Lutherandom Musings Along Memory Lane (Saturday 11/23/2013)

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): This week, it was easy choosing the story for this category. On second thought, maybe it was a bad choice for those who will lose their appetite for breakfast this morning after seeing this.


8:30AM DOSE OF VITAMIN B (BEST OF THE BLOGS):
Many of you probably saw this one already, but as a husband who's approaching his 10th Anniversary in just a few months "The Real Truth about 'Boring' Men — And The Women Who Live With Them: Redefining Boring" resonated with me. It too was an easy selection for this category this week. Enjoy!


9:00AM DOSE OF VITAMIN C (CONFESSIONAL):
"These facts raise what constitutes the real question of the life and death for Missouri as it has for every other Lutheran Church. It is not the question concerning the strength of the eternal organization, the constitution, the growth of the congregation, or the school system. Nor is it the question with respect to the position of the Confession as the basis for the message and work of the church. Rather it is the question concerning the strength of the Lutheran faith in the sense of the genuine deep faith of the heart in the saving Gospel, which the Holy Spirit alone can give. It is the question whether, and to what extent this strongest confessional church of Lutheranism is a truly confessing church, a church in which the Lutheran Confession is not merely held in honor as the confession of the fathers and therefore in force and untouchable, it is the question whether the Confession is the confession of a living faith of the congregation, and therefore the formative life-principle of the church. It is the question which Missouri, even as every other church, must ask herself in humility and must answer before the face of God: Are we still Lutheran?" Hermann Sasse, Letters to Lutheran Pastors, No. 20.


9:30AM DOSE OF VITAMIN D (DOCTRINE):
Matthew 7:15 "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves." Deceit has its strength in masquerading as the truth. False prophets speak a vision of their own heart, not from the mouth of the Lord (Jeremiah 23:16–29). They deny the judgment of the Lord, speaking peace to the unrepentant, when in truth there is condemnation and wrath. "You will recognize them by their fruits" (Matthew 7:20). The "fruits" of a true prophet are not outward righteousness or success but faithfulness in proclaiming the Word of the Lord. This is the will of the Father in Heaven, that Pastors take heed to the flock, the Father’s adopted ones (Romans 8:12–17), warning them against the wolves and their lies, and shepherding the Church of God which He purchased with His own blood (Acts 20:27–38). For indeed, the cross is that good tree bearing good fruit -- namely, the body and blood of Christ, given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins. Luther commented: "For it is certain that false teachers and false prophets will arise wherever this Word is preached. We must boldly consider the two kinds of doctrine, the true and good, and the false and erroneous, and that they will always accompany each other, for thus it has been from the beginning, and thus it will continue to the end of the world. Hence it will not do for us to creep along in silence, and resort to a safe and secure manner of life. The evil teachings of men and the doctrines of devils, and all our enemies oppose us without ceasing, and hence we dare not think that the issue is settled. We are not yet across the river. Therefore the Lord diligently warns us and says: 'Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.'" [Via]


10:00AM DOSE OF VITAMIN E (EVERYTHING ELSE): When you get a chance, please check out this excellent sermon by Pastor Larry Peters from 2010. Sure, it's a short Reformation Day sermon, but it fits nicely with the theme in this space this week. Here's a small taste: "Not so long ago I had a conversation with a Christian who wondered about those Lutherans, especially their educational programs. I told him about us and related about Sunday school and Bible study, but he did not seem interested. Then I talked about catechism class and confirmation and it was catechism class that caught his interest. He saw it as an indoctrination (negative idea) in which we told kids the answers when we should have been equipping them to think for themselves and choose their own answers to life’s big questions. I responded that catechism was indeed indoctrination -- not to the teachings of men but the embrace of God’s Word and the teaching that alone imparts forgiveness, life and salvation. This man saw the truth of God’s Word as many truths, taught by many different denominations, and the Christian’s purpose to find the version of truth that fits you. We all find temptation to see matters of faith as less about truth than about interpretation -- as if God’s Word were sufficiently vague to make it impossible to know whose take on that Word is genuine and true. We all find certain attraction that we get to decide what Scripture says and what is truth. I am here today to tell you that this is baloney. The different ways people read God’s Word are not merely variations on a theme but radically different Gospels. The Reformation of Luther is not about competing interpretations but about the one Gospel which is true and others which are false. If you read St. Paul’s letters, you hear him warn the people against departing from the truth that He delivered to them. He was not offering one version of the truth but the only truth that saves -- the truth of Jesus Christ. We face exactly the same challenge today." Yes, we most certainly do, don't we?


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!]

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