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Lutherandom Musings Along Memory Lane (1/18/2014)

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): Do you know "Christianese" or how to talk like a Christian? (BTW, this is satire, and not meant to be taken seriously as if I'm somehow suggesting that Christians MUST talk like this "or else!" they might not be a "real" Christian, because that would by pious, self-righteous, Law-Gospel-Law type of stuff.)

The From Geneva To Wittenberg blog has an excellent post on hypocrisy titled "Christians Are Hypocrites" although it's not the kind of commentary you're probably expecting or likely to have read before. It's a short piece that packs a lot of pure doctrinal punch, and it' worth reading in full, but here's the key takeaways: "First, Christianity is not a self-help program...Second, Christianity is not moralism...Thirdly, those outside the church see right through us...Well, people have a completely incorrect view of what church is."

I'm pretty sure that many of you listened to Chris Rosebrough's interview on Fighting For The Faith with Tullian Tchividjian from a few days ago (if you haven't, then make sure you do). I saw an intriguing commentary in response that I think is definitely worth prayerfully considering. The Luther, Baptists, And Evangelicals blog has an entry titled "Evangelicals Who Love Lutheranism...Have No Clue About Lutheranism" that I think makes some pretty legitimate points. I know I'm only a few months into my Confessional Lutheran conversion, but everything I read there seems spot on. I would love to get your thoughts and have you weigh in though to help me make sure that his position is accurate, Biblically sound, and Confessionally strong.

9:30AM DOSE OF VITAMIN D (DOCTRINE): The First Premise
highlighted a quote by Jobst Schone who was writing in "Law and Gospel in Hermann Sasse" about the Doctrine of Justification. "For Luther this is the gospel -- a joyful message that God forgives all sin and regards the sinner as justified and holy, regardless of his shortcomings and transgressions. It applies to the sinner who has learned to despair of himself, who longs for salvation, and who hopes in Christ to be free from sin and from eternal punishment. This gospel turns out to be no mere theory or teaching about the possibility of forgiveness. Rather, it is the concrete offer of God, proclaimed and thereby made effective. What the gospel promises and announces becomes a reality for the believer. This gospel is abandoned wherever any form of human righteousness replaces Christ’s righteousness or adds to it. According to Hermann Sasse, the Lutheran doctrine of justification, though formulated in the sixteenth century, is much more directed against modern Protestantism and its overestimation of human abilities than against medieval theology or Roman Catholicism of the sixteenth century. At least medieval Christianity knew of Christ’s merit, though relying on human merits as well. For modern Protestantism, however, fashioned by the Enlightenment, there exists no more the 'Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.' Instead, Christ has been made into a new legislator -- a second Moses, who left us a system of morals and religion."

I'm currently engaged in a never-ending debate with a friend who insists that the Christian life is all about "A Personal Relationship With Jesus Christ" and that Sanctification is more important than Justification, because it's supposedly the "evidence" that you really are a Christian and saved. Now, while I would tend to agree with him to a point -- but only in the sense that we do have a "Personal Relationship With Jesus Christ" because Jesus is personally present for me in His Word and Holy Sacraments -- I'm simply getting worn out by the constant refusal to admit that one position is SUBJECTIVE while the other is OBJECTIVE; one position makes it ALL ABOUT ME while the other keeps it ALL ABOUT CHRIST. So, here's an oldie but a goodie from Worldview Everlasting and Pastor Jonathan Fisk titled "It's Not A Religion! It's A Religion! So There!" that will help to address this issue Biblically and from a Lutheran perspective..

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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