ the Creator, though totally sinless, suffered, on behalf of mankind, on behalf of you and me, the penalty for our sins, which is death and separation from God. He did this to satisfy the righteous demands of the holiness and justice of God, His Father.

Jesus was the perfect sacrifice; He died on a cross; but on the third day, He rose again, conquering death, so that all who truly believe in Him, repent of their sins and trust in Him (rather than trust in their own merits or their own "good works"; Isaiah 64:6) are able to be reconciled to God and live for eternity with their Creator.

Therefore: "Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God" (John 3:18). What a wonderful Savior! What a wonderful salvation in Jesus Christ our Creator!

So, what is our tone? What is the content of our message supposed to be? We need to make sure that people hear two things coming from us when this topic comes up in conversation from now on: (1) That this area of activity (i.e., homosexual behavior) is a sin like all the other activities that a person can do that are called a sin by God AND (2) Jesus Christ is a friend of sinners, and Jesus died for sinners, and if you're reading this message and you're a sinner (i.e., homosexuals and non-homosexuals alike) then Jesus commands you to repent and believe in Him, because He loves you and He died for you and does not want you to be separated from Him for all of eternity in Hell!

Let's make sure they hear that compassion and that good news at all times. Talk about "Love Wins" huh? And, if people still think that you're a "bigoted" and "hateful" and "intolerant" person for such views, then maybe consider sharing with them what a real Christian response to a homosexual should sound like, and pray for the Lord to finally open their eyes and ears to the truth.

Friends, I hope you found all of this as edifying as I did. Please be sure to check out one of the very first posts I published here back in 2013 titled "Lessons From Luther On Marriage" for four valuable lessons he encouraged people to prayerfully consider about married life since it's a nice exclamation point to add to all of this.

In a Lutheran layman's terms, Martin Luther's influence on marriage was profound and permanent at a time when it had become so perverted that he often felt he had to return to the basics and clearly define its nature and purpose.

Sounds a lot like today, doesn't it?



NOTE: Please understand that I'm not a called and ordained minister of God's Word and Sacraments. I'm a layman or just a regular Christian, Candy-Making, Husband, Father, Friend who lives in the "City of Good Neighbors" here on the East Coast. To be more specific, and relevant to the point I want to make with this disclaimer/note, please understand that I'm also a newly converted Confessional Lutheran who recently escaped American Evangelicalism almost 2 years ago now. That being said, please contact me ASAP if you believe that any of my "old beliefs" seem to have crept their way into any of the material you see published here, and especially if any of the content is inconsistent with our Confessions and Lutheran doctrine (in other words, if it's not consistent with God's Word, which our Confessions merely summarize and repeatedly point us back to over and over again) so that I can correct those errors immediately and not lead any of His little ones astray (James 3:1). Also, please be aware that you might also discover that some of the earlier pieces I wrote for this blog back in 2013 definitely fall into that "Old Evangelical Adam" category since I was a "Lutheran-In-Name-Only" at the time and was completely oblivious to the fact that a Christian "Book of Concord" even existed (Small/Large Catechism? What's that!?!). This knowledge of the Lutheran basics was completely foreign to me even though I was baptized, confirmed, and married in an LCMS church! So, there are some entries that are a little "out there" so-to-speak since the subject matter was also heavy influenced by those old beliefs of mine. I know that now and I'm still learning. Anyway, I decided to leave those published posts up on this website and in cyberspace only because they are not blasphemous/heretical, because we now have this disclaimer, and only to demonstrate the continuing work of Christ and the Holy Spirit in my life (Hebrews 12:2; Philippians 1:6). Most importantly, please know that any time I engage in commenting on and/or interpreting a specific portion of the holy Scriptures, it will always closely follow the verse-by-verse notes from my Lutheran Study Bible and/or include references to the Book of Concord unless otherwise noted. Typically, I defer to what other Lutheran Pastors both past and present have already preached and taught about such passages since they are the called and ordained shepherds of our souls here on earth. Finally, I'm going to apologize ahead of time for the length of most entries (this disclaimer/note is a perfect example of what I mean! haha!). I'm well aware that blogs should be short, sweet, and to the point, but I've never been one to follow the rules when it comes to writing. Besides, this website is more like a "Christian Dude's Diary" in the sense that everything I write about and share publicly isn't always what's "popular" or "#trending" at the time, but is instead all the things that I'm experiencing and/or studying myself at the moment. For better or for worse, these posts tend to be much longer than most blog entries you'll find elsewhere only because I try to pack as much info as possible into a single piece so that I can refer to it again and again over time if I need to (and so that it can be a valuable resource for others -- if possible, a "One-Stop-Shop" of sorts). Thank you for stopping by and thank you in advance for your time, help, and understanding. Feel free to comment/email me at any time. Grace and peace to you and yours!

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Martin Luther: 'What Is Marriage?'

We Christians believe, teach, and confess that God established the holy institution of marriage despite what the rest of the world tells us we should believe, teach, and confess.

My copy of What Luther Says contains more than 5,100 quotations on 200 subjects from the writings of Martin Luther. All quotations are alphabetically and topically arranged for quick and easy reference.

I took the liberty of looking up what he wrote about "Marriage" and discovered a whopping 78 total entries on that topic alone!

At first, I was going to select just one or two of what I thought were the best to share here, but then I decided that it might be much more beneficial to actually share every single one of those 78 entries with all of you.

Some are really short and some are really long, but all of them are rooted in the truth of God's Word, and that's what we all need to remind ourselves.

We shouldn't be surprised by the U.S. Supreme Court's recent ruling to legalize so-called "Same Sex Marriage" and we shouldn't be scared to confess the truth that stands in complete contrast to this new reality.

The answer is as simple as making sure we know not only WHAT we believe, teach, and confess, but also WHY we believe, teach, and confess it to the world.

Otherwise, we end up trotting out into the public square unhelpful platitudes like "It Was Adam And Eve, Not Adam And Steve!" which is a dead horse that you can no longer beat.

Anyway, I hope to publish two or three of Luther's writings on marriage per day to help to arm us with the truth and give us a firm foundation as our soapbox to stand on.




"MARTIN LUTHER'S influence on marriage was profound and permanent. This holy institution had become so perverted that the Reformer had to begin with the definition of its nature and purpose. He gives us a statement on this subject in his lectures on Abraham's plans for the marriage of Isaac (Genesis 24:1-4)." 
*- Ewald M. Plass

2761 WHAT IS MARRIAGE? 
This is a true definition of marriage: Marriage is the God-appointed and legitimate union of man and woman in the hope of having children or at least for the purpose of avoiding fornication and sin and living to the glory of God. The ultimate purpose is to obey God, to find aid and counsel against sin; to call upon God; to seek, love, and educate children for the glory of God; to live with one's wife in the fear of God and to bear the cross; but if there are no children, nevertheless to live with one's wife in contentment; and to avoid all lewdness with others. 
(W 43, 310 -- E op ex 6, 34 f -- SL 1, 1673)


I'm reminded of a verse from the Book of Judges (Judges 17:6) where we read, "In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes."

In other words, when there's no absolute authority to decide right and wrong, everyone has their own opinion as to what they should do.

As Christians, however, we know that there is an Authority and that Authority has already spoken on this subject quite clearly and emphatically.

So, how should we respond to others who ask us questions about our "unpopular" stance regarding so-called "Gay Marriage" following the recent SCOTUS decision?

Please consider using this Biblical answer from now on...


"First of all, Jesus (Who created us and therefore owns us and has the authority to determine 'right' and 'wrong'), DID deal directly with homosexuality and the 'gay marriage' issue, in the Bible's New Testament, in Matthew 19:4-6. 
Matthew 19:4-6 (ESV) 4 He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, 5 and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” 
Christ quoted directly from the Book of Genesis (and its account of the creation of Adam and Eve as the first man and woman -- the first marriage) as literal history, to explain the doctrine of marriage as being one man for one woman. Thus, marriage cannot be a man and a man, or a woman and a woman. 
Because Genesis is real history (as can be confirmed by observational science, incidentally), Jesus dealt quite directly with homosexuality and the 'gay marriage' issue when He explained the doctrine of marriage. 
Not only this, but in John 1, we read: 
John 1:1-3 (ESV) 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 
Jesus, the Creator, is the Word. The Bible is the written Word. Every word in the Bible is really the Word of the Creator -- Jesus Christ. 
Therefore, in Leviticus 18:22, Jesus actually deals directly with the homosexual issue, and thus the 'gay marriage' issue too. This is also true of Romans 1:26-27 and 1 Timothy 1:9-10. 
Because Jesus in a real sense wrote all of the Bible, whenever Scripture deals with marriage and/or the homosexual issue, Jesus Himself is directly dealing with these issues."


Now, if that's too "churchy" and "religiously deep" of a response to share with others, then perhaps there's a much simpler approach you can take.

See, even in a secular context, the only answer a Christian should offer is this...


The Bible is the Word of our Creator, and Genesis is literal history. Its science and history can be trusted. Therefore, we have an absolute authority that determines marriage. 
God made the the first man and woman -- the first marriage. Thus, marriage can only be a man and a woman because we are accountable to the One who made marriage in the first place. 
And don't forget, according to the Scripture, one of the primary reasons for marriage is to produce godly offspring. Adam and Eve were told to be fruitful and multiply, but there's no way a 'gay marriage' can fulfill this command!


When you stop and think about it, it's very interesting because we can quote passages against homosexuality from Genesis, which is before the Law. We can quote verses from Leviticus, which is Moses' Law. And then we can quote from Romans and other passages in the New Testament, so this is something that runs throughout Scripture.

It's important to remember what 1 Corinthians 6 says, "Such were some of you." You were homosexuals, you were effeminate, you were adulterers, you were liars, it goes on and on, but you were washed and you were cleansed, and that's what the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ offers.

We're not trying to use the Law to bring damnation on the head of homosexuals and then just leave them in the midst of hopelessness and despair. We're trying to bring conviction that only the Holy Spirit working through the Word of God (the Law) can bring so that it will bear the fruit of repentance in their lives and lead them to the only hope of forgiveness and salvation for all of us sinners, which is faith in Jesus Christ.

So, to quickly recap, and to make sure that none of this was lost on anyone who might be reading this, now it's time for some bad news and some good news or a little Law and Gospel.

The "bad news" is that the rebellion of the first man, Adam, against God's command brought death, suffering, and separation from God into this world. We see the results all around us. All of Adam's descendants (that's you and me) are sinful from conception (Psalm 51:5) and have themselves entered into this rebellion (sin). They therefore cannot live with a holy God, but are condemned to separation from God.

The Bible says that "all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23) and that all are therefore subject to "everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power" (2 Thessalonians 1:9).

Ah, but the "good news" is that God has done something about it! "For God so loved the world, that He gave his only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16). Jesus Christ the Creator, though totally sinless, suffered, on behalf of mankind, on behalf of you and me, the penalty for our sins, which is death and separation from God. He did this to satisfy the righteous demands of the holiness and justice of God, His Father.

Jesus was the perfect sacrifice; He died on a cross; but on the third day, He rose again, conquering death, so that all who truly believe in Him, repent of their sins and trust in Him (rather than trust in their own merits or their own "good works"; Isaiah 64:6) are able to be reconciled to God and live for eternity with their Creator.

Therefore: "Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God" (John 3:18). What a wonderful Savior! What a wonderful salvation in Jesus Christ our Creator!

So, what is our tone? What is the content of our message supposed to be? We need to make sure that people hear two things coming from us when this topic comes up in conversation from now on: (1) That this area of activity (i.e., homosexual behavior) is a sin like all the other activities that a person can do that are called a sin by God AND (2) Jesus Christ is a friend of sinners, and Jesus died for sinners, and if you're reading this message and you're a sinner (i.e., homosexuals and non-homosexuals alike) then Jesus commands you to repent and believe in Him, because He loves you and He died for you and does not want you to be separated from Him for all of eternity in Hell!

Let's make sure they hear that compassion and that good news at all times. Talk about "Love Wins" huh? And, if people still think that you're a "bigoted" and "hateful" and "intolerant" person for such views, then maybe consider sharing with them what a real Christian response to a homosexual should sound like, and pray for the Lord to finally open their eyes and ears to the truth.

Friends, I hope you found all of this as edifying as I did. Please be sure to check out one of the very first posts I published here back in 2013 titled "Lessons From Luther On Marriage" for four valuable lessons he encouraged people to prayerfully consider about married life since it's a nice exclamation point to add to all of this.

In a Lutheran layman's terms, Martin Luther's influence on marriage was profound and permanent at a time when it had become so perverted that he often felt he had to return to the basics and clearly define its nature and purpose.

Sounds a lot like today, doesn't it?



NOTE: Please understand that I'm not a called and ordained minister of God's Word and Sacraments. I'm a layman or just a regular Christian, Candy-Making, Husband, Father, Friend who lives in the "City of Good Neighbors" here on the East Coast. To be more specific, and relevant to the point I want to make with this disclaimer/note, please understand that I'm also a newly converted Confessional Lutheran who recently escaped American Evangelicalism almost 2 years ago now. That being said, please contact me ASAP if you believe that any of my "old beliefs" seem to have crept their way into any of the material you see published here, and especially if any of the content is inconsistent with our Confessions and Lutheran doctrine (in other words, if it's not consistent with God's Word, which our Confessions merely summarize and repeatedly point us back to over and over again) so that I can correct those errors immediately and not lead any of His little ones astray (James 3:1). Also, please be aware that you might also discover that some of the earlier pieces I wrote for this blog back in 2013 definitely fall into that "Old Evangelical Adam" category since I was a "Lutheran-In-Name-Only" at the time and was completely oblivious to the fact that a Christian "Book of Concord" even existed (Small/Large Catechism? What's that!?!). This knowledge of the Lutheran basics was completely foreign to me even though I was baptized, confirmed, and married in an LCMS church! So, there are some entries that are a little "out there" so-to-speak since the subject matter was also heavy influenced by those old beliefs of mine. I know that now and I'm still learning. Anyway, I decided to leave those published posts up on this website and in cyberspace only because they are not blasphemous/heretical, because we now have this disclaimer, and only to demonstrate the continuing work of Christ and the Holy Spirit in my life (Hebrews 12:2; Philippians 1:6). Most importantly, please know that any time I engage in commenting on and/or interpreting a specific portion of the holy Scriptures, it will always closely follow the verse-by-verse notes from my Lutheran Study Bible and/or include references to the Book of Concord unless otherwise noted. Typically, I defer to what other Lutheran Pastors both past and present have already preached and taught about such passages since they are the called and ordained shepherds of our souls here on earth. Finally, I'm going to apologize ahead of time for the length of most entries (this disclaimer/note is a perfect example of what I mean! haha!). I'm well aware that blogs should be short, sweet, and to the point, but I've never been one to follow the rules when it comes to writing. Besides, this website is more like a "Christian Dude's Diary" in the sense that everything I write about and share publicly isn't always what's "popular" or "#trending" at the time, but is instead all the things that I'm experiencing and/or studying myself at the moment. For better or for worse, these posts tend to be much longer than most blog entries you'll find elsewhere only because I try to pack as much info as possible into a single piece so that I can refer to it again and again over time if I need to (and so that it can be a valuable resource for others -- if possible, a "One-Stop-Shop" of sorts). Thank you for stopping by and thank you in advance for your time, help, and understanding. Feel free to comment/email me at any time. Grace and peace to you and yours!

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Where The Finger Pointing Stops And The Scarred Hands And Feet Begin

Can we keep it real for just a moment? Let's be honest.



Yes, I'm a wretched sinner saved by grace (Romans 7:24). Today, in the midst of the on-going cultural debate on the legalization of sin, I can't stop thinking about some hard core truths. It reminds me of something I once read along the lines of how "I can't brag about my love for God, because I fail Him daily, but I can brag about His love for me, because it never fails." 
As a Bible-believing, God-fearing Christian, I claim no "moral high ground" based on my own merit. I know who I am and I know what I see when I look at myself in the mirror or consider my thoughts, words, actions, and inaction throughout the course of a single day. People tell me that "only God can judge!" which is true, but those same people fail to realize that He already has judged -- each and every single one of us -- by the truths found in His Word. 
He has judged me and I have been found guilty as charged. Case closed. That's why I agree with the Word of God as written in the Holy Bible and why I agree with what He Himself calls a "sin" even though I may have had many life experiences that tell me that most sins are "fun" and "pleasurable" (or are anything but the kind of danger He makes them out to be). Sin's seductive power is that it blinds us to the truth that only the holy Law of God can reveal by convicting us of our sins, and the wages of those sins is death. 
No, I'm not delusional...but I am a defeated victor! 
See, even though I know that I am a sinner, there's nothing I could ever do to help myself. Absolutely nothing! My so-called "behavior modification" and "good works" are nothing but "filthy rags" before a holy and perfect God. Thankfully, my help is in the name of the Creator who made heaven and earth...and even me! But rather than blame Him for "making me this way" I know that if left to myself, I would choose sin over righteousness, sin over Him, each and every time. "I was born this way!" you say? Sure, I suppose that's true -- if you mean that we're all conceived in sin and born into this world as sinners with the natural inclination to sin. 
That's where the finger-pointing stops and the scarred hands and feet begin! 
Because of Christ’s cruciform sacrifice for all mankind (for you and for me), I look to the cross daily and admit that I am a sinner, but then I can instantly bask in the blessing of my baptism by understanding that I am forgiven for His sake. Yet, the world continues to view a Christian like me as a "hypocritical racist" somehow. For what? For admitting that I am no better than anyone else? For simply agreeing with what God's Word says about me (about all of us)? How unfortunate. 
I get it though. From the world's perspective, sin of any kind is "freedom," and anything that treads on freedom is "intolerance" I'm told. Up is down, left is right, right is wrong, and black is white. Last I checked, however, blood is still red, and instead of focusing on only the "red letters" in my Bible all the time while excluding the others that are just as important, I prefer to recall what I read about the blood that was shed for every red-blooded human being on this planet that led to all of those words being written in the first place since "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith."  
Still, this day-and-age is really no different than any before it. Human beings since Adam and Eve have always been sinners in need of saving grace and they will continue to be that way until Judgment Day. That's why it is only through the preaching of God's Law and Gospel that eyes are finally opened so that the truth is recognized. Truth is, we all fall short of the glory of God -- me, you, all of us. Sin of any kind is sweet for a season, but in the end it offers only bondage, slavery, and eventual death. I definitely don't deserve it, but boy am I grateful that this wretched sinner was given everlasting life and imputed righteousness that only the true Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, can give me through His death on the cross in my place, and His resurrection and victory over Satan, and all as an unmerited gift of salvation! Yes, this gift is FREE and it's not just for me, but for you as well. 
Ephesians 2:8-9 "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast." 
Acts 17:29-30 "Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man. The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead." 
2 Peter 3:9 "The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance." 
Romans 5:15-21 "But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. And the free gift is not like the result of that one man's sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ. Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man's obedience the many will be made righteous. Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." 
(NOTE: Inspired by Scott Diekmann​'s recent commentary published by Steadfast Lutherans. One paragraph in particular was adapted and slightly modified here to "make it my own" and the rest is simply from the heart. Grace and peace!)


I originally intended to share this as a single paragraph on my Facebook page, but it took on a life of its own (imagine that!) and when one paragraph became four, then it became way too long to post it there. So, I thought I'd publish it as a blog post here instead.

In a Lutheran layman's terms, I am a wretched sinner saved by grace, and I am not ashamed of the Gospel for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.



NOTE: Please understand that I'm not a called and ordained minister of God's Word and Sacraments. I'm a layman or just a regular Christian, Candy-Making, Husband, Father, Friend who lives in the "City of Good Neighbors" here on the East Coast. To be more specific, and relevant to the point I want to make with this disclaimer/note, please understand that I'm also a newly converted Confessional Lutheran who recently escaped American Evangelicalism almost 2 years ago now. That being said, please contact me ASAP if you believe that any of my "old beliefs" seem to have crept their way into any of the material you see published here, and especially if any of the content is inconsistent with our Confessions and Lutheran doctrine (in other words, if it's not consistent with God's Word, which our Confessions merely summarize and repeatedly point us back to over and over again) so that I can correct those errors immediately and not lead any of His little ones astray (James 3:1). Also, please be aware that you might also discover that some of the earlier pieces I wrote for this blog back in 2013 definitely fall into that "Old Evangelical Adam" category since I was a "Lutheran-In-Name-Only" at the time and was completely oblivious to the fact that a Christian "Book of Concord" even existed (Small/Large Catechism? What's that!?!). This knowledge of the Lutheran basics was completely foreign to me even though I was baptized, confirmed, and married in an LCMS church! So, there are some entries that are a little "out there" so-to-speak since the subject matter was also heavy influenced by those old beliefs of mine. I know that now and I'm still learning. Anyway, I decided to leave those published posts up on this website and in cyberspace only because they are not blasphemous/heretical, because we now have this disclaimer, and only to demonstrate the continuing work of Christ and the Holy Spirit in my life (Hebrews 12:2; Philippians 1:6). Most importantly, please know that any time I engage in commenting on and/or interpreting a specific portion of the holy Scriptures, it will always closely follow the verse-by-verse notes from my Lutheran Study Bible and/or include references to the Book of Concord unless otherwise noted. Typically, I defer to what other Lutheran Pastors both past and present have already preached and taught about such passages since they are the called and ordained shepherds of our souls here on earth. Finally, I'm going to apologize ahead of time for the length of most entries (this disclaimer/note is a perfect example of what I mean! haha!). I'm well aware that blogs should be short, sweet, and to the point, but I've never been one to follow the rules when it comes to writing. Besides, this website is more like a "Christian Dude's Diary" in the sense that everything I write about and share publicly isn't always what's "popular" or "#trending" at the time, but is instead all the things that I'm experiencing and/or studying myself at the moment. For better or for worse, these posts tend to be much longer than most blog entries you'll find elsewhere only because I try to pack as much info as possible into a single piece so that I can refer to it again and again over time if I need to (and so that it can be a valuable resource for others -- if possible, a "One-Stop-Shop" of sorts). Thank you for stopping by and thank you in advance for your time, help, and understanding. Feel free to comment/email me at any time. Grace and peace to you and yours!

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'The Gospel Is Not...'

Short. Sweet. True.


 
The Gospel is not, "God accepts your brokenness" (which is false, by the way); it's not even "Jesus ate with sinners"; it's the news that Jesus, true God and true man, gave Himself up as an atoning sacrifice for your sins; that because of this, your very real transgressions against God's Law have been forgiven, His resurrection manifesting the definitive proof that you, and indeed all mankind, are reconciled to God; that you have a righteousness that is not your own, but is solely by faith in the Son of God. 
Look at the Lutheran "church" which has embraced the Gospel Reductionism of "Seminex." Look at it. Mark it. There is nothing surprising about where they have ended up. 
*- T David Demarest


In addition, there's this too...




Ok, but what is the pure, true Gospel then if we were to elaborate a bit?

The following article is quoted in full from the Christian Cyclopedia provided by The LCMS.


The Law And The Gospel 
“The law is a divine doctrine which reveals the righteousness and immutable will of God, shows how man ought to be disposed in his nature, thoughts, words, and deeds in order to be pleasing and acceptable to God, and threatens the transgressors of the law with God's wrath and temporal and eternal punishment. For, as Luther says against the nomoclasts, ‘Everything that rebukes sin is and belongs to the law, the proper function of which is to condemn sin and to lead to a knowledge of sin’ (Rom. 3:20; 7:7). Since unbelief is a root and fountainhead of all culpable sin, the law reproves unbelief also.” (FC SD V 17) 
“The Gospel, strictly speaking, is the kind of doctrine that teaches what a man who has not kept the law and is condemned by it should believe, namely, that Christ has satisfied and paid for all guilt and without man's merit has obtained and won for him forgiveness of sins, the ‘righteousness that avails before God’ [Romans 1:17; 2 Corinthians 5:21], and eternal life.” (FC Ep V 4) 
“The word ‘Gospel’ is not used in a single sense in Holy Scripture, and this was the original occasion of the controversy. Therefore we believe, teach, and confess that when the word ‘Gospel’ means the entire doctrine of Christ which he proclaimed personally in his teaching ministry and which his apostles also set forth (examples of this meaning occur in Mark 1:15 and Acts 20:24), then it is correct to say or write that the Gospel is a proclamation both of repentance and of forgiveness of sins.” (FC Ep V 6) 
Law and Gospel do not differ if Law is taken in a broad sense, as in Isaiah 2:3, or if Gospel is taken in a broad sense, as in Mark 1:1. They do not contradict each other. Both are God’s Word; both are in the OT and NT; both are to be applied to people everywhere, including Christians. 
The fact that Law and Gospel differ in their narrow sense is suggested or indicated, e.g., Zechariah 11:7; Matthew 13:52; Luke 12:42; Romans 10:4; Galatians 3:24. The difference was used, e.g., 2 Samuel 12:1–14: Luke 7:36–50; Acts 2:37–39; 16:27–31; 1 Corinthians 5:1–5; 2 Corinthians 2:6–8. 
Differences: (a) The Law was written into man’s heart: the Gospel is not known by nature, but was revealed through Jesus and the Word of God. (b) The Law contains commandments of what we are to do and not to do and how we are to be; the Gospel reveals what God has done and still does for our salvation. (c) The Law promises eternal life conditionally; the Gospel promises it freely. (d) The Law demands perfect fulfillment and pronounces curses and threats if there is no perfect fulfillment; the Gospel has only promises and comforting assurrances. (e) The purpose of the Law is to serve as a curb, mirror, and rule (see also FC VI); the purpose of the Gospel is to forgive sins and give heaven and salvation as a free gift. 
Law and Gospel are both operative in conversion. But the very nature of justification excludes the Law and leaves the Gospel as the only means whereby God justifies the sinner. The incentive power of the Gospel and the criterion of the Law are operative in sanctification. WFG 
********************************************** 
W. Geihsler, “The Law and the Gospel,” The Abiding Word, I, ed. T. Laetsch (St. Louis, 1946), 105–123; C. F. W. Walther, The Proper Distinction Between Law and Gospel, reproduced from the Ger. ed. of 1897 by W. H. T. Dau (St. Louis, 1929); W. Elert, “Gesetz und Zorn Gottes,” Morphologie des Luthertums, I (Munich, 1931; improved print., 1952), 31–39, tr. W. A. Hansen, “The Law and the Wrath of God,” The Structure of Lutheranism, I (St. Louis, 1962), 35–43; T. M. McDonough, The Law and the Gospel in Luther (London, 1963).


I hope that helps to clarify things for you.

In a Lutheran layman's terms, with so much current confusion in Christ's Church today over the core of our faith (a.k.a. the Gospel of Jesus Christ) is it any wonder why we see Christians so easily influenced by the culture around them when we can't even seem to grasp the basics?



NOTE: Please understand that I'm not a called and ordained minister of God's Word and Sacraments. I'm a layman or just a regular Christian, Candy-Making, Husband, Father, Friend who lives in the "City of Good Neighbors" here on the East Coast. To be more specific, and relevant to the point I want to make with this disclaimer/note, please understand that I'm also a newly converted Confessional Lutheran who recently escaped American Evangelicalism almost 2 years ago now. That being said, please contact me ASAP if you believe that any of my "old beliefs" seem to have crept their way into any of the material you see published here, and especially if any of the content is inconsistent with our Confessions and Lutheran doctrine (in other words, if it's not consistent with God's Word, which our Confessions merely summarize and repeatedly point us back to over and over again) so that I can correct those errors immediately and not lead any of His little ones astray (James 3:1). Also, please be aware that you might also discover that some of the earlier pieces I wrote for this blog back in 2013 definitely fall into that "Old Evangelical Adam" category since I was a "Lutheran-In-Name-Only" at the time and was completely oblivious to the fact that a Christian "Book of Concord" even existed (Small/Large Catechism? What's that!?!). This knowledge of the Lutheran basics was completely foreign to me even though I was baptized, confirmed, and married in an LCMS church! So, there are some entries that are a little "out there" so-to-speak since the subject matter was also heavy influenced by those old beliefs of mine. I know that now and I'm still learning. Anyway, I decided to leave those published posts up on this website and in cyberspace only because they are not blasphemous/heretical, because we now have this disclaimer, and only to demonstrate the continuing work of Christ and the Holy Spirit in my life (Hebrews 12:2; Philippians 1:6). Most importantly, please know that any time I engage in commenting on and/or interpreting a specific portion of the holy Scriptures, it will always closely follow the verse-by-verse notes from my Lutheran Study Bible and/or include references to the Book of Concord unless otherwise noted. Typically, I defer to what other Lutheran Pastors both past and present have already preached and taught about such passages since they are the called and ordained shepherds of our souls here on earth. Finally, I'm going to apologize ahead of time for the length of most entries (this disclaimer/note is a perfect example of what I mean! haha!). I'm well aware that blogs should be short, sweet, and to the point, but I've never been one to follow the rules when it comes to writing. Besides, this website is more like a "Christian Dude's Diary" in the sense that everything I write about and share publicly isn't always what's "popular" or "#trending" at the time, but is instead all the things that I'm experiencing and/or studying myself at the moment. For better or for worse, these posts tend to be much longer than most blog entries you'll find elsewhere only because I try to pack as much info as possible into a single piece so that I can refer to it again and again over time if I need to (and so that it can be a valuable resource for others -- if possible, a "One-Stop-Shop" of sorts). Thank you for stopping by and thank you in advance for your time, help, and understanding. Feel free to comment/email me at any time. Grace and peace to you and yours!

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