Friday, December 31, 2010

Advent Hymns

I saw mentioned on a youtube that Christmas songs tend to make someone sad (I believe it was for Silent Night). As this Advent season went on, I noticed there is a slight melancholy tone to the songs. I thought about it a bit, and came to the conclusion that hymns, especially Advent, are the songs of those in exile. I would imagine exile tends to be a sad and yet expectant state of mind (not having been in exile on earth). Given the additional subject matter of God coming in the flesh to die for our sins, and I can see how some hymns are especially sad-sounding. I am not sure if anyone else noticed it, but it was an interesting observation over the Advent season.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

All Hallows Eve

It is interesting watching the secular world "celebrate" halloween. People dress up as ghosts, demons, and various forms of the "undead" to elicit candy or shrieks of terror. The western world seems especially preoccupied with vampires and zombies. Both are undead, forever damned to walk the earth, and also with a craving for some living sustenance (blood or brains, ultimately the flesh itself). This preoccupation is very interesting because the secular world is pretty much the walking spiritually dead. If you could see their spiritual state, the amount of "zombie-fication" would be astounding and revolting. They would be staggering about, with the flesh obviously rotting, smelling horridly, muttering useless blather and seeking to satisfy one thing or another. One could also be able to see those who have faith, possibly scars on their bodies from sins prior to salvation, but otherwise remarkably "healthy." That is not to say they would necessarily be unmarred as we all sin daily. The difference would be in a healing wound versus a poisonous oozing sore. I won't add the demons or angels to this as either would be terrifying (the former for their appearance and demeanor, the latter for their power and capacity).

Why this gross and disgusting imagery? Because this is the reality. I suspect the secular world focuses on these things because they, deep down, suspect and fear this to be true of themselves. But when the Great Physician comes, they howl in pain and push Him away. They then go back to their stupor, looking to please the flesh and possibly wondering why things are such a mess. In the end, those who reject God are eternally damned, forever rotting in hell. Those who believe in Christ will be fully healed of the fatal disease of sin. Tonight is not the "Devil's Night." He had his a long time ago, and that ended with the raising of Jesus three days later and the start of the end of this nightmare of a spiritual world. Just beware of the world and the flesh- they seek to consume your soul.

Friday, October 29, 2010


This Sunday is Reformation Sunday. The name of the day entitles that which Luther intended when he nailed the theses on the door. Reform. Repentance. Renewal. Instead the Roman Catholic church chose to ignore and punish. Luther was correct in pointing out the failings of the Roman Catholic church, and the Roman Catholic church was wrong to react the same way as the Jewish leaders 1500 years prior. Explaining the Truth (from Scripture) is sometimes hard to take, and sometimes harder to give. As the church year ends, take a few moments to reflect on Scripture. We all fail/have failed and it takes the hard edge of the law and the Word to trim off the excess, corruption and rot. Once you have reflected and repented of those things which are ungodly, also take a look around you and reform what is necessary- family life, entertainment, even your own church body (if it needs it). Recall that the path is narrow, and is not easy. Our sacrifices and toils are enough to refine us and to keep us on the narrow way. Christ is our strength and our hope. Without Him, reform isn't possible, or even beneficial.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Romans and football (kinda)

I read Romans chapters one and two tonight and was stuck by the clear refutation of not only homosexuality (yes, it is in there) but a lot of what we find in our culture. Verses 28 - 31 (from Chapter 1) give a laundry list of what those who hate God do. It isn't surprising that such a list exists in a letter to the Romans, or that it applies to our country as well. Vices definitely existed in Rome at that time, as they also did in Greece before it. Western culture owes much to both of these empires of history, and they left their mark even in our culture's vices. As Christians we should move away from sinful things, including removing things which provide a poor example or outright bad influence on our selves and children. I know football season is right around the corner, but you (and your family) don't need to see the commercials in between. This probably isn't anything you haven't heard before. But read Romans 1 and 2 again before you flip on the game and the ads that accompany it.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Interesting Story

This article is an interesting one about people starting to meet in their homes for church. That by itself isn't a wrong approach for a church. The reason for doing it is paramount though- if you are doing it out of convenience or personal preference, then you are acting schismatically. However, if you do so to preserve/continue sound doctrine, then you are working in the old Christian (and Lutheran) tradition. Either way you look at it, it is an interesting article about some trends that exist in modern America.

For what it is worth, my take is most of the people are acting dangerously with "spontaneous" and self-guided approaches with little of Doctrine of the Church (or the theological history of her). I certainly would not attend a church based on those approaches or moving in their direction.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Demon Possession

There are no proscribed methods in the Bible for detecting possession (that I know of). However, I think it would probably be fairly obvious. It just isn't reported on, at least not outside of the "sci-fi" reports alongside ghosts and mangy dogs. However, this article comes from, of all places, Saudi Arabia. Apparently a Saudi man has a "jinn" (genie, or demon) possessing his son. His son is chained in the basement for his protection. It might just be a trumped up article (since I cannot confirm the truth of it). I did find it interesting a major publication carried the story at all (and numerous other places have also picked it up). If true, I hope the Gospel is preached and the demon excised.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The logic of the world

You probably saw the article on "Atheists using hair dryers to de-baptize." This is an excellent example of worldly logic and reason. Namely it is neither. The atheist is so convinced they are right, the logic of what they are doing is totally confused. See the following quote (and remember atheists don't "believe" in God, or any god(s)):

"Leading atheist Edwin Kagin blasted his fellow non-believers with the hair dryer to symbolically dry up the holy water sprinkled on their heads in days past. The styling tool was emblazoned with a label reading "Reason and Truth.""

If you don't believe in God or baptism, and you suggest God doesn't exist, why do you need to get rid of the baptism? Logically, if there is no God, there can be no baptism and no need to "de-baptize." This lays bare the real reason they believe there is no God- they wish to take His place. Mr. Kagin did get one thing right: "I was born atheist..." Everyone is. Unfortunately Mr. Kagin is blinded by sin and does not realize what he is doing. I pray God converts Mr. Kagin, and all of his "atheist" friends, so their sins would be forgiven and their eyes, and minds, opened to Truth.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Adult Baptism

I was visiting my mom this weekend and attended her WELS church service. As part of the service was an adult baptism. It occurred to me that I have seen maybe a couple of these in my lifetime, while I have seen at least a dozen babies baptized (not counting my own). While it is important to baptize infants, I do think that Lutheran's in general have left the generational growth path dominate a little too much in "missions." I haven't been involved of any major outreaches within any of the Lutheran churches I have been a member, and don't recall any efforts off the top of my head. I certainly don't want the watered down, ineffective "gospel" (little g) of the "Church Growth Movement." (why give up the Living Word?) I am not sure how Lutherans (at least the ones I have interacted with) got to the point where we are now. Are there good examples of missionary work within a Lutheran church's neighborhood? Or have we ceded that ground somewhat to those whose message is diluted by pop culture and wavering from orthodox Doctrine? I don't think the latter is necessarily true, but I do think we do precious little when we might be needing to do much more.

Saturday, May 15, 2010


The going thing in "science" now is evolution to explain how all the flora and fauna came to be. But that will pass in time. Already Darwinian random chance is giving way to some sort of logic within evolutionary circles. That path eventually ends with design, and ultimately the quest for who made everything. The downfall of evolution might come sooner than I think when you have articles like this which show that the simplest forms of creation, namely plants, use physics we have only begun to understand. Quantum mechanics aren't supposed to exist in macro systems like trees, especially not a sensitive quantum aspect like entanglement. However, this is how photosynthesis occurs. Biologists currently wonder how human nerves can transmit their signals so efficiently. I fully suspect they will find superconductivity as the reason.

Both of these quantum mechanic aspects have only been seen at extremely cold temperatures in labs. We know so little of how the universe works. Only God has the understanding to fully grasp what each nuance means and use it to create trees and animals. Science provides the explanation of how things work. Theology (proper theology to be precise) provides the answers of why it exists at all and how it all started.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Man arrested for preaching...

A man who preached on a street corner in Britain was arrested because he said homosexuality is a sin. They arrested him on laws that were not originally intended to be used this way, and it appears this is an increasing occurrence. I fully expect this to come to America, if it hasn't already. It is very clear from God's Word that Christians would be persecuted, and this is just another example. Hopefully this means the Last Day is soon, and this strife will end.

Friday, April 30, 2010


I have noticed, and found out this is true across the country, that parishioners, once they determine that the church no longer is teaching proper doctrine, still remain in it. The usual explanation for this is that "they don't like change..." That might be true, but I think a bit of legalism is involved. It might not be a main reason, but it occurred to me as a possibility. It might be they are attributing salvation and/or "church-ly functions" only to the place and not the Word of God. I am not sure if this fits, but it might shed some light on the reluctance to leave, even though a church has fallen far from the Truth. Food for thought...

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Memory Work

My children's memory work is from 2 Timothy 3:16. It is a great verse to teach children because of how clear it is. I have included it below, along with the surrounding section. This is a good, clear section on doctrine and its defense. (I copied it in KJV because NIV waters it down.) The defense of doctrine is something confessionals have been too weak on in the last 50+ years. We need to get back to our roots, back to Scripture, back to Luther and defend from there. And do it vigorously at every opportunity. Only then will the tide of ignorance and weakening of the Gospel be dispelled. With no further ado, 2 Timothy 3:10-17:

10But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience,
11Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.
12Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
13But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.
14But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;
15And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
16All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
17That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

Friday, March 19, 2010


Malachi is almost a forgotten book just before the book of Matthew at the tail end of the OT. I found it very enlightening as I read Malachi several days ago. Malachi contains some very useful links between God's plan for marriage and the church. It also provides an admonition to keep the faith. All of this is within 2 verses of Chapter 2. I copied them below, but recommend reading the whole book (4 chapters- easily done). (Copied text is NIV) The whole book is chock full of great stuff and helps weave together the words of Christ and the OT.

" 15 Has not the LORD made them one? In flesh and spirit they are his. And why one? Because he was seeking godly offspring. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth.

16 "I hate divorce," says the LORD God of Israel, "and I hate a man's covering himself with violence as well as with his garment," says the LORD Almighty.
So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith."

Sunday, February 07, 2010

For a Miracle, Press A2

The sermon for today had a comparison that I thought was very appropriate. It likened man's desire for god to be a vending machine. You put in the right prayer, deed, penance, whatever you think will work, and hopefully your requested item will be dispensed. (I am sure some pagans must feel like we do when the item hangs from its perch, refusing to come down!) This is also where the prosperity gospel also falls in- God loves you, and like a spoiled child we expect everything we ask for to come true (a vending machine that needs no money...). I found it to be a fitting portrayal, and thought I would share it.

God has been kind to us, even with the harsher winter than normal. The third major snowfall (and like 5th storm) has passed, and caused some damage (a magnolia tree that might never be the same), but we remained warm and protected from the storm. God has been gracious, and provides objective laws and guidance to instruct and correct. God is certainly wiser than all the counsel of men.