The Glory Has Departed


Norma Boeckler, Artist-in-Residence

Bethany Lutheran Worship on
Ustream


NT Greek Lessons - Thursdays, 7 PM.

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

email: greg.jackson.edlp@gmail.com,
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Luther's Sermons, Lenker Series
Book of Concord Selections
Bente's Historical Introductions,
and Martin Chemnitz Press Books

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Sexagesima Sunday, 2016.
The Parable of the Sower and the Seed

 Norma Boeckler - The Sower

Sexagesima Sunday, 2016

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson


Bethany Lutheran Church, 10 AM Central Time


The Hymn #190               Christ the Lord                       
The Confession of Sins
The Absolution
The Introit p. 16
The Gloria Patri
The Kyrie p. 17
The Gloria in Excelsis
The Salutation and Collect p. 19
The Epistle and Gradual       
The Gospel              
Glory be to Thee, O Lord!
Praise be to Thee, O Christ!
The Nicene Creed p. 22
The Sermon Hymn # 339               All Hail the Power              

The Power of Creation - The Word

The Hymn # 308                    Invited Lord                          
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 #46              On What Has Now Been Sown               


2 Corinthians 11:19 For ye suffer fools gladly, seeing ye yourselves are wise.
20 For ye suffer, if a man bring you into bondage, if a man devour you, if a man take of you, if a man exalt himself, if a man smite you on the face.  21 I speak as concerning reproach, as though we had been weak. Howbeit whereinsoever any is bold, (I speak foolishly,) I am bold also.  22 Are they Hebrews? soam I. Are they Israelites? so am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? so am I.  23 Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool ) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft.  24 Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.  25 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;  26 In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen,in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;  27 In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.  28 Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.  29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not?  30 If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities.  31 The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is blessed for evermore, knoweth that I lie not.  32 In Damascus the governor under Aretas the king kept the city of the Damascenes with a garrison, desirous to apprehend me:  33 And through a window in a basket was I let down by the wall, and escaped his hands. 12:1 It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord.  2 I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.  3 And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;)  4 How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.  5 Of such an one will I glory: yet of myself I will not glory, but in mine infirmities.  6 For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me.  7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. 8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.  9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

By Norma Boeckler

KJV Luke 8:4 And when much people were gathered together, and were come to him out of every city, he spake by a parable: 

5 A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it. 

6 And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture. 

7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it. 

8 And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. 9 And his disciples asked him, saying, What might this parable be? 

10 And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand. 11 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. 12 Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. 13 They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away. 14 And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection. 15 But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.


The Power of Creation - The Word

KJV Luke 8:4 And when much people were gathered together, and were come to him out of every city, he spake by a parable: 

5 A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it.

This parable is one of the best illustrations of Jesus as the Creating Word using that Creation to teach people about the Word of God.

The purpose of the parable is clear. People wonder about why so few believe when the Gospel is proclaimed with such abandon, much like seed being sown. Some of us still sow seed, whether replanting grass or dealing with easy to grow small seeds, like lettuce.

No gardener and no farmer can take the time - and even if could - examine each seed for whether it will produce part of the crop. The outcome remains mysterious, no matter how much we know. My grandfather earned an agricultural degree at the University of Illinois. He did quite well until the Depression and FDR's takeover of agriculture. As much as my grandfather knew, he could not predict that aspect of farming.

On a much smaller scale, we had torrential rains last summer that changed many of my notions about what worked in gardening. The rains and rabbits reduced my food crops to almost nothing, but some grew anyway. The corn was a bit shaded but grew well and filled out. It must have been good corn, because the squirrels harvested most of it.

In this case, the sower broadcasts the seed and some of it falls on the well worn path, where it really cannot find a place to root. Soil is light and full of air pockets. When we trample it down, the soil creatures diminish and the surface becomes as hard as  a clay pot at times. Our clay soil turns white in the sun.

2. The first class of disciples are those who hear the Word but neither understand nor esteem it. And these are not the mean people in the world, but the greatest, wisest and the most saintly, in short they are the greatest part of mankind; for Christ does not speak here of those who persecute the Word nor of those who fail to give their ear to it, but of those who hear it and are students of it, who also wish to be called true Christians and to live in Christian fellowship with Christians and are partakers of baptism and the Lord’s Supper. But they are of a carnal heart, and remain so, failing to appropriate the Word of God to themselves, it goes in one ear and out the other. Just like the seed along the wayside did not fall into the earth, but remained lying on the ground in the wayside, because the road was tramped hard by the feet of man and beast and it could not take root.

3. Therefore Christ says the devil cometh and taketh away the Word from their heart, that they may not believe and be saved. What power of Satan this alone reveals, that hearts, hardened through a worldly mind and life, lose the Word and let it go, so that they never understand or confess it; but instead of the Word of God Satan sends false teachers to tread it under foot by the doctrines of men. For it stands here written both that it was trodden under foot, and the birds of the heaven devoured it. The birds Christ himself interprets as the messengers of the devil, who snatch away the Word and devour it, which is done when he turns and blinds their hearts so that they neither understand nor esteem it, as St. Paul says in 2 Timothy 4:4: “They will turn away their ears from the truth, and turn aside unto fables.” By the treading under foot of men Christ means the teachings of men, that rule in our hearts, as he says in Matthew 5:13 also of the salt that has lost its savor, it is cast out and trodden under foot of men; that is, as St. Paul says in 2 Thessalonians 2:11, they must believe a lie because they have not been obedient to the truth.

This is exactly what happens in sowing seed and also what happens in teaching and preaching the Word. One person came to my ordination "just to be seen" as he told me. At least he was honest. The Word falls on hardened and indifferent people and finds no root. That is not the fault of the seed (the Word) but a natural occurrence when there is no hungering and thirsting for righteousness. 

Just the opposite is the example of a mother and daughter who never missed a service. The mother simply hung on every word of the sermon. She had a very trouble marriage with an addict, the father serving as a role model for the son, who was also an addict. This situation is a great set-up for people feeling worthless and punished. And here the Word was always welcome, embraced like food after a long fast. Luther often said, the Gospel is not for the secure, powerful, and wise, but for the weak, afflicted, and crushed souls who hear it with gladness. As we can see with the interactions with Jesus - the great and holy always found fault and were greatly offended. The open sinners were attracted to His grace, His gentleness, and His message of faith in Him.

6 And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture. 

I have done this, seeing seed that fell from a bird feeder onto a flat roof with organic matter and some rainwater. Organic matter is very spongy and offers a great start. Look at the great garden in your rain gutters right now. The leaves stop the rainwater from going down, hold onto it, and rot in place, a great situation for a seed that needs water and nutrition with plenty of sun. We had a forest of maple trees at our house in Moline - all in the gutters. Big mama maple tree dominated the yard and broadcast her seeds in all directions.

Seed that sprouts so easily in shallow soil will also fry when the sun dries out that little bit of soil. Many are converted by the Word and find great joy in its message of forgiveness received in faith through God's grace. When affliction comes in the form of everyday difficulties and hatred of the Word, that joy dries up and turns to bitterness and rejection.

They also know that they are free from the bondage of the law, of their conscience and of human teachings; but when it comes to the test that they must suffer harm, disgrace and loss of life or property, then they fall and deny it; for they have not root enough, and are not planted deep enough in the soil. Hence they are like the growth on a rock, which springs forth fresh and green, that it is a pleasure to behold it and it awakens bright hopes. But when the sun shines hot it withers, because it has no soil and moisture, and only rock is there. So these do; in times of persecution they deny or keep silence about the Word, and work, speak and suffer all that their persecutors mention or wish, who formerly went forth and spoke, and confessed with a fresh and joyful spirit the same, while there was still peace and no heat, so that there was hope they would bear much fruit and serve the people. For these fruits are not only the works, but more the confession, preaching and spreading of the Word, so that many others may thereby be converted and the kingdom of God be developed.

A great number of Christians today are nominal (in name only) and at the point of being turned into apostates.
  • Is a brother pastor being kicked out for teaching the truth? They join the leaders in shunning him and offer not one drop of compassion or help. Some call up and say, "You had it coming to you."
  • Is the congregation hearing a boatload of false doctrine from a charismatic pastor or teacher? They know it is wrong but feel it is better to be silent than to be on the wrong side of popularity.
  • Is the congregation viewed as a good place to be for business or professional reasons? 
  • Is the synod making it so attractive to be quiet and accept the promotion to the plum congregation?
This answers the issue of faith withering away, not overnight, but in steps, until there is only the shadow and the faith-words left, without producing fruit, and often eager to prosecute the Gospel in favor of false doctrine.

 7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it. 

6. The third class are those who hear and understand the Word, but still it falls on the other side of the road, among the pleasures and cares of this life, so that they also do nothing with the Word. And there is quite a large multitude of these; for although they do not start heresies, like the first, but always possess the absolutely pure Word, they are also not attacked on the left as the others with opposition and persecution; yet they fall on the right side, and it is their ruin that they enjoy peace and good days. Therefore they do not earnestly give themselves to the Word, but become indifferent and sink in the cares, riches and pleasures of this life, so that they are of no benefit to any one. Therefore they are like the seed that fell among the thorns. Although it is not rocky but good soil; not wayside but deeply plowed soil; yet, the thorns will not let it spring up, they choke it. Thus these have all in the Word that is needed for their salvation, but they do not make any use of it, and they rot in this life in carnal pleasures. To these belong those who hear the Word but do not bring under subjection their flesh. They know their duty but do it not, they teach but do not practice what they teach, and are this year as they were last.

I learned my lesson with this, last summer. The rule is - roses like to grow alone. When I was done in the sunny garden I had a neat row of roses ready to grow and bloom. But little did I realize that sun, watering, the straw bales, and weeds would create a jungle around them. They struggled to produce the most beautiful roses, but it was almost too much for them.

Here the problem was too much of everything, worms, slugs, sun, water, and creatures. The roses were surrounded and distracted from their mission.

This class of hearers are those who are distracted from the Word of God by cares, riches, and the hedonism of this world. I have nothing against spectator sports, but sometimes I am simply stunned by the money and energy devoted to it. I watched skating from some gigantic place where the iced, curved track rose up and down, giving skaters a real challenge to complete it. This was simply to create a kind of football stadium for skating enthusiasts.

Others feel they have to work seven days a week, and they draw their greatest love from that work. 

8 And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. 9 And his disciples asked him, saying, What might this parable be?

This shows that the parable was meant for added instruction. That is, it was not an evangelism message but one for believers who would be trained in the meaning of each section.

This parable addresses the question of why so much is done to broadcast the Word and yet the results seem so slender at times.

The Sower parable also discusses the kinds of problems that affect the growth of the Word in the hearts of people.

Finally, the parable encourages everyone to stop judging the process and do more with broadcasting the Word of God. We all need that boost about the power and efficacy of the Word, because we may wonder about the effect of our parenting through the Word. And ministers often fall prey to measuring how well they are doing.

Thy Strong Word is a good example of an apparent total failure. No one would review it (except for one negative review in CN). I was not allowed to advertise it in Logia - using my own money. Etc. And yet years later people I may never meet say they love to study the free version I have posted.

We were banned at Emmaus, yet that attitude seems to propel the Word forward, having its own divine energy and power.

So Jesus is teaching us to trust in the Word, avoid our own problems in the Word being brought to perfection and becoming fruitful in us, and continue broadcasting recklessly, carelessly, heedlessly, because the Word always accomplishes God's will, as Isaiah teaches.


Luther - False Teacher's Described in His Sermon



PAUL’S DESCRIPTION OF FALSE TEACHERS. Sexagesima Epistle Sermon. Lenker.

9. Note the master hand wherewith Paul portrays the character of false teachers, showing how they betray their avarice and ambition. First, they permit true teachers to lay the foundation and perform the labor; then they come and desire to do the work over, to reap the honors and the benefits.

Glende had to have the right building for his ego, so he sold this one
for a song and went on synod welfare.
Jeske and Brug got Glende his big church building,
which Glende abandoned before the structure was finished.


They bring about that the name and the work of the true teachers receive no regard and credit; what they themselves have brought — that is the thing. They make the poor, simple-minded people to stare open-mouthed while they win them with flowery words and seduce them with fair speeches, as mentioned in Romans 16:18. These are the idle drones that consume the honey they will not and cannot make. That this was the condition of affairs at Corinth is very clear from this epistle — indeed, from both epistles. Paul continually refers to others having followed him and built upon the foundation he has laid. Messengers of the devil, he terms them.

10. And such false teachers have the good fortune that all their folly is tolerated, even though the people realize how these act the fool, and rather rudely at that. They have success with it all, and people bear with them.

But no patience is to be exercised toward true teachers! Their words and their works are watched with the intent of entrapping them, as complained of in Psalm 17:9 and elsewhere. When only apparently a mote is found, it is exaggerated to a very great beam. No toleration is granted. There is only judgment, condemnation and scorn. Hence the office of preaching is a grievous one. He who has not for his sole motive the benefit of his neighbor and the glory of God, cannot continue therein. The true teacher must labor, and permit others to have the honor and profit of his efforts, while he receives injury and derision for his reward. Here the saying holds true: “To love without guerdon, nor wearying of the burden.” Only the Spirit of God can inspire such love. To flesh and blood it is impossible.

Paul here scores the false prophets when he says, “Ye suffer fools gladly”; in other words, “I know the false preachers often act as fools, nor can they help it, because their teaching is false; yet ye excuse them.”

Kelm copied Fuller Seminary slavishly,
and his Church and Changer group accused everyone else of not being with it,
not being creative, not hard-working like them,
not caring about Holy Mother WELS' future.

11. In the second place such teachers are disposed to bring the people into downright bondage and to bind their conscience by forcing laws upon them and teaching work-righteousness. The effect is that fear impels them to do what has been pounded into them, as if they were bond-slaves, while their teachers command fear and attention. But the true teachers, they who give us freedom of conscience and create us lords, we soon forget, even despise. The dominion of false teachers is willingly tolerated and patiently endured; indeed, it is given high repute. All those conditions are punishments sent by God upon them who do not receive the Gospel with love and gratitude. Christ says ( John 5:43): “I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye shall receive.” The Pope, with his spiritual office, became our lord, and we became his captives, through his doctrine of human works. And our present-day schismatics pursue the same object with their fanciful doctrine concerning their works.

DP Jon Buchholz replaced another DP noted for kicking pastors out,
and he began doing the same thing - bu the Changers are spared.
Buchholz lied to the New Mexico congregation and then
tried - and fail - to steal their property through foreclosure.


12. In the third place, false teachers flay their disciples to the bone, and cut them out of house and home, but even this is taken and endured. Such, I opine, has been our experience under the Papacy. But true preachers are even denied their bread. Yet this all perfectly squares with justice! For, since men fail to give unto those from whom they receive the Word of God, and permit the latter to serve them at their own expense, it is but fair they should give the more unto preachers of lies, whose instruction redounds to their injury. What is withheld from Christ must be given in tenfold proportion to the devil. They who refuse to give the servant of the truth a single thread, must be oppressed by liars.

Bad enough to steal the property of a church just kicked out,
but to grab what was long ago thrown out?
Funny how often Mark Jeske's name comes up
in WELS/LCMS examples of false doctrine and perfidy.


13. Fourth, false apostles forcibly take more than is given them. They seize whatever and whenever they can, thus enhancing their insatiable avarice.

This, too, is excused in them. Thus, the great establishments of the Pope did not suffice for him; with various artifices, bulls, laws and indulgences, he has brought under his power land and people and all they possess, exhausting the world by usury. And so it should be, for this state of affairs was richly deserved by men for despising the Gospel and its preachers.

Mark and Avoid Jeske
teaches self-love and fellowship with everyone except Lutherans,
so Thrivent Insurance pays him $140k for being on the board and
making things worse.
The Institute of Lutheran Theology, ELCA-based,
trains women for ordination
and ELS Jay Webber for the ELCA dogma of universal salvation.
Thrivent Choice - a hint at their pro-abortion stance
or a reference to choice meat being second-rate?

14. Fifth, these deceitful teachers, not satisfied with having acquired our property, must exalt themselves above us and lord it over us. Not only do they possess all property, but they must for that very reason become our superiors; must have precedence and receive honor. We bow our knees before them, worship them and kiss their feet. And we suffer it all, yes, with fearful reverence regard it just and right. And it is just and right, for why did we not honor the Gospel by accepting and preserving it?


What can anyone say, except,
"What did WELS do to deserve these clowns, bullies,
camp-followers, and con-artists?"
15. Sixth, our false apostles justly reward us by smiting us in the face. That is, they consider us inferior to dogs; they abuse us, and treat us as footrags.

I venture to say we became sensible of such treatment when, under the Papacy, we were readily put in the van, cursed, condemned and delivered to the devil. We endured it all, suffered most patiently, and yielded up property, honor, body and soul. Fault in a sincere teacher, however, could by no means be tolerated. Very well, then; God is just, and it is his judgment that we must honor the messengers of Satan a thousand times more than his own, and do and suffer everything. “I speak by way of disparagement [speak as concerning reproach], as thought we had been weak.”


The congregations he kicked out or hated out
are begging to return, hoping the terms of surrender
are not to burdensome.
Thus the hirelings feed their sheep to the wolves.

Luther's Epistle Sermon for Sexagesima Sunday.
2 Corinthians 11:19ff.


Luther's Epistle Sermon for the SECOND SUNDAY BEFORE LENT. 2 Corinthiasn 11:19-12:9


2 CORINTHIANS 11:19-33; 2 CORINTHIANS 12:1-9. 19 For ye bear with the foolish gladly, being wise yourselves. For ye bear with a man, if he bringeth you into bondage, if he devoureth you, if he taketh you captive, if he exalteth himself, if he smiteth you on the face. 21 I speak by way of disparagement, as though we had been weak. Yet whereinsoever any is bold (I speak in foolishness), I am bold also. 22 Are they Hebrews? so am I. Are they Israelites? so am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? so am I. Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as one beside himself) I more; in labors more abundantly, in prisons more abundantly, in stripes above measure, in deaths oft. 24 Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. 25 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day have I been in the deep; 26 in journeyings often, in perils of rivers, in perils of robbers, in perils from my countrymen, in perils from the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; 27 in labor and travail, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. 28 Besides those things that are without, there is that which presseth upon me daily, anxiety for all the churches. 29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is caused to stumble, and I burn not? 30 If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things that concern my weakness. 31 The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, he who is blessed for evermore knoweth that I lie not. 32 In Damascus the governor under Aretas the king guarded the city of the Damascenes in order to take me: 33 and through a window was I let down in a basket by the wall, and escaped his hands. 1 I must needs glory, though it is not expedient; but I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord. 2 I know a man in Christ, fourteen years ago (whether in the body, I know not; or whether out of the body, I know not; God knoweth), such a one caught up even to the third heaven. 3 And I know such a man (whether in the body, or apart from the body, I know not; God knoweth), 4 how that he was caught up into Paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter. 5 On behalf of such a one will I glory: but on mine own behalf I will not glory, save in my weakness. 6 For if I should desire to glory, I shall not be foolish; for I shall speak the truth: but I forbear, lest any man should account of me above that which he seeth me to be, or heareth from me. 7 And by reason of the exceeding greatness of the revelations, That I should not be exalted overmuch, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, that I should not be exalted overmuch. 8 Concerning, this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. 9 And he hath said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my power is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

PAUL’S GLORY IN HIS LABOR AND SUFFERING.

1. They who praise themselves are fools according to the views and speech of the world. The saying is, “Self-praise is unsavory.” It is forbidden by Solomon in Proverbs 27:2: “Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth.” And Christ says ( John 8:54), “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing.” Paul acknowledges that he had to become a fool, something for which he had no desire, by reason of the necessity laid upon him to praise himself. The false apostles, as false spirits habitually do, delivered great, fine, splendid speeches to the multitude, in their vainglorious attempt to raise themselves above Paul, thereby to make contemptible and insignificant that apostle and his doctrine.

2. Paul was little concerned that he personally should be lightly esteemed and the false apostles highly honored, but he could not bear to have the Gospel perish in that way and his Corinthian converts seduced. Therefore he exerts himself to the utmost, at the risk of becoming a fool by his boasting. But he, in his strong spiritual wisdom, glories in a masterly manner, and skilfully puts to shame the boasts of the false apostles.

First, he shows them he can glory in the very things wherein they glory, and in even more. At the same time he declares himself a fool for glorying.

He might have said: “Foolish, indeed, are they, and boorish creatures, who glory in themselves. They should feel shame to the very depth of their heart. No true, sane man boasts of what he is. The wicked and the frivolous do that.” But the apostle’s attack is not quite so severe and harsh.

He addresses them civilly and delicately in that he makes himself appear a fool, as if to say: “Look! how becoming self-praise is in myself, although I have grounds for my glorying. But how much more disgraceful for you to boast when perhaps none of your claims are true.” So Paul wears the foolscap, that those coarse fools might have a mirror in which to behold their real selves. This is wisely making foolishness minister to the good of the neighbor and to the honor of the Gospel. To the just, even folly is wisdom, just as all things are pure and holy unto him.

3. Second, Paul deals the false apostles a stout blow when he shows them to be ignorant of the grounds in which a true Christian seeks his glory. For, as he teaches them, a Christian glories in the things whereof other men are ashamed — in the cross and in his sufferings. This is the true art of glorying. To this he refers when he says ( Galatians 6:14), “Far be it from me to glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.” But the false apostles are careful to avoid glorying thus; for they flee with alacrity from reproach and affliction, rather seeking a life of ease and honor. They ever would have prominence over their fellows, be superior to and unlike others — certain indication that they lack the right spirit and are not of God.

Christ testifies ( John 5:44), “How can ye believe, who receive glory one of another, and the glory that cometh from the only God ye seek not?”

4. The main point of this lesson is that in a preacher or a teacher no vice is more injurious and venomous than vainglory. It is true, however, that avarice also is an evil characteristic of false teachers, being found hand in hand with vainglory. For the sake of profit, for the purpose of gain, the false teachers aspire to prominence, to honor and position. With them, nothing but current coin will pass, and what does not pay dividend is unprofitable. Any other vice is more endurable in a preacher than these two, though none is compatible with goodness, blamelessness and perfection being required in the ministry according to Paul, Titus 1:7.

This is not surprising, for the two vices under consideration are essentially and directly opposed to the nature of the ministry. The ministry is ordained to have as its aim the glory of God and its promotion. Psalm 19:1 affirms, “The heavens declare the glory of God.” And ministers must, for God’s glory, suffer reproach and shame. Jeremiah complains ( Jeremiah 20:8), “The word of Jehovah is made a reproach unto me, and a derision, all the day.” The world will not endure the Word. For him who in preaching seeks his own honor, it is impossible to remain in the right path and preach the pure Gospel. Consequently he avoids striving for God’s honor; he must preach what pleases the people, what brings honor to himself and magnifies his skill and wisdom.

5. Avarice, too, is, according to its very nature, opposed to the interests of the ministry. Just as the ministry is to be devoted to God’s honor at the expense of our own, so is it to be devoted to the interests of our neighbor and not to our own. Otherwise it is an injury rather than a benefit. With the false teacher seeking only his own good, it is impossible for him to preach the truth. He is compelled to speak what is pleasing to men in order to gratify his appetites. Therefore Paul ( Romans 16:18) says of such preachers that they serve their own bellies. And in many places the Scriptures reprove avarice. Let him, then, who would be a preacher guard vigilantly against vainglory and avarice. But, should he feel himself in the clutch of these sins, let him avoid the ministry. For under such conditions he will accomplish no good; he will only dishonor God, seduce souls and be a thief and robber in the acquisition of property. With this explanation, the lesson is now easily understood, but we will consider a few points.” “For ye bear with the foolish gladly, being wise yourselves.”

6. Paul commends the Corinthians for their patience and wisdom in six points: as wise men, they cheerfully endure the foolish; they bear with those who bring them into bondage and oppress them; with those who devour them; with those who take from them [or take them captive]; with those who exalt themselves; with those who smite them in the face. But his commendation is meant to pave the way for his folly — to prepare them to suffer him the more readily. He would say, “Since you suffer so much from them who injure you — and you are wise in that — I trust you will bear with me who have wrought you only good, when I act the fool for a little; particularly when my object in it is your good — to preserve the Gospel among you in opposition to the false apostles.” Note how tenderly and patiently he deals with the Corinthians when he might have severely reproved them for tolerating the false apostles. He commends them as does a father a timid child, and yet, while commending them he censures both them and their false teachers. He handles them as tenderly as if he held a raw egg in his hand, in order not to distract or terrify them.

7. Paul delivers a masterly stroke when with the same words he praises the Corinthians and rebukes them and their false apostles. His commendation of their patience is in reality reproof, blows and wounds for the false teachers. He would say: “I have preached the Gospel to you at my own expense and jeopardy. By my labor have ye attained to its blessing. Ye have done nothing for me in return, and I have been no tax upon you. Now, upon my departure, others come and exploit you, and seek honor and profit from my labor. They would be your masters and I am to be ignored. They boast as if the accomplishment were all theirs. Of these ye must be disciples and pupils.

Their preaching ye must accept, while my Gospel must become odious. My case is that of the bee who labors to make honey and then the idle drones and the earthworms come and consume the sweet not of their making. In me is illustrated Christ’s proverb ( John 4:37), ‘one soweth, and another reapeth.’ Continually one enters into the fruits of another’s labor. One must toil and incur danger, while another reaps the benefit in security.

8. “Ye can suffer these false apostles, though they be fools and teach only foolishness. In this ye display wisdom and patience. But ye do not so suffer me, who taught you true wisdom. Nor do ye permit me much enjoyment of my labor. Further, ye can permit them to make servants of you, to be your lords and to order you to do their bidding. And ye obey. But I who have made myself your servant, I who have served you without profit to myself, that ye might be lords with Christ, must now be ignored and all my labors be lost. They rule you at their pleasure, and their pleasure is all they consult. You suffer yourselves to be devoured. That is, your property is consumed; for ye bestow it upon them abundantly, as Psalm 14:4 has it, ‘Who eat up my people.’ Upon such as these ye can shower goods and gifts, and can permit them to devour you as they please. But I have never enjoyed aught of your property. All my service has been without recompense, that ye might become rich in Christ. “Again, ye suffer the false teachers to take from you beyond your consent; to exalt themselves above you, to esteem themselves better than you and me, and to exercise their arrogance upon you.

But ye deal not so with me, who have sacrificed my own substance, and have taken from others, that I might bring the Gospel to you; who have not exalted myself above any, but have yielded to all and served them. The false apostles permit you to serve them; in fact, trample you beneath their feet. They even smite you in the face; that is, they reproach you publicly, put you to shame, and abuse you with rude and insolent words. They act as if ye were beasts of burden and they your real masters. All this ye suffer. But my patience with you, my parental tenderness, past and present, is remembered no more. Paul is now represented as having wrought no good at Corinth.”

PAUL’S DESCRIPTION OF FALSE TEACHERS.

9. Note the master hand wherewith Paul portrays the character of false teachers, showing how they betray their avarice and ambition. First, they permit true teachers to lay the foundation and perform the labor; then they come and desire to do the work over, to reap the honors and the benefits.

They bring about that the name and the work of the true teachers receive no regard and credit; what they themselves have brought — that is the thing. They make the poor, simple-minded people to stare open-mouthed while they win them with flowery words and seduce them with fair speeches, as mentioned in Romans 16:18. These are the idle drones that consume the honey they will not and cannot make. That this was the condition of affairs at Corinth is very clear from this epistle — indeed, from both epistles. Paul continually refers to others having followed him and built upon the foundation he has laid. Messengers of the devil, he terms them.

10. And such false teachers have the good fortune that all their folly is tolerated, even though the people realize how these act the fool, and rather rudely at that. They have success with it all, and people bear with them.

But no patience is to be exercised toward true teachers! Their words and their works are watched with the intent of entrapping them, as complained of in Psalm 17:9 and elsewhere. When only apparently a mote is found, it is exaggerated to a very great beam. No toleration is granted. There is only judgment, condemnation and scorn. Hence the office of preaching is a grievous one. He who has not for his sole motive the benefit of his neighbor and the glory of God, cannot continue therein. The true teacher must labor, and permit others to have the honor and profit of his efforts, while he receives injury and derision for his reward. Here the saying holds true: “To love without guerdon, nor wearying of the burden.” Only the Spirit of God can inspire such love. To flesh and blood it is impossible.

Paul here scores the false prophets when he says, “Ye suffer fools gladly”; in other words, “I know the false preachers often act as fools, nor can they help it, because their teaching is false; yet ye excuse them.”

11. In the second place such teachers are disposed to bring the people into downright bondage and to bind their conscience by forcing laws upon them and teaching work-righteousness. The effect is that fear impels them to do what has been pounded into them, as if they were bond-slaves, while their teachers command fear and attention. But the true teachers, they who give us freedom of conscience and create us lords, we soon forget, even despise. The dominion of false teachers is willingly tolerated and patiently endured; indeed, it is given high repute. All those conditions are punishments sent by God upon them who do not receive the Gospel with love and gratitude. Christ says ( John 5:43): “I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye shall receive.” The Pope, with his spiritual office, became our lord, and we became his captives, through his doctrine of human works. And our present-day schismatics pursue the same object with their fanciful doctrine concerning their works.

12. In the third place, false teachers flay their disciples to the bone, and cut them out of house and home, but even this is taken and endured. Such, I opine, has been our experience under the Papacy. But true preachers are even denied their bread. Yet this all perfectly squares with justice! For, since men fail to give unto those from whom they receive the Word of God, and permit the latter to serve them at their own expense, it is but fair they should give the more unto preachers of lies, whose instruction redounds to their injury. What is withheld from Christ must be given in tenfold proportion to the devil. They who refuse to give the servant of the truth a single thread, must be oppressed by liars.

13. Fourth, false apostles forcibly take more than is given them. They seize whatever and whenever they can, thus enhancing their insatiable avarice.

This, too, is excused in them. Thus, the great establishments of the Pope did not suffice for him; with various artifices, bulls, laws and indulgences, he has brought under his power land and people and all they possess, exhausting the world by usury. And so it should be, for this state of affairs was richly deserved by men for despising the Gospel and its preachers.

14. Fifth, these deceitful teachers, not satisfied with having acquired our property, must exalt themselves above us and lord it over us. Not only do they possess all property, but they must for that very reason become our superiors; must have precedence and receive honor. We bow our knees before them, worship them and kiss their feet. And we suffer it all, yes, with fearful reverence regard it just and right. And it is just and right, for why did we not honor the Gospel by accepting and preserving it?

15. Sixth, our false apostles justly reward us by smiting us in the face. That is, they consider us inferior to dogs; they abuse us, and treat us as footrags.

I venture to say we became sensible of such treatment when, under the Papacy, we were readily put in the van, cursed, condemned and delivered to the devil. We endured it all, suffered most patiently, and yielded up property, honor, body and soul. Fault in a sincere teacher, however, could by no means be tolerated. Very well, then; God is just, and it is his judgment that we must honor the messengers of Satan a thousand times more than his own, and do and suffer everything. “I speak by way of disparagement [speak as concerning reproach], as thought we had been weak.”

16. There are two ways of interpreting this sentence: First, as meaning: “I speak as one of the weak whose folly you must endure; for which I deserve reproach, since I ought to bear with you.” From such meaning I to this day have seen no cause to swerve. The other interpretation is: “I speak as one reproached — after the manner of the weak.” Or, more fully expressed: “I can speak in two ways of myself and my class: First, with honor, because of our strength in the sight of God and the spiritually-minded, worthy of honor, noble; not weak but strong, able. But I will not at present employ, this way, for we are now despised; we are not known as honorable. And all because of the false prophets. I will, then, present myself in the other light, as I am regarded — despised, held in reproach and disrespect, weak and incapable. But even this condition shall be an occasion of glory for me; my reproach and weakness is more honorable than their honor, power and strength. What would my glory be should my actual strength inspire my speech! “Weakness,” according to Paul’s own later interpretation, implies being regarded worthless, unfit, a failure. The apostle’s meaning, then, is: “I, too, will be one of the boasting fools. You will excuse it in me for I speak from the standpoint of my critics, that of a man contemptible, foolish, incompetent. Before God, however, I feel that I am a quite different being.”

17. And recollect, Paul says, “Because ye are wise, ye suffer fools gladly,” implying that one fool cannot tolerate another. The saying is, “Two fools in one house will not do.” Reason and wisdom are required, to bear with another’s infirmities and to excuse them. “Yet whereinsoever any is bold.”

18. That is, in whatever the false apostles can boast, I can likewise glory.

Here we are shown what is the ground of the false apostles’ boasting: their outward respectability — being of Abraham’s seed, children of Israel, Christ’s preachers. Therein they think to far excel the Corinthians, claiming their doctrine and works to be of greater weight because they have Moses and the prophets for their teachers. But they failed to perceive that their boast is of mere externals, that render no one righteous or better before God. The majority of the Hebrews, of the Israelites, of the seed of Abraham, and of the preachers of Christ are lost. Names are of no consequence; they only make a fine show and serve to seduce the simpleminded.

Paul boasts of his origin and yet derides his boasting, calling it fool’s work. His object is to destroy the boasting of the false prophets, that the people might not be deceived.

19. Note how, even in Paul’s time, great men erred concerning the true sense of the Gospel, and many noble preachers would have estimated Christian life by a merely external appearance and name. The true spiritual preachers must have been few. Should it be strange, then, that in our time sincere preachers are not numerous, and that the majority of ministers riot in what they themselves seem and do? It cannot and shall not be otherwise.

The thievish drones, which are prone to riot, let them riot! We will resist to the utmost of our power, commending the matter to God, who doubtless will grant us sufficient honor and profit, both temporally and eternally, though we must labor gratuitously, accepting injury and derision as our reward. Our adversaries will not long continue their persecutions, for, as Paul says just preceding our lesson, they will eventually receive their deserts.

20. Again, Paul boasts of certain temporal afflictions wherein he excels the false apostles, who suffer nothing, for the sake of either the word or of souls, but only boast of name and person. Among the afflictions he mentions, he names having been a night and a day in the deep. Some refer this allusion to the voyage of which Luke writes ( Acts 27:20-21), when for fourteen days Paul and his companions ate nothing and saw never a star, being day and night continually covered by the surges and waves of the sea. Others think Paul was, like Jonah, personally sunk into the deep sea, though but for a day and a night. Such is the clear meaning of the text.

Yet others interpret it as having reference to a prison or dungeon, because the Greek text makes no mention of the sea — simply “the deep.” “Who is weak, and I am not weak?”

21. Of external afflictions affecting not his own person, but distressing others, Paul mentions two: he is weak if another is weak, and burns if another is offended. Thereby he plainly portrays the ardor of his heart — how full of love he is; the defects and sorrows of others pain him as his own. By “weakness,” I imagine, he means, not bodily infirmity, but weakness of faith. He refers to those who, young in the faith, have a tender and frail conscience, thereby betokening immaturity and feebleness of faith.

He says ( Romans 14:2), “He that is weak eateth herbs”; and in Corinthians 8:12, that we sin against Christ if we wound a weak conscience. These weak ones Paul does not reject. He receives them and conducts himself as if he, too, were weak. He asserts ( 1 Corinthians 9:22), “To the weak I became weak, that I might gain the weak.”

22. This interpretation of the sentence is borne out in his allusion to “that which presseth upon me daily, anxiety for all the churches.” Paul would say: “I exert myself, I have a continual care, I urge and admonish constantly, that offenses and false doctrine may not invade and destroy my planting; may not violate and ruin the weak consciences. As seen in his epistle to the Corinthians, directed against the false apostles, and in that to the Thessalonians, such is his vigilant anxiety to guard them from the tempter that he sends them a special messenger, and he exultingly declares it is life to him to learn of their steadfastness.

23. Likewise, by the assertion that he burns, we are to understand that he is exceedingly grieved and pained if one is offended; that is, if through misleading doctrines or examples one in any wise falls from the faith. Of the offense to faith, he says much in Romans 14. Not desiring to be offended with the offended, as he became weak with the weak, he says: “I burn and sorrow for them.” “I know a man in Christ, fourteen years ago.”

24. Of the translation of Paul into the third heaven many have written, perplexing themselves over what constituted the first, second and third heavens, and the paradise. Paul himself, who had the experience, does not tell, and declares no man can tell, for none may utter the words he heard.

Therefore, we must humbly acknowledge we do not know the nature of these things. And it matters not. Paul does not boast of his experience for the purpose of imparting knowledge to us or of enabling us to duplicate it.

The purpose of his boasting is simply to stop the mouths of the fanatics and to show how paltry was their glory in comparison with his own. Certain it is, however, that Paul was ravished from this life into a life ineffable; otherwise his expression would be meaningless.

PAUL’S THORN IN THE FLESH AND HUMILITY.

“There was given to me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan.”

25. And must this mighty apostle, O merciful God, be subject to trials lest he exalt himself because of his great revelations? Then how should others, how should such infirm beings as we, be free from self-exaltation? Many teachers have explained Paul’s thorn to be the temptations of the flesh. The Latin text is responsible for this interpretation; it reads, “stimulus carnis,” a spear, or thorn for the flesh. Yet that rendering does not do justice to the words. Paul is not in the habit of terming temptations of the flesh “thorns.”

The thorn stands rather for something painful and afflicting. In “a thorn of the flesh” the thought is not of an instrumentality whereby the flesh stings, but of something that stings the flesh. The Greek text impels us to the thought of a thorn for the flesh, or a thorn upon or in the flesh. The idea is much like that in the German proverb, “The clog is bound to the dog’s neck.” We may imagine Paul expressing himself: “As a clog to a dog’s neck, as a ring in a bear’s nose, a bit in a horse’s mouth or a gag in the mouth of a swine, in order to restrain them from running, biting and general mischief, — so is my thorn a clog to my body lest I exalt myself.”

26. But Paul himself explains the nature of the clog, or thorn. He calls it “a messenger of Satan,” a devil, to “buffet” him, or to flay and jog him. Hence a spiritual trial cannot be meant. The explanation appeals to me that the persecutions and sufferings the apostle recounts above constitute the devil’s flaying. Thus his meaning would be: “I have received great revelations, for which reason the clog is bound to the dog; that is, the many dangers and misfortunes with which the angel of the devil buffets and humiliates my body will make me forget to exalt myself. They are the thorn in my flesh, or upon my body; for God will not permit it to come upon my soul.”

27. Yet the text seems to imply some peculiar work of the devil upon Paul’s body, for it says the thorn, or clog, is the messenger Satan employs to beat his body; and also that the apostle diligently but unavailingly thrice besought the Lord to remove it. I do not imagine him praying for the cessation of persecutions in a spirit of unwillingness to suffer them. But since he does not specify the affiction, we must let it remain a secret one, a distress known only to himself. It is enough for us to know that while God had given him great revelations, revelations beyond human ken, he also bound the clog to him — gave him a thorn for his body — to prevent his exaltation of himself; and that the knowledge of the buffetings and flaying caused by this clog, or devil, are likewise beyond human ken. “My power is made perfect in weakness.”

28. It is a strange sort of strength which is weak and by its weakness grows stronger. Who ever heard of weak strength? or more absurd still, that strength is increased by weakness? Paul would here make a distinction between human strength and divine. Human strength increases with enhancement and decreases with enfeeblement. But God’s power — his Word in us — rises in proportion to the pressure it receives. It is characteristic of God the Creator that he creates all things from naught, and again reduces to naught all created things. Human power cannot do this. The power of God is the true palm-wood which buoys itself in proportion as it is burdened and weighted.

29. Note here, “weakness” is not to be understood in a spiritual sense, as on a previous occasion, but externally; as not illness alone, but every sort of evil, misfortune, suffering and persecution calculated to buffet and humble the body. The power of Christ, in connection with which spiritual weakness cannot exist, is invoked against this weakness likewise. He says, “Most gladly will I glory in my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” And his weaknesses he immediately explains as infirmities, injuries, necessities, persecutions and distresses. The thought, then, is:

Christ is not mighty within us, his word and his faith are not strong in us, unless our bodies suffer affliction. The false apostles, however, take excellent care to escape suffering.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

On WELS Abuse - From a Reader

Synod President Mark Schroeder - silent.


Everyone complains about Ichabod and the “perceived” damage it does to the Synod. However, did it ever occur to anyone that if WELS would get off its butt and act when a crime is reported, then victims would seek help first from the Synod and not others? But by its own actions, the Synod forces victims to turn to Ichabod. It’s their fault that so many turn to Ichabod for help! They have no one to blame but themselves. After all, the synod’s response is to ignore. They turn deaf ears to the victims, hoping it will go away. They leave victims with little option except to turn to Ichabod for help. It’s a no-brainer. Of course victims will turn to someone willing to listen! The synod had their chance over and over again and they blew it! You blew it BIG TIME, WELS!

Why is Ichabod the ONLY one listening to the victims? Why is he the only advocating on behalf of the victims? Where is the Synod? Oh, that’s right they are down with their head buried in the sand - pretending it didn’t happen! They have their hands covering their ears yelling loudly, so they can’t hear anything bad… just like a two year old throwing a tantrum. Grow up; get a backbone and listen for heaven’s sake!

Is it ANY surprise then that so many victims turn to Ichabod to get their voice heard? Why are people so shocked? Who else can they turn to? It only makes sense that they continually turn to Ichabod because he is the only one listening. He boldly advocates for them. He doesn’t take “No” for an answer. He doesn’t even take “Hell No” for answer. He refuses to be pushed around when advocating for victim rights. Maybe the synod needs to take some classes from Ichabod on “Victim Sensitivity”. Maybe then they would get it! Of course victims will turn to him for help and a sympathetic ear. He won’t ignore them, like the synod does. He won’t hurt them again, like the synod does. Even the Catholics know how to do it better than our Synod! They make a public statement. They denounce the act. They call it what it is….a CRIME! But does WELS….No! WELS is hiding. WELS is covering up. WELS is heartless to victims. If the synod continually refuses to acknowledge the victims, then they should be PRAISING Ichabod for helping the victims and not condemning him for doing what they FAIL to do! Maybe if the synod gets its act together, and actually does something to help the victims, the victims will start coming to them instead. They have already been hurt and are fearful, so when they are berated and ignored on top of that, you add insult to injury and force them to turn to someone who will listen. The synod hates Ichabod….but Ichabod listens. The Synod says Ichabod does damage… but Ichabod advocates. The Synod says Ichabod is too loud…but Ichabod speaks for those who don’t have a voice. The synod should be thanking Ichabod for picking up their pieces!

Hilarity Continues on SpenerQuest as the Bumpkins Bump into One Another




David Bickel (Drb)
Advanced Member
Username: Drb

Post Number: 864
Registered: 11-2009
Posted on Wednesday, January 27, 2016 - 7:12 am:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post

Pastor Webber’s observation that unity in doctrine is not disturbed by variety in exegesis adds clarity to this debate. He also has a helpful Krauth quote on his site.
http://www.angelfire.com/ny4/djw/lutherantheology. justificationquotes.html

Has anyone written a credible study of Krauth’s position on objective justification?
Dawning Realm
http://www.dawningrealm.org 
***

GJ - Everyone must be deeply moved that SpenerQuest has adopted Jay Webber as the Great Prophet. Do they realize he earned an unaccredited STM from an online ELCA style seminary - where women are prepared for the pastorate and preach to the seminary community?

The SpenerQuest group may realize they have the marks of an abusive cult, especially the most important one - their ability to live with constant dogmatic contradictions.

Their purity measure is based upon harmony with Walther, someone with even less education than former LQ warrior Paul McCain and current resident guru Jay Webber. Walther associated only with Pietistic groups, conventicles with abusive gurus, in Germany. Stephan was the second Pietism guru, and Stephan brought his sex cult over to America so he could enjoy his young female groupies - and syphilis - in peace.

Flash - the confessional group in the General Council taught justification by faith. Yale's famous church historian, Jaroslav Pelikan, editor of Luther's Works, defined justification as - justification by faith.

These poor dweebs obsess about their Halle Pietism but choose to overlook the glaring deficiencies in their education and Biblical knowledge.

Did I predict this in a prophetic Photoshop, years ago?
A child shall lead them - Jay the OJ guy.
All Biblical doctrine is trumped by universal salvation without faith.