Monday, July 27, 2009


In western culture, you only really hear of "martyrs" in the context of sacrificing something less than your life for a cause. The main exception to this is related to the Islamic terrorists that seek to convert by the sword, or, in their modern approach, bomb. However, almost unnoticed in the media was a little story from North Korea. It claims a woman was executed, at least partly, for distributing the Bible. This isn't an outlandish story, it just is almost impossible to verify. From experience, though, I would wager that this happens more than anyone knows, particularly in North Korea. In the west, Christians aren't executed; just maligned, laughed at, and ridiculed. (See any "scientific debate" where someone mentions Creation.) In addition, the culture seeks to normalize Christianity to itself, through introduction of techniques, traditions, and social reforms that sound good and are culturally derived. In the end, they only serve to weaken, divide, and drive Christians to behave more like their unchristian neighbors- self-absorbed, self-righteous, sinful, and otherwise indifferent. In the end, the world wants Christians to be like itself, removing the example, and chalking a win in Satan's vying for souls. Let the story of a modern martyr from North Korea, and of the Saints from millennia before, remind you that evil still prowls. Be vigilant, study, teach your children rightly the Christian faith, and run the race until the end.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Death in the News

The recent spate of death of famous people serves to remind me, as I am sure most Christians, of our mortality and the payment of sin. The very real consequences of this world and its rebellion play out every day. This is why churches must preach God's Word unvarnished, unwaveringly, and to dispense with trivialities of "church growth movement" related nonsense. The Word is already provided in the most effective manner, by God. It worked for Christ (the Word incarnate), it worked for the Apostles, it will work now, and it will always work. This world needs it now, more than ever, if only due to the number of souls alive today. Why people must mess with what works in such a dire, serious situation is beyond my comprehension...

A post on the blog "Letters from Jeremiah" posted C.F.W. Walther's 1883 address at the opening of a new building at the Concordia Seminary in St. Louis. It is well worth the read.