The Glory Has Departed


Norma Boeckler, Artist in Residence

Bethany Lutheran Worship on
Ustream

Ash Wednesday Service, March 1 - 7 PM Central
NT Greek Lessons - Thursdays, 7 PM, 2017

Saved worship files are at the live worship link.

email: greg.jackson.edlp@gmail.com,
which works as gregjacksonedlp@gmail.com too.

Luther's Sermons, Lenker Series
Book of Concord Selections
Bente's Historical Introductions,
and Martin Chemnitz Press Books

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Readers - For Thigh-Slapping Laughs - Look at the Gerhard Endorsements

 Can anyone find UOJ in this clear statement?
Yet ELDONA met with the Rolf Synod for years,
happily making Justification by Faith an adiaphoron.

Let us share the best laughs from last night's post on Gerhard, ELDONA, and the LCMS - the endorsements. Oh My! I was laughing so hard that the computer monitor seems to be warping and moving. Here they are - a veritable list of theological clowns, frauds, and foxes.

John Brug - Mordor Seminary in Mequon - where it is OK to sexually assault new students visiting the campus.

“Among the strengths of Gerhard are his clear definitions of terms, his abundant use of Scripture, his thorough knowledge of the Church Fathers, and the clarity of his outline and arguments. The notion that the Lutheran dogmaticians were philosophical debaters rather than careful exegetes of Scriptures is quickly disproved . . . . [It is] the outstanding work of Lutheran (i.e., biblical) dogmatics.”

Brug has the worst book ever on The Ministry of the Word. He defends Justification without Faith and Church Growth, while advocating the ordination of women.

Carl Beckwith - Beeson Babtist Divinity School -
“The thoroughness and detail of Gerhard’s discussion is impressive. Moreover, Gerhard assembles a remarkable diversity of sources throughout and approaches them in both a constructive and critical manner. He also continues the tradition, well-established in Lutheran circles, of showing the continuity of evangelical theology, particularly its commitment to the authority of Scripture, with the Early Church Fathers.”

I had to search for his resume. He colloquized into the LCMS but teaches at a Babtist Seminary. "Ralph Beeson provided the largest gift from a living individual in Samford history to establish the first divinity school at a Babtist college or university in the nation. Beeson Divinity School is open to persons from all Christian denominations - and the ordination of women."

Mark Mattes, ELCA - Grandview, formerly a Junior College. UOJ advocate. Evangelical Catholic is code for ELCA Roman Catholic wannabees, in the mould of Richard John Neuhaus. Safe and sane - like New Year's?

“Orthodox fathers of the seventeenth century have been rejected and ignored for too long. The publication of Johann Gerhard’s massive ‘Theological Commonplaces’ by Concordia Publishing House offers an opportunity to re-examine the Orthodox and their important contributions to theology and their relevance for theology today. Gerhard offers a safe and sane approach to the doctrine of God, one that is both wholly evangelical and wholly catholic.”

Jack Kilcrease - WELS/ELCA/Roman Catholic - adjunct at a Catholic convent school, best buddy of Paul McCain and Jay Webber - adjunct at ELCA's Institute of Lutheran Theology. A UOJ fanatic who cannot spell or write and erases his own comments soon after writing them in the social media.

“Gerhard’s writings are always theologically engaging. They prove highly inaccurate the claims of Pietism and Liberalism that Lutheran orthodoxy was ‘dead orthodoxy.’ What is most delightful about Gerhard’s work is its sense of evangelical-catholicity. He is consistently focused on a close reading of the Bible with special attention to rectilinear prophecy and interpretation of the Old Testament.


Matt the Fat Harrison, who could not finish an in-house doctorate at his own seminary, wrote something. As a close associate of UOJ assassin Paul McCain, Harrison is even more laughable than the rest for his endorsement.

Gerhard marks the end of Reformation theologians connected with the Book of Concord, since he worked to finish the Chemnitz Harmony of the Gospels. The clowns, goof-offs, and pretenders listed above will never admit this, but they have no more use for Gerhard than they do for Luther. The advantage of Gerhard is the opportunity to dance around all the issues.

Gerhard is a great, orthodox, Biblical theologian who emphasized faith as much as Luther did. Therefore, the endorsements from the UOJ salesmen seem rather hollow.


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Questions about Publishing Gerhard and His Books

 Some of us remain confused about anyone publishing Gerhard
and lying down with the UOJ dogs.
They are always going to get up with fleas.

Someone gave me a volume of the new Concordia Publishing House series on Gerhard. At $40 per volume on an EZ-pay subscription, that should cost at least $1,000.

Bishop James Heiser began Gerhard years ago with Bishop Randy DeJaynes and Repristination Press, which moved into ELDONA after Heiser returned to the LCMS long enough to snag a congregation's property. Nice work!

Wiki:
Lutheran Confessional Synod (LCS) was a Confessional Lutheran church, characterized by a strict interpretation of the Lutheran Confessions and a historical liturgy. Initially, it declared doctrinal agreement with the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod and the Evangelical Lutheran Synod.[1] LCS was for a brief period in fellowship with WELS and ELS [Jay Webber, Kincaid Smith], but broke with those two synods because of differences in the doctrine of the Ministry, and a possible difference in the doctrine of the Lord's Supper.
As of 2009, stating a "desire to return to the Apostolic faith," some former LCS clergy were Chrismated in the Self-Ruled Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, while others entered the Roman Catholic Church. At least one is now a pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America.
Lutheran Confessional Synod (LCS) The Lutheran Confessional Synod (LCS) was organized in Decatur, Illinois in 1994 by one pastor and one congregation. This small synod at first declared itself in doctrinal agreement with the ELS and the WELS. But now it claims that it disagrees with the WELS and the ELS on the doctrine of church and ministry. The LCS has been designed to attract pastors and congregations and groups of members who wish to leave the ELCA because of the false teaching and practice of that large church body. 

 Bishop James Heiser, Founder of the Mars Society.

 Stealth mode - no robes, no fish hat.
ELDONA is the smallest sect in America to adopt the mitre.

 Why did some LCS priests leave for Eastern Orthodoxy?
So Heiser and DeJaynes were printing Repristination Press books, with an eye toward pleasing Walther fans, praying with the ELS and WELS.
Heiser broke with DeJaynes and went back to the Missouri Synod. Heiser's parents once joined a WELS congregation and his brother is Lutheran Brethren, though communing with WELS. Heiser stayed in the LCMS until he was vested in their deluxe pension plan. Lay not up for yourselves...

Rolf Preus, like Heiser, returned to the LCMS.
The Little Sectarians returned to the Little Sect on the Prairie.
UOJ is a great divider, eh?

Heiser expressed dismay over UOJ when he read - and sold - Thy Strong Word. But he worked with Higher Things (UOJ) and met jointly with the Rolf Preus Synod.
Methinks selling books through CPH had something to do with Heiser's loyalty to UOJ, since McCain expressed fulminating enthusiasm for the dogma of Halle, Stephan, and Walther.
But now there are no Heiser books or Repristination Press books at CPH.  I used the search button and got "no return on your search. You must not be from around heah parts."
Heiser has been heard to say, "I have a license with CPH. That is illegal to ban my books."
That is the trouble with being too clever, drawing from the bottom of the deck and hoping no one sees.
Heiser worked with Dinda, who translated Gerhard for him. Ft. Wayne graduates are not known for their language skills. CPH saw that many clergy were buying Gerhard, so they bought up the Dinda rights for $80,000, which is less than McCain and Harrison spend on diet soda each year.
So Heiser and his stable of writers are banned from CPH. Perhaps McCain has not had a chance to vet the titles. That can take a long, long time.
A few have learned their lesson, "Do not feed the mouth that bites you." They like having obscure titles made available in English, but why is Heiser's business against using Kindle e-books? One can be retro without being Medieval. Some people like to read my books in the doctor's office or in the back of their limos.
With Kindle Unlimited, someone can download all the books for the first month's $10 fee. Holy Mammon - I give mine away - but I am truly a non-profit.
St. Ignatius Theological Seminary,
after remodeling.

Heiser began his Center for the Study of Lutheran Orthodoxy
with an ELCA board member.
"I had to - he bought so many books."
Lay not up for yourselves treasures on earth...

Luther on the Parable of the Sower and the Seed



SEXAGESIMA SUNDAY.
   
German text: Erlangen edition II, 90; Walch II, 704; St. Louis II, 514.

TEXT:

Luke 8:4-15. And when a great multitude came together, and they of every city resorted unto him, he spake by a parable:

The sower went forth to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden under foot, and the birds of the heaven devoured it. And other fell amidst the thorns; and the thorns grew with it, and choked it. And other fell into the good ground, and grew, and brought forth fruit a hundredfold. As he said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

And his disciples asked him what this parable might be. And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to the rest in parables; that seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand. Now the parable is this: The seed is the Word of God. And those by the way side are they that have heard; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the Word from their heart, that they may not believe and be saved. And those on the rock are they who, when they have heard, receive the Word with joy; and these have no root, who for a while believe, and in the time of temptation fall away. And that which fell among the thorns, these are they that have heard, and as they go on their way they are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection. And that in the good ground, these are such as in an honest and good heart, having heard the Word, hold it fast, and bring forth fruit with patience.

CONTENTS:

OF THE DISCIPLES AND OF THE FRUIT OF GOD’S WORD.
I. THE NATURE OF THE WORD HERE SPOKEN

II. THE DISCIPLES OF THIS WORD.

1. The first class of these disciples: a. Their nature 2-3. b. All factious and fanatical spirits belong to this class 4 .

2. The second class of these disciples

3. The third class 6.

4. The fourth class 7-8.

* How and why we need not wonder there are so few true Christians

* How and why teachers are not to be surprised that many misuse the Gospel 10.

III. THE FRUIT OF THE WORD OF GOD.

1. The false explanation of this fruit disproved: a. The false explanation 11. b. Its disproof 12-13f.

* Of chastity and virginity

1. The difference between chastity and virginity 14-15. b. The best chastity is found in married life and the worst in virginity 15-16.

2. The true explanation of this fruit 17-18.

IV. Why Christ Calls The Doctrine Concerning His Disciples And The fruit Of The Word A Mystery 19-20.

I. THE NATURE OF THE WORD SPOKEN HERE.

1. This Gospel treats of the disciples and the fruits, which the Word of God develops in the world. It does not speak of the law nor of human institutions; but, as Christ himself says, of the Word of God, which he himself the sower preaches, for the law bears no fruit, just as little as do the institutions of men. Christ however sets forth here four kinds of disciples of the divine Word.



II. THE DISCIPLES OF THIS WORD.

2. The first class of disciples are those who hear the Word but neither understand nor esteem it. And these are not the mean people in the world, but the greatest, wisest and the most saintly, in short they are the greatest part of mankind; for Christ does not speak here of those who persecute the Word nor of those who fail to give their ear to it, but of those who hear it and are students of it, who also wish to be called true Christians and to live in Christian fellowship with Christians and are partakers of baptism and the Lord’s Supper. But they are of a carnal heart, and remain so, failing to appropriate the Word of God to themselves, it goes in one ear and out the other. Just like the seed along the wayside did not fall into the earth, but remained lying on the ground in the wayside, because the road was tramped hard by the feet of man and beast and it could not take root.

3. Therefore Christ says the devil cometh and taketh away the Word from their heart, that they may not believe and be saved. What power of Satan this alone reveals, that hearts, hardened through a worldly mind and life, lose the Word and let it go, so that they never understand or confess it; but instead of the Word of God Satan sends false teachers to tread it under foot by the doctrines of men. For it stands here written both that it was trodden under foot, and the birds of the heaven devoured it. The birds Christ himself interprets as the messengers of the devil, who snatch away the Word and devour it, which is done when he turns and blinds their hearts so that they neither understand nor esteem it, as St. Paul says in 2 Timothy 4:4: “They will turn away their ears from the truth, and turn aside unto fables.” By the treading under foot of men Christ means the teachings of men, that rule in our hearts, as he says in Matthew 5:13 also of the salt that has lost its savor, it is cast out and trodden under foot of men; that is, as St. Paul says in 2 Thessalonians 2:11, they must believe a lie because they have not been obedient to the truth.

4. Thus all heretics, fanatics and sects belong to this number, who understand the Gospel in a carnal way and explain it as they please, to suit their own ideas, all of whom hear the Gospel and yet they bear no fruit, yea, more, they are governed by Satan and are harder oppressed by human institutions than they were before they heard the Word. For it is a dreadful utterance that Christ here gives that the devil taketh away the Word from their hearts, by which he clearly proves that the devil rules mightily in their hearts, notwithstanding they are called Christians and hear the Word.

Likewise it sounds terribly that they are to be trodden under foot, and must be subject unto men and to their ruinous teachings, by which under the appearance and name of the Gospel the devil takes the Word from them, so that they may never believe and be saved, but must be lost forever; as the fanatical spirits of our day do in all lands. For where this Word is not, there is no salvation, and great works or holy lives avail nothing, for with this, that he says: “They shall not be saved,” since they have not the Word, he shows forcibly enough, that not their works but their faith in the Word alone saves, as Paul says to the Romans: “It is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth.” Romans 1:16.

5. The second class of hearers are those who receive the Word with joy, but they do not persevere. These are also a large multitude who understand the Word correctly and lay hold of it in its purity without any spirit of sect, division or fanaticism, they rejoice also in that they know the real truth, and are able to know how they may be saved without works through faith.

They also know that they are free from the bondage of the law, of their conscience and of human teachings; but when it comes to the test that they must suffer harm, disgrace and loss of life or property, then they fall and deny it; for they have not root enough, and are not planted deep enough in the soil. Hence they are like the growth on a rock, which springs forth fresh and green, that it is a pleasure to behold it and it awakens bright hopes. But when the sun shines hot it withers, because it has no soil and moisture, and only rock is there. So these do; in times of persecution they deny or keep silence about the Word, and work, speak and suffer all that their persecutors mention or wish, who formerly went forth and spoke, and confessed with a fresh and joyful spirit the same, while there was still peace and no heat, so that there was hope they would bear much fruit and serve the people. For these fruits are not only the works, but more the confession, preaching and spreading of the Word, so that many others may thereby be converted and the kingdom of God be developed.

6. The third class are those who hear and understand the Word, but still it falls on the other side of the road, among the pleasures and cares of this life, so that they also do nothing with the Word. And there is quite a large multitude of these; for although they do not start heresies, like the first, but always possess the absolutely pure Word, they are also not attacked on the left as the others with opposition and persecution; yet they fall on the right side, and it is their ruin that they enjoy peace and good days. Therefore they do not earnestly give themselves to the Word, but become indifferent and sink in the cares, riches and pleasures of this life, so that they are of no benefit to any one. Therefore they are like the seed that fell among the thorns. Although it is not rocky but good soil; not wayside but deeply plowed soil; yet, the thorns will not let it spring up, they choke it. Thus these have all in the Word that is needed for their salvation, but they do not make any use of it, and they rot in this life in carnal pleasures. To these belong those who hear the Word but do not bring under subjection their flesh. They know their duty but do it not, they teach but do not practice what they teach, and are this year as they were last.

7. The fourth class are those who lay hold of and keep the Word in a good and honest heart, and bring forth fruit with patience, those who hear the Word and steadfastly retain it, meditate upon it and act in harmony with it.

The devil does not snatch it away, nor are they thereby led astray, moreover the heat of persecution does not rob them of it, and the thorns of pleasure and the avarice of the times do not hinder its growth; but they bear fruit by teaching others and by developing the kingdom of God, hence they also do good to their neighbor in love; and therefore Christ adds, “they bring forth fruit with patience.” For these must suffer much on account of the Word, shame and disgrace from fanatics and heretics, hatred and jealousy with injury to body and property from their persecutors, not to mention what the thorns and the temptations of their own flesh do, so that it may well be called the Word of the cross; for he who would keep it must bear the cross and misfortune, and triumph.

8. He says: “In honest and good hearts.” Like a field, that is without a thorn or brush, cleared and spacious, as a beautiful clean place: so a heart is also cleared and clean, broad and spacious, that is without cares and avarice as to temporal needs, so that the Word of God truly finds lodgment there. But the field is good, not only when it lies there cleared and level, but when it is also rich and fruitful, possesses soil and is productive, and not like a stony and gravelly field. Just so is the heart that has good soil and with a full spirit is strong, fertile and good to keep the Word and bring forth fruit with patience.

9. Here we see why it is no wonder there are so few true Christians, for all the seed does not fall into good ground, but only the fourth and small part; and that they are not to be trusted who boast they are Christians and praise the teaching of the Gospel; like Demas, a disciple of St. Paul, who forsook him at last, 2 Timothy 4:10; like the disciples of Jesus, who turned their backs to him. John 6:66. For Christ himself cries out here: “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear,” as if he should say: O, how few true Christians there are; one dare not believe all to be Christians who are called Christians and hear the Gospel, more is required than that.

10. All this is spoken for our instruction, that we may not go astray, since so many misuse the Gospel and few lay hold of it aright. True it is unpleasant to preach to those who treat the Gospel so shamefully and even oppose it. For preaching is to become so universal that the Gospel is to be proclaimed to all creatures, as Christ says in Mark 16:15: “Preach the Gospel to the whole creation;” and Psalm 19:4: “Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.” What business is it of mine that many do not esteem it? It must be that many are called but few are chosen. For the sake of the good ground that brings forth fruit with patience, the seed must also fall fruitless by the wayside, on the rock and among the thorns; inasmuch as we are assured that the Word of God does not go forth without bearing some fruit, but it always finds also good ground; as Christ says here, some seed of the sower falls also into good ground, and not only by the wayside, among the thorns and on stony ground. For where-ever the Gospel goes you will find Christians. “My word shall not return unto me void.” Isaiah 55:11.



III. THE FRUIT OF THIS WORD.

11. Here observe that Mark 4:8 and Matthew 13:8 say the seed yielded fruit some thirty, some sixty and some a hundredfold, which according to all interpretations is understood of three kinds of chastity, that of virgins, married persons and widows; and virgins are credited with a hundredfold of fruit, wedded persons with thirtyfold, the least of all, and widows with sixtyfold. But this is such coarse and corrupt talk that it is a sin and a shame that this interpretation has continued so long in Christendom and has been advocated by so many noted teachers, and criticized by none of them. In this one perceives how many wide-awake, well-armed and faithful teachers the church has had heretofore, and how one blindly believed another, and how God allowed many noted saints and people to play the fool so completely in these important matters pertaining to the soul that he warned us to believe no teacher, however saintly and great he may be, unless he comes with the pure Word of God.

12. First, it would be doing the Word of God injustice to hold that it brings forth no other fruit than chastity, since St. Paul boasts quite differently in Galatians 5:22. In brief, the Word of God accomplishes all good, it makes us wise, sensible, prudent, cautious, pious, kind, patient, faithful, discreet, chaste, etc. Hence this comment referring only to three kinds of chastity is wholly unchristian. The heathen and wicked people, who neither possess the Gospel nor persecute it, have also virgins, widows and married persons. Doubtless Anna and Caiaphas had been properly married. Thus there were virgins, widows and consorts before the Word of God; for virgins were born, and when the Gospel comes it finds virgins, widows and wives; the Gospel did not first make them virgins, widows or wives.

13. Secondly, thus marriage, virginity and widowhood are not fruits, nor virtues, nor good works; but three stations or states in life created and ordained by God, and are not creatures of our power. They are divine works and creations like all other creatures. For if it should be valid to interpret a station or state in life as good fruit, one would have to say the state of a lord, a servant, a man, a child and of officers was only fruit of the Gospel; in this way there would be no fruit at all left for the Gospel, since such states or callings are found everywhere regardless of the Gospel. But the chastity of virgins is paraded thus for the sake of a show, to the great danger and injury of immortal souls; just as if no virtue adorns a Christian but virginity.

14. I will say further, that chastity is a different and a far higher thing than virginity, and is nothing more than that a woman has never been under any obligation to a man. Besides, however, it is possible that a virgin has not only a desire and a passion for man, in harmony with the character and nature of her female body; but she must also be full of blood and life in order to bear children and multiply the race, for which God created her, and that creation is not her work but God’s alone. Therefore that woman may not hinder God’s work, nature as created by God must take its course, whether children be born or not. But chastity must indeed be a state of a woman’s mind that has no or little desire for man, and has in her body also little or no seed to bear fruit or children.

15. Now it is generally the case that a married woman does not so often experience such desire and lust, such a flow of love or life; for she will be relieved of the same by or through her husband; and besides, where a virgin has only passion in the thoughts of her heart and in the seed of her body, a married woman has much displeasure mingled with the pleasure of her husband, so that to speak in common terms, the high and best chastity is in the married state, because in it is the least lust and passion, while the least chastity is in the state of virgins, because in it there is much more lust and passion. Therefore chastity is a virtue far above virginity; for we call a bride still a virgin, although she is indeed full of desire, passion and love for her bridegroom. Chastity waves high over all three states, over marriage, over widowhood and over virginity. But when God does not work wonders it sinks low and exists most in the married state and least in the state of virgins, and there are not three kinds of chastity, but three states of chastity.

16. True, when we consider virginity according to its outward appearance, it seems great that a woman restrains herself and never satisfies her desires with a man. But what does it help if persons restrain their passions longer without a man or a woman and then satisfy them more than with a man or woman? Is there not more unchastity where there is greater lust, love, lewdness and sensation than where there is less? Therefore to calculate according to the amount of lust and sensation, as unchastity should be considered, virginity is more unchaste than the state of marriage. This is very apparent among prostitutes, who are virgins and yet are very forward and obscene, and cherish greater thoughts of the sin than the sin itself is. In short, I wonder if there is a virgin twenty years of age, who has a healthy, perfect female body.

17. This is enough concerning chastity, that we know how the fruits of the Word must be understood differently and in a wider sense than pertaining to chastity, and be applied especially to the fruits, by which many are converted and come to the knowledge of the truth. For although works are also called fruits, yet Christ speaks here especially of the fruits the seed of the Word brings forth in hearts that become enlightened, believing, happy and wise in Christ, as St. Paul says in Romans 1:13: “That I might have some fruit in you also, even as in the rest of the Gentiles;” and Colossians 1:6: “Even as the Gospel is also in all the world bearing fruit and increasing, as it doth in you also;” that is, many will be made alive through the Gospel, delivered from their sins and be saved; for it is the characteristic work of the Gospel, as the Word of life, grace and salvation to release from sin, death and Satan. In harmony with this fruit follow the fruits of the Spirit, the good works of patience, love, faithfulness, etc.

18. Now that some seed brings forth thirty, some sixty, and some a hundred fold, means that more people will be converted in some places than in others, and one apostle and minister may preach farther and more than another; for the people are not everywhere alike numerous and do not report the same number of Christians, and one minister may not preach as many sermons or cover as great a territory as another, which God foresaw and ordained. To the words of St. Paul, who preached the farthest and the most, we may indeed ascribe the hundredfold of fruit; although he was not a virgin.

IV. WHY CHRIST CALLS THE DOCTRINE CONCERNING THE DISCIPLES AND THE FRUITS OF THE WORD A MYSTERY.

19. But what does it mean when he says: “Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of Gad”, etc.? What are the mysteries? Shall one not know them, why then are .they preached? A “mystery” is a hidden secret, that is not known: and the “mysteries of the kingdom of God” are the things in the kingdom of God, as for example Christ with all his grace, which he manifests to us, as Paul describes him; for he who knows Christ aright understands what God’s kingdom is and what is in it. And it is called a mystery because it is spiritual and secret, and indeed it remains so, where the spirit does not reveal it. For although there are many who see and hear it, yet they do not understand it. Just as there are many who preach and hear Christ, how he offered himself for us; but all that is only upon their tongue and not in their heart; for they themselves do not believe it, they do not experience it, as Paul in 1 Corinthians 2:14 says: “The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God.” Therefore Christ says here: “Unto you it is given”, the Spirit gives it to you that you not only hear and see it, but acknowledge and believe it with your heart. Therefore it is now no longer a mystery to you. But to the others who hear it as well as you, and have no faith in their heart, they see and understand it not; to them it is a mystery and it will continue unknown to them, and all that they hear is only like one hearing a parable or a dark saying. This is also proved by the fanatics of our day, who know so much to preach about Christ; but as they themselves do not experience it in their heart, they rush ahead and pass by the true foundation of the mystery and tramp around with questions and rare foundlings, and when it comes to the test they do not know the least thing about trusting in God and finding in Christ the forgiveness of their sins.



20. But Mark says, Mark 4:33, Christ spake therefore to the people with parables, that they might understand, each according to his ability.

How does that agree with what Matthew says, Matthew 13:13-14: He spake therefore unto them in parables, because they did not understand? It must surely be that Mark wishes to say that parables serve to the end that they may get a hold of coarse, rough people, although they do not indeed understand them, yet later, they may be taught and then they know: for parables are naturally pleasing to the common people, and they easily remember them since they are taken from common every day affairs, in the midst of which the people live. But Matthew means to say that these parables are of the nature that no one can understand them, they may grasp and hear them as often as they will, unless the Spirit makes them known and reveals them. Not that they should preach that we shall not understand them; but it naturally follows that wherever the Spirit does not reveal them, no one understands them. However, Christ took these words from Isaiah 6:9-10, where the high meaning of the divine foreknowledge is referred to, that God conceals and reveals to whom he will and whom he had in mind from eternity.


Two Pastors and One Layman Have Received Five Boxes of Books - Thanks to Extra Gifts Given

 Click on this link and an angel will get his wings.

Books Published by Pastor Gregory L. Jackson, PhD

https://www.amazon.com/Pastor-Gregory-L.-Jackson/e/B00MDC6S4U?ref_=pe_1724030_132998060 <== Obvious link for Mequon grads.


I have received thankyou notes from two pastors and a layman, after they received a bumper crop of Lutheran books, including old classics and ones from Martin Chemnitz Press.

I sent a total of five boxes of books, which was a lot of fun. One had a toxic symbol on it, so I had to tape over the symbol for the books to ship. The Walmart was across the street, so I brought it back. "What's in it?" I said, "Toxic." They laughed because we went through that issue a few minutes earlier.

Worthwhile books, containing the living seed of the Word, should be broadcast.

This relates to the Gospel on Sexagesima Sunday.
Here is Luther's sermon on that text.


When I send books around, I think of William Tyndale. Agents of the King bought up his English Bibles, which would later republished as the KJV.

Tyndale was glad, because that hostile buying of the Bibles meant he could print even more at the wholesale cost. He sacrificed his life for the Word of God. He was killed and burned at the stake, and yet few clergy value the Scriptures today.


If you want to find out how much time the pastor spends with the Scriptures each week, listen to the sermon. If the sermon is about his personal experiences - and funny or emotional stories, then the answer is - zero time with the Scriptures.

If you want to terrify a WELS pastor, ask him to present a series of adult classes on the Formula of Concord.

Books Donated or Taken by ELDONA

ELDONUTs hate cat graphics, so I saved two for them.
The Right Reverend Bishop James Heiser should divulge the books he received from Team Jackson. He likes to tell false stories, why not try some truth?

I sent him a set of Erlangen Luther that I received from a friend. I paid the postage.

He found out about a Gerhard Loci that we were loaned, since LI knows Latin so well. He once speed translated some Gerhard for me, faster than I could follow the text. Heiser latched onto the set and never let it go, but I sincerely doubt Jim can read Latin.

Since Heiser was accumulating a library of old Lutheran books, I donated my Latin copy of Chemnitz' Examen. It was in excellent condition.

Heiser wanted to raise $1800 for some rare Lutheran books he wanted to buy. I sent around a letter to my readers, and that raised a lot of money toward buying the books he wanted.

I gave him Thy Strong Word to sell and fixed the errant pages for him. He put them on his website and promoted them. I don't recall receiving any of the proceeds. In contrast, I paid him for 100 of his English Trigottas.

I doubt whether Heiser tells any of those stories. I suggest that anyone planning to associate with the ELDONUT cult - be wary of a self-appointed bishop who rakes the proceeds into his pockets and acts as if robbed!

 Because you graduated from Ft. Wayne.
You just think you are.

They Predict 80 Degrees This Week


A month of dreaming about gardening has been stolen by good weather - rains followed by 80 degree days this week.

Daffodils are either coming from the ground or already blooming.

Soon the baby squirrels will be checking out the feeders. "You have three feeders in our yard. If you youngsters cannot get a quick meal, I give up."

Roses have various schedules. Some have greened up and leafed out. Others are still dormant. My first task is to prune all of them back by 33% to 50%.

 Garden like Someone is watching.

KnockOuts enjoy rampant growth, so aggressive pruning is best for them. Last year I periodically pruned them way back. They soon climbed back to the same height, full of buds.

Roses love to be pruned, and questionable growth should always be cut away. Some candidates are spots of dead wood, so nothing will grow on it. Simply cutting that off will spur growth in the roots and on the canes.

Some rose growth gets tangled up. Someone complained about roses being thorny - a big problem. I said, "Look at it this way. They are thorn bushes, but thorn bushes with beautiful flowers."

Their cane growth is rather chaotic, so creating a vase effect will give the canes more air and room to produce good flowers. Throw the cane debris away (John 15).

 All roses will look grand when cut at their peak,
and home-grown roses will last longer in the vase.

One Can Figure Out the Ending by the Beginning Moves

Natural consequences.

The recent financial debacle in WELS reminds me of natural consequences. The WELS leaders made a conscious decision to let an unprincipled person run an official event. No controls were in place, in spite of that individual's court history of creating similar events and keeping the money. A WELS pastor's daughter? - that explains everything.

An enormous amount of money comes in for an expo. Luther Days raised at least $10,000 from LACE and other official entities. The sponsors did not get the "largest distinctively Lutheran conference in North America" and the speakers did not get paid their expenses.

They had more speakers than parking places for them. Jay Webber is Facebook friends with Natalie Pratt. Maybe he and his son got paid back.

When Pratt tried to take over the Return to Wittenberg conference, she wanted the registration money before the location was confirmed. She met with SP: Mark Schroeder and got her own expo and funds, linked on WELS.net with the synod's obvious official approval. RTW did not get any mention at all - or approval - or funds.

Better to be a slave in the house of the Lord than a princess in Babylon.

Who benefited? WELS did. Kudu Don Patterson bullied Natalie into erasing her blog called Shattered Pulpit. Someone got her to erase WELS Documented as well. WELS Pastor Steve Spencer had Natalie contact me under a fake name to promote her causes. WELS is always playing spy games - badly - to get things done under the radar. But everyone knows eventually.

The son of one WELS pastor wrote constantly to leak Ski/Glende information to me. The same information was going to Steve Spencer. Nothing came of the facts posted on this blog, except very high page views those months. One day the son denied some information I knew via Spencer. Another day the son said, "My dad is standing next to me as I write."

The pose of deniability is hilarious in WELS and other places. The Intrepid Lutherans, who fought without discipline and ran without shame, made sure they sanitized themselves against the charge they were in cahoots with me - the ad ichabodem fallacy. I gave them some background links and they ran with it. But they were accused anyway.

 Rydecki and Spencer - at the first and last Intrepid conference.


I suggested a group blog for the Intrepid Lutherans, and they did a good job of discussing topics. But I wonder if Spencer - who picked the name Intrepid Lutherans - was just gathering a list of volunteers for the gallows. (Reference to the Hungarian Revolution, 1956)

Church and Change was - and still is - a stealth operation. Once the Steadfast Lutherans had a conference, like Issues in WELS, they were forcibly disbanded. Mission accomplished - thanks to Steve Spencer - who bailed out first, unintrepidly, and apologized several times for offending any of the false teachers in WELS.

To be fair, the original idea came from SP Mark Schroeder, who suggested to Steve Spencer that they needed a group to organize against Church and Change.

Spencer was the one who gave me the first links to Church and Change, its website, and various facts.

The LCMS is not any different in its leadership and tactics. Their strength is their loose federation of lobbies, charities, entities, and factions. One can always find a refuge in the LCMS rainbow coalition.

Publishing the truth about the scandalous leaders of WELS-LCMS-ELS has accomplished very little, because the bureaucracy specializes in protecting itself.

However, the main goal of this blog is to promote Luther's Biblical doctrine and  Reformation theology. That has gone well, with more pastors and laity taking a great interest in knowing and practicing what the Reformer taught.
 WELS, LCMS, ELS, and CLC practice this fallacy
with great cunning and tenacity.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Birds in the Kitchen Window


 Someone used this Lowe's feeder for a great squirrel pose.
When hanging, the feeder is relatively safe from squirrel predation.
Cleaning the kitchen window led to installing a new feeder and six-foot Jackson EZ Bird Swing. Directions are linked here.

Some advantages are:

  • No Venetian blinds to block the view.
  • A window so clean it is almost invisible.
  • A place where we are often busy and now have a constantly changing view of birds feeding.

I did not expect an immediate response, since birds are so wary of anything new. However, the Lowe's feeder is the third one hanging and the Jackson EZ Bird Swing has been enjoyed for several years.

Today, several days after the installation, the new swing and feeder were accommodating a stream of birds. As I watched, a male Cardinal, a goldfinch, and a house finch took up their stations to eat some sunflower seeds.

The design lets the birds have their own station. The shy Cardinals often take the side away from the window, but the feeder rotates slowly around to let us see all the birds.

I began photographing them today. That led to a boycott after some good photos. I will try more tomorrow and post some.

 The male Goldfinches do not have their spring livery yet,
and all bird lovers wait to spot their change
to an impossibly bright hue.


Landing and Feeding
The kitchen window does not yet afford a good landing zone, except for the swing. Some birds land directly on the feeder, but others land on the swing, which is very close to the window.

The birds peer inside at the humans and wait to get a place to feed.

When the Crepe Myrtle grows up, the birds will also land there, with room for plenty to rest, preen, and enjoy their seeds. Small birds will take a seed and land where they can open it with their beaks. Chickadees are most likely to do this.

Cardinals have large, powerful beaks, so they sit at the feeder with a droll look on their faces, and process one seed after another, ejecting the hulls.

Doves are ground feeders, but they are happy to land
on a hanging feeder.
Among the birds we see,
doves are the ones that love to bathe and eat the longest.

Luther Days Fiasco - Endorsed by SP Mark Schroeder.
Website Down. Video Gone. Money Gone.



Luther Days no longer exists. Reports from the presenters say they didn't get the promised reimbursement.

***
 Con artists like to rub it in when they leave with the loot.


GJ - No shock is registered here. Two ladies ran the circus, which was really a scam. Natalie Pratt had a court record about money lost from various enterprises, which were just like this one.

But SP Mark Schroeder guided thousands of dollars her way and refused to support a genuine gathering.

Imagine poor Jay Webber flying to "The Largest Distinctively Lutheran Festival" in North America and finding just one person who would listen to him - and then paying his own expenses!


The Odd Couple will sign books,
even though Jessica Pratt said she cannot stand Scott Barefoot's arrogance.
http://lutherdays.org/pdf/Luther_%20Days_Schedule.pdf [website down?]

Should be fun-ny.

Sleepless in Silvis asks:

They are still going through with this?  I'm wondering how much synod dollars are going into this? 
They claim 50+ booths and displays?  Are they all paying?  Other than Thrivent who REALLY could be a valid sponsor?  A member's personal business?  An individual?  They should declare them by now.  Most conventions do especially when guests are traveling farther than intrastate.   


***

GJ - Answer. I am told WELS has funded this debacle, after Pratt met with Mark Schroeder. That would help explain how this became a showcase for Church and Changers with a side-helping of sodomy.

Otherwise, there is no chance this could work, and there are still big, gaping holes in the logistics, according to my safe sources.

"Natalie Pratt's Safe Pastor"
Con artists let others take the fall.
Another set of comments -

Objective of event 

Welcome to Luther Days

The Luther Days Festival is one of the most exciting events around for Confessional Lutherans and is the largest distinctly Lutheran
festival in North America! This one-of-a-kind event is for the entire family and brings Martin Luther and the Reformation to life by offering
participants a uniquely interactive and distinctly Lutheran experience for all ages. The festival also embraces the heritage of the Lutheran
Church and is an action-packed day with hands-on exploration into the reformation, our Lutheran faith, and the German heritage of the immigrant Lutherans.


A lot of the Master Schedule "classes" "courses" whatever word one would use has topics that I can't say are "action-packed" or "embraces the heritage of the Lutheran Church".  Such as:

Stressed Out But Standing Strong 
Got Women-What do to with women who don't bake or make casseroles  
Hope and Healing after Porn  (What about during?)
Dangers of Porn and the Need to Prepare (Didn't it exist before the internet?)
For Called Workers Helping our Families Reject Porn in our Churches (One would think that all these Porn classes apply to our Lutheran Heritage.  Reject Porn in our Churches--nothing about "at home where
most men/women view porn except for the few brainless that have to do it at church office computers?  Or is that just a poor choice of title?) [GJ - Natalie Pratt is big on porn addiction and has put a lot of porn links on the Luther Days Twitter list. So - action-packed is right, after all.]

WELS Training Camp Rock Climbing Wall  ("Got" Liability Insurance?  Oops---forgot Luther was a big Rock Climbing guy)
Taste of Germany - Food Court ("Got" Liability Insurance and State Food Licenses?)
Holy Hen House- Social Gathering for WomenEither they have enough Luther subject matters or make the sessions longer.  The rest of the things (Pakistan, etc could be put in a booklet)


The one that bothers me the most is "Everyone who Calls on the Name of the Lord will be Saved".  Topic is on Romans 10:13 versus Matthew 7:21-23?


You could stand in line for 6 hours (assuming their will be huge masses of people with no parking) just for book signings.  When Luther is there to sign a real book, I'll go. 


Is this Luther Days or WELS days based on the topics?  A lot of pats on the back are scheduled.




"Is This Your First Saturday Morning Meeting?"
No, More Like My 80th.
Just Another Walmart Team Jackson BBQ

 Grandson Alexander agreed to pose in my Tilley hat,
holding my walking stick.

This is our schedule for monthly Saturday Morning Meetings at Walmart:
5 AM - I wake up and do some cleaning and coffee brewing.
6:30   - Pick up Little Ichabod at the Little Ichabode.
7:00   - Arrive at a Walmart location or the outdoor, tent-like AMP for the 8 AM meeting.

We arrive so early at the famous Saturday Morning Meetings that we often sit directly behind the celebrity guests, Walmart executives, or Walton family members.

 LI did a hilarious imitation of Arnie discussing his early morning
shopping trips at Walmart, during delays in filming.


This Saturday, we had a row of reserved seats ahead of us, and some younger people sat there as special guests. LI wondered where they came from, so I asked. "We are interns at WM; we're in business school."

The young intern wanted to know about LI's job and mine. She looked at me and asked, "Is this your first Saturday Morning Meeting?"

 Geena Davis sat in the row ahead of us at one meeting.
She began an annual movie festival for Bentonville, a town which has no movie theaters of its own.

I said, "No, it's my 80th or so. We go to all the SMMs, unless he is out of town. And we attend the shareholders' annual meetings too. My wife and I have lived in the area for seven years - for the grandchildren - and their parents." We named a few of the celebrities we have seen live, from our press row seats. Our favorite remains - Hugh Jackman.

Sandra Bullock came to the SMM
immediately after her Oscar win.
Many military heroes are honored at the meetings - and their super-safe truck drivers are routinely honored and applauded.

We had a fun BBQ event for the whole family, where most of the birthdays fall within 30 days. Mrs. I has extra time to spend with our son, before the rest of the family arrives. So we catch up on all the developments and technology changes of the moment.

LI was my first Greek student, so I told him about how well the Bethany New Testament Greek classes are going.

 Hugh Jackman stayed afterwards to
meet guests and shake hands.
We did not miss that opportunity.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Sexagesima Sunday, 2017. The Parable of the Sower. False Teachers. Thorn in the Flesh

 Norma Boeckler - The Sower


Sexagesima Sunday, 2017

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson




The Hymn #190               Christ the Lord                       
The Confession of Sins
The Absolution
The Introit p. 16
The Gloria Patri
The Kyrie p. 17
The Gloria in Excelsis
The Salutation and Collect p. 19
The Epistle and Gradual       
The Gospel              
Glory be to Thee, O Lord!
Praise be to Thee, O Christ!
The Nicene Creed p. 22
The Sermon Hymn # 339               All Hail the Power              

The Sower and the Seed

The Hymn # 308                    Invited Lord                          
The Preface p. 24
The Sanctus p. 26
The Lord's Prayer p. 27
The Words of Institution
The Agnus Dei p. 28
The Nunc Dimittis p. 29
The Benediction p. 31
The Hymn #46              On What Has Now Been Sown               


2 Corinthians 11:19 For ye suffer fools gladly, seeing ye yourselves are wise.
20 For ye suffer, if a man bring you into bondage, if a man devour you, if a man take of you, if a man exalt himself, if a man smite you on the face.  21 I speak as concerning reproach, as though we had been weak. Howbeit whereinsoever any is bold, (I speak foolishly,) I am bold also.  22 Are they Hebrews? soam I. Are they Israelites? so am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? so am I.  23 Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool ) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft.  24 Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.  25 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;  26 In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen,in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;  27 In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.  28 Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.  29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not?  30 If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities.  31 The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is blessed for evermore, knoweth that I lie not.  32 In Damascus the governor under Aretas the king kept the city of the Damascenes with a garrison, desirous to apprehend me:  33 And through a window in a basket was I let down by the wall, and escaped his hands. 12:1 It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord.  2 I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.  3 And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;)  4 How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.  5 Of such an one will I glory: yet of myself I will not glory, but in mine infirmities.  6 For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me.  7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. 8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.  9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

By Norma Boeckler

KJV Luke 8:4 And when much people were gathered together, and were come to him out of every city, he spake by a parable: 

5 A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it. 

6 And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture. 

7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it. 

8 And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. 9 And his disciples asked him, saying, What might this parable be? 

10 And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand. 11 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. 12 Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. 13 They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away. 14 And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection. 15 But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.




The Sower and the Seed

KJV Luke 8:4 And when much people were gathered together, and were come to him out of every city, he spake by a parable: 

The parables were mostly mysterious to the casual audience. Jesus taught the disciples their meaning privately, as shown here. Only toward the end did Jesus offer messages that His opponents recognized and hated for their truth. That made them even angrier.

If this parable is so clear, why do so few understand it today?

The Fulleroids say, "We have to study the soil before we sow any seed," and the false teachers of WELS-LCMS still echo their foolishness and stupidity. This is the Parable of the Sower and the Seed, not the Parable of Fuller and the Soil Samples.

The parable says nothing about entertaining people - or making the seed (Word) real, relevant, and relational.

Farmers and gardeners grow alarmed when they have a steady decline in growth, but these modern "growth" yahoos keep making the same mistakes and leveraging them to make them worse - constant losses in membership. Therefore, the Parable is all the more significant for what it says today, since it comes verbatim from Jesus and remains so mysterious to the ignorant, the unbelieving, and the apostate.

5 A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it. 

There are two main parts here - the sower and the seed. The sower is anyone who broadcasts the seed. Before radio, before TV, before the social media, people planted some seed by pulling it from the bag and scattering it. We planted an entire church lawn that way - hundreds of pounds of grass seed. And it rained for days afterward.

I used to sow lettuce seed the same way. If the ground was bare, I scattered lettuce seeds and had lettuce growing everywhere. Now I am more likely to sow borage the same way, since the rabbits are already over-fed. Jesus explained the parable to His disciples - and the purpose - 

10 And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand. 11 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.

To this day we can see how so many open the Scriptures and know the basic content but remain blind to its meaning. I had a seminary professor who wrote an entire book on the Parables of Jesus and did not know what was in them or their intent.

This is about scattering the Word of God without worrying about where it falls. Why? This scattering is parallel to some forms of gardening, where the seed is so eager to germinate and take root (and so tiny at first) that the sower trusts simply in the power of the seed.

Experienced ministers will always say, "No one can tell what will happen, no matter what we think we know. The least likely person becomes a real leader, and the apparent leaders fade away." So there is no more temptation to make things happen. God's Word has His agenda, and not ours, as Isaiah 55 reminds us.

The seed is perfect as a metaphor for the Word of God, because both are imbued with a living power. Both are alive. Both are ready to take root. Both will take root when scattered around. Opposition and difficulties remain but the final result is an abundance of growth, as we can see everywhere the broadcast continues.

For instance, a lawyer asked to study New Testament Greek. Those I did not know asked to join the class where we study the Word of God as it was written down 20 centuries ago. 

Various companies give me bonus seeds or irresistible offers from time to time. If they remain into the season, I may toss the contents of a packet into an area. Some seed is almost like dust, it is so small. Later, someone says, "What's that?" Oh, I threw some seed there because it was leftover and I was out of regular space.

We can look at the miracles of Jesus that way. They always happened with faith. One person had such profound faith in the Savior that Jesus commended him or her for it. Were those not the first beginnings of the Christian Church, tended by the apostles after the Ascension of Jesus?  From such tiny, small, insignificant starts came the largest religion in the world, by outward measures.

As Jesus shows in His explanation - When seed falls on hardened paths, it cannot take root easily. Satan takes it away. One example of this is someone being in a heavily churched area and joining a large church with the hope of having a lot of clients who trust in him and suggest him to other members. He is thinking, "How smart I am to join the big church with more income potential." There may be nothing wrong with that congregation, but his heart is laying up treasures on earth and not in heaven.



6 And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture. 

The seeds that tolerate rocky soil are few, and most of them are weeds. I had one exception - peas. They liked the gravelly soil around the garage in Midland. The gravel made the soil sweet and the peas were shallow rooted.

Most seeds are like the sunflower seeds that fell on the flat roof of the parsonage in New Ulm. Enough dust and leaves accumulated to hold water and give bird seed a start. However, as soon as the sunflower began to grow, it could not gather enough soil and moisture to survive and withered away. But the rocky (roofy) background actually promoted germination with the heat provided. And then the same rockiness killed the plants.

These illustrations are all around us. Jesus explained

13 They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.

A temptation does not mean simply slow horses and fast women, but also persecution, riches, indifference, anything that takes our heart away from the Gospel.

The false teachers have dumbed down the Word of God so that people have no defense against the dogmas of demons being foisted upon them. Notice that they worked their way into the top by criticizing hymnals, hymns, traditional worship, and the old fuddy-duddies who were leaders. But now that they are in power, no one is allowed to even suggest something contrary to their agenda. If anyone persists, he is kicked out. 

This part is especially ironic. The synod will tolerate 

  • a congregation running riot with false doctrine, 
  • a District President abusing members of his own congregation,
  • an alcoholic, because so many synod leaders are addicted,
  • another parish disintegrating from a leader's abuse,
  • an adulterous or sodomite pastor, 
  • an embezzler of the worst sort, 
  • even a man who abandoned his wife and children for his mistress. 

But if the congregation keeps a pastor - kicked out of the synod for the sake of the Word - the synod will expel the congregation faster than Flash on energy drinks. And the synod will rejoice in their evil and boast about it. The friends of the pastor and congregation will disappear faster than a July frost. For additional details, see the Jon Buchholz resume.

But this disruptions and contradictions are also good in that they can awaken the living Word and encourage people to study the Scriptures and Confessions. We all have a basic knowledge that covers the main topics. However, we have no idea how valuable this parable is until the parable is taught against. We see the Book of Concord as a nice old book until we ask "What did they teach about Justification by Faith, Holy Communion, and the Sacraments?"

I grew up with the KJV and learned more and more about the value of precise translations when bad ones were sold to the public by false teachers. Isn't it fun that WELS used a Babtist professor to sell the NIV to their unthinking disciples? Why didn't someone say, "Why is Moo the Babtist teaching Lutherans about the Scriptures?"

This part of the parable is also a warning to those who would harm the "little ones," not just the children, but those with beginning faith. When ministers work so hard to create scandals based on their conduct or fascination with false doctrine, they are guilty murdering the souls of those with shallow roots. And yet these destroyers rejoice in their ability to get away with their destructive behavior.

7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it. 

14 And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection. 

Those of us who garden have had plenty of experiences with this. Sometimes the roots are choked so that the plant grows without fruiting at all. Weeds are opportunistic, so they are happy to germinate and grow where a rose is planted and watered. Bermuda Grass is ideal for poor soil but really likes to dominate where roses are grown. Berry plants like to grow straight up into the sun or climb along vines. If they are shaded, the plants grow but seldom bring "their fruit to perfection."

Thus many are so absorbed in work, earning money, and hedonism that these concerns choke the Word. Nothing is lacking in the Word, but people allow these matters to diminish the importance of the Word, which we can see in so many church activities that focus on gaining approval rather than spiritual wisdom.

The congregation that thrives on clubs and attraction gimmicks will leave nothing behind, which has been shown in this generation - time after time.

8 And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. 9 And his disciples asked him, saying, What might this parable be? 



15 But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.

Jesus' explanation means - There will be those who hear the Word and guard it. They value the Gospel for itself and identify God's will with God's Word, as I have taught.

This part of the sermon should be given pages and pages on what the congregation will do in broadcasting the Word, but that is seldom the case. As I told one reader, once I reached Luther's age, 63, when he died, I began to count every year as bonus time to do more in teaching the Word of God.

  1. Facebook, Blogger, and other social media are used to spread the Word more effectively.
  2. Printed and e-books are distributed free.
  3. Luther's sermons are published each week and soon will be printed as well.
  4. We have Internet Means of Grace services, Bible and Book of Concord classes, and Greek New Testament classes.
  5. In Springdale I give away books and roses, since the roses confirm the books about Creation.
  6. While others are celebrating their opposition to marriage, I blog and post to emphasize traditional, Christian marriage.
Most of this broadcasting is done at no extra cost. There is labor involved, but like the rose garden, the benefits far outweigh the work involved - and the work is so fulfillinjg.