Archive for November, 2010

The Devastation of the Sexual Revolution

Posted in Uncategorized on November 29, 2010 by Country Preacher

Two articles I found in one day on the devastation wrought by the sexual revolution.

One at Mere comments.

The other at Counselor Inklings.

Both are worth a read.

Having sexual relations outside of marriage is to curse oneself and ones (future) family.

Safety Equipment : Causing Injuries

Posted in Uncategorized on November 29, 2010 by Country Preacher

A post over at the Volokh Conspiracy deals with one of my favorite topics : The law of unintended consequences.  It turns out that all of that safety equipment football players wear may actually contribute to horrific and life-altering injuries, rather than protect from them.

For more on rules that don’t work, Cracked.com has a number of (slightly NSFW) articles.  Warning : Foul Language.  If you are up for it, click here, here, or (my personal favorite) here.

An Apologia, And a Farewell? (of sorts)

Posted in Uncategorized on November 29, 2010 by Country Preacher

I started this blog as a way to work through certain issues I was having at the time, and to share theological thoughts and concerns of the church.  I have a fairly devoted following, I believe, and a few that stop in from time to time whenever one of my posts is noticed by the BJS.

Obviously, a great deal of my blogging is tongue in cheek.  I have tried to follow the advice of the +Reverend Dr. Marquardt+ who interrupted a “Q” Party at the seminary to announce that it was fine to make fun of fools like us, but we should really leave our Lord out of it.

I have lampooned and criticized the human foibles of those in the church, attempting to lighten up the mood, and allow us to realize that, while we take our theology very seriously indeed, we must never take ourselves too seriously.  We are the receivers of a great tradition, and our task is to faithfully pass it on to those who will follow (which is approaching far more rapidly than I ever thought possible – I’m how old???)   However, all our great dreams and ambitions are really not all that impressive, all our theological insights are not that insightful.  It is usually just understanding what one of the great fathers was actually saying.  Or perhaps discovering what our Lord really meant when he said…  There is nothing new under the sun, so our thinking of ourselves as great is really just self-delusion.  This is what I have tried to convey, and I have tried to do it with my own unique brand of humor.

However, on a couple of occasions, I have made comments that have caused pain and suffering to men of good conscience who are working hard to do the very thing we should be doing.  This was never my intent.  I have debated this past weekend various solutions to this problem.  One was to shut down the blog entirely.   I know some like listening to my sermons, and there are times I like to formulate my own meager thoughts in a more formal way than just rattling around my own mostly-empty head.  Another option was to make the blog private.  But I hate those, and won’t join them on principle, so it seemed wrong to do so here.

However, I can not continue to have this blog be a distraction from ministry, which it has on occasion become.  Nor can I have my words responsible for causing pain to others who are acting faithfully.

All of this leads up to my big announcement : As of now, I will be scaling back the amount of blogging I do.  It may not last very long.  I don’t know.  I will be exiting the world of synod politics – a world as crazy as it is useless.  When we engage in politics in the church, we have already lost that which we seek to gain – unless we seek to gain power, which is the direct opposite of what our Lord wants us to do.  Initially, this blog avoided the topic entirely.  I only entered it because some were attempting to change the very foundation of our confession.  With that no longer on the table, there is absolutely no need for me to speak to this, and we all have far better things to do with our time.

I will post occasionally on various topics of interest to me.  I will also continue to post my sermons.  But I will no longer comment on the state of the synod.  It has enough problems without me pointing out the disagreements that exist.   This may not be a large or noticeable change for my readers, but it is an intentional shift in direction for me.  Meanwhile, like all pastors, I continue to work on my book, which will change the entire church for the better, and will lead to a period of peace and harmony unmatched by anyone since the Coke commercial in the 70’s.

Rules for Me, not for Thee Update

Posted in Uncategorized on November 27, 2010 by Country Preacher

On another website, a person referenced my post, and claimed that I said “there is no constitutional position of Chief Financial Officer in the Missouri Synod, at least until, and if, congregations vote 2/3s or more approval on Resolution 8-10 before the deadline in March of next year.”

I never said that.  Even should the constitutional amendment pass, this will be true.  CFO falls under “Other officers, as specified in the Bylaws”, now, as it will then.  There is no problem with having a CFO.  My objection is solely that there is no Treasurer, which according to the constitution there should be.  He is a non-voting member of the BOD.  According to the constitutional requirements, he could be appointed by the BOD, so the failure of the convention to elect him is not even an issue for me.

Indeed, my entire objection would disappear if Mr. Wulf had been named, “Vice-President-Finance-Treasurer/CFO.”

It may seem that my objection is a technical one.  Perhaps it is.  I am not planing on filing a lawsuit.  I just think that, if the constitution requires someone to hold a specific office with a specific title, then we should make certain that there is someone in that specific office who holds that specific title.  It is a matter of working together in the manner we have agreed to, even if it seems redundant and picky.  It is doing those picky things that assures people that we are also doing the no-so-picky things.

Some have used my comments to impugn the integrity of the synod’s BOD, which thing I was not trying to do.  I was attempting to deal with what I see as a serious issue, even though it is very minor, and do so in a humorous way.  I did not intend it to be used as a means for criticizing what I see as the fine work of the BOD.  Indeed, since the previous CCM approved this very situation in which we find ourselves, it could be said that I am objecting to the opinion of the CCM which allowed it.  Or to the committee that proposed it.  Or to the entire BRTFSSG that thought this was the way to go in the first place.  Or to the convention, which did not demand to elect a treasurer in the interim.  I was not trying to take shots at individuals or the integrity they bring to the table in serving our synod.

I am just pointing out that, until March, the constitution does require a treasurer, and we don’t have one.  Nothing more or less than that.  As for the previous post, well, let’s call it “a botched joke.”

Oh Give Thanks Unto the Lord

Posted in Uncategorized on November 24, 2010 by Country Preacher

I was pondering the fact that Thanksgiving is a religious national holiday (take that separation of church and state!), which led to the following sermon.  Click HERE to listen. (OK, so Mediafire is just too slow tonight.  Check back next week if you want to listen.)

As a way of saying “Thank you” to my faithful reader, you may also read it, after the jump.

Continue reading

Rules for Thee, Not for Me

Posted in Uncategorized on November 24, 2010 by Country Preacher

So, what do you think would be the reaction of the powers-that-be if a congregation decided to change their constitution and bylaws, and then started using them immediately, even before they received the approval of the district constitution committee?

Apparently, that doesn’t apply to corporate synod.  No point in waiting until the constitution is actually amended to start acting like it is.

The next time the powers-that-be bring up the “giving up our rights so that we can walk together in an orderly way” speech, I’m going to pull out the old, “I learned it from watching you!”

PS. On a related note, does it seem to anyone else that the new CFO looks a lot like the old one, except the new picture is in color?

UPDATE: It has been suggested that I am not being fair, since the CFO exists only in the bylaws, which are being properly carried out.   Therefore, let me be clear : My objection is not that the BOD has appointed someone to the properly amended bylaw position of CFO.  I object that neither the Synod in convention nor the BOD have filled the (for now) constitutionally required office of Vice-President-Finance-Treasurer.   My apologies for any un-clarity.

The Prayer of an Honest Pastor II

Posted in Uncategorized on November 24, 2010 by Country Preacher

For part 1, head over to One Lutheran…Ablog! where Pr. Beisel discusses the unworthiness of the pastor, and the grace the God shows in using us for his good purpose.  I like a prayer that Luther wrote, which I refer to as “Luther’s Pastoral Prayer” – to distinguish it from the more famous Sacristy prayer, which I use before preaching.  Here is “Luther’s Pastoral Prayer” :

Lord God, thou hast placed me in thy church as a bishop and pastor: Thou seest   how unfit I am to fulfill this great and responsible office, and had it not been for Thy wisdom and guidance, I would long since have brought everything  to destruction.  Therefore do I cry unto Thee.  Most willingly do I desire to give and conform my mouth and heart to Thy service.  I desire to teach the people, and long continually to be taught Thy word.  Deign to use me as Thy workman dear Lord.  Only do not Thou forsake me.  For if Thou forsake me, I alone shall bring everything to naught.  Amen. (Philadelphia Edition, V. VI, p. 311)