The "Year in Review". I am putting all my comments in bold since italics would drive everybody crazy. The quotes are all normal. I have corrected many of my spelling errors and I have edited out certain paragraphs and links because they are not an important part of the post. I am dating every post so you can go back to the archives and see what changes I have made. Without further adieu, let's start at the beginning.
Why did I start blogging? I didn't see too many Lutheran blogs out there, and no one was even attempting to put a centralized point of information on the problems within the LCMS. I decided to take it on. You judge how well I did. Thus, for your consumption, my first post
Friday, April 04, 2003
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 occurred 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: Reverend 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.
Not exactly genius, but what do you expect from my first post. This next post, however, shows how pissed off I truly am.
Tuesday, April 08, 2003
Have you ever noticed how truly 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, Buddhist, 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 Contemporary. These gentlemen also happen to be outstanding musicians. I highly recommend 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 referring 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 carry 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 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.
Quality post. Not only did I manage to piss off people who like CCM (temporary Christian music), I also pissed off anyone over the age of 40. It takes skill to do that (note the sarcasm). After taking on CCM, I soon turned to the Atlantic District President Benke and our Synodical President.
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 committed 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. There 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… Thank God for term limits.
After all that ranting, I needed a little break from the anger, so I discussed one of my favorite topics ever: Bach.
Thursday, May 01, 2003
You know, I need to give a little love to my man Johann. I am Lutheran and I am German. Therefore, I must love Bach. Nothing is lovelier to the mathematician's ear than to hear four lines of melody interfingering in the most imaginative ways and each line of melody serving as harmony to the others. Counterpoint is a wonderful thing. There is power in his works, unlike the moronic garbage being produced by the Christian Money Machine. Oh, "Christian Music" and "Christian Books" and "Christian Trinkets". I walk into a "Christian Bookstore" (where did the books go?) and I'm overrun with "Trinkets for Christ". I'm embarrassed by most of the emotional garbage they sell there. I have taken to buying stuff off the internet just because I cannot find what I want in a Christian bookstore. For instance, how many of us can find Lutheran classics like The Proper Distinction Between Law and Gospel or Two Natures in Christ? No Christian bookstore carries these. It drives me insane. They do not even carry any of the great classical works that have sustained the Church for centuries. I have to go into Borders to Handel my love of Bach.
I love classical music in general. Yes, I love Bach most of all, but I enjoy other composers as well. I am interested in Medieval and Renaissance Church music. As with many things, as I have come to find out, old does not equal useless. How many people can meditate to Michael W. Smith or Amy Grant or whoever else is popular right now?
Maybe I should take some anger pills. I couldn't even relax and discuss Bach without popping a vien in my head.
Anyway, after posting a couple of e-mails from CAT41, Benke got off. I announced the news like this.
Tuesday, May 13, 2003
Benke got off. I am mad. The man is no longer worthy of wearing the collar. If anybody thinks that we will just "try to get along", they are crazy and need to be put into a mental hospital. This issue isn't going away. As a matter of fact, it will simmer and stew until the 2004 convention, where, hopefully, we will have a new SP and a confessional VP core.
The Schulz Report on Benke-Yankee Stadium
I could sit here and whine, but I will do what I have to do. My church has been way too supportive of Benke, and I will sever fellowship with this congregation. I know of a good, confessional congregation being served by a wonderful, confessional pastor (ironically, he graduated from SEMINEX) in my area where I will now be attending on a regular basis. I cannot, in good conscience, stay where I am at right now.
As you can see, this was the last straw with my tolerance for my old church. I was ready to leave, and that was a move I do not regret. After digesting the news for a bit, I posted this gem.
Friday, May 16, 2003
I have had a little time to stew over the whole Benke situation and what this means for me and my future in my local church, which is pro-Benke. First thing is I am leaving my current congregation this Sunday. I direct the bell choir and we are playing for the last time until fall this Sunday. I will miss being in the bell choir, but I have a feeling that in 2004, if I stay where I am, I will be on the wrong side of a probable split. Call it strategic positioning. I know where I'm probably going to transfer. I am writing a letter giving the reasons why I am leaving, but not where I am going. I have honestly contemplated leaving my church for over a year now, and I am finally going to have the, ummm, juevos, to take such a large step.
The problem with having convictions is that you actually have to live with them.
Saturday, May 17, 2003
I have finished my letter resigning a member of my current congregation. It takes effect after I direct the bell choir. I tried not to be too harsh, yet I had to get the point across. Being diplomatic is not my forte.
Monday, May 19, 2003
I actually did it. Yesterday, I broke all ties with my church via a letter sitting on the secretary’s desk. I emphasized my point by just leaving after the bell choir played rather than hanging around and partaking communion. The Vicar was, once again, consecrating the elements against the wishes, I have found out, of both seminaries and Augsburg Confession Article XIV. The joys of leaving the church. Surprisingly, this is one of the few decisions I have made with this much confidence in my life. I am almost overjoyed to be relieved of the burden I was under at that church (which shall continue to remain nameless, I think). I will miss some of my friends, but at least I know where I am going now.
My last, yet unofficial duty is tomorrow. Before I completely disappear, I shall polish the handbells and go celebrate another wonderful season of playing. As you might expect, I am stepping down from directing the bell choir. At least they will not be in complete disarray when I leave.
Friday, May 23, 2003
It was official as of Tuesday evening that I am no longer a member of any church. I am officially a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of No-mans Land. Which is basically to say, I hold to the symbols of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, I just have no congregation to be a member of. As you might expect, this shocked quite a few people. The thing is, I have been planning to leave for quite a while. My family does not understand why I made this move. As I mentioned before, I am extremely confident in this move and why I made it. The Benke situation has a lot to do with it. I wanted to make sure I am at a church that, in 2004, would bail out of the Synod if need be. I do not want to be part of a Synod that allows heterodoxy to mingle with orthodoxy.
Telling my handbell choir I am leaving went very well. They all seemed to understand why I decided to leave and why I went about doing the things I did recently. I like the people I directed, and I still consider them friends. Too bad I had to do this.
Monday, May 26, 2003
To be free...
I visited a new church yesterday. I do really enjoy chanting and all the other "smells and bells" that go on during a service. It is amazing how I am becoming more "catholic" in my liturgical theology. It almost scares me, except I cannot accept the crap Rome throws upon one's conscience like purgatory and earning one's salvation. Actually, that latter point is also why I could never be an American Evangelical. "Sanctifying" oneself is extremely annoying, and a good dose of The Door will cure it. It will teach everyone not to take themselves too seriously.
After that post, I disappeared into the ether for quite a while (Alaska). I came back to discover a very interesting memo by the SP.
Sunday, June 15, 2003
One of the things that happened while I was gone was this thrilling memo. Our wonderful SP has decided he wants to purge every living being who signed That They May Be One. I have to give him credit: he is doing what the late Dr. Barry should have done: purge his enemies. Being I am not a member of an LCMS congregation, I have no need to sign this document. When I join this new LCMS congregation, however, I will sign it that day.
I did sign it, but not the day I joined my new congregation. Oops. My adventure continued, and, honestly, the separation hurt a lot. If you don't have to, I don't recommend it.
Tuesday, June 24, 2003
I am relieved.
My fight is finally over. I am going back within the wings of the LCMS this Sunday, and I am glad to be at a church where the confessions are respected and I don't have to sit in the pew wondering if I am going to quietly fume because the pastor chose "Shine, Jesus Shine" as the hymn of the day. I shall not worry.
I once lived in Utah, and I have tried to keep track of the former pastor of St. Mark's in Provo. He took a call to a church in Ft. Wayne and has remained there since. I was reading through the list of people who have signed the That They May Be One document, and his name is there. He is one of the many pastors whom I have the greatest respect, love, and admiration for. He was a great help and a rock during my many trials and tribulations I encountered from living in Utah. Thank you, Pastor Stube.
I shall try to remember to at least update my blog daily, if not more so if I believe something must be addressed. Keep the faith.
This next post is me pouring out my soul.
Tuesday, July 15, 2003
What I am about to discuss is something I need to get off my chest. Please realize I am ranting, and, at times, I may not make much sense. Hopefully, I can clarify later. I really need to thank Ryan for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer my questions as I struggled through this process. Ryan was a big help and, unfortunately, probably more of a pastor to me during this time than my own pastors. That, however, is for later.
It all started with a song. The song was innocent enough at first. I mean, who wouldn’t like to listen to an upbeat song every once in a while during the service like “Shine Jesus Shine”. There was one problem, however. The aesthetics of the song are not pleasing when played on a pipe organ. I also began to wonder if we should really be ordering God around by telling him to “Shine”. After that, the questionable theology began to pile up. Bad Baptist hymns replaced the Gloria, a “Jesus is my Boyfriend” tune (Open my eyes Lord) replaced the confession of Peter (Lord to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life), and the liturgy was slashed as to be and hour or less, guaranteed. About a year and a half ago, I began coming home from church angry and questioning what the pastors were trying to do. Why was the service being dumbed down? Why were theologically questionable songs, at best, being introduced to the congregation, stuff so bad I wanted to puke? Why couldn’t the bell choir reverse this trend?
Article XIV of the Augsburg confession states, “Of Ecclesiastical Order they teach that no one should publicly teach in the Church or administer the Sacraments unless he be regularly called.” (Bente and Dau) So when the Vicar began consecrating the elements, I was quite confused. Ryan was a big help with my reservations about this practice. He reminded me of Article XIV and what it states. So, unless Vicars have suddenly received calls I am unaware of, he has no business consecrating the elements. This one drove me nuts because, somehow, I always ended up with the Vicar consecrating elements no matter what service I attended. I now wonder how many times did I participate in an empty ceremony without any meaning or power. I should have just had crackers and wine at home.
At this point, I am not only angry at my church, I am angry at myself for being at a church that has a problem with orthopraxy. What drove me even more insane was when I was asked to participate in a service in which the doctrine of Two Kingdoms would be proclaimed and then muddled. Ryan, once again, was a voice of reason to me, and I confronted the senior pastor about what I believed to be a violation of Article XVI of the Augsburg Confession. We discussed my conscience, my views, and he then sent me home with a CTCR document on Church and state. He said that the CTCR document was the official position of the Synod. I know CTCR documents are not the official positions of the Synod (except one that went through the proper means to become official) but just documents for further study and reflection. To his credit, he also said that if I was uncomfortable with the service, then I shouldn’t do it lest I sin against my conscience. I am not happy at this point, and I go to a different pastor and a vicar who tell me to see if I could separate the “masturbation for America” (as I called it) from the rest of the service. If not, I was given the bad advice of just gritting my teeth and bearing it because it was an issue not worth fighting over. I cannot really blame them. I was the one who decided to participate to help keep the peace, and I was the one who sinned. The other part of the conversation, however, was what really made me think. The conversation was about trust and the necessity of it. Did I like my pastors? Yes. They were both outgoing and cared deeply about the congregation. Did I trust my pastors? To answer that, I asked a different question: why was I asking Ryan and other pastors questions I should be asking my own pastors? Would I be bringing these other people into these problems if I completely trusted my pastors? The answer is “No”. At the point I realized that, I knew that all the thinking I had done about leaving prior to this would, at some point, turn to action.
After all of that, however, I still hadn’t requested to be transferred even though I began to attend other congregations when my obligations to my home church did not interfere with my plans. I intended to just fade away into oblivion and transfer somewhere else where I would not be angry after the service. I didn’t want nor need perfection. I just wanted somewhere where I could bicker about the church wasting its valuable money on decaf rather than questioning the practices of the pastor. My idea of transferring changed when I heard that District President Benke’s case had been reversed. Both of my pastors were big Benke fans, as was much of the congregation. I was alright with staying in fellowship with everyone as long as the Benke case was in limbo. I justified it somehow using logic. I don’t really remember how I justified such a move now. Anyway, as soon as the decision was announced, I began writing a letter of resignation. I neither resigned from my position as bell director nor my position as LOGOS chime director. I resigned my membership in the church. Many will say churches work very slowly. The elders accepted my resignation within 48 hours. All I have to say is I was happy. I no longer deal with the hypocrisy I saw every Sunday. I soon joined a church with a confessional pastor and arguments about the type of coffee. It’s amazing how much you appreciate the petty arguments after coming out of the situation I was in. I also have a pastor who I trust and can bring up concerns. That is a blessing I have not had in quite a while.
Here comes the hard part: where did I go wrong? Through this whole process, could I have done something differently that might of resulted in change or, at least, me leaving like I did? My only real regret is that I did not discuss my problems with the liturgy, the vicar, and the trust issue with either of the pastors. I believe those issues really needed to be discussed and much of the bad blood I now possess might have been avoided. At best, we might have found solutions to these problems so I could, with a good conscience, stay. At worst, I would end up where I am now. I do miss many of the people at my old church. I miss the bell choir. I am saddened by what I had to do, but yet I accept the burden gladly, because being sad is easier than being angry.
After all of that, I took on a few other smaller pet peeves.
Thursday, July 17, 2003
I hate core. I hate unloading core. I especially hate unloading core when it's getting hot outside and the boxes are wooden. I drank three bottles of Poweraide this morning in a futile attempt to keep myself from dehydrating. It happened anyway, and I've spent this afternoon trying to rehydrate. I think I am finally there, and I stink of sunscreen. What a day.
Why is it so hard for someone like me to talk to women? I mean, I have the perfect sob story (being bitten in the face by a dog when I was six) with a very high empathy factor, I am funny (Monty Python-warped funny, but funny none the less), and I have a nice dog who likes everyone. So why can't I ever get more than three words out of myself when I actually talk to someone available? How come it's easier to talk to women who are already hitched or in a relationship which you know they won't be pulled away from? I need a better job.
But I could not resist the DEATHSTAR blast.
Daystar is back. I was hoping God had permanently disabled their internet connection. They are back spouting off more about how Rev. Benke's participation at Yankee Stadium was a good thing and how us confessionals are the scum of the earth and must be eliminated. I sometimes wander if Deathstar and Jesus Last are the Borg.
WE ARE DEATHSTAR. YOU WILL BE ASSIMILATED. RESISTANCE IS FUTILE. I guess I could make a comparison to myself and Picard since he was assimilated and came back. I once would have agreed with everything these groups are saying when I was a stupid teenager who couldn't have found his ass even though it was right where I left it. I am sure the Deathstar/Jesus Last people will eventually find this blog. As a matter of fact, I'll post the link to this blog on their little piece of cyberspace, give out my e-mail, and say, "Bring it on". They will probably say. "That's not very Christlike!" to which I'll reply, "No Shit! Neither are you!"
If you didn't know, ad homenin attacks were considered a proper form of debate in Luther's time. That's how he could get away with many of the things he said, like comparing much of the clergy to hogs lying in their own, well, shit. An apt analogy for the Daystar/Jesus First crowd to think about.
I have to say I take a certain amount of pride in that post. How many times do you post something that still makes yourself laugh after nearly six months. I stopped really ranting like that after that post (except against the French) for a while and I morphed into "my best friend is an idiot" mode, posting link after link giving justification for us going into Iraq. When the Anglican elected a gay (no, not happy) bishop, I had to crack on them.
Wednesday, August 06, 2003
The Episcopalians are out shooting themselves in the foot again. You figure the Church would have learned after they allowed and agnostic named John Shelby Spong to become a "bishop" would get a clue, but it didn't. Of course, just as disturbing, is the fact these same "conservatives" didn't raise nearly as much noise when Spong was elected bishop. I hate to say this, but they deserve what they get. You let Spong in, the whole bloody culture comes spilling in after.
Thankfully, we've all been so fascinated by the train wreck that is the ECUSA that nothing has developed in the LCMS. Let the ELCA deal with this mess...
Lovely, don't you think?
Wednesday, August 20, 2003
Our dear SP has done it again. Who knows how much we are spending, but the SP is flushing synod money into a consultant named J. David Schmidt. You may be asking the same question I am: why are we spending money on a consultant when he wacked a third of our missionaries? Of course, the fact that his office's budget is increasing while making everybody else take cuts goes to show the grand and wonderful leadership of a man who (I was told this by someone with a straight face) would, "unite the synod." Way to go! Cut missions! Cut youth! Cut Campus Missions! Create disunity! What great leadership from a great man. Earth to McFly! Hello McFly! Anybody there! Helloooooo!
After much thought, I must say that out SP is a threat to the health of our synod and must be removed from office ASAP. Rather than keeping missionaries in the field, he spends money to have his wife come with him on trips. Rather than keep the Office of Campus Ministry open, he hired another assistant, thus removing another rostered pastor from a congregation and exacerbating our vacancy crisis. Cut the purse strings. Do not send any money to the synod. If you want to support missions, send it to the office of missions. Also, quit sending money to DP's who end up spending it on things like the bureaucracy and district cars. We need leadership at all levels, and the word needs to get out among everybody what a financial mess this man is making.
I thought the hello McFly was a nice touch. I then ranted, once again, against Gees, Us First and Deathstar.
Thursday, August 21, 2003
Looking For Something
I have been looking for quite a while now for open gatherings of Jesus First or Daystar types on the internet. There are none. Pastor Bischoff mentioned that the way these groups are hiding is similar to the way some of the lodges hide. That begs the question of how do you define a lodge?
Lodges have a few characteristics:
1. They do not plan and convene in the open. Jesus First and Daystar both have e-mail lists not open to the public and, in order to access them, you must be invited and "initiated." Check.
2. Hierarchies with a very strict pecking order. Heck, JF and death, errr, Daystar are known to have a pretty strict pecking order, including people rostered in the ELCA. Check.
3. Teach universalism. With their affiliations with the ELCA, it's close enough. Check.
Having now discovered the true nature of these two groups, I propose two new names for these two groups. I have yet to find names satirical enough for me to actually use. I will sleep on this problem. Either that or post it on LutherQuest, where they will eat up the challenge.
Another classic post with me cracking the Lutheran lodges. Easy targets. What can I say? They still haven't opened their e-mail lists and internet forums for public consumption. That's what I can say.
I had a few thought on who should run against Kiechnick
Thursday, September 11, 2003
There is a question being asked more and more around confessional Lutheran circles right now. Who will we run against SP Kiechnick? The biggest problem is that the conservatives are in at least two groups, maybe three. The Waltharians vs. the "hyper-Euro Lutherans." All that is involved is differences in church polity. Neither side likes the other, and they both tend to go after each other's throats when they are not being attacked by the JF/Daystar crowd. To me, the problem is not so serious as to not get behind one candidate. The problem is the various confessional groups themselves. I am personally inclined to support Dan Preus, but that is just me. If he can be elected 1st VP without any problems, then he is electable as SP. His election, realistically, will not change anything. Most of the District Presidents are still liberal and still hold much of the power.
After that, I quoted one of the most honored men in our synod, C.F.W. Walther.
Saturday, September 13, 2003
Christ himself has described the way to heaven as a narrow path. Just so narrow is the path of pure doctrine. For the pure doctrine is nothing else than the doctrine regarding the way to heaven. It is easy to lose your way when it is narrow, rarely traveled, and leads through a dense forest. Without intending to do so and without being aware of it, you may make a wrong turn to the right or left. It is equally easy to lose the narrow way of the pure doctrine, which likewise is traveled by few people and leads through a dense forest of erroneous teachings. You may land either in the bog of fanaticism or in the abyss of rationalism. This is no jest. False doctrine is a poison to the soul. An entire banqueting party drinking from cups containg an admixture of arsenic can drink physical death from its cups. So an entire audience can invite spiritual and eternal death by listening to a sermon that contains an admixture of the poison of false doctrine. A person can be deprived of his soul's salvation by a single false comfort or a single false reproof administered to him. This is all the more easy because we are naturally more accessible to the shining and dazzling light of human reason than to the divine truth. For, "the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them."--! Corinthians 2:14
From what has been said you can gather how foolish it is, yea, what an awful delusion has taken hold upon us so many men's minds who ridicule the pure doctrine and say to us, "Ah, do not cease clamoring, Pure Doctrine! Pure Doctrine! This can only land you in dead orthodoxism. Pay more attention to pure life, and you will raise a growth of genuine Christianity." That is exactly like saying to a farmer, " Do not worry forever about good seed; worry about good fruits." Is not a farmer properly concerned about good fruit when he is solicious about getting good seed? Just so a concern about pure doctrine is a proper concern about genuine Christianity and a sincere Christian life. False doctrine is noxious seed, sown by the enemy to produce progeny of wickedness. The pure doctrine is the wheat-seed; from it spring the children of the Kingdom, who even in present life belong in the kingdom of Jesus Christ and in the life to come belong to the Kingdom of Glory. May God even now implant in your hearts a great fear, yea, a real abhorrence of false doctrine! May He graciously give you a holy desire for the pure, saving truth, revealed by God himself!--The Proper Distinction Between Law and Gospel by C.F.W. Walther, pp. 20-21
The Holy Order of the Daystar and Jees, Us First would do well to ponder the words of our first synodical president.
This brings us up to now and the fight between the SP and the BoD. I'm not going to review every post I have done on this, but I am keeping an eye on the situation.
This pissed me off.
Thursday, October 09, 2003
I do want to warn anyone who might read this that this post may be profanity-laden. Hopefully, you can excuse my profanity due to its target: the cheese-eating surrender-monkeys known as the french.
The idiot mayor of Paris has decided to give convicted cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal honorary citizenship of Paris. What does this asshole have going through his head. Considering his head must be firmly stuck up his ass to do such a thing, his head is full of shit. What the fuck do the french (they no longer deserve to have the name of their country capitalized) think they are doing? I know enough Krauts within my church to go over there with a truckload of arms and scare the shit out of them and probably get the assholes to surrender. Officer Daniel Faulkner deserves more than to have the man who killed him in cold blood celebrated as some sort of hero by the loony left. The fuckwad who did this deserves to have a hole blown out of his head where the killer would proceed to skullfuck the asshole until there was nothing left. Then again, whoever did it wouldn't want to put his cock into a head full of shit. Asshole. For dumbass shit like this, the french language deserves to go extinct. This t-shirt says it all.
I am still mad at the french, not that my rabid xenophobia has ever abated. The greens, however, also came under my wrath.
Thursday, October 30, 2003
My alma mater didn't burn to the ground. It was close though. I blame the enviro-weenies for not letting anyone clear out a single piece of brush because it might disturb some poor rat. Well, thanks to their actions, thousands upon thousands of rats are dead because they were burnt to death or barbecued. Not only that, people are dead and the air has never been worse in Southern California. The Sierra Club website doesn't mention a damn thing about the fires in Southern California, but it still defends not cutting brush out. Greenpeace also doesn't mention a damn thing about the fires even though they are an ecological disaster, and they also don't want to cut a few trees to make sure fires like these don't get out of hand. I hope someone on their websites can trace these links back to my site so that the assholes in suits spending half their money sending out scare literature to the masses can read this. FUCK YOU!!!! Your heads are so far up your ass that you cannot see that our forests are not healthy and the proof is they are burning to the ground. Let's ignore all the science that says our forest isn't healthy and just pursue our own pinko, socialist, communist policies and try to shove it down everybody's throats. That way, we can reduce the population to a size of a few million then don't breed so humanity will go extinct, thus saving the earth. To that, again, I reply with a hearty FUCK YOU!!!!!!!
Right after that, my ire towards The Purpose-Driven Life began.
Saturday, November 01, 2003
A Critique of The Purpose-Driven Church. Read this and weep at what is happening to our Synod. The same pastor who planned the Reformation Service is now trying to shove this tripe down his church's throat. This also being my former church and the church my parents still attend. I am now extremely glad to get out when I did.
Thursday, November 06, 2003
I reread the first five chapters of The Purpose-Driven Life, and all it managed to do is irritate me to no end. By Chapter Four, I was convinced that the confusion between law and gospel was so egregious as to make me have to quit highlighting the parts I didn't like because the whole book was a mess. This book is such a mess that no amount of "Lutheranize" a pastor might think he could do could even come close to saving this book. The proper thing to do would be scrap the thing and use God at Work: Your Christian Vocation in All of Life. Law and Gospel are rightly distinguished in that book.
For those who might have trouble with what I just said, I'll refer you to What Is This "Law & Gospel" Thing?
Saturday, November 08, 2003
I know what some of you are thinking. How do I know this? Alright, I don't really know what you are thinking, but since I do have friends who read this blog and are reading The Purpose Driven® Life (I had an epiphany and realized they registered the words purpose driven®. This is as bad as the It's OK to Pray™ nonsense), I thought I might inform them on how the book confuses Law and Gospel.
This quote is from page 44, top paragraph.
The good news is that God wants you to pass the tests of life, so he never allows the tests you face to be greater than the grace he gives you to handle them. [Quotes 1 Corinthians 10:13 from Today's English Version]
Every time you pass a test, God notices and makes plans to reward you in eternity. [Quotes James 1:12 from God's Word to the Nations
There is so much wrong with this passage I do not know where to start. The first problem is where does the gospel end and the law begin? It's tough to tell at first. When you pick the passage apart, you realize that there is no Gospel. This passage begins by telling us God wants us to do well. How do we know God wants us to do well? He gave us the Decalogue. There is no mention of Christ saving us, and, considering the context of the rest of the quote, I don't think the atonement was given one though. It then states the grace of God is the power to handle these situations. I always thought God's grace was giving us a Son to suffer and die in my place. Silly me. If the guy cannot properly define grace, what other terminology throughout the book does he muddle and confuse? I don't know since I haven't started Chapter six. That second part is the easiest part. Tests have two possible outcomes in the most simplistic form: pass or fail. We get told about passing our test and told how happy God is with us and how we are rewarded in heaven because we passed this test. Would someone like to tell me the difference between this statement and what the Mormons teach? Anyone? Anyone? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!!!!!. This is Pelagianism, an outright heresy. God rewards you for doing good, the natural religion of man at its finest. The worst part is Mr. Warren assumes you are going to succeed. What if we fail? Nothing. There is no mention of God's love for us on the cross. There is no mention of the atonement, no mention of the reward we don't earn, no mention of the forgiveness. Law and Gospel are confused when the law is presented as the new gospel. Mr. Warren might as well sell indulgences. They'll work about as well as what he's perscribing.
You're earthly body is just a temporary residence for your spirit.
Nothing says gnosticism like this says gnosticism. There is a reason Jesus was resurrected from the dead bodily. It's because his resurrection is a precursor to our resurrection. Yes, we will be bodily resurrected in the end as well, once again uniting our flesh with out spirit.
Two heresies in the first five chapters, and Lutheran pastors think they can use this book and "Lutheranize" it? Sure, and I'm the pope.
Sunday, November 16, 2003
The Purpose Driven® Life is driving me slowly to the nuthouse. Alright, it is not the book, but the fact that Lutheran pastors actually think that this book is even remotely useful. I know, I actually mean so-called Lutheran pastors because any pastor which allows this book to be taught within the confines of his church need to go back to seminary and be forced to reread Walther's The Proper Distinction Between Law and Gospel. Any Lutheran pastor who would allow this book must be confused with this distinction and therefore unable to keep his ordination vows. After reading the first seven chapters, the most common words in the margin are Law and where's the gospel? I had a few other choice words in the margin (neo-gnostic, semi-pelagianism, works-righteousness, etc.), but I haven't written the words Oh Fuck! in the margin yet. I guess that's a good thing. ¡Qué la chigada!
At this post, one of my friends stepped in to calm me down (sort of).
Wednesday, November 19, 2003
I am glad to have the friends I have. They keep me in line when I go on a rampage on this site, which is many times. I do almost consider this my personal journal that I publish just for giggles. Many of my thoughts come out uncensored, and my use of foul language has peaked recently. My stream-of-conscience format allows for interesting reading, but also offensive comments. I do admit a couple of things. First off, I am still mad at the pastors at my former church and that still shows. I am not mentally in a place yet to even step into my old church, let alone confront my old pastors on why I believe they are teaching error. I really shouldn't be talking behind their backs. One thing the internet allows is anoninimity. I am relatively anonymous (how many Daniels are there in the world?) and that allows me to say things I wouldn't say if the whole world knew me and knew who I am. I must apologize for those remarks. Until I am ready to confront them personally, I should just keep my mouth shut. Secondly, in my last post, I use the words "so-called" Lutheran pastors. I am still wrestling with what I said and if I should say it. On one hand, I do not know most of the pastors using the book and how they are presenting the material. On the other hand, how can a Lutheran pastor in good conscience allow a book to be used where the law dominates? Not only is it law, but it is mostly "law lite," a version of the law that doesn't cut one to the core. The book almost has a Phariseeatical (new word) tone to it. That isn't Lutheranism. Lutherans should always allow the Gospel to dominate their lives. Anyways, I need to think this through a little more.
There is no greater proof of original sin than the way people crave the law that condemns us instead of the Gospel that saves us.
This next post clarified (somewhat) what my blog is about.
Wednesday, December 03, 2003
I put in the time to figure out install comments on my blog with the somewhat silly notion of people actually commenting on what I have said. All I have is Josh asking me why I refer to JeesUs First and Deathstar as lodges. I was hoping I would get long, thoughtful conversations about issues and things. I really need to take into account that my blog specializes in reporting and giving opinions about the political situation of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod and how big of an audience is there for that? I am not Josh because I do not type long posts defending some specific aspect of the faith. I am not Clint and I don't have enough knowledge to wax poetic about the Book of Concord. I am not even my buddy Ron, whose blog will take on its own character. This blog is what it is. What is it? Good question.
I can guarantee on any given week I will do one of the following:
1. report on why the current SP should be removed.
2. report on why District President Benke should have been removed.
3. report on another dumb decision by the CCM and why they are the SP's minions.
4. tell you why my new church is so much better than my old church.
5. give another reason why I am glad I am not in the ELCA (like I actually need to spell this one out).
6. bash the French.
7. give a not-so-well though out political opinion because I don't know what else to blog about since LCMS news is either a flood or a trickle.
8. actually try to discuss Monty Python, beer, or geology. Scotch might come up, as well.
That, in a nutshell, is what this blog is. It will not change, it was meant to be specialized, so I should just realize that I will not get a lot of comments from people because of it. What can I say? At least Josh can wax eloquent about Lutheran theology and leave it to me to report on what is actually happening and who is not following their ordination vows.
This post shows how I have now taken to creatively describe things and people.
Friday, December 05, 2003
I made a fascinating purchase while shopping for gifts for my family. I am now the proud owner of the book Depraved and Insulting English. Expect my vocabulary to jump a few notches when describing various enemies of the synod in the next few weeks. Let me test out my new vocabulary. [decided to edit remarks out for sanity of us all] Let me just call the French a bunch of licktwats and leave it at that.
Update: Antinomian is in this book. Who knew you could get such high theological vocabulary from a book which defines the term amplexus.
More advice from our first SP
Wednesday, December 10, 2003
When a theologian is asked to yield and make concessions in order that peace may at last be established in the Church, but refuses to do so even in a single point of doctrine, such an action looks to human reason like intolerable stubbornness, yea, like downright malice. That is the reason why such theologians are loved and praised by few men during their lifetime. Most men rather revile them as disturbers of the peace, yea, as destroyers of the kingdom of God. They are regarded as men of contempt. But in the end it becomes manifest that this very determined, inexorable tenacity in clinging to the pure teaching of the divine Word by no means tears down the Church; on the contrary, it is just this which, in the midst of greatest dissention, builds up the Church and ultimately brings about genuine peace. Therefore, woe to the Church which has no men of stripe, men who stand as watchmen on the walls of Zion, sound the alarm whenever a foe threatens to rush the walls, and rally to the banner of Jesus Christ for a holy war!
Try to picture to yourselves what would happen if Athanasius had made a slight concession in the doctrine of the deity of Christ. He could have made a compromise with the Arians and put his conscience at ease; for the Arians declared that they, too, believed Christ to God, only not from eternity. They said, "[T]here was a time when he did not exist," meaning He had become God. But they added, "Nevertheless He is to be worshiped, for He is God." Even at the remote time, had Athanasius yielded, the Church would have been hurled from the one Rock on which it is founded, which is none other than Jesus Christ.
Again, imagine what would have happened if Augustine had made a slight concession in the doctrine of man's free will, or rather of the utter incapacity of man for matter spiritual. He, too, could have made a compromise with the Pelagians and put his conscience at ease because the Pelagians declared, "Yes, indeed; without the aid of God's grace no man can be saved." But by the grace of God they meant the divine gift is imparted in every man. Even at the time, had Augustine yielded, the Church would have lost the core of the Gospel. There would have been nothing left but the empty, hollow shell. Aye, the Church would have retained nothing but the name of the Gospel. For the doctrine of the Gospel that man is made righteous in the sight of God and saved by nothing but the pure grace of God, through the merits of Jesus Christ, is, as everybody knows, the most important doctrine, the marrow and substance of Christian teaching. Wherever this doctrine is not proclaimed, there is no Christ, no Gospel, no salvation; there men perish, and for such people it has been in vain that the Son of God, has come into the world.
Lastly, picture yourself what would have happened if Luther had made a slight concession in the doctrine of the Holy Supper. At the time of the Marburg Colloquy he could have made a compromise with Zwingli and put his conscience at ease, because Zwinglians said, "We, too, believe in a certain presence of the body and blood of Christ in the Lord's Supper, but not in the presence of Christ's corporal substance, because God does not set up such sublime, incomprehensible things for us to believe." By this claim Zwingli made Christianity in its entirety a questionable matter, and even Melanchthon, who was usually greatly inclined to make concessions, declared that Zwingli had relapsed into paganism. Had Luther yielded, the Church would have become a prey to rationalism, which places man's reason above the plain Word of God.
Let us, therefore, bless all the faithful champions who have fought for every point of Christian doctrine, unconcerned about the favor of men and disregarding their threatenings. Their ignominy, though it often was great, has not been born in vain. Men cursed them, but they continued bearing their testimony until death, and now they wear the crown of glory and enjoy the blissful communion of Christ and all the angles of the elect. Their labor and their fierce battling has not been in vain; for even now, after 1500 years, or, in the latter case, after several centuries, the Church is reaping what they sowed.
Let us then, my friends, likewise hold fast the treasure of the pure doctrine. Do not consider it strange if on that account you must bear reproach the same as they did. Consider the word of Sirach 4:33, "Even unto death fight for justice, and God will overthrow thy enemies for thee," will come true in our case too. Let this be your slogan: Fight to the death in behalf of the truth, and the Lord will fight for you!"
The Proper Distinction Between Law and Gospel. C.F.W. Walther, p.28-30
I am going to end this huge post with one of the most sarcastic, venomous pieces of writing I have created. If you ever wonder what I truly think of American Evangelicalism, it is here. If you wonder why I am disturbed that American Lutheranism is bringing in crap like this, it is here as well. Have a happy New Year, and enjoy.
Friday, December 12, 2003
I am currently on a posting tear, just bringing up random crap I have found on the internet. Well, I found something right up there with AV1611. True Christians Unite is in the same category as the rest of crackhead knipperdollin that claim to hold the banner of Christ but end up burning it with legalism. You may ask, "O Daniel, why do you think this group is a bunch of dunderwhelps?" I am glad you asked.
The Holy Scripture (King James 1611) is the absolute Word of God and is the pure Word of God, purified seven times.
More like updated seven times. Since you all are sooo enamored with the 1611, why did you post the 1841 revision???
We believe that Jesus Christ our Lord died according to the scriptures, was buried according to the scriptures, and that He bodily arose from the grave on the third day according to the scriptures.
I'd love to ask them if God died. If a Lutheran ever wants to smoke out Baptists, Methodists, and other assorted Americanized evangelicals, ask this question. If they reply, "Hell no!" then their Christology is screwed and so are they.
We believe that the only way for a person to go to heaven, is through repentance toward God, and accepting Jesus Christ, by faith, as God?s gift of salvation to fallen man. Man cannot, in any way, save himself. Salvation is totally of the Lord.
I love it when people contradict themselves, but such is the problems of the semi-pelagian.
We believe the Holy Spirit births the believer into the body of Christ, which is His bride, His building, and the church. And that no one can be a part of God?s family without the spiritual new birth, which takes place when you receive Christ as Lord and Savior.
Nothing about baptism? Why am I not surprised.
We believe the Holy Spirit dwells in every born-again believer, to comfort him; to empower him; to guide him; to reprove him, as long as he lives upon the earth.
We believe that the believer is saved forever and is sealed by the Holy Spirit until the day of redemption, and is kept by the power of God, and that no man is able to pluck the child of God from the hand of God the Father.
Once saved, always saved. Calvin would be proud. So would Beza. Of course, this contradicts the formentioneded semi-pelagianism...
We believe that baptism is a picture of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and every believer is commanded by the Lord to follow Him in water baptism, and that for him or her to be scripturally baptized, they must be baptized in enough water to cover them. Baptism does not save you from your sins, but is an act of obedience, and a declaration of your faith in the gospel of the death of Christ, the burial of Christ and his bodily resurrection.
Finally! Baptism! Ooops. It's not a means of grace. I didn't bother posting their Scriptural references, but almost every one contradicts the above. The best one is 1 Peter 3:21 which states, "Baptism ... now saves you." It takes a heart full of sin in order to read that as baptism not saving you.
We believe that if dressed according to "women professing godliness (this includes hair, clothes, makeup and jewelry) with shamefacedness" they can sing, pray and give testimonies in the church.
Of all the things they say about women, this one is interesting. No makeup, nice clothes that don't show your panties at the communion rail (I saw this once). Then again, we are a bunch of "antinomian bastards."
We believe because of woman?s disobedience to God?s plain commandments concerning her role, we are not only seeing the product of it, but are experiencing God?s judgment upon this nation.
Pat Robertson now has some very good company! The gays, liberals, environmental wackos, and women working outside the home are all bringing the judgment of God upon this country. And I thought there was two kingdoms.
Man?s primary role is to please God by keeping His commandments, and to obey Him in everything; to protect his family, even unto death; to provide his family?s needs, through working with his hands and using the abilities and the material substance that God, his Father, supplies him.
Law and Gospel, or How to be like Rome Without the Need for Indulgences.
We believe that every man/husband/father should be praying to God for wisdom, leadership and direction on how to get his family out of these wicked Sodom and Gomorrah cities, and get his children out of the humanistic, globalist, multiculturalist, socialist public school system. That government school system has raped (brainwashed) the minds of most of the nation?s children with their Babylonian, materialistic, godless, anti-Christ lies. By doing so, they have robbed the Lord, the church and the parents of the fruit that children should produce. But contrariwise, most children, because of the father?s disobedience ? whether by willfulness, or just carelessness, tell us the sad story of children left to themselves.
While I may believe this is true and sound advice, it is not a matter of doctrine, and they should not be binding people's consciences by making this a law.
We at True Christians Unite Ministries are obeying the Lord in this great truth and challenge. We are, at the present time, housing our families and ministry approximately 20 miles out of any city of any significant size. We have our church school and our meeting place for worship, praise and teaching out here also. It?s not without great battles from every corner, but it?s working, and it will continue to work to God?s glory, hallelujah!
"This is the ATF. Where are your guns?" I can see it now.
God is calling his people out of the worldly cities in order to save their families and the fruit of their labor.
How about them removing people from their true and right vocations to help their fellow man to go into hiding. You might as well just tell God that you know what you need more than He does. Beautiful.
Right now, Satan is having a heyday with most of God?s people, because they refuse to obey Him and His Word.
How to have an improper doctrine of spiritual warfare.
The Christian can have victory over the devil when God?s Word is obeyed. Satan can only do what you will let him do. He is powerless over the believer when the believer obeys the Word of God. Satan is a finished, condemned foe who will be cast into the lake of fire.
I think they have a Pope. He is Proctalgia I.
We Believe that the Great Tribulation spoken of by Jesus in Matt. 24:22,24 is yet to happen, and the mark of the Beast is yet in the future. We know that "the spirit of iniquity doth already work," but the real thing hasn't happened yet, though we have all the forerunners of the real thing.
I believe you are wrong. I believe you are taking the style of writing in Revelation too literally.
We believe that Rev. 13 through Rev. 20: 15 gives us a plain description of the last days to come. We?re looking for Jesus to come and redeem His chosen people, called the church, His bride, from this great and terrible day of the Lord?s wrath.
See comment above.
I believe I am going to bed. All this sarcasm and thinking is making my head hurt.