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Lutherandom Musings Along Memory Lane (Saturday 1/17/15)

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 which include 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). For the most part, these will be things I either bookmarked, read, wrote down, and/or simply couldn't get to myself during the week. 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" when all we want is some "cartoons," right? Let's get the show started already, shall we?



8:00AM DOSE OF VITAMIN A (AMUSEMENT): This "Parody of The Modern Church Service" is hilarious, because it's so accurate! Make sure you take 3 minutes to watch this "Papyrus Font Award Winner"; "Informally Dressed Pastor Award Winner"; and "Edgy T-Shirt Award Winner" too. Maybe I'll put this up on my Facebook page later today and watch the wolves attack for going after their "sacred cow" or Contemporary Worship.


8:30AM DOSE OF VITAMIN B (BEST OF THE BLOGS):
From Esgetology this week there was this gem on the baptism of our Lord that included this beautiful section: "The Baptism and the Cross are one. And then comes the preaching: 'This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased.' The sermon is for you. But what is more, the sermon is about you. For you too have been baptized. Dr. Luther put it this way: 'You should enter into Christ’s baptism with your own baptism, so that Christ’s baptism is your baptism and your baptism is Christ’s baptism and thus there is one baptism' (Luther Brevier, p 23)."


9:00AM DOSE OF VITAMIN C (CONFESSIONAL):
  Pastor Matt Richard shared this on his Facebook page last night: "Christ, by living in us, is doing nothing to justify or to sanctify our neighbor. This is what the old fashioned Pietists never understood. The presence of Christ in the Pietist benefits no one but the Pietist. The fundamental error of Pietism is that it won’t acknowledge this simple fact. While Lutheran theology truly confesses that Christ lives in every Christian and, of course, in the church catholic, Lutheran theology does not bear witness to anything that dwells in us. It always points outside of us. Thus we speak of the 'administration of the sacraments' because we cannot see or know or identify our life in Christ in any other way than to look to the external Word and Sacrament that come to us from the outside. One administers only that which is entrusted to him to administer. Now, instead of the 'administration of the sacraments' as the location of the God-man, we have Christ’s presence in 'the sacramental life of the church.' The presence of Christ within us and through us as His sacramental presence which 'transforms the culture and makes it new' is a far cry from the teaching of the Lutheran Confessions. This teaching was not derived from the Lutheran Confessions. What we see here is a kind of corporate pietism 'we bear witness . . . to the Christ who dwells in us' as opposed to the personal or individualistic pietism that bears witness to the Christ who dwells in me. The Lutheran does not invite anyone to look in us or in me, but solely to Jesus for us. Lutheran sacramental theology is precisely that the Jesus who was given for us in His first advent is given to us in the here and now (see 1 John 5:6,8)." *- Pastor Rolf Preus

9:30AM DOSE OF VITAMIN D (DOCTRINE): "Christ our Lord taught about preachers and their proclamation saying, 'Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? 17 So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. 18 A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.' (Matthew 7:15-20). Preachers will come and proclaim false Christs and lead the faithful astray. This isn’t a pessimistic way of looking at society and the Church, but a reality of living in the End Times that Jesus warns both His disciples and us today about. There are false preachers, wolves in sheep’s clothing, that lead many into false belief, despair, and inevitably into eternal death. Jesus doesn’t say that this is something to fear, but an issue that must be faced and recognized. Jesus says that you and I will recognize the false preacher by his fruit, or by the words he preaches and the ministry he fulfills. We will recognize them by either their faithfulness or their rejection of Scripture. It would be great it the false preacher was a blatant heretic. It would be great if he said that Jesus isn’t God, that the Holy Spirit is a lesser god, that the Lord’s Supper is just mere bread and wine, or that Baptism does nothing but make a baby’s head a little wet. In short, it would be alot easier on the Church if the false preacher looked like a wolf instead of a sheep. It would be fantastic if his voice was clear and obvious instead of subtle. This is the issue with the false preacher. He won’t reveal himself as a false preacher, a teacher of darkness, but instead will show himself to be a preacher of truth and light. This has always been the problem for the Church since the serpent deceived the woman. The serpent preached a false Gospel disguised as the truth. The woman listened to the serpent and not to the words of her husband, Adam. Adam in turn did not preach the truth, but instead caste his faith in the words of the serpent instead of in the Word God proclaimed to him. They both did not believe the Word of the Lord and instead believed the serpent’s lie. They doubted and then disobeyed and took the fruit from the tree and fell into sin and death. Just as the serpent twisted God’s Word and caste doubt into the minds of Adam and the woman, so do false preachers twist the Word, add to the Word, and leave some of the Word out in order to lead the elect into doubt and unbelief. So, what is the solution to these false preachers who follow in line with their father, the devil? We follow the example of Christ in the Gospel according to St. Matthew, the 4th chapter when he says, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.' Christ overcame where Adam and the woman failed. He heard the lie of the devil, and instead of believing his lie, He proclaimed the truth of Holy Scripture. Only the Word overcomes the devil and his wolf descendants. Only the Word of Christ recognizes the wolves in sheep’s clothing and devours them. Therefore, we must be in the Word, reading it, learning it, marking it, hearing it, and inwardly digesting it in order that the false preacher may be revealed and cast out into the eternal fire." *- Pastor Chris Hull, "Fruity Preachers"



10:00AM DOSE OF VITAMIN E (EVERYTHING ELSE): "'
Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.' (Hebrews 1:1–2, ESV) I think the above verse is a very important starting point when we speak about God speaking to us. The author of Hebrews points out how God has spoken to those who have gone before us in the faith. Now, in these last days, God has spoken to us by His Son. His disciples have recorded the words and deeds of this Son, Jesus Christ. Not only that, but Jesus also instituted Baptism, the Lord’s Supper, Absolution, and the preaching of this Word. It is through these, which we identify as the external Word (in contrast to an 'inner' or hidden word), that Scripture promises that the Holy Spirit works. For this reason we confess that we reject the teaching which would say that the Holy Spirit works outside of the external Word. The real danger is that when people think 'God' is talking to them, that voice is indistinguishable from that of Satan. After all, Satan comes and deceives. He uses Scripture (and twists it) and often is disguised as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14)." *- Pastor Matthew Lorfeld


Sorry, but that's all I have for you this week.


In a Lutheran Layman's terms, you've been fed a balanced spiritual diet this morning so I hope you're full and wide awake and ready to face the day.


Grace and peace to you and yours!


NOTE: I'm not a called and ordained minister of God's Word and Sacraments. I'm a layman or a Christian, Candy-Making, Husband, Father, Friend who lives in the "City of Good Neighbors" here on the East Coast. To be more specific, and relevant to the point I want to make with this note, I'm also 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 inconsistent 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 Christian "Book of Concord" even existed (Small/Large Catechism? What's that!?!). In addition, there are some entries that are a little "out there" so-to-speak since the subject matter was also heavy influenced by those old beliefs of mine. 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). Most importantly, please know that any time I engage in commenting on and/or interpreting a specific portion of the holy Scriptures, it will always closely follow the verse-by-verse notes from my Lutheran Study Bible and/or include references to the Book of Concord unless otherwise noted. Typically, I defer to what other Lutheran Pastors have already preached and taught about such passages since they are the called and ordained shepherds of our souls here on earth. Finally, I'm going to apologize ahead of time for the length of most entries. I'm well aware that blogs should be short, sweet, and to the point, but I've never been one to follow the rules when it comes to writing. Besides, this website is more like a dude's diary in the sense that everything I write about and share publicly isn't always what's "popular" or "#trending" at the time, but is instead all the things that I'm studying myself at the moment. For better or for worse, these posts tend to be much longer than most blog entries you'll find elsewhere only because I try to pack as much info as possible into a single piece so that I can refer to it again and again over time if I need to (and so that it can be a valuable resource for others -- if possible, a "One-Stop-Shop" of sorts). Thank you for stopping by and thank you in advance for your time, help, and understanding. Grace and peace to you and yours!

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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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