Archive for July, 2012

Shepherds That Hate Their Flocks 4

July 22, 2012 Leave a comment

As they were talking about these things, Jesus himself stood among them, and said to them, “Peace to you!” But they were startled and frightened and thought they saw a spirit. And he said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. And while they still disbelieved for joy and were marveling, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate before them. Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance (Law) and forgiveness of sins (Gospel) should be proclaimed in his (Jesus’) name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.”  (Luke 24:36-48 – ESV)

One of the highlighted posts on this blog is 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.

Another highlighted post is Dr. Carl Fickenscher’s series on Sermon Preparation, which should also be viewed by every LCMS layman and pastor. Pastors should be following Dr. Fickenscher’s advice carefully.

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—third use, even though the Old Adam hears it as second use—sins of omission), 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: Unbelief, Wrong Worship

Cancel Your Short-Term Mission Trip

July 5, 2012 Leave a comment

Some very good advice by Pastor Larry Peters.


Those who are familiar with this blog know my concern for short term mission trips (as one friend calls them, missacations).  I know that many argue with me and complain that I do not know what I am talking about since I have never gone on one.  On the other hand, I have heard and heeded the wise words of folks from Lutheran World Relief and career missionaries whose lives are fully invested in the mission field and they warn of the dubious value of mission trips as costly and resource consuming personal growth exercises.  I do not intend to repeat what I have already said on the subject.  But there are others whose voices have raised similar concerns and who have come to similar conclusions.

Read some statistics from Robert Lupton’s book, Toxic Charity: How Churches and Charities Hurt Those They Help (And How to Reverse It):

  • Africa has received $1 trillion in benevolent aid in the last 50 years, and per capita income is now lower, life expectancy has stagnated, and adult literacy is lower.
  • 85 percent of aid money flowing to African countries never reaches the targeted areas of need.
  • U.S. missions teams who rushed to Honduras to help rebuild homes destroyed by Hurricane Mitch spent on average $30,000 per home—homes locals could have built for $3,000 each.
  • The money spent by one campus ministry to cover the costs of their Central American missions trip to repaint an orphanage would have been enough to hire two local painters and two new full-time teachers and purchase new uniforms for every student in the school.
Categories: Good Advice