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Zitat

A Lay Delegate's Prayer Before Attending His First LCMS District Convention

This quote below is a fitting and humbling reminder for me (for all of us) as I prepare to attend the 100th LCMS Eastern District Convention next week for the first time as a Lay Delegate, Nominee, and President of the Redeemer Lutheran Church Council. I pray that God will surely bless our time together and instill unity in both DOCTRINE and PRACTICE since we are one "body of Christ" (1 Corinthians 12:12-27). Ephesians 4:1-6 (ESV) "I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit -- just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call -- one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all." ************************************************

"My sainted teacher, the Rev. Dr. Kurt Marquart, used to put it this way: We cannot infallibly know the 'who' of the Church (because faith is unseen), but we can know the 'where.' As Ignatius of Antioch put it: 'Where there is Christ, there is the Church.' The presence of the Church is not determined by a priesthood sanctioned by the papacy. The presence of the Church is not guaranteed by the morality of church members. The presence of the Church is not guaranteed by an Office of the Ministry passed from minister to minister in succession. The presence of the Church is not guaranteed by a voters' assembly. The presence of the Church is not guaranteed by the size of the congregation. The presence of the Church is not determined by the activity of individual members. The presence of the Church is determined and guaranteed by Christ in His Word and Sacraments. Christ creates and sustains faith by these means. Where they are present and distributed, there is the Office of the Ministry and believers who receive these means of grace. This teaching is enormously comforting because in this life we are associated with Christians who are purely poor sinners just like ourselves. They fail. We fail. Pastors fail. Some fail horribly. We are often loveless. 'Our righteous deeds are as filthy rags,' as Isaiah says (see 64:6). Our congregations are often beset by controversy and conflict. Why? We are sinners, just like the apostles at the time of Jesus and just like the congregations in Galatia, Ephesus, and Corinth. The beautiful and comforting teaching of the New Testament is this: the Church lives where Jesus is in His blessed Word and Sacraments. There faith is created. There is the Church." -- Rev. Matthew C. Harrison  
(from The Church & The Office of the Ministry commenting on C.F.W. Walther's "Thesis V")


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 Healthcare Recruiting Manager, Husband, Father, Friend who lives in the "City of Good Neighbors" here on the East Coast in Buffalo, NY. 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." So if any of my notes here help you in any way at all, then I say, "Praise the Lord! Thanks be to God!" but please do double check them against the Word of God and with your own Pastor at all times. Trust, but always verify. To be more specific, and relevant to the point I want to make with this lengthy 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 7 years ago now despite being a Christian my whole life. That being said, please contact me ASAP if you're a Lifelong Lutheran who believes 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 so that I can also 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 B-A-S-I-C-S 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 more "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 demanding I correct them or take them down entirely, but because I now have this disclaimer, and only to demonstrate the continuing and sanctifying work of Christ and the Holy Spirit in my life from then until now (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 own 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 too 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 by that! 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 about all the things that I'm studying or thinking about myself at the moment instead. 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 where I've done all the research for you already to help save you valuable time). 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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