The Glory Has Departed


Norma Boeckler, Artist in Residence

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Friday, August 12, 2016

Seasonal Lutherans Disobey 2 Timothy 4:2 -
Proclaim the Word. Be Urgent Best-Timesly, Worst-Timesly.




2 Timothy 4:2King James Version (KJV)

Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.

I learned long ago that for many stalwart Lutherans, there is a "right time."
A layman asked a well known LCMS figure to address a doctrinal issue. The celebrity said, "I would, but it is not the right time. I have to wait for the right time."
That is used so often that clergy nod their heads solemnly, acknowledging the importance of "the right time." The layman said to me, "That is ridiculous."
The use of this phrase shows once again that Lutherans no longer teach or believe in the efficacy of the Word. They seldom mention efficacy, if they even realize there is profound, consistent Biblical teaching on the topic. Lutheran leaders trust their political instincts, their ability to network with the right people, and their proficiency in ducking issues.
Pfotenhauer, the last conservative LCMS Synod President said, "Resist the beginnings." His grandson is an ELCA pastor. who took his congregation from the Missouri Synod into Shelob's Lair. The great-grandson is a politician's grandson.
Ever since old Pfotenhauer spoke those timeless words, few beginnings have been resisted in the LCMS or anywhere else, because a right time to resist seldom occurred.

The Greek terms are concise and dramatic, and I hope to capture their meaning in the future Living Surfer Dude Paraphrase of the Bible, a book so easy to understand that seminarians will say, "Why study Greek, bro? The work is already done for us. And it rocks."
The phrases are concise, staccato commands:
  • Proclaim the Word - imperative.
  • Be urgent - imperative. επιστηθι
  • At the best time - one Greek adverb, best-timeslyευκαιρως
  • At the worst time - one Greek adverb, worst-timselyακαιρως
κηρυξον τον λογον επιστηθι ευκαιρως ακαιρως ελεγξον επιτιμησον παρακαλεσον εν παση μακροθυμια και διδαχη

Here we can see the shocking truth of Paul's command - the time value has been removed. Ministers are to proclaim the Word of God at all times, not simply at the best time.

If Luther himself had followed the current standards, the Christian Church would no longer exist in any form. The Lutheran Reformation burned and raged throughout Europe and made people face the truth and utter falsehood, the Spirit in the Word cutting sharper than any double-edged sword. The Reformation did not establish the Lutheran Church or Protestantism in general. Both were spewed out of the herpetic mouth of Holy Mother Rome.

Rome had to face some reform itself, because corruption was so deep that Borgia Pope became a derogatory word understood by anyone with a little church history background. The Christian Church had lost almost all credibility during that time, so the power of the Spirit in the Word separated the wormy flour from the good flour, which was good for everyone involved.

I can count a number of famous Lutherans who have joined the Church of Rome - or Eastern Orthodoxy - during my short life. The conversion of Richard J. Neuhaus (son of the LCMS pastor we knew from Ontario) led to many other convesions -he was joined by Jaroslav Pelikan in Eastern Orthodoxy. One should pause to consider why the senior editor of Luther's Works would join another branch of Christianity altogether, at the end of his career, and donate $500,000 to their seminary. Did that not mark the beginning of the end?

Ironic note - when I contacted an Eastern Orthodox priest in researching Glende's give-away of a great church location on the Illinois university campus, the minister who took over the property invited me to consider EO in a kindly and friendly way. He did not stick a thumb in my eye, as LCMS, WELS, and CLC (sic) leaders do.

Not trusting the Word leads us to say, "I could say or write this, but bad things will happen to me if I do." In fact, many have objected to something and found themselves canned and trashed by their Lutheran sect. The problem is, the ministers want back in, which is a big mistake. If they cannot get themselves reconciled in their old sect, they give up altogether. And yet, teaching the Word of God will gather a congregation.

When I worked at Walmart for three months I found out that a number of older men, retired from great careers, were also working part-time. They wanted something to do, and they did not look down on becoming greeters or having another basic job. I learned a lot and had a great time. Why would an expelled but faithful pastor look down on being a tent-maker like Paul? Oh yes, that is only for a sermon illustration. Let's not take Paul's example seriously.

Preaching the Word at the best and worst times definitely brings the cross. However, innumerable blessings also grow from that experience. These blessings cannot be predicted or imagined in advance. Sometimes they arrive slowly, so slowly it seems forever. At other times many come in a rush.

This is an indication of what came from J. S. Bach's
Lutheran Orthodoxy.