Archive for September, 2010

“Here your proud waves cease”

Posted in Uncategorized on September 29, 2010 by Country Preacher

It turns out that there is a limit to the liturgical  antinomianism in our synod.

Pr. Rossow (BJS) reports (among other things) that his District President directed that when doing Baptisms or consecrating the elements of the Lord’s Supper, only the Lord’s words are to be used.  We are not to add or take away a jot or tittle from the law.   So we can only go so far with the idea that “it’s all adiaphora.” It is an encouraging development.  I don’t know that it is a result of President Harrison’s tenure, but it is nice to see the COP admitting that even “Every man doing what was right in his own eyes” (Which FC X most decidedly does not say) must yield to the clear word of God.

Now, about that electric guitar in the chancel…

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That which must not be named

Posted in Uncategorized on September 29, 2010 by Country Preacher

There is, in a certain part of our synod, a dispute about church property that has been taken to the courts. A former member of the synod is reporting widely on it. A website that I respect is issuing continued reports from this person.
That is unfortunate. Anyone who reads the actual court filings will understand that this situation is far more complicated than the reports would make it seem. I would recommend to my friends and brothers that they stop reprinting and giving publicity to the press releases, which are obviously one-sided accounts. If someone is really interested, they can find information on this through other avenues. Ultimately, It turns what should be a reputable blog site and center for encouraging confessional Lutheran study and practice, into nothing more than a center for gossip.
My $.02

UPDATE : If you wish to make comments about this sad case, please do not include any identifying details.  As my point was that this should be given less attention, they will be deleted.  Thank you for your support.

TTTHHHEEE CCCHHHIIILLLDDDRRREEENNN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted in Uncategorized on September 28, 2010 by Country Preacher

So, I go to drop my son off for school today (He is in Kindergarten), and I find the following sign posted on the fence at the school :

If you look, I call the file the PCSD (Platte County School District) Stupidity Notice.

First, this is a K-2 school.  So, yes, I want my child to learn to read and then ask, “What does ‘sex’ mean.”  Because in first or second grade, it is the only word on the sign he will know.

Second, this is patently absurd.  Do you think the sex offenders aren’t already told this when they are released from custody?  Before Wyoming changed the law (FOR THE CHILDREN!), only high risk sex offenders were listed publicly on the website.  Guess how many of those there were… 1.  In Platte county there was one.  In other words, you may as well have posted a sign outside of his house.

Third, This sign is designed to scare the H-E-Double-Hockey-Sticks out of parents, so that they will understand the DANGER the children face when they go to school and will willingly acquiesce to whatever new safety measures are put in place in the new “lock-down school” mentality, which includes doors to classrooms that can only be opened remotely from the office.   Utter insanity.  Statistically, the children are in far greater danger from the teachers or teacher’s aides, the high school kid you get for baby-sitting, or even Uncle Bud, then they are from strangers on the street.

Fourth, this will not stop a single person from breaking the law.  “Well, here I am, Joe sex offender out for my daily molestation run to the local public school… What it that?  Oh no. A sign saying I can’t come in.  Foiled again!”  I’m sorry, this is the real world, not some grown up version of Ralphie’s fantasy world in “A Christmas Story.”

Remember back in the 80’s when kids would go trick or treating, and then the parents would take them to McDonalds so the police could scan the candy with metal detectors in order to find the thousands of razor blades that psycho’s were putting in the candy.  I do.  It was funny.  But stupid.

This is not funny.

It is stupid.  And potentially harmful.

WMLT

Posted in Uncategorized on September 28, 2010 by Country Preacher

No, it isn’t a new radio station playing “All the hits, all the time”.  Nor is it an abbreviation for a sandwich shop (With Mayo, Lettuce and Tomato).  It is the abbreviation for our new synod “emphasis”.  (Well, at least they aren’t calling it a “movement.”  I think I liked “program” better.  But then, the 80’s were my formative years.)

It stands for Witness, Mercy, Life together.

I like it.  But it is more than an “emphasis.”  If you have read President Harrison’s book, “Lord Have Mercy”  you know that these three things are what the POTS sees as the substance of the life of the church militant.   We witness to our Lord, show mercy to our neighbor, and live our life in communion with other Christians.

The LCMS website has been changed to reflect this.  The scrolling banner of new stuff brings up the following three items first, in this order : “Who is Jesus”, “Building Homes and Hope in Haiti”, and “View Highlights from the Installation Service.”  Witness, Mercy, Life Together.  I suspect that we will be seeing our synod publications take on the WMLT emphasis in a lot of subtle (and often not so subtle) ways.

This is a good thing.

More pastors please!

Posted in Uncategorized on September 27, 2010 by Country Preacher

So, I received yet another missive asking me to help recruit church workers.  Since the synod has no mechanism in place to actually have all the current church workers serving the church, I think that perhaps we should pray the Lord of the Harvest to send fields of service where the workers can harvest.

Sermon

Posted in Uncategorized on September 27, 2010 by Country Preacher

Audio for my Sermon for Trinity 17 is up.  Listen HERE.

And just for fun, I am including, (below the break) the manuscript, with this proviso : This is not the way I preached it.  I made two small but very significant changes.  One in the middle, one at the end.  I realized before and during the service that something was missing.  So I added it.

Listen, read along and compare.  But no fair peaking until you have downloaded.

Continue reading

CRM & Bi-vocational Pastors

Posted in Uncategorized on September 26, 2010 by Country Preacher

One more post on an issue raised by President Cripe.

If he is indeed correct and close to 40% of our congregations will need bi-vocational pastors in the coming years, the synod must make some sort of arrangement for calls to these parishes.  Just because a parish is not served “full-time” by a pastor is no excuse for them to have no called pastor.  We must be able to provide them pastors.  I know of several pastors who bounce around from one vacancy to the next while on CRM status, working a non-ministerial job to pay bills.   Some of them are serving non-calling vacancies on a long-term basis.  So why not make it official and simply call them to the position.  There is no rule I know of in our own bylaws that would preclude such a thing.  Our own confessions would encourage such a thing (except for the part about “earn a living from the Gospel”, and that’s not being followed anyway, since the permanent vacancy pastor is already bi-vocational.)    This would give pastors an opportunity to have their roster status resolved, to have a permanent pulpit, and (perhaps) to build a congregation that can support a full-time pastor.  I don’t see a downside to this.  After all, the CRM pastor who is currently serving them an decide for himself if he wants to accept the permanent call from the congregation.

So why are we not doing this?