Tuesday, September 16, 2014

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Pastor at Christ the Rock - Round Rock, Texas
 Hutto, TX
 Joined September 2008

Never Disturb the Soil Under a Tree

I saw the typo.


IN THE story of "My Grandfather's Earthworm Farm" George Sheffield is quoted as saying, in regard to the care of trees, "Never disturb the soil under a tree." The wisdom of this remark is appreciated fully only when a study is made of the subject of orcharding. When we go to nature where primeval forests have stood for centuries, we find the ground riddled to great depth by earthworm burrows. Earthworms like to work in the shade, among the fine roots of trees, finding sustenance in the organic debris and bacterial life of the soil, in the dead bacteria as well as the products of bacterial life. Aside from vegetation, there is a vast world of unseen bacterial life in the soil, amounting in aggregate weight in the case of fertile agricultural lands to much more than all animal life which crawls, creeps, walks, runs, and flies on numbers will reach astronomical figures within a few hours, with a bulk and weight of such magnitude that the human mind cannot grasp the total. The number of bacteria in an ounce of fertile topsoil is variously estimated as from eighteen million to twenty-four billion. When we consider that bacteria appear as dots under the microscope when magnified one thousand times, the results of such multiplication become still harder to grasp.

Barrett, Jason Thomas (2014-08-20). Harnessing the earthworm: a practical inquiry into soil-building, soil-conditioning and plant nutrition through the action of earthworms (Kindle Locations 1027-1028).  . Kindle Edition.

Where is the expensive stuff I must buy to make my garden grow?
And the chemicals to treat the damage I caused with the expensive stuff?


Before people realized the value of soil fungi in feeding the roots, two old battlewagons of organic gardening (Sheffield and Barrett) realized the need to leave soil alone. Now scientists realize how much is accomplished in that fragile zone immediately around the plant roots, where bacteria, protozoa, and fungi team up to gather and exchange nutrition.



Mineralization of nutrients is crucial to the survival of plants in a natural system. Our premise is that by interfering with or destroying the soil food web, the gardener has to step in and do extra work, making gardening a chore instead of an enjoyable hobby. If you are not convinced, then consider that as much as 80% of the nitrogen a plant needs comes from the wastes produced by bacteria- and fungi-eating protozoa . Since bacteria and fungi are attracted by plant exudates to the rhizosphere, and that is where protozoa consume them, a huge source of plant food is delivered, right around the roots.

Lowenfels, Jeff (2010-09-10). Teaming with Microbes: The Organic Gardener's Guide to the Soil Food Web, Revised Edition (Kindle Locations 1178-1180). Timber Press. Kindle Edition. 



Nominate Someone for WELS Prison Ministry

Scott Zerbe was a guest in the Michigan State Prison System,
thanks to his vicarage affair with a minor girl.
Fred Adrian - supervisor. $400,000 initial judgment against WELS, Inc.


WISCONSIN EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN SYNOD  
09/15/2014
N O M I N A T I O N L I S T 

The Conference of Presidents invites all voting members of WELS to nominate a qualified pastor, male teacher, male staff minister, or male lay member for the called position of administrator of WELS Prison Ministry. This position is under the Commission on Special Ministries, part of the Congregation and Ministry Support Group.

Candidates may be pastors, teachers, staff ministers, chaplains, or lay members with jail ministry experience and at least five to ten years ministry experience. He must be able to faithfully teach and apply the Word of God, to train adults for volunteer service, to work with correctional institution administrators, and to administer a small staff in New Ulm, Minnesota.

He will also assist the Prison Ministry Committee in developing face-to-face jail and prison ministries and oversee its Bible study publication work. He must have a passion for reaching the lost with the gospel, enthusiasm for working with and encouraging volunteers in ministry, and strong communication skills. Nominations must be received by Sept. 29, 2014. Access the nomination form at: http://www.wels.net/about-wels/synod-reports/nomination-alert Or call the President's Office, 414-256-3202. The list of candidates will be published at: http://www.wels.net/about-wels/synod-reports/nomination-alert

***
GJ

Joel Hochmuth was absolved by Mark Schroeder and given a top dollar lawyer (by whom?).
He pleaded not guilty, repented (see Stormtrooper above), and offended again.
His incredibly light sentence for file swapping was revoked and he went back to government housing with bars in every room.

Fred would be a good candidate.
How many pastoral supervisors see their vicar off to state prison?
Spell that "stupor-visor."
DP Ed Werner also went to state prison. when he began molesting a second generation of girls,  the mothers hauled him to court.
Honorable Mention

Al Just went to prison for murdering his wife, but he was not there long enough to gain real experience in prison ministry.

William Tabor participated in the murder of his wife, but he never spent a day in prison. His mistress was sentenced but he went as a pastor and widower to Escanaba, Michigan.

Various synod staff members and at least one Synod President should have gone to state prison for obstruction of justice in capital cases.

WELS's Meditations, March-May 2014, for Monday, 17 March 2014.  
The second column has a great recipe for murder, molestation, and abuse - 

"No matter what you did yesterday -- or failed to do -- and no matter what you will do tomorrow, God has forgiven you."

What better words to keep people coming back to prison and continuing this worthwhile effort!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Clergy Abuse Lawyer Will Answer Your Questions at Shattered Pulpit


Coming Soon! One of the nation’s leading Clergy Sexual Abuse Attorneys, who has litigated dozens of clergy sexual abuse cases, will be sharing pertinent information for victims and their families. Learn from an experienced expert the pros and cons of filing a civil suit, how to choose a qualified clergy sexual abuse attorney, and other inside knowledge that he has gained from his experience in the courtroom. 

If you have legal questions that you have been afraid to ask, here is your chance. Questions, do not have to only be from a victim’s standpoint – if churches, leaders, pastors or others have legal questions, they are also welcome to participate. 


Email your questions to lilliansuearmstrong@gmail.com

or add a comment to this post. We will be compiling all of the questions over the course of this next week.
 
He wants your questions!
 


***

GJ - Contact the blogger Lillian Armstrong and support her work.

Companion Plants and the Web of Life - Why Roses Love Garlic

The garlic cloves each make a new bulb.
Note well the shriveled roots - the key to this chemical marvel
called companion planting.

I startled a rose-lover at lunch by mentioning how roses love garlic, why rosarians grow the garlic family members with roses. Companion planting is still new to many people, and now I understand better why it works so well.

Double Delight rose - for colors and fragrance.


Double Delight Garden of Roses and Garlic
But first, a story. In New Ulm I found an area built to be a garden beside the wall, near the garage. I dug out all the weeds and planted three things there - daffodils, Double Delight roses, and garlic chives. I mulched the area heavily with wood mulch, so weeds were unknown. Daffodils pushed through the mulch, and so did garlic chives, which spread like weeds but stayed subordinate to the roses, looking like grass among the bushes.

Garlic makes roses stronger, fights diseases of the rose family, and repels insects. I experienced the repulsion when I bent over the rose garden to cut some roses on a hot, humid day. The garlic gas coming up from the chives was potent, like garlic bulbs left in a car on a hot day, windows closed. The roses were perfect and free of insect damage.

Explanation
Scientists are starting to realize the complexity of life in the soil. Two components are fungi and bacteria, but nematode worms and protozoa also contribute at the root level. Fungi are the larger actors in Creation gardening. They take nutrition from the plant roots and give back what the plants need, the plants managing the exchange.

Fungi can reach long distances and connect various plants together in a complex symbiotic relationship. That is one of the key reasons why soil should not be disturbed and compacted.

Botanists have known that plants exude root chemicals to protect themselves. Sunflowers like to keep others away from their extreme sunbathing. They turn solar energy into food even more effectively than corn does. Therefore, they exude root chemicals that make living near them unpleasant.

This explains how the roots of the garlic family connect chemically with the roots of roses in their subterranean Internet. Chemicals have to move to the plant and they have to be usable, broken down into key components. Transport and chemical break-downs are two of these tasks, but locking them in the root zone is another one. Organic improvements build up soil life, so the chemicals stay where they are need and move around where they are used, thanks to earthworms, nematodes, bacteria, protozoa, sowbugs, pillbugs, millipedes, centipedes, springtails, slugs, ants, and fungi. An earthworm pigs out on bacteria, and ants take earthworm corpses away to be used for their feast of pork - since earthworms are all muscle.

This Knockout rose was once a used up newspaper.

My neighbors all have different skills. I hired one to fix the sagging doors on our Lincoln Town Car. His daughters give me their used newspapers, and I give them our Sunday paper to be used for coupons. He came over with his daughter while he looked over the car.

I cut the magenta Knockout rose for his daughter to take home, adding, "This was one of your newspapers." Her eyes lit up and she said, "Really?" I explained, "Your family gives me newspapers, which rot into the soil, and the roses use that to grow."

Complex relationships can work in the world above the soil, if we observe how God manages His Creation.

Where do we humans fit into the soil food web? We have a huge impact on it, and very often not a positive one. Most gardeners have never heard of soil food web systems, even though they exist everywhere, and have no inkling of the role of microbes and arthropods play in them. And, of course, the gardener hardly ever knows when enough is enough and almost always tips the delicate balance a soil food web maintains.
Lowenfels, Jeff (2010-09-10). Teaming with Microbes: The Organic Gardener's Guide to the Soil Food Web, Revised Edition (Kindle Locations 1514-1517). Timber Press. Kindle Edition.


Lincoln roses.

Abuse Victims - Do NOT Go to the Church Leaders - Go to a Lawyer

DP Engelbrecht, future DP Zank,
Tim Glende, and Ski abused the
victim all over again - with SP Mark Schroeder's approval.



Sunday, September 14, 2014

Why Victims Should NOT Go to Church Leaders

Advice for victims written by Predatory Pastors
www.http://predatorypastors.com


KNOW THAT YOU ARE NOT ALONE.  There are many more victims of pastoral and clergy sexual abuse than any of us want to believe. Over time, we've learned, there is rarely, if ever, only one victim of a predatory pastor.  While we were being abused we were isolated and felt extremely alone. Now it's possible to join with other survivors to find healing.  

DON'T GO TO THE CHURCH.  Many victims have gone to church leaders and officials to seek help, guidance and/or healing.  Many of us went to the church after building up loads of courage and strength, because we wanted to make sure our perpetrators didn't abuse anyone else. We mistakenly thought that church leaders would want to ensure others' safety too and that the perpetrators would be removed from the ministry. So many of us did this without ever telling anyone else. Then we found out that we were wrong. The church leaders did not care about protecting others and they did not care about us. Most of us found the experience of going to the church leaders a horrible mistake. The church leaders were insensitive, doubted our claims and didn't know how to respond to us. We were looking for help and healing, but found further victimization.  Most of us left feeling devastated and the entire experience of talking to the church leaders left us hurting more than ever.

Reasons why you should not go to your church leaders and other helpful tips


When first beginning to deal with the abuse, we are very confused about what has happened to us and still trying to sort through it ourselves. We many not have all the facts straight regarding places, dates, times, etc. ​Frequently our memories become refreshed with lots of details only as we engage in the healing process, taking days, months even years to fully recover.  If we've disclosed some details one day and recall more later, we will be discredited for being inconsistent with details.
    ​
We have been taught to trust pastors implicitly ​so we approach with full trust and disclosure. We look up to them and they are in positions of power and authority over us.They, on the other hand, do not trust victims. They may even view you as the "enemy".  While we think they are trying to help us, they are in fact, building up a case against us without our knowledge. Things said during initial meetings with church leaders can easily be twisted to use against you and this has happened to a number of CSA victims.
  
Seek alternative help!  ​As an alternative to going to your church leaders, we recommend that you go to a trusted family member or seek professional help from a counselor. Many CSA victims have found professional counseling to be a very important tool to healing.
  
Learn your legal rights.  ​The church leaders have a lot more information about our abuse than we do. They know our legal rights, but most of us victims do not know them. We can choose to exercise our legal rights or not, but it is empowering to know we have that choice.
  
Many survivors develop health problems.  ​The pain and betrayal we felt from being abused was intense. We had no knowledge of how to cope with the experience of Clergy Sexual Abuse as well as the feelings that came as a result.  All of us have found a way to survive or we would not be here today. The problem is that many of the coping mechanisms we used to survive the abuse are not healthy. Here are some of the types of problems some CSA survivors have suffered: Alcoholism, drug addiction, eating disorders, co-dependency, detachment from intimacy, sleep disorders, stomach and intestinal disorders, and overall attitude of anger.
  
Facing the issues.  ​Acknowledging and facing the issue of our abuse can be extremely time consuming and can require lots of energy and emotions. As a result, many of us have felt completely drained and had months of feeling tired, depressed and overwhelmed. Accept that you are going to have periods in your recover that feel hopeless and know that it will pass.
  
Everyone is unique.  ​Everyone's healing from abuse is unique. While many of our abusive situations were similar, everyone heals in their own way. Mostly we have learned to trust our own judgement and the people who know us best and love us the most.
  
We are the victims (survivors)!  ​The abuse was not our fault, no matter what we did or didn't do to stop or prevent it.  No matter what, the responsibility for a pastor abusing us rests solely on the pastor.  He was in a trusted position of power and authority. We looked up to him. We trusted him and believed what he told us.  We thought he was close to God and would help us get closer to God.  He should not have taken advantage of his sacred role. He abused his position. He used his role as pastor to victimize us. He had no right to do this. We are victims.  We have been wronged and we deserve to have the wrong made right. This will mean different things to each of us, but we all deserve to be made whole, as much as that is possible.


written by Predatory Pastors
www.http://predatorypastors.com

Matt Harrison ordered Steadfast Lutherans (sic) to remove their
thread about the latest LCMS pastoral abuser - and they did.

For Sore Throats and Raw Voices - Coconut Oil in Hot Tea or Coffee

Here is a list of uses for coconut oil.
Walmart and Sam's Club are two stores where coconut oil is available at a good price.


One of my Moline classmates suggested coconut oil in hot tea for a sore throat. I used it in coffee yesterday.

Earlier, a Facebook friend suggested coconut oil in coffee for the flavor.

On both counts - I give a big yes. The flavor is great, and it proved to be very soothing for my strained vocal cords. I had serious problems with laryngitis in Columbus, so the effect was immediately noticeable.

Gerhard's Annotations on Romans 1-6

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2014


Published: Gerhard's Commentary on Romans 1-6


It has been almost two years since I began translating and posting excerpts here on Intrepid Lutherans from Johann Gerhard's much-quoted (and oft misquoted) commentary on Romans. The entire work has finally been translated and edited, and is now available from Amazon, published byRepristination Press.

Annotations on the First Six Chapters of St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans
Amazon's summary:

Romans 1:16—For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. (KJV)

“The ‘power of God’ is the divine and efficacious means which God uses to save men, (1) because in it the benefits obtained by the suffering and death of Christ are offered, among which are also life and eternal salvation; (2) because through the preaching of the Gospel, God works the faith in hearts through which they embrace the good things offered in the Gospel and apply them to themselves; (3) because through the Gospel faith is preserved and increased, so that we are thus ‘guarded for salvation by the power of God, through faith’ (1 Pet. 1:5); (4) because, in all adversities and temptations, it furnishes a life-giving consolation, so that we may be preserved to eternal life under the weight of the cross.”

Gerhard's Annotations were incomplete at the time of his death; his son, Johann Ernst Gerhard, published them several years after his death. However, the Annotations are of enduring value and significance to the Church because in these first six chapters, Gerhard gives a clear treatment of the doctrine of Justification, and a model of Lutheran exegesis. Modern students of Holy Scripture will benefit from Gerhard's scholarship.

Honestly, the book is full of memorable quotations. In this one Gerhard summarizes the main theme that runs through the entire Epistle to the Romans:

“[Romans 1:17] explains the principal proposition of the entire Epistle, as a favorable opportunity presents itself at the end of the introduction. This principal proposition is that there is no other way to be justified before God except by faith in Christ, whom the Gospel sets before us, as confirmed by the prophetic testimony.”

Order Gerhard's Annotations here.

Gerhard was once cited by the UOJ Enthusiasts,
but he was not on their side.
They should quote Bishop Martin Stephan, STD, the founder of the Missouri Synod.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

The Thirteenth Sunday after Trinity. Luke 10:23-36.
The Good Samaritan

The Good Samaritan, by Norma Boeckler

The Thirteenth Sunday after Trinity, 2014


Pastor Gregory L. Jackson


Bethany Lutheran Church, 10 AM Central Time


The Hymn # 281     The Savior Calls               1:29
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 #259            Flung to the Heedless Winds 1:64 

The Entire Bible is a Sermon about Jesus


The Communion Hymn # 308 Invited, Lord, by Boundless Grace                    1:63
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 # 464     Blest Be the Tie That Binds            1:39 

KJV Galatians 3:15 Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man's covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto. 16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. 17 And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. 18 For if the inheritancebe of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise. 19 Wherefore then serveththe law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator. 20 Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one. 21 Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. 22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.

KJV Luke 10:23 And he turned him unto his disciples, and said privately, Blessed are the eyes which see the things that ye see: 24 For I tell you, that many prophets and kings have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.

25 And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? 26 He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? 27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. 28 And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live. 29 But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?

30 And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.

33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, 34 And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.

36 Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves? 37 And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.


Thirteenth Sunday After Trinity

Lord God, heavenly Father, we most heartily thank Thee that Thou hast granted us to live in this accepted time, when we may hear Thy holy gospel, know Thy fatherly will, and behold Thy Son, Jesus Christ! We pray Thee, most merciful Father: Let the light of Thy holy word remain with us, and so govern our hearts by Thy Holy Spirit, that we may never forsake Thy word, but remain steadfast in it, and finally obtain eternal salvation; through Thy beloved Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one true God, world without end. Amen.



The Entire Bible is a Sermon about Jesus


KJV Luke 10:23 And he turned him unto his disciples, and said privately, Blessed are the eyes which see the things that ye see: 24 For I tell you, that many prophets and kings have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.

The beginning of this lesson is a sermon in itself. Jesus told His disciples privately that the great and wise had longed to hear such words and to see such miracles, and they did not. But the disciples, who were ordinary men by the standards of the day, were able to see and hear what no one else had - ever before.

The same is true of believers. The Bible sells in the millions but many read it with veiled eyes, thanks to 150 years of the new rationalism and various enthusiasms. They have the words before them, but they only see meanings in harmony with their own agenda.

When I tried to show a class of non-Lutherans how the New NIV reversed the meaning of Romans 3 by adding an extra "all," my smartest student said, "But justification by faith is still there." The great and wise in Lutherdom thought one "all" erased justification by faith, but a college student saw through it, acknowledging the impact of one added "all" in one verse. 

Of course, the Jefferson Bible fan club sees the New Testament only in terms of those sections they like - and those parts are few in number. But many Lutherans are no different because they refuse to see the Bible as a whole and mentally erase the other parts from their understanding. That is like saying Gone with the Wind is a novel about farming, since it starts and ends on a Southern plantation.

So, when students in Old Testament write about Adam and Eve, I remind them the key verse is the Promise of a Savior. Forgetting Genesis 3:15 is like Christmas without the Nativity, Easter without the Resurrection, or football without Notre Dame. These are illustrations of the fallacy of emphasis, getting the meaning wrong by leaving out something in favor of the agenda item.

The Fall of Man is the setting for the Promise of the Son of God redeeming the world of sin. 

Luke 10:25 And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? 26 He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? 27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. 28 And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live. 29 But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?

Here we have an excellent sample of a Parable that serves to be a gold mine for agendas, mostly to make people feel guilty and sad. Their agendas are a familiar logical fallacy - the fallacy of emphasis, which I mentioned above. The Parable is certainly about loving one's neighbor, but what comes first?

Luther constantly taught two things from the Bible - faith and love. Faith is our relationship with God, which always needs purification (cross) and strengthening (Means of Grace). Apart from faith, the Bible is no longer the Word of God, but a word about God. 

Clearly there are two parts to this summary of the Torah. One is love of God, the other is love of neighbor. As Hoenecke said so concisely, Pietism confuses the two and makes works the cause of justification rather than the effect of justification.

That is why the entire Bible is a sermon about Jesus, because the purpose of the Scriptures is to create and strengthen faith in the Son of God, our Savior. The Bible presents Jesus as a kindly, gracious, welcoming person who draws people to Him by His forgiving and patient manner. Those who doubt this should consult the ending of John's Gospel, where he stated his purpose - to create faith and through faith, salvation.

John 20:
30 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book:
31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.
It is also noteworthy that the lawyer wished to justify himself, so his question was no sincere but tricky. 29 But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour? So do we want a sermon based on a question intended to trap Jesus?
Luke 10:30 And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.

This is where the modern Pharisees find a rant about works rather than a sermon about Jesus. But in fact, they are the unbelievers who put on a big show and do nothing to help anyone.

Their tirades are not any good unless they make everyone feel guilty about not doing this or that. If they have, it is not enough.

Some hometown liberals were bemoaning racial prejudice in the past and stirring up the guilt. I pointed out that I was teaching in a former slave state, one famous for racial conflict - and my classes were filled with all races - no problem. The Gospel unites people. Lutherans coming to America were disgusted by slavery, and Christianity was a key component in ending that horrible practice. Stephan, the founder of the LCMS, had no problem with slavery because his ethnic group used slaves.

Liberal guilt comes from the fallacy that we make up for our sins by doing good things. That never satisfies since it is done for the wrong reasons and is never enough.

Luke 10:33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, 34 And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 

Jesus is the Good Samaritan. He went to a man who was barely alive and began to minister to him. He began to heal his wounds (forgiveness). He used oil (the comfort of the Gospel) and wine (the sharpness of the cross). We still use oil for healing. This morning we put coconut oil in the coffee for sore throats and oil on the skin where it was dry and ouchy. Wine is obviously antiseptic, but Luther saw the bite of the wine as the cross. Faith requires knowledge of the cross or initial faith is crushed by immediate negative reactions.

One blogger wondered about impact, so I replied, "Nasty and manipulative messages mean you are right on target." That is the cross, doing what is God-pleasing and having church people treat you like Judas Iscariot and a thousand demons besides.

Notice in the Parable what else Jesus does. First is the initial treatment, then far more than we might expect - being put on a beast of burden (given access to the Gospel), carried to the inn (which is the House of God, where the Means of Grace are distributed), and taken care of there. He stayed with the almost-dead man to help heal him. People want to sit on a park bench and spend hours talking to Jesus, according to Facebook responses. Jesus is there in the Word of God every day, all day.

Luke 10:35 And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.

Jesus not only cares for the wounded and dying in the House of God, but He also provides for innkeepers - pastors - to supplement His work in His name, and provides for them as well.

How can this be a works sermons when Jesus asks the ultimate question.

Luke 10:36 Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves? 37 And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.

Because I was blinded by works rants in the past, I found this ending perplexing, lopsided. Something was wrong. When that seems to be true, the error is in ourselves and not in the text.

The ending is perfect for the meaning. Who is this neighbor we should love? The one who showed mercy (Jesus the Samaritan, the Rejected One).

Go and do likewise - "Love Jesus and the fruit of that love will be works pleasing to God. Salvation begins with faith in Jesus, love for the Gentle Samaritan, and the fruit of that love and faith is kindness to our neighbors..."


Saturday, September 13, 2014

Silence Protects the Abusers

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Expanding the Focus


Before people get bored reading my story, and move on to something more interesting, I am expanding the focus of the Shattered Pulpit to include the perspective of others who have had similar experiences. I can write about it from the victim’s standpoint, but I can’t explain it from any other viewpoint. I think it is important for people to understand what happens as a result of these sins from all angles not just a victim’s.  

The New Focus:
A look behind the closed door of Lutheran clergy sexual exploitation, harassment, and abuse with first-hand accounts from victims, family members, congregants, coworkers, leaders, pastors & perpetrators to aid in the understanding & prevention of further exploitation. By reading viewpoints from all angles, people will not only better understand the early warning signs to prevent it, but also the devastating affect that it has on everyoneinvolved.

Author: I survived extensive clergy sexual abuse at the hands of a long-time WELS Lutheran pastor which ultimately destroyed my faith and soul. I share my story with how it started, progressed, the red flags that everyone missed, and how it destroyed me emotionally & spiritually. 

To anonymously share your story, from any angle, email: lilliansuearmstrong@gmail.com
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GJ - In a parallel story. the NFL uses a similar protection scheme to keep scandals out of the news or to tamp them down as soon as they erupt.

The Synod Presidents are really in charge of damage control, which means denying the obvious, absolving the guilty and unrepentant, and slandering anyone who talks. When I was still following ELCA, the denomination reported scandals in their national magazine and in their news releases. They certainly did not report everything.

So-called news departments are public relations efforts. Someone can track the agenda by what is reported and what is spiked. Herman Otten was always eager to spike stories for the ELS, LCMS, and WELS. His readers did not want to see anything against Holy Mother Synod unless it was part of the Otten-Cascione agenda.

Two major factors in clergy abuse are alcoholism and Thrivent. 

Alcoholism and drug abuse are both the cause and the excuse. "I didn't know what I was doing because I was drunk."

One sure sign of clergy alcoholism is the need to have meetings, "ministries",  and "Bible studies" in bars. I would also look for the alcoholic liver, the belly that extends beyond the normal body shape.

Thrivent fosters abuse by its genocidal support of abortion on demand through the funding of Planned Parenthood. By grouping all the Lutherans together in funding and projects, Thrivent reduces everyone to the lowest common denominator and erases any sense of compassion for the victims. Smooth operations and gobs of money are the goals.