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What Luther Says

Lutherandom Musings Along Memory Lane

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 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.

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! Who's with me?

No, it's not 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 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). 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! Let's get the show started already, shall we?

8:00AM DOSE OF VITAMIN A (AMUSEMENT): Remember when Comedian Penn Jillette converted CNN's Piers Morgan into a Lutheran?

reminds us that "It's A Simul Thing" and that's absolutely critical for us Lutherans to remember at all times. "That a Christian is 'simultaneously righteous and a sinner,' is the hinge on which all Lutheran theology turns. For Lutherans, without this 'simul' distinction our theology lapses into moralism. Salvation is reduced to a process of self-improvement in which God and man each contribute their fair share and man’s progress is measured against a scale of increasing holiness. To Lutherans this is totally unacceptable as it is incompatible with Scripture." Sadly, I contend that a lot of Lutheran churches and Lutherans have forgotten this central Biblical truth. Gosh, I myself certainly did for many, many years until just recently. Sure, I intellectually believed this truth from God's Word, but I didn't reinforce it (didn't preach the Gospel to myself) on a regular basis. Instead, I was feeding myself with a Buffet of American Evangelicalism, or versions of Christianity that contained absolutely nothing of this key truth, and so I was deceived and fell into a religion of Moralism and Self-Improvement rather than falling again and again into the forgiving, gracious, merciful, saving arms of Jesus Christ like we're supposed to. In short, it subtly became more about me and what I did or didn't do than about Him and what He has already done.

9:00AM DOSE OF VITAMIN C (CONFESSIONAL): "God gives Pastors to His Church so that His flock might be fed and brought to saving faith. This happens when and where the Holy Spirit wills when the Gospel is taught and the Sacraments are administered (Augsburg Confession, V). So that His flock might be fed, God gives pastors to His Church. Every pastor feeds his flock. The question is not, 'Is the flock being fed?' but rather, 'what are they eating?' Are they being fed with the pure Word of God or something else? When something else becomes the main course, whether it’s psychology, motivational speaking, ten steps to a better life, etc., pastors cease being pastors and sheep cease being sheep. Suffering and death will still come, but there will be no resurrection. While insights drawn from psychology and the business world can be utilized with profit in caring for souls, it is the view of the Lord Jesus that the best sheep food on the market is theology. Far from being an abstract, other-worldly, and irrelevant pursuit, the love of theology yields concrete, practical, and relevant nourishment for every child of God. The Word alone can raise us up to new life. As Jesus told the tempter, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God,' (Matthew 4:4). So it is the sacred task of the pastor, as the under-shepherd of the Lord, to feed the flock with the Word, and in particular, with those means of grace to which the Word testifies." Sheep Food By Pastor Eric Andersen
9:30AM DOSE OF VITAMIN D (DOCTRINE): As if there was any uncertainty regarding what the ELCA truly believes and teaches, this should put it to rest. It would seem that the ELCA has been doing some Small Group Studies centered around Rob Bell's bestseller Love Wins since they continue to fully abandon pure doctrinal truths. Why do I say that? Because for the ELCA, doctrine doesn't matter. I'm sure nothing the ELCA says or does will surprise you anymore, but you might want to put your cup of coffee down before you read this. "Jim Hazelwood, Bishop of the New England Synod of the ELCA went to a youth camp this summer and taught the heresy of universalism to the 450 youth in attendance. The bishop held what he called, 'Text And Talk With The Bish' where he invited the youth to text him any questions and then stood before them for 15 minutes and answered many of the texts he received. Bishop Hazelwood blogged about his heretical teaching, sharing that one student texted, 'Do you think god sends nonbelievers to hell?' Bishop Hazelwood gave this answer to the youth, 'No, I don't think God sends nonbelievers to hell, because God is not in that business. Plus it's not about what we believe, it's about the fact that God believes in us.'" [Via]

10:00AM DOSE OF VITAMIN E (EVERYTHING ELSE): Over 105 million views since early September and we still don't know what the Fox says, huh? Well, I do know that Jesus called Herod a "fox" in Luke 13:32. We all know about Herod the Great, the one who was in power when Jesus was born and who slaughtered the innocent children after the Magi told him about the Christ child, but this is his son, Herod Antipas, that Jesus was referring to in response to the Pharisees? Luke 23:6-11 doesn't give us Herod Antipas' exact words to Jesus when our Lord and Savior stood before him, but it does tell us that he did say some contemptuous and mocking things. I guess we still don't really know what the fox says then, huh?

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

In a Lutheran Layman's terms, now that your belly's full and you're wide awake, go outside and play!

Grace and peace to you and yours!


About JKR

Christian. Husband. Father. Friend.

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Thank you for visiting A Lutheran Layman! Please feel free to leave a comment or a question since we do not exercise censorship. We've seen a similar policy with other blogs and it's worth repeating: Please act as if you're a guest in my home, and we'll get along just fine. I think anyone would agree that the kind of back-and-forth that is characteristic of blogs/chat forums and social media is becoming tiresome for all of us. Still, we should confess, edify, and love (and contend and defend when needed). Bottom line? Search the Scriptures! Apply Acts 17:11 to anything and everything you find here and, if you do happen to disagree with something you find here (which is certainly ok), or think I'm "irresponsible" and "wrong" for writing it, then please refute my position by supporting yours with Scripture and/or the Confessions. I don't think that's an unreasonable request, especially for those who identify themselves as "Christians" here, right? Besides, Proverbs 27:17 tells us "Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another" and 2 Timothy 3:16 says, "all Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness." If you have an opinion that's great, I welcome it, but try to support it using God's Word. I mean, if the goal here is to help us all arrive at the truth of God's Word (myself included), then it should be easy to follow through on this one simple request (I'm talking to all you "Anonymous" visitors out there). Grace and peace to you and yours!

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