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Hey, Pastor …

February 26, 2012 Leave a comment

Prove from the Scriptures that what you are preaching in your sermon is doctrinally correct. If you can do that within your sermon, you are being faithful.

If you cannot do that, you are unfaithful.

Categories: Right Worship

On the Sign of the Cross

February 26, 2012 Leave a comment

“I only desire to have the conscience free and to have all Christians make the sign of the cross against a faith which believes that the pope is right in his rule.” Martin Luther

“Among all the ancient writers there is indeed frequent mention of the sign of the cross. … (A)t the time of Tertullian and afterward the Christians with their fingers formed a transverse figure like a cross in the air, and in this way identified themselves. It was…a profession and reminder that they believed in Christ crucified, and that they were placing all their hope and confidence in Him.” Martin Chemnitz

HT: Pr. D. Bestul

Categories: Right Worship

Shepherds that Hate Their Flocks 3

February 26, 2012 Leave a comment

UPDATE: Here is the semi-regular repost.

Farther down this blog is a post about the Issues, Etc., programs on Preaching with Pastor David Petersen. It is a five-part series that should be heard by every lay member of every congregation of the LCMS along with their pastors. Lay people should insist their pastors do the things that Pastor Petersen encourages.

Unfortunately, most pastors won’t listen to the series, because their so-called ministries are focused on the wrong things. Instead of the preaching Law and Gospel every sermon, he talks about what he and his family did this past week. Oh, he’ll throw in a little Jesus now and then, but he mostly talks about himself, how his people should be doing this or that (attainable law), how they have separated themselves from those who are heterodox (self-righteousness), or, worse yet, giving them nothing of spiritual value whatsoever.

And forget about the pastor actually studying the Scriptures in the original languages to see how the Gospel (or any) lesson for that Sunday should be preached. No, he’ll just get up and tell us what *he* thinks it means. No context. Either he’s too lazy to study the original languages or just busies himself with “doing ministry” or with his personal life that the languages fall by the wayside.

Mostly, though, he hates his people. He has given up on his promise, spoken so solemnly during his installation, to preach the Gospel in all its truth and purity and to administer the Sacraments according to Christ’s institution. He refuses to confront sins with the Law, especially his own sins, let alone his members’ sins. He refuses to examine the Ten Commandments to see through the mirror of God’s Law how utterly terribly he hates his own parishioners. He would rather neglect telling them that they are damnable sinners, completely deserving of God’s wrath and punishment, including the fire of hell and eternal separation from God. He refuses to call them to repentance and to turn from their sins and believe the Gospel, that Jesus Christ, God’s Son, paid for their sins on the bloody crucifixion cross.

You pastors that can’t be bothered with keeping your promises: quit. Either quit neglecting your promises, or quit the ministry. Either start fulfilling what you promised to do, or you will continue sending your members to hell. Stop hating your people and love them enough to call them to repentance through God’s Law and Gospel. Give them what they so desperately need, even if they are not aware of it: the love of God through Christ Jesus our Lord.

1 John 1:8-10 (ESV):

If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

1 John 2:1-2 (ESV):

My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.

Jesus died for you, faithless shepherd of Christ’s flock, so that you are to now preach the Law in all its sternness and the Gospel in all its sweetness.

Categories: Wrong Worship

How to Prepare for Confession and Absolution

February 16, 2012 Leave a comment

The Brotherhood Prayer Book has an excellent resource in it, called The Confession Mirror (Beichtspiegel).

It is also reformatted with larger font and booklet layout.

Categories: Right Worship

On the Transfiguration of Our Lord

February 16, 2012 Leave a comment

Pastor Jonathan Fisk greekifies the text:

Categories: Right Worship

Against Charismaticism – Enthusiasm

February 5, 2012 Leave a comment

Pastor Fisk corrects a mistaken notion that one can be a confessional Lutheran and a charismatic at the same time:

Smalcald Articles, Part III, Article VIII, Of Confession:

And in those things which concern the spoken, outward Word, we must firmly hold that God grants His Spirit or grace to no one, except through or with the preceding outward Word, in order that we may [thus] be protected against the enthusiasts, i.e., spirits who boast that they have the Spirit without and before the Word, and accordingly judge Scripture or the spoken Word, and explain and stretch it at their pleasure, as Muenzer did, and many still do at the present day, who wish to be acute judges between the Spirit and the letter, and yet know not what they say or declare.

For [indeed] the Papacy also is nothing but sheer enthusiasm, by which the Pope boasts that all rights exist in the shrine of his heart, and whatever he decides and commands with [in] his church is spirit and right, even though it is above and contrary to Scripture and the spoken Word.

All this is the old devil and old serpent, who also converted Adam and Eve into enthusiasts, and led them from the outward Word of God to spiritualizing and self-conceit, and nevertheless he accomplished this through other outward words. Just as also our enthusiasts [at the present day] condemn the outward Word, and nevertheless they themselves are not silent, but they fill the world with their pratings and writings, as though, indeed, the Spirit could not come through the writings and spoken word of the apostles, but [first] through their writings and words he must come. Why [then] do not they also omit their own sermons and writings, until the Spirit Himself come to men, without their writings and before them, as they boast that He has come into them without the preaching of the Scriptures? But of these matters there is not time now to dispute at greater length; we have elsewhere sufficiently urged this subject.

For even those who believe before Baptism, or become believing in Baptism, believe through the preceding outward Word, as the adults, who have come to reason, must first have heard: He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, even though they are at first unbelieving, and receive the Spirit and Baptism ten years afterwards. Cornelius, Acts 10:1ff , had heard long before among the Jews of the coming Messiah, through whom he was righteous before God, and in such faith his prayers and alms were acceptable to God (as Luke calls him devout and God-fearing), and without such preceding Word and hearing could not have believed or been righteous. But St. Peter had to reveal to him that the Messiah (in whom, as one that was to come, he had hitherto believed) now had come, lest his faith concerning the coming Messiah hold him captive among the hardened and unbelieving Jews, but know that he was now to be saved by the present Messiah, and must not, with the [rabble of the] Jews deny nor persecute Him.

In a word, enthusiasm inheres in Adam and his children from the beginning [from the first fall] to the end of the world, [its poison] having been implanted and infused into them by the old dragon, and is the origin, power [life], and strength of all heresy, especially of that of the Papacy and Mahomet.  Therefore we ought and must constantly maintain this point, that God does not wish to deal with us otherwise than through the spoken Word and the Sacraments. It is the devil himself whatsoever is extolled as Spirit without the Word and Sacraments. For God wished to appear even to Moses through the burning bush and spoken Word; and no prophet neither Elijah nor Elisha, received the Spirit without the Ten Commandments [or spoken Word]. Neither was John the Baptist conceived without the preceding word of Gabriel, nor did he leap in his mother’s womb without the voice of Mary. And Peter says, 2 Pet. 1:21: The prophecy came not by the will of man; but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. Without the outward Word, however, they were not holy, much less would the Holy Ghost have moved them to speak when they still were unholy [or profane]; for they were holy, says he, since the Holy Ghost spake through them. (Sections 3ff)

Augsburg Confession, Article V, The Ministry, section 4:

They condemn the Anabaptists and others who think that the Holy Ghost comes to men without the external Word, through their own preparations and works.

Categories: Wrong Worship

The Law and the Gospel

February 5, 2012 Leave a comment

Pr. Todd Wilken: “Why does the preaching of God’s Law need to crush us every time?”

Dr. Rod Rosenbladt: “It’s the only thing that will prep[are] us for longing for a word of forgiveness.

If we don’t really believe we have great need,
Jesus will come to be our [life] coach, the one who sorta helps us along.

Jesus is not a coach. Jesus is [the] One who dies for those who are deeply sinful
and gives them what they’ve been longing for anyway.”

Issues, Etc., “Repentance“, Feb. 5, 2009:

Categories: Right Worship