Archive for November, 2009

An INteresting Visit

Posted in Uncategorized on November 25, 2009 by Country Preacher

I recently had opportunity to attend a Greek Orthodox church with my wife. I looked it up on the website. It listed the service time. When we arrived, the sign out front had different service times listed. The bulletin, when I finally found one, listed a third set of times. The bulletin had no information about the service, nor hymnal pages to turn to. Apparently, the service which was going at that point in time was a pre-service service. It consisted of an elderly gentleman chanting in Greek.
After a few minutes, we rose to leave. My wife hurried out.
“Slow down”, I said.
“I don’t want them to grab me back in,” she replied.
I explained :
You are thinking of the Baptistic churches. The Orthodox won’t try and stop you from leaving. After all, they did everything they could to get you to stay :
They printed multiple service times, only one of which could have been correct.
They didn’t offer any assistance.
The bulletins were no help at all – when we finally found them sitting on their own on a table.
They chanted in a foreign language.
For the Orthodox, they are going to do what they are going to do. If you don’t like it, then there is simply nothing they could have done differently. The problem is not with them, it is with you.
Now, some may say that they could have at least coordinated publishing of service times, but to be honest, I truly enjoyed that they didn’t pander to me. I could have called ahead to find out for sure. I was lazy and didn’t. I could have asked someone what was going on, and if the main service would be in English. But they certainly weren’t going to intrude on the beauty of their service (and believe me, it was absolutely stunningly beautiful) simply to bring my silly western sensibilities up to speed.
No wonder they are growing – they don’t care whether I am there or not. It is so nice to go to a church where it wasn’t about me. Not even a little bit.


We Can Not Win

Posted in Uncategorized on November 25, 2009 by Country Preacher

Remember back when some in our nation were complaining that the war in Iraq was “another Vietnam”?  The implication was that we would be bogged down for years in an unwinnable war.   The problem with Vietnam was not that we lacked the military expertise.  The problem was that our nation lacked the will to win.

It now appears that Iraq is stabilizing.  But Afghanistan is going badly.  The president is expected to endorse the surge strategy of Gen. McChrystal.  It really doesn’t matter.

The problem is that we are not at war “In Iraq” and “In Afghanistan.”  The problem is that we are at war with Islamofacism.   You see, it isn’t the Christians in Afghanistan that are fighting us.  It isn’t the Hindu’s.  Nor is it the Christians in Iran that are desperately attempting to acquire Nuclear weapons.  It is not a regional war, it is ideological.  And our national leaders have never grasped that.

For some time the neo-conservatives in our country have been worrying that we do not have the will to win.  As soon as Bush said that Islam was the religion of peace, they were right.  I didn’t want to acknowledge it.  But now, the truth is crystal clear.  We simply do not have the will to win.  Otherwise, this would be an “Onion” headline, not Fox News. Shame, Shame, Shame on our military.   “Hip-Hip-Hooray!” to these brave and heroic soldiers.

Sermon : Text format

Posted in Uncategorized on November 23, 2009 by Country Preacher

For those who have been hoping to see my sermon in text, as opposed to audio format, here is the day.  I forgot to record it.  So here it is, after the jump (You’ll have to imagine me shouting and whooping.)

I should give some thanks to Fr. Eckardt over at Gottesblog, for some of the ideas.

For those who think it may be just another long boring sermon, here’s a preview :

“Your faith doesn’t save you any more than your works do.”

Full disclosure : I didn’t get that from Fr. Eckardt, so don’t blame him.  Anyway, click to read.


Continue reading

Oh, I don’t know… Maybe the Bible?

Posted in Uncategorized on November 16, 2009 by Country Preacher

The latest Concordia Theological Quarterly arrived today. It contains an article by the former executive director of the LCMS CTCR. The topic : Relating to other Christians Charitably and Confessionally.

Now, I realize that some scripture passages can be taken from granted in a theological journal. And, the topic indicated that he would be speaking from a distinctly confessional perspective, not specifically a scriptural one. But really, 9 words from scripture? Not nine quotes.



About circumcision.

To give you some perspective, he quotes 11 words from :

Mel Gibson.

He quotes Roman Catholic theologians, including the pope (but not including the aforementioned Mel Gibson) 7 times. Not seven words. Six nice lengthy quotes, and one short one.

By a strange coincidence, seven is also the number of confessional quotations. Three lengthy, and four VERY brief. So, in an article that purports to look at inter-Christian relationships from a confessional perspective, he quotes our confessions only seven times.

The only category that I didn’t count was from :

CTCR documents. I would have needed to take my socks off to count that high.

The CTCR is self-authenticating. It says it, so it is already proven. (See HERE for commentary on this phenomena rearing it’s head in the BRTFSSG report.)

I would have thought that, if a person was talking about CHRISTian relationships, one might want to quote… Oh, I don’t know… maybe Christ? But there are no quotes from our Lord.

Now don’t get me wrong. The article is well crafted, and beautifully pulls in quotes from a variety of theological sources. Indeed, I was impressed with the depth of Dr. Nafzger’s learning and experience. He is obviously well versed in current theological discussions on this topic (and probably just about any other topic as well.)

But, to paraphrase one of my professors :

When Holy Scripture goes without saying, it usually goes.

There is a problem in our synod. We can no longer speak scripturally. When we lose the ability to speak and reason scripturally, we have lost the ability to “hear the voice of our shepherd.

Which, if I am not mistaken is the definition of the church.

Not sure if that’s ironic, or just sad.

BJS Goes Over the Line

Posted in Uncategorized on November 11, 2009 by Country Preacher

I will put up with a lot for the sake of fellowship, bu Pr. Rossow went over the line in a recent editorial, and I’m calling him out.  He said :

For those of you unfamiliar with the “jackelope,” it ain’t no dust bunny! It is a mythic character, the product of some early photo-shop work that combined a jack-rabbit with an antelope. It was a fearsome looking character. It was seen on countless vacaton postcards mailed home from the great west back in the 60’s and 70’s.  I think you can still find them in various tourist traps out west.

First, it’s spelled jackAlope.  Second, the jackalope ain’t no mythic character!  Yes, it is a cross between a jack rabbit and an antelope, but it is certainly not the product of photoshop.  Indeed, the home of the Jackalope is a mere 50 miles north of my “home on the range” : Douglas, Wyoming.  If you go to Douglas, you can even get a hunting permit for the little varmint.  If it were a tourist trap, Pr. Rossow, WOULD THEY GIVE THE PERMIT AWAY FOR FREE!  They would certainly charge for it, which thing they do not do.

The town square even has a staute of the elusive and noble beast :












Here is an actual photo taken of one :








Does that look like a 60’s postcard to you?  I should say not.

Well, now that we have set the record straight, I’ll be expecting a formal apology from the BJS and Pr. Rossow.

You can take our lives, but you’ll never take our Jackalope.

Socializing Medicine

Posted in Uncategorized on November 9, 2009 by Country Preacher

So, the system we have is broken. I get that. Why is the only possible answer socialized medicine? “I have this problem with my insurance, so we need socialized medicine.” That’s a non-sequitor. The two are not related.
I have this problem, therefore changes must be made. That makes sense.
Socialized medicine would solve the problems because… That makes sense.
“I have problems so we must…” That does not make sense.
Let’s leave emotion out of the debate. That’s how we ended up with the “Great Society.” We’re still trying to recover.


Posted in Uncategorized on November 9, 2009 by Country Preacher

Why is it that it’s now being called “single payer” healthcare. It’s socialized medicine. That may be good or bad, but it’s what it is.
Changing names to make things more acceptable to the mases is straight out of 1984. If you think it is good, explain why socializing medicine is a good idea. But don’t claim it isn’t.