Podcasts about Beane

Share on
Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Reddit
Copy link to clipboard
  • 161PODCASTS
  • 337EPISODES
  • 44mAVG DURATION
  • 5WEEKLY NEW EPISODES
  • Oct 17, 2021LATEST

POPULARITY

20112012201320142015201620172018201920202021


Best podcasts about Beane

Latest podcast episodes about Beane

The Gottesdienst Crowd
[Gottesblog] The Flexibility of the Liturgy — Larry Beane

The Gottesdienst Crowd

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 17, 2021 12:40


The Flexibility of the Liturgy The detractors of The Gottesdienst Crowd often create a caricature of our advocacy for liturgy, and then beat the stuffing out of that strawman. They accuse us of simply promoting “what we like.” We have been called “liturgical pietists” and “chancel prancers.” We're accused of legalism and inflexibility. The sad part is that our detractors are missing the great benefits and blessings of the liturgy. We know that the liturgy teaches, as ceremonies are catechetical, according to our confessions. The liturgy is inclusive, as people all around the world can gather together to give praise and glory to God, and to receive His sacred gifts - even if there is a language barrier. The liturgy is truly “unity in diversity” in a good and edifying sense. The liturgy does not exclude young children, the handicapped, people of vastly different cultures, or people suffering with cognitive disabilities. The liturgy doesn't focus on one form of pop music to the exclusion of everyone else outside of one target demographic. The liturgy is portable, requires no special equipment, and can be done in adverse conditions. This year, my congregation, Salem Lutheran Church in Gretna, Louisiana missed the Sunday Divine Service for August 29: the Feast of the Martyrdom of St. John the Baptist. We cancelled service because we found ourselves in the path of what was being predicted to be a possible Category 5 hurricane which was given the name “Ida.” The Feast of the Martyrdom of John was also the 16th anniversary of when we were hit by Hurricane Katrina back in 2005 - two weeks after I received my call to serve at Salem. So those of us who did not evacuate made our preparations, gassed up our generators, prayed, watched, and waited. Our deacon and his wife opened their home to several members of the parish, as they have a whole-house generator. The next day, after the storm hit and passed not far to our west, my wife and I headed over to the deacon's house for fellowship and the mutual consolation of the brethren. I grabbed some hymnals and my Treasury of Daily Prayer. We gathered in the living room, and I led a Matins service. Several of us knew the service, others did not. We simply followed the liturgy in the hymnal, the lectionary in the Treasury, and I read the assigned meditation for the day. The Lord spoke to us in Psalm 29:1-4, 10-11 (which we chanted) . He reminded us of His power over thunder, water, and floods, and that He is enthroned in the heavens: Ascribe to the Lord, O heavenly beings, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength. Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness. The voice of the Lord is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the Lord, over many waters. The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is full of majesty. The Lord sits enthroned over the flood; the Lord sits enthroned as king forever. May the Lord give strength to his people! May the Lord bless[a] his people with peace! These were words of comfort from the Scriptures themselves. There were no puppet show, no gimmicks, no “children's messages”, no jokes, no emotional pop music, and no hipster posing. We did not need a drum kit, guitars, nor even electricity (though we did have that thanks to the generator). We sang “Let All Together Praise Our God” (LSB 389), which takes our attention from ourselves and places it on the Most Holy Trinity, reminding us of our Lord Jesus Christ who “undertakes a great exchange, puts on our human frame, and in return gives us His realm, His glory and His name.” Some of us were were looking at the possibility of complete devastation of their homes and perhaps even massive losses of life in our area. The liturgy is appropriate in good times, bad times, times of joy, times of sorrow, times of intense anxiety, and times of relief. The New Testament reading was 2 Corinthians 8:1-24, in which the apostle exhorts the Christians in Corinth to generosity, and reminds them of the selfless generosity of the churches in Macedonia… in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord, begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints. After the storm, we were grateful to know that our sanctuary stood firm with no damage, but our school and church office buildings have severe roof damage, leaving us in a position of dire need. The Holy Spirit's exhortation to generosity was once again something we needed to hear, as we are going to have to sacrifice for the sake of our church's property. The meditation for the day came from the Apology of the Augsburg Confession, Article 15, reminding us that “No tradition was set up by the Holy Spirit for the purpose of meriting the forgiveness of sins, or righteousness. Rather, they were instituted for the sake of good order in the Church.” My parishioners that gathered to hear the Word of the Lord and to sing the Office of Matins ranged from a boy of nine to folks in their sixties. We come from different walks of life, but are united by the bonds of our confession and our status as baptized children of God in this place, facing these circumstances. We listen to different kinds of music, have different tastes in reading, and have a diversity of hobbies and interests. But we were able to unite around the ancient prayer offices, the constant and unchanging Word, a hymn that pointed us to Jesus, the cross, and the Gospel, and we heard anew the words of our confessions, which indeed are catechetical and confessional, but are also a proclamation and exposition of God's Word. Two days later, we would take the words of Apology 15 to heart as we gathered in our hot and humid sanctuary to celebrate the Feast of St. John's Martyrdom as transferred to the midweek service. We usually hold our midweek Mass at 7:30 pm, but given the lack of power and the 6:00 pm curfew imposed to discourage both looters and driving in the pitch blackness, we moved the service to 4:00 pm. We fired up the generator and used two bright lights to illuminate the inside of the church. We ran a fan to circulate the air a bit. We gathered with hymnals in hand and sang the Common Service (Divine Service Three) a capella. We made a couple conservative changes based on our circumstances: lacking bulletins, we omitted the Introit and the Gradual, and we had no distribution hymns. Other than that, the liturgy was the same as it always is. I preached a sermon based on the text. Our sermon hymn was “By All Your Saints in Warfare” with the appropriate stanza to honor John's martyrdom. We also sang “Now Thank We All Our God” as the opening hymn, and closed with the Common Doxology. Some of my parishioners wore shorts and tee shirts. I wore black pants and a black short-sleeve clergy shirt. I did not wear my usual cassock, alb, and chasuble. I wore a red stole. Traditions indeed provide for order in the church, and order is comforting when hurricanes come and bring destruction and change. Traditions anchor us to that which is unchanging. And yet, we have the Christian freedom to alter or modify traditions based on circumstances. To the contrary of the aforementioned straw man argument aimed at The Gottesdienst Crowd, we confess this flexibility and our Christian liberty, while not willy-nilly tossing our traditions that have served the Church for centuries. Indeed, especially in dire times and circumstances, tradition is a great comfort. Christians can gather in the Divine Service in just about any circumstance, as our Lord instituted a simple, low tech rite: words, bread, wine. And embedded in the requirement of “words” is the liturgy, an unchanging and familiar dialogue between celebrant and people, familiar prayers between the people and God, and the comfort of the Word of God that does not change. The consistency of the liturgy provides us with an anchor when the seas are tossing and turning, when the tempest rages, when death lurks, when the flesh rebels, and when the devil prowls. The old adage Repetitio est mater studiorum (Repetition is the mother of learning) is true. The more we know from memory, the better. Memorizing biblical passages, liturgical rites, and well-worn well-known hymns is a bulwark against tyrants who would conspire to rob our children and grandchildren of their faith. A few weeks ago, the Gottesdienst editors held our annual retreat. Several editors and bloggers had to get back home, and so at the very end, we were left with five of us. We wanted to pray one more time together before our departure. We did not have enough hymnals to go around. That didn't matter. We simply sang the service from memory, even singing in harmony. Liturgy is not just for the Sunday service. It is also for small groups, for families, and for individuals. The Treasury of Daily Prayer is a flexible resource that can be used for family devotions, for the daily office, for the Psalter, for daily Scripture reading, and for meditations to use as one wishes. If one prefers Gregorian Chant, the Brotherhood Prayer Book is an excellent resource. Liturgy can be as simple or as elaborate as circumstances allow. And the Treasury is even accessible on your phone or iPad in the form of the Pray Now app. The liturgy is God's word given voice by both repetition and variety, by both tradition and flexibility. It is portable, requires no special technology or elaborate set-up. It can be memorized, sung by thousands, or it can be prayed silently, spoken, or chanted by an individual. The liturgy reminds us, and allows us to partake in the reality that: The voice of the Lord is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the Lord, over many waters. The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is full of majesty…. May the Lord give strength to His people! May the Lord bless His people with peace! Amen.

The Soccer Coaching Podcast
Episode 70 - `Clear Coaching`, developing young players and coaches, a conversation with Todd Beane, author and founder of TOVO Institute and Academy Barcelona

The Soccer Coaching Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 4, 2021 49:17


In this episode we discuss the importance of engagement, play and enjoyment when coaching…as well as being an effective facilitator, with the awesome Todd Beane. Todd is the founder of the TOVO Institute (https://www.tovoinstitute.com/) and has extensive experience in all ages and stages of the game. Todd shares his thoughts and ideas on effective coaching and gives us an insight in to the philosophy at TOVO for both players and coaches.Todd also talks about his new book (Clear Coaching) and its intention to be a practical and powerful talent activation handbook - https://www.amazon.co.uk/Clear-Coaching-Harness-Clarity-Development/dp/B08PJKJ9BSTo find out more about the wonderful work Todd and the team at TOVO are doing you can reach him here;Twitter: @_ToddBeaneFacebook: @TOVOAcademyInstagram: @tovoacademyLinkedin: @TOVO InstituteThank you for listening and we hope you enjoy the episode!T - @SoccerCoachCastE - thesoccercoachingpodcast@gmail.comThis episode was brought to you in association with our friends at Spond…Spond takes all the hassle out of organising ANY group event, removing the hurdles so everyone can spend more time on what they love, like organising your fantasy football team…and it is 100 % free!With Spond you can organise anything, so let's say you are trying to organise a football game. All you have to do is download the Spond app using the link in the description, set up the event using their easy-to-use event organiser, send the link to your teammates and then relax and wait for them to reply...easy!Spond works across any device and even allows you to share files, create polls, schedules, manage events and attendance, make payments, send group AND private messages…it even syncs with your calendar.Hit the link in the description below and join the one million other coaches, teams and awesome people using this popular free app to save hours organising all their event needs and engage members.https://spond.com/welcome

The Filmreelcast
Moneyball - Review

The Filmreelcast

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 23, 2021 79:24


This week the gangs back and feeling in a sporty mood, we're reviewing 2011 Moneyball starring Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill, In 2001, General Manager Billy Beane's Oakland A's lose to the Yankees in the playoffs then lose three stars to free agency. How can Beane field a competitive team when the A's player salaries total less than a third of the rich teams'? To the consternation of his scouts, Beane hires and listens to Peter Brand, a recent Yale grad who evaluates players using Bill James' statistical approach. Beane assembles a team of no names who, on paper, can get on base and score runs. Then, Beane's manager, Art Howe, won't use the players as Beane wants. Can Beane circumvent Howe, win games, make it to the 2002 Series, and stand baseball's hidebound conventions on their heads?

Locked On A's - Daily Podcast On The Oakland Athletics
John Fisher Doubles A's Season Ticket Prices + The Case Against Beane and Melvin Heading to New York

Locked On A's - Daily Podcast On The Oakland Athletics

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 23, 2021 34:47


Episode 354 -- The Oakland A's raised their season ticket prices yesterday, and the fans are not thrilled with how much they went up. Plus, Ken Rosenthal wrote an article saying the New York Mets "should go get" Bob Melvin and Billy Beane, so Jason gives all of his reasoning for why this won't happen. Subscribe to our YouTube channel! Get social with us: @ByJasonB + @LockedonAs Support Us By Supporting Our Sponsors! Built Bar Built Bar is a protein bar that tastes like a candy bar. Go to builtbar.com and use promo code “LOCKED15,” and you'll get 15% off your next order. BetOnline AG There is only 1 place that has you covered and 1 place we trust. Betonline.ag! Sign up today for a free account at betonline.ag and use that promocode: LOCKEDON for your 50% welcome bonus. Rock Auto Amazing selection. Reliably low prices. All the parts your car will ever need. Visit RockAuto.com and tell them Locked On sent you. Molecule Mattress Visit OnMolecule.com and save twenty percent with promo code LOCKEDON.  NetSuite NetSuite is offering a one-of-a-kind financing program only for those ready to switch today! Head to NetSuite.com/LockedOn Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Mets'd Up
Brad Hand STINKS, Billy Beane Rumors, and the Mets Lose Two of Three to the Phillies

Mets'd Up

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 20, 2021 54:47


Lather, rinse, repeat. This Mets team cannot score any runs and their season has fallen by the wayside because of that tragic flaw. Zack Wheeler crushed us on Friday and Aaron Nola did it again on Saturday. Who could have ever seen that coming? Oh yeah, and Brad Hand found a way to botch an inning in each affair. Great series, just splendid. After dissecting the games, we talk about the increasing momentum of Billy Beane coming to the Mets and the litany of reports linking the two. Marc talks about what Bob Melvin could bring this bullpen while James talks about Beane's strengths and weaknesses before revealing a dark-horse candidate for the President of Baseball Operations who has not yet been publicized. --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/metsdup/support

Locked On Mets - Daily Podcast On The New York Mets
Billy Beane Bringing Moneyball to Queens?

Locked On Mets - Daily Podcast On The New York Mets

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 20, 2021 30:44


It has been reported that the New York Mets will pursue Billy Beane this offseason, to take over as the new President of Baseball Operations. Host Ryan Finkelstein discusses if Beane is the best candidate for the job. After losing another series over the weekend, are the Mets in danger of putting together the biggest second half collapse in franchise history? Finally listen for last week's Friday Farm Report, which first appeared on the new Locked On Mets YouTube channel. Support Us By Supporting Our Sponsors! Built Bar Built Bar is a protein bar that tastes like a candy bar. Go to builtbar.com and use promo code “LOCKED15,” and you'll get 15% off your next order. BetOnline AG There is only 1 place that has you covered and 1 place we trust. Betonline.ag! Sign up today for a free account at betonline.ag and use that promocode: LOCKEDON for your 50% welcome bonus. Rock Auto Amazing selection. Reliably low prices. All the parts your car will ever need. Visit RockAuto.com and tell them Locked On sent you. Molecule Mattress Visit OnMolecule.com and save twenty percent with promo code LOCKEDON. NetSuite NetSuite is offering a one-of-a-kind financing program only for those ready to switch today! Head to NetSuite.com/LockedOn Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

The Gottesdienst Crowd
[Gottesblog] Did Luther Actually Say? — Larry Beane

The Gottesdienst Crowd

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 17, 2021 12:01


Did Luther Actually Say...? “If men only believe enough in Christ they can commit adultery and murder a thousand times a day without periling their salvation.” — MARTIN LUTHER “This is truly one of the most disturbing things Martin Luther ever said. He would have done well to remember the words of St. Paul, ‘Shall we go on sinning that grace may increase? God forbid it!' Romans 6:1-2. I know that Luther is a very important figure for those in protestantism, for those in the cults, and even for secularists, since all of them trace their movements to a great degree to what Luther did. However, the idea that a person can rape and murder their [sic] way into heaven because they [sic] have ‘imputed' righteousness should be abhorrent to anyone who has the Holy Spirit dwelling in them [sic]. And I think statements like this should at least make us pause and reconsider whether his influence has been for better or worse.” — A SOCIAL MEDIA WRITER WHO DESCRIBES HIMSELF AS A "THEOLOGIAN, MYSTIC, AND PHILOSOPHER" The above quote attributed to Luther was used by a Facebook friend to make a case against forensic justification. It seems this is from Table Talk, though I did not invest the time to run down the quote and secure a page number. But assuming that the quote is true, Dr. Luther's critic puts words into the Wittenberg reformer's mouth, that Luther is expressing a belief that “a person can rape and murder their [sic] way into heaven.” It should be obvious to any scholarly opponent of Luther that this is clearly not the argument that he is making. He is clearly employing the literary device of hyperbole to make a point. It is apparent to anyone willing to be fair-minded about the whole thing that Luther nowhere argues that a person can rape and murder his way into heaven, but rather the argument is that God's grace is greater even than the sins of the world. The use of hyperbole and other figures of speech is nothing new when it comes to theology. In fact, our Lord shocked His hearers by saying that they should poke out their own eyes and chop off their hands and hate their parents, wives, children, and siblings. St. Paul cited an old saying that people living on the Greek Island of Crete “are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons,” adding, “This testimony is true.” One of Paul's more amusing turns of phrase intended for effect is that he wished the guys making such a fuss about circumcision would go big or go home, so to speak, and chop off the whole kit and caboodle. That is, of course, a paraphrase, and it has nothing to do with certain surgical procedures that are all the rage right now. For as long as men have put pen to paper, or chisel to stone, there have been figures of speech. Our Lord often spoke in this way, to the point where the disciples one day were stunned when he spoke to them literally, “Ah, now you are speaking plainly and not using figurative speech!” So I find it hard to believe that a self-professed theologian and philosopher should be dumbstruck by something like a figure of speech on the part of a theologian - especially one as prolific and playful with language as Dr. Martin Luther. In fact, there's a whole lot more where that came from! It's certainly not an honest way to frame someone's beliefs based on a figure of speech pulled out of context. And in fact, this treatment of Luther is not unlike the stunt pulled on our Lord at His trial before the Sanhedrin, when one of His figures of speech was trotted out and trumped up as evidence to suggest that our Lord should be tried as a terrorist under Imperial jurisdiction (where there was conveniently a death penalty). After all, Jesus was conspiring to start an insurrection by talking about destroying buildings. Yes. I'm sure it was an honest mistake on their part rather than the deliberate and dishonest placing of words into our Lord's mouth. And by the way, what I just said was sarcasm, another literary device. As far as defending Luther goes, it goes without saying that Luther was wrong about many things. By definition, he was a poor miserable sinner just like the rest of us, with his own foibles and errors, poor judgment, subject to mental lapses, and with more than enough ability to be wrong about things. That's the nature of being a fallen human being. And many non-Lutherans are under the impression that we canonize Luther's words or treat his writings like sacred oracles. Though history has tagged us with the label “Lutherans,” it does not follow that we are “Lutherists” or “Lutherolatrists.” And it also goes without saying that Luther was a brilliant and prolific theologian, professor, scholar, church father, lecturer, preacher, and debater. But again, we do not impute infallibility to him, even though his name was put upon us. But Luther's greatest work was not in the scholarly realm, but in the pastoral. For when He spoke the words of Holy Scripture, he was infallible. When he pronounced absolution, he spoke as an oracle of God - as do all pastors. His greatest works were his evangelical proclamation, baptizing, absolving, and administering the Holy Eucharist, speaking and acting ex officio in the stead and by the command of Christ. Perhaps some Lutherans go too far in their admiration of Luther. And perhaps this is an unfortunate result of his name being placed on those of us whose churches confess the Augsburg Confession. All that said, Luther is as entitled as anyone else of being quoted fairly, in having figures of speech interpreted as they were intended, and not in a comical, cartoonish literal sense that would make him out to be a monster - which is precisely what this writer did. As far as the author's invocation of Romans 6:1-2, Luther did indeed “remember the words of St. Paul,” and what's more, he preached, lectured, and wrote on these very verses - even as he lectured extensively on the Epistle to the Romans. Lecturing on Genesis 29:1-3, probably in 1542, Luther cites Romans 6:2: “For promises are not given for the purpose of snoring, loafing, and sleeping, or for doing what is in conflict with the promise. No, they are given for working, being watchful, and bearing fruit. Thus I am not baptized, do not partake of the Lord's Supper, and am not absolved for the purpose of sleeping and snoring at home in idleness. But if you have the promise, Baptism, and absolution, remember that you have been called to be watchful and to be anxiously concerned about the things that pertain to your faith and calling. ‘How can we who died to sin still live in it?' says St. Paul (Rom 6:2). We are not absolved from sins in order that we may live for them and serve them, but in order that we may fight against them and stoutly persevere in the promise, in order that I may chastise and mortify my flesh and bear it with a calm mind when God imposes a cross, in order that we may be purged and bring forth richer fruit. ‘By this,' says Christ, ‘My heavenly Father is glorified, if you become my disciples,' (cf. John 15:8); that is, if you suffer as I did, and if you become like Me. For he who is not a ‘Crosstian.' so to speak, is not a Christian; for he is not like Christ, his Teacher.” — AE 5:274 Or consider Luther's lecture on Isaiah 43 (covering verse 24, probably in 1529) in which he posits: “Only this teaching of Christ frees us from our burden. One has sinned, another bears the punishment…. The sinner does not make satisfaction: the Satisfier does not sin. This is an astounding doctrine.” He goes on to say how this doctrine of Christ's satisfaction for us can well be abused: “This teaching opens window and door to carnal people, who say, ‘Let us do evil that good may come of it, because we have someone to make satisfaction' (cf. Rom 6:1). Although this offense arises, this teaching must not be silenced. Scripture fights against it altogether. If we are freed from sins, it is not proper for us to take them up again. As if one cured and freed from a fever should embrace it again by an evil and extravagant life.” — AE: 17:99 In his 1539 treatise On the Councils and the Church, Dr. Luther also famously railed against antinomians who might have said something like “Listen! Though you are an adulterer, a whoremonger, a miser, or other kind of sinner, if you but believe, you are saved, and you need not fear the law. Christ has fulfilled it all!” To this, Luther replied: “For there is no such Christ that died for sinners who do not, after the forgiveness of sins, desist from sins and lead a new life.” So our self-described theologian, mystic, and philosopher - who deduces that Luther was somehow teaching the ability to “rape and murder [one's] way into heaven”, and that this is the result of the doctrine of imputed righteousness - has either not read very much of Luther's works, or he is deliberately lying to defame and debase, and to win people dishonestly to his side. The charitable thing would be to conclude the former (that is, ignorance) rather than the latter (that is, malice).

Cover 1 Sports
Buffalo Bills @ Miami Dolphins Preview

Cover 1 Sports

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 17, 2021 25:20


The Hoof Podcast friday show is back to get you ready for week 2. Anthony take a deep dive into the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins matchup as well as five for five picks of the week.

The Gottesdienst Crowd
[Gottesblog] Weoponized Vice — Larry Beane

The Gottesdienst Crowd

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 13, 2021 11:04


Weaponized Vice How often have you heard people say that all sins are equal? If that's the case, committing genocide is the moral equivalent of copying your friend's homework in fifth grade. Yes, both are sins. Yes, both can be mortal sins if one doesn't repent. Yes, both break the commandments (the former the fifth, the latter the seventh) - and yes, someone is going to point out that other commandments are involved here too. But even the most dogmatic Lutheran will be forced to admit that there are indeed worse sins than others. There is a category of sin that is known as “vice.” Vices are sinful personal failings that are not acts of aggression against someone else. One could call them “victimless” crimes. And yes, I realize that there are unintended “victims” of vices (such as family members of a father with a gambling addiction) - but there is a categorical difference between a man who physically rapes a woman vs. a passing lustful thought. Even the most doctrinaire Lutheran would probably not want people jailed or sent to the gallows for gossip or for coveting thy neighbor's Mercedes. There is a danger that Pharisaic people make a big deal out of vices for the purpose of pointing to their own self-righteousness. A teetotaler may enjoy gossiping about the crowd gathered in the bar for happy hour. Someone with no interest in gambling may scowl at the betting going on at horse races. The war on vices has led to blue laws and even national alcohol prohibition, not to mention the horrific unintended consequences of the War on Drugs. Censorship has now come full circle and is being used to stifle the free speech of conservatives and Christians. Examples of vice abound. Every family and every community have examples of those who go a little overboard with the drinking. Aunt Sally may not be face down in the ditch, but maybe she has one or two too many and begins to embarrass herself. Your brother in law Bill may foolishly blow his tax refund at the casino, but he's a young single guy with a lot of money, so it's not that big a deal. Nobody is calling for his excommunication or for a police investigation. And in days past, everyone had an uncle who was unmarried, who always seemed to have a close male friend hanging around, who went out to bars on the weekend. Everybody knew that he had same-sex attraction issues, but nobody berated him for it, but neither did anyone condone it. So, he wasn't ostracized from the family - he was your uncle after all - but neither did he bring up sodomy at the Thanksgiving table. There was a social arrangement. And as long as he stayed away from underage young men, there was a sense of tolerance toward his vice. The pastor may have even given him communion because his sexual proclivities were so well hidden that he genuinely didn't know. Or maybe your gay uncle knew that this was a sinful lifestyle. Maybe he even confessed to the pastor and struggled against this sin - you wouldn't know because it's none of your business, and the pastor probably knows more than you think he does. But we live in a different era. It is as if everything before 2015 was the age of black and white television and Marcus Welby doling out paternal advice on “Father Knows Best.” Today, homosexuality is no longer considered by society as a whole to be a vice, but a virtue. It is a point of pride. It is socially celebrated without exception in movies, TV, music, and every aspect of popular culture. There are local holidays and lurid celebratory parades. It is venerated by mental health professionals and politicians, and now the celebrated category even includes people with sexual fetishes, gender dysphoria, and a host of subjective sexual issues. But nearly every sexual vice has been metamorphized into being the the moral equivalent of, if not the superior to, heterosexuality. At this point, even pedophilia and bestiality are losing their stigma. And there is a concerted effort to normalize sexual deviancy even to pre-school children. I recently saw a back-and-forth on social media between a rostered LCMS male teacher at a Lutheran high school whose FB profile includes a pro-LGBT statement and the six-color rainbow. He also happens to champion Critical Race Theory. When he was challenged on it, he did not address the questions, but simply retorted that “there are gay members of the LCMS” and that people “seem awfully hung up on one sin out of millions.” He never answered the question about whether this view of sexuality was congruent with the Scriptures. He ended up just deleting the thread. In this day and age when Critical Theory and the endorsement and celebration of violations of the Sixth Commandment have become the norm in the secular world, parents who don't want their children “educated” in this manner either homeschool or put their children in Christian schools. They especially turn to LCMS institutions, given our confession of the infallibility of Scripture and the role of the Word of God as the “norming norm” to which we unconditionally submit. For this is not the case with denomination after denomination that has surrendered to the world. So why do we have a rostered teacher who is openly flouting and celebrating adultery? That's what homosexuality and other sexual proclivities celebrated by the secular culture are according to our Small Catechism. Sexuality is a matter of holy matrimony - between one man and one woman for life. In the church, we don't wave flags celebrating divorce. We don't throw a party when a man is unfaithful to his wife. We don't tell an unrepentant woman that she is “courageous” for admitting that she cheats on her husband and has no intention of stopping. We don't have a parade to laud people for looking at pornography. But the vice is now a virtue. It is no longer a vice. This alternative morality, this rejection of Scripture, is being normalized even in our churches. We had at least one Concordia in our university system that had a student club dedicated to the breaking of the Sixth Commandment: an adultery club that met with the blessing of the former university president. Why not a pro-abortion club? Why not a club dedicated to profaning the name of God? Why not a club dedicated to character assassination? Why not a club mocking the idea of church attendance? This teacher's line of reasoning that the Sixth Commandment is being treated differently than all the others is actually true. One could not imagine him promoting Atheism or lusting after his neighbor's wife or committing acts of aggression against other people or even killing them - without incurring the ire of the school's administration or the District President. But this teacher's advocacy of adultery - specifically the socially acceptable variation of sexual inclinations and behaviors that are not heterosexual - seems to be just fine. What we are seeing all around us is weaponized vice. The old social contract of not persecuting your “happy” uncle so long as he was not making it public and keeping his activities between consenting adults has been torn up. Now, your uncle is on a rampage. He will compel business owners to violate their consciences. He will sue them and harass them. He will show up at your church with his friends and protest outside. He will call you names and make you out to be the moral reprobate. He will dox you at your job and try to render you impoverished and socially ostracized. Some of his friends will insist on their right to expose their genitals to women and girls in a spa. He will argue in court for the right of school children to use whatever bathrooms and dressing rooms that they like, and will argue that you parents have no say in the matter. He will make sure that the virtue of violating the Sixth Commandment makes its way to children's TV shows, cereal boxes, and even on the flagpole at the hospital where Christian families may be dealing with illness in the family. He will make sure that his flag flies alongside of national and historical flags - even at American embassies. He will successfully agitate so that federal government jobs include a day set apart to honor the violation of the Sixth Commandment and that all employees will take part. Any Christian who so much as winces will be written up or fired. And now, he will also insist that rostered LCMS teachers celebrate the breaking of the Sixth Commandment, and the school administration and the District President will either pretend not to see it or openly support it. In time, we will get new pastors and seminary professors who will read the Sixth Commandment - and all of the Bible - with a different hermeneutic, one befitting of a hashtag campaign. In time, our churches will redefine marriage to conform to the state and to the New Orthodoxy. And whatever pockets of resistance that are left will just be marginalized and bulldozed over. And who's to say the Nine Commandments in our catechism won't become the Eight Commandments, or the Two Commandments, or the Zero Commandments? We either hold to our confession, or we change it. He either hold our RSOs and DP's accountable, or we will not. We either believe the Holy Scriptures and submit to them, or we don't.

The Gottesdienst Crowd
[Gottesblog] We Will Not Shut Up — Larry Beane

The Gottesdienst Crowd

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 9, 2021 8:32


We Will Not Shut Up The Supreme Court of the United States refused to hear arguments against a new Texas law that outlaws abortion once the child has a heartbeat. President Harrison caught a lot of grief - even from many claiming to be LCMS members - because he wrote on the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod Facebook page (September 6, 2021, 9:56 AM), “Thank God the folks in Texas and on the SCOTUS think 63,000,000 dead babies is enough.” For this advocacy of human life, President Harrison was pilloried. In the comment thread, the Synod President doubled down: “SIXTY THREE million. I'm just not shuttin up.” And this is precisely what his detractors want. They want to gag him, our church body, and members of Synod, including pastors and representatives of our schools and universities from expressing any support of the pro-life movement. The arguments are the usual canards: we hate women, we only care about babies when they're in the womb and when they're born we don't care about them, men have no right to an opinion on this issue, we don't support crisis pregnancy centers, the Bible never addresses abortion, the Bible was only written by men, etc. One lady decided to take a different tack with me. She attacked my personal Facebook posts dealing with politics and historiography. What this has to do with the Abortion Holocaust is beyond me. It is a classic case of ad hominem argumentation, gaslighting, and passive aggression. I'm not going to be bullied or intimidated. But it is also a case of deflection. The new Texas law doesn't outlaw all abortions, but it goes a long way towards defending the innocents in utero (which all of us were at one time, and which our Lord Himself was as well). Ad hominems and deflection are actually the best strategy that pro-abortion Christians - especially LCMS members who are angry about the new Texas law and are on the attack against President Harrison and other members of Synod who support it - can muster. The best argument for supporting the new Texas law and supporting similar laws to be passed in other states is the simple reality of what the law now bans. Here is a video. And although it is an illustration, it is still disturbing and horrifying. You may not even want to watch it. But those who support abortion as a right, those who oppose the new Texas law, those who are lambasting President Harrison really should watch this:   As you can see, even the decidedly left-biased YouTube finds this too intense to imbed in this article. To watch it, you have to click on the YouTube link and state that you are 18 years of age or older. This is the way our society used to deal with pornography. We all intuitively know across the political spectrum that this procedure is barbaric and morally indefensible. And that is why the argument has to be deflected to ad hominems and discussions of anything and everything except what exactly happens to the baby. Although the lady's attack on my views of American History are an irrelevant distraction, there is something to be said about historical symbols of the past and why it is not wrong to honor our ancestors and our heritage in spite of their flaws. When I'm in uniform, I stand at attention when the flag of the United States is posted. I salute the flag. The flag represents my home and my American ancestors who were already here before the United States was founded. Many of them fought in the War for American Independence and in subsequent conflicts. I have affection for the flag in spite of the fact that it flew over slave ships, segregation, war crimes, ethnic internment camps, adventurous imperialism, and in spite of the fact that every stripe represents a slave state when the states declared their independence. Moreover, Old Glory flies over the Holocaust of the Unborn: 63,000,000 children killed in utero with the protection and blessing of the United States government, namely the Federal court system and the Supreme Court. The decree Roe v. Wade compelled all of the states to legalize, allow, and defend infanticide within their borders. At the time of Roe, gone was the old federalism of the founders that decentralized such decisions and allowed the people of the states to protect the unborn. Hamiltonian Nationalism replaced Jeffersonian Federalism (states' rights), and until now, the State of Texas has been powerless to protect the powerless. Without the top-down Hamiltonian interpretation of the Constitution - not as a compact between the states but as the master of the states - converting the states into provinces of a single unitary state - my own State of Louisiana and many other states (especially, but not only in the South) would have passed laws protecting the unborn. Perhaps the pendulum is now starting to shift from Hamilton to Jefferson, and maybe a new federalism and decentralization of authority from Washington will once more allow the people of the states to protect our little ones without interference from Congress, the President, and the Supreme Court. I'm certain the Nationalists won't simply roll over. This may lead to court-packing so they can maintain their dominance over the Jeffersonian view and over human life itself. And speaking of Jefferson, I have a bust of him, admire him, and consider him to be a great man. To many people, this would make me a “racist.” But that just isn't true. I honor Jefferson because of his greatness and because of his ideas of decentralized government and the idea that rights come from God and not from the State. I don't honor Jefferson because he was a slaveowner, because of his 18th century views on race, or because he did not believe in the divinity of Christ. I honor him in spite of those realities. The Left has no place for such nuance. This is why they are on a jihad against patriotism, against our American heritage, against our founders, and against a Jeffersonian historiography that does not interpret American history along the Socialist lines of Howard Zinn and Eric Foner. I love my country, its history, its heritage, its heroes, and its symbols: slavery and the Holocaust of the Unborn notwithstanding. Slavery was eventually abolished, and one can hope that abortion will be as well. Perhaps a hundred years from now, there will be museums dedicated to this Holocaust, and the world will look in horror at what their ancestors did. And nevertheless, hopefully they will continue to uphold the Fourth Commandment by honoring their male and female ancestors (as the Hebrew text reads), flawed as they were. At any rate, thank you President Harrison and to other leaders of our Synod for defending the unborn, created in the image of God, knit together in their mothers' wombs, known by God, and endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights. We will not shut up indeed.

Trainwreck Sports
The Folding Round Table - Buffalo Bills 53 Man Roster, AFC Competitors

Trainwreck Sports

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 3, 2021 56:36


The Bills 53 Man Roster is set in stone with no Jacob Hollister, a promising young safety behind Poyer & Hyde, and a battle for CB2 that apparently isn't over yet. The table will give their thoughts and reactions to the roster Beane and company put together, and they'll also talk about how it stacks up with the rest of the AFC? Is there a sleeper team in the conference that no one's talking about? At The Table:

Cover 1 Sports
Buffalo Bills 53 Man Roster Reaction Show

Cover 1 Sports

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 1, 2021 87:22


The Hoof Live has you covered for the latest news and reactions from cut day in the league as the Bills start the journey for the 21' NFL Season. We will discuss our surprises and evaluate trades from other clubs as well as the Bills.

Buffalo Rumblings: for Buffalo Bills fans
CTW: Bills/Packers Recap, Roster Bubble & Possible Trades w/Dan Fetes of Buffalo Plus

Buffalo Rumblings: for Buffalo Bills fans

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 30, 2021 50:33


In this episode, we talk about the Bills vs. Packers Preseason game with Dan Fetes of WHAM 13 News & Buffalo Plus. We discuss what it was like to have Bills Mafia fully in the stands for the first time in 2 seasons, takeaways on the performance like how Josh Allen, Gabriel Davis and the rest of the offense looked. We talk about which players are on the roster bubble for the Bills and which players Beane could potentially trade away, and much more! Listen now and Go Bills! Be sure to join the Buffalo Rumblings Pick 'Em Contest benefitting the American Cancer Society to win signed items from Thurman Thomas, Zack Moss, and more. Click here to enter with all of the details to donate and win. Find Buffalo Plus on Youtube here Read Dan's work here at Buffalo Plus Follow Dan on Twitter: @DanFetes Subscribe to the Buffalo Rumblings podcast channel featuring Billieve, Buffalo Rumblings Q&A, Breaking Buffalo Rumblings, Code of Conduct with J. Spence, The Bruce Exclusive, The Buff Hub, Jamie D. & Big Newt, The Overreaction Podcast, Food For Thought and Circling the Wagons: Apple Podcasts | Stitcher | Google Play | Spotify | Podbean | iHeartRadio | TuneIn | Megaphone Ask Alexa or Google Home to play the Buffalo Rumblings podcast! Email us questions, comments, or Bills stories: ctwpod@gmail.com Follow us on Twitter: @CTWpod Like us on Facebook: Circling the Wagons: A Buffalo Bills Podcast Follow us on Instagram: CTWpod Check out our Teepublic Bills Store here Check out our FOCO site here and get 10% Off everything with promo code: CTWAugust10 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Billieve: a Buffalo Rumblings Podcast
CTW: Bills/Packers Recap, Roster Bubble & Possible Trades w/Dan Fetes of Buffalo Plus

Billieve: a Buffalo Rumblings Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 30, 2021 50:33


In this episode, we talk about the Bills vs. Packers Preseason game with Dan Fetes of WHAM 13 News & Buffalo Plus. We discuss what it was like to have Bills Mafia fully in the stands for the first time in 2 seasons, takeaways on the performance like how Josh Allen, Gabriel Davis and the rest of the offense looked. We talk about which players are on the roster bubble for the Bills and which players Beane could potentially trade away, and much more! Listen now and Go Bills! Be sure to join the Buffalo Rumblings Pick 'Em Contest benefitting the American Cancer Society to win signed items from Thurman Thomas, Zack Moss, and more. Click here to enter with all of the details to donate and win. Find Buffalo Plus on Youtube here Read Dan's work here at Buffalo Plus Follow Dan on Twitter: @DanFetes Subscribe to the Buffalo Rumblings podcast channel featuring Billieve, Buffalo Rumblings Q&A, Breaking Buffalo Rumblings, Code of Conduct with J. Spence, The Bruce Exclusive, The Buff Hub, Jamie D. & Big Newt, The Overreaction Podcast, Food For Thought and Circling the Wagons: Apple Podcasts | Stitcher | Google Play | Spotify | Podbean | iHeartRadio | TuneIn | Megaphone Ask Alexa or Google Home to play the Buffalo Rumblings podcast! Email us questions, comments, or Bills stories: ctwpod@gmail.com Follow us on Twitter: @CTWpod Like us on Facebook: Circling the Wagons: A Buffalo Bills Podcast Follow us on Instagram: CTWpod Check out our Teepublic Bills Store here Check out our FOCO site here and get 10% Off everything with promo code: CTWAugust10 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

The Gottesdienst Crowd
[Gottesblog] A Reply to the Texas District Paper on Internet Communion — Larry Beane

The Gottesdienst Crowd

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 25, 2021 27:17


A Reply to the Texas District Paper on Internet Communion Here is the video of the recent three-martini Texas District convention. Someone shared this with me as a chance to respond to the “Bible Study” that begins at roughly 1:09 and ends at 2:04. The official title is “The Church in a Post-Covid World,” but that's not really what it is about. It is, in fact, an advocacy and apologia for “internet communion.” The presenter is the Rev. Zach McIntosh of Concordia Lutheran Church in San Antonio. He seems like a nice, bright guy. And I have to say that I like the fact that he's a McIntosh. His Highlander ancestors probably fought with mine in the wars of Scottish independence with a confederation known as the Clan of Cats. I have to give him props for that, especially as we Celts are dreadfully outnumbered by Germans in our synod. Having said that, the cuisine in Texas and Louisiana beat anything cooked up by Scots or Germans. That said, I have to give him a demerit for lecturing about Holy Communion (part of his argument for internet communion is the profound importance of the Holy Sacrament) given that his congregation only celebrates it on the first Sunday of the month. I cannot even grasp it. Not counting holidays, that's twelve times a year. That sounds like starvation rations to me. My little congregation offers the Holy Sacrament more than a hundred times a year. Perhaps Pastor McIntosh can give a presentation to his own congregation on Article 24 and the importance of the Holy Eucharist and its frequent reception. I notice that other advocates of home-internet communion tend to be pastors of churches that practice infrequent communion. I have no explanation for this. All that said, Pastor McIntosh is open and honest that this is indeed a position paper more than a Bible Study. He presents it based on four “theses.” A thesis is part of an argument. And during the course of his talk, he openly admits that the real question behind the paper, that is the real thesis statement is: “Is it possible for a local church to rightly participate together in a livestreamed Word and Sacrament service while remaining in their individual homes?” And he is open about his answer: Yes, he is “sympathetic” to the idea of a livestreamed “Word and Sacrament” service. He also admits that the service of the Word is not really problematic, but the service of the Sacrament is the actual controversial issue. And that it is. His four theses are: The Church is Invisible. The Church is Confessional. The Church is Inter-Spatial. The Church is Fraternal.   The Church is Invisible This is really nothing more than the assertion that faith is invisible. He cites Eph 5:33, AC 7&8, he quotes Luther using the term “invisible,” and cites 1 Cor 6:19 and 1 Pet 2:5. The Church is Confessional He explains the development of the ecumenical creeds and the Lutheran confessions. He argues that although the Bible, Creeds, and Confessions never address remote electronic worship, we can use these resources to discern whether we should or should not make use of such technology. One statement that he makes is “There was no Mass when the New Testament was written.” This is simply untrue. Jesus established the Lord's Supper “on the night when He was betrayed.” St. Paul, in 1 Cor 11, explains that the Words of Institution were already a tradition that was handed over to him when he was writing the letter in about 55 AD. Indeed, the Sacrament of the Altar was being celebrated by the apostles on a weekly basis very early on, according to Acts 2:42, when none of the New Testament had even yet been written. Pastor McIntosh refers to this very verse later on. This thesis that “The Church is Confessional” is really just a premise to use the confessions to make arguments regarding administration of the Sacrament. For some reason, he omitted the longest treatment of the Divine Service and Holy Communion in the Book of Concord: Article 24 in the Augsburg Confession and the Apology. The Church is Inter-Spatial This is where the rubber meets the road, as they used to say in Akron, Ohio. This word “inter-spatial” is a neologism coined by the presenter just to make the obvious point that the Church is both universal and local. He addresses the universality of the Church by appealing to the Una Sancta of the Nicene Creed. More accurately, the Church is “catholic.” The word “Universal” is a weak translation of καθολικός, which comes from two words: κατά (kata - according to) and ὅλος (holos - the whole). Catholicity not only means that the Church is more than simply the local congregation, it means that the Church is una owing to a wholesomeness and fullness of doctrine. And it is ironic that he should appeal to the Church's catholicity to argue for communion celebrated by either laymen speaking the verba, or the remote words of a pastor who is not present for the consecration. This is as un-catholic as you can get. It is sectarian, as no historic communion that confesses the Real Presence ever had, or has, practiced this, or confessed a doctrine that allows it. Pastor McIntosh points out the both/and nature of the universality and the locality of the Church by comparing it to an interstate highway that is both within states, and crosses state lines. I think this illustration betrays him, as we are talking about roads that actually exist in space and time. You cannot be on Interstate-10 and not exist somewhere physically. If I'm in a Zoom session in Iowa, then I'm not on I-10. Roads are incarnational. The fact that the road is in California doesn't negate the fact that when I'm driving to Baton Rouge, I'm in Louisiana. He uses the term “ecclesiis sanctorum” from Jerome's Latin of 1 Cor 14:33. He translates this as “multiple churches with many holy ones.” “Sanctorum” is a genitive plural. It is better translated as “churches of the saints,” as does the ESV. Of course, there are multiple churches in the sense of local congregations, even as there is one holy catholic and apostolic Church (una sancta). This reality has nothing to do with internet communion. He tries to argue for internet communion based on Acts 4:42, 46-47 - “breaking bread in their homes.” Of course, prior to Constantine, nearly all Christian worship was conducted in homes. There is no indication that these services were lay-led, or that the pastors somehow conducted services from afar, perhaps by epistle or messenger or carrier pigeon. And local churches meet in homes to this very day, including parishes of our sister church body, the Siberian Evangelical Lutheran Church. I visited one such congregation in 2015, with a Divine Service held in a parishioner's apartment. But the Mass was officiated by ordained clergymen who drove a long way to lead the service. It would be unthinkable to our sister church body to conduct a Divine Service over Zoom, or to just have the laity speak the verba over bread and wine themselves - in spite of the reality that it takes a lot of time and money to physically travel. And it was the same way in the LCMS's frontier days. Pastor McIntosh cites Luther giving assent to meeting “alone in a house somewhere… to baptize and to receive the sacrament” (AE:53:63-64). But the larger context is not lay-led communion or allowing pastors to somehow consecrate from afar. This quotation comes from The German Mass and Order of Service (1526). In it, Luther identifies three types of “divine service or mass.” The first is the Evangelical Latin Mass, to be used in a parochial setting where the people speak Latin. The second is the German Mass, which is to be used for “untrained lay folk” who do not speak Latin. And then there is the “third kind of service,” which: should be a truly evangelical order and should not be held in a public place for all sorts of people. But those who want to be Christians in earnest and who profess the gospel with hand and mouth should sign their names and meet alone in a house somewhere to pray, to read, to baptize, to receive the sacrament, and to do other Christian works. According to this order, those who do not lead Christian lives should be known, reproved, corrected, cast out, or excommunicated, according to the rule of Christ, Matthew 18. Here one could also solicit benevolent gifts to be willingly given and distributed to the poor, according to St. Paul's example, II Corinthians 9. Here would be no need for much and elaborate singing. Here one could set up a brief and neat order for baptism and the sacrament and center everything on the Word, prayer, and love. Here one would need a good short catechism on the Creed, the Ten Commandments, and the Our Father. Nowhere does Luther advocate lay-led or remotely-led clerical ministry of Sacraments. He is describing a house-church - obviously where there is no Evangelical parish church to attend. This was certainly the case in many places during the Reformation. Luther is describing what we would call today, a “church plant,” and avers that “the rules and regulations would soon be ready.” In fact, Luther goes on to say that church planting is not his particular thing, but “if I should be requested to do it, and could not refuse with a good conscience, I should gladly do my part and help as best I can.” He adds, “In the meanwhile, the two above-mentioned orders of service [i.e. the Latin and German parochial Masses] must suffice.” He also warns of the risks of such a church, that care should be taken lest it “turn into a sect.” Pastor McIntosh does finally admit the real crux of the problem: “There's not a pastor there.” So how does a pastor give care and oversight when he's not in the same room? He acknowledges the limits of pastoral care even in the same room, such as the pastor's inability to know about all people who should be excluded from the Christian congregation because of wickedness. He points to St. Paul's giving pastoral care remotely. And here, I think Pastor McIntosh sinks his own boat. Giving remote pastoral care is nothing new. But let's consider how technology has or has not been used. We have audio and video livestreaming today, but we have had the ability to send remote visual and audio images over the air since the 1940s. The LCMS was actually a pioneer in television programming. But no one in decades past, in the Golden Age of television, ever encouraged people at home in the viewing audience to put bread and wine on a TV tray while a televised pastor “teleconsecrated” the elements. There were services for shut-ins, but no suggestion of some kind of “private Mass” with “home communion” over the airwaves. And before TV, we had radio, the technology of which predates the 20th century. And yet not even during World War I and the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic was anyone suggesting the use of the pastor's transmitted radio voice to “teleconsecrate” remote elements. Before radio was the telephone. And even before the telephone, dating back to 1844, Samuel Morse found a way to encode words over telegraph lines. And again, not even in remote frontier locations did anyone even dream of having a pastor send a consecratory telegram or phone in the Words of Institution. And long before electronic communication, we had pen and ink technology and mail delivery. And this is where Pastor McIntosh defeats his own argument. St. Paul indeed provided pastoral care remotely by means of epistles. But not even in 1 Cor 11 does the apostle ask that the verba be read by a layman over bread and wine outside of the pastor's sight and control. Rather, Paul preaches the Word and gives catechetical instruction in writing. Baptisms and Eucharists were conducted by “elders” (presbyters) who were appointed for pastoral service in the local churches. The Church is Fraternal Pastor McIntosh's last thesis has nothing to do with the argument other than to try to prevent argument. He uses AC 26:44 “Diversity does not violate the unity of the Church” to argue that whether one uses internet communion or not, this doesn't affect our unity. He said, “False doctrine, yeah, that's a problem… but not every diverse practice is evidence of doctrinal disagreement.” And that is true. But it is equally true that not every expression of diversity is evidence of correct doctrine. He should not assume that internet communion is as indifferent as the color of the walls in the parish hall. We are dealing with the consecration of the elements. That is not a matter of “anything goes.” Contextually, Article 26 is dealing with diversity in fasting practices, not with consecrating the elements. This is a very different matter. In his conclusion, Pastor McIntosh says, “It's so important to continue to offer, whether it's in a cathedral or in a condo, the gifts of God to the people of God” [including] “the reception of the sacraments.” Yes, this is true. And parish pastors typically celebrate Masses in church buildings on Sundays, and often during the week at hospital beds for patients and at kitchen or living room tables for shut-ins. Yes, we do this both “in the cathedral and in the condo,” so to speak. But the point is that we pastors celebrate and consecrate, we preach, baptize, and absolve as circumstances dictate. We don't just tell the shut-ins to commune themselves. We don't just facetime them and say “magic words” while they hold the phone over bread and wine. That would be to treat the consecration as ex opere operato. Pastor McIntosh's presentation overlooks and omits all of the potential problems of remote consecration - assuming that it is even valid. But let's say that it is valid for the sake of argument. There are unintended consequences. For example, if I'm consecrating at the altar, and I misspeak a word, or get tongue-tied, I can simply repeat the verba. This is what celebrants are instructed to do based on the fact that we have been doing this for nearly two millennia, and stuff happens. But what happens if, unbeknownst to the remote celebrant, the Zoom transmission gets garbled, and the pastor's voice begins to sound like ET on Quaaludes? That happens all the time. So what then? What happens if only part of the verba are heard and the connection drops? What do we tell the viewing audience at home to do with the bread and wine? Are they, or are they not, the body and blood of Christ? It matters. It really does! And how can the pastor be a “steward of the mysteries” while he isn't there? The steward was an ancient office dedicated to table service. The steward could water down a diner's wine if he were getting inebriated, or even cut him off. That's because he is able to watch and listen and make changes based on feedback. Pastors do something similar when they officiate. They may need to consecrate more hosts, or break some in half. They may need to get stingy with the Lord's blood at the last table, or they may need to consecrate more. A theoretical remote communion separates the pastor from his vocation of stewardship. He cannot say what is being consecrated and what is not. In my practice, I count out how many hosts I need and only consecrate those in the paten on the corporal. The rest in the ciborium remain unconsecrated. I consecrate only the wine in the chalice, not every drop in the cruet. So I know what is the Lord's body and blood, and what is not. If I were not in the room, how would I do this? Is the wine in the glasses on the table the only ones consecrated? What about the bottle on the table? If there is a leftover piece of toast from breakfast on the table, is that now consecrated? These are not inconsequential questions. The Eucharist is not do-it-yourself project. Jesus established an office of steward. And how is the reliquiae taken care of afterwards? And if an accidental desecration happens, why should we put the burden on laymen, perhaps miles away, when we pastors are the stewards? And all of the above problems grant the assumption that remote consecration is possible, that this is a valid consecration. One glaring problem is that the pastor's voice never actually comes into contact with the elements. What comes out of a speaker is a simulation of the pastor's voice that fools your brain into thinking that it is his voice - not unlike the RCA Victor dog. In the same way, a Zoom image or a photograph is not actually the person, but is rather a simulation of that person that gives an appearance of that person's presence. Da Vinci's Last Supper is only a painting. It is not really Jesus and the apostles. I argue that because of this reality, it is physically impossible to consecrate the elements remotely. And even if it were possible, it would still open up a Pandora's Box of problems. And this is why we don't tear down Chesterton's Fence. This is why we don't do sectarian things. This is why catholicity is more than just “universality” in the sense that local manifestations of Church are to be found hither and yon. In times past, there have been wars, plagues, tyrannical rulers, and natural disasters that have impeded the ability of pastors to preach and administer Sacraments. We do what we can with our human limitations, and we accept those limitations as part of our humanity - the same humanity that our Lord Jesus Christ took on at His incarnation. Unlike the technocratic Klaus Schwabs of the world, we don't look to transcend those human limitations by means of turning ourselves into transhumanistic cyborgs. The Church is indeed invisible in the sense that faith is not seen by the naked eye. But the Church is also visible, as she gathers around a visible preacher even as faith comes by hearing, heard from someone preaching, one who has been sent (Romans 10). The Church is visible as the administration of the Sacraments is visible, as real, physical bread and wine and water occupy space and time, and we experience them with our bodies by means of our senses. Pastor McIntosh only spoke of the invisible Church, not the visible Church. We must consider both halves of the paradox to get the full picture. The Church is indeed confessional, and our confessions address the question of who is charged with consecrating the elements (AC 14) and how that is to be done (AC 24, Ap 24). The Church is both local and trans-local - as evidenced by the fact that instead of a single temple, we have altars all over the world with the miraculous presence of God resting on them. And Holy Communion is not called “the Sacrament of the Altar” by our confessions for nothing. The elements are consecrated by the Word by means of one authorized to proclaim that Word - not just any person, and not by a simulacrum of a pastor's voice. And indeed, the Church is fraternal. It is an act of fratricide to introduce a divisive, sectarian, ahistorical practice in the Church that leaves people in doubt and scandalized, not to mention leaving behind a host of other chaotic consequences in its wake. At the conclusion of Pastor McIntosh's “Bible Study,” President Newman pointed out that there just so happened to be resolutions pertaining to internet communion yet to be voted on by the body, and that the CTCR and seminary faculties have already weighed in. And to my knowledge, none of them agree with Pastor McIntosh and President Newman that this practice should be done in our churches. Hopefully, this whole uproar about internet communion will be nothing more than an eyebrow-raising little episode in LCMS history that future generations will find quaint when they read about the synod's 21st century history. And in the short term, I hope that our synod will find some way, even with our convoluted polity, to enforce biblical, confessional, and catholic doctrine and practice, and facilitate the restoration of a genuine Eucharistic piety and of yearning for its frequent reception in our churches, an ethos that would make internet communion - not to mention the practice of churches withholding the Sacrament of the Altar for three weeks out of the month - unthinkable.

The Gottesdienst Crowd
[Gottesblog] The Future is Now — Larry Beane

The Gottesdienst Crowd

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 17, 2021 6:15


The Future is Now “Based upon the logic I've heard from other pastors over the past 15 months, if experts & elected officials declare Climate Change a global emergency, pastors will close their churches again. After all, “gathering isn't essential”, “we're not climatologists”, “love your neighbour”, “it's life or death”, “zoom church is suitable”, “the $ fines will be too high”, & “Rom 13”. ” — THE REV. AARON ROCK Pastor Aaron Rock, a Neo-Evangelical minister who serves Harvest Bible Church in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, who wrote the above on Facebook, seems to understand ecclesiology better than a lot of Lutherans - even lacking the belief that what happens at the altar and in the sanctuary during Holy Communion is a literal miracle in which Christ is truly present in His body and blood. Canada is becoming quite an oppressive state. One recent example is the severe lockdown that went into effect just hours before Easter Sunday this year. On Good Friday, Canadian PM Justin Trudeau acknowledged the “long weekend” (a wonderful euphemism for the holiest day of the year to some two billion people) and that “we're all going to have to do things differently again this year.” Article Two of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees that “Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms: freedom of conscience and religion; freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication; freedom of peaceful assembly; and freedom of association.” Well, sort of. For Article One preemptively takes away those freedoms when the State decides citizens don't have freedom of religion, thought, belief, opinion, expression, press, assembly and association: “only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.” The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (the first ten amendments of which are known as the Bill of Rights) does not include such a disclaimer - such a disclaimer implying that one's “rights” are not rights at all - which come from God - but are actually State grants of privilege. That said, we have seen our governments - federal, state, and local - act as though they did have the Canadian Loophole in them. In fact, many countries - including Communist China - also “guarantee” religious freedom, albeit with the Canadian Loophole. And this shows the real value of such lofty government “guarantees.” The past couple years caught the Church by surprise, and we learned not only a lot about our governmental leaders, but also about our church leaders. We have learned a lot about ourselves, and what we really believe, teach, and confess regardless of what we say on paper: in Scripture and in the confessions. Whether or not you agree with Pastor Rock regarding the danger of government overreach related to “climate change,” it is hard to be so Pollyannish as to believe that we will not have future conflicts with the State in whether or not our services are “essential,” whether our God-given rights trump positive law, whether their constitutional limitations are real or only theoretical, and whether or not the Ekklesia (Church) can long exist where there is no ekklesia (assembly). Sadly, some people will never return to assemble with the saints again, seeking instead convenient Zoom sessions that they can watch in their pajamas. We have opened the proverbial can. But as for future government “emergencies,” we need to start talking about this now. At what point do we comply? And for how long? At what point do we resist openly? At what point do we take the Divine Service underground in defiance of the State? These are questions for individual believers, families, congregations, districts, synods, and the church catholic. And we confessional Lutherans need to crush underfoot any and all heretical and oxymoronic suggestions such as lay-communion or remote electronic consecration, not to mention granting the State unconditional authority based on a flawed reading of Romans 13. The time to wrestle with these issues is not in the middle of a crisis when pastors, congregations, and families have a window of opportunity to do whatever they want with impunity - whether out of well-intentioned ignorance, or by carefully planned stealth. After all, as the saying goes, never let a crisis go to waste. Thank you to Pastor Rock for calling Christians to deal with future “emergencies” by talking about them now.

The Gottesdienst Crowd
[Gottesblog] Luecke Contra Baptism — Larry Beane

The Gottesdienst Crowd

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 13, 2021 29:57


Luecke Contra Baptism I would like to thank the Rev. Dr. David S. Luecke for providing a stark contrast between his Church Growth Movement (CGM) approach to liturgy and sacraments vs. what Gottesdienst has been not only advocating, but putting into practice for going on thirty years. His undated piece “Avoid Sacramentalism in Ministry” from his What Happened to our Churches? blog is a case in point. This article is a valuable example of why Gottesdienst exists, and why the work of pastors and the laity in the ongoing restoration of biblical theology and reverence in worship is not only needed, but is making a difference. He begins his piece by pointing out that the local Baptist Moody radio station “dropped broadcasts of the Lutheran hour” because of The Lutheran Hour's emphasis on “Baptism as a key to salvation.” He laments this as a “first-class communications problem,” and the fault for this “error” was “with Lutheran preachers.” He accuses Lutheran pastors of holding to an ex opere operato theology of Holy Baptism divorced from the Word and from the Holy Spirit. Luecke sums up his explanation of how salvation works, that the Holy Spirit works through the Word, and the water merely “visualizes” the Word. He never mentions Jesus or the cross in his mini-presentation of the ordo salutis in his own words. In fact, Dr. Luecke has a strange articulation of his confession of the Holy Trinity: All Protestants affirm the Trinity of Three Persons in One God, a concept very hard to understand. Calvinist focus on the First-Person God the Father. Lutherans emphasize the Second-Person God the Son. God the Spirit has been much neglected mostly because his role as Lord and Giver of church life was not needed when lively church life was heavily institutionalized. The rapidly growing Pentecostal movement of the last 100 years features the Third-Person Spirit. For Paul Christ and the Holy Spirit are inter-changeable. He attributes the same function in one place to Christ and another place to the Spirit. For Paul the Spirit is Christ present with us now [emphasis added]. Dr. Luecke's assertion of Lutheran pastors severing faith from Holy Baptism is a straw man argument. He never sites any source of this apparently rampant false doctrine among Lutheran clergy, in which Baptism is treated as a magic ceremony independent of the Holy Spirit, the Word of God, and presumably, our Lord Jesus Christ who told us to “make disciples” by baptizing them in the first place. And Dr. Luecke blames the Lutherans (Walt Kowalsky was right!) and acts as if being removed from the Moody radio station is a bad thing. In reality, The Lutheran Hour deserves kudos for not being afraid to confess our theology. Were a Baptist to read the Small Catechism's seven questions and answers on the Chief Part of Holy Baptism, he would reject it as false doctrine. I was raised in the Baptist Church. I'm grateful for the biblical instruction that I had as a child, as well as learning who Jesus is and why the cross matters. The people of my little Baptist congregation were confessors of the Gospel. That said, Baptists and Lutherans believe entirely different things about Holy Baptism. Moody's doctrinal statement is utterly silent about the sacraments. Dr. Luecke admits that Baptists reject infant baptism, mirroring their snarky tone about “sprinkling water on a baby” having nothing to do with one's “relationship with God.” Dr. Luecke also uses the curious term “water baptism” - a distinction often used among charismatics to distinguish actual baptism from a laying on of hands that accompanies “speaking in tongues” (which they call “baptism of the Spirit”). As an aside, Dr. Luecke says that he doesn't have the “gift of tongues,” but he recognizes modern glossolalia as valid in a response to a person who claims to “speak in tongues”: I did not intend to belittle something that has been a defining feature for millions of enthusiastic believers. I intended just to say that I have not been given that gift. I am appealing to a much broader audience than those who have had the experience of speaking in tongues. I gave my understanding of it as an emotional expression. Many Lutheran pastors have hostility toward charismatics from the conflicts involving charismatics in congregations in the 60s and 70s. I respect charismatics for their energy. Yours is the first expression of your prayer language being very rational. God bless your gift and the Giver. Moody is also to be commended for their faithfulness to their theology. They recognize what Luecke doesn't want to: that neo-Evangelicals and Lutherans have incompatible theologies of baptism, and of the sacraments in general. Dr. Luecke longs for a kind of faux unity by having The Lutheran Hour either compromise our theology, or dishonestly put it under a bushel. Dr. Luecke recognizes the inroads of the liturgical renewal that began in the middle of the twentieth century, as North American Lutherans began to dig out of the Pietist hole that their forbears, trying to fit in with a contemporary Protestant culture, fell into decades earlier - a cultural upheaval when the English language displaced the German during and after World War One. He describes his discomfort with “young pastors” and their “tendency toward sacramentalism” - which he defines as “treating the sacraments as more important than the Word.” Again, this is a straw man. The problem is actually the opposite of Dr. Luecke's complaint. While it is still not uncommon for a Lutheran congregation to have a Service of the Word without Holy Communion, I have never heard of a Service of the Sacrament without the Word. Can Dr. Luecke point to a single example of a Lutheran Divine Service that skips the Bible readings, omits the sermon, and heads right into the Eucharist? But we do see, again and again, especially in non-liturgical “church growth” congregations, the omission of the Sacrament rather than the omission of the Word. In some cases, non-liturgical churches boast about their “seeker sensitive” approach that pushes the Sacrament of the Altar to the fringes, perhaps only celebrating it once a month. I cannot imagine how malnourishing such a bland diet would be. It is a repudiation of our confession that Holy Communion strengthens our faith. And this is why Christians from time immemorial gathered on the Lord's Day for the “breaking of bread” - that is until men of Dr. Luecke's generation and inclination decided that what we needed was less Holy Communion. As to the accusation of “treating the sacraments as more important than the Word,” Gottesdienst's print journal is immersed in the Word of God. I've been the sermons editor for more than a decade. Every issue includes sermons. We insist that preaching be bound by, and centered on, the biblical text, the Word of God, as opposed to anecdotes, cutesy stories, emotional glurge, object lessons, or pop culture commentary. We also have regular columns devoted to the exegesis of Scripture. I have been to many Divine Services and other prayer offices at Gottesdienst events. The Word is always powerfully preached and proclaimed. I have never seen Dr. Luecke in attendance at any of them. This is a common straw man among our critics, that we - as I heard recently - pay more attention to “the proper form of a stole to proclaiming the pure Gospel” - and that this explains the decline of Christianity in our country, in the west, and around the world. This mirrors Dr. Luecke's Theology of Glory, in which he asserts that the number of the butts in the pews is in direct proportion to the faithfulness of the preacher and the correctness of the church's method of worship. The fact of the matter is that the editors and bloggers of Gottesdienst are parish pastors, some having been for decades - not primarily professors, experts in industrial organization, bureaucrats, theorists, academicians, or consultants about how to grow a church. And in the course of years of actual parish ministry, one sees the power of the Word of God, through preaching, through Baptism and the Lord's Supper, through Confession and Absolution, through praying the Psalms, through the liturgy, on deathbeds, in times of personal and family angst, in tragedy, in bringing Christ to bear in the midst of the Culture of Death and a world that is repulsed by the cross. Actual parish pastors baptize the babies - sometimes with an eye dropper. They also bury the babies and console the grieving parents who are comforted by our emphasis on baptism. They also baptize adults, and in some cases, the elderly. They teach the Word in Bible classes, in youth catechesis, and in sermons - week in and week out. They bring both Word and Sacrament to shut-ins and to the hospitalized. They proclaim the Word of God as their parishioners breathe out their final breath on this side of the grave. And in fact, we are so focused on the Word of God, we use the traditional liturgy! Your Lutheran Service Book (LSB) has the biblical references embedded in the liturgy on every page. The Church has used the liturgy for well over 1,500 years precisely because the liturgy is grounded in the living Word of God. In fact, the deviants from the liturgy are those who move away from the Word into the realm of either reason (as many of the Reformed do), emotion (as many neo-Evangelicals do), phony signs and wonders (as many Pentecostals and Charismatics do), or magisterial mysticism (as many Roman Catholics do). Dr. Luecke suffers from the Grass Is Always Greener syndrome - as do many cradle Lutherans who take their treasure for granted. As a convert, I see the futility of lusting after popularity by adopting worship alien to our confessions. I have been there, and done that - with all of its strengths and weaknesses. The reality is that we have the best of both worlds in our Lutheran confession: a rigorous cruciform theology informed not by direct revelation, the magisterium, or by a complex matrix of popes and councils, not by logic and reason, not by ginned up emotion and navel-gazing, but by the Word of God, sola scriptura. And we retain the biblical practice of baptismal regeneration and of the Lord's own words concerning His Supper (as the great I AM proclaims the great THIS IS), as well as retaining the biblical practice of Holy Absolution according to our Lord's institution. Dr. Luecke presents a false either/or dichotomy that offers us only option A) The Word or option B) the sacraments, without an option C) all of the above. And in fact, the real, fully-lived Christian life is not a multiple choice quiz, but rather an essay, a narrative, that is, the Gospel of Jesus Christ: His incarnation, birth, ministry, passion, death, resurrection, ascension, and the consummation of His coming again in glory. I would agree with Dr. Luecke if his critique were a caution against the danger falling into ex opere operato (seeing baptism and all other liturgical acts as a work severed from faith). For this warning is strewn about the Book of Concord. It is one of the chief criticisms of Rome. And where I see it is in the good intention of grandparents whose faithless children will not baptize or raise their own children in the faith. And so pious grandparents, lovingly desperate for the salvation of their grandchildren, will sometimes inquire about bringing their grandchildren to church to baptize them independent of the parents' wishes or intention to raise them as Christians. Sometimes grandparents will ask about doing a sort-of secret emergency baptism themselves (a situation so common that an episode of All in the Family depicted Archie Bunker doing this very thing). Their motivation is love. But we have to gently remind them that baptism is not a silver bullet, that faith matters, that like a seed that is watered, the ongoing life of the seedling requires ongoing care lest it die. Those with any time in the pastoral office has had to encounter this real-world situation. But Dr. Luecke is instead condemning those who worship by means of the liturgy, in “traditional churches,” and especially in “highly liturgical churches” and their pastors who emphasize Holy Baptism in the life of the Christian. Dr. Luecke refers back to Dr. Luther's famous dictum that when he was tormented by the devil, he would made the good confession: “I am baptized.” Dr. Luecke cautions, “This can be taken to mean he relied on the act of water baptism for his identity as a believer.” This shows that Dr. Luecke doesn't understand the Lutheran confession of Holy Baptism. Baptism is our identity as a believer. It is how disciples are made. It is the objective declaration of God of His objective work of regeneration. Otherwise, Dr. Luther would not refer back to it, but would rather exclaim, “I have faith.” The problem is that faith is subjective. It is impossible to quantify. Holy Baptism is objective. It is binary: you either are, or you are not. And Holy Baptism delivers faith. Nowhere in the Scriptures are we taught to sever the two, nor are we to treat baptism as a mere human act publicly acknowledging our faith (as is the Baptist confession). Rather, we confess baptism as “the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.” To be baptized is to be born again. And in our first birth, we draw our first breath in the world. In our second birth, we draw our first breath in eternity. How can a Lutheran remove baptism from his identity? Baptism and faith are intertwined, but it is baptism that is the objective, extra nos reality to which a person whose faith may be tried and frayed can point. And that reality delivers faith as a gift. The remembrance of baptism strengthens our faith. Faith is not substitute for baptism. This is a theology alien to our Lutheran confession. I remember listening to the radio on a long drive across the entire state of Pennsylvania and the only thing I could pick up was a religious station. A Baptist pastor was preaching a thunderous fire-and-brimstone sermon, but at one point in his preaching, he broke down in tears. He could not determine if his faith were sufficient. He was broken and demoralized, and had no objective means of faith, nothing outside of himself and his own sinful works to which to anchor himself. This is the crabgrass that Dr. Luecke is peering at over the fence, convincing himself that it is greener. And it is, like the “sign” of “speaking in tongues,” a navel-gazing subjective self-validation of one's salvation as opposed to the objective, divinely-focused nature of Holy Baptism as a reality of the New Birth in a Christian's life. Dr. Luecke criticizes the mid twentieth century rediscovery of the liturgy as a blessing to the faith and life of the individual Christian and of the Church, as a “wrong turn.” He creates another straw man that emphasizing “renewing the forms and rituals of public worship” is antithetical to “the Word of God itself” and to “relationships.” This is not only factually untrue, it is a weird display of mental gymnastics. For ritual doesn't take away from relationships. In fact, all forms of relationships involve ritual. For example, I don't know if Dr. Lueke is married or not, but if so, I would be willing to wager that this entrance into a sacred relationship with his wife was accompanied by ritual, and it was probably quite traditional. She probably wore a wedding dress as opposed to a pair of blue jeans. Likewise, he was probably wearing, if not a tuxedo, some form of suit and tie (a form of male vesture dating back to the Pagan French Revolution). The wedding service was likely liturgical, as opposed to being ex corde. Interestingly, in my experience, weddings are an example in which Baptists actually follow a more liturgical form than the usual loosely-liturgical Sunday service. Words are read out of the book, and the couple and the pastor engage in a formal rote recitation. And likewise, married- and family-life involves a lot of rituals. I don't know if Dr. Luecke has children or not, but if so, I would bet that every year on the natal anniversary of his wife and children, the family would gather for a liturgy of sorts, a ritual involving a special meal, candles, and the singing of a particular traditional song. And far from standing in opposition to the idea of relationship, such rituals are like glue that bonds relationships. I wonder what Dr. Lueke thinks of the traditional ritual of celebrating one's baptismal birthday with the lighting of a candle and saying certain prayers. And of course, there are many social liturgies, like the Pledge of Allegiance and the National Anthem, fireworks on the fourth, handshakes, retirement dinners, clinking glasses together in a toast, the seventh-inning stretch, the starting pistol at the beginning of the race, clapping at the conclusion of a recital, eating popcorn at the movie theater, etc. All of these rituals foster relationships. They do not impede them. In the Church, we often refer to the Lord's Supper as “Holy Communion.” It is a “communion,” a ritual act of relationship between believers and God as well as believers to each other. How liturgy is seen in opposition to such relationships beggars belief. Nearly every act of human relationship involves rituals, formal and informal. Social iconoclasm leads only to the breakdown of civilization and the destruction of the faith - not to mention a destruction of relationships through deracination and atomization, creating a vacuum to be filled with a selfish desire for personal entertainment and the treating of “butts in the pews” as an impersonal, ego-driven barometer of faith and faithfulness. Dr. Luecke displays a shocking ignorance of history and of the Bible itself by arguing that “the roots” of our liturgical rituals: go back to the fourth century when the now-official Christian church began adopting special rituals, robes, and parades with incense of pagan worship. Pagan worship was meant to impress the gods, so they would look favorably on human efforts. Quality was important for that purpose. Emphasizing those rituals led to the sacramentalism that forms were more important than the Word of God itself. And herein lies the heart of the matter of Dr. Luecke's iconoclastic rebellion against the liturgy and the sacraments - and to be blunt, his rebellion against the Word of God itself. While some of our specific clerical vestments have their roots in the Greco-Roman world of our Lord, the apostles, and the Pagan (and later Christian) Roman Empire, the idea of liturgical vestments when ministering in the presence of God is an Old Testament idea. That which Dr. Luecke dismissively calls “robes” and other liturgical accoutrements are, per his argument, of Pagan origin to “impress the gods.” If Dr. Luecke were to read Exodus and Leviticus, he would learn what God's preferences are. When He appeared to Moses in the burning bush, God instructed Moses to remove his sandals, as this was a place of holiness - set apart from the ordinary because of the miraculous presence of God. He did not tell Moses “come as you are” or champion casualness as a virtue in the presence of God. And our Lutheran confession of the Lord's Supper is that it is a miracle, that Jesus is truly present in an incarnate, physical form occupying space and time. It is His same body born of the Virgin Mary, the same blood shed on the cross. It is not a symbol. It is not a “spiritual presence.” It is a miraculous manifestation of God in our midst: God in our sanctuary, God on our altar, God given to us to eat and drink and take into ourselves bodily, according to His Word and institution. This is why our churches are called “sanctuaries” - holy places - no less holy than the Holy of Holies in the tabernacle and temple. Why we would treat this most sublime gift and reality with anything less than complete awe and wonder and reverence can only be described by one word: disbelief. When the time came for the Lord to dwell among His people by means of His miraculous presence, the Lord Himself instructed that a beautiful tabernacle be constructed, with specific instructions for top quality items of beauty to be used in a liturgical setting. The priests were to be vested as they carried out their ministry, with fine linen, gems, and colorful cloth of superlative workmanship. God's house was to be adorned in the finest of silver and gold and other metals, with beautiful fabrics and artwork. And there are also liturgical instructions regarding ordinations, daily and weekly worship, and an annual calendric cycle. And it is impossible to read the Lord's worship preferences and not come away convinced that God prefers liturgy, ritual, beauty, reverence, and yes, “quality” when it comes to His presence on earth. There are no examples in Scripture of the miraculous presence of God being accompanied by come-as-you-are casualness and an entertainment emphasis. And there was also incense. Incense is a powerful image, the use of which is mandated in Old Testament worship, is referred to in Psalm 141 as symbolic of prayer, was presented to our Lord by the Magi, was part of our Lord's ritual of His burial, and is also mentioned numerous times in the Book of Revelation. Incense is not of Pagan origin, but Pagans copied it from the worship of the true God. The words “incense” and “frankincense” appear 110 times in the ESV translation, including both God's delight in it, as well as his condemnation of it being offered to false gods, or even to Himself by those who were not called to lead worship. Dr. Luecke's brand of de-emphasis of baptism, his anticlericalism and his innovationism is the real problem in the Church. It must be stamped out by constant and consistent catechesis (including by the teaching that happens by means of ceremonies), by a renewed biblical literacy, by a rediscovery of our Book of Concord and our Church History, by liturgical preaching, by embracing not American sectarianism but our Evangelical Catholic confession of the traditional, unchanging, apostolic faith, and by rejecting the idea that popularity is what determines righteousness. This latter one is the rotten fruits of the Church Growth Movement's libido numerandi and lusting after the ego-stroke of big churches and big budgets. Can you imagine if we raised our children to cultivate a desire to be popular? Would we advise our sons to do drugs? Would we advise our daughters to be promiscuous? Why do CGM advocates embrace worldly popularity as a gage of “church success.” Have they not read our Lord's words? Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. These two verses are a repudiation of Dr. Luecke's entire career as a CGM advocate. I would posit that if he has baptized one baby in the course of his ministry, he has done more good for the growth of the kingdom than his entire corpus of books and articles. And when our Lord returns to this decimated, fallen world finding only a remnant of believers, He will not scold us for not being worldly enough, with our churches being too small, with not enough butts in the pews - but will commend His Bride for her faithfulness to His Word, promise, and command: Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.

OverDrive
Brandon Beane on Bills expectations in 2021, Allen's new deal, & Bills Mafia.

OverDrive

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 9, 2021 15:23


Buffalo Bills GM Brandon Beane joins the guys ahead of NFL preseason. He chats about giving Allen his new deal and what they expect from him going forward. Bean then talks about Coach Sean McDermott and Allen being the right men to lead this team to a Super Bowl. Beane then discusses what the expectations are for the Bills coming off a strong 2020 season.

Howard and Jeremy
08-02 Bills general manager Brandone Beane

Howard and Jeremy

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 2, 2021 23:00


See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

The Gottesdienst Crowd
[Gottesblog] On Gran Torino — Larry Beane

The Gottesdienst Crowd

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 31, 2021 6:53


On Gran Torino I used to enjoy movies, that is, before they all became preachy and “woke,” eager to push a Critical Theory Neo-Marxist narrative, and turning Christians and other demographic groups, into villains. In 2008, as the Hollywood Revolution was moving into overdrive, and as filmmaking was quickly descending into the septic tank, actor/director Clint Eastwood produced a gem of cultural iconoclasm: a movie truly worth watching, called Gran Torino. Eastwood plays the main character, Walt Kowalski, a crotchety Korean War veteran who lives in a changing suburban neighborhood in Detroit. His once-white neighborhood is being repopulated by Hmongs, who are people of a stateless Southeast Asian nationality who live in Cambodia and Vietnam, and who allied themselves with South Vietnam and the Americans during the Vietnam War. Many Hmongs were resettled as refugees in the United States following the communist takeover of Vietnam after the US withdrawal. In fact, at my baptism in 1982, I was given the washing of regeneration and renewal with seven other adults: all Hmong. There is an interesting conversation in the film between Kowalski and his neighbor Sue (the young adult Hmong woman whom he rescues from a dangerous situation). She explains to him about the Hmong, and said that “the Lutherans” resettled them in the United States. The Roman Catholic character Kowalski retorts with the memorable line: “Everybody blames the Lutherans.” Without resorting to spoilers, the theme of the movie is sin and redemption - with clear and unmistakable Christological symbolism. The persistent Roman Catholic pastor is actually a heroic figure in the movie, unlike the usual Hollywood paradigm of presenting Christians and clergy as predators or criminals. Father Janovich, who recently buried Kowalski's wife, nags Kowalski to unburden himself in confession, knowing that his soul is scarred by incidents that happened in the war. There is imagery of the baptismal font that Eastwood places into the picture at crucial moments. There is also the symbolism of the cross and of blood - though the movie is not gratuitously violent or gory (though it does have a good bit of profanity, just so you're aware). The title comes from the name of the car that Kowalski not only owns, but had assembled in his days as a Detroit Ford auto worker. It symbolizes a kind of freedom and innocence of an era that has passed. The car becomes the object of an attempted crime, later, a symbol of friendship, trust, forgiveness, and love - and once more as the physical manifestation of redemption, of returning to the state of freedom and innocence. The movie deals with racism, but not in the usual stilted, politically-correct, scoldy, cartoonish way that has become the norm, but rather in a refreshingly human and sympathetic way that allows for forgiveness and growth - one at odds with the current Social Justice Warrior approach of cancel culture, of the perpetually-offended, and the destruction of people's lives. Kowalski's character is complex and authentic: a man who is brutally honest, bearing the scars of warfare, bigoted, but one whose bigotry is overcome by human contact and his own sense of honor. He finds common ground with his Hmong neighbors over and against the hypocrisy of his own kith and kin. The movie is also filled with ethnic humor, which shows the clear distinction between the playful and even affectionate acknowledgement of ethnic and cultural realities between friends vs actual racism. This honest portrayal of normal collegial banter has been panned by contemporary viewers who are scandalized by the words used in the film. Of course, they cry that the film is “racist” - when in fact, it is the diametric opposite. This misrepresentation is because our immediate culture is afraid of normal, human interaction and is on a hair-trigger looking for forbidden thoughts at every turn, even vilifying, if not criminalizing, normal interpersonal interaction. Of course, in the real world of sanity and normalcy, friends, colleagues, and co-workers recognize our differences, and we acknowledge them with humor across the board, equally, instead of the current politically-correct paradigm of banning all such humor and replacing it with genuine, targeted, and debilitating hatred against certain “acceptable” demographic targets for genuine racism and abuse. Gran Torino cuts through all of that, and presents a normal, complex, lovable man underneath a gruff exterior while making use of clear imagery of the atonement and the sacraments to show God's transformative mercy at work. The movie is funny, touching, gritty, honest, and uplifting, but not in the usual contrived Hollywood way. The end of the film comes around to the beginning, as most great storytelling does. It is a master class for Social Justice Warriors to learn the difference between actual racism and healthy human banter and affectionate humor that naturally emerges where people are free. It is also a confession of the atonement, of redemption, of the forgiveness of sins, of love, and the peace that surpasses all understanding. If you have not seen the film, I highly recommend it. And never forget the dictum: “Everybody blames the Lutherans.”

The Gottesdienst Crowd
[Gottesblog] Libido Numerandi — Larry Beane

The Gottesdienst Crowd

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 27, 2021 11:47


Libido Numerandi In his masterpiece The City of God, St. Augustine uses the term libido dominandi, which might be translated as “the lust for domination.” It is Augustine's term for fallen man's inclination to lord over others, to play God by seeking to control other people. There is a variation of this libido that seeks power and the praise of men by an appeal to numbers: libido numerandi. Even animals turn to this form of self-aggrandizement in making themselves look big - often as a defense mechanism to frighten away predators, or as an appeal to a potential mate. But especially among fallen men, there is a determination to dominate others by an assertion of self-promotion: be it physical size, strength, influence, wealth, or the number of people in one's organization. This libido numerandi is everywhere. Companies will routinely boast in their advertisements that they are the world's largest this or that, the biggest such and such a firm in the country, or the Number One seller of widgets in the state. And this libido is all too common in the church. It is the main lust displayed by the Church Growth Movement (CGM), and has become justification for a lot of mischief - even abolishing the Mass and the usual public ceremonies, like the order of the readings, vestments, etc. - all in the name of boosting numbers. Of course, we are called upon to evangelize, but we are also called upon to seek and save even the single lost sheep, and not just make a play for ever larger numbers of people for the sake of numbers itself. In our Lord's parable, the shepherd leaves the ninety-nine on the plain to find one of his flock that isn't even a new “recruit,” but rather a member who has wondered off. This legacy maintenance approach to ministry must seem a strange strategy indeed to the CGM advocate, who would likely rather be leaving one behind to look for ninety-nine new members, not to mention the vault of heaven resounding over a mere net gain of only one member! And this is part of the curse of the Church Growth Movement - people just become numbers, tallies on a spreadsheet, abstract targeted goals in a corporate jargon-filled mission statement. The now (thank God) defunct Ablaze!™ program, that was sold not a program but as a “movement”, created such a dehumanizing secular marketing approach by laying out a numerical goal of a hundred million “critical events” to be racked up (defined as telling people about Jesus, but not defined as actually baptizing someone). It was pure libido numerandi. It downplayed the means of grace, it reduced people and human interactions to the place of tick marks in a database and a number to be reported by the suits at meetings, and completely forgot about the Holy Spirit and the Doctrine of Election. How different than our Lord's Parable of the Sower, in which the seed is cast far and wide in a way that looks foolish to the world, unconcerned with numbers, and not reporting them to a website or to the bureaucrats in the home office. And the sower doesn't research to find out the best place to cast. He doesn't use the techniques of modern agribusiness to bump up the fertility of the soil. He doesn't employ genetic modification to make his seeds more “effective.” He doesn't even use the latest and greatest technology. He just tosses the seed everywhere, seemingly recklessly, and he just leaves the results up to God the Holy Spirit. The sower's job is to be faithful. And that is another thing that the lust for numbers ignores. Which church is more “successful”? Is it Joel Osteen's stadium full of tens of thousands, or is it the little LCMS congregation that uses the liturgy, the hymns, and is normed by the Bible and the Confessions and has maybe a couple dozen people in attendance? Is the metric for success, for a “healthy church” (in CGM lingo) based on the number of people present, or the degree of fidelity to the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ? One rank example of the libido numerandi was when a previous district president said that he hoped my congregation would grow to 900 members in a year. How he came up with that number is a mystery. Maybe it was a subconscious reference to Oral Roberts's 900 foot Jesus. Our building holds a couple hundred. Why would we want to be that large? Why wouldn't it make more sense to have another congregation or two (or more) - providing responsible pastoral care - if there were that many members? And why not focus on the kind of growth that sees our members grow in the maturity of their faith, in their Christian life, in their sanctification, in their knowledge of the Bible and the confessions of the church? In their love for the liturgy and their children's growing up immersed in the means of grace? Why is success seen merely as numerical growth? Another example is when pastors (and not just pastors) get together, one of the first questions is “How big is your church?” Or the really revealing way in which this question is often put: “How many do you worship?” If that isn't not only libido numerandi, but outright idolatry, then nothing is! The object of our worship is the Most Holy Trinity, not the number of people in the pews. There was even a well-known pastor who would get into discussions online about theological matters. You could tell when he was losing the argument, because he would look up his opponent's congregation's statistics (which are, inexplicably, published online) and then berate him if his church had a net loss of members over the past year or over the pastor's tenure at that congregation - as if that had any validity as a theological argument. Well, according to libido numerandi, it makes perfect sense. There is that nasty little libido in all of us to lord over others by an appeal to our own perceived greatness. And in our culture, size matters. It calls to mind when David's census did not go well, and God punished his libido numerandi: “Satan stood against Israel and incited David to number Israel…. But God was displeased with this thing, and He struck Israel…. So the Lord sent a pestilence on Israel, and 70,000 men of Israel fell” (1 Chron 21:1,7, 14). It also calls to mind the account of Gideon's conquest of Midian with only 300 men. God deliberately shrunk Gideon's army so as to conquer their libido numerandi: “The Lord said to Gideon, ‘The people with you are too many for Me to give the Midianites into their hand, lest Israel boast over Me, saying, my own hand has saved me'“ (Jud 7:2). But according to the Word of God, the Spirit blows where He wishes. The Church expands, the Church contracts, and in the long run, the Church will drastically shrink. Jesus Himself said so. There is not a direct relation between faithfulness and size, and to the contrary, when one lives in a hostile culture, there may well even be an inverse relationship. This is not to say that we should strive to make our churches small, or denigrate those whose churches are growing. These things are typically beyond our control. Contrary to the premises of the CGM, numerical growth is often related much more to the secular demographic increase or decrease of a local population than anything we do. And that is also a temptation to the Church Growthers. Many years ago, I received a beg letter from a proposed church plant. In making the pitch, it appealed to the fact that the target subdivision demographic was suburban, well-to-do, and comprised of many young families. The implication is that your money won't go to waste, because there is a better chance of success among people with money and kids. So the older people, the less-fortunate, and other outcasts who are not as likely to be an attractive demographic for investment can just do without evangelism, I suppose. The sower went looking for good soil, and limited his planting there, it seems. Should we assume that God blesses such an approach to evangelism? Bishop Vsevolod Lytkin commented on the monetary inefficiencies of mission work - especially in his milieu of the vast terrain of the Lutheran diaspora in Siberia: Speaking pragmatically, mission work always brings financial losses for the church, but we do not go to collect offerings. We go to proclaim the Word. The worldly considerations and calculations of gains and losses, financial, or in terms of numerical bragging rights, do not enter the picture in evangelism that is done out of love for the lost. If we were to spend a million dollars and not one member joins the congregation, it is not for us to call it a success or a failure. The Word of God does not return empty. “We go to proclaim the Word.” - and to do so faithfully. The rest is up to God. Our boast is not in “how many we worship” or the balance sheet of our latest building project. Our boast is in Christ our Lord. We must strive to replace our lust with love. And true love is not concerned with such details as numbers, personal vainglory, prestige, or impressiveness in the eyes of the world.

The Gottesdienst Crowd
[Gottesblog] Mission Indecipherable — Larry Beane

The Gottesdienst Crowd

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 25, 2021 3:27


Mission Indecipherable This is funny because it's true. All too often, churches sound like the worst that corporate, bureaucratic America has to offer. It is as though we could all have corporate-speak bingo cards during district conventions and when we read various church publications. And if it were made into a drinking game, it could cause the premiums for Concordia Plan Services to increase even more, especially as the demand for pastoral liver transplants were to increase dramatically. Some of the gobbledygook that we hear from church bureaucrats sounds just like the above video. And that is what happens when we lose touch with the Scriptures and Confessions. Instead of using turns of phrase from the Bible and the Book of Concord and from the long and rich tradition of the Holy Church, we are often treated to something more akin to the jargon of a self-help book or bureaucratic babble from the latest work productivity guru. Is it because they don't read the Bible? Is it because the Book of Concord has become just another dusty volume on the shelf from seminary days? Is it because our “missional” brethren's reading is normed by mission statements instead of the mission to spread the Gospel by means of sending pastors to serve at altars, fonts, and pulpits? Is it because they put more faith in the techniques of industrial organization, managerial leadership, and the Power of Positive Thinking than in the ministry of the Holy Spirit, the means of grace, and the Doctrine of Election? Even our bureaucratic titles sound like a bad parody of the movie Office Space: District President (DP or sometimes DiP)? Mission and Ministry Facilitator (MMF)? That one is particularly begging for it. Mission Executive? Congregation Support Specialist? Coach? (Yes, some districts have titles that include “coach” - which may conjure up images of big hairy guys in shorts with a whistle and a clipboard). We have various directors, executives, and facilitators. The only saving grace is that the names for all of these titles aren't still in German, or else it would sound like a World War II reenactors' convention. We have task forces and blue ribbon commissions (which sounds like something to do with the prize heifer at the county fair). We have cheesy themes for this and that, and of course, the king of corporate argot, the Mission Statement. Sigh. Wouldn't it be nice if this all stopped in our churches, and instead of reflecting the world, our writing and speaking and even our polity were given fluency by the Word of God?

Buffalo Rumblings: for Buffalo Bills fans
Billieve: Things We're Looking Forward to at Training Camp

Buffalo Rumblings: for Buffalo Bills fans

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 19, 2021 34:45


Coming off their first appearance in the AFC Championship game since the 1993 season, the Buffalo Bills are set to begin training camp on July 28 with sky-high expectations. On the latest episode of the Billieve Podcast, hosts John Boccacino and Jamie D'Amico discuss the players/positional battles/aspects of training camp they are most looking forward to. Those topics include: Tight end Dawson Knox and whether his offseason work, including seeing a performance vision coach to help improve his hand-eye coordination to combat the drops, will pay dividends and help him take that next step forward. The Bills started the same offensive line the final eight games of the 2020 season, but third-year player Cody Ford is considered the favorite to win the starting left guard job. Can Ford can live up to his second-round draft status and secure one of the guard spots, or will Ike Boettger reclaim the job. Cut down day, specifically how general manager Brandon Beane constructs this roster and what he does with the plethora of talent along the offensive and defensive lines that don't make the 53-man roster. It's a good problem to have, and Bills fans should rest easy knowing Beane will be able to get value in trades when dealing these cut candidates. Whether second-year cornerback Dane Jackson can unseat incumbent CB2 starter Levi Wallace. Bonus shout outs to WR Isaiah McKenzie and TE/fullback/special teamer Reggie Gilliam Subscribe to the Buffalo Rumblings podcast channel featuring Billieve, Buffalo Rumblings Q&A, Breaking Buffalo Rumblings, The Bruce Exclusive, The Buff Hub, Circling the Wagons, Code of Conduct with J. Spence, Jamie D and Big Newt, and The Overreaction Sports Podcast. Apple Podcasts | Stitcher | Google Play | Spotify | Podbean | iHeartRadio | TuneIn | Megaphone Ask Alexa or Google Home to play the Buffalo Rumblings podcast! If you like our show, tell a friend and help us spread the word! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Billieve: a Buffalo Rumblings Podcast
Billieve: Things We're Looking Forward to at Training Camp

Billieve: a Buffalo Rumblings Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 19, 2021 34:45


Coming off their first appearance in the AFC Championship game since the 1993 season, the Buffalo Bills are set to begin training camp on July 28 with sky-high expectations. On the latest episode of the Billieve Podcast, hosts John Boccacino and Jamie D'Amico discuss the players/positional battles/aspects of training camp they are most looking forward to. Those topics include: Tight end Dawson Knox and whether his offseason work, including seeing a performance vision coach to help improve his hand-eye coordination to combat the drops, will pay dividends and help him take that next step forward. The Bills started the same offensive line the final eight games of the 2020 season, but third-year player Cody Ford is considered the favorite to win the starting left guard job. Can Ford can live up to his second-round draft status and secure one of the guard spots, or will Ike Boettger reclaim the job. Cut down day, specifically how general manager Brandon Beane constructs this roster and what he does with the plethora of talent along the offensive and defensive lines that don't make the 53-man roster. It's a good problem to have, and Bills fans should rest easy knowing Beane will be able to get value in trades when dealing these cut candidates. Whether second-year cornerback Dane Jackson can unseat incumbent CB2 starter Levi Wallace. Bonus shout outs to WR Isaiah McKenzie and TE/fullback/special teamer Reggie Gilliam Subscribe to the Buffalo Rumblings podcast channel featuring Billieve, Buffalo Rumblings Q&A, Breaking Buffalo Rumblings, The Bruce Exclusive, The Buff Hub, Circling the Wagons, Code of Conduct with J. Spence, Jamie D and Big Newt, and The Overreaction Sports Podcast. Apple Podcasts | Stitcher | Google Play | Spotify | Podbean | iHeartRadio | TuneIn | Megaphone Ask Alexa or Google Home to play the Buffalo Rumblings podcast! If you like our show, tell a friend and help us spread the word! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

The Gottesdienst Crowd
[Gottesblog] Nondenominationalizing Tendencies — Larry Beane

The Gottesdienst Crowd

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 17, 2021 11:29


Nondenominationalizing Tendencies: Responses to A Tale of Two Synods Response to “A Tale of Two Synods” has been interesting and illustrative: some people posting comments to the blog, some to the FB repost, and some to the editors via email. Although many of these responders would have no problem identifying themselves, I am protecting their privacy by not publishing their names and geographical clues that might identify them. It is their choice whether they wish to be made known or not. That's not my call. Clearly, this phenomenon is not just an American problem, as we received feedback from three countries. The slide of our churches into pop-music entertainment worship and/or a rejection of the liturgy is especially scandalous to those who, like me, converted to Evangelical Catholicism. It is often the convert who has actually studied the Book of Concord, and leaves a service scratching his head, wondering if the Lutheran congregation sold the building to a non-denominational church. And since the faith is the most important thing in the life of the believer, he and his faithful wife are willing to pile the family into the car, sometimes with several young children, and travel ridiculously long distances to attend an authentically Lutheran Divine Service - often driving right right past several congregations who have traded away the treasure of their birthright for a bowl of junk food. Maybe such families and individuals can't do this every Sunday, but they strive to be faithful under trying circumstances. Others have a similar story. And perhaps for political reasons, their stories are not told in Lutheran Witness, Reporter, in the publications of our seminaries, in our district publications, or in our congregational newsletters. It is as though they don't exist, as they are stifled and hidden under the blare and bombast of the cacophony coming from the speakers of the “successful” church. It is high time that we acknowledge this massive problem in our synod and in the various church bodies around the world that were either established by, or influenced by, the LCMS. And it is certainly overdue that we begin to push back against those pushing Nondenominationalizing Tendencies in our fellowship wherever that pressure occurs - whether it be in the seminary chapel, in the district office (the MMFs and DPs in particular), or in church publications. I've been considering this issue quite a lot lately, and I believe there are indeed things that we pastors and laity can do together to take practical steps towards a renaissance of Lutheran Authenticity here and around the world. It will take persistence and patience - qualities that our progressive brethren have displayed over the long haul to get to where we are today. The time is long past for the ship to be righted. I'll be writing more about that in the future. But the first step is to get the problem out into the open and acknowledge it. Here is a sample of some of the responses that we have received. I wanted to convey to you the immense encouragement that I received from this post, which might seem somewhat unusual, because I think you wrote it with some exasperation about what's going on the LCMS. Actually, it was just great to read something that someone had written that is so close to my thinking.... I actually wrote a public statement and left the [church body] in [country], which is much further gone than the LCMS. I can tell you more, but suffice to say, that I couldn't in good conscience remain. I've just started a small congregation here in [city], and I'm hoping to make some contacts with the ILC, and such churches. (I loved the video of Siberia that you posted.) ~ Responder I also like how the older people tend to think that this is what us younger people want: bands and lights and smoke. Okay maybe it's true. I want the one man band called the pipe organ, I want the candles, the incense, the liturgy, a meat and potatoes sermon that will feed me through the week. Divine Liturgy that lets me worship God by repeating his words back to him instead of repeating some endless chorus of the same watered down words of a praise song. I want to touch the hymn books and have the full experience. I want to hear the little children that can not read yet but have the Divine Liturgy memorized because church is the same every week instead of some rock concert. ~ Responder Man this hits home! Okay, so, I live in [place name], which is the "Texas of [country], and the landscape here appears strikingly similar. That is to say, while the area itself is known to be politically conservative, the Neo-Evangelicalism by way of a lack of Confessional integrity, ejection of the hymnal and liturgy in favour of "creative worship" or non-denominational mega-church nonsense, is astounding. Like the LCMS, the divide… here is very real as well (although perhaps easier to navigate geographically as it appears to be east vs. west, generally speaking). I mean, even [among our seminaries], the attitude and emphasis is in such stark contrast that it is exactly as you say where it might as well be two synods (one catering to boomers, or the death of the [Lutheran] church, and the other authentically Confessional Lutheran serving as a beacon for the elect). The proposed polity solution I could not agree with more and would love to see such a model…. . It would alleviate much of this tension and conflict, and perhaps be the answer to the problem of the microsynods who just can't stand to be in fellowship with a body that allows what it does. It also has historical precedence insofar as superintendents used to be in charge of setting the church order for their region and standardizing practice. Although, on that note, this would also be a good time to revert back to traditional language as Fr. Peterson makes a case for, opting for terms like diocese and bishop instead. Or, at least the Orthodox Lutheran districts can use such verbiage, the rest can continue to distance themselves from anything "traditional", "catholic", or "Lutheran" for that matter. Then if/when a split happens, it'll be much easier as everyone will already be organized and grouped together in their respective camps that honestly reflect what they believe and where they stand. ~ Responder Anyone whose been around knows that you have to carefully check a church's website or FB page to make sure they haven't gone off the rails. “You should try the Lutheran church” could be the best or worst recommendation at the same time. ~ Responder I want the Pastors, and District President (Bishop) of the Texas district to understand why and what I left. I converted to Confessional Lutheranism as an adult, a few years ago. Converting as an adult I left an American Evangelical church where I had volunteered as a small group leader, musician, and technical service (sound/lighting/projection). I was in a very comfortable position as a volunteer, esteemed by my co-volunteers, appreciated by the church staff. I walked away from it all. The concert sound, the theater lights, the visuals, and a musician I walked away from it all. I walked away from rock concert church to join a "boring" small congregation with a pianist who doubles as the organist, and seasonally triples as a choir director. I walked away from the exciting flashy rock concert church so I could read the SATB notes in the service book and struggle to sing the bass line. I walked away from one church and don't think I won't walk away from an LCMS congregation that does the same, because I already did. I needed to attend an evening service on occasion and the closest LCMS church has a soft rock band. After posting on Facebook for another evening church I drive double the distance to go to a liturgical congregation. It angers me to see our fellowship mixed with rock'n'roll, as if we could flirt with the world and not be changed by it. We don't avoid sins by flirting with them, which is what rock and roll church is all about. And on top of this all my wife was watching, and on rare occasion coming with me to see our services. She also left the same American Evangelical church only to find the same problem among us. Can you imagine a life long Baptist in a young marriage seeing what her husband is doing in such a different church and finding the same music that caused her to leave? She's already walked from a second Am. Ev. church! whose pastor she knew! Do you think she'll want to return to a congregation in our fellowship? As her husband I pray one day she does. ~ Responder There is frustration, disorientation, and even pain in these responses, and in similar personal accounts that I have heard over the years - and yes, experienced myself as a layman who was actually shocked at what I saw in LCMS churches. It seems like our district offices are not listening, and they just down care. Well, it's time that they start caring. And the first step is to start listening.

Green and Bold
A's second-half outlook -- keys for another postseason trip

Green and Bold

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 16, 2021 54:12


https://www.bigheadsmedia.com/green-and-bold/

The Gottesdienst Crowd
[Gottesblog] Argumentum ad Repititium — Larry Beane

The Gottesdienst Crowd

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 7, 2021 17:55


Argumentum ad Repetitium When I get into discussions with people over the liturgy and traditional hymnody (over and against so-called “contemporary worship,”) a lot of the same arguments and assertions pop up. First is the charge that I just want traditional worship because it is “just what I like.” In other words, it's a matter of personal preference and taste. This accusation is more a revelation about what the one making the accusation believes, for “contemporary worship” is typically based on pop-music forms that are, well, popular. People want pop music because it is what they like, not because of its theology or particular confession, not because it reflects what God prefers from the Scriptures, or because it promotes the Word of God. No, people like pop music in worship because they like pop music elsewhere. If it's good enough for listening to while driving to work, it's good enough to listen to in the church service. So the charge that traditional church music is “just what you like” sounds like a projection. For are there any people arguing that they don't really like pop music, but it is the best music for worship? Is there anyone who champions guitars and drums in the chancel who leaves church and turns on the radio to listen to organ music and chorales? Admittedly, this is just a hunch, but I suspect that most proponents of “contemporary worship” actually prefer those music forms, and listen to them outside of the church service as well. In other words, “It's what they like.” One finger pointed at me, three fingers pointing back at thee. To the contrary, my desire to uphold the traditional liturgy and hymnody of the church has nothing to do with my musical tastes. In fact, the vast majority of the music that I listen to is pop music. I like what is today called “classic rock.” I like hard rock and 1980s heavy metal. I do listen to some classical music as well, but the vast majority of my musical tastes are the very types of music that I would loath in the Divine Service, and would consider its use to be blasphemous against the Lord and a degradation to rock and roll. As the cartoon character Hank Hill famously told a Christian rocker, “You're not making Christianity better, you're making rock and roll worse.” I'm a stickler for traditional liturgy and hymnody for several reasons. One of them is that this is what God likes. He is a God of order. He is a God of dignity. He is a God of beauty. He is a God of sacrifice, atonement, and forgiveness. One would be hard-pressed to find the self-serving desire to be entertained in Biblical examples of worship. In fact, after recording God's worship style preferences over the course of seven chapters (Exodus 25-31): the beautiful tabernacle covered in magnificent fabric, an altar of bronze followed by a courtyard also outfitted with beautiful textiles and precious metals, exquisite priestly garments (as well as rubrics for ordination), the altar of incense, the bronze basin for ceremonial washing, the anointing oil and incense, and specific instructions for fine craftsmanship, we come to chapter 32: the rejection of all of this for a more entertaining worship style around the golden calf, “and the people sat down to eat and drink and rose of to play.” They played at their worship. There was no indication that God wanted the priests to “play” in the holy of holies, or that the laity should “play” while sacrificing animals as a type of the Lamb to come. Some believe the word translated as “play” may be a euphemism for erotic overtones in this worship service - something that comes to the fore in many popular “praise and worship” songs, many of which that can be embarrassing to read the lyrics out loud or to watch the gyrations of the often-female performers - or “ministers of music", “worship leaders”, or “worship pastors” as they are sometimes called. By contrast, we see the Israelites who worshiped the true God repeating their ritual and liturgical actions of remembrance each year - and they were commanded to keep various feasts as a memorial. And to be a memorial, there must be continuity, both in ritual, and in the passing along of those rituals through the generations. Every year, a lamb was slaughtered and it was cooked with bitter herbs. It was eaten on the same day each year, and the same ceremony was repeated again and again, century after century. There were readings, there were hymns, there were psalms to be chanted. Why? Because God commanded that it should be done each year. Why should it change, since ultimately, the Passover meal was a type of Christ, pointing us to the Eucharist and to the cross? The message doesn't change, and therefore the rubrics of the meal do not change. For if they were to change even a little every year, in a hundred years it would look nothing like what it was supposed to remember. And when God interacts with mankind, there is a coming of heaven down to earth. Something otherworldly, something holy is happening. “Holy” means “set apart.” So when Jacob saw the vision of the angels ascending and descending on the ladder, he set apart that place as holy, and marked it with a pillar that was anointed with oil. That place was no longer just a spot to bed down for the night, it was the gate of heaven. God is also a God who is concerned with esthetics. He is the author of beauty. He is not indifferent about matters of style. For again, when God tabernacled with the children of Israel, he commanded a tent to be made up to His standards, with magnificent furniture, with gold and silver and fine-twined linen, beautifully woven fabrics of purple and scarlet. His tabernacle, and later his temple, was epitomized by exquisite beauty beyond what one normally had in his house and daily life. God ordered the priests to be vested, also in beautifully crafted textiles, rare jewels, and fine detailed ornamentation. This is not my idea or preference. This was not the preference of the priests or architects of the House of the Lord. This was done according to God's order. And God likes beautiful art - the cherubim above the mercy seat, the intricate carvings of almond flowers, palm trees, and pomegranates. Why? Because God likes this design. It's what He wanted. It is not because the congregation liked it, or the priests, or the leaders. God also likes bells and incense. Why? I don't know. He just does. He likes craftsmanship and high art. And this level of ornateness was not how ordinary people lived in their day to day life. The place where God made Himself present for, and with, mankind, this holy place, was set apart and beautiful. How anyone can actually read the Bible and come away thinking that God prefers people to just “come as you are” and “don't go to any trouble to make things nice” when they come into His presence? Or how can anyone conclude that God's attitude is “do whatever makes you happy, whatever you like,” or “do whatever is cheap.” This is not the God of the Bible. And related to this idea of God becoming present with His people, this is one major difference we have with Protestantism. We, along with the historic communions of Christianity, confess that a miracle happens on our altars when we celebrate the Mass, that Christ, the living God and King and Creator of the Universe, the Man who is perfect, comes to us literally and in incarnate form, as the bread and wine that are blessed by His Word are truly His body and blood. And so, that Presence takes us out of our ordinary, pedestrian existence and places us at the table with God. So is informality called for in times like these? Did Isaiah behave casually when he found himself in the throne-room of God, when the angels purged away his sin by bringing him a coal from the altar and placing it upon his lips? Did Peter, James, and John behave the same as they always did when Jesus transfigured before them on the mountain? Do military men behave differently around an officer than when they are hanging out with their fellow soldiers, sailors, airmen, or marines? What about when a general enters the room? How about the president? Are there different protocols and ways of behaving around one's superiors? And how would it be received if a soldier did not treat officers differently than their friends? Do these rituals and ways of carrying oneself communicate something? Are they for the good of the entire corps, the whole body of men united in service? What if you were invited to a banquet at Buckingham Palace? Would you comport yourself the same as if you were at home in front of the TV with a bucket of KFC? Or would you maybe be more formally dressed, perfectly groomed, more aware of those around you, especially those of high social rank? Would you like to know what the rubrics for such an important meal are? Or would you be content to carry on the same way that you do at home? Our formality in worship as Lutherans is crucial, because it is a confession that we do confess that Christ is miraculously present with us. We do not confess, as do many Protestants, that the Lord's Supper is a symbol, or that our Lord's flesh is far off in the heavens, leaving us with mere tokens that are at best some kind of “spiritual” presence. No, we confess that this is the eternal banquet that Jesus is always talking about, or at least a foretaste of it. The Divine Service is eschatological and brings us into contact with eternity. He is present under our roof, though we are unworthy. He says the Word, and we are healed. The King, God Himself, deigns to dine with us! This is not watching TV with KFC eaten out of a plastic container with a spork. Rather, this is the Holy of Holies, and Christ incarnate is present with us. And we not only eat with Him, but we feed miraculously on the true Passover Lamb, even as His blood is poured into us to mark us as His own, protected and saved from condemnation, from the Angel of Death. And so, our worship is different than our day to day lives. The hymnody comes from our rich tradition and is unbounded by fads or notions of what is popular today, but may well fall out of favor tomorrow. Our hymns not only praise God, but confess our faith rigorously and boldly. Our worship is dignified, and like the liturgical actions of remembrance of the children of Israel, it doesn't change again and again, becoming unrecognizable in just a few years. Nor is it play - whether motivated by a desire for fun, or even tinged with eroticism. Jesus said, “Do this in memory of Me.” He did not order us to change the liturgical action to bend it to our standards of entertainment, or to prevent it from not being “special.” And this is why the Church's liturgy remains the same. It is a remembrance, just as the liturgical actions of the Old Testament Church were. Any changes are not made to reflect theological change, but perhaps to accommodate linguistic or technological shifts. And over the centuries, we have developed a corpus of the very best that the Church has in terms of liturgy and hymnody, not subject to fads and fashions. Our progressive culture routinely gets rid of the old in search of the ever-new. Our church's heritage is a blend of the old and the new, not subject to “chronological snobbery” or Critical Theory that denigrates our own forbears. And as a pastor, I want people to be taught (as ceremonies teach the people what they need to know about Christ, as our confessions teach us). I want my parishioners to have no doubts about what it is that we Lutherans confess about Jesus, and about what He Himself says in Scripture. This is communicated verbally in what is said, and nonverbally in what is done. Research suggests that 60% of what is communicated between people is non-verbal - meaning what we do and how we speak is as important, and perhaps even a bit more, than what is said in words alone. An informal liturgy belies what is really happening: the miracle of heaven meeting earth and of Christ tabernacling with us. Pop music lowers the level of dignity, perhaps to the depths of frivolity and impropriety. And when we have centuries of magnificent hymnody, to settle for what is sung in Pentecostal or non-denominational churches is like choosing to eat cold Vienna sausages instead of the luxurious spread of delectable delicacies that you have been invited to partake of at the feast. So far from being a matter of personal taste, the traditional liturgy and hymnody is what God wants, is a confession of who Jesus is and what He does, and is good pastoral care in terms of teaching and confessing our faith. And this is why our forbears included Article 24. They did not just say, “Do whatever you like.” For while our Roman opponents were lumping us in with radical reformers that abolished the Mass, we vociferously deny such a scurrilous charge. To even suggest it is a gross insult, and resulted in an angry retort by Melanchthon, as well as a master class on what real worship is all about in the Augsburg Confession and the Apology. It all boils down to Jesus, and what you believe about Him. Do you believe the Bible when it confesses that Christ is present with us? Do you take Jesus at His word when He says, “Do this in memory of Me?” Are you humbled at the Lord's miraculous presence with us, like Moses, like Isaiah, like Peter, James, and John? Do you believe, teach, and confess that the presence of Jesus is the fountainhead of holiness, and so our worship in the holy place must itself be holy - as opposed to common and ordinary? Are you willing to sacrifice your own personal tastes and desire to be entertained in the style to which you were accustomed in order to submit to Him and to receive His gifts - and to give Him thanks in return in the setting of His choosing? Do you actually believe what He says, and what the Church says about Him? Or do you hold the faith of another tradition, whose informal and casual worship is more fitting?

The Gottesdienst Crowd
[Gottesblog] A Christian Criticism of Critical Theory: a Word Fitly Spoken — Larry Beane

The Gottesdienst Crowd

Play Episode Listen Later Jun 30, 2021 15:10


A Christian Criticism of Critical Theory: a Word Fitly Spoken While on the treadmill at the gym, I was listening to a podcast, A Word Fitly Spoken. This particular program was about Critical Theory, and it was hosted by the Revs. Willie Grills and Zelwin Heide. The guests were the Revs. Adam Koontz and David Buchs. It was an outstanding presentation, and I commend all of our readers and listeners to give this episode a listen! What was especially poignant for me was the juxtaposition of the bank of TVs on the wall and the messages being flashed before the eyes of the millions of viewers around the country. Right in front of me was a screen running the USA Network. There were closed captions, so I could glance at what was going on. But it was really the visual imagery that was telling - especially while listening to a biblical analysis of this very thing being promoted by the secular world in real time. Television is a powerful medium. It not only sells Budweiser, Toyotas, Doritos, and innumerable pharmaceuticals, it gives something away for free: a worldview. The USA Network was running a cop show (I think it was “Chicago PD”) featuring several encounters between police and criminals. In this episode, without exception, every violent thug was a white male. And with only one exception, every crime victim was black: the exception being a white female who was being brutalized by a white male. Only glancing up at the screen without hearing dialogue or background music gave me a sense of disconnect that made it an interesting observation. One of the scenes involved a black female shoplifter who was attempting to steal a loaf of bread. The store owner, an angry white male, was aggressively trying to get the police to arrest her. He complained about junkies constantly ripping him off. The accused woman looked sad, sitting limply on the floor with big puppy-dog eyes. She told the female police officer that she wasn't a drug user, but that she just wanted to make a sandwich for her boy. The female cop looked at her indulgently and sympathetically, and asked the scowling, angry white male shop-keeper the price of the loaf of bread which was a dollar fifty. But before paying for the woman's bread, the cop told the shop-owner that she could probably find some code violations in the store. She immediately claimed to see mouse droppings on the floor, and a wire at the ceiling that was not up to code. She threatened to ticket the shop-owner for $20,000. In the face of this police shakedown, the store owner told the police to release the woman. The lady cop then paid for the woman's bread and sent her on her way - before scolding the shop-owner one more time. The racial component presented on shows like this are pushing a false narrative, one that simply doesn't comport with reality, a narrative clearly designed to promulgate a lie to the detriment of the target demographic. Another scene involved a cop questioning a suspect on the street by inserting the muzzle of his pistol into the suspect's mouth and demanding answers in three seconds, then he started counting. Fortunately, the suspect was a white guy. Otherwise, the cops would have been seen as the baddies. There was also a commercial for trans pride. Since I don't watch TV any more, this is all unfamiliar territory to me. But it's very easy to see what's going on. It's brainwashing. It's Critical Theory training in the guise of entertainment. It does not reflect reality, but it is designed to create resentment against the white male population. And it is working for people of every racial and sexual tribe. Whites are conditioned to hate themselves and see their own existence as toxic. Many a Christian parent has been shocked by their children coming back from college holding a completely different worldview - one formed by Critical Theory. Some return from school declaring themselves to be of a different gender identity, bearing a new sexual preference, holding radicalized political views, and even in some cases, confessing hostility to the Christian faith itself. Parents generally blame the universities - albeit too late. But I think academe is only partly to blame. I believe that the universities are merely the last domino to fall. Children typically grow up watching a lot of TV. And all contemporary mainstream television programs - and the vast majority of movies and online series - are pushing a Critical Theory narrative. This is being done under the noses of everyone. I don't think Christian parents have a clue as to how formative and normative and powerful these TV shows are, nor the cumulative effect of the propaganda. They are based on a narrative - and the story is consistent, emotional, compelling, and part of a larger holistic model of re-education. But we have been boiled slowly like the proverbial frog in the pan of warm water. We are being lied to all the time. Reality itself is a casualty of Critical Theory. As a Christian pastor, this is a source of frustration. If our parishioners attend Divine Service and Bible Class every week, we will get maybe two hours to preach and teach our Christian narrative, which is, the Biblical and liturgical Gospel of Jesus Christ that runs from eternity to eternity. The rest of the time, most of our parishioners are watching TV, movies, sports, and taking part in other aspects of popular culture - all of which push a narrative at odds with, and hostile to, the Christian faith. And as adults, we may well be able to roll our eyes and discern what we are seeing. But then again, let us not underestimate the power of the visual narrative on our minds and psyches. But think about children and youth - whose brains are still in a state of plasticity, whose minds and souls are being formed by a constant barrage of narrative in opposition to the Holy Scriptures. So what should Christian parents - and even those who are not parents - do in the face of this onslaught? I would say to cancel the cable, and stop watching modern TV shows. Older TV is not nearly as toxic, and some of the older programs may even be neutral or uplifting. But even there, wisdom and discernment are called for. There are older movies - and perhaps a new one or two - that are not antagonistic to the Christian worldview. But allowing children unfettered access to highly suggestive Critical Theory training is, in the long run, as toxic as if they had such access to porn. These shows are designed not only to sell product, but to push a worldview, one that is, without exaggeration, Luciferian in its orientation. Instead of sitting in front of the boob tube for hours on end, why not listen to podcasts that either uphold, or do not contradict, our worldview? Why not learn a new skill? Take up an instrument? Study a foreign language? Learn how to fix cars or quilt or do woodworking or cooking? How about daily reading or listening to the Bible and great literature? One of the things that individuals and families can do is to replace the trash narrative of TV with the Holy Narrative of the Scriptures - by incorporating daily liturgical worship into their lives. The Treasury of Daily Prayer (which is also available as an app) is an accessible and yet robust resource for interacting with the Scriptures - especially the Psalms - in a liturgical way that counters the evil and unrealistic narrative and worldview promoted by the TV networks and by Hollywood. Children need to be reading a lot more and looking at screens a lot less. Adults too. And the beauty of such prayer is that it is liturgical, providing an annual reading of the lion's share of the Bible but set in a beautiful liturgical setting that can be spoken or sung, simple or elaborate. The liturgical repetition provides children with an anchor for their young memories. And technology has made it possible to hear and pray along with these daily prayer offices in their full majestic beauty as sung by the Concordia Theological Seminary Kantorei. I recently stayed a couple days with a delightful Lutheran family that had three young children. They had a TV, but it was in the basement, and the children acted like they didn't even know it was there. The kids were surrounded by books. They all excitedly clambered up next to me so I could read to them, and so they could read to me. These children really knew the Bible, the Catechism, and the liturgy of the church. The family prays Matins together every morning. Their six year old reads the One Year Bible (ESV) every day on her own - and was breathlessly explaining the narrative of the day's readings to me. And the children's reading was impeccable. Aside from Biblical names and foreign words (with the exception of the little toddler) the children could read and pronounce each word effortlessly and fluently - better than most adults that I know. What was especially poignant was the fact that the biblical narratives are already embedded in the minds of these very young children. They know the stories of the biblical characters - and not just the usual felt-board Sunday School sections. They relate the Biblical accounts with excitement and intimacy as though they are telling about what happened at the swing-set with the neighbor children only yesterday. These children are happy, well-adjusted, and intelligent. They are being well-prepared for a future in which their worldview will be challenged. They are being placed on the firm foundation of the Bible and the Confessions, of the liturgy and the Catechism, the Psalter and the hymns. These children clearly know the faith, and they know who (and whose) they are. And they weren't only reading the Bible. They were also reading standard childhood storybooks and great literature and books covering a range of topics. But they weren't reading anything about “Two Mommies” or any trashy kids' books that one might find at a Drag Queen event. In our modern world, there is huge pressure to conform. And children - especially if they are in public school - are subject to incredible peer pressure to watch those programs that are most at odds with our Christian worldview. This is increasingly the case even in kindergarten and nursery school. And by the time these kids face puberty, they are under enormous pressure to be anything but “normal.” It is, as though to be accepted, one must be of some exotic sexual identity or preference, not to mention, hold radical leftist political views and to question or repudiate the Christian faith. And if you understand Critical Theory, you will know that this is not by accident. This is what Critical Theory is all about. We are seeing it bearing rotten fruit after many decades of patient brainwashing in school, on TV, in movies, in music, in sports, and in the mainstream media in general, not to mention benign neglect by Christian parents. It's all about the replacement narrative and how to smash the old Christian worldview. It is important for us Christians to know what the Enemy is up to, to sever our ties to Luciferian “entertainment,” to equip our children in our own Biblical worldview, and to instill it in their minds and souls through the church's liturgy - which has formed minds into the mind of Christ our Logos for two millennia. It is high time that the Church become unequivocally critical of Critical Theory and stop ignoring it or pandering to those who advocate it. We need to put our foot down and reject it at every level - from the parish and the district to the synod, from our publishing house to our universities and seminaries. Critical Theory is just one more serpentine “Did God actually say…?”. I'd like to thank the guys at A Word Fitly Spoken for their solid analysis, and for their lively and informative program. What a blessing to have faithful pastors putting out programming that confirms, rather than contradicts, reality and the Christian worldview. The contrast between what I was hearing and what I was seeing could not have been more clear. The Word is being fitly spoken indeed. The real question is, is it being fitly heard?

The Gottesdienst Crowd
[Gottesblog] "Lutheran" Confessions Not Lutheran, Used by ELCA, Contain Hyper-Euro Sacerdotalism and Romanism, Authors Do Not Reply to Questions from GN — Larry Beane

The Gottesdienst Crowd

Play Episode Listen Later Jun 30, 2021 15:46


"Lutheran" Confessions Not Lutheran, Used by ELCA, Contain Hyper-Euro Sacerdotalism and Romanism, Authors Do Not Reply to Questions from GN Gottesdienst News (GN) has learned that the “Lutheran” Confessions (the Book of Concord) are not Lutheran. The Book of Concord is used in an official capacity by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) - which denies the inerrancy of the Bible, ordains women, and is in fellowship with Greenpeace. Both LCMS seminaries: Concordia Seminary Saint Louis (which was named after a Roman Catholic saint - Roman Catholics deny the doctrine of justification and the inerrancy of the Bible) and Concordia Seminary Fort Wayne (founded by Wilhelm Loehe, hyper-euro opponent of C.F.W. Walther who did not believe in voters assemblies) use the ELCA approved texts in their seminary classes. Why would Bible-believing seminaries teach using the Book of Concord that is used by the ELCA? Letters to both Dr. Thomas Egger and Dr. Larry Rast were not answered as of this publication. The Book of Concord is a Romanizing book that never mentions the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod or C.F.W. Walther. The Book of Concord never mentions Walter A. Meier, nor does it denounce Seminex, Nadia Bolz-Weber, or Matthew Harrison. The Book of Concord never mentions the Brief Statement, and as far as we can tell, none of the authors of the texts even wore briefs.   Catholic The Book of Concord never uses the word “Lutheran” or “Protestant,” but the word “Catholic” is used 13 times, and in the 1921 Triglotta translation, often even using an uppercase C. The Triglotta was published by Concordia Publishing House. Letters to Concordia Publishing House - demanding why a CPH product has uppercase-C “Catholic” being used to describe Lutherans - were not answered at the time of this publication. The Athanasian Creed (which was not even composed by Athanasius) is included in the Book of Concord. The modernist Matthew Harrison-approved Lutheran Service Book (LSB) includes a translation of the Athanasian Creed that contains the following examples of Romanism: “Whoever desires to be saved must above all, hold the catholic faith.” This means that non-catholics go to hell. The Athanasian Creed says nothing about voters assemblies. The Athanasian Creed refers to the “catholic religion” and that “this is the catholic faith; whoever does not believe it faithfully and firmly cannot be saved.” Letters to Pastor Athanasius were returned to GN unopened. The Roman Catholic Church - which denies the doctrine of justification, believes the pope to be the head of the church by divine right, and endorses funny hyper-euro hats, also approvingly confesses the Athanasian Creed. President Matthew Harrison, who supports the use of Lutheran Service Book (LSB), has a mustache. Hitler and Stalin had mustaches. Many of the liberals who walked out of seminex had mustaches and long sideburns. C.F.W. Walther and Francis Pieper were clean shaven. Harrison is accused by some of not believing that congregations matter, that he, like Adolph Hitler, believe in centralizing his power. Letters asking why President Harrison continues to wear a mustache have not been answered as of this publication. Pastor John Brentz, Minister of Hall, signed one of the documents in the ELCA-approved Book of Concord (the Treatise - which actually mentions “the Pope” in its official title - the Pope is the head of the Roman Catholic Church, which denies biblical inerrancy, the doctrine of justification, and does not celebrate Reformation Day) refers to the Lutheran Church as “the true and genuine catholic Church” and desribes Pastor Bugenhagen as “revered Father” (see below). Neither Brentz nor Bugenhagen have responded to GN's requests for an explanation.   Call No Man Father The Book of Concord contains unbiblical language for pastors. Jesus said, “Don't you be callin' anyone yo' daddy, y'all” (Matthew 23:9, ACT - A Confederate Translation). But the hyper-euro sacerdotalist Romanizers in the Book of Concord do not follow the words of Jesus. Pastor John Brentz called Pastor Johannes Bugenhagen “Father” (see above). Pastor Brixius Northanus of Christ Lutheran Church - Soest referred to “the Reverend Father Martin Luther” in his signature to the Smalcald Articles. The authors of the Formula of Concord (Pastor Jake Andrae, Pastor Marty Chemnitz, Pastor Dave Chytraeus, Pastor Nick Selnecker, and Pastor Andy Musculus) referred to Pastor Luther as one of “our dear fathers and predecessors.” Letters to Brentz, Bugenhagen, Luther, Northanus, Andrae, Chemnitz, Chytraeus, Selnecker, and Musculus have not been acknowledged or replied to by the time of publication.   Sacerdotalism The word “priest” is used in the Book of Concord to refer to pastors more than a hundred times. The Latin word for “priest” is “sacerdos.” This is about double the amount of times the word “pastor” is used by the authors of the Book of Concord to refer to pastors. The Latin word for “pastor” is “pastor.” Often, especially in the Augsburg Confession and Apology, the expression “our priests” is used to refer to Lutheran ministers. Calls to Mister Melanchthon's office at Wittenberg University were not returned.   Ordination as a Sacrament Professor Melanchthon's Apology (which is misleading, because he never says that he is sorry) includes other instances of sacerdotalism consistent with the hyper-euros when he calls ordination a sacrament: (“neither will we refuse to call the imposition of hands a sacrament”). Melanchthon also allows for marriage to be called a sacrament. The Roman Catholic Church, which denies the doctrine of justification and biblical inerrancy, as well as cheers for Notre Dame, likewise considers ordination and marriage to be sacraments. As of this publication, Professor Melanchthon has not written to GN to respond to our simple questions.   Mass The Church Service is called “Mass” by sacerdotalists, Romanizers, and Hyper-Euros. The Augsburg Confession and the Apology both have an entire article (24) called “The Mass.” Melanchthon (see above) writes, “We have not abolished the Mass.” Roman Catholics use the term Mass. Roman Catholics deny the Doctrine of Justification, worship Mary, and often do not have red doors on their churches. Letters to both Melanchthon and the Pope in Rome seeking an explanation have not been answered. Science professors in the Concordia University System often refer to how much something weighs as “Mass.” Calls to Dr. Dean Wenthe and Dr. Daniel Gard, both formerly linked to CUS - both of whom have connections to Notre Dame University - have not been answered as of this writing.   Hyper Euro Polity Instead of the biblical practice of having supreme voters' assemblies, the Book of Concord advocates a hyper-euro system of bishops. Professor Melanchthon writes in the Apology (Article 14), “it is our greatest wish to maintain church-polity and the grades in the Church [old church regulations and the government of bishops]” and “we will gladly maintain ecclesiastical and canonical government, provided the bishops only cease to rage against our churches.” The Roman Catholic Church, which denies the Doctrine of Justification, teaches the unbiblical doctrine of Purgatory, and provides pointy hats for bishops, also has hyper-euro polity. It should be noted that the Ku Klux Klan has pointy hats as well. Calls to the KKK seeking an explanation were not answered.   Approvingly Quoted The authors of the Book of Concord approvingly quote Bernard of Clairvaux and call him a “holy father” and a “saint.” Roman Catholic “Saints” Anthony, Dominic, and Francis are also called “holy fathers.” Pastor Clairvaux referred to Mary as a “shining and brilliant star” and that we should “call upon Mary” and that when we are troubled by sins to “think of Mary, call upon Mary…. invoking her.” The Matthew Harrison-approved LSB (which uses the English Standard Version as its biblical text) approvingly includes three hymns by Bernard of Clairvaux, and two by Thomas Aquinas (who taught Transubstantiation and engaged in philosophy). Pastor Augustine of Hippo (whom, GN has learned, never even owned a hippo), a Roman Catholic bishop, is quoted approvingly in the Book of Concord - even in Latin, which was the language used by the Roman Catholic Church in its services (the Roman Catholic Church cheers for Notre Dame and does not have voters assemblies). Pastor Augustine is referred to as a “holy father” and a “saint” in the Book of Concord. The Matthew Harrison-approved Lutheran Service Book has a day of “commemoration” for Augustine, “Pastor and Theologian,” as well as another day to honor Bernard of Clairvaux, “Hymnwriter and Theologian.” LSB also honors Hyper-Euro opponent of C.F.W. Walther, Wilhelm Loehe as well as various popes, including Gregory the Great (whom the Book of Concord quotes approvingly), Leo the Great (whom the Book of Concord also quotes approvingly), and Clement. Pope Gregory the Great and Hyper-Euro Wilhem Loehe both have a hymn each in the mustached-Harrison-approved LSB. Roman Catholic bishop Ambrose of Milan, who allowed himself to become a relic in a Catholic Church in Italy, is also approvingly quoted, has a “commemoration” in the Harrison-backed LSB, as well as three hymns. The Book of Concord often approvingly quotes Roman Catholic canon law (which is misleading, as canon law has nothing to do with large mounted guns or a competitor to Nikon, the Roman Catholic Church also denies the Doctrine of Justification, Anathematizes the Gospel, and sings awful hymns). The Book of Concord never approvingly quotes the Brief Statement, the bylaws of synod, or Roberts Rules of Order (revised). Letters to General Roberts were returned to GN unopened.   Luther is Not Lutheran! Pastor Martin Luther, author of three texts of the ELCA-approved Book of Concord, believed in “semper virgo,” the belief that Mary did not have other children (a belief shared by the Roman Catholic Church, which denies biblical inerrancy and does not cheer for any of the Concordia sports teams). Semper virgo is believed by the hyper euros today. Luther prayed a version of the Hail Mary prayer even after he became a Lutheran. Luther was baptized and ordained a priest in the Roman Catholic Church - and he was never called or installed to serve as a pastor by a proper voters' assembly. Luther advocated for “high church hyper euro” worship practices, such as genuflecting and elevating and making the sign of the cross. Luther believed that the bread and wine are the body and blood of Christ even if they were not consumed. Luther urged people to go to private confession and equated it with being a Christian. Luther called his German liturgy the “German Mass.” Luther never submitted a resolution to the LCMS convention.   Silent But Deadly The silence is deafening. Not a single author or defender of the Book of Concord has returned GN's calls, letters, emails, semaphores, texts, communications by radio, missives, epistles, unsavory implications, inquisitions, demands that they stop beating their wives, requests for high school year books, or simple questionnaires inquiring if they have renounced Communism, Matthew Harrison, and the heartbreak of Psoriasis. Note: This is satire. As much as I hate to have to say so, if I don't, Aunt Pitty will get “the vapors,” countless boomers will write to Fritz demanding that he fire me, millennial pastors will burn themselves on their soy lattes and send me nasty emails telling that their wives demand that I “be kind,” and even some of our loyal readers will miss the whole point. So here it is, boys and girls and purple penguins: this is a tongue-in-cheek homage to Christian News. And if you took the time to write without reading to the end, the joke's on you! Thank you, ~ The Management

Green and Bold
Our A's All-Star picks; Bay Bridge Series preview

Green and Bold

Play Episode Listen Later Jun 25, 2021 37:36


https://www.bigheadsmedia.com/green-and-bold/

The Gottesdienst Crowd
[Gottesblog] A Tale of Two Synods — Larry Beane

The Gottesdienst Crowd

Play Episode Listen Later Jun 18, 2021 21:44


A Tale of Two Synods When someone posted the above video of the Texas District that was shown at the Texas District Convention, I responded on social media in a tongue-in-cheek manner, saying that Lutherans would do well to have such polished productions as this obviously non-denominational presentation. I thought about responding here at Gottesblog with satire, sarcasm, and gallows humor. After all, the jokes do just write themselves. The Texas District logo not only appears to depict three martinis, they get increasingly out of proportion and dizzying as you navigate from the first to the third. This could not have been by accident. Some graphic designer was obviously being cheeky. For in a very real sense, this illustrates a practical way to deal with the district - especially at convention. Although the genuine Texas beverage might be a 64 ounce bucket of margaritas, I don't know how well that would translate to a logo. So the three-martini motif will just have to do. I thought about comparing the entertainment-based music and emotional imagery in this video - rooted in the spoken word of vague non-sequiturs instead of the incarnational reality of Christ coming to us to forgive us and transform us for eternity by means of His physical presence. And this is manifest not only in His historic enfleshment, His birth, cross, death, and resurrection, but also in His ongoing sacramental presence with us in the miracles of Holy Baptism and the Holy Eucharist - two themes that, though central to the faith, are pushed to the margins in this video. Instead, this objective ground of faith is jettisoned in favor of emotion and slick production. In this, the comparison to the Texas-sized Neo-Evangelical megachurches of the highways and byways of the Lonestar State - where indeed everything is Bigger - is unavoidable. It is no accident that the Reverend Father Joel Osteen is a Texas pastor with a Texas-sized church that is the envy of Church Growth Movement moguls everywhere. Indeed, the lust of our baby-boomer CGM experts for Bigness and the reduction of individual human souls to a Big number in a ledger or on an annual statistics form is insatiable. No Cialis needed for this passion. I thought about performing a Rick-roll-like trick by inviting my reader to click on the link to the Texas District highlights, but replace it with the magnificent satirical video called “Contemporvent” or perhaps “The Worship Song Song.” Both make the point well. I also thought about all the angles I could play because it is Texas. And I do love Texas. I love the history and heritage, the independent streak of the people, the sense of Bigness in everything, a zest for life, the unique foods and cultures and byways. Texas is a quintessential part of the South, which I hold dear. And Texas is (along with South Carolina) a state where you are just as likely to see the state flag as the US flag - and it may well even be flying on a pole of the same height as Old Glory. It is a state where people, following the observation of President Obama, “cling to their guns” and “religion,” not to mention to their Whataburger, beef brisket barbecue, and big honking belt buckles. When I once traveled to Texas on business in my former life a long time ago, being on a company per diem, I ate a one-pound T-bone for lunch, and a two-pound T-bone for supper. You can get away with such things when you're in your twenties. I also bought myself some cowboy boots. I did not buy a cowboy hat, but did wear my boots up north. My Texan friend who lives in North Carolina always brought his pregnant wife to Texas to give birth many times in the Lone Star State, thus assuring the transmission of his Republic of Texas citizenship to posterity. And I think that is a good and noble thing. It is part of what makes Texas unique. These delightful quirks of Texas and Texans could have provided fodder for explaining the quirkiness of the LCMS in the Republic. Lutheranism has a long history in Texas - both in its German and Slovak heritages. But sadly, there is nothing endearing in the modern context about jettisoning the liturgy and our rich theology that are truly evangelical, and trading them for the pottage of non-denominational Christianity. Besides, those accents in the video suggest that there is a lot of carpetbagging going on. But after considering all of these angles, I decided to take a different tack. I'm still a big fan of dark humor and throwing stones at the dragon, for if nothing else, it breaks up the monotony, and sometimes gets other guys hurling a pebble or two. And who knows, there might even be a David out there whose stone hits the beast in the right spot. And even if it doesn't put the monster out of our Missouri, the encounter could end up in a viral Steve Inman video for entertainment purposes. And that's not for nothin'. But there is also something very serious and sad about this video. It shows that Pietism is still very much alive and well in our synod: the ginning up of emotion and the downplaying of the sacraments, the transformation of worship into entertainment instead of the Church's timeless participation in the eternal liturgy that binds heaven and earth together - that unites the Church Militant with the Church Triumphant, offering a sacrifice of praise to our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the sacrificial Lamb whose blood saves us and who breathes the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life, into us. And this is not a metaphor, but rather a flesh-and-blood reality by means of the ongoing miracle of God performing signs and wonders in our midst because His Word is still sounding forth, still creating, still redeeming, still sanctifying - still reconstituting the universe, and still drawing us into the incense-filled inner-sanctum of the very throne-room of God, where Isaiah once lay prostrate in fear, but where he was comforted by the purification delivered to his lips by a messenger bearing a burning coal from the holy altar. Of course, to the Pietist, this is just boring stuff from an old book. That's our grandfather's church. To them, we need music, really exciting, awesome, fist-pumping, epic music - guitars and drums and emoting vocalists and a guy running a sound-board. And that music should be repetitive, it should cause one's heart to skip a beat, it should tug at the heartstrings, it should induce dopamine so that a proper decision for Christ can be made. It should be the kind of music that fills the modular interlocking church seats the same way that stadiums are filled - thus also paying homage to the CGM Fetish of Bigness. This is Texas, after all. According to Pietism, we need pastors dressed just like us, who are excitable, who are dynamic, who are not stuffy and reverent and catholic. We need awesome vision-casting, leadership, leadership, leadership, and apps. We need high-tech. We need screens and PowerPoint. We need passion and programs and fun. Did I mention excitable pastors? We need to use the word “amazing” a lot - and new turns of phrase, like “on ramps for Jesus” (which is perhaps a Texas response to Oklahoman Carrie Underwood's “Jesus Take the Wheel”). We need to de-emphasize “what goes on in these four walls” and focus on drawing people into the church from the world by not only going into the world, but by looking like the world. The centrality of the Sacrament and the traditional liturgy really just get in the way of being “missional.” The video had a lot to say about mission work, but it lacked authenticity. It just looked like well-heeled Texas suburbanites getting together with other well-heeled Texas suburbanites for brisket and music. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but that's not really “missions.” Being missional is a big buzzword, but real mission work doesn't much resemble watching NFL games while scooping peanuts from a tin bucket at a Texas Roadhouse. One fellow brought up the topic of Christian worship during communism and compared it to using Zoom during the pandemic. As the kids say, “Yeah, no.” In fact, authentic Lutheran mission work is being done in the former Soviet Union. Here is a video showing how this missionary endeavor is carried out in Siberia, and how it is done in an authentically Lutheran way: Note the Christological and sacramental focus of Siberian mission work. (Let's just keep this between us girls, but Siberia is even bigger than Texas). As a bonus, here is a video of Siberian Bishop Vsevolod Lytkin speaking at a faithful Texas congregation, Faith Lutheran Church in Plano. This is quite the contrast to the Texas District video of the Cult of Bigness and the desire to adopt Neo-Evangelical worship. Sadly, I often hear from faithful confessional Lutherans, seeking authentic Lutheran worship using the hymnal, who drive sometimes up to a hundred miles on Sunday morning, passing a wasteland of non-liturgical LCMS congregations, all in order to find a church that is liturgical, confessional, and reverent. It is a huge sacrifice, but it is worth it - especially to young families who want their children learning the catechism and being formed by the miraculous presence of Christ instead of being molded by vacuous entertainment. Sometimes, people have to face hard choices of either finding a Wisconsin Synod congregation (and promising to break prayer fellowship with the rest of the family and be subjected to a low view of the office of the ministry), or even attending Masses of a continuing Anglican tradition and forgoing the Holy Sacrament for a while. As I noted earlier, this desert of decent LCMS congregations in some places has led some of our laity - often young families with children - to physically move to where the liturgical parishes are. As my colleague Fr. David Petersen advises, there is another option: to start a new church. We need faithful lay people to consider such a drastic step - even if it means foregoing the Bigness and suburban wealth of the Texas-sized LCMS church up the road. For this isn't about everything being Bigger - in Texas or elsewhere - it is about fidelity to Word and Sacrament, in doctrine and ceremonies. It is about teaching the people what they need to know about Christ. And even Osteen's Texas megachurch began very small - as did most of our LCMS church plants. In hostile districts, a confessional and liturgical congregation may well get snubbed by the districtocracy, even as money flows like the mighty Mississippi to church plants that downplay authentic Lutheranism and instead employ gimmicks. But remember, that the confession of the “one holy catholic and apostolic church” is located within the third article of the Creed - as the Holy Spirit is the “Lord and giver of life.” It is not mammon or district bureaucracy that quickens the church. It is not gimmicks or marketing that grows the church. For God Himself “has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate.” Man does not live by District alone, and in fact, in our Lutheran tradition, both its history and its confessional writings, church bureaucracy is sometimes a hindrance to the Gospel. And when it is, it is best ignored. Certainly, our sixteenth century ancestors, who were attacked and harried by the worldwide, rich, and powerful church bureaucracy of the day, knew what it was to oppose them and stand as a “little flock” being implored to “fear not the foe.” The adoption of Neo-Evangelical practices indeed leads to Neo-Evangelical doctrine. Lex Ordandi, Lex Credendi is not just a tee-shirt slogan for seminarians and geeky pastors. It is an ancient and wise observation that bears out our Lutheran forbears' retention of the ancient ceremonies rather than throwing caution to the wind in search of something new. That is why Article 24 begins with the bold statement: Falsely are our churches accused of abolishing the Mass; for the Mass is retained among us, and celebrated with the highest reverence. Nearly all the usual ceremonies are also preserved, save that the parts sung in Latin are interspersed here and there with German hymns, which have been added to teach the people. For ceremonies are needed to this end alone that the unlearned be taught [what they need to know of Christ]. ~ AC 24:1-4a One thing that is hammered home by this video is that we are two synods (at least). Can you even imagine one of the pastors in the above video standing in the pulpit and reading the above quote from our confessions to his parishioners? Or how about the Texas District President reminding his congregations that they are committed to this confession. We can lie to ourselves that we are actually united as a synod. It just isn't so. There is no way that I would visit and commune at the kinds of LCMS churches shown in this video. Nor would my parishioners. They would be scandalized. And there is no way that most of those folks would ever commune from my hand at the altar that I serve. We have a paper fellowship, at best, and a tenuous unity and koinonia based not on doctrine and ceremonies, but on a common bureaucracy and shared employment benefits. And as more and more congregations jettison Concordia Plan Services, even that link is being weakened. In some cases, the only thing holding the synod together is a sense of nostalgia and branding. The Rev. Prof. Kurt Marquart of blessed memory suggested that we need a divorce in our synod. That would certainly be more honest than what we have now. And as painful as “The Walkout” and the subsequent breakup of the LCMS was in the 1970s, it was the honest thing to do. But maybe there is another way that we could order ourselves more honestly. Perhaps what we need is to abolish the districts and circuits as they exist (as they reflect 19th century technological limitations). But why must our districts be geographical today? Why not reorder ourselves according to what we have in common - especially in matters of worship. And if we have two or three, or even five or six, subdivisions of synod, so what? We currently have two non-geographical districts. We could have non-geographical “districts” where there is genuine agreement in doctrine and practice, and we could all keep the name and the benefits package. And if, down the road, it would be better to actually cut our ties, it would be easier to do in such a system. For right now what we have is not unlike what we have in the United States. Instead of federalism, we now have nationalism. And so US elections become a “winner take all” endeavor. And the losing side, which is typically very near fifty percent of the population - is held hostage to the faction that is bigger by only a percent or two (if that). Instead, we could decentralize our synod and let congregations have closer ties with other congregations that share their doctrine and practice - not unlike the situation in 19th century America, where small synods went into fellowship with one another. One “district” may specify that only the ordo and hymns in the hymnal may be used. Another “district” may make it all optional. Yet another “district” might compile its own requirements as to what is permissible. Our “district” conventions would be much less the way of power struggles, and the Divine Services at the same would not be places of protest, either against the services with guitars and streamers, or with chasubles and incense. Such a scheme would provide homogeneity in matters of doctrine and practice, while allowing the synod branding and employment benefits to be shared by all. In such a structure, synod would not dictate from above, and “districts” could recognize fellowship with other “districts” based on their own criteria. There are certainly dangers in such a polity. And there are likely unintended consequences. But what we have now is not working. We are engaging in a Mister Rogers style Land of Make-Believe fantasy that we are not in a state of impaired fellowship, and we are not involved in a power struggle between at least two opposing factions. By decentralizing the conflict, we can encourage church plants by “districts” without regard to geography, and our “district” mission funds could actually go to new congregations that reflect our confession and worship - whether Pietistic or confessional, whether normed by guitar or organ. For what we have now is 35 civil wars and games of one-upsmanship - where the winners are determined by political means: running for office, navigating parliamentary procedure, and engaging in backroom arm-twisting of the kind we see in the secular political world. At any rate, though we in The Gottesdienst Crowd are often marginalized and mocked by our Bigger brethren in synod (and sometimes that is a matter of the waistline and not only the waste-land), though our churches are generally smaller and often face financial struggles, let us not lose heart. Let us continue to be normed by the Bible and the Book of Concord, and let us continue to confess in Word and deed not only what Jesus has done for us, but what He continues to do for us in the Divine Service, where He comes to us in a literal and miraculous way that needs no distraction by entertainment or some Big New Awesomer Way of Doing Church. We don't need a new way of doing church. We need Jesus. We don't need entertainment. We need authentic worship. We don't need gimmicks. We need faith. And for you, dear reader, both layman and pastor, the following video (Have you seen the video?), produced by Gottesdienst, thanks to a grant from the LCMS, is an example of how “ceremonies teach the people what they need to know about Christ,” and how our bureaucracy can indeed teach the ceremonies to the pastors and laity alike. Instead of “contemporvence” grounded in entertainment, you will find reverence grounded in the reality that Jesus continues to join us in the miracle of the Holy Sacrament. And that reality is even bigger than Texas.  

The Gottesdienst Crowd
[Gottesblog] Feminism Began . . . — Larry Beane

The Gottesdienst Crowd

Play Episode Listen Later Jun 17, 2021 10:51


Feminism Began... The new face of conservatism and the GOP? …with a question that wasn't really a question: “Did God actually say…?” Feminism changed the world. For with this rhetorical question, “Did God actually say…?” the first woman and her husband were enticed to deny God's Word with the promise of changing the order of creation, with the opportunity to “be like God,” to have one's eyes “opened,” or to put it into modern parlance, to be “woke.” This was the very first instance of “Smash the Patriarchy” - and the Patriarch was God. Adam participated in feminism even though it sought to remove his leadership of the family, but there was a lot in it for him: the chance to likewise escape the hierarchical limitations of his own created order, his own vocation given to him by God. Feminism changed the course of history, and not for the better. This act of rebellion against God's created order of divinely created roles of the binary sexes of male and female, this Luciferian inversion of order into an unnatural chaos lured by the lust for self-gratification, brought death into the world, unleashed the forces of chaos and violence among all creatures in what was a perfectly harmonious existence, and placed the world on a trajectory of warfare in this life and enmity with God - a cosmic conflict that places mankind in the crossfire. And the serpent continues to deceive, continues to ask, “Did God actually say…?”, continues to call into question the order of creation - especially in matters of sex and sexuality. Today, chaos has been mainstreamed, even in defiance of the science that so many claim to believe in. Male and Female are considered social constructs. The natural family is considered no better for children - or perhaps even worse - than unnatural configurations. God's created order of patriarchy and complementarily between men and women is attacked in both the secular and ecclesiastical realms. Biology is held in contempt. Natural Law is disdained. That which a normal person can posit by observation is denied. And of course, all the while, the serpent continues to lure men and women into questioning divine revelation by what is in it for them: be it money and power for women, or the lure of easy recreational sex devoid of responsibility for men. Men especially “benefit” from feminism, for they are absolved from their duty to love their wives and be willing to give up everything for her sake. Instead, they are free to pursue their lusts and treat their wives as cash cows, buying toys or funding the man-cave. There is nothing in our culture and society that has not been corrupted and putrefied by the serpent's original intersectionality. Especially in our western civilization, and especially in America: once the world's beacon of freedom of belief, of speech, of writing and publishing, of political liberty, and of course, freedom of religion. One example is the military: an institution whose purpose is to use violence to protect the country from invasion, from enemies both foreign and domestic. Note how feminism has shifted the raison être of the military from being an order of warriors formerly bound by an ethos of service to the nation and a chivalrous defense of the weak into being a grand radical social “Did God actually say…?” experiment. If you haven't seen the juxtaposition of recent military recruitment ads by China, Russia, and the United States, you probably should have a look. Even Atheistic China still retains some moorings of natural law, as the masculine and feminine roles shown in their ad, as well as the unmistakable appeal to the warrior ethos of men to protect and serve, is apparent - even though this warrior spirit takes on a collectivist feel. The Russian ad likewise appeals to a man's natural biological, psychological, and spiritual urge to protect and serve. But the Russian ad is aimed at the individual rather than the collective. The American ad begins in the form of a cartoon and the story of a young girl raised by a couple of lesbians. There is no appeal to the warrior ethic, only a ginned-up feminized and radicalized message to appeal to so-called social justice issues, tugging on the heartstrings, as though the military's job is to provide emotional sensitivity training and sexual propaganda instead of blowing things up when that is what is needed to defend our liberties and existence as a country. The only concession to a warrior ethic is the cartoon girl's climbing up a rope. And at the end, the cartoon gives way to live video of the young woman, who inexplicably, in spite of her impressive academic credentials, is not an officer. Perhaps her decision to serve in the enlisted ranks regardless of her qualifications is yet another way to fight back against the notion of hierarchy. At any rate, the contrast is stark. And should other countries become a military threat to the United States, one can only imagine how ill-prepared our country will be, with our warrior institution emasculated and our military turned into an institution of social re-education and a jobs program for people who reject traditional societal norms - not to mention reality itself. “Did God actually say…?” The serpent has also slithered up to the Bride of Christ and has posed the same question. He has gotten once-faithful church bodies, including Lutherans, to question God's Word - from the days of Higher Critical Theory right down to today's all encompassing Critical Theory (which manifests itself in matters of sex and race, imposing chaos and rebelling against the orderly goodness of God's Word and His will). When the push for women's “ordination” began among historic communions of the church in the twentieth century, there were prophetic voices, like Bishop Bo Giertz, the great Swedish Lutheran churchman who appealed to the Bible and the church's confessions. Giertz and others who shared this commitment to the Scriptures were pilloried and reviled as reactionaries and misogynists. The Bishop took the slings and arrows and mounted a defense against this Satanic invasion, but that battle was lost, as Swedish society had embraced progressivism over and against submission to the Word of God. And the winners have written the history and pushed their own narrative. Today, priestesses outnumber priests in the Church of Sweden. Secular society is dominated by female leadership. And it goes without saying that Scandinavia has led the way in the feminization of society and the normalization of sexual deviancy in the Nordic countries. The results have been disastrous, as the cancer of the rejection of the order of creation has become dominant, even to the point of the Lutheran lesbian “bishop” of the Church of Sweden ordering crosses removed from a church to make Muslims feel welcome. This corresponds to the feminized secular leadership of Sweden, naive, emotional, and lacking the God-given instinct to protect the nation, opening the borders of the country, creating violent no-go zones and an active rape culture - apparently an acceptable price to be paid for pushing a “woke” agenda. And the often pooh-poohed argument that the male pastorate mirrors the maleness of Christ is vindicated, and sadly so, by the re-creation of God in the image of woman by an ELCA congregation in San Francisco - one that prays to the goddess and employs a special goddess rosary. One of the former pastors of this “church” (so-called) has since become the world's first transgendered “bishop” (so-called). The gender issue has spread like a cancer, and there is more to come. Another ELCA priestess gave an Easter Sermon that was all about self-pleasure - including in the sexual sense. If you don't believe me, you can watch the video - especially beginning about at the 24:50 mark. It goes without saying that viewer discretion is advised. The canard that a church can be both feminist and orthodox is disproven by simple observation of the fruits of the tree. And far from making us like God, knowing good and evil, it has distanced us from God, as we have rebelled and used our ill-gotten knowledge to choose evil. This is apparently what is known as “empowerment.” And so in the face of the feminist heresy, let us join one and all and answer the serpent's question with a hearty confession: “Yes! God did actually say! Amen.”

The Gottesdienst Crowd
[Gottesblog] The {Euphemism} Community – Larry Beane

The Gottesdienst Crowd

Play Episode Listen Later Jun 13, 2021 11:10


The {Euphemism} Community “What a wonderful bridge to the “so-called rainbow” community! Methinks this is what ol' Clive Staples would have called “pre-evangelism”!” — A GOTTESBLOG COMMENTER A commenter offered me this “complement” in response to my piece ROY G BIV - which addresses the so-called rainbow flag. I'm grateful for such comments, as they provide opportunities for further reflection on things. It goes without saying that the Secular First Commandment is “Thou shalt not offend thy neighbor.” And of course, this commandment does require some evangelical interpretation. What the SFC really means is we should not offend certain people. And a big part of not being offensive is the adoption of euphemistic language. And in our culture, one euphemism isn't enough. We go through generations of euphemisms. George Carlin noted this phenomenon by way of a combat condition that was called “Shell Shock” in World War One. He pointed out how direct the term is: two syllables, right to the point. In World War II, a different term was employed: “Battle Fatigue.” It just sounds nicer. “Fatigue” is a softer word than “Shock.” And we've padded it with another two syllables. During the Korean War, this condition was known as “Operational Exhaustion.” “Exhaustion” is even softer than “Fatigue,” and we're now up to eight syllables. And during Vietnam, the name changed to “Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.” Now we've really buried “Shell Shock” beneath layers of euphemisms and are still at eight syllables. Shell Shock is a very real condition, no matter what you call it. But by making it sound softer and more like clinical jargon, are we really doing a service to those who are suffering from it? This “euphemism treadmill” is often employed in matters of political correctness to keep everyone off-balance as to what the correct term is - especially in matters of ethnicity and sexuality. And woe be to the poor sap that uses a term that was acceptable in 2020, but is no longer au courant in 2021. After all, it is 2021, as the kids say. Sin has become fertile ground for euphemism. In response to the pro-life movement, the pro-abortionist side of the debate expressed a preference for the term “pro-choice.” It takes the matter of life and death out of the conversation and recasts the matter with a similitude to standing at the hotel vending machine and making a choice between an overpriced Coke and an overpriced Pepsi. And who, after all, would be against your right to choose your preferred soft-drink - a fundamental right that is as American as French fries. And so, fornication is “living together.” Despising preaching and the Word of God is “sleeping in.” Murder is “making him comfortable.” Racism is “social justice.” Rioting is “peacefully protesting.” Abortion is “reproductive freedom.” Violating consciences and denying religious liberty is “equality.” Gossip is “just talking.” Enthusiasm is “being open to the Spirit.” Rebelling against the order of creation in family life is “empowering women.” Theft is “addressing economic injustice.” Syncretism is “expressing solidarity with diverse communities of faith.” I'm sure our readers can come up with many more such examples. Sexuality is laden with euphemisms and new terms. The once standard term “homosexual” has gone by the wayside. It was long ago replaced with “gay” - a word that in the ancient days of the 20th century, meant “happy.” But “gay” was too blunt and monosyllabic. And so The Acronym was introduced: In my article, I traced one trajectory of The Acronym's euphemism treadmill: (LGBT, LGBTQ, LGBTQ+, LGBTQIAA, LGBTTQQIAAP, LGGBDTTTIQQAAPP, and LGBTTQQFAGPBDSM). The Newspeak Dictionary now contains entire lists of words of obscure sexual deviancies all competing for flag-space in new and exciting vexillological configurations. Some of these new sexualities were called to mind in a viral video of a German legislator addressing the Bundestag. Euphemistic Ministry is a relatively new approach to sin and grace. Many years ago, in the last millennium, in fact, long before I went to seminary, I had a dear friend involved in a particular public sin. A group of his friends wanted to sit down with him and try to talk some sense into him. I had no idea what I was doing. I asked my pastor for advice. He said, “Don't use euphemisms. Use words like ‘wrong' and ‘sin.'” Indeed, those were the Bad Old Days of dead orthodoxy, Law and Gospel, and smoking on airplanes - long before we became wise and kind and mindful - and learned how to do “pre-evangelism.” In fact, in matters of confronting sin (as opposed to C.S. Lewis-style Apologetics), what came before the Gospel (the Evangel) was not euphemistic bridge-building, but Law. Of course, we now know today that this was wrong, er, maybe a better way to put it is: “a method of diminished utility” or some such. At any rate, we are not engaging in what Clive Staples referred to as “Chronological Snobbery.” Oh no, not at all. It's just that we know so much more now than we did then. And as poll after poll teaches us, we really need to listen to millennials. They have so much to teach us. Far more than dead white men like C.F.W. Walther with his “Lawn Gospel” silliness. In fact, were C.S. Lewis alive today, he might even refer to Satanists as “The Screwtape Community.” In fact, referring to sin by means of a euphemism followed by “Community” is also in vogue. There are no more homosexuals, as they are now members of the LGBT Community. Indeed, there are many sub-communities within the People of The Acronym, some involving what are clearly healthy behaviors including “gay leather and puppy play.” It's all very innocent, and especially attractive to children. Who could possibly be against the LGBT version of Comfort Dog Ministry? The Church needs to build bridges and stop being so judgy. After all, Jesus said, “Judge not,” right? Maybe we should include some bridges to such communities during coffee and donut hour, Sunday School, or Bible Class. Note to self: take it easy on the glitter. The Altar Guild will blow a gasket trying to clean that stuff up. We actually see such bridge-building pre-evangelism in the Bible - especially in matters of the unrepentant: those who see their sin as a point of pride. We saw a very early example with the LGBT Community in the Book of Genesis. Who could ever forget that bridge over the Red Sea when the children of Israel engaged in pre-evangelism with the Egyptian Military Community? Or how about Moses's bridge-building pre-evangelism with Korah and the Egalitarian Ministry Community? We see Elijah's bridge-building pre-evangelism with King Ahab and the Religiously Diverse Community. And of course, our Lord Himself engaged in bridge-building pre-evangelism with the Currency Exchange Community and the Self-Righteous Jesus-Questioning Community. Obviously, we live in different times. We need to be nice and winsome at all costs. This is no longer the twentieth century when the old pastors said, “Don't use euphemisms.” The new Bridge Building Ministry of Pre-Evangelism has finally gotten it right. When confronting the world's twisted understanding of right and wrong, when dealing with those who are so unrepentant that they use the term “pride”, and they are bolstered by the power of the state and the corporation and the dominant cultural organs to the detriment of the Church's confession based on the Word of God - the last thing we need to do is “use words like ‘wrong' and ‘sin.'” People might get the idea that we are out of step with the secular world. No indeed, we need to build bridges to the {euphemism} communities. We need to get with the program, fly our own freak-flag, build bridges, and stop being judgy. The most important thing is to be liked, and we certainly need to be wishy-washy for the sake of our children, who will be growing up into a culture with all sorts of undiscovered {Euphemism} Communities. We need to invert my pastor's advice to this: “Use euphemisms. Don't use words like ‘wrong' and ‘sin.'” For that is true bridge-building pre-evangelism. After all, it is 2021.

The Gottesdienst Crowd
[Gottesblog] Covid-Closed Communion — Larry Beane

The Gottesdienst Crowd

Play Episode Listen Later Jun 10, 2021 3:28


Covid-Closed Communion “That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died.” “Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died.” — 1 COR 11: 27-30 Taking Holy Communion is a life-and-death matter - at least if we believe the Bible. St. Paul, writing to the Church at Corinth blames the death of some parishioners on the fact that they communed “without discerning the body.” And this is certainly a part of why the Church has always practiced closed communion - until quite recently, that is. The Roman Catholic archdiocese of Chicago is concerned about people becoming weak, or ill, or even dying as a result of coming to Mass. And so they are carefully checking people at the door. Not to make sure that they “discern the body” in the sacrament, mind you, but rather to see if they have received a Covid-19 shot. Nobody will check to see that you are a Christian, a Roman Catholic, or a believer in the Real Presence when you present yourself to receive the body and blood of Christ. The priest will not ask you. You may well be a Satanist looking for a consecrated host to desecrate, and nobody will vet you. And neither will the lay man or woman who is distributing the blood of Christ - though the chalice is once again being withheld by the papal church because of Covid. Again, someone could become weak or ill, or even die. Hence the caution. Of course, not just Roman Catholics, but all Christians who confess the Real Presence, seem to be more concerned about people getting sick or dying from Covid than from unbelief. It is as though we don't believe what is in the Scriptures that receiving the Lord's Supper without belief can be fatal. Theology used to be the Queen of Sciences, but now Scientism has become the Queen of Theology. It seems that we believe more in the real presence of viruses than the real presence of Jesus, and that now the fear of the microbe is the beginning of wisdom. In the ancient church, if you traveled to another diocese to receive the Holy Sacrament, you were vetted. You were expected to produce a letter from your priest. Today, in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago, something similar is happening - only the priest who must sign your letter wears a lab coat instead of an alb. In fact, for many Roman Catholics and other Christians alike, there is a new pope. His name is Anthony. Larry BeaneMay 28, 2021 Facebook0TwitterLinkedIn0Tumblr0 Likes  

Locked On Bills - Daily Podcast On The Buffalo Bills
OTA Update: Beane on Training Camp, Daboll Meets the Media, Attendance and Dawson Knox is Putting in Work

Locked On Bills - Daily Podcast On The Buffalo Bills

Play Episode Listen Later Jun 9, 2021 29:31


On today's podcast, Joe Marino reflects on the team's decision on training camp location, digs into the most interesting comments made by Brian Daboll in his press conference, delivers an attendance update and shares information regarding what Dawson Knox has been up to this offseason trying to improve his game. For more information on Knox, please check out this story from Matthew Parrino of Syracuse.com: Bills' Dawson Knox working with vision specialist, eyeing big leap in Year 3 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

The Gottesdienst Crowd
[Gottesblog] Roy G Biv — Larry Beane

The Gottesdienst Crowd

Play Episode Listen Later Jun 7, 2021 7:42


ROY G BIV Now that it is June, we're seeing a lot of so-called rainbow flags. In the City of New Orleans, this is nothing new. We have an entire section of Bourbon Street in which nearly all of the bars fly the so-called rainbow flag year-round. Harrah's Casino always displays the various flags that flew over New Orleans in her 300-year history. Well, almost. One is missing. It represented the period of Southern independence. That flag has been replaced by, you guessed it, the so-called rainbow flag. Not to be accused of insufficient praise for the June honorees (and I don't mean blushing brides), the City does put up some extra so-called rainbow banners (now even more inclusive!) on Rampart Street for the month of June. One of the area's hospitals used to fly the so-called rainbow flag beneath the state flag of Louisiana for the entire month. Last year, if memory serves, it was only up for a day and then disappeared. I don't know what the plan is for 2021. But I imagine there is a lot of pressure to put it back up. After all, it is 2021. At any rate, I keep saying “so-called rainbow” because this “rainbow” is deficient. It is actually an ideal symbol for sexuality that deviates from the natural biological kind as reflected in natural law and the revealed will of God. And it is also a matter of science, that is, if you believe in such things as biology. The symbol that has come to stand for The Acronym: (LGBT, LGBTQ, LGBTQ+, LGBTQIAA, LGBTTQQIAAP, LGGBDTTTIQQAAPP, and LGBTTQQFAGPBDSM) is actually not the rainbow. For hopefully we all remember the mnemonic ROY G BIV: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. Seven colors. But take a look at the so-called rainbow flag. It only has six colors. Seven is the biblical number of completeness. It represents the fullness of the week of creation. It represents six days of work plus a sabbath rest. But six falls short. Six is the biblical number of incompleteness. The triple six is the mark of the beast, a parody of the Trinity. And there could be no more appropriate symbol for the various sexualities that fall short of how God created mankind. For God created mankind in His image in a beautiful binary of male and female, with a mandate to “be fruitful and multiply.” What binds together all of the various letters in The Acronym is that all fall short of the glory of God, insofar as none of them can bring children into the world, and none of them reflects the divine complementarity between male and female. All of these deviations from His order of creation fly in the face of biological science and nature. Another name for the so-called rainbow flag is the “pride flag.” Pride is the first of the traditional Seven Deadly Sins. It was Satan's pride that preceded his fall. It was his appeal to pride that led Adam and Eve astray. But Satan's temptation to pride failed to cause our Lord to stumble. And in fact, Jesus “emptied Himself” and took “the form of a servant,” and “He humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” His ultimate act of love was the very opposite of pride. As the kids say, “Love wins.” The real rainbow, not the parody, is truly a symbol of inclusion. For “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” All is the most inclusive word of all. And the passage continues that this same all “are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” The rainbow was given as a sign of God's mercy after His judgment of mankind at the flood. So the rainbow, the true rainbow, the seven-colored rainbow that appears in the clouds - is a sign of inclusion and acceptance by God of all sinners who confess their sins and cry out to the Lord for His absolution. The waters of the flood remind us of the Law that calls us to repent, and the rainbow that appeared at the end of the ordeal is a reminder of the Gospel, the Good News that Jesus died for us - for all of us. Don't let pride get in the way of God's grace. And don't be fooled into thinking that there is no consequence for sin. Rather ask for God's mercy that you may be forgiven and given the grace to resist the devil, even as our Lord did. While the rainbow is not, strictly speaking, a sacrament, it is a physical manifestation of God's grace, and thus it is sacramental. Luther wrote: [I]t is an error to hold that the sacraments of the New Law differ from those of the Old Law in the effectiveness of their signs. For in this respect they are the same. The same God who now saves us by baptism and the bread, saved Abel by his sacrifice, Noah by the rainbow, Abraham by circumcision, and all the others by their respective signs. So far as signs are concerned, there is no difference between a sacrament of the Old Law and one of the New, provided that by the Old Law you mean that which God did among the patriarchs and other fathers in the days of the Law. ~ AE 36:65 So in the month of June, look upon the so-called rainbow flag as representing an incompleteness, but look to the heavens for a sign of the completeness of God's mercy. And then look to the Church's confession of the Word of God, and gather with your fellow “poor miserable sinners” where we are forgiven, and where the same water that was an instrument of God's wrath is now a sacrament of His grace. May the seven colors of the rainbow remind us of the completeness of God's love and mercy, and may this sign ever be an encouragement for us to live lives of gratitude in His grace.

EC Radio
WKTV's General Sales Manger, Brittany Beane on this podcast

EC Radio

Play Episode Listen Later Jun 3, 2021 46:04


Brittany Beane is on this podcast talking about the journey that led her back home and working for WKTV.  Also, this podcast touches on selling ads throughout a pandemic, motivating her team, services WKTV provide, the competitive market in the Utica area, finding employment, WKTV job fair and more.WKTV's website- www.wktv.comSupport this podcast through Virtual Tip Jar- Venmo: @xytoda Cash App: https://cash.app/AnthonyZeeDonaldsonSponsored by EJA Moving Service- www.ejamoving.comJoey's at 307- www.315eats.comUtica Coffee Roasters- www.wakethehellup.comSaranac Brewery- www.saranac.comAttorney Dave Longeretta- 315-735-6162Get Social with The D-The D on Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/DisruptionnetworkThe D on Instagram- https://www.instagram.com/disruptionnetwork/The D on Twitter - https://twitter.com/the_D_networkThe D on YouTube- https://www.youtube.com/disruptionnetworkThe D on Twitch- https://www.twitch.tv/disruptionnetwork

The Gottesdienst Crowd
[Gottesblog] Pop Goes the Liturgy — Larry Beane

The Gottesdienst Crowd

Play Episode Listen Later May 29, 2021 11:27


Pop Goes the Liturgy “it [sic] think it would be awesome to hear rap in [the] worship service, especially if the context calls for it and it communicates the Gospel in a way the community will hear it.” — COMMENTER AT THE LCMS FACEBOOK PAGE “I agree 100%. It would be awesome in a worship service. It's communicating the gospel incarnationally in the cultural context of the community. However, it would need to be in the right context, because some congregations have shallow, exclusive, self-focused worship where their faith is a compartmentalized part of their life outside of the culture to which they belong.” — REPLY TO THE ABOVE COMMENT Modern pop music arguably began with jazz in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Jazz gave way to rock and roll in the 1950s. Rock music evolved quickly into many subgenres over the next few decades. Today's pop music is dominated by rap. But one thing that remains constant is the fact that there are those who desire to bring pop music into the Divine Service. Here in Louisiana, Jazz Masses (and even funerals) are popular among Roman Catholics. Among Lutherans in the Wisconsin, there are Lutheran churches that conduct Polka Services. And who can forget the pinnacle of Boomer Worship: the Chicago Folk Service? Rumor has it that the CIA had been using it to interrogate suspected terrorists. I don't believe it, though. Not even the CIA would violate the Geneva Convention so brashly. Kyrie eleison, indeed! And then there are the Episcopalians leading the way with the Beatles Mass (complete with John Lennon's ode to Communism and Atheism: “Imagine.” The Beatles Mass was championed by an ELCA “pastor” named Megan Rohrer, who has recently made headlines by being the first transgender “bishop.” He was formerly one of the pastors at Ebenezer Lutheran Church (Herchurch) in San Francisco, where God is addressed as the goddess, and where the Lord's Prayer begins “Our Mother.” For fans of U2, Episcopalian priestess Sarah Dylan Breuer has created a U2charist. An Episcopal congregation, St. Mary's - headed up by Mother Kim Culp, lists other services that they have done, including the above-mentioned U2charist and Beatles Mass, a Blue Grass Mass, Coldplay Mass, CASH Mass (featuring Johnny Cash music), and a Stevie Wonder Mass. Of course, it goes without saying - which means I have to say it because there are always readers looking to tilt at straw men - that pop music is not in and of itself evil. Some of it is, some of it isn't. It is what it is: entertainment. And it is entertainment that can indeed be thoughtful and intellectually stimulating. I remember many years ago one of our Gottesdienst editors - who is known for his intensity and excitability - waxing eloquent on how Led Zeppelin's song “No Quarter” reflected themes related to the office of the holy ministry. Some of the early songs by the band Evanescence confessed Christian themes - as the former writer for the band was a Christian. The band Kansas's Kerry Livgren is a Christian, and many of his compositions reflect the faith. He even fooled the unbeliever and dabbling Satanist Ronnie James Dio to record two songs with him in which the Christian confession is hard to miss: “To Live For the King” and “Mask of the Great Deceiver.” The Christian rock band Skillet gets airplay on secular stations as well. The list goes on. There is nothing wrong with entertainment. It is a gift of God that brings families and friends closer together and brings joy to our lives. But our sinful flesh often corrupts things that are good, turning them into idols. Satan's most effective tactics are those which blur the line between good and evil, or perhaps more accurately, introduce the leaven of the common into the loaf of the holy. Holiness means separation. Holiness is a wall that divides the divine from the ordinary. Christian worship is holy according to Scripture - that is, unless we have removed Exodus and Leviticus from the canon. God Himself teaches us about worship, how He would fill out His PIF if He were on the LCMS roster. There is indeed time in our daily lives for singing the glory of God “with trumpet sound… with lute and harp…. with tambourine and dance… with strings and pipe… with sounding cymbals” and “with loud clashing cymbals” - as we sing in Psalm 150. But then there are those times when God comes to us in His most holy presence, such as when Moses found himself at the burning bush, or Isaiah stood in the throne-room of God, the high priest's entry into the Holy of Holies, and our Lord's miraculous presence with us in His body and blood. Can you imagine Moses holding up a lighter and screaming “Freebird!” when God revealed His name to him and told him to remove his sandals? Can you imagine Isaiah freestyling a hip-hop beat when the seraph approached him “having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar”? Can you imagine the high priest cheerfully whistling a hippy folk song while coming into proximity with the Ark of the Covenant on the Day of Atonement? The reality is that we have lost touch with what holiness means. Most people would probably say that it means “being good” - however that is defined, whether by not drinking or dancing or playing cards, or by being appropriately politically-correct, sensitive, and concerned with “social justice.” And how often do we Lutherans take the Sacrament of the Altar for granted? How often do we fail to appreciate that a miracle happens at our altars? Of course, when pastors conduct the liturgy in a pedestrian or even slovenly way, when they behave like stand-up comedians or clowns, and when our churches schedule Sundays to not have the sacrament and then justify it because “it's a lot of work for the volunteers” (I actually heard that as an explanation for deviating from our confessional standard of every-Sunday communion) - who can blame our laity for not considering the Divine Service to be a miracle? And if it isn't a real manifestation of God coming to us, why bother? Or to put it in the words of Flannery O'Connor, “If it's only a symbol, to hell with it.” And when the people lose faith in what the plain Words of Institution teach us, that is when pastors and congregations (and even some in our hierarchy) turn to gimmicks, to rock and roll, rap, dancing, and other entertainments to hold the attention of the parishioners, to gin up emotion, and to “get the butts in the pews” with the kinds of things that draws a crowd in a stadium or concert hall. We must not discount the power of entertainment, especially pop music. I have had several parishioners leave my congregation and join one of our local non-denominational churches that has a pop band and a stage instead of hymns and an altar. These former parishioners outright told me that they like the music better. There were no theological considerations driving them, no crisis of whether or not what we teach is true. One said, “I gotta have a beat to move my feet.” One parishioner - whom I had baptized along with her daughter - said that her daughter enjoyed “fun church” instead of our Divine Service. But in gaining entertainment, what did they give up? In other words, what was the cost of this Sunday morning rock show? These churches do not confess Baptismal regeneration. And for them, the Lord's Supper (so-called) is indeed only a symbol. There is no confession and absolution. The giving up of these means through which God works miraculously in our lives was, to them, a price worth paying for a beat to move one's feet. In our culture, entertainment is king. It is our drug of choice. It is our 24-7 companion. It gives us the dopamine we need to get through life in these gray and latter days. It is as addictive as crack cocaine, but even easier to acquire. Even our news programs are entertainment. Our schools are entertainment. TV screens adorn the walls of our doctor's offices, airports, banks, restaurants, auto-repair shops, and our phones. Why shouldn't our churches likewise have screens on the sanctuary walls? Why shouldn't our church services also be entertainment? If we are entertained 24-7, 365, why should there be a single hour on Sunday morning in which we aren't being entertained? At the heart of the matter, this is a First Commandment issue. As George Thorogood famously posed the question - albeit with bad grammar: “Who do you love?”

The Gottesdienst Crowd
[Gottesblog] The New Benedictines — Larry Beane

The Gottesdienst Crowd

Play Episode Listen Later May 26, 2021 11:56


The New Benedictines In 2017, author Rod Dreher wrote The Benedict Option: a Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation. I'm not really a fan of Dreher. I find his writing to be whiny, his personality to be grating, and his claim to be a conservative to be dubious. One of my close friends refers to him seamlessly as The Insufferable Rod Dreher. I concur. That said, I recommend The Benedict Option. I have also heard very good things about his latest offering, Live Not By Lies: a Manual for Christian Dissidents. In fact, Fr. Eckardt wrote about it recently. When The Benedict Option came out, it was largely misunderstood by a lot of people in the LCMS. Some thought it was a kind of silver-bullet step-by-step program (proof of the LCMS's tyranny of the bureaucracy). Others rolled their eyes at the idea of Christian community as an attempt to turn us into the Amish or a monastic community. Of course, many of these same moqueurs lived on a seminary campus for three years, immersed in the Bible, confessions, and patristic writings, with lives ordered by the centrality of the worship schedule of the chapel, study, time spent making lifelong bonds of brotherhood with seminarians and their families, and living a countercultural Logocentric and cruciform life, embracing biblical heteronormativity, an exclusively-male clergy, the order of creation in the family, and submission to the Word of God - not to mention putting on a black shirt with a white collar that confesses before the world that we who pursue this life are set apart from the world. Seminary professors essentially live the Benedict Option, as their very homes, neighborhoods, employment, and day to day life are lived out in a tightly-knit Christian community that extends beyond the three years of campus life that is lived by the students. And this sense of community is a boon to both our professors and their students, which is to say, to our future pastors who are being formed for service. Dreher came up with the title The Benedict Option based on philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre's book After Virtue: a Study in Moral Theory, in which the author calls to mind the lifestyle of Christians living in the days of the Roman Empire's collapse - who essentially safeguarded and restarted civilization around the Rule of St. Benedict and the idea of Christian communities springing up in concentric circles around these Benedictine centers of Christian civilization, learning, worship, and community. In After Virtue, MacIntyre says that we in the present age are awaiting “another—doubtless very different—St. Benedict.” Dreher explains: Today, a new post-Christian barbarism reigns. Many believers are blind to it, and their churches are too weak to resist. Politics offers little help in this spiritual crisis. What is needed is the Benedict Option, a strategy that draws on the authority of Scripture and the wisdom of the ancient church. The goal: to embrace exile from the mainstream culture and construct a resilient counterculture. And so, he suggests that Christians should be more intentional about seeking out the likeminded, especially within the household of faith. He calls upon us to be more hospitable with one another, sharing our lives, withdrawing from the corrupted institutions of the world, and creating our own infrastructures (which is what our Lutheran forbears did by instituting parochial schools that taught the faith instead of undermining it). And contrary to some straw-man responses, Dreher is not suggesting political quietism or sticking our heads in the sand. He is not advocating a complete severance from the world, or a surrender from the idea of being salt and light. So stop typing that comment now, girlfriend. I know you're out there. This is hardly radical or new. We Lutherans have a strong heritage of this very thing. But we, alas, as we became more Americanized, we desired to become “like everyone else” - not unlike the Israelites in 1 Sam 8. And as the culture continues to degenerate, as Christians become increasingly marginalized - we would do well to be more proactive in how we live our lives, go about our work, raise our children, and contribute to civilization. We don't know what the future holds. We may be facing centuries of a new dark age followed by the return of Christ when the Church may dwindle to a handful of people, or there may be a great backlash in our time that restores a sense of virtue to western society and the world. We just don't know. But we do need to live in the here and now, in a world where Biblical Christianity is increasingly identified with hatred, where the idea that the freedom of religion is a preeminent natural right is increasingly seen as a retrograde and dangerous superstition, where the normal family is recast as evil, where deviancy is normalized, where there are now second- and third- generations of people in our country who have no idea who Jesus is, what the Bible is, or what the Church is. The abortion holocaust continues to rage, gender extremists are gaining ground every day, and our history is being rewritten by Neo-Orwellians. All of the major institutions of society, public and private sector alike, are increasingly pressuring conformity to a jackbooted antichristian agenda in the Gramscian juggernaut “march through the institutions “. It is becoming a problem as to how our children should be educated, for whom should they work, how they will find faithful spouses, and how much of the world's entertainment they should ingest. One trend that I have seen over the past several weeks is heartening. I have run into a large number of the laity - mostly young couples - who are making life decisions based on where they can find a faithful congregation. This is not how things were when I was growing up. We went to school, and we got jobs. If the best pay and opportunity for advancement took us out of state, away from family, and even to a place where there were no faithful churches - so be it. We had to “make a living.” Our jobs were the top priority. Early in my ministry, I had a young parishioner who nailed his dream job in another state. Some time after expressing his uncontainable excitement, he finally got around to asking me what church he should attend. Sadly, there was none anywhere nearby that I could recommend. The state he was moving to was a confessional wasteland. When I reported this to him and to his mother, they were utterly crestfallen. But he was not crestfallen enough to change his plans, not enough to decline the job. It reminded me of the tragic passage of the rich young man in Matt 19:16-22, who, upon being called to follow Jesus, “went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.” I too fell for this temptation in my twenties. I took a job with zero consideration about church attendance. In time, God pushed me around like a piece on a chessboard, and somehow, I ended up in the office of the holy ministry in spite of myself. I'm still scratching my head, but gratefully. By contrast, I am finding more and more people who are deliberately and proactively moving to cities and towns that have solid, liturgical, confessional congregations and pastors. And I have also met people who have turned down lucrative work based on the lack of a church community to join. And in one sense, I think Covid-19 had a small silver lining to it: it has diminished the importance of physical location to one's employment. Homeschooling has also made it possible for children to be educated anywhere. More and more people are able to work from home or run businesses over the Internet. I have met numerous Christian people, living in these gray and latter days, who see how important belonging to a faithful Christian community is to them and to their children - who in some cases have not yet even been conceived. And it is not only young couples ordering their lives around the locus of altar, font, and pulpit instead of salary, benefits, and ambition. Retired people, and even the middle aged are now more likely than ever to be willing to pull up the stakes, sell the home, and seek out a likeminded community of brothers and sisters in Christ. And this is really what the Benedict Option is all about. The days are long over when we could essentially locate anywhere, find a faithful confessional Lutheran church and a parochial school nearby, a church that uses the hymnal and worships according to the liturgy, one with a faithful pastor who handles the Word of God rightly - whether at the altar, in the pulpit, or while giving private pastoral care. And as our society has disintegrated, so too has the unity of our churches. One must now be discerning in deciding at what altar to commune and where one's children will be born again of water and the Spirit. And as we have all learned in the aftermath of the coronavirus, even introverts like me need community. After all, the Greek word for Church means “assembly.” And this doesn't happen by Zoom or by simply calling oneself a Lutheran without having a congregation to be a part of. My hat is off to our faithful laity who have made the kingdom their top priority. This is something that we pastors should encourage and exhort our parishioners to. And for all of the bashing of the Benedict Option, that's really all that it is.

The Gottesdienst Crowd
[Gottesblog] "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly" – Larry Beane

The Gottesdienst Crowd

Play Episode Listen Later May 17, 2021 16:05


The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly When I first became a Lutheran at age 18 in 1982, our congregation had two hymnals in the pew: The elder statesman of the Lutheran world: The Lutheran Hymnal (1941) and a little red new generation paperback volume called Worship Supplement (1969). We would soon ditch the TLH for the green Lutheran Book of Worship (1978) - the joint project with the churches that became the ELCA, and which was rejected by the Missouri Synod - over the objection of the congregation's Worship Committee, which recommended the adoption of the LCMS-approved variation of LBW, the blue Lutheran Worship (1982). I don't know all of the political machinations of the congregation, but I did later learn that the senior pastor had authored a resolution that the Missouri Synod join the ELCA. Maybe that had something to do with the congregation being strapped with the ***A hymnal for many years. Being a new Lutheran, I actually read through the TLH and the WS. The rubrics in TLH, which more resembled Adam's loincloth than the historic vestments of the church - were bolstered by more detail in WS as to how to worship as a Lutheran. Like the 1966 Clint Eastwood spaghetti western, WS was a mixed bag: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. But in the interest of starting with the Law and ending with the Gospel, let's look at them in reverse order… The Ugly The ugly would include things such as the horrible rewording of the Lord's Prayer. This was, after all, the year of Woodstock. I think some of the folks on the Commission on Worship (COW) had been tripping on some bad acid while listening to Country Joe and the Fish's “Vietnam Song.” This is an example of pure progressivism: change for change's sake. Even the option for the version of the Our Father that English speakers of every liturgical denomination has said for 500 nearly years was excised. And our liturgical overlords were very determined on this point. The boomers tried for more years than the Beatles were together to foist this “New and Improved - Now How Much Would You Pay” verbiage on a church that didn't want it. A modernized version of the Lord's prayer made it to LBW and LW, as like unto cockroaches, it proved hard to exterminate, but was finally put out of our Missouri in the latest hymnal, Lutheran Service Book (2006). It seems like the Commission on Worship had, by this point, gone through rehab, kicked the habit, and had come to Jesus. The traditional wording hath won the victory. Thanks be to God. The other “ugly” is the introduction of the Reformed ceremony of the fraction in The Holy Eucharist II (page 61). Again, LSD is the only reasonable explanation. Just say no, kids. The Bad The Bad parts include the goofy pictographs indicating the rubrics for when to sit, stand, or kneel. I think this was about the same time when international road signs with stick figures were making their grand debut, and who knows how confusing the words “sit” and “stand” and “kneel” would be as rubrics in a hymnal? Again, the modern COW - no longer on its dope bender - has seen the light, as these silly ideograms have been replaced by plain English in LSB. After all, if English was good enough for King James and Jesus… Also, the COW aped the papacy and the Green New Deal, I mean, the Novus Ordo, by introducing the Holy Handshake ritual. Sometimes, this is called the “passing of the peace” - but to me, it is like passing a kidney stone. Another Bad is more along the lines of inexplicable: there is no confession of the Creed in Holy Eucharist II and III. There is no explanation for this. The Good The Good includes the restoration of the word “catholic” in the Apostles and Nicene Creeds (which was deep-sixed by the Blue Hymnal Boys). Also a Good is the rubric for the sign of the cross at the crescendo of both creeds in which we boldly confess the resurrection. The Nicene Creed includes the restoration of the first person plural “We believe…” instead of the first person singular “I believe…” This is how the Creed was written, and how it was confessed by the Church for centuries. It is not our individual confession only, which is implied by our modern American penchant for “I believe…” but is rather the Church's collective confession - “We believe.” This change did not survive the transition from LBW to LW - itself a mélange of Good, Bad, and Ugly. The inclusion of the prayer offices of Prime, Noonday, and Compline are indeed very good. The COW renamed the Office of Sext to “Noonday.” This was, after all, the year after the Summer of Love. I suppose they didn't want to give people ideas about some new form of contemporary worship. The Office of Compline is one of the greatest additions to our hymnals' services - and LBW/LW rounded it out with its inclusion of traditional chant tones and extended rubrics. Compline got its toe in the door and was reintroduced into the North American Lutheran life by its inclusion in WS. One of the best features is the “Suggestions for the Worshiper” on pages 15-16. It consists of rubrics for the laity, and goes into more detail than did its equivalent in TLH on page 4. This section explains the sign of the cross, and gives instructions for doing it. It encourages crossing oneself “at the Trinitarian Invocation, at the last phrase of the Creed, before and after receiving the elements of Holy Communion, and at the Benediction.” Such rubrics actually help in the restoration of liturgical practice in American Lutheranism, as it will placate some “concerns” that “people are having, pastor (but I can't say who)” that this stuff is “too Catholic.” After all, if CPH says it's okay, it must be okay. At least some people will accept the imprimatur of the Holy Office of the Publishing House from the Violet Vatican. Others will still demur, but a half glass is better than an empty glass, as Gottesblog's whiskey-drinkers believe, teach, and confess. This section also includes rubrics for bowing: “on entering the church, during the first half of the Gloria Patri, on approaching the altar for Holy Communion, and on leaving the pew after the conclusion of the service. Bowing more deeply or kneeling is customary at the words of the Nicene Creed ‘he was born… and became man.' Bowing only the head is appropriate at any mention of the sacred name of Jesus, especially where this occurs in the Creed.” I learned the profound little prayer upon receiving the elements from this section, a variation of which I still say as the celebrant: Lord, I am not worthy that You have come under my roof, but only say the word, and Your servant will be healed. These rubrics also teach the reader to confess his “Amen” when receiving the elements after the pastor has said, “The body of Christ” and “The blood of Christ.” This Worship Supplement's rubrical catechesis shaped my piety as a new Lutheran attending Divine Service. Inexplicably to me, precious few in the pews actually followed these rubrics. But some did. There is also “A Form of Private Confession and Absolution” including helpful rubrics. There was no such liturgy in TLH. Another enhancement of TLH is the fact that the pastor's chant tones are indicated, thus giving the celebrant “permission” to chant the liturgy - something that was missing in TLH. I've heard several theories, such as the World War II paper shortage or a hurried effort to publish the book, but people often make such assertions with no evidence. The TLH version of the Pastor's Chant Tones did come out as a separate volume a couple years later, but by that time, the weird hybrid of the pastor speaking and the congregation chanting had already calcified, like clogged arteries. Some pastors are still accused of secret Romanism to this very day if they chant their parts of the liturgy - even though our hymnals have indicated these chant tones now since the days of John Cougar's “Hurts So Good,” Asia's “Heat of the Moment,” and Van Halen's “Pretty Woman.” That's almost 40 years, as long as the Israelites wandered in the desert. And we know what the purpose of that timeframe was. Maybe some of our members of a certain age see LSB as a Russian conspiracy to put us back under the pope. OK boomers. Perhaps the best Good of the Worship Supplement is the hymn section. So much of the hymnody that we now take for granted was introduced to North American Lutherans by this resource. And, believe it or not, many of these hymns are stronger versions than what eventually filtered its way into LSB - including some hymns that retain gendered language and even Elizabethan English. Apparently, not everyone was dropping acid. There were clearly a few Nixon voters in the old COW Some of the “new” hymns include: Lo! He Comes with Clouds Descending Creator of the Stars of Night O Savior, Rend the Heavens Wide O Come, All Ye Faithful Angels We Have Heard on High Let All Together Praise Our God In Dulci Jubilo (in Latin and English) Gentle Mary Laid Her Child What Child is This O Wondrous Type! O Vision Fair My Song is Love Unknown Sing, My Tongue, the Glorious Battle At the Lamb's High Feast We Sing With High Delight, Let Us Unite O Sons and Daughters of the King The Victimae Paschali Celebration (LSB: Christians, to the Pascal Victim) This Joyful Eastertide I Bind Unto Myself Today Thy Strong Word Did Cleave the Darkness O Love, How Deep, How Broad, How High Son of God, Eternal Savior Holy Spirit, Ever Dwelling From All Thy Saints in Warfare (LSB: For All Your Saints in Warfare) In Adam We Have All Been One Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence In Thee is Gladness Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise God of Grace and God of Glory Before the Ending of the Day There are also improved tunes for some hymns, such as: Hark! A Thrilling Voice is Sounding The Royal Banners Forward Go Come Ye Faithful, Raise the Strain Lord God, Thy Praise We Sing (Luther's antiphonal Te Deum) One glorious hymn that was introduced in WS, made it to LW, but did not make the cut in LSB is: O Kingly Love, That Faithfully So although Worship Supplement is largely forgotten, like the fact that a band named Quill played Woodstock - there seems to be no relation to the eponymous Fort Wayne professor - it has been influential in the shaping of our worship in the LCMS. It has retired and sits on pastor's shelves, only being thumbed through for the sake of nostalgia or research. And like the 1960s itself, it is a mixed bag. And so as a tribute to Worship Supplement, here is a video of the earworm that we are all hearing right now. You're welcome. Larry BeaneMarch 5, 2021 Facebook0TwitterLinkedIn0TumblrPinterest00 Likes  

Billieve: a Buffalo Rumblings Podcast
Billieve: Recapping Buffalo's Draft Class

Billieve: a Buffalo Rumblings Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later May 6, 2021 52:21


On the latest episode of the Billieve Podcast, the NFL Draft is in the rear view mirror, and hosts John Boccacino and Jamie D’Amico assess how general manager Brandon Beane fared with Buffalo's picks. The two offer up their thoughts on what they liked about the draft, including Beane's commitment to improve the edge rushers with the selections of Gregory Rousseau and Carlos "Boogie" Basham Jr. Our podcasters break down the pros and cons to every pick, highlighting the ones they really liked -- (Boccacino is especially fond of the potential Rousseau represents paired with Basham Jr., offensive tackle Spencer Brown and wide receiver/returner Marquez Stevenson while D'Amico questioned the selection of Rousseau but loved drafting Basham Jr.). We also examine what the logjam of defensive ends means for the position heading into the 2021 season. We address how Buffalo is planning for the future with the picks of Brown and fellow offensive tackle Tommy Doyle along with Rousseau and Basham Jr., discuss how Stevenson represents a taller Isaiah McKenzie as a talented gadget weapon, dive into why Beane waited until the sixth round to address the secondary, and encourage fans to show a little patience when judging Beane on this draft class. Subscribe to the Buffalo Rumblings podcast channel featuring Billieve, Blitzed Bills, Buff Hub, Buffalo Rumblings Q&A, Breaking Buffalo Rumblings, The Bruce Exclusive, Circling the Wagons , Code of Conduct and Jamie D and Big Newt: Apple Podcasts | Stitcher | Google Play | Spotify | Podbean | iHeartRadio | TuneIn | Megaphone Ask Alexa or Google Home to play the Buffalo Rumblings podcast! If you like our show, tell a friend and help us spread the word! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Shout! A football podcast on the Buffalo Bills with Matt Parrino and Ryan Talbot
Arguing Gregory Rousseau decision; Was Marquez Stevenson best pick? And CB free agent options w/ CBS Sports' Chris Trapasso

Shout! A football podcast on the Buffalo Bills with Matt Parrino and Ryan Talbot

Play Episode Listen Later May 6, 2021 45:59


Matt Parrino and Ryan Talbot are back with the final NFL Draft show. They're joined by CBS Sports analyst Chris Trapasso to discuss the picks and how the Bills are positioned moving forward. They dive into the Gregory Rousseau selection from all angles. Trapasso didn't love the decision but the trio discuss it in detail. They also talk about the move that might have gone under the radar but may end up being a real home run by Brandon Beane. They discuss the defensive line and try to project where it'll be in August and then in 2022. Then they talk about some free agent options for the Bills still available with Beane mentioning on Wednesday the Bills are still in the shopping market on a budget."Shout!" A Buffalo Bills football podcast is available on Apple, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, Acast and wherever you listen to podcasts.Follow @MattParrino (https://twitter.com/MattParrino) and @RyanTalbotBills (https://twitter.com/RyanTalbotBills) on TwitterFind our Bills coverage wherever you like to consume social media:Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/buffalobillsnyupFacebook: https://www.facebook.com/buffalobillsnyupTwitter: https://twitter.com/billsupdatesFor all your Bills coverage head to https://www.syracuse.com/buffalo-bills/ See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Shout! A football podcast on the Buffalo Bills with Matt Parrino and Ryan Talbot
Details of Bills trade that was nixed when Boogie Basham fell | Josh Allen in mind with OT Spencer Brown pick

Shout! A football podcast on the Buffalo Bills with Matt Parrino and Ryan Talbot

Play Episode Listen Later May 1, 2021 53:07


Matt Parrino and Ryan Talbot dive into Day 2 of the NFL Draft and give their takes on the Buffalo Bills two draft selections. Brandon Beane went with an edge rusher again in the second round, drafting Wake Forest DE Carlos "Boogie" Basham Jr. at pick no. 61 just one day after taking Miami DE Gregory Rousseau. Beane revealed that the Bills had a deal in place with an NFC team but pulled the plug when Basham was available at their pick. Then the guys break down Spencer Brown, who stands 6-8 and whose athletic profile is super intriguing. Then they talk AFC East draft takes and wrap up with some ideas for the Bills on Day 3."Shout!" A Buffalo Bills football podcast is available on Apple, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, Acast and wherever you listen to podcasts.Follow @MattParrino (https://twitter.com/MattParrino) and @RyanTalbotBills (https://twitter.com/RyanTalbotBills) on TwitterFind our Bills coverage wherever you like to consume social media:Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/buffalobillsnyupFacebook: https://www.facebook.com/buffalobillsnyupTwitter: https://twitter.com/billsupdatesFor all your Bills coverage head to https://www.syracuse.com/buffalo-bills/ See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

The Gottesdienst Crowd
[Gottesblog] The Sacred and the Profane – Larry Beane

The Gottesdienst Crowd

Play Episode Listen Later Apr 30, 2021 10:21


The Sacred and the Profane By Larry Beane   From time to time, Lutherans mock other Lutherans for being overly careful regarding dealing with consecrated elements so as to avoid their profanation. In one recent discussion, a Lutheran pastor wrote: I understand being reverent, but some of the specific piety is overkill, to the point where the point of the meal is missed. Do you really think if a morsel of bread is dropped to the floor, God in heaven is angry? Of course, it's revealing that he sought to minimize the offense by describing the “morsel” not as the body of Christ, but as “bread.” As if we were talking about an errant crumb from a Subway Spicy Italian six-inch sub instead of the flesh of the Creator of the Universe - well, if you believe that sort of thing, I suppose. And for the record, nobody suggested that this had anything to do with God's wrath. I have often read mockery directed toward fastidiousness regarding the consecrated elements, as if such caution was something to be avoided or held up to ridicule. How different from our fathers in the faith, including Drs. Luther and Bugenhagen (in an incident quoted by Edward Frederick Peters, The Origin and Meaning of the Axiom: “Nothing Has the Character of a Sacrament Outside of the Use” [Fort Wayne, Indiana: Concordia Theological Seminary Press, 1993], p. 191): [In 1542, in Wittenberg] a woman wanted to go to the Lord's Supper, and then as she was about to kneel on the bench before the altar and drink, she made a misstep and jostled the chalice of the Lord violently with her mouth, so that some of the Blood of Christ was spilled from it onto her lined jacket and coat and onto the rail of the bench on which she was kneeling. So then when the reverend Doctor Luther, who was standing at a bench opposite, saw this, he quickly ran to the altar (as did also the reverend Doctor Bugenhagen), and together with the curate, with all reverence licked up [the Blood of Christ from the rail] and helped wipe off this spilled Blood of Christ from the woman's coat, and so on, as well as they could. And Doctor Luther took this catastrophe so seriously that he groaned over it and said, “O, God, help!” and his eyes were full of water. I wonder how many modern pastors would mock Luther - or even one of their contemporary brethren - for licking the spilled blood of Christ from the communion rail. And this was not the only time Dr. Luther licked up the spilled blood of the Lord. As Fr. William Weedon wrote back in 2007, referring to a sixteenth century account by Johann Hachenburg: Or consider how, when he spilled the chalice and it fell to the floor, he carefully set the chalice back on the altar and got on his hands and knees and lapped it up off the floor like a dog - upon which the congregation burst into tears. I believe that our sense of the separation between the sacred and the profane has degraded since the days of our fathers in the faith. And this is understandable. For us 21st century Americans, we routinely see churches that look less like churches and more like strip malls or concert halls. Church music is increasingly secularized. Vestments are often downplayed, and the sense that worship is “set apart” from the common, ordinary life is increasingly minimalized and marginalized, if not outright combined and conjoined. It makes one cringe to hear pastors and well-catechized laity refer to the consecrated elements as “bread” and “wine” instead of what they are by virtue of the miracle of encountering our Lord's Word: the very body and blood of Christ. Of course, they are also bread and wine. It is a both/and and not an either/or. But in the same way that one would speak of one's own child as one's “son” or “daughter” as opposed to describing him as “some kid.” Of course, your own child is “some kid,” but what would cause a parent to speak in this way, ignoring the more sublime reality to settle on a technically-true generality? But I believe that we are seeing a much more general trend in the failure to discern the sacred from the profane. I recently had a commenter on my Facebook timeline use a certain expression of profanity that was very crass and vulgar. When I asked him to refrain, given that I'm a pastor and that I do have ladies and children who will see it, he was rather agitated. What I found most amazing is that he is a proud Southerner. And traditional Southern culture is one of chivalry. Southern men of every socioeconomic level are traditionally raised to show deference to ladies and to children - especially by a desire to assist and to refrain from giving offense. Southern men can indeed curse with the best of their Yankee counterparts - and they do. But it has always been a hallmark of our region to make a distinction in matters of speech and manners. And when a man doesn't make such a distinction, it is supposed that he “wasn't raised right.” And of course, I'm being a bit tongue-in-cheek, as all regions of the country used to display such deference. It has always been stressed in Southern culture. And this sense of distinction is what holiness is - to set apart, to remove one's sandals on holy ground, to bow to the ground before God, and to adorn the places where God physically appears differently than one would decorate a common, ordinary living area. The distinction between the sacred and the profane has been muddled in our modern age, and especially in the last couple decades. Words that used to be off-limits on broadcast television are routinely used. Topics addressed in commercials are now wide-open, with no sense that some things should not be discussed in front of children. My Southern friend worded his defense of using any level of profanity whenever and wherever he liked in a curious way. I asked him if he would use such language in front of his mother, or his children, or in church, or at Bible class. His response was telling: If I had children I would encourage them to speak how they feel not what is excepted [sic], freedom of speech is freedom of speech there is no exception and I would expect my children and grown adults to be comfortable speaking their minds freely!! I'm not for everyone and as far as church is conscerned [sic] wherever my feet are planted is my church and God is always my guide. Of course, if he had children, he might see things differently, but then again, maybe not. I often hear parents saying the most vulgar things in front of even very small children, and it is distressing that from a young age, children are not learning boundaries. They are taught that the way we conduct ourselves in the gym, the playground, or the locker-room is the same as we carry ourselves in church, at a funeral, or at a formal dinner. Interestingly, he openly makes no distinction between a holy place, like a church, and “wherever [his] feet are planted.” In his worldview, God doesn't make such distinctions either. Moreover, in the larger culture, the way we treat women is the same way that we treat men - because after all, there is no distinction between the sexes. All religions are also the same. To most people, bread that has been consecrated is just like bread that hasn't been. A church building is no holier than a parking garage (because God is everywhere). On a side note, this downplaying of, and opposition to, distinctions is a hallmark of Gnosticism. This point is driven home in the Fr. Peter Burfeind's book: Gnostic America: A Reading of Contemporary American Culture & Religion according to Christianity's Oldest Heresy. We are increasingly unable to make distinctions and to discern between that which is common and that which is holy. For us Lutherans, as sacramental Christians whose confession is that Christ is physically present in the blessed elements, we really need to double down in what we say and do with regard to that which is holy, lest we contribute to the trend of profanation, and thereby give the impression that we don't believe what our Lord clearly told us in the Words of Institution. And if we're not going to be cautious with the holy things - as much as we would be cautious with caustic chemicals or high voltage electricity - then what do we really believe about what holiness is? Or more basic than that, what do we believe regarding what Jesus teaches us? Maybe that is the question we really need to be addressing: What do we believe?

Shout! A football podcast on the Buffalo Bills with Matt Parrino and Ryan Talbot
Bills take Greg Rousseau at 30 | Why did they like him? Why not trade down & try to get him? Look ahead to Day 2 of Draft

Shout! A football podcast on the Buffalo Bills with Matt Parrino and Ryan Talbot

Play Episode Listen Later Apr 30, 2021 27:52


Matt Parrino and Ryan Talbot bring their reaction to the Bills' selection of Miami pass rusher Gregory Rousseau at pick 30 in the first round. The guys break down why Brandon Beane and the Bills had Rousseau valued high on their board and how he fits in for the Bills next season and beyond. They react to Beane's presser and Rousseau's initial presser, as well. Then they talk about some potential targets in round 2 and how things can play out on Friday."Shout!" A Buffalo Bills football podcast is available on Apple, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, Acast and wherever you listen to podcasts.Follow @MattParrino (https://twitter.com/MattParrino) and @RyanTalbotBills (https://twitter.com/RyanTalbotBills) on TwitterFind our Bills coverage wherever you like to consume social media:Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/buffalobillsnyupFacebook: https://www.facebook.com/buffalobillsnyupTwitter: https://twitter.com/billsupdatesFor all your Bills coverage head to https://www.syracuse.com/buffalo-bills/ See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

The Gottesdienst Crowd
[Gottesblog] "Wrestling With the Saints" – Larry Beane

The Gottesdienst Crowd

Play Episode Listen Later Apr 29, 2021 5:00


Wrestling With the Saints In a discussion about praying to the dead, a Roman Catholic FB friend was critical of a Protestant FB friend. They went back and forth while I scooped popcorn into my mouth and enjoyed the show. Full contact theology is way more entertaining than MMA fights that inevitably become grappling on the floor, and you don't have to pay for cable. Real theological debate is more lively, like the old Big Time Wrestling that my cousins and I used to watch on Saturday mornings. The Roman Catholic guy went for the takedown: The Catholic [sic] Church endorses both prayer for the dead to get into heaven and to the righteous dead to make our case before God. I know this is anathema to you because it is not in your Bible. It used to be, but Luther kicked Maccabees out of the Protestant Bible and called it a nasty name --- Apocrypha--- thing about which there is doubt. It was part of scripture at the Time of Jesus. It appears to me that Luther did that because he disagreed with its teaching. Can a murderer get rid of the 7th commandment? No. So, I have Maccabees. You have Luther kicking it out. Not sure what else you have saying Maccabees is bad. I am confident we will find out who is right on the last day. At this point, I threw down my tub of popcorn with yellow grease, grabbed a folding chair, and jumped into the ring. For a moment I was back to my childhood with my aunts and cousins in a smoke-filled Akron Armory, watching men in tights pretend to fight each other to the roar of the drunken crowd. But I didn't fight dirty, unless telling the truth is considered out of bounds. I replied: 2 Maccabees is quoted in our Confessions three times, and is explicitly called "Scripture." Our confessions also quote the Book of Tobit (four times). The Apocrypha was published in all Lutheran Bibles until they began to speak English and bought Bibles from the Protestants. Russian Lutheran Bibles also include these books, and the Russian Lutherans refer to them as deuterocanonical. Moreover, the passage you are referring to (2 Macc 15:14) says that the dead pray - not that we pray to them. We Lutherans certainly confess that the dead pray for us (Apology 21:9). Our issue is that there is nothing in Scripture indicating that we are to pray to them or that they can even hear our prayers. The early church - and indeed the Roman Church until Trent - made a distinction between the Greek Old Testament books (which we call the Apocrypha, and which you call Deuterocanon) and the Hebrew - just as the early church (as do Lutherans) distinguish between the New Testament books known as the Antilegomena and the Homolegoumena. The early church did not draw doctrine solely from the witness of the Antilegomena or the Greek OT books (Apocrypha/Deuterocanon), whether from the Old or New Testaments, but required additional witness. It was only at the Council of Trent - which the papal church refused to call until after Luther's death - that the deuterocanonical books were received as equal witnesses to the rest of Scripture. And so it is the Lutherans whose treatment of Scripture aligns with the fathers, and it is Rome who changed and innovated. I get that we are in disagreement, but as Christians we are called to be honest in stating what our opponents believe. The great St. Thomas Aquinas is a stellar example of this kind of precision in argumentation. And then, after making an appeal to fight fair, I cracked him over the head with my chair, smashed his face into the turnbuckle, and held him down for the pin - but of course, the referee was distracted, and I only got a two-count. Some guy called “The Inquisitor” climbed into the ring, snuck up on me, and knocked me out cold. That's the last I remember. But my aunts and cousins thought it was a good show.

The Gottesdienst Crowd
[Gottesblog] "Apostolic Succession in the Roman Catholic and Lutheran Churches" – Larry Beane

The Gottesdienst Crowd

Play Episode Listen Later Apr 26, 2021 10:08


Apostolic Succession in the Roman Catholic and Lutheran Churches I ran across an interesting website: https://www.catholic-hierarchy.org/. It is actually a database of all Roman Catholic bishops, past and present, with their histories. What is really fascinating is that their chain of consecrations are listed, their “family tree” of having hands laid on them by bishops. For Roman Catholics, this unbroken chain of apostolic succession of bishops is considered to be absolutely necessary in their theology for the confection of the sacraments. Or so it seems. Here's the problem: their records of consecrations don't even go back as far as the Reformation. I looked at the episcopal lineages of popes Francis, Benedict, and John Paul. Their consecrations find a common “ancestor” in Pope Clement XIII - who was consecrated in 1743. I looked up the local Roman Catholic archbishop of New Orleans, Gregory Aymond. His “ancestry” also runs through pope Clement XIII. Ditto for his predecessor Alfred Hughes. And his predecessor Francis Schulte. And his predecessor Philip Hannan. As a random exercise, I plugged in the bishop of Owensboro, Kentucky: William Medley. Yes, him too. Just for kicks, I looked up the bishop of Mombassa, Kenya (Martin Musonde). Yes, his lineage also runs through Clement XIII, and in fact, he shares a closer link with Abp. Aymond of New Orleans, going back to Pope Pius X (1884). They're practically kissing cousins. Here is what is interesting: Pope Clement XIII's lineage (and thus, it seems, all modern Roman bishops) hits a dead end with Scipone Cardinal Rebiba, the titular Roman Catholic patriarch of Constantinople, who was consecrated as a bishop in 1541. But we have no idea who consecrated him. The line of records stops here. Thus, the oldest recorded history of episcopal lineage for modern Roman bishops is more recent than the Reformation! Interestingly, there are also no lineages for the first several hundred years of popes. The second bishop of Rome, Linus (served 68-79 AD), has no known lineage. Neither does Gregory the Great (590-604). John XVII - pope in the year 1000 - has no known lineage. Pope Julius III - pope in 1500 - has only two known generations. Leo X (of Reformation fame) has a whopping four generations. That's it. So Rome, who ostensibly bases its entire validity on canonical episcopal consecration cannot even trace its own clergy back to the Reformation. Roman Catholics simply have to take it on faith that their bishops (and thus the priests they ordain) are legitimate. Scandinavian Lutheran bishops - and their “descendants” in the Baltics, Russia, and Africa - are likewise consecrated in apostolic succession (though not recognized as such by Rome), as the custom of traditional polity (bishop, priest, and deacon) and episcopal ordination were retained by the Scandinavian Lutherans as salutary traditions in accordance with the desire to do as so stated in our Book of Concord (Ap 14:1). German Lutheran pastors after the Reformation were not ordained by bishops - but rather by other pastors - in a kind of presbyterial succession - which has indeed happened in antiquity and in the middle ages. This is so because Lutheran pastors do not ordain themselves, nor are they ordained by the laity. Our confessions speak of the church ordaining pastors “using their own pastors for this purpose” (SA 3:10, Tr 72). Dr. Arthur Carl Piepkorn referred to this as a “de facto succession of ordained ministers,” and he points out that Jerome considered not only bishops, but presbyters as well, to be “successors of the apostles.” Piepkorn cites several historical instances of presbyters ordaining other presbyters and deacons, including in second century Alexandria and Lyons, as well as the Council of Ancyra (314) that includes a canon (13) that speaks to presbyters carrying out ordinations. Piepkorn also points out that John Cassian (360-435) records the fact that the Egyptian presbyter-abbot Paphnutius ordained his succesor both as a deacon and as a priest, and also that while before their episcopal consecrations, Sts. Willehad and Liudger, in the eighth century, were carrying out ordinations. Piepkorn also cites historical records from the thirteenth and even the fifteenth centuries - including papal bulls - recognizing presbyterial ordinations as valid (see “The Minister of Ordination in the Primitive and Medieval Church,” page 80 of The Church: Selected Writings of Arthur Carl Piepkorn). It seems that the Roman Catholic rejection of Lutheran orders based on our lack of canonically-consecrated bishops as ministers of ordination (as we find in the Papal Confutation in response to AC14) is not based on consistent theology and practice in the Roman Church. Piepkorn participated in “Lutherans and Catholics in Dialogue” - which yielded some surprising conclusions (see Volume IV on Eucharist and Ministry). One of the Roman participants (Fr. George Tavard) concluded that presbyterial successions are a matter of history, and said: I would be prepared to go further, and to admit that episcopal succession is not absolutely required for valid ordination…. The main problem, in our ecumenical context, does not lie in evaluating historical lines of succession, but in appreciating the catholicity of Protestantism today. Fellow participant Fr. Harry McSorley concluded, after a thorough study of the Council of Trent: We can say without qualification that there is nothing whatever in the Tridentine doctrine on sacrament of order concerning the reality of the eucharist celebrated by Christians of the Reformation churches. Catholic theologians who have maintained that there is no sacrament of the body and blood of Christ in Protestant churches because Protestant ministers are radically incapable of consecrating the eucharist are incorrect if they think this opinion is necessitated by the teaching of Trent. Of course, we Lutherans don't really care whether or not the papal church recognizes our ordinations or our eucharists as valid (though they do as a matter of course recognize our baptisms). But when examined in light of both actual history and the history of their theology, their exclusive claims regarding apostolicity come unraveled, even by their own pronouncements. And here is the final irony: while modern Roman Bishops cannot prove their line of consecrations even as far back as the Reformation, Lutheran bishops consecrated by means of the Swedish line, can indeed trace their lineages back further. This paper includes an appendix showing the succession of Swedish bishops back to its Roman Catholic “ancestor” who was consecrated in 1524. This means that confessional Lutheran bishops in various church bodies around the world have a greater claim to apostolic succession in the historical sense than even the Roman pope. Here is the episcopal lineage of the Church of Sweden from the paper “Den apostoliska successionen i Svenska kyrkan. En studie av den apostoliska successionens roll i dialogen med Church of England.” 6. Appendix: Svenska kyrkans historiskt dokumenterade vigningslinje Paris de Grassi, biskop av Pesaro, vigde 1524 i sitt hus i Rom Petrus Magni till biskop för Västerås stift som 1531 vigde Laurentius Petri till ärkebiskop för Uppsala stift som 1536 vigde Botvid Sunesson till biskop för Strängnäs stift som 1554 vigde Paul Juusten till biskop för Viborgs stift (1563 Åbo) som 1575 vigde Laurentius Petri Gothus till ärkebiskop för Uppsala stift som 1577 vigde Andreas Laurentii Björnram till biskop för Växjö stift (1583 Uppsala) som 1583 vigde Petrus Benedicti till biskop för Västerås stift (1587 Linköping) som 1594 vigde Abraham Angermannus till ärkebiskop för Uppsala stift som 1595 vigde Petrus Kenicius till biskop för Skara stift (1608 Strängnäs, 1609 Uppsala) som 1601 vigde Olaus Martini till ärkebiskop för Uppsala stift som 1608 vigde Laurentius Paulinus Gothus till biskop för Skara stift (1609 Strängnäs, 1637 Uppsala) som 1641 vigde Jonas Magni Wexionensis till biskop för Skara stift som 1647 vigde Johannes Lenaeus till ärkebiskop för Uppsala stift som 1668 vigde Johannes Baazius d.y. till biskop för Växjö stift (1673 Skara, 1677 Uppsala) som 1678 vigde Olaus Svebilius till biskop för Linköpings stift (1681 Uppsala) som 1695 vigde Mattias Steuchius till biskop för Lunds stift (1714 Uppsala) som 1726 vigde Eric Benzelius d.y. till biskop för Göteborgs stift (1731 Linköping, 1742 Uppsala) som 1742 vigde Henrik Benzelius till biskop för Lunds stift (1747 Uppsala) som 1757 vigde Carl Fredrik Mennander till biskop för Åbo stift (1775 Uppsala) som 1781 vigde Uno von Troil till biskop för Linköpings stift (1786 Uppsala) som 1787 vigde Jacob Axelsson Lindblom till biskop för Linköpings stift (1805 Uppsala) som 1809 vigde Carl von Rosenstein till biskop för Linköpings stift (1819 Uppsala) som 1824 vigde Johan Olof Wallin till biskop för Kungliga Serafimerorden (1837 Uppsala) som 1839 vigde Hans Olof Holmström till biskop för Strängnäs stift (1852 Uppsala) som 1855 vigde Henrik Reuterdahl till biskop för Lunds stift (1856 Uppsala) som 1864 vigde Anton Niklas Sundberg till biskop för Karlstad stift (1870 Uppsala) som 1890 vigde Martin Johansson till biskop för Härnösand stift som 1904 vigde Olof Bergquist till biskop för Luleå stift som 1932 vigde Erling Eidem till ärkebiskop för Uppsala stift som 1948 vigde Gunnar Hultgren till biskop för Visby stift (1950 Härnösand, 1958 Uppsala) som 1959 vigde Ruben Josefsson till biskop för Härnösand stift (1967 Uppsala) som 1970 vigde Olof Sundby till biskop för Växjö stift (1972 Uppsala) som 1975 vigde Bertil Werkström till biskop för Härnösand stift (1983 Uppsala) som 1986 vigde Gunnar Weman till biskop för Luleå stift (1993 Uppsala) som 1995 vigde Anders Wejryd till biskop för Växjö stift som blev ärkebiskop för Uppsala stift 2006 As an appendix to the appendix, Paris de Grassi, also known as Paride de Grassis (the bishop of Pesaro Italy who consecrated the first Swedish bishop), has a few more “generations” in his lineage: Achille Cardinal Grassi † (1506) Bishop of Bologna Pope Julius II (1481) (Giuliano della Rovere †) Pope Sixtus IV (1471) (Francesco della Rovere, O.F.M. †) Guillaume Cardinal d'Estouteville, O.S.B. † Cardinal-Bishop of Ostia (e Velletri) Cardinal Guillaume was consecrated a bishop in 1439. Thus modern Lutheran bishops have historical documentation of their successions dating back to 1439 - more than a century earlier than Roman bishops, whose records dead-end at 1541.

The Gottesdienst Crowd
[Gottesblog] "Pastors: Be Comfortable in Your Own Skin" – Larry Beane

The Gottesdienst Crowd

Play Episode Listen Later Apr 25, 2021 10:33


Pastors: Be Comfortable in Your Own Skin When I was a first-year seminarian, one of our professors told us that we had to become comfortable in our own skin. He advised us to buy a clerical shirt and go walk around the mall. Of course, it's awkward to do this for the first time. People look at you. You feel weird. But it's an important rite of passage to begin to see oneself leaving the secular world and being formed into a pastor, leaving behind the old life, and becoming a fisher of men. The reactions that one gets varies, depending on time and place. My first time wearing a clerical shirt was more than 20 years ago, and culturally-speaking, it might as well be a hundred years. In the present, the Church is increasingly pressed to the margins. Christians are more and more hated. Pastors are targets of the devil's wrath as much now as in any time in recent years. Of course, it's easy to bury one's talent and cover up one's vocation. It's a simple thing to hide one's discomfort in one's own skin, which is to say, to lurk around like Peter in denial of who one is, as one who is linked to Jesus in hostile times: to just dress like everyone else and fly under the radar. One of our professors who was retiring (an ordained man who never wore clericals) even mocked pastors and seminarians who wore the collar as he preached a final sermon at chapel. Men of his generation really seem to have a hang-up about it. Of all the things to say in his final proclamation of Jesus to seminarians, he just felt compelled to take that swipe. Early in my ministry, the older pastors mocked their typically-younger colleagues who wore the black shirt outside of the Sunday service. The older pastors were generally well-heeled and sported the suit and tie, or perhaps a polo shirt and khaki pants. I even had a lay church worker on one occasion joining the fun by mocking the “blackshirts” as well. I attended a district convention a couple years out of seminary, and I remember being in the minority as a pastor wearing a clerical shirt. I left the elevator, and a gaggle of my “brothers” mocked me on the way out with a snarky comment and laughter. Cowards. They literally waited until the door was closing to take their Parthian shot. I suspect there were low testosterone issues. Somebody, after all, is buying the product from Pfizer that is not a Covid vaccination. I remember older pastors, and even district presidents, who insisted on dressing like the laity and introducing themselves by their first names. It was an affectation of the Woodstock and Casual Friday generation. It certainly gave the impression that these men were not comfortable in their own skin, but sought to blend in with the salesmen, bankers, and CEOs, not desiring the target on the back or the burden of everyone knowing that they were supposedly Jesus' called servants, fishers of men. Thankfully, as pastors of a certain age have been riding into the sunset, heading to the glue factory, and being replaced by younger pastors, this kind of nonsense is going the way of the rotary phone and bell bottoms. But there are still a few of these insufferable types in circulation. Not too long ago, I was out of town and attended a congregation that was recommended. Unbeknownst to me, the pastor took a call, and the parish was then being served by a baby-boomer interim. My wife and a friend were sitting with me in the pew. We were dressed for church. I was in my clericals. The pastor came to our pew and right away started with the clerical jokes: “You wear your clericals on vacation? Do you sleep in them?” OK Boomer. Next, he explained that he had served previously in a southern state where if he wore clericals, people would think he was an exorcist. He crossed his index fingers as if warding off a demon. I wanted to say, “Well, you are an exorcist.” But I opted for politely smiling instead. Thanks be to God that this kind of buffoonery and cluelessness is on the wane. Younger pastors are indeed more comfortable in their skin. Unlike their retirement-aged colleagues, they have read the passage in Bo Giertz's Hammer of God in which the older pastor addresses a younger colleague who desires to be seen just as an ordinary person, and was refusing to wear his clericals. He said: Would you respect an officer who as a matter of principle appeared at maneuvers in mufti? Or a Salvation Army soldier who doffed his uniform when his corps was assembled in the market square?” Torvik was becoming irritated. “You must certainly understand that I want to come as an ordinary human being.” But the rector continued his argument. “Then you are sailing under false colors. You are no ordinary person. You have been ordained by the Church as a servant of the Word. You have been elected and called by the Christian congregation at Ödesjö to be its pastor. You get support from the fields which godly forbears donated for the pastor's upkeep. It is pure dishonesty to take the money, if you want to be just an ordinary person.” Clerical garb, whether a clerical shirt and collar or a cassock, is a kind of uniform. It identifies the office that the man holds. Can you imagine a United States Marine who would be embarrassed to wear his dress blues? Can you imagine a pilot in the Air Force who would be ashamed to sport his wings? Even Muslim women are comfortable enough in their own skin to wear an identifying mark of their religious beliefs - even while eating at a fast-food restaurant or shopping. One would think that Christian pastors - especially those of us who come from a tradition of a “uniform” - would be comfortable enough in our skin to be identified as one of Christ's men, a shepherd of the church, one who is under holy orders to preach, teach, absolve, and administer sacraments. I'm being a bit rough on the boomers here, and I want to acknowledge that there are exceptions to the insufferable nature of their generational culture. That generation had (and has) its own rebels and non-conformists in the ranks. Many of our editors at Gottesdienst took on their contemporaries at a time when it was very unpopular to do so, when defying the general culture in Lutheran circles caused pastors to pay a price, whether it be personal or professional. These men paved the way for those of us who came along later, even as many of us are now seen as “elder statesmen” by confessional pastors currently coming out of seminary. We are grateful for the guys who took the slings and arrows of a culture formed by Vatican II, by Roman Catholic priests in suits and ties and nuns in blue jeans, by the dumbing down of liturgy and hymnody, and the uglification of church architecture. It took courage to stand up to the pietistic and bureaucratic powers-that-be before they started walking with canes and inserting hearing aids. The pendulum is thankfully coming back in the other direction. Younger Lutherans generally don't want non-liturgical worship, nor do they want pastors who are not comfortable in their skin. We are living in dark times. Being identified as a pastor is often uncomfortable. And this is exactly why the members of the ministerium need to be courageous and comfortable in their own skin. We need to be easily identifiable to Christians everywhere. We need to be willing to be identified as one of Jesus' men, to be clearly marked as such, to friend and foe alike. We are at war. And we are the shepherds, the officers, the ones charged with putting our hat on our sword and riding to the sound of the guns. This is not a time for timidity. We must put on the whole armor of God, which for us pastors, includes the insignia of our office. And in the words of the old song: With our front in the field, swearing never to yield, Or return like the Spartan in death on our shield. Of course, I'm not trying to set a law and say that we should never dress causally at any time. But increasingly, we are being called to be pastors everywhere - not just on Sunday morning in the chancel. And so when we are going to be in public, whether at the grocery store, the restaurant, or the airport, we would do well to consider putting on the uniform and being comfortable in our own skin. And as for those respectability-seeking haters and hiders, they are increasingly dropping out of sight, and even those who remain are increasingly impotent. Let their casual culture die off with them. And instead, may our young (and not so young) pastors gird up their loins, be comfortable in their own skin, and be prepared to hoist the black flag and go into mortal combat against the devil, at any time and in any place.

The Gottesdienst Crowd
[Gottesblog] "The Onus of Preaching and Hearing" – Larry Beane

The Gottesdienst Crowd

Play Episode Listen Later Apr 20, 2021 9:43


The Onus of Preaching and Hearing “People don't have to be taught how to listen to the sermon. Preachers have to be taught how to preach sermons that people want to listen to. The onus is on the Shepherd, not the sheep.” — RECENT COMMENTER ON GOTTESBLOG In terms of the sermon, the author of the above quote places the “onus,” that is, the burden, on the preacher of the Word, and on not the hearer. He posits that the sermon should be one “that people want to listen to.” He paints a picture of the hearer of the Word as a passive vessel waiting to be wowed. This assessment is a helpful and accurate snapshot of our culture, in which the consumer of entertainment waits for the performer to do or say something worth the listener's time and attention. And in our cultural milieu, the very worst thing a preacher can be is “boring.” Pastors must compete with 24-hour high-octane entertainment on demand, in which his hearers are accustomed to thumbing the remote and looking for better options if the current channel is not stimulating enough. Our culture is awash with special effects, naked girls, car crashes, rock music, and hi-def visual and audio. By contrast, preaching is a rather lackluster affair in the eyes of the world: just a guy talking. This is why many pastors and congregations have gone to great lengths to make the sermon, and the entire service, something “that people want to listen to.” They ditch the liturgy for drum kits and guitars. The sermon incorporates video clips of Hollywood movies, the pastor makes emotional faces and uses his voice for effect, with dynamic and dramatic gestures, perhaps ambulating around or speaking casually along the lines of a TED talk. Dancing girls and skits are also sometimes used to hold people's jaded attention. Certainly, there is an onus on the preacher: not necessarily to preach sermons that “people want to listen to,” but rather to faithfully preach the Word of God, in season and out of season, both Law and Gospel, delivering from the Good Shepherd that Word with which the sheep need to be fed, and to do so with fidelity to Biblical doctrine and the order of salvation. And yes, pastors are to be “able to teach.” They are to know their theology. They are to be able to proclaim the Word of God with alacrity and precision. They are to understand the texts upon which they preach. They are also to know their hearers, knowing what is going on in their lives as well as in the community and the culture at large. This is indeed a great onus upon the pastor, which is why the Holy Spirit has called your pastor to serve you. The typical LCMS pastor has been rigorously trained and has been certified for service. And every man has his own strengths and weaknesses. One person's favorite preacher may not be someone else's cup of tea. Some people may have very short attention spans and/or know very little about the Scriptures. Such people might need more milk and catechesis. Others may wish the sermons were longer, more theological, and meatier, as such people are themselves apt theologians. The onus is on the preacher to navigate this diversity among his hearers and to find a way to preach to all - with the Spirit's guidance - in a way as to deliver the Word effectively. This is no mean task, and the pastor is himself a human being, subject to unseen stresses, illnesses, burdens, mental lapses, physical pain, etc., and so he may be better one Sunday than another. But the commenter above was responding to a pastor who was himself responding to the specific question of how to be a better hearer of the Word, specifically, “What could the people in the pew, the hearers, do help the pastor in the pulpit and study get some traction on how to become a better preacher?” And in that sense, there is also an onus on the hearer, just as there is an onus on the preacher. And even as our table of duties does not place the onus entirely on one party or the other, but all people: parents and children, employers and employees, preachers and hearers, holders of each and every vocation, have their own corresponding onuses. The pastor projects the Word using his own mind and voice, delivering the explication of the Word of God (the Word is itself supernatural and beyond his control). Once it leaves his mouth, he can no longer control it. The reception of the Word is indeed the onus not of the shepherd, but of the sheep. The hearer of the Word is to, well, hear the Word. It enters his ear and mind and penetrates to the heart and soul. It is up to the hearer to receive it, to welcome it, not to push it to the margins in favor of a daydream or something more interesting going on in the church or outside the window. Indeed, we followers of Jesus are “disciples.” It means that we are “students.” And the vocation of student is difficult. I have been a teacher now for 17 years. I always tell my students that their job is harder than mine. I know, because I have been a student much longer than I have been a teacher. Being a student is not like being a vacuum cleaner bag that passively waits to be filled by a mechanical suction action from the outside. Being a student is hard work: mentally and even physically. Learning is an active endeavor. If you are a student, you have the onus to listen and learn from those who teach. It may involve taking notes. It may involve asking questions of the professor in the hallway or during office hours. It may involve going to the library or doing online research. It certainly means showing up at lectures and paying attention. And every prof is different. Some are funny and have a schtick. Some are dry and monotone. Some have speech impediments or accents. Some may have a tough time translating the ideas into layman's terms. But it is still the student's job, his onus, to figure out a way to learn the material. It is not his job to sit passively and wait to be spoon fed or entertained. And it goes without saying that students, like teachers, have bad days and good days. They may be under stress, in pain, lacking sleep, tending to their children, or just not mentally there that day. They may have difficulty hearing or concentrating. That too is the onus of the person struggling to be a better hearer of the Word, just as the preachers deal with the real world invading the Holy Nave. Finally, though there is an onus, an obligation, placed on both preachers and hearers, maybe a better way to frame the situation is to speak of the privilege and the blessing that both have. Preachers have the greatest job in the world: to be Christ's instruments to deliver forgiveness, life, and salvation to people who need Good News. We get to lead worship and deliver the Gospel to people as part of our day-to-day work. We get to study the Scriptures and pray as part of our vocation. There is nothing that could be a greater joy - though indeed, the work has its unpleasant and even brutal aspects to it as well. But let us focus on the joy of the calling we have been given. And the same goes for hearers of the Word as well. What a privilege and a blessing to gather around altar, font, and pulpit, where the Lord comes to you supernaturally, out of love, to deliver to you forgiveness, life, and salvation. What a joy to sit and hear the Word of God proclaimed from the pulpit and taught in the classroom. And what a blessing it is that the Holy Spirit sent you a preacher and a teacher! No, he is not perfect. He may have mannerisms that you don't like. Maybe his voice is raspy or could be louder. But what a privilege that the Lord has sent him to your parish to deliver eternal life to you! Perhaps this is one meaning of what our Lord said: “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden (onus) is light.” At any rate, that is a better frame of mind to hear God's Word than crossing one's arms, sitting passively, and hearing - instead of the Word of God - rather the voice of Kurt Cobain singing, “Here we are now. Entertain us.”

The Gottesdienst Crowd
[Gottesblog] Take the Vaccine! – Larry Beane

The Gottesdienst Crowd

Play Episode Listen Later Apr 17, 2021 6:42


Take the Vaccine! “Q: Would Jesus get a Covid vaccine? A: Since Jesus is the ‘Great Physician,' the answer is a resounding ‘Yes.' Jesus would get the Covid vaccine. In fact, He's open a vaccination center and have the disciples vaccinate as many people as possible, starting with the poor, the sick, refugees, and Samaritans.” — A MEME POSTED BY "THE CHRISTIAN LEFT" The above meme was posted by a Facebook group called “The Christian Left.” An interesting discussion followed, including some speculation about whether or not our incarnate Lord would be capable of being sickened by the virus, and whether or not His omniscience would make it impossible for Him to be a carrier. But as the group's name suggests, the real intent is to get Jesus to bless a Leftist political position, given that the vaccine has become a highly divisive political football. The Christian Left decided to dust off the old “What Would Jesus Do?” bracelet and practice some Christological speculation and eisegesis. I decided to weigh in: The real Jesus does even better: He offers the Medicine of Immortality. Even if the vaccine works, you still die. The mortality rate is 100%. Our Lord comes to us to give us eternal life: “Whoever feeds on My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day” (John 6:54). His disciples are still distributing this Medicine today. In fact, we never stopped. You don't have to speculate about what Jesus would do. Just look at what he does. This point should be received universally among Christians, no matter where one stands on the Covid vaccine. The reference to the “Medicine of Immortality” comes from St. Ignatius of Antioch's Epistle to the Ephesians, chapter 20. The moderator of the group replied: Just curious. Does this mean that you are for or against people getting vaccines. The fact of the matter is that I didn't mention the Covid vaccine at all. I wanted to point to the greater and more eternal ramifications of what it means that Jesus is the Great Physician. He doesn't just inoculate us against a narrow strain of Coronavirus, rather He cures us from death itself. For that is what our Great Physician does. I replied: I am for people getting the vaccine of the Word of God and His holy, life-giving sacraments. I have committed my life to offering this vaccine “for the life of the world.” But I only offer it. I preach and teach. I would not compel people even if I had the power of the state. Jesus calls, He does not compel. I would love all to receive the Medicine of Immortality, but not all take our Lord up on this vaccine. My interlocutor replied by deleting everything that I wrote and blocking me from posting to the site. He later posted this: Anti-vaxxers are not welcome on The Christian Left. Please exit the page. Thanks. Of course, I said nothing about the Covid vaccine, pro or con. I simply pointed out that our Lord Jesus Christ offers something infinitely greater than temporary medical care on this side of the grave. Rather, He offers us His Word and Sacraments as the antidote to death itself. Our discourse has become so politicized that not only are healthcare discussions completely spoiled by poltical partisanship, so too is even discussing Jesus and salvation itself. My interlocutor stopped up his ears because of his perception that I would not give a “loyalty oath” one way or the other regarding the Covid vaccination. And that was enough to cancel our Lord's own words about the vaccination He offers, : an eternal vaccination that prevents everlasting death, and cures us from the very thing that results in 100% of us dying: sin. A Facebook friend named David Clapper, who I assume is a Lutheran layman, commented on my Facebook page with a wise and astute citation from Dr. Luther's Large Catechism, applying the label “medicine” to Holy Baptism - and I am grateful for his reminder of this poignant quote: For consider, if there were somewhere a physician who understood the art of saving men from dying, or, even though they died, of restoring them speedily to life, so that they would thereafter live forever, how the world would pour in money like snow and rain, so that because of the throng of the rich no one could find access! But here in Baptism there is brought free to every one's door such a treasure and medicine as utterly destroys death and preserves all men alive. (LC IV:43) So no matter what one believes about the Covid vaccine and whether one should receive it or not, and regardless of whether one is politically Left, Right, or something else, anyone who describes himself by the adjective “Christian” should agree that the greatest vaccine of all is Christ and His free gift of eternal life. And we Lutherans - along with the other historic communions within the Church that predate the Reformation, all believe, teach, and confess that our Lord carries out His healing as our Great Physician by offering a vaccination that comes to us packaged sacramentally. Take the vaccine!