Monday, January 31, 2011

Words of Wisdom



Northwest SD Lutheran has left a new comment on your post "How Many Shrinker Churches in the Syn Conference W...":

It is always interesting to see things like this. In the world the church is always struggling but never succumbing. The church is a bent reed that will not break and smoldering wick that will not be snuffed out. These are the churches that build upon Christ as the Rock. Many are having economic troubles but if the Church is trusting in the Word of God it will make it through. My church is a perfect example as we will likely sell the current church that is rundown and move to a smaller location or merge with another congregation. God has kept us here by his grace.
But what about those who build on sand like The SORE and others. I do not know where Glende and Ski ever thought that people were going to come and watch their movie when they can go to the one at the non denom movie theater down the road. Even worse they could go to Lakewood in Dallas. Before we know it, Ski and Glende will be heading there too.

The people who go to Church are those who want to go and receive the Word and the Sacrament. In this society we do not have that many who do this on Sundays. I do believe many people want Word and Sacrament they just have not had anyone explain the Word and Sacrament explained the way God explains it in the Bible to them. If people want to go to a movie they will go to one and not to one with the people at the church hosting it. Church is Church and not a movie. The only way a church succeeds is by being a church and not a wet nurse for felt needs. If building size mattered then the churches who change would be succeeding and they clearly aren't.

***

GJ - As Luther wrote, and Walther quoted at the end of Law and Gospel, orthodoxy produces fruit. Faithfulness is success. Although we all fall victim to thinking about material gains, God will provide and He will accomplish His will through the Word.

Meet the CEO of Church and Change

Mark Schroeder, the head of Church and Change. gets a healthy salary, great benefits, and world travel, thanks to WELS offerings.


"But wait," you are saying. "Isn't Mark Schroeder the Sect President?"

Yes, but that is the beauty of Church and Change. They are too cheap to pay their own way. In fact, they started with WELS offering money. That is like poisoning the patient and billing him for the arsenic in advance. But it works for them.

Mark forced Wayne Mueller out as as First VP. Wayne was always a Church Growth leader, even when he lied about CG existing in WELS (but it was confessional if it were, which it weren't).

The First VP was even more obvious - Jim Huebner, son of Al Just's criminal defense lawyer. Stop whining. You read this blog for those asides.

Huebner went to Fuller with Larry Olson and Paul Calvin Kelm, always worked with them, always belonged to the CG sorority in WELS. Huebner is the poster child for Church and Change.

The one, great victory of Schroeder's presidency has been - drumroll - adding Lutheran to the title of FIC, making it FICL, to rhyme with pickle. The content remained all Church and Change, with the worst of the lot represented in each issue: Bivens (Fuller), Aderman (founder of Church and Change), Patterson (don't get me started).

The portable Asian seminary needed a new president. The old one, John Lawrenz, was Church and Change, stepping aside for Steve Witt, another founder of Church and Change.

Meanwhile, both colleges and The Sausage Factory are dominated by Church and Changers. The graduates are impoverished in two ways. First of all, they pay a fortune for a third-rate education. Secondly, they do not get a Lutheran education but an anti-Lutheran brainwashing experience.

Schroeder endorsed the Church and Change feminist conference in his presidential email letter. Guess who the advisors to that group are - Church and Changers.

Meanwhile, he has done nothing about The CORE, plagiarism, and other congregations hiding their anti-Lutheran identity.

Once upon a time, people thought Church and Change would push him out of office. Why? He has done everything they want.

DP Jon Buchholz does the same thing, pretending to be against Church and Change while promoting their cause every chance he gets.

But just wait about 30 years. They are working on it.

And, by all means, write a letter.

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grumpy has left a new comment on your post "Meet the CEO of Church and Change":

So the honeymoon with Schroeder is over? I thought you used to sing his praises.

One other victory you neglected to mention was that he has saved the prep school system.

I think some cliques within the WELS are so well entrenched and so well connected that, because of the organization of the WELS, it would be nearly impossible to expel them without declaring a civil war within the WELS.

Another issue is somewhat ironic. Whereas the laity are kept in check very quickly if something is perceived as being outside the bounds of WELS doctrine, called workers are given a MUCH more lax environment.

Case in point:

Jeske can be openly involved with a broadcast associated with the Missouri Synod, correct?
Let it be known that some lay members occasionally visit a nearby Missouri Synod church once a month or so in order to worship with friends or relatives, and see how the hammer comes down.

Lastly, I hate to remind Dr. Jackson, but no colleges or preps are closing this year either...ZING!!!!

Grumps

***

GJ - I did not sing Schroeder's praises. I saw a couple of positive moves, but that was it. I thought he needed time. Others have said to me, "I am disappointed. He is ineffective as a leader."

I posted about the closing of schools a few months ago. Church bodies are slow to take action. One person admitted it was already discussed (dividing the college into two other locations) at Mary Lou College. The source is Pastor Jenswold, so ask him what he was talking about. Zing!

Schroeder stopped the outright looting going on at headquarters. I suggest putting RFID tags on the silverware and crockery at Holy Word, Austin, Texas.

Saved the preps? Time will tell. The demographics say otherwise.

One pastor wrote me that three things need to be eviscerated before WELS can survive:
1. UOJ.
2. The school system.
3. The WELSian concept of ministry.

He agreed about this with another WELS pastor.

Many times I pass on the insights of another, whether it comes through email or conversation.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

How Episcopal Is the LCMS?
No Difference with Matt Harrison

Matt's parents knew he would be different when he grew up.


I still get Christian News, so I thought the lawsuit against the ladies in California, to take away their church property, was thrown out of court. Later, I read that the lawsuit was still ongoing.

The synods do not like lawyers and lawsuits, unless they are hiring the lawyers (with your offering money) and suing your congregation. The District Popes are above the law, so try to get them to do what is right when they lie, steal, abuse, and serve as pimps for their adulterous and molesting pastors.

Nevertheless, I thought the lawsuit was over for good when the dream candidate, Matt Harrison, was elected as Missouri Synod President. He replaced the eee-vul Jerry Kieschnick, so everything had to change.

One reader was quick to point out that Missouri is no different from the Episcopal Church in suing to take away congregational property. The degree of harm may be worse with Presiding Bishop Katie, but that is no defense of Missouri's continuing actions.

About 99.9% of the congregations will say, "That is their worry, way out West, in the Land of Fruit and Nuts, not ours."

Everyone has been saying that about one situation after another, for the last 50 years.

Bible Difficulties And Seeming Difficulties - William Arndt




Amazon is one source for the book. Click here for some prices.

Alibris is another source.

This volume is a combination of Bible Difficulties and Does the Bible Contradict Itself?

We will be using this book in a few weeks. It is an excellent resource for defending the faith (apologetics).

How Many Shrinker Churches in the Syn Conference Will Go Insolvent from Masonry Evangelism Loans?

They even spell it different in the South.



In a Sunday sermon, pastor Larry Perkins stood in his church's family-life center and preached to the children in his congregation: Believe in yourself and your future. Never give up the dream that God planted inside you. Never allow failure to stand in the way of success.

The next day, Perkins sat next to his attorney before a bankruptcy official, explaining why his Mission Road Church of God in Christ was unable to pay the $1.6 million it owed the bank for construction of the family-life center in Oviedo.

What was once unheard of — a church declaring bankruptcy — has become increasingly common in this recession as declining collection-plate revenues make it harder to pay the bills.

In addition to Mission Road Church, Agape Assembly Baptist Church in Pine Hills and its economic-development ministry also filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last month. The church, which is in foreclosure, listed assets of $6.5 million and debts of $6.6 million.



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Agape pastor Richard Bishop did not respond to requests for comment. But according to bankruptcy records, he took out mortgages of $4.9 million on his Pine Hills church and $770,500 on his "parsonage" in 2004. The bankruptcy records show the church's income declined by more than half in only two years — from $764,990 in 2008 to $303,849 in 2010.

In the past year, an estimated 100 churches filed for bankruptcy, including the oldest black church in DeKalb County, Ga., and Robert Schuller's 10,000-member Crystal Cathedral megachurch in California. And churches aren't the only ones — a Boynton Beach synagogue filed bankruptcy last June.

"Churches are going through a very difficult time, but to actually file for bankruptcy is extremely unusual," said Simeon May, chief executive for the Texas-based National Association of Church Business Administration.

Some churches got caught up in the heady days of the 1990s and early 2000s when megachurches proliferated. The money spent on church construction and expansion more than tripled in 10 years, going from $2.8 billion in 1993 to $8.6 billion in 2003, according to the U.S. Census.

Church congregations were part of the same society that wanted supersized houses and the easy loans that made it possible, said John Farina, associate professor of religious studies at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. In the competitive marketplace of religion, bigger was better and the way to get bigger was to offer members more for their weekly contributions.

"The easy money and the temptation to spend more money than you make affected the churches just like the culture," Farina said.

Limited reserves

Bankruptcy isn't always a case of churches living beyond their means. Churches often operate without large cash reserves. Their mission, as Christian organizations, is to use the money they collect to help others, not to "bury the gold" in a big bank account, said Marc McMurrin, executive director of operations for Northland, A Church Distributed, in Longwood.

"It's a tension between what is the right business decision and what is the right ministry decision," he said. "You need an emergency fund, but you want to put as much resources as you can into the kingdom."

In the past few years, Northland has had to cut its staff from 125 to 75, eliminate programs and postpone a capital campaign because of a drop in contributions from its 10,000 members, McMurrin said. Northland's $43 million building was half paid for when it opened in 2007, but the church can't ask its members to help pay off the church's mortgage when so many are having problems paying their own mortgages, he said.

In hard economic times, there is only so much a church can do to reduce expenses, and only a few ways it can make more money. The Worship Center Church in Pine Hills raised $7,000 by raffling off gift baskets of donated items to offset some of the decline in its Sunday collections, pastor Frank E. Thompson said.

But there's a limit to how many of those fundraisers you can hold, Thompson said. He had to halt plans to open portable classrooms for an after-school program at his church because of a lack of money to pay for the project.

The biggest problem for churches in this recession, Thompson said, was a change in the relationship between banks and churches. In the past, lenders were more willing to work with churches facing financial troubles. Banks knew churches were good investments with relatively little risk of default. Foreclosures were rare, and bankruptcies were practically unknown.

But in this recession, bank consolidation meant fewer local banks with less personal connection with pastors. And those bigger banks were themselves in trouble.

"When churches needed funds, they could go to the bank and say, 'We need a loan,' " Thompson said. "That option is completely gone."

***

GJ - I don't mean recruiting at the Masonic Lodge, although ELS retired President George Orvick did that in his last parish.

The WELS officials get their Cornerstone buddies into a congregation. They do a study (for how much money?) and conclude - "You need to spend millions on your building." They offer to raise the money for a huge fee. The congregation will grow just because of the expansion.

Hoo boy - the smell of fresh plaster and carpet glue will bring them prospects running to join, especially when they see the feminist hymnal. A year or two later, the voters complain that the congregation did not grow from adding to the debt!

The Shrinker consultants, vacationing in the Bahamas, say over their cell phones, "What? Can't hear. Bad reception. Sorry."

The Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany



Cover by Norma Boeckler




The Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson

http://www.ustream.tv/channel/bethany-lutheran-worship

Bethany Lutheran Worship, 10 AM Central Time

The Hymn #292 Lord Jesus Christ 1:2
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 Romans 13:8-10
The Gospel Matthew 8:23-27
Glory be to Thee, O Lord!
Praise be to Thee, O Christ!
The Nicene Creed p. 22
The Sermon Hymn #142 A Lamb Goes Uncomplaining 1:21

A Little Faith

The Hymn #192 Awake My Heart 1:22
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 #281 The Savior Calls 1:29

KJV Romans 13:8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. 9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

KJV Matthew 8:23 And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him. 24 And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep. 25 And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. 26 And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. 27 But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!

Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany
Lord God, heavenly Father, who in Thy divine wisdom and fatherly goodness makest Thy children to bear the cross, and sendest divers afflictions upon us to subdue the flesh, and quicken our hearts unto faith, hope and unceasing prayer: We beseech Thee to have mercy upon us, and graciously deliver us out of our trials and afflictions, so that we may perceive Thy grace and fatherly help, and with all saints forever praise and worship Thee; through Thy dear Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one true God, world without end. Amen. Amen.

Even a Little Faith Is Good

Lenski:

“The lake lies between high hills and is thus subject to sudden tempests which develop excessive fury as they roar through the great trough in which the lake lies. Some commentators think that more than natural causes were involved in this storm. We see no necessity for making the devil or the presence of Judas in the boat responsible for this storm, and we cannot accept the allegories which some commentators propose, such as that where Jesus is present upheavals must occur. We likewise consider out of place the discussion about the two natures of Jesus and such questions as: did his deity sleep? did he foreknow the coming of the storm? and similar questions. The storm was brought about in the providence of God in whose hand are all the forces of nature. The peaceful sleep of Jesus is due to the total absence of fear in his heart and to his absolute trust in his Father’s care.
25) And having come to him, they aroused him, saying, Lord, save! We are perishing! Matthew is still the most dramatic evangelist, only Luke approaches him in this respect. The fact that these disciples should come to Jesus for help is astounding. A number of them were expert sailors who knew all about handling a boat and who had been in many a violent storm on this lake. They appeal to Jesus who had never handled boats but had worked as a carpenter with his father in Nazareth. How could a former carpenter help these expert sailors when all their skill was at an end, and death in the roaring waves was their certain fate? In the providence of God this storm brought to view such faith as they really had. Completely at the end of their own resources in which they had always had great pride and confidence, they now cast themselves upon Jesus as their only hope. They forget that he had never sailed a boat; they think not of human but of divine ability in him. They abandon all human help, the best of which they possessed in their own skill; they cast themselves completely into the divine hands of Jesus.

That was faith. But their terror, their resort to Jesus only in their extremity, their fear of death in the waves are not faith but littleness of faith, which is in glaring contrast with the calmness of Jesus. This littleness of faith God’s providence also revealed. They aroused Jesus, broke in on his sleep.”
Lenski, R. C. H.: The Interpretation of St. Matthew's Gospel. Minneapolis, MN. : Augsburg Publishing House, 1961, S. 345

There are two ways to emphasize the lesson of this Gospel, concerning faith. I will outline them, as found in Luther’s sermons. In the famous Weimar edition, there are 30 volumes of his sermons. Even Lenker (my favorite editor) has multiple versions on his sermon for the same text, and they are long.

Fear Is the Opposite of Faith
The first is to emphasize the fear and lack of faith of the disciples. That is an important correlation because the opposite of fear is not courage - but faith. As Luther noted, fear is based upon reason and experience. Faith is trust in the power and mercy of God. The disciples believed in Jesus, but fear overcame them when the waves threatened to demolish the boat and drown them.

Matthew 8:24 And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep.

“A ship is like a prison, only you can drown.” They were using a boat that was designed for stability. Going straight across a large body of water is much easier than walking around it, unless a storm brews up. Although I have missed this experience, I have read how terrifying a storm at sea can be. After all, one sank a giant ore ship, the Edmund Fitzgerald, in seconds, and we still do not know how that happened.

A storm at sea or on a large body of water will erase all sense of position. The sky and water merge together in blackness. Worst of all, the waves rise up and crash down, tossing the craft and dousing its passengers. Fear is contagious. When we travel by air, I never worry until the stewardesses get nervous and buckle their seat belts, with the cart safely tucked away.

Whenever we face danger, all the bad experiences come to mind. The more we know, the more likely we will see all the bad signs and their implications. The disciples knew the stories about people lost during a storm, and they were quite experienced as fishermen. Their problem was not ignorance, but experience and knowledge. Once fear welled up in them, faith in Jesus went out the window.

A Little Faith Is Commended.
But in the House Sermons I was reading this week, Luther emphasizes that a little faith is good in the disciples, because they sought the help of Jesus, waking him up. The House Sermons were delivered to the residents of his home, an old monastery. They often had 25 people in residence.

Luther believed in the power of preaching, so he did not neglect his family, servants, and guests. Lest you think he lived in luxury, they barely scraped along. Luther generously gave away money donated to him. For example, he turned a generous gift over to newly-weds who were staying there. Katie worked extra to provide for everyone.

Luther’s point in the House Sermon is that the disciples were overcome with fear, but they trusted in Jesus enough to turn to Him in time of trouble.

25 And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish.

The modern Lutherans rail against faith because they have no concept of what Luther teaches in his sermons, what the Bible says, and what the Book of Concord confesses. These modern Lutherans are consumed with the arguments of the Calvinists against the Arminians, which is another story, since the Arminians did teach faith as a virtue, in other words, as a work. The modern Lutherans think this way because they have no grasp of the efficacious of the Word in the Means of Grace. Talking with them is like debating with a Baptist about infant baptism. No matter what is said, they come back to their talking points.

Matthew 8:26 And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?

Luther, as a man who taught and knew the entire Bible, understood faith to be trust in the power and mercy of God, which is displayed always in the Word. One of his comparisons is quite easy to remember, especially since gold is so valuable now.

Luther’s Analogy
Whether we have gold wrapped up in a tissue, held in the hand, or locked in a safe, it is the same gold. The value of the metal is not changed in any way by what holds it. In the same way, faith is trust in God, with the emphasis upon God. The faith of a child is no different from the faith of a theologian, because both hold the same treasure, which is the Gospel.

In many cases, the faith of a child is purer than a theologian’s because the child has not been trained to doubt, rationalize, and change the meaning of the Gospel. Whenever I have asked children about how Jesus could walk on the water, turn water into wine, raise the dead, and feed the multitudes, the child has said, without any help, “Because He is God. God can do anything.”

Obviously, the railing against “faith as a work, faith as a virtue” is nonsense coming from Lutherans. They should know that faith is trust, and that trust in God’s Word is the chief characteristic of the Christian.

Trust in God’s Word leads to all the blessings of the Christian life, because the Holy Spirit works through the Word at all times. The person who doubts the Word will harden his heart against the Word until he is no longer a believer but an enemy of the Faith. I have seen this happen to many ministers I have known. The collapse of faith is more notable, because of the gap between what was taught and what is now rejected. In contrast, the mainline ministers may continue along the same way, never really believing and having nothing to give up. Their Father Below takes good care of them until the end. Then they find out the delusions they have held so close to their stony bosoms.

This Gospel lesson teaches us that “little faith” is also sufficient in time of trouble, because that faith is in Christ when we cry to Him for help.

Luther observed that being a Christian means “even the weather is against him.” How sad that few are told this. They turn bitter when they do not realize how difficult it can be. Yet God allows this experience so the glory is His when He delivers us from trouble.

Luther admitted in his House Sermon that he felt overwhelmed when facing the Imperial Diet at Augsburg, 1530. As you may recall, he was under such a threat of death that he could not be in the same town. He had to write letters back and forth while Melanchthon served as the representative for the cause of the Gospel.

From Luther’s standpoint, the entire Empire was rising up against the Gospel, like a giant rogue wave, ready to dash everything to pieces and kill the Lutheran Reformation, which was barely started. The Emperor despised the Lutherans and later almost completely conquered them.

However, something intervened after Augsburg. The Moslem armies were threatening Vienna and all of Europe. The Emperor was a great military leader, so he went off to gather armies to battle the Muslims. He was occupied for many years, so the Lutheran Reformation took root in his absence.

Historians call this luck, while believers call it God’s providence and mercy.

The Command
Matthew 8:26b Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. 27 But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!

We have so little control over events, even the smallest ones. But here Jesus rebukes the weather and “even the wind and waves obey Him.”

This happened so we know the extent of God’s power in the Word. He gives us many different proofs of how He can change things in an instant, beyond anyone’s comprehension or imagination.

That is why the Word moves people to pray. We are moved by the power of the Word to trust in the love and mercy of God. “Merciful Savior. Through the Word, you stilled the storm, turned water into wine, and raised the dead…” What is difficult for God after considering and remembering those miracles?

The Word is effective when:
1. It is heard.
2. It is read.
3. It is remembered.

Therefore, the Holy Spirit is active when we dwell on the Word, abide in the Means of Grace. I kidded LI that his computer certification was close to the initials of a Roman Catholic order – the Spiritans, or the Holy Ghost Fathers. They have an interesting history. The Pentecostals would also like to claim the Holy Spirit.

But the Holy Spirit works only through the Word of God. The Spirit is not conjured up apart from the Word, and God never works apart from the Word.

The Word declares us forgiven through faith, because of the grace of God.

The Word consecrates the earthly elements so we commune with Christ, who builds our faith, takes away our sin, and prepares us for eternal life with this unique soul food.

The Word guides and directs us at all times, bearing fruit in a thousand ways.

Efficacy In The Book Of Concord

Augsburg Confession
J-158
"Although the Church properly is the congregation of saints and true believers, nevertheless, since in this life many hypocrites and evil persons are mingled therewith, it is lawful to use Sacraments administered by evil men, according to the saying of Christ: 'The Scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat, etc.' Matthew 23:2. Both the Sacraments and Word are effectual by reason of the institution and commandment of Christ, notwithstanding they be administered by evil men."
Augsburg Confession, VIII. What the Church Is, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 47. Matthew 23:2. Tappert, p. 33. Heiser, p. 13.

Apology of the Augsburg Confession
J-159
"For Christ wishes to assure us, as was necessary, that we should know that the Word delivered by men is efficacious, and that no other word from heaven ought to be sought. 'He that heareth you heareth Me,' cannot be understood of traditions. For Christ requires that they teach in such a way that [by their mouth] He Himself be heard, because He says: 'He heareth Me.' Therefore He wishes His own voice, His own Word, to be heard, not human traditions."
Apology of the Augsburg Confession, XXVIII. #18. Eccles. Power, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 449. Tappert, p. 284. Heiser, p. 134.

The Large Catechism
J-160
"Besides, it is an exceedingly effectual help against the devil, the world, and the flesh and all evil thoughts to be occupied with the Word of God, and to speak of it, and meditate upon it, so that the First Psalm declares those blessed who meditate upon the Law of God day and night. Undoubtedly, you will not start a stronger incense or other fumigation against the devil than by being engaged upon God's commandments and words, and speaking, singing, or thinking of them. For this is indeed the true holy water and holy sign from which he flees, and by which he may be driven away."
The Large Catechism, Preface, #10, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 570f. Tappert, p. 359f. Heiser, p. 167.

J-161
"For let me tell you this, even though you know it perfectly and be already master in all things, still you are daily in the dominion of the devil, who ceases neither day nor night to steal unawares upon you, to kindle in your heart unbelief and wicked thoughts against the foregoing and all the commandments. Therefore you must always have God’s Word in your heart, upon your lips, and in your ears. But where the heart is idle, and the Word does not sound, he breaks in and has done the damage before we are aware. On the other hand, such is the efficacy of the Word, whenever it is seriously contemplated, heard, and used, that it is bound never to be without fruit, but always awakens new understanding, pleasure, and devoutness, and produces a pure heart and pure thoughts. For these words are not inoperative or dead, but creative, living words."
The Large Catechism, Third Commandment. #100. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 609. Tappert, p. 378f. Heiser, p. 175f.

J-162
"Thus it appears what a great, excellent thing Baptism is, which delivers us from the jaws of the devil and makes us God's own, suppresses and takes away sin, and then daily strengthens the new man; and is and remains ever efficacious until we pass from this estate of misery to eternal glory."
The Large Catechism, Part Fourth, Of Baptism. #83. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 751. Tappert, p. 446. Heiser, p. 209.

Formula of Concord
J-163
"Therefore, before the conversion of man there are only two efficient causes, namely, the Holy Ghost and the Word of God, as the instrument of the Holy Ghost, by which He works conversion. This Word man is [indeed] to hear; however, it is not by his own powers, but only through the grace and working of the Holy Ghost that he can yield faith to it and accept it."
Formula of Concord, Epitome, II, Of the Free Will, #19, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 791. Tappert, p. 472. Heiser, p. 219.

J-164
"And although God, according to His just, strict sentence, has utterly cast away the fallen evil spirits forever, He has nevertheless, out of special, pure mercy, willed that poor fallen human nature might again become and be capable and participant of conversion, the grace of God and eternal life; not from its own natural, active [or effective] skill, aptness, or capacity (for the nature of man is obstinate enmity against God), but from pure grace, through the gracious efficacious working of the Holy Ghost." Luther, Psalm 90.
Formula of Concord, SD, II, #20. Free Will. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House 1921, p. 889. Tappert, p. 525. Heiser, p. 243.

J-165
"Thirdly, in this manner, too, the Holy Scriptures ascribe conversion, faith in Christ, regeneration, renewal, and all that belongs to their efficacious beginning and completion, not to the human powers of the natural free will, neither entirely, nor half, nor in any, even the least or most inconsiderable part, but in solidum, that is, entirely, solely to the divine working and the Holy Ghost, as also the Apology teaches."
Formula of Concord, SD II. #25. Free Will. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 891. Tappert, p. 526. Heiser, p. 244.

J-166
"For this reason we shall now relate, furthermore, from God’s Word how man is converted to God, how and through what means [namely, through the oral Word and the holy Sacraments] the Holy Ghost wants to be efficacious in us, and to work and bestow in our hearts true repentance, faith, and new spiritual power and ability for good, and how we should conduct ourselves towards these means, and [how we should] use them."
Formula of Concord SD II. #48. Free Will. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 901. Tappert, p. 530. Heiser, p. 246.

J-167
"Now, all who wish to be saved ought to hear this preaching [of God’s Word]. For the preaching and hearing of God’s Word are instruments of the Holy Ghost, by, with, and through which He desires to work efficaciously, and to convert men to God, and to work in them both to will and to do. This Word man can externally hear and read, even though he is not yet converted to God and regenerate; for in these external things, as said above, man even since the Fall has to a certain extent a free will, so that he can go to church and hear or not hear the sermon."
Formula of Concord, SD, II, #52. Free Will. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House 1921, p. 901f. Tappert, p. 531. Heiser, p. 246.

J-168
"Now, although both, the planting and watering of the preacher, and the running and willing of the hearer, would be in vain, and no conversion would follow it if the power and efficacy of the Holy Ghost were not added thereto, who enlightens and converts the hearts through the Word preached and heard, so that men believe this Word and assent thereto, still, neither preacher nor hearer is to doubt this grace and efficacy of the Holy Ghost, but should be certain that when the Word of God is preached purely and truly, according to the command and will of God, and men listen attentively and earnestly and meditate upon it, God is certainly present with His grace, and grants, as has been said, what otherwise man can neither accept nor give from his own powers."
Formula of Concord SD II. #55-56. Free Will. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 903. Tappert, p. 531f. Heiser, p. 246.

J-169
"The other eating of the body of Christ is oral or sacramental, when the true, essential body and blood of Christ are also orally received and partaken of in the Holy Supper, by all who eat and drink the consecrated bread and wine in the Supper—by the believing as a certain pledge and assurance that their sins are surely forgiven them, and Christ dwells and is efficacious in them, but by the unbelieving for the judgment and condemnation, as the words of the institution by Christ expressly declare..."
Formula of Concord, SD, VII. #63. Holy Supper. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House 1921, p. 995. Tappert, p. 581. Heiser, p. 270.

J-170
"For the true and almighty words of Jesus Christ which He spake at the first institution were efficacious not only at the first Supper, but they endure, are valid, operate, and are still efficacious [their force, power, and efficacy endure and avail even to the present], so that in all places where the Supper is celebrated according to the institution of Christ, and His words are used, the body and blood of Christ are truly present, distributed, and received, because of the power and efficacy of the words which Christ spake at the first Supper. For where His institution is observed and His words are spoken over the bread and cup [wine], and the consecrated bread and cup [wine] are distributed, Christ Himself, through the spoken words, is still efficacious by virtue of the first institution, through His word, which He wishes to be there repeated."
Formula of Concord, SD VII, #75. Holy Supper. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 999. Tappert, p. 583. Heiser, p. 270f.

J-171
"Also, Tom. III, Jena, Fol. 446: 'Thus here also, even though I should pronounce over all the words: This is Christ's body, nothing, of course, would result therefrom; but when in the Supper we say, according to His institution and command: 'This is My body,' it is His body, not on account of our speaking or word uttered [because these words, when uttered, have this efficacy], but because of His command—that He has commanded us thus to speak and to do, and has united His command and act with our speaking."
Formula of Concord, SD VII, #78. Holy Supper. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 1001. Tappert, p. 583. Heiser, p. 271.

J-172
"Now, it is not our faith that makes the Sacrament, but only the true word and institution of our almighty God and Savior Jesus Christ, which always is and remains efficacious in the Christian Church, and is not invalidated or rendered inefficacious by the worthiness or unworthiness of the minister, nor by the unbelief of the one who receives it."
Formula of Concord, SD VII, #89. Holy Supper. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 1003. Tappert, p. 585. Heiser, p. 272.

J-173
"1. That the human race is truly redeemed and reconciled with God through Christ, who, by His faultless [innocence] obedience, suffering, and death, has merited for us the righteousness which avails before God, and eternal life. 2. That such merit and benefits of Christ shall be presented, offered, and distributed to us through His Word and Sacraments. 3. That by His Holy Ghost, through the Word, when it is preached, heard, and pondered, He will be efficacious and active in us, convert hearts to true repentance, and preserve them in the true faith. 4. That He will justify all those who in true repentance receive Christ by a true faith, and will receive them into grace, the adoption of sons, and the inheritance of eternal life." ..."God in His purpose and counsel ordained [decreed]:
Formula of Concord, SD, XI. #15. Of God's Eternal Election. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 1069. 2 Corinthians 5:19ff. Tappert, p. 619. Heiser, p. 288.

J-174
"And this call of God, which is made through the preaching of the Word, we should not regard as jugglery, but know that thereby God reveals His will, that in those whom He thus calls He will work through the Word, that they may be enlightened, converted, and saved. For the Word, whereby we are called, is a ministration of the Spirit, that gives the Spirit, or whereby the Spirit is given, 2 Corinthians 3:8, and a power of God unto salvation, Romans 1:16. And since the Holy Ghost wishes to be efficacious through the Word, and to strengthen and give power and ability, it is God's will that we should receive the Word, believe and obey it."
Formula of Concord, SD XI. #29. Election. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 1073. 2 Corinthians 3:8; Romans 1:16. Tappert, p. 621. Heiser, p. 289.

J-175
"For few receive the Word and follow it; the greatest number despise the Word, and will not come to the wedding, Matthew 22:3ff. The cause for this contempt for the Word is not God's foreknowledge [or predestination], but the perverse will of man, which rejects or perverts the means and instrument of the Holy Ghost, which God offers him through the call, and resists the Holy Ghost, who wishes to be efficacious, and works through the Word, as Christ says, 'How often would I have gathered you together, and ye would not!' Matthew 23:37."
Formula of Concord, SD XI. #41. Election. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 1077. Matthew 22:3ff.; 23:37. Tappert, p. 623. Heiser, p. 290.

J-176
"Moreover, the declaration, John 6:44, that no one can come to Christ except the Father draw him, is right and true. However, the Father will not do this without means, but has ordained for this purpose His Word and Sacraments as ordinary means and instruments; and it is the will neither of the Father nor of the Son that a man should not hear or should despise the preaching of His Word, and wait for the drawing of the Father without the Word and Sacraments. For the Father draws indeed by the power of His Holy Ghost, however, according to His usual order [the order decreed and instituted by Himself], by the hearing of His holy, divine Word, as with a net, by which the elect are plucked from the jaws of the devil. Every poor sinner should therefore repair thereto [to holy preaching], hear it attentively, and not doubt the drawing of the Father. For the Holy Ghost will be with His Word in His power, and work by it..."
Formula of Concord, SD XI. #76-77. Election. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 1089. John 6:44. Tappert, p. 629. Heiser, p. 293.

Augustana College Band Trapped in Egypt

I just heard this on the news. I am not sure if it is Augustana in Rock Island, where we attended, or faux-Augustana in Sioux Falls. More later.

Never mind. It's the Augustana (Norwegian) from Sioux Falls.

Seriously, they are due to leave today and Tuesday.

UPDATE - EVERYONE IS SAFELY HOME:

Last of Augustana band students home from Egypt

Associated Press - February 2, 2011 7:55 AM ET 

SOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - The last of the Augustana College band students who got caught up in the political unrest in Egypt are back home in South Dakota.

The Argus Leader reports that the plane carrying the 28 members landed Tuesday afternoon in Sioux Falls. The rest of the 89-member group had arrived on Monday, after the trip that took them out of Cairo, to Amsterdam, and home through Minneapolis.

The band was to play five concerts over several weeks but the performances were cut to four because of the anti-government protests in Egypt.

College President Rob Oliver says staff will be meeting to discuss the trip and how to ensure that future trips are as safe as possible.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Judge Orders Property Grab As the Presiding Bishop From Hell Sues Her Own Congregations.
PB Katie Best Buds with Mark Hanson, ELCA

"You're next, Brett, and I don't mean to speak."



FT. WORTH, TX: Bishop Iker will appeal Judge's order to turn over property to TEC
37-year old judge's illness may have had an effect on him, said Assisting Bishop William Wantland

By David W. Virtue
www.virtueonline.org
January 24, 2011

The Rt. Rev. Jack Iker, Episcopal Bishop of the Diocese of Ft. Worth said he will appeal a judge's decision ordering him to give up all property running into the millions of dollars in the 24-county episcopal diocese.

Other orthodox area Episcopalians who left the national church will also join the appeal.

On Friday, Judge John Chupp of the 141st District Court told Iker's group to "surrender all Diocesan property as well as control of the Diocese Corporation" to local Episcopalians who remained loyal to the U.S. Episcopal Church. He also told those in Iker's group "not to hold themselves out as leaders of the Diocese."

"We are obviously disappointed by Judge Chupp's ruling and see it as fundamentally flawed," Iker wrote in a statement issued Saturday. "We are confident that the Court of Appeals will carefully consider our appeal and will rule in accordance to neutral principles of law as practiced in the State of Texas.

Archbishops Take Ichabod's Advice, Skip Meeting,
Snub Canterbury

DUBLIN: Fifteen Anglican Archbishops Absent Themselves from Primatial Gabfest

By David W. Virtue in Dublin
www.virtueonline.org
January 25, 2011

Fifteen of the Anglican Communion's 38 archbishops - nearly 40% - have absented themselves from a meeting of the Primates called by the Archbishop of Canterbury to discuss the moral, theological and ecclesiastical crisis in the Anglican Communion.


The Primates are meeting behind closed doors for six days at the Emmaus Retreat and Conference Centre in Dublin.

The Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, was also invited to allow the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams to fulfill his role as president of the meeting.

Among those not attending are:

The Most Revd Eliud Wabukala, The Anglican Church of Kenya

The Most Revd Purely Lyngdoh, The Church of North India (United)

The Most Revd Valentino Mokiwa, The Anglican Church of Tanzania

The Most Revd Daniel Deng Bul Yak, The Episcopal Church of the Sudan. (He cited his country's referendum, but he has also been an outspoken opponent of The Episcopal Church's drift from a Biblical understanding of human sexuality and gave an impromptu press conference at Lambeth 2008 blasting TEC.)

The Most Revd Onesphore Rwaje, L'Eglise Episcopal au Rwanda, (two days after his installation). He is not attending for the same reasons his predecessor Archbishop Emmanuel Kolini would not have attended - the crisis in the Anglican Communion brought on by the sexual innovations of The Episcopal Church.

The Most Revd Gerald James (Ian) Ernest, The Church of the Province of the Indian Ocean.

The Most Revd. Mouneer Hanna Anis The Episcopal Church in Jerusalem & The Middle East

The Most Rt Revd Nicholas Dikeriehi Okoh, The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion)

The Most Revd Henry Luke Orombi, The Church of the Province of Uganda

The Most Revd John Chew, Church of the Province of South East Asia

The Most Revd Hector Zavala, Iglesia Anglicana del Cono Sur de America

The Most Revd Justice Ofei Akrofi, The Church of the Province of West Africa

Three other primates also could not attend.

The Most Revd Henry Kahwa Isingoma, Province de L'Eglise Anglicane Du Congo cited visa problems.

The Most Revd Carlos Touche-Porter, La Iglesia Anglicana de Mexico; and

The Most Revd Stephen Than Myint Oo, The Church of the Province of Myanmar (Burma) claimed reasons of health.

In an earlier announcement, the Primate of Canada, the Most Rev. Fred Hiltz said there is a real need for clarity with respect to the place and influence of the Primates' Meetings and the nature of their service as one of the Instruments of Communion.

"As challenging as this meeting will be...I hope we will not be so consumed with tensions in the Communion that we fail to address the real global issues that demand our attention as leaders of the Church."

Archbishop Maurício José Araújo de Andrade Primate of Brazil & Bishop of Brasilia, (a TEC plant and clone) said he was looking forward to a positive meeting.

"It is important that in this meeting dialogue continues between the different parts of the Anglican Communion. If it is possible to sit together with different ecumenical and interfaith partners, how much more do we need to continue to sit down and dialogue with bishops from other parts of the Communion."

The Dean of the Province of Central Africa, Bishop Albert Chama said he believes God will enable the Primates to remain in unity and to love one another as the body of Christ.

"My hope is that in this meeting we will be able to continue the conversations that have been happening in terms of pulling the Communion together," he said. "It is my hope that our meeting will be fruitful and that we will continue to discuss matters with openness and we will be able to listen to one another."

Those archbishops who have declined to come say that such a meeting has little value because they are disillusioned by what they see as Dr. Williams' failure to act on decisions made and expressed in the past.

In Charleston, SC last week, Archbishop Anis said, "We need to sort out the crisis. The Global South and other orthodox diocese should start today if we want to rescue and revive our beloved communion. We need another reformation within the Anglican Communion."

Reflecting on the upcoming primatial meeting in Dublin, Anis noted it is all being manipulated and that nothing would happen. "It is a waste of time, the results and outcome have already been decided. It has been cooked and pre-cooked.

"We asked that the recommendations of the previous meeting be followed through otherwise the meeting would be meaningless. We recommended and decided and now is the time for decisions. All we got was an invitation to sit in two separate rooms and we wanted to sit in one. There is no consultation. That is why the Global South and other Primates are not going," he said.

Other Primates have called for the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, to be replaced as the figure around which the Communion unites. Recent moves by a number of Anglo-Catholics to leave the Church of England for Rome and the boycotting of this conference by leading Anglican archbishops have raised eyebrows among England's liberal establishment. VOL has been told that there are behind the scenes moves to pressure Williams into resigning.

Archbishop Anis and former Bishop of Rochester, Michael Nazir-Ali have both called for a council of orthodox Anglican primates to resolve the deep theological and ecclesiological crisis in the Communion.

Archbishop Anis recently called for Global South Primates and orthodox bishops in the North and West to hold a Church Council with binding resolutions to break the ecclesiastical logjam in the Anglican Communion.

Speaking to several hundred orthodox Episcopalians and Anglicans at the 6th Annual Mere Anglican Conference at St. Phillip's Church last week, Anis said there is now "no trust left at all" in the communion with "provinces taking actions and moving from the norm of Anglican tradition." Anis called for a Conciliar meeting of orthodox Anglicans to resolve the fundamental theological differences that now pervade the communion. "The Anglican Covenant has not worked. We have a Conciliar model to express the mind of the communion on controversial resolutions.

Bishop Nazir-Ali told participants at Mere Anglican, a conference dedicated to a reformed, renewed orthodox Anglicanism within North America, that a church council of orthodox Anglican primates should be called to resolve the deep theological and ecclesiological tensions in the Communion.

Whatever is concluded should be binding on the Anglican Church, said the outspoken bishop. "In resolution of some of these matters, Anglicans need to bring to bear the Word of God on the issues and to be the guardian and interpreter for the church. We should have a healthy perspective on a proper conciliarity basis that Anglicans have evaded for 150 years. What is needed now is a binding conciliar gathering."

***

GJ - If you give them money and attend their meetings, that only encourages them. It's like feeding a stray cat. Pretty soon it moves in and more follow.

A synod official will purr, if given enough money. Ask Schwan.

Publishing News - Finishing TSW and Editing Justification

Lenski's daughter, Lois, illustrated this book and many more.


One of my readers gave me a bunch of edits to do for Thy Strong Word. I thought I would be done tonight, but I am working on the format. The age of the files and working with versions of Word gave me some interesting problems to face. Now I am going through page by page to get full justification to work. The reader hinted at some software short-cut for universal justification, but this is an individual effort.

I should have the new version uploaded on Lulu by tomorrow - God willing.

Meanwhile I am ready to do some improvements and edits for Justification. I will definitely add Pastor Harley's material, with permission, because the work is well done and pre-dates my efforts. There are some other additions, planned and potential.

I am adding the Outrageous UOJ quotations and a reading list.

Next will be a children's book, aimed at the youngest children but also useful for older children as well. Norma Boeckler is already working on the illustrations. My Facebook friends love her work as much as the Ichabodians do.

Some other books need additional work on the Lulu list. Remember, they are all available free as PDF downloads.

I am happy to send PDFs or Word documents for anyone who wants to read TSW or Justification to help in editing.

I will also need some back of the book comments, with or without names.

Efficacy in the Book of Concord

Dr. Martin Chemnitz, Senior Editor, The Book of Concord, a volume so dangerous that Mequonites dare not read it and Little Sectarians dare not take it seriously.




Efficacy In The Book Of Concord124


Augsburg Confession
J-158
"Although the Church properly is the congregation of saints and true believers, nevertheless, since in this life many hypocrites and evil persons are mingled therewith, it is lawful to use Sacraments administered by evil men, according to the saying of Christ: 'The Scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat, etc.' Matthew 23:2. Both the Sacraments and Word are effectual by reason of the institution and commandment of Christ, notwithstanding they be administered by evil men."
Augsburg Confession, VIII. What the Church Is, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 47. Matthew 23:2. Tappert, p. 33. Heiser, p. 13.

Apology of the Augsburg Confession
J-159
"For Christ wishes to assure us, as was necessary, that we should know that the Word delivered by men is efficacious, and that no other word from heaven ought to be sought. 'He that heareth you heareth Me,' cannot be understood of traditions. For Christ requires that they teach in such a way that [by their mouth] He Himself be heard, because He says: 'He heareth Me.' Therefore He wishes His own voice, His own Word, to be heard, not human traditions."
            Apology of the Augsburg Confession, XXVIII. #18. Eccles. Power, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 449. Tappert, p. 284. Heiser, p. 134.

The Large Catechism
J-160
"Besides, it is an exceedingly effectual help against the devil, the world, and the flesh and all evil thoughts to be occupied with the Word of God, and to speak of it, and meditate upon it, so that the First Psalm declares those blessed who meditate upon the Law of God day and night. Undoubtedly, you will not start a stronger incense or other fumigation against the devil than by being engaged upon God's commandments and words, and speaking, singing, or thinking of them. For this is indeed the true holy water and holy sign from which he flees, and by which he may be driven away."
            The Large Catechism, Preface, #10, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 570f. Tappert, p. 359f. Heiser, p. 167.

J-161
"For let me tell you this, even though you know it perfectly and be already master in all things, still you are daily in the dominion of the devil, who ceases neither day nor night to steal unawares upon you, to kindle in your heart unbelief and wicked thoughts against the foregoing and all the commandments. Therefore you must always have God’s Word in your heart, upon your lips, and in your ears. But where the heart is idle, and the Word does not sound, he breaks in and has done the damage before we are aware. On the other hand, such is the efficacy of the Word, whenever it is seriously contemplated, heard, and used, that it is bound never to be without fruit, but always awakens new understanding, pleasure, and devoutness, and produces a pure heart and pure thoughts. For these words are not inoperative or dead, but creative, living words."
            The Large Catechism, Third Commandment. #100. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 609. Tappert, p. 378f. Heiser, p. 175f.

J-162
"Thus it appears what a great, excellent thing Baptism is, which delivers us from the jaws of the devil and makes us God's own, suppresses and takes away sin, and then daily strengthens the new man; and is and remains ever efficacious until we pass from this estate of misery to eternal glory."
            The Large Catechism, Part Fourth, Of Baptism. #83. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 751. Tappert, p. 446. Heiser, p. 209.

Formula of Concord
J-163
"Therefore, before the conversion of man there are only two efficient causes, namely, the Holy Ghost and the Word of God, as the instrument of the Holy Ghost, by which He works conversion. This Word man is [indeed] to hear; however, it is not by his own powers, but only through the grace and working of the Holy Ghost that he can yield faith to it and accept it."
            Formula of Concord, Epitome, II, Of the Free Will, #19, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 791. Tappert, p. 472. Heiser, p. 219.

J-164
"And although God, according to His just, strict sentence, has utterly cast away the fallen evil spirits forever, He has nevertheless, out of special, pure mercy, willed that poor fallen human nature might again become and be capable and participant of conversion, the grace of God and eternal life; not from its own natural, active [or effective] skill, aptness, or capacity (for the nature of man is obstinate enmity against God), but from pure grace, through the gracious efficacious working of the Holy Ghost." Luther, Psalm 90.
            Formula of Concord, SD, II, #20. Free Will. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House 1921, p. 889. Tappert, p. 525. Heiser, p. 243.

J-165
"Thirdly, in this manner, too, the Holy Scriptures ascribe conversion, faith in Christ, regeneration, renewal, and all that belongs to their efficacious beginning and completion, not to the human powers of the natural free will, neither entirely, nor half, nor in any, even the least or most inconsiderable part, but in solidum, that is, entirely, solely to the divine working and the Holy Ghost, as also the Apology teaches."
            Formula of Concord, SD II. #25. Free Will. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 891. Tappert, p. 526. Heiser, p. 244.

J-166
"For this reason we shall now relate, furthermore, from God’s Word how man is converted to God, how and through what means [namely, through the oral Word and the holy Sacraments] the Holy Ghost wants to be efficacious in us, and to work and bestow in our hearts true repentance, faith, and new spiritual power and ability for good, and how we should conduct ourselves towards these means, and [how we should] use them."
Formula of Concord SD II. #48. Free Will. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 901. Tappert, p. 530. Heiser, p. 246.

J-167
"Now, all who wish to be saved ought to hear this preaching [of God’s Word]. For the preaching and hearing of God’s Word are instruments of the Holy Ghost, by, with, and through which He desires to work efficaciously, and to convert men to God, and to work in them both to will and to do. This Word man can externally hear and read, even though he is not yet converted to God and regenerate; for in these external things, as said above, man even since the Fall has to a certain extent a free will, so that he can go to church and hear or not hear the sermon."
            Formula of Concord, SD, II, #52. Free Will. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House 1921, p. 901f. Tappert, p. 531. Heiser, p. 246.

J-168
"Now, although both, the planting and watering of the preacher, and the running and willing of the hearer, would be in vain, and no conversion would follow it if the power and efficacy of the Holy Ghost were not added thereto, who enlightens and converts the hearts through the Word preached and heard, so that men believe this Word and assent thereto, still, neither preacher nor hearer is to doubt this grace and efficacy of the Holy Ghost, but should be certain that when the Word of God is preached purely and truly, according to the command and will of God, and men listen attentively and earnestly and meditate upon it, God is certainly present with His grace, and grants, as has been said, what otherwise man can neither accept nor give from his own powers."
            Formula of Concord SD II. #55-56. Free Will. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 903. Tappert, p. 531f. Heiser, p. 246.

J-169
"The other eating of the body of Christ is oral or sacramental, when the true, essential body and blood of Christ are also orally received and partaken of in the Holy Supper, by all who eat and drink the consecrated bread and wine in the Supper—by the believing as a certain pledge and assurance that their sins are surely forgiven them, and Christ dwells and is efficacious in them, but by the unbelieving for the judgment and condemnation, as the words of the institution by Christ expressly declare..."
            Formula of Concord, SD, VII. #63. Holy Supper. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House 1921, p. 995. Tappert, p. 581. Heiser, p. 270.

J-170
"For the true and almighty words of Jesus Christ which He spake at the first institution were efficacious not only at the first Supper, but they endure, are valid, operate, and are still efficacious [their force, power, and efficacy endure and avail even to the present], so that in all places where the Supper is celebrated according to the institution of Christ, and His words are used, the body and blood of Christ are truly present, distributed, and received, because of the power and efficacy of the words which Christ spake at the first Supper. For where His institution is observed and His words are spoken over the bread and cup [wine], and the consecrated bread and cup [wine] are distributed, Christ Himself, through the spoken words, is still efficacious by virtue of the first institution, through His word, which He wishes to be there repeated."
            Formula of Concord, SD VII, #75. Holy Supper. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 999. Tappert, p. 583. Heiser, p. 270f.

J-171
"Also, Tom. III, Jena, Fol. 446: 'Thus here also, even though I should pronounce over all the words: This is Christ's body, nothing, of course, would result therefrom; but when in the Supper we say, according to His institution and command: 'This is My body,' it is His body, not on account of our speaking or word uttered [because these words, when uttered, have this efficacy], but because of His command—that He has commanded us thus to speak and to do, and has united His command and act with our speaking."
            Formula of Concord, SD VII, #78. Holy Supper. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 1001. Tappert, p. 583. Heiser, p. 271.

J-172
"Now, it is not our faith that makes the Sacrament, but only the true word and institution of our almighty God and Savior Jesus Christ, which always is and remains efficacious in the Christian Church, and is not invalidated or rendered inefficacious by the worthiness or unworthiness of the minister, nor by the unbelief of the one who receives it."
            Formula of Concord, SD VII, #89. Holy Supper. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 1003. Tappert, p. 585. Heiser, p. 272.

J-173
"1. That the human race is truly redeemed and reconciled with God through Christ, who, by His faultless [innocence] obedience, suffering, and death, has merited for us the righteousness which avails before God, and eternal life. 2. That such merit and benefits of Christ shall be presented, offered, and distributed to us through His Word and Sacraments. 3. That by His Holy Ghost, through the Word, when it is preached, heard, and pondered, He will be efficacious and active in us, convert hearts to true repentance, and preserve them in the true faith. 4. That He will justify all those who in true repentance receive Christ by a true faith, and will receive them into grace, the adoption of sons, and the inheritance of eternal life." ..."God in His purpose and counsel ordained [decreed]:
Formula of Concord, SD, XI. #15. Of God's Eternal Election. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 1069. 2 Corinthians 5:19ff. Tappert, p. 619. Heiser, p. 288.

J-174
"And this call of God, which is made through the preaching of the Word, we should not regard as jugglery, but know that thereby God reveals His will, that in those whom He thus calls He will work through the Word, that they may be enlightened, converted, and saved. For the Word, whereby we are called, is a ministration of the Spirit, that gives the Spirit, or whereby the Spirit is given, 2 Corinthians 3:8, and a power of God unto salvation, Romans 1:16. And since the Holy Ghost wishes to be efficacious through the Word, and to strengthen and give power and ability, it is God's will that we should receive the Word, believe and obey it."
            Formula of Concord, SD XI. #29. Election. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 1073. 2 Corinthians 3:8; Romans 1:16. Tappert, p. 621. Heiser, p. 289.

J-175
"For few receive the Word and follow it; the greatest number despise the Word, and will not come to the wedding, Matthew 22:3ff. The cause for this contempt for the Word is not God's foreknowledge [or predestination], but the perverse will of man, which rejects or perverts the means and instrument of the Holy Ghost, which God offers him through the call, and resists the Holy Ghost, who wishes to be efficacious, and works through the Word, as Christ says, 'How often would I have gathered you together, and ye would not!' Matthew 23:37."
            Formula of Concord, SD XI. #41. Election. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 1077. Matthew 22:3ff.; 23:37. Tappert, p. 623. Heiser, p. 290.

J-176
"Moreover, the declaration, John 6:44, that no one can come to Christ except the Father draw him, is right and true. However, the Father will not do this without means, but has ordained for this purpose His Word and Sacraments as ordinary means and instruments; and it is the will neither of the Father nor of the Son that a man should not hear or should despise the preaching of His Word, and wait for the drawing of the Father without the Word and Sacraments. For the Father draws indeed by the power of His Holy Ghost, however, according to His usual order [the order decreed and instituted by Himself], by the hearing of His holy, divine Word, as with a net, by which the elect are plucked from the jaws of the devil. Every poor sinner should therefore repair thereto [to holy preaching], hear it attentively, and not doubt the drawing of the Father. For the Holy Ghost will be with His Word in His power, and work by it..."
Formula of Concord, SD XI. #76-77. Election. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 1089. John 6:44. Tappert, p. 629. Heiser, p. 293.

Let's Not Invent New Terms, Especially Those With a Bad Record for Confusion, Enthusiam, And Apostasy

The UOJ Stormtroopers cannot let people dissent from universal absolution.



Michael has left a new comment on your post "How UOJ Was Lenski?":

Dear Brett,

We may have been writing at the same time when I referred to my "unpublished" post, which since has been published and you addressed.

In his Eisenach Gospel, which I, unfortunately, read after I posted my questions instead of before, Lenski explains himself much better.

You are right on target with my questions in your last paragraph, when you wrote: "what is a Scriptural and Confessional definition of Objective Justification". I agree with your definition of objective justification. I also agree when you wrote: "those God has called are brought to faith in Christ, through the Means of Grace, by the gracious work of the Holy Spirit, it is also completely and fully Objective - solely the work of God."

So if I agree with you on those points, does this make me opposed to objective justification? I guess I am really confused now as to why people are against the term objective justification?

***

GJ - The UOJ essays prove that the variations on justification by faith are false, misleading, and confused.

First of all, we should stick with established terms in theology, since they have a history. As Paul Holmer, my sainted professor from Yale, wrote: "Theology is the grammar of faith." Bad grammar means that the content of The Faith is communicated poorly.

Objective justification, general justification, and UOJ are all bad because they are new terms (as WELS has admitted) and confusing terms. They are essentially the same.

Theological terms not found in the Bible are always short-hand for something long argued and clearly defined. The Holy Trinity is not found in the Bible - gasp! - but the concept is taught from Genesis 1 to the closing of the canon. The whole Christian Church confesses the Holy Trinity. Likewise, the term Means of Grace has a history in the Lutheran Confessional writings, which we are obligated to know and teach, if we dare to use the term Confessional Lutheran.

Roman Catholics use the term Means of Grace, so it is good to know what they mean by it. They do not find much grace in the Means of Grace, because no one is ever forgiven. They play with the meaning of words and the history of doctrine, one of the attributes of all false teachers.

I thought, like many people, that Objective Justification was a synonym for the Atonement. Dr. Robert Preus, in his earlier essay, made it clear that OJ was not the Atonement. OJ is the declaration that everyone is justified without the Means of Grace, without the Word, without faith.

Therefore, OJ should be repudiated as a term and buried forever, except in a class that Mequon will never offer - "Errors Taught by WELS, 101."

The New Testament gives us many synonyms for the Atonement. Why not use redemption, propitiating, expiation, ransom, and reconciliation?

How UOJ Was Lenski?



Michael has left a new comment on your post "Mequon Student Stopped and Searched. TriglottaDisc...":

Doesn't this quote from Lenski seem to teach "objective" justification? It is from his commentary on 1 Corinthians 1:30. "The aorist passive ἐγενήθη “became,” “was made,” has the force and the meaning of the middle ἐγένετο; the Koine coined many such passive forms and loved to use them. The sense is, of course, not passive. The tense is historical. No stress at all rests on ἡμῖν, “us.” Paul now joyfully includes himself and, in fact, all his fellow Christians. That means that we should not refer “became” to the moment when the Corinthians were joined to Christ, i.e., when he subjectively became theirs by faith; but to the moment when Christ wrought out our redemption on the cross, then for the Corinthians, for Paul, and for all of us he “became” objectively what Paul now states. And the phrase “from God,” like “of him” (God), once more stresses the divine source over against anything that comes from “the world.” The preposition ἀπό has the thought of transition from God to us."

Lenski, R. C. H. (1963). The Interpretation of St. Paul's First and Second Epistle to the Corinthians (81–82). Minneapolis, MN.: Augsburg Publishing House.

The above quote is how I understand objective justification: objectively, Christ became our righteousness, holiness and redemption when He announced, "it is finished" and died on the the cross. He is, objectively, the righteousness, holiness and redemption for every single person in the world, but, even-though this is who He objectively is for all, it does us no good unless His work is received by faith (subjectively).

Would you agree with Lenski's quote above and my understanding of the objective nature of Christ's work?

***

GJ - Do not let Tim Glende know you are reading Lenski! He will go Medieval on you. Not that he has ever read Lenski.

You need to switch to Groeschel, the way Glende and Ski have. That will keep you ganz WELS.

I have said before that some portions of Lenski lend themselves to the double-justification scheme, because he tried to bridge the gap in some places. That is why I find it odd that WELS spits out that "Lenski is not good on justification" when they could make so much of certain passages.

However, Lenski himself makes it very clear that justification is never spoken of in the New Testament where faith is omitted.

The turning point is the merging of justification and atonement. They are not the same, a fact abundantly clear to everyone except MDivs of the Syn Conference (and a few fragments thereof - CLCs and who knows what else).

You are simply trying to quote Lenski to pound the OJ/SJ theme again. There is only one justification - justification by faith.

There is no absolution of the entire world. You can find that error in writings of Charlotte Kirschbaum and her sugar daddy, Karl Barth. Your OJ is Calvinism, as Sig Becker admitted in print.

Even if Lenski did double back-flips for UOJ, no one who is serious about the Scriptures and the Confessions would accept it.

I suggest removing the farce of a quia subscription when Syn Conference pastors actively oppose the little they have read of the Confessions.

Mequon Student Stopped and Searched.
TriglottaDiscovered,
But No UOJ Could Be Found Inside the Book.



LPC has left a new comment on your post "WELS - Allergic Reaction to the Book of Concord.Br...":

UOJ can not be found in Scripture in the first place so how can it be found in the Book of Concord?

If one can not use Scripture to establish something, it is now pointless to even point at the BoC.

In UOJ, one can not go to Scripture to see it there, nor go to the BoC and find it there. Ergo, where does one appeal to? Answer: To one's own imagination.

LPC

***

GJ - Lito and readers, I have read far too many UOJ essays. They all admit that justification in the Bible and in the Book of Concord means justification by faith. There is also no UOJ in Robert Preus' last book.

The UOJ rebuttal is fascinating, showing how blinded and hardened they are:

1. Justification by faith is Subjective Justification, so they find their Objective Justification elsewhere, such as in the climax of Romans 4, a chapter on the faith of Abraham and his justification by faith. That so-called proof of OJ, in Romans 4:24-25, shows that we are also justified by faith, if we believe that God raised Jesus from the dead. I will quote the verses, because the Enthusiasts actually cite Romans 4:25 as OJ when the passage refutes their false doctrine.

KJV Romans 4:22 And therefore it was imputed [counted or reckoned] to him for righteousness. 23 Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; 24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; 25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

2. Justification by faith is consistently taught throughout the Book of Concord because the Concordists were not aware of the issues that would arise later. Nevertheless, the UOJ fanatics find OJ in every single Atonement passage, merging justification and atonement as identical terms. Thus they begin with Walther's propposition and make the Biblical passages and Book of Concord fit their Pietistic theory from Professor Knapp, Halle University.

3. Not knowing their terms any better than they comprehend the Bible and Confessions, they call justification by faith synergism. Synergism is defined as stating:
A. God has done this.
B. Now you must complete the transaction by believing.

UOJ teaches, starting with Walther:
A. God has already declared the whole world free of sin, saved.
B. Now you must believe that this is true for you also.

J. P. Meyer said - "Make a decision..." in his Ministers of Christ. As Pastor Harley wrote so many years ago, UOJ is synergism.

4. Limited in their knowledge about Calvin and Calvinism, they call justification by faith Calvinism. Their hero, Sig Becker, admitted in one of his essays that OJ is exactly what Calvinists teach.

Naturally, this Calvinism embedded in the Lutheran Church came from somewhere. The Calvinism of UOJ is from Pietism, from Halle University, from George Christian Knapp.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Spoiling the Ukrainians While Spoiling the Egyptians



bruce-church (https://bruce-church.myopenid.com/) has left a new comment on your post "John Shep Has a Question for the ELS/WELS":

Plenty of people know the answer to Rev. Shep's question. The answer is that for some reason it was felt necessary to pay Bishop Horpynchuk a salary midway between a Western salary and the $250 per month wage that the average Ukrainian made at the time, and still does. So $1,000 per month was four times the average salary of the average Ukrainian, so it is no wonder he was able to accumulate enough money to build such a nice house.

Of course, if the WELS, ELS and LCMS laymen were supporting their seminaries and seminarians like they should be, this would never have happened since they would not have been in a position to even THINK about paying a Ukrainian that much money.

So now we have seminaries where roughly half the graduates receive certificates that aren't accredited, and in many cases don't even need any college credits to attend seminary. That's right. I asked a SMP person where he attended college, and he said he never had!

Ironically, the laymen think everything is fine and the seminaries are supported enough since there are hardly any calls open.

WELS - Allergic Reaction to the Book of Concord.
Brett Meyer Observations

Wayne Mueller



(W)ELS is not restricted to the Lutheran Confessions. Wayne Mueller states that appeals to the Lutheran Confessions did not resolve the UOJ controversy. He fails to explain that the reason the Lutheran Confessions did not end the controversies and why the Lutheran Confessions do not limit the (W)ELS in matters of doctrine and practice is because they reject the BOC as being the faithful expanation of God's chief articles of Christian faith which they as professing the Lutheran name have sworn and oath to uphold. There are far more quotes than these but this should help begin the discussion concerning the glory of the (W)ELS.



"We apply the Confessions as a limited standard to judge those doctrines which they directly or incidentally addresses."

Page 5



"IV. Application of the Confessions to the Present Controversy

Appeal to the Lutheran symbols did not resolve the inspiration of Scriptures controversy. No, our confessions do not have the last word when it comes to determining what we are to teach. That belongs to Scripture. When, therefore, the matter of the inspiration of Scripture becomes a contested doctrine in the church, as it has, God expects us to state what Scripture states. It is not necessary to call a council of all Lutherans to determine what the Lutheran stand will be: Scripture has already determined that. We are not restricted to those doctrines laid down in our confessions. (Harold Wicks, Scripture is the Course and Norm for the Christian’s Faith and Life,’ Our Great Heritage, Vol. I, p84)"

Page 6


"We are not restricted to those doctrines laid down in our confessions. This is the very procedure followed in the confessions themselves. The Augustana did not restrict itself to those points treated in the Apostles’ Creed. The Formula of Concord [1577], in turn, did not restrict itself to those doctrinal statements found in the Augustana [1530], the Apology [1531], or the Smalcald articles [1537]. It went beyond them, because the framers of these documents considered it wise to do so. This is especially true of its Article on God’s Eternal Foreknowledge and Election. (Harold Wicks, "What is Doctrine According to Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions,’ Our Great Heritage, Vol. I,p841"

Page 7



"Appeal to the Lutheran symbols did not resolve the objective justification controversy.

(Note Vernon Harley’s use of the Confessions to limit exegetical conclusions in his "Exegetical Study of Scripture Passages Generally Used to Teach ‘Objective’ or ‘Universal’ Justification" 1984, p8) "This is basically why they contend so strongly for ‘objective’ justification and go a step further than our Lutheran Confessions insisting that Objective Justification is the Chief article of the Christian Faith, while our Confessions give that honor to justification by grace through faith" (Formula of Concord, S.D. III, 6, p. 540 in Tappert)."

Page 7

http://www.wlsessays.net/files/MuellerSymbols.pdf

***

GJ - Judging from LI's experience, I would say that the Little Schoolhouse on the Prairie does a better job than The Sausage Factory - when it comes to using the Book of Concord.

However, since UOJ Wisconsinites dominate both sects, the results are the same. The ELS pastors know Lutheran doctrine better, but the ELS leaders parrot the WELS line on everything.

John Shep wants people to know that he coined the line, "When Mischke drinks beer in Milwaukee, Orvick burps in Mankato."

First of all, WELS pastors do not know Lutheran doctrine at all. What they know, they despise. There are exceptions, but they have to stay under the WELSian radar, and away from the WELS KGB.

WELS does a poor job of teaching the Confessions, so no one has the capacity to read and teach the Confessions - not that they care to do so. Wayne Mueller, another advocate of UOJ and Church Growth, is typical in his snotty attitude about the Book of Concord.

Everyone must look at the claims of WELS and the reality. The gap is breathtaking, like looking across the Grand Canyon the first time. That is always the WELS approach - a boastful claim for the public, a snide and arrogant attitude for the brothers. Their quia subscription might as well be a Chia subscription to the Book of Concord.



A Chia subscription to the Book of Concord - just as meaningless as a quia subscription to a book they neither trust nor comprehend.
But it will grow on you.