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What Luther Says

Lutherandom Musings Along Memory Lane (Saturday 12/7/2013)

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 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 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): My 8-year-old son Luke has been asking for a Nintendo 3DS for Christmas for months now. With that in mind, I thought this video was pretty funny, especially since his Mom and I can relate at least when it comes to the cost of that handheld gaming system. Enjoy!

This is an incredible message! Take it from me, an ex-Evangelical who was infected by the constant message that I wasn't "radical" enough for Jesus since I didn't have "crazy love" for Him and needed to doubt my salvation, this is the perfect antidote to that kind of false doctrine that's currently deceiving millions. Please prayerfully consider the truth, an accurate presentation of Law and Gospel (and Lutheran doctrine), as it's from in the "Salvation Is Expensive" message.

Yes, I realize I already posted this on my Facebook page, but it's really so good and so applicable to our "Jesus Is My Homeboy!" and "The Big Guy Upstairs!" day-and-age that I just have to call attention to it here as well. Here's the latest video from Pastor Fisk and Worldview Everlasting and here's what I believe to be the money quote: "You can't even ever know Jesus in the way that you know, like, maybe your office secretary or postman, because the fact of the matter is that Jesus is in Heaven and you are here. So, having a 'personal relationship' with Him face-to-face is pretty much impossible. This was the idea behind His sending the apostles, His 'sent ones,' and they, in fact, sending others to preach Jesus' words so you could, in fact, know about Jesus -- know who He is, what He's done through His own words, pressed down, through the lips of sinners, nonetheless perfect through the present day, to reach, confirm, call, gather, enlighten, save, regenerate...you. This is not done through some squishy, oozy blending of you and Jesus in the present by mystical, spiritual experiences. This is through the doctrine, the systematic, the creed, the belief, the faith alone in who Jesus is and what He's done. It's amazing how quickly the churches of 'Sola Fide,' 'Faith Alone,' go away from faith and choose emotion alone instead, when the fact of the matter is we are a people of the Word of God if we are Christians; that is all we can ever be. A people who hear what God says, and say, 'Amen! Let it be to me as You have spoken! Thy will be done!' This is faith alone -- to receive what God has said and then confess it again. So, if you really want to 'know Jesus,' I would submit for your edification, that you should strive to know as much as you can about Jesus. It's not that bare knowledge is, in fact, faith -- that's quite wrong and justly condemned. I mean, you could know a ton about Jesus and reject what that means, you can certainly not admit your sin or receive forgiveness, believe in the forgiveness which Jesus has purchased for you on the cross, all the same, neither can you have faith without this knowledge. 'How will they believe if they do not hear? And how shall they hear if they don't have somebody preaching to them? Faith comes by hearing, hearing by the Word of God' Romans 10 -- it should be central to almost everything you ever do when you think about how you relate to God. Do you want to know who God is? Then confess who He is, said that He is. He is now, Jesus Christ, the Man, the Person, ascended to the right hand of the God, ruling over all things by means of His Spirit who speaks and acts and works through His inspired, inerrant, perfect Word, written in the Scriptures for you, confessed whenever we lift those Scriptures up and say exactly what they say, which can be known." Pastor Fisk

The Lutheran church derives its name from Martin Luther (1483-1546), an Augustinian monk whose posting of the 95 Theses on October 31st, 1517, sparked the Reformation. The documents which present what Lutherans believe, teach, and confess were assembled and published in 1580 in The Book of Concord. For more than 400 years, these documents have served as a normative statement of the Christian faith as Lutherans confess it. The confessional article of the constitution of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) states that "the Synod and every member of the Synod, accepts without reservation the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament as the written Word of God and the only rule and norm of faith and of practice," and all the writings in the Book of Concord as "a true and unadulterated statement and exposition of the Word of God" (LCMS Constitution II). Significantly, the very first documents included in The Book of Concord are the three ancient ecumenical creeds compiled during the early, formative years of the Christian era -- the Apostles' Creed (ca. third century A.D.), the Nicene Creed (fourth century), and the Athanasian Creed (fifth and sixth centuries). In addition, the Book of Concord includes Luther's Small Catechism (1529) and the Augsburg Confession (1530), and five other 16th century statements, including Luther's Large Catechism and the Formula of Concord. Luther and the other writers of these confessions did not want to be doctrinal innovators. They, together with their contemporary descendants, maintain that we believe and teach nothing more and nothing less than what the Scriptures themselves teach and what Christians through the ages have always believed. We therefore consider ourselves to be catholic (small "c"), which means "universal." At the same time, we have always thought of ourselves as evangelical (in some countries, the Lutheran Church is still today referred to as simply the Evangelical Church), since the evangel–the Gospel, the good news of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ for the sins of the world–is at the heart and core of everything we believe and teach. We Lutherans, therefore, can rightly be regarded as evangelical catholics. Standing firmly in the tradition of the trinitarian and Christological formulations of the 4th and 5th centuries, we believe that sinners are justified (declared right) with the Creator God by grace alone (sola gratia), through faith alone (sola fide), on the basis of Scripture alone (sola scriptura). These three great "Reformation solas" form a handy outline of what Missouri Synod Lutherans believe, teach, and confess.

Can we all agree to be the ones to stand up and be the voice of truth whenever Nelson Mandela comes up in the days and weeks ahead? Of course, we want to speak "the truth in love" (Ephesians 4:15), but let's make sure there's actual truth with the loving words we speak. What do I mean exactly? Well, just that the "demigod" status given to Mandela when he was alive, and especially now in his death, is grossly inconsistent with reality. You might want to watch this for specifics. You can watch the full interview for more through Wretched TV's YouTube channel. 

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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