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What Luther Says

Thrivent Financial Demonstrates Why Doctrine Matters

Thanks to my buddy Mark for sending this to me today, because I had missed it.

LCMS Initial Reaction To Thrivent's 'Financial Neutrality Policy'

The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, guided by the Word of God, is unabashedly and actively pro-life. Thus we are deeply concerned by Thrivent Financial for Lutherans’ decision, announced Feb. 6, 2014, to adopt a “Financial Neutrality Policy” effective immediately to guide its decisions for outreach funding of charitable organizations.

Under this new policy, neither pro-abortion nor pro-life organizations are eligible to receive outreach support or funding from any of Thrivent’s charitable assistance funding programs. While we applaud the restrictions on funding pro-abortion organizations, this is not the outcome we had envisioned for the more than 50 pro-life charitable organizations that have received Thrivent assistance in the past to provide key support for women, children and families. Sadly, this leaves many Christian pro-life agencies providing these pivotal services in a position of unexpected financial shortfall.

Synod leadership is keenly aware of these troubling events and is in the process of reviewing the details and implications of this new policy to determine a course of action in response to it.

In the meantime, under the new policy, we understand that LCMS members may earmark their Thrivent Choice Dollars® for their local parish, and we encourage LCMS parishes receiving these funds to use them to fund pro-life organizations. We further encourage LCMS Thrivent members to contact Thrivent directly with any questions or concerns about its policy.

Truly tragic.

Galatians 1:10 (ESV) For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.

Obviously, it would appear that Thrivent thrives on "the approval of man" and on "trying to please man" too. Don't believe me?

An Odd Choice

The guy in the Mercedes full of cash is Jordan Belfort, the real-life “Wolf of Wall Street.” Leonardo DiCaprio portrays Belfort in the new movie based on his memoir of penny stocks, prostitutes, cocaine and crime.

Belfort defrauded the clients of his Stratton Oakmont brokerage house out of more than $110 million in the late 1990s. He made (stole) a lot of money for (from) a lot of people. He still owes those people almost $100 million in restitution.

Belfort was also one of the speakers at the most recent Thrivent Financial for Lutherans' National Sales Meeting.

No joke.

Belfort seems an odd choice of speaker to address Thrivent’s sales force. Thivent’s website says, “Thrivent Financial does what’s best for our members, supporting the values of faith, family, stewardship and service.”

So was Belfort there to teach Thrivent’s salespeople how not to do their jobs?

That must be it.

Obviously, Thrivent thrives on the worship of "mammon" at The Altar of Political Correctness as well (Matthew 6:24; Luke 16:13).

Recently, we've been spending A LOT of time talking about the importance and necessity of doctrine. This is due to many reasons (some of which stem from instances in my own personal life at this time like conversations with others), but mainly because doctrine matters to God.

This whole notion that "Doctrine Divides!" and "Deeds Not Creeds!" that's so prevalent -- as if any talk about anything outside of what John 3:16 says -- is both absurd and dangerous.

I firmly believe that this continuing controversy involving Thrivent Financial demonstrates quite clearly why doctrine matters.

Yesterday, we talked about how doctrine determines practice particularly in a church setting and during the worship service. Today, we see that doctrine determines practice in personal and professional life as well.

In a Lutheran Layman's terms, "for there must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized" (1 Corinthians 11:19). The divisions, though sad, made clear who was following apostolic teaching and who was not.

I think we know what Thrivent Financial believes, teaches, and confesses.

[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 our Confessions and 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. Finally, you might discover that some of the earlier pieces I wrote on this blog definitely fall into that category since I was a Lutheran-In-Name-Only at the time and was completely oblivious to the fact that a "Book of Concord" containing our Confessions even existed. I decided to leave those published posts up only because we now have this disclaimer and only to demonstrate the continuing work of Christ and the Holy Spirit in my life. Thank you for stopping by and 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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