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What Luther Says

Lutherandom Musings Along Memory Lane (Saturday 11/2/2013)

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 your VDMA Vitamins like 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): Why did Martin Luther only write and nail his 95 Theses on the door of the Castle Church of Wittenberg? Because...

I just discovered another really good Lutheran blog/podcast for the first time this week! But what makes this one so endearing to me is the fact that one of the individuals associated with it sounds like he's had a very similar journey as the one I've recently had. "Everyone who has followed Radical Grace Radio for a long time knows what this Radio host thinks about John MacArthur and his 'gospel.' As many of you know I am a Lutheran, LCMS, converted from Evangelicalism by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Because I spent many, many years lost in that Evangelical Wasteland hearing many false Gospels, when I finally found the so called Wittenberg Trail it was a relief. In fact, it was a bomb shell. To find out that Jesus Christ is not either a new Moses bringing new laws, or a helper who will instruct me in living a holy life, was explosive. To find out that Jesus, our Prophet, Priest and King, is truly a savior whose death, shed blood, rest in the tomb and resurrection saves me AND his church changed everything. The Gospel of the incarnation, of propitiation of sin, of Justification by faith alone, of the imputation of Christ's righteousness to me as if I myself were every bit as righteous as he is, is absolutely glorious. But then, when I started to look back at the myriad of teachers and preachers, and fully realized how utterly devoid of good news many of these teachers and churches are, I was dumbfounded. How could any of these churches, preachers and teachers talk so much about us, about our works, our sanctification and leave out the radiant truth and beauty of the Gospel was beyond comprehension and still is." Amen! You can read the rest here.

9:00AM DOSE OF VITAMIN C (CONFESSIONAL): "2. We believe, teach, and confess that the words of Christ's testament are not to be understood in any other way than the way they read, according to the letter. So the bread does not signify Christ's absent body and the wine His absent blood. But, because of the sacramental union, the bread and the wine are truly Christ's body and blood. 3. Now, about the consecration, we believe, teach, and confess that no work of man or recitation of the minister produces this presence of Christ's body and blood in the Holy Supper. Instead, this presence is to be credited only and alone to the almighty power of our Lord Jesus Christ. 4. At the same time we also believe, teach, and confess unanimously that in the use of the Holy Supper the words of Christ's institution should in no way be left out. Instead, they should be publicly recited, as it is written in 1 Corinthians 10:16, 'The cup of blessing that we bless' and so forth. This blessing occurs through the reciting of Christ's words." Formula, Epitome (Article VII. The Holy Supper of Christ) Confession of the Pure Teaching about the Holy Supper against the Sacramentarians

9:30AM DOSE OF VITAMIN D (DOCTRINE): The Confessional Gadfly by Rev. Eric Brown preaches on the "Doctrine of Contentment" and beautifully and succinctly teaches us about the often quoted (but often misunderstood) text of Philippians 4:10-13. Here's a small taste: "Contentment. In all the ramblings about how you need to grow, how you need to do better, how you need to be a better Christian... how often do you hear about contentment? I mean, it's the chief point of Philippians - Paul is content. Even though he suffers in prison... eh, it gives me a chance to preach to my jailers. I am content. I know the peace that surpasses all human understanding - I know I am redeemed by Christ, justified and forgiven. I know that whatever I see, He will raise me to life everlasting. I am content. But that's not what we talk about -- no, that's too... passive. We want to be active, we want to be the hero, we want to be the ones running around and doing doing doing things. See, it even says that I can do all things... " Wow! Pay attention, because he just gave us a prescription for the antidote we need -- the Gospel of Jesus Christ, or the healing balm for all that distracts, deceives, and plagues us in this life.

As I continue to cut the cord and detach myself from Evangelicalism, I have to say that it's been one heck of a wild ride to say the least! It seems I'm starting to realize that the prominent voices I had been listening to and learning from for so long have a real genuine disdain for Lutheran doctrine that I never noticed before. Here's what Dan Phillips of the popular Pyromaniacs blog had to say in a post titled "What Lutherans Have Done For 5 Centuries" that clearly revealed his true beliefs about guys like me while attempting to save face by giving us a pat-on-the-back in the end: "...we here at PyroManiacs are all confessional baptists, and by definition and confession we reject all manner of Lutheranism in fact every day we exist -- including the proto-Lutheranism of Luther. We reject his baby baptizing, his philosophy of the eucharist, his ecclesiology, and frankly his politics. I'd be willing to roll in the fellows over at the Cripplegate as well even though I can't really speak for them. We're all of the same stripe, and we're not Lutheran or endorsers of much of what Luther said or wrote apart from the Bondage of the Will." Ouch! Now, I know I just ripped that excerpt out of its larger context (Phillips was responding to a comment by Dr. Michael Brown after the Strange Fire Conference that has had the Christian Blogosphere buzzing), but I use it because I still find it quite remarkable to see where the Lord has taken me in such a short period of time. I mean, a few short months ago, I was having my faith formed by Mr. Phillips and his cohorts. Now, it's the complete opposite! Lutheran doctrine has given me a completely Biblical perspective that has been graciously given to me by the Lord along with "the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding" (Philippians 4:7).

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, but play nice and never, ever bend the rules just to get along (Galatians 1:10).

Grace and peace to you and yours!

[NOTE: As you know, I am a newly converted Confessional Lutheran who recently escaped American Evangelicalism. 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 not consistent with Lutheran doctrine -- in other words, if it's not consistent with God's Word -- so that I can correct those errors immediately and not lead any of His little ones astray. Thank you in advance for your time and help. 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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