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What Luther Says

Rev. Bryan Wolfmueller On Decision Theology: 'Well, We Lutherans Ask A Different Question.'

Praise be to God for preachers who faithfully and clearly proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ while explaining things in laymen's terms (1 Corinthians 9:16; Jude 1:3; Galatians 1:6-10)!

Here's Pastor Bryan Wolfmueller at his very best...

"I was in the McDonald's… and I was there to rent a movie at the RedBox and I was standing there in line. And this older lady looks up at me and she says, 'What do you do?' I wasn't wearing my collar or anything. I was undercover just trying to get a movie. And I told her, 'I'm a Lutheran pastor.' And she said, 'Oh, I'm a Southern Baptist. What's the difference between a Lutheran and a Southern Baptist?' 
And I said, 'Well, here's one thing you might notice: I bet you at your service you have a time of decision at the end.' And she said, 'Yes, that's right.' And I said, 'And that's the time where you have an altar call and the preacher will tell people to come up and they can pray and they can dedicate their life to Christ or rededicate their life, they can hand things over to Him, they can make a decision, pray the 'Sinners Prayer', et cetera, et cetera. And that's one of the highlights of your church service.' And she said, 'Yeah, it surely is.' 
'Well, we Lutherans ask a different question: The question we ask is not: Have you made a decision for Jesus? But rather, Has Jesus made a decision for you? The question is not, Have you accepted Jesus into your heart? But rather, Has Jesus accepted you into His heart? The question is not, Have you given your whole life for God? But rather, Has God given His whole life for you?'  
And this was an incredible thing… because here is this woman and I, standing in the lobby of the McDonald's, and she was crying. Tears were rolling off of her cheeks. And she says to me, 'I've never heard anything so wonderful in my whole life.' 
Now, why? Because the Gospel for her had always been a condition, it had always been something she had to do, it had always been up to her. 
And it never had had the absolute, 100% assurance of knowing that it was Jesus who's done it all. It's Jesus who won her salvation. It's Jesus who's made the way open to heaven for her. And to know that and to know the answer is, Yes! Even though my faith wavers, even though I have doubts, and I have questions. Yes, Jesus has given Himself to me. Yes, He has prayed for me. Yes, He has poured out His life and His blood so that I would be His and my sins would be forgiven. And there's no question, there's no doubt, there's no room for wondering there. It's just this absolutely, wonderful, forgiving, confident-building assurance that I am the child of God, the friend of Jesus."

The testimony is from LCMS Pastor Bryan Wolfmueller of Hope Lutheran Church in Aurora, CO. Pastor Wolfmueller is the co-host of the radio program, Table Talk Radio. In this interview he discusses “Decision Theology” with LCMS Pastor Todd Wilken on his radio show, Issues, Etc. Also recommended: Pastor Wolfmuller's article, “Can You Make A Decision For Christ?” 

Better yet, here's a video of Pastor Wolfmueller courtesy of Christ Lutheran Church in Sioux Falls, SD where a Pastor Matthew Nix serves.

What makes these finds even more appealing to me is that I discovered them on the new website for a small LCMS Church in Corning, NY or within the LCMS-Eastern District!

Sure, the church is 2 hours and 15 minutes away from where I live, which means I may not be able to get me and the family out there for worship each and every week, but perhaps we can do it every other week if not once a month!

Besides, any chance to attend a faithful Confessional Lutheran church in the "spiritual wilderness" that is the LCMS-Eastern District is better than not attending church at all (and it's certainly better than attending a Lutheran Church In Name Only too I might add!).

In a Lutheran layman's terms, I am eternally grateful that "we Lutherans ask a different question" and I thank the Lord that He delivered me from the sin of believing, teaching, and confessing false doctrine and healed me from my spiritual blindness that crippled me and kept me separated from Him and His Son, my Lord and Savior, for several years.

NOTE: As you know, I am a newly converted Confessional Lutheran who recently escaped American Evangelicalism a little over a year ago. 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, which our Confessions merely summarize and point us back to) so that I can correct those errors immediately and not lead any of His little ones astray (James 3:1). Finally, please be aware that you might also discover that some of the earlier pieces I wrote on this blog back in 2013 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. In addition, there are some entries that are a little "out there" so-to-speak since the subject matter was also heavy influenced by common Evangelical concerns/criticisms that aren't that big a deal for us Lutherans. I know that now and I'm still learning. Anyway, I decided to leave those published posts up on this website and in cyberspace only because we now have this disclaimer and only to demonstrate the continuing work of Christ and the Holy Spirit in my life (Hebrews 12:2; Philippians 1:6). Finally, please know that any time we engage in commenting on and/or interpreting a specific portion of the holy Scriptures, it will always follow the verse-by-verse notes from my Lutheran Study Bible unless otherwise noted. Thank you for stopping by and thank you in advance for your time, help, and understanding. 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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