Some of the bleeding hearts on our Supreme Court may consider it cruel and unusual punishment, but I thinka fitting punishment for Jacee Lee Dugard’s kidnapper is a sentence of 18 years. Locked in the shed. With the police keeping everyone (including themselves) except her stepfather away.
Archive for August, 2009
Perhaps the reason the church struggles to grow is that we do not emulate the Early Church. (Not that it’s an original thought.)
There are many who say this, and then come up with all sorts of wild speculation as to what the early church was like. But it generally has to do with style of worship (liturgical lower criticism), ignorance of the history (usually in the form of “they didn’t fight over doctrine”), or gross ignorance of the history (“they would have shown up at civic events…”).
The thing that really sets the early church apart from now is their rigor. Why is it that Paul says, “not many of you were rich”? Because you couldn’t work in most government positions, enter into contracts, work in some of the most lucrative industries, eat at public gatherings (no ‘business lunches’), or really conduct business in any meaningful way. All of those things would have required an oath to the gods. By definition, you prety much had to be a servant or low level street vendor. There was a sacrifice involved in joining the church.
Today, there are all sorts of reasons that otherwise “faithful” parents don’t bring their children to chruch. The most common is, of course, that they are on some sort of travelling sports team. If you want a college scholarship, you have to do it. Our faith today can not even survivie the promise of a maybe college scholarship. Activities during the week? Very few towns still have the “church night” in the school schedule. Mine does, but sometimes the schools (or the parents) need to be reminded about it.
A professor in college said that, among children who attend Lutheran school, there was a better than 90% difference in ability to win at Bible Baffle, but only a 2% difference in lifestyle.
I promise you, the lessons the parents teach are far better learned than the lessons the pastor/teacher tries to teach. What is really important? The children learn that from their parents.
Pastors are not guiltless in this either. It’s hard to tell parents of youth “no”. They might get mad, stalk off, go to a different church, or stop coming at all. We need these youth, don’t we? Therefore, we try to compromise, try to be “Reasonable”, attempt to assuage guilt at not being at church so they still feel good about themselves and still show up.
At a certain point, pastors need to say, “You are expected to do this. If you are going to be a part of it, then this is what you must do.” I’ve had to do that in my ministry to parents of catechumens, parents of youth group members, etc. It neve goes well. Members have been lost. But at some point, the church needs to stop bowing the knee before the Basket-Baal, Basel-Baal, or even Drama-Baal.
If we take seriously our membership in the church, not in the sense of meetings, etc, but in the sense of attendance at the Divine Service, and “training up a child in the way he should go…” then other activites will become activies on a schedule, but church will become an immovable rock, around which the others must revolve.
And yes that will require sacrifice. It will require parents or children to miss out on some things. But to trade the riches of our inheritance for a mess of worldy-activities pottage is simply wrong.
I could have a whole blog devoted to Korby Gems. This one is about our works contributing to righteousness :
If you’ve still got change in your pocket, you are not vacated for faith.
(Church) discipline is the art of learning how to repent.
I misplaced the card with Trinity 9. Found it. The Unjust steward. Otherwise known as “The one pastor’s hate to see turn up in the lectionary.” The Just commentary says that the steward was certain of his master’s mercy, just as we are certain of God’s mercy. I take a different view. Listen HERE to find out what it is.
Here is this past Sunday’s sermon. The Gospel reading is “The Pharisee and Publican”, otherwise known as “A Lutheran Pastor’s Bread and Butter.” Listen HERE.
Incidentally, if you would like to see all my uploaded audio files, you can now go to “mediafire.com/forestboar”. Or click on the “My Sermons” link in the blogroll. I just figured out how to edit the blogroll. Look for updates soon.
The natural Adamic self makes gods like Ford makes cars on the assembly line.
The following is from Tim Quill, head of the Russian Project. I spoke to him today, and he said they are HALF-WAY there! They need $150,000 for this year. They have $75,00. Donate online : Go to ctsfw.edu. Look down the menus under “quick links” for “online donation.” In the subject line put : Russian Project, Novosibirsk Seminary. In the “amount” line, put $75,000.
Seriously, $50 is great. $100 would be awesome. Pastors : The ubiquitous after-church door offering, Sunday School Mission Project, etc. The amount isn’t important. Here is the appeal :
Information on Lutheran Theological Seminary, Novosbirsk, Russia
By Dr. Timothy Quill
Dean of International Studies, Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, IN
In 1995 Concordia Theological Seminary began working extensively in Russia and other countries of the former Soviet Union. Under the oppressive Soviet government, Lutherans were persecuted, churches destroyed and most of the clergy killed, imprisoned or sent into exile. In 1997 CTS helped organize a new Lutheran Seminary in Novosibirsk, Siberia to train a new generation of Lutheran pastors. Following the dark era of communist oppression, the resurrection of a new, thriving Lutheran Church in the former Soviet Union is nothing short of miraculous. These new congregations and mission stations need pastors. Last year 25 students were enrolled in the LTS seminary and pre-seminary Bible School programs. The Seminary also holds regular seminars and conferences for pastors, church leaders and laity. In May of 2009 five seminarians graduated after completing a rigorous five years program of theological and practical preparation for the holy ministry. This was the third class to graduate.
Since its inception, the work of CTS in Russia has been financed entirely by the private charitable foundation whose founder had a great heart for the millions of Lutherans and other Christians who has suffered for so many years under atheistic communism. Due to recent economic problems in the United States, the foundation was forced to cut their support for Lutheran Theological Seminary in Novosibirsk last year by 50%. This year they will cut it 50% to 70%. CTS is also under considerable financial pressure. President Wenthe is doing a tremendous job keeping the institution afloat and healthy, however, CTS is not in a position to subsidize the Novosibirsk Seminary. Without a secure home base, foreign mission work is a mute question.
In short, the Seminary in Russia will receive no funds from the foundation until March of 2010. Thus we need to raise $150,000 to keep the Seminary in Novosibirsk from closing. The next nine months are crucial. We can not simply close the Seminary for a year and then reopen it. The lives and wellbeing of faculty, staff, students and their families can not be put on hold for a year. Furthermore, after years of legal battles with the bureaucracy in Moscow the Seminary recently received is registration as an official educational institution. To close the Seminary now will jeopardize registration and cause legal problems and suspicion with the authorities.
Rector Alexei Streltsov and I have prepared a drastically reduced budget which will not only enable the Seminary to survive the current crisis, but to keep its doors open, classes running, and send a positive message to those who desire to matriculate with the next new class in September of 2010.
Donations should be made out to Concordia Theological Seminary accompanied with a note that the gift is designated for the support of the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Novosibirsk, Russia.