Why We Need To Constantly Encourage One Another To Remain Faithful And Steadfast...

After my last post, I recalled this heartbreaking account that was shared by an acquaintance of mine on Social Media last March 2016...


 
As some of you may remember, I posted a thread last month about my church and the on-going debate to close our school. We had our third congregational meeting on the matter today, and it was uglier than the first two combined. 
As has been the custom since these meetings started, Divine Service was absolutely packed. People who never come, came to weigh in on this and to stir up trouble. That by itself has been disheartening. These people would not have otherwise came to Divine Service had this meeting not been right after. 
From the beginning, every meeting has caused false doctrine to rise up to the surface. People making the claim that "young families have absolutely no reason to come here, we have nothing to offer them whatsoever," and therefore, we should abandon the liturgy and throw out the pipe organ. 
People making the claim that the school is our "Happy Meal" which draws people in, and McDonald's would never get rid of their Happy Meal, so why should we get rid of ours? 
It got even worse this time. 
When the congregation moved to end debate, a woman stood up and preached the "Prosperity Gospel" over the objections of the moderator. Apparently, she has received prophetic revelation that God will bless and prosper the school again, because He promises to always bless His children with wealth and material things. 
The congregation voted narrowly to close the school. 
All the school teachers and the parents got up, started hurling insults at the congregation, and then made a dramatic exit slamming every door on their way out. But no, they didn't leave the building. They posted a crying child at every exit. 
I'm not trying to air my parish's dirty laundry in public, and to that end, this is the only group I will post this in. I am posting it as a warning to all of you. 
You guys are no strangers to false doctrine -- you came out of a system of false doctrine as I have. Make sure your Pastors are catechizing your people. If your Pastors aren't, catechize them yourselves. My church is reaping decades of being taught that what happens outside of Divine Service is more important than what happens during. 
Have mercy, Lord.


Yes, Lord, have mercy!

In a Lutheran layman's terms, this is why we need to constantly encourage one another to remain faithful and steadfast with us.



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 4 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 the Bible, our Confessions, and Lutheran doctrine in general (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 not only correct those errors immediately and not lead any of His little ones astray (James 3:1), but repent of my sin and learn the truth myself. 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 will 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!