The Glory Has Departed

Lutheran book boxes sent to three African seminaries -
a third one has been sent now.

Norma Boeckler, Artist-in-Residence

The Lutheran Library Publishing Ministry

Bethany Lutheran Worship on
Ustream - Sunday, 10 AM Central Daylight Time.
Wednesdays Romans 1-5 in Greek

Saved worship files and Greek lessons are at the live worship link.

which works as too.

Luther's Sermons, Lenker Series
Book of Concord Selections
Martin Chemnitz Press Books

Norma A. Boeckler Author's Page

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson's Author's Page

I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-4

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

The Myth Believed Is the Myth That Matters

We live in a world divided into two camps, where one believes in Creation and the other believes in evolution. Some people use myth to mean a fable, but the concept is far more powerful.

I taught an elective called mythology, and I had no trouble associating Creation with the concept of myth. Wait a minute - put down the stones and do not warm up the tar just yet. I always told the class  - I believe in Creation and in the Genesis Flood. I did then and I still do.

Louis Agassiz

Creation is a concept that changes how we view everything, how we think, and how we express ourselves. Louis Aggassiz wrote about America's vast landscape in terms of God's Creation.  And there are many quotations from this honored scientist of yesteryear that would cause someone to lose tenure, his job, and his reputation today.

The glacier was God's great plough set at work ages ago to grind, furrow, and knead over, as it were, the surface of the earth.



I sometimes hear preachers speak of the sad condition of men who live without God in the world, but a scientist who lives without God in the world seems to me worse off than ordinary men.

I will frankly tell you that my experience in prolonged scientific investigations convinces me that a belief in God—a God who is behind and within the chaos of vanishing points of human knowledge—adds a wonderful stimulus to the man who attempts to penetrate into the regions of the unknown.

Most of the culture heroes of today are evolutionists and atheists. Of course, they do not call themselves atheists but Humanists. They have a society where they give each other awards for their brilliance - a bit like the WELS Essay Files.

  • Lawrence Krauss - 2015
  • Barney Frank - 2014
  • Dan Savage - 2013
  • Gloria Steinem - 2012
  • Rebecca Newberger Goldstein - 2011
  • Bill Nye - 2010
  • PZ Myers - 2009
  • Pete Stark - 2008
  • Joyce Carol Oates - 2007
  • Steven Pinker - 2006
  • Murray Gell-Mann - 2005
  • Daniel C. Dennett - 2004
  • Sherwin T. Wine - 2003
  • Steven Weinberg - 2002
  • Stephen Jay Gould - 2001
  • Bill Schulz - 2000
  • Edward O. Wilson - 1999
  • Barbara Ehrenreich - 1998
  • Alice Walker - 1997
  • Richard Dawkins - 1996
  • Ashley Montagu - 1995
  • Lloyd Morain - 1994
  • Mary Morain - 1994
  • Richard D. Lamm - 1993
  • Kurt Vonnegut - 1992
  • Lester R. Brown - 1991
  • Werner Fornos - 1991
  • Ted Turner - 1990
  • Gerald A. Larue - 1989
  • Leo Pfeffer - 1988
  • Margaret Atwood - 1987
  • Faye Wattleton - 1986
  • John Kenneth Galbraith - 1985
  • Isaac Asimov - 1984
  • Lester A. Kirkendall - 1983
  • Helen Caldicott - 1982
  • Carl Sagan - 1981
  • Andrei Sakharov - 1980
  • Edwin H. Wilson - 1979
  • Margaret E. Kuhn - 1978
  • Corliss Lamont - 1977
  • Jonas E. Salk - 1976
  • Betty Friedan - 1975
  • Henry Morgentaler - 1975
  • Mary Calderone - 1974
  • Joseph Fletcher - 1974
  • Thomas Szasz - 1973
  • B.F. Skinner - 1972
  • Albert Ellis - 1971
  • A. Philip Randolph - 1970
  • R. Buckminster Fuller - 1969
  • Benjamin Spock - 1968
  • Abraham H. Maslow - 1967
  • Erich Fromm - 1966
  • Hudson Hoagland - 1965
  • Carl Rogers - 1964
  • Hermann J. Muller - 1963
  • Julian Huxley - 1962
  • Linus Pauling - 1961
  • Leo Szilard - 1960
  • Brock Chisholm - 1959
  • Oscar Riddle - 1958
  • Margaret Sanger - 1957
  • C. Judson Herrick - 1956
  • James P. Warbasse - 1955
  • Arthur F. Bentley - 1954
  • Anton J. Carlson - 1953

You should know at least half of these notables. The society itself considers all religion to be dangerous and bad for everyone, so they would like to get rid of it. 

Peterson embraced Church Growth and another woman and finally atheism. He still likes to be quoted.

Nod to God" Politicians and the Ten Commandments

By Curtis A. Peterson

A small crowd gathered in downtown Milwaukee on March 27 to witness the removal of a monument of the Ten Commandments from city property where it had stood since 1957.
The ceremony began with remarks by Ald. Jeff Pawlinski serving as spokesman for the Milwaukee Common Council. The events of this day came about because the Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal from the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals declaring such monuments to be violations of the First Amendment to the Constitution. Disagreeing with the Court but bowing to it, Pawlinski nevertheless lamented the necessary removal of the monument and its return to the Fraternal Order of Eagles, which donated the monument in 1955 in a ceremony with actor Yul Brynner to promote the movie "The Ten Commandments."
Making an apparently obligatory "nod to god," both politicians and Eagles officials, understanding neither the Ten Commandments nor the First Amendment, mourned this "sad" day and pointed the finger of blame at the "notorious Freedom From Religion Foundation," which brought the lawsuit resulting in its removal.
Don Runnells, a spokesman for the Eagles, insisted, "This has nothing to do with religion. It's about morals." Every Christian and Jew in the country ought to cringe at such nonsense. According to Exodus 20 and Deut. 5, the Decalogue was given as a covenant between God and Israel, the equivalent of a treaty between a King and a lesser lord who owed him loyalty.
The Ten Commandments begin with the statement "I am the LORD [YAHWEH] your God who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery." Whatever else the commandments are, they are a profound statement of faith, with each precept a stipulation of a covenant. They were never intended as mere "universal principles" acceptable to all people everywhere, as Stan Thompson of the Fraternal Order of Eagles asserted.
Ald. Pawlinski declared that the commandments are "the foundation of our nation's laws and the very structure of our society." Yet, only three of the commandments (on murder, theft and perjury) deal with modern law. It is not, after all, illegal to "have any other gods," to "misuse the name of the LORD," or work on the Sabbath (Saturday)--unless "blue laws" dictate otherwise. It's not even illegal, in spite of personal moral scruples, to dishonor your parents, commit adultery or "covet your neighbor's house." In a free state, the government has no right to make rules on those matters.
This monument contains not only the Decalogue, but also two stars of David and a Chi Rho symbol, the liturgical symbol of Christ using the first two letters of the Greek word for Christ. In effect, therefore, the monument promotes ("establishes") two religions. Those of other religions or of none at all are pointedly ignored.
It is also significant that the commandments are listed by the Catholic/Lutheran numbering, incorporating the stipulation about idols or graven images (the second commandment to most Protestants) into the first and makes two coveting commandments. A monument containing the Ten Commandments in Dallas, Memphis or Charlotte would likely have the Protestant numbering, listing a separate commandment on "graven images" and only one on coveting. Therefore the monument not only endorses the Judeo-Christian tradition, but a particular form of the Christian religion.
The best statement of the day was by Ald. Don Richards, who said that American liberty is exemplified in the freedom of the group gathered there to speak their minds on the issues involved. On the other hand, Common Council President Marvin Pratt rubbed salt in the wounds of those upholding the constitutional separation of church and state by declaring that from now on the Milwaukee Common Council will begin with prayer.
In his official remarks, Ald. Pawlinski stated that this monument "inspired those who passed by City Hall in the past half century" and that it will continue to "comfort" visitors at its new location at St. Joseph's Hospital.
As one trained in Lutheran theology, I winced at the notion that this monument was meant to comfort and inspire people. A Lutheran axiom asserts the "law always accuses" (lex semper accusat). Paul in Romans says the "law brings wrath. And where there is no law there is no transgression" (4:15) and in 3:20, "Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his [God's] sight by observing the law; rather through the law we become conscious of sin."
The fundamental theological purpose of the law in the New Testament, especially in Paul's theology, is to condemn sinners and to drive them to Christ. To find comfort and inspiration in the Ten Commandments, therefore, on the bible's own terms, is to find comfort in God's condemnation of humankind for violating the commandments. Far from being an inspiration or comfort to all those who pass by, they condemn to hell all those who do not live up to the commandments by thought, word and deed! Those who reduce the Decalogue to a statement of governing principles insult the original purpose of those commandments. Every Jew and every Christian, let alone every unbeliever, ought to protest against such a misuse.
In Luther's catechetical explanation of the Ten Commandments, each command began with the expression "We should fear and love God . . ." as in the (Lutheran/Catholic) fifth commandment, where Luther says "We should fear and love God, and so we should not endanger our neighbor's life, nor cause him any harm, but help and befriend him in every necessity of life." The Decalogue is essentially a religious document.
The courts of the land, therefore, have it absolutely right: To post the Ten Commandments or to endorse them is to establish a religion. The First Amendment speaks precisely to this when it says, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion."
Curtis A. Peterson holds a B.A. from Concordia Senior College, Ft. Wayne, Indiana, and a M.Div and STM (l966 and l983 respectively) from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri.
In almost 30 years in the ministry in both the Missouri and Wisconsin Synods, he was an activist with many published articles supporting the orthodox Lutheran cause in the "Battle for the Bible" in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, and author of several articles in the Wisconsin Synod between l987 and l995. He also delivered several essays at pastoral conferences during those years.
He served congregations in Burlington, N.C., Rock Falls, Ill., Garland, Tex. and Gretna, La., in the LCMS and in Milwaukee, Wis. in the WELS.
A Foundation member, he is now retired, resides in Wisconsin and calls himself a humanist and a freethinker. 


Some of you are wondering, "Where is he going with this theme?"

The cover story cried out for Photoshop.

The Walther Myth. 

In the LCMS especially, but also in WELS and the ELS, the Myth of the Great Walther has a daily impact on the thought, words, and deeds of the leaders.

  • Missouri is not honest about when their sect began, because the real beginning was the house arrest of Bishop Martin Stephan and his orders to the Walther circle and others to ship off to America. They believed they were the only Means of Grace in Europe.
  • Missouri denies that the Great Walther followed and carried out discipline for a known adulterer with syphilis, finally robbing and kidnapping his bishop when the time was right.
  • The LCMS, ELS, and WELS have continued to worship Walther and emulate his dictatorial control of pastors, laity, congregations, and synods.
  • The dishonest brutality visited upon Stephan is still the model for today, where church leaders kick people out who no longer serve their purposes.
  • Criminal sexual conduct is no problem for these leaders. Scandals are covered up and lied about. ELCA routinely puts out news releases about leaders who transgress, but the "conservatives" do not admit to anything. (ELCA is not totally honest, but more honest, even admitting they lost a $40 million lawsuit from ordaining a known predator.)
  • Stealing land, money, congregations - routine for all three sects. The most spectacular was kicking out Historic St. John Lutheran Church in Milwaukee and then stealing the land and endowment years later. Thank you Mark Jeske and Mark Schroeder. Walther, who stole land from his bishop, would be proud.