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Lutherandom Musings Along Memory Lane (Saturday 11/16/2013)

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): The newest movie trailer for the film Noah starring Russell Crowe came out this week. I decided to reference this as your weekly dose of Vitamin A in case you missed earlier reports of various controversies surrounding this project. For instance, the filmmaker describes Noah as "the first environmentalist" which gives you some idea of how inaccurate his portrayal of Noah, God, and the Bible will be. You've been warned, my dear friends. The amusing part to all of this is how these Hollywood types think they can easily cash-in on a piece of human history that's recorded for us in the Bible while taking so many liberties with the text. Then again, The History Channel's recent rendition was equally disgusting, and yet, they earned accolades and set viewership records with "Christians" worldwide. Lord, come quickly!

I just discovered a Lutheran blog called The 96th Thesis that just wrapped up an excellent 6-part series this past week called "Theological Pietism" (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6). What do you think? I'm wondering if anyone else has read it or if you're familiar with this blog. My apologies, but I'm not prepared to comment on any of that just yet, because I do need to read it more closely and slowly, but I did want to reference this 6-part series since it does bring up several good points for us to prayerfully consider from what I can tell (unless I'm missing something). Drop me a note in the Comments Section and please let me know what you think.

Following my recent discussions with our church's Board of Deacons and the Interim Pastor regarding our use of "Lay Deacons" during the Divine Service, I've been spending some time reading C.F.W. Walther's The Church & The Office of The Ministry. In Thesis I On The Office, there is this excellent quote from Martin Chemnitz: "All Christians are indeed priests, 1 Peter 2:9; Revelation 1:6, because they offer spiritual sacrifices to God. Everyone can and should teach the Word of God in his home, Deuteronomy 6:7; 1 Corinthians 14:26. But not every Christian may take on and arrogate to himself the public office of the Word and Sacraments. For not all are apostles; not all are teachers, 1 Corinthians 12:29, but only those who by a special and legitimate call have been set apart for this office, Acts 13:2-3; Jeremiah 23:4; Romans 10:15. This is done either mediately or immediately." (Examen concilii Tridentini 2.1) (Cf. Chemnitz's Works 2:678)

1 Timothy 6:2-10 "2 Those who have believing masters must not be disrespectful on the ground that they are brothers; rather they must serve all the better since those who benefit by their good service are believers and beloved. Teach and urge these things. 3 If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, 4 he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, 5 and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain. 6 Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, 7 for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. 8 But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. 9 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs." The Lutheran Study Bible comments: "Rather than being content with what we have, we by nature covet the things we do not have. Those who covet often see money as a wonderful solution to all of life's problems. But those who love money are in grave danger; they risk losing their faith in Christ. Our Savior has blessed us with the riches of His priceless salvation. Nothing can separate us from His love. As He tenderly cares for us through His Word of promise, we are able to enjoy lives of godliness with contentment. All that we can take with us when we leave this world is the life and immortality that Jesus has given us through faith -- and that is more than enough! Give us grace, dear Lord, rightly to regard the wealth we call our own, that it might not be a curse in our lives but a blessing. Amen."

10:00AM DOSE OF VITAMIN E (EVERYTHING ELSE): Pastor Matt Richard highlighted an excellent quote from Gene E. Veith that resonated with me since I'm American Evangelicalism's red-headed stepchild. "Lutheranism is the true emergent Christianity. That is, the way to reach postmoderns is not to water down faith (which was the tactic, mostly unsuccessful, to reach modernists), but to emphasize faith as Lutheranism does, in a way that is different from much of contemporary Christianity." Precisely! I'm Exhibit A when it comes to such an assertion. He's right!

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, and you have the whole day in front of you, just go outside and play, but play nice and never, ever bend the rules just to get along or to be liked (Galatians 1:10; Jude 1:3).

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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