|Pool levitation is easy after watching Time of Grace.|
Ichabod - Re: Your article:
"Truth Faith Seems Quenched on Every Hand. Men Suffer Not Thy Word To Stand. Dark Times Have O'ertaken:"
Your pic of the Rev. Mark Jeske reminded me of his weekly "Time of Grace" online presentation. So, I accessed it on my computer and found his latest weekly message of July 27, 2012. It is entitled: "The ears of the deaf are open." Under the video box, were the written words:
"God works in mysterious and wondrous ways. As sinful human beings, we are not perfect and often forget that even though we have hardships God delivers us through it all."
No, - not so! I find that aforementioned statement to be very misleading [false] - God does not deliver the ungodly "through it all." [Psalm 1] The Scripture says that:
"Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all." – [Psalm 34:19 – KJV]
Scripture does not lump the righteous and the unrighteous together to receive the Lord’s blessing.
As pleasantly communicative and gifted as Rev. Jeske is, that, which I've pointed out, violates a basic rule of public communication - especially as it pertains to proclaiming God's Word. To be a responsible public speaker and faithful to God's Word, one must differentiate in public speaking. It is irresponsible to lump all the listeners into one group; assuming that they are godly (righteous / Christians). When one has an audience which is public, such as Rev. Mark Jeske, one ought to be responsible and careful not to give the non-Christian [unbeliever] the impression that he or she is so favored by the Heavenly Father:
"God is not your heavenly father unless you are one of His children:"
Common to Christian preachers, (and Pastor Mark Jeske is not the exception), is to include the non-Christian (unbelieving) audience into the Christian audience fold. Still fresh on my mind is the Christmas Eve children's service message I heard at Bethel Lutheran. The pastor missed the opportunity of clearly proclaiming the Gospel to the mixed audience. What more of a mixed audience can one have at a children's Christmas program, other than that of a Christian burial (funeral) service where relatives and family are attending who aren't all church members and Christians?
As I was mentioning, a wonderful opportunity was missed because the pastor omitted the complete Gospel message. Although he did make reference in passing to God's Law, he did not mention "sin" or being "sinful. His re-occurring theme to the mixed audience was that Christ coming in Bethlehem 2000 years ago was "for you." But, the pastor failed to connect the dots, illustrating the full reason why Christ came.
In short, he did not spell out, and make it clear, what Christ the Savior saves the individual soul from. Nothing was mentioned about the fatal eternal results of sin - hell (eternal damnation). In summary (I believe) he did not go "full circle." He left the impression that all that was important for the mixed audience was to accept the principle that Christ came, "for you" [them] - without explaining the crucial "why" and spiritual and eternal implications.
Seminary never did teach this basic principle of public speaking. I learned it from my first two public speaking courses in college. [And, I continue to learn it]:
"A speaker is not only responsible for what he says; he is also responsible for the impression he leaves."
Hence, with this aforementioned Christmas message, (I believe) the pastor left the impression to the mixed crowd that Christ came "for them" without conveying "full circle" in his message what Christ came to completely save them [us] from. And, I don't recall the preacher speaking about faith and belief; but only conveying the universal objective justification message of God's forgiveness without personal faith [belief] as Luther taught it.
Finally, I only hope and pray that with the rich Christian heritage with which Lutherans have been blessed, - that many pastors and others would figure out how to speak to the mixed audience crowd. After all, didn't Luther distinguish between the visible and invisible church? Didn't he correctly point out that even in the visible church there are both believers and unbelievers?
Nathan M. Bickel - Bay City, Michigan