Saturday, April 26, 2003

That is my e-mail address. Please e-mail me so I know someone is actually reading this, even if you have a differing point of view. I could also use the e-mails to tell me if I made jumps in logic that I need to correct or if I am just plain wrong, if you happen to be a JFer. Encourage me. Savage me. Just send me some e-mail. I will not post your e-mail all over the internet unless you give me permission to.

Go ahead! Write Me! I don't bite (too hard)!

Friday, April 25, 2003

I am going to look for a free e-mail address so all of you can send me nasty e-mails (if there is anybody out there actually reading my self-righteous garbage). You could then write me and harass me all you want, if I can find it under the pile of junk mail. I don't want to use my "normal" e-mail address since the spambots will just send me more crap that I already have. Anyway, I shall find somewhere where I can get a new e-mail account started.

Thursday, April 24, 2003

I have kept promising a Kiechnick-Benke rant, so I figure now is as good a time as any, especially since I am at work where the word-processing software actually works so I don’t make a fool of myself.

This whole thing started when Atlantic District President (DP) Benke asked Synodical President (SP) Kiechnick if he could participate in “A Prayer Service for America”. Our SP agreed and the DP participated. This infuriated many Confessional Lutherans (“Confessional Lutherans” is awfully repetitive. If you are a Lutheran, you’re supposed to be confessional) who filed charges within a week of the service. The first problem was our SP being charged, which the Commission on Constitutional Matters (which is appointed by the SP) decided could not happen, and that the disciplining of a SP must occur at a Synodical Convention. Kiechnick is off the hook until 2004 and he is pushing hard to get enough of his friends in at convention so they can all vote for him. Anyway, Benke is supposed to be tried by his supervisor, which happens to be our beloved SP. The Vice Presidents of the Synod (the Praesadium), however, decided that this was a conflict of interest and that the SP cannot rule on Benke’s charges since there is a conflict of interest. Fist Vice President Preus already made his mind known in an email, so he voluntarily dismissed himself from the case, with which the Praesadium agreed. Now the responsibility fell to the Second Vice President, Dr. Wallace Schultz. He listened to the arguments, and decided that the DP commited sins against the First and Second Commandments, his ordination vows not to commit unionism and syncretism, and a couple of other violations. Of course, Daystar immediately released the findings, in violation of Synod Bylaws, but our SP has already proven that bylaws don’t seem to matter to him, and he continues to violate the bylaws on other cases. DP Benke appealed, so now we sit like flies on a garbage can, waiting for the appeal to be settled. Of course, this might drag on until 2004 and the convention, where (hopefully) our current SP will be looking for a new call. What pisses me off about this whole thing is that our SP was elected in the hope that he would be able to heal all the divisions within the synod (at least that’s what I was told by a person who I no longer trust). So what does our SP do? He takes an action not being all that long in office that immediately splits the synod and divides us. He allows a man who already had apologized for unionistic actions before to go and commit the same sin again. They both need to be removed from office until such time as repentance is uttered. Ther are other things that must be addressed. How did Kiechnick end up in office to begin with? The confessionals were too busy arguing over Wenthe and someone else I cannot remember offhand that Kiechnick was elected. Wenthe has lost four elections now. He is unelectable. He does a good job as the President of Concordia Theological Seminary Ft. Wayne. He should stay at the Fort where his influence will have an impact on the future of the LCMS. Please, Dr. Wenthe, stay out of the race for SP and let Dan Preus win. That being said, the other trouble confessionals have is we are not grass roots enough. We have to win the District Presidencies, where much of the power structure of the LCMS lies. We need to get rid of the bureaucrats that infest our district offices and replace them with good, confessional people who will actually discipline pastors and quit dumping the districts’ money into church growth programs that don’t. I heard second-hand info on how a campus ministry could not get copies of TLH. If they had asked for money to start a praise band, it would have been given. What is wrong with this picture? Why doesn’t my district understand that the future of this church is confessionalism and catechesis. We have a bureaucrat running Kansas district and trying to turn us into SEMINEX light. This isn’t going to go over with either me or many of my friends very well. President Patton, it will make many of us happy when you retire this summer. Thank God for term limits.

Monday, April 21, 2003

I am mad. Easter Sunday honestly sucked this year, and I think I am banging my head against a brick wall to get anything to change in my church. The liturgy is cut to the lowest common denominator: the Kyrie and Intriot missing; the Gloria often replaced by something theologically inferior; the Verse replaced by a theologically inferior song (Open my eyes Lord); the Offertory is often missing; the preface, the Proper Preface, and the Sanctus is gone; and the Post-Communion Canticle is never sung. A service in a hour or less, guarenteed. I am sick of Powerpoint sermons that show us pictures of silly paintings. If he wants to use it, at least put up good art. I really hate when this pastor says we should not trust our emotions then puts up a picture that does what? Evoke an emotional response. I am leaving my church. I have had all I can take. I am done with my church.

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

I complain that another website hasn't updated in a while, yet I don't update. I meant to post everyday when I started this little project, yet I seem unable to post on any regular shchedule. Poo on me.

This week is Holy Week, a time where we collectively meditate on the suffering and death of our Lord. I am a member of a board hosted by the band MxPx. There was a question posed about crucifixes and their use. One person who I disagree with much of the time said that Christ is risen and that we shouldn't keep him hanging on the cross. First off, who said we were keeping him hanging there? Was it not our Lord who declared "It is finished" while hanging on the cross? Does not Paul teach that he preached nothing but Christ crucified? Christ willingly went to the cross, and Christ willingly leaves himself there because we haven't gotten past the cross yet. We are still sinners. We still fail. God did not fail for us. To declare ourselves victorious is to not only be dishonest, but narcissistic. Thus upon the cross I glory.

I need to get word running again upon my computer. My spelling errors are driving me nuts and are probably making me look like a complete idiot.

Maybe later today, I will get my rant up about the current synodical president. Until then, may you have a blessed Holy week.

Thursday, April 10, 2003

I have been watching the war and the statue of Saddam tuumbling down. There has been so much news comming in about Iraq that the war bloggers and most news agencys are having a difficult time keeping up. One could spend all day reading about war news if it wouldn't drive one completely insane. Besides, at times, I have to work for a living.

The best war coverage on the web I have seen has been Instapundit or Blogs of War.

I have also found a Frenchman with common sense.

I am also happy to announce that Concord finally updated its website, therefore getting back on my very good side.This is a worthwhile site, and if I ever get into a really nasty rant, it's usually because I read something from that site.

I'm in a good mood, so here begins the list of bad websites to visit.

Daystar--A website of not how to be Lutheran. They seem to think missions should come before doctrine, Of course, without doctrine, how do missions proceed? I sometimes jokingly refer to them as "Deathstar".
Jesus First--Same coin as Daystar, different orginization.Another group of people that seem to have a very hard time actually adhering to the Confessions.
Renewal in Missouri--Since when are Lutherans Charasmatic Pentecostals? A group that cannot get over the fact they are condemned in the Formula of Concord. They are the Schwenkfelders reincarnated.
Voices/Visions--Women's ordination never looked so bad. These people cannot get over the fact that God made us male and female and actually calls us to different roles. What a concept.

Tuesday, April 08, 2003

Father, forgive me...

I have paid way too much attention on things that, honestly, I have little to no control over. Then, I get wake-up calls like this. I have followed Nancy's story since October, but I wasn't paying attention recently until I read a message on LutherQuest. Now I am mad. I am almost mad enough to want the invasion of Canada, just to get the judge who decided the testimony of her pastor and a baptismal certificate were not enough to prove Nancy is a Christian and that she will not be in harms way when she returns to Iraq and try him for stupidity. Right now, all we can do for Nancy is pray and try to get her refugee status within the next two weeks. Please, write your congressman, senators, and other elected officials. If you so feel inclined, also contact Senator Conrad Burns from Montana and Rep. Doug Bereuter from the first district in Nebraska. These two gentlemen are both members of LCMS congregations and might be more willing to help us out to bring Nancy to the United States. Please, write the President, Vice President, and whoever else might be able to pursue this cause.
Have you ever noticed how truely crappy most praise choruses are? Not only do they have catchy melodies that end up annoying you after a while, but they are also beyond theologically shallow. All you have to do is ask yourself if a Mormon, Jehovah's Witness, Muslim, Hindu, Buddist, etc. could sing this song. If the answer is "Yes", the song is worthless. Also, there are way too many "I's" in most of these choruses. Take a random chorus and apply these two small criteria and see what you come up with. You might find it interesting.

The whole "Contemporary Christian Music" war is somewhat silly because the terms of the debate are not defined in any meaningful way. Let us be honest, people like John Rutter and Arvo Pärt are not Contemporary. These gentlemen also happen to be outstanding musicians. I highly recomend John Rutter's CD Requiem and Magnificant. It is inexpensive and a good way to be introduced to Rutter. Back to my point. The word contemporary is meaningless when refering to style, because contemporary does not refer to a style, but a period in music like Classical or Baroque or Romantic. The term "Contemporary" is useless in the worship debate. What is really being discussed is the styles of music and can such music cary the weighty message Christianity brings. In the column Got to be Good Looking Cause He's so Hard to See, Douglas Wilson argues that it cannot. It tackles the notion that all music is equal, a notion which is silly, but any evangelical arguing for such holds to with every ounce of life.

The Beatles Suck--I find this webpage amusing, but the saddest thing is I agree with them. The Ramones had more talent the the Beatles.Only a deluded maniac would ever think The Beatles are even remotely as talented as J.S. Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, or even P.D.Q. Bach. I'll even rank "Weird Al" Yankovic higher then The Beatles.

Even more Lutheran Websites for you to love and enjoy. These are not quite as good as the others so far listed, IMHO, but there is much good to be found.

Concord--A group of Confessional Texas Lutherans. If they ever update their site again, it might get back into my "really good" links.
Reformation Today--This is another good site that hasn't updated in a while.
Wisconson Evangelical Lutheran Synod--Good friends and former collegues in the Synodical Confrence.

Sunday, April 06, 2003

I am back from the convovation and I am better for it. The main speaker was Rev. Scott Bemjamin, Mission Support Counselor for the Lutheran Heritage Foundation. The presitation was excellent, and Vicar Daniel Mackey did his best to put up with us, even though I e-mailed him last week. Oh well. Everything worked out well. My church doesn't use page 5 or 15 anymore. I enjoyed page 15 today. I find, occasionally, it is good to get away from your home congregation.

Here are some more good links. I'm too tired to say much more.

Consensus Lutherans
Confess and Teach for Unity
Crisis in the LCMS--This site is run by Rev. Marcus Zill, who I know from his viacarage.
Issues Et Cetera

Friday, April 04, 2003

I will be going away this weekend, so I might not be able to get to a computer over the next couple of days. It should be a fun time, however. I will be listening to a speaker from the Lutheran Heritage Foundation on the topic "The Pen is Mightier than the Sword". That, and I'll see a few old friends.

By the way, have any of you seen the story on the Colossal squid ? Makes you wonder what else lurks in the deep.
This blog is about being young, confessional, and crazy. I will talk about whatever I want, whether it be me huffing about Rev. Benke and Synodical President Kieschnick to bad beer to my love of rocks. I cannot promise I will always be rational, but it will be a fun ride.

I am sick of Boomers telling us what we need. Now, don't get me wrong, experience is a wonderful thing. I just sometimes wonder about the spiritual maturity of the people of the LCMS. I actually know what the Book of Concord is. Not only do I know what it is, I have also read it, which is a miracle. This puts me in the awkward position of actually knowing Lutheran theology. I have a tendency to smell rats, now, that I couldn't smell before.

Rat #1: "Contemporary Worship": What is so contemporary about contemporary worship? Most of it sounds like a mix between Peter, Paul and Mary and Jack Wagner. Much of the time, I get this strange sense of "Jesus is my boyfriend" which leads into all sorts of strange possibilities considering my sex (yes, I said sex, not gender. If you can't tell the difference between these two words, look them up). Of course, we're told that we need contemporary worship since this will be what we listen to the other six days. Of course, we've been listening the other six days, so it might have never occured that, umm, we don't want to have the same crap shoved down our throats six days a week by corporate radio shoved down our throat again on the seventh! There is always the whole mystery thing. To be perfectly honest, I would be happiest worshiping with "smells and bells". Either that or Tourniquet.

Rat #2: Reverand Benke: What was wrong with saying a little prayer at a civil event? Of course, when 28 of the 34 elements of the service are religious, you can imagine why I don't buy the whole "civic event" argument. Oprah was there. If there is any sign from God that this is a bad thing to participate in, the fact that Oprah was there should have been the major clue. Add to that that our dear Synodical President (hereafter called SP) decided to endorse his presence and then try to protect him under a conventional resolution that is binding on, well, squat, you have a reason for Rev. Benke to repent. He isn't. Therefore, he needs to be honest and transfer to the E*CA. Why not? Benke is already communing with them.

Of course, there is pleanty else wrong, but I am tired and this is my first post. Here are some links to good Lutheran sites. I will put up links to bad sites later on.

LCMS Official Website
Confessional Lutherans
Lutheran Heritage Foundation
Project Wittenburg
Lutheran Theology Website