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Lutherandom Musings Along Memory Lane (1/12/2019)

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. At least that was always my way of also trying to sleep through Saturday morning chores.

The best part? Whether Dad would make us breakfast or not (his famous 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 Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime?

Soon after launching this blog, I thought about that for some reason, and then decided it might be cool to come up with a new weekly tradition of sorts for us Lutheran 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 haha!). I mean, isn't it time for us to look forward to Saturday mornings again and not just Sunday mornings when we get to receive God's gifts at church?

Besides, I thought it would be good for us to recall that childlike faith in fun and laughter if only for a few moments each week. You'll recall 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." As a result, this unique concept was born! Ok, so it's really not all that "cool" or "original" or "fun" or "unique" 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 Blogosphere & Social Media), 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 random things I either bookmarked, read, wrote down, and/or simply couldn't get to myself during the week (hence, the "Lutheran" + "Random" or "Lutherandom" part). 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): Typically, Lutheran Satire or The Babylon Bee are the two primary sources used for this section's content and it looks like 2019 will be more of the same! Did you see the latest suggestion to help the U.S. with it's border crisis thanks to the Christian Church?

8:30AM DOSE OF VITAMIN B (BEST OF THE BLOGS): For those who have followed researched the controversial "Shroud of Turin" over the years, there's a new update on things. From a colleague on Facebook today: "'
[N]ew research establishes approximately 20 points of correlation [between the Shroud and the Sudarium], which more than satisfies the standards of proof used by most judicial systems around the world, which require only 8 to 10' to establish identity." This same colleague then wrote that, "Having followed news and updates and documentaries on the Shroud for many years, I have also been aware of the Sudarium in Spain as a strong second witness. The last I heard, research was still ongoing concerning establishing the relationship between the two cloths. So this is a remarkable update on this process that I just learned about." As many tend to point out, the scientific community needs to make up their mind on this since they keep jumping back and forth on evidence. My colleague went on to add: "I suppose it is understandable, given the implications authenticity has for them. The C-14 test was the best shot the skeptic community had. Once this was satisfactorily answered (from a few different angles) from Shroud supporters over this decade, the original test and the drive to do another has pretty much been abandoned. So they are left to grasp in the dark with wild theories and experiments that do not pan out and have little hope of contending against the formidable evidence in favour of authenticity that continues to be presented." Certainly, an interesting read and update on the subject.

9:00AM DOSE OF VITAMIN C (CONFESSIONAL): "In the first place, you must note in these words that here stand God's commandment and institution. Let us not doubt that Baptism is divine. It is not made up or invented by people. For as surely as I can say, 'No one has spun the Ten Commandments, the Creed, and the Lord's Prayer out of his head; they are revealed and given by God Himself.' So also I can boast that Baptism is no human plaything, but it is instituted by God Himself. Furthermore, Baptism is most solemnly and strictly commanded so that we must be baptized r we cannot be saved." (Large Catechism, Part IV Baptism, 6).

9:30AM DOSE OF VITAMIN D (DOCTRINE): In the sermon "
Pure Doctrine and Love for People" (1 John 4:1-11), I loved reading the following words which opened the sermon: "Sometimes we who insist on pure doctrine are accused of not caring for people: 'You black-shirt round-collar types, all you care about is getting things right! You don’t care about people.' Pure doctrine -- pure doctrine is seen as an outmoded concern. Doctrine is assumed and taken for granted. We’re even told that insistence on pure doctrine is an impediment to being 'missional': 'We’ve got to stop this incessant internal purification and get ablaze with mission! Mission is Job One!' All of this talk puts forward a false dichotomy between doctrine and mission, between doctrine and love, as though the two could not go together. Nothing could be further from the truth. Not only can doctrine and love go together, they must go together, if we are going to be true to the mission of Christ. That was certainly the attitude of St. John the Apostle. In his letter -- and this is our fourth in a six-part series on 1 John -- the aged apostle puts a strong emphasis on both doctrine and love. John can go from a section on 'The Love That Lays Down Its Life,' like we heard last week, straight into this week’s reading, where he talks about testing the spirits and discerning the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error, and then he goes straight back to an exhortation for us to love one another. He sees no conflict or contradiction in doing that. The Apostle John emphasizes both 'Pure Doctrine and Love for People.' Therefore so do we. It all hinges on pure doctrine, the right teaching about Christ. John writes, 'Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.' Here is why you need to pay attention to doctrine: because not all religious preachers and teachers are telling you the truth. Oh, in their own minds they may think they are teaching rightly, and they may have many zealous and sincere followers, but it is possible to be sincerely wrong. And wrong doctrine can lead you in the wrong direction; it can even take you on the road to hell." Friends, please take a few minutes to read the rest of that sermon.

10:00AM DOSE OF VITAMIN E (EVERYTHING ELSE): Listen to this 23-minute lecture from Rev. Dr. John Bombaro titled "We Confess...That Gender Identity Is Given, Not Chosen" because we live in a world of ambiguity and gender confusion (a world of sin) and it's Biblical, short, sweet, and to-the-point on this topic.

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 your average everyday 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 Lutheranism" and one who recently escaped an American-Evangelical-Non-Denominational mindset a little more than 6 years ago now despite being a Christian my whole life. That being said, please contact me ASAP if you believe that any of my "old beliefs" seem to have crept their way back 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 whole truth myself. With that in mind, 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 heavily 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!

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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