Lutherandom Musings Along Memory Lane (6/11/2016)

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): In case you missed it, you might want to think twice before buying your next pair of socks. Also, there's this tragic story from The Babylon Bee.


8:30AM DOSE OF VITAMIN B (BEST OF THE BLOGS): This is from Musings Of A Country Parson - Just Another Small Town Preacher written by Rev. Lincoln Winter: "Our nation is, in many ways, at the moment of disbelief. The church seems to be buckling under the strain. Those who only were members for the convenience of the cultural advantages are leaving the church. Marriage and the family lie in shambles. The culture is moving quickly toward full acceptance of the agenda of the culture of death. In many places in the western world, the churches are vacant, and Islamic extremism is replacing it. In other places, that extremism is torturing and killing Christians. We are pressed from all sides. It seems as if perhaps the world may finally win the victory over the church. And yet, even now, Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us. But if not… Our Lord Jesus Christ has already won the victory. Satan rages because he knows his time is short. There is no more dangerous animal than a wounded one. But our Lord Jesus Christ has already won the victory. Not only that, he is now enthroned. There is no crisis. No emergency in this world. There is living for Christ while we are able. And dying in him when God grants it. That’s it. That’s the only sort of “But if not” that can apply to us in this world. We are Christ’s whether we live or die. And our Lord Jesus Christ has already won the victory. Amen."
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9:00AM DOSE OF VITAMIN C (CONFESSIONAL): 
I like to use this section to simply share an excerpt from our Book of Concord/Lutheran Confessions. Here's this week's brief but powerful entry from The Solid Declaration of the Formula of Concord: "The distinction between the Law and the Gospel is a particularly brilliant light. It serves the purpose of rightly dividing God’s Word and properly explaining and understanding the Scriptures of the holy prophets and apostles. (FC, SD:V)"


9:30AM DOSE OF VITAMIN D (DOCTRINE): The sermon "Worthy Is The Lamb (Revelation 5:1-14)" from Rev. Charles Henrickson was delivered with the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election specifically in mind, but with our own Synod Presidential Election taking place right now, I thought we might glean some godly wisdom and apply it to this political process as well. Here's an excerpt: "In this presidential election year, we look around at the various candidates in both parties, and we ask ourselves, 'Who is worthy? Who is worthy of holding the highest office in the land?' And we look at the candidates, and we examine and scrutinize their various failings and shortcomings, and we say to ourselves, 'I'm not sure if any of them are worthy! Is there no one out there I can put my confidence in, someone I can trust to hold this high office and do the right thing? After all, the presidency is a position of great power and authority, and the person in this office will have a significant impact on determining the course of our immediate future. So who is worthy of this high honor and this great responsibility? Maybe no one.' Well, today I want to direct our attention to a higher office than the presidency and the search for someone worthy to hold it. Is there someone, anyone, worthy of determining the entire course of the history of the world? Who is worthy of that kind of awesome responsibility? Who is worthy of that kind of honor? Who is worthy of our trust, so that we can be confident that things are unfolding for the good, even when they're looking very bad? Is there anyone worthy of that kind of trust? Anyone? The answer comes today: 'Worthy is the Lamb.'"

10:00AM DOSE OF VITAMIN E (EVERYTHING ELSE): I just found a thought-provoking paper titled "When Do We Use The Doctrine Of The Church Properly?" written 74 years ago in June 1942 by Professor Theo. Hoyer at the 41st Convention of the Minnesota District of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Missouri, Ohio and Other States. When reading it, please remember that this essay was given just 6 months after the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the United States' involvement in World War II. Here's a small sample: "'The Church is one' -- this statement will hardly meet with dissent among those who call themselves Christians. There are two ways, however, in which people respond to the doctrine of the Church. Some say: Since the Church is one and you find members of this Church in all the visible organizations, it makes no difference which one of them you join; in fact, there is a legitimate reason for the diversity and in the end it is the will of God that it should be so. Others say, (and this is most prevalent in our day), since the Church is one, and you admit there are members of this Church in all Christian denominations, let’s forget our differences, unite, and form a common front against all those who are enemies of the Church; then we shall not waste our strength in opposing each other; we can on the contrary, assist each other in the battle with the common enemy. ... All of this always leads to unionism; and the reason for it lies in a false conception of the doctrine of the Church, or in a false application of the doctrine of the Church. It should be clear to us that it is not merely an academic question that we have before us this year; it is of immense practical value that we for our mutual strengthening once again consider the question -- When do we use the doctrine of the Church properly? -- There is a life that is worse than death; and there is a peace that is worse than war; and there is a religious union that is worse than religious division. To help keep us from unionism, the danger of the times, the pitfall which has time and again proved the ruin of churches -- that is the special viewpoint from which we shall consider the question: When do we use the doctrine of the Church properly?"
 

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 in your God-given vocations.


Grace and peace to you and yours!



NOTE: Please understand that I'm not a called and ordained minister of God's Word and Sacraments. I'm a layman or just a regular Christian, Corporate Recruiter, Husband, Father, Friend who lives in the "City of Good Neighbors" here on the East Coast. As another Christian Blogger once wrote, "Please do not see this blog as me attempting to 'publicly teach' the faith, but view it as an informal Public Journal of sorts about my own experiences and journey, and if any of my notes here help you in any way at all, then I say, 'Praise the Lord!' but please do double check them against the Word of God and with your own Pastor." To be more specific, and relevant to the point I want to make with this disclaimer/note, please understand that I'm a relatively new convert to Confessional Lutheran who recently escaped American Evangelicalism a little more than 3 years ago now. 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 repeatedly point us back to over and over again) so that I can correct those errors immediately and not lead any of His little ones astray (James 3:1). Also, please be aware that you might also discover that some of the earlier/older pieces I wrote for this blog back in 2013 definitely fall into that "Old Evangelical Adam" category (and they don't have a disclaimer like this) 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!?!). This knowledge of the Lutheran basics was completely foreign to me even though I was baptized, confirmed, and married in an LCMS church! So, 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 they are not blasphemous/heretical, because I 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 footnotes 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 both past and present have already preached and taught about such passages since they are the called and ordained under-shepherds of our souls here on earth. Finally, I'm going to apologize ahead of time for the length of most entries (this disclaimer/note is a perfect example of what I mean! haha). 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 "Christian 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. Feel free to comment/email me at any time. Grace and peace to you and yours!

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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 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 sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend" and 2 Timothy 3:16 says, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction 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 mature spiritually (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!