The Glory Has Departed
Norma Boeckler, Artist in Residence
Bethany Lutheran Church.
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
More than once I have heard Lutheran pastors warn Lutherans against reading Luther's Commentary on Romans. That warning came first from the late John Drickamer, who solemnly declared that Romans was "an early work" and not to be taken seriously.
The logic escapes me. The late work of Sig Becker (UOJ stylist) is canonical while the early work of Luther lacks authority. The real reason is this - Luther cannot be read along with the Halle Pietists of the Synodical Conference. One must exclude the other, because oil and water do not mix, even when shaken vigorously.
The SynCons have solved this problem by ignoring Luther entirely. He is not read or studied, except to launch a few talking points that oppose his life-long work. Commonly, the SynCons write that justification is the "Chief Article of the Faith" and "the prince..." and "this article cannot be taught or discussed enough" before attacking it with all their venom, ignorance, and deceit.
The SynCons also endorse one another as great scholars, even though they cannot read the plain words of Scripture or the explanations of Luther. No wonder they value their in-house degrees---where the blind lead the blind--or diplomas from Fuller, where money is the one and only Means of Grace.
This one quotation, above, is worth the price of the book. Christendom is besotted with material success today, so much that the typical minister of any denomination thinks money is the answer to everything. If they only had enough money to present man's word in an attractive format, they could also be on the cover of magazines and be interviewed on TV. For them, the cross is abhorrent, so they repudiate whatever would give them the least amount of trouble. They also despise faithful ministers and laity, and are often the cross to be borne by believers.
Luther pointed out that the worst persecution comes from the great and wise in the visible church, not from declared atheists. Ministers find out that their classmates, sometimes lifetime friends, would not give them a drop of water if they were crawling across the desert at noon. Moreover, those same friends are likely to phone or IM to mock, jeer, and admonish.
Laity realize that ordained ministers talk out of both sides of their mouths on the same topic, that synod officials are less trustworthy than secular politicians.
But that is the ultimate test - can someone persist in the face of opposition from the great and wise in the synods? Can they live with shunning from their so-called friends and troublesome relatives?
Nevertheless, this cross is good and holy, a blessing. Even though Luther is still being persecuted, he continues to guide and inspire all those who treasure the Word of God.
The ultimate irony has published for all to see in the 50th anniversary of Christian News. To celebrate the Reformation, Herman Otten promoted The Truth (sic) about Luther, a bigoted and deceitful Roman Catholic book, filled with ancient lies and papist posturing.
His excuse - he "sells to both sides of issues." Why talk about truth and sell a book full of lies and malice against the Reformer. Another irony is this - Roman Catholic scholars have long since dismissed the claims of Monseigneur O'Hare's screed. The doctoral students at Notre Dame were laughing about those O'Hare lies in the 1970s.
Who has denounced the Roman Catholic promotions within the LCMS more than Otten, calling it "sacerdotalism"? That term "sacredotalism" is just too weak to describe what is happening in the Missouri Synod. Significant numbers within the LCMS structure have joined in the Roman effort to undermine Lutheran doctrine and worship, ultimately to recruit more sheep and wolves into the Church of Rome.
Otten's old pal Paul McCain is at the center of this stealth Romanism, and Weedon is the papal court chaplain of the Purple Palace. According to rumor, Weedon was going to jump ship some time ago, but was yanked back into nominal Lutheranism.
McCain's favorite source for his plagiarism is the Catholic Encyclopedia, which he hid time and again, still concealing the obvious copy and paste. Sixth graders think it is so clever to copy and paste from the Net while collecting karma for their brilliant, scholarly writing. In fact, that is what gives away the sixth grade writers - the contrast between their normal offerings and their big essays. Like McCain, they change from spelling and grammar minefields to elegant essays.
Holy Mother Rome Is the Real Deal
If someone has been trained well in worshiping the synod, the Church of Rome is clearly the real deal. Why worship a failing group called the LCMS, with 2 million members, when Rome sails past all scandals and has 60 million adherents in America?
I could join Rome and stay married, as Lutheran pastors have discovered for themselves. I could find a fellowship circle many times larger and prosper accordingly. Prominent Lutherans I have known have already done that, including two editors of the Lutheran Forum (sic) and a chaplain at Lutheran School of Theology, Chicago (ELCA).
Nevertheless, the papacy is the very Antichrist described in the Scriptures, and those who conspire to help Rome are the little Antichrists also named.
There are rat-kings, which can be read about here, if you have a strong stomach. Rat tails grow together and it becomes a mega-creature.