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The Pastor Challenge
Monday, May 26, 2008
Each year the Rotarians of the Town of
And then each year, we do it again.
Why? Where else can you meet thousands of people in just two days? Where else can people see (and ask!) about the name of your church and you get to talk about Christianity and the Nicene Creed? Where else can you tell so many people so quickly about what Lutherans believe and what makes us different? Where else could we give away so many Good News magazines, pro-life information, books, Portals of Prayers, devotionals, and talk to people from ages 2 to 82?
I just wish it was on a different weekend. For on Memorial Day weekend businesses are busy, folks travel, many have family plans, and it makes recruiting workers for the booth harder. I also wish I could have the day to go to a Memorial Day parade and picnic again. And relax. Maybe someday my church will be big enough to allow me to do that. In the meantime, yes, I will be grumpy at the end of another long day, and yes, I will probably say “never again!” And yes, we will do it again. And I remember Paul’s admonition to Timothy: “Do the work of an evangelist.” (2 Tim 4:5)
You were right Paul. It is hard work.
Saturday, May 10, 2008
A couple of weeks ago, when my son Robbie competed at the state-level for National History Day, I got to look around at look at some of the projects he was competing against. The theme of this year’s competition was “Conflict and Compromise.” One project I saw was on the Battle of the Bulge. Now (I thought to myself) the conflict here is clear, but what was the compromise? Looking in his paper, I saw the following: “my grandfather was forced to compromise his belief and break the fifth commandment as a soldier in the army.”
Wow! How grateful I am for the doctrine of the two kingdoms and of vocation, so that I could explain to my children how a person can be both a Christian and a soldier. I told them what Luther said about a Christian executioner – that as a Christian, he should pray for the person being executed, while as an agent for the government (which is given the power of the sword, Romans 13) he can “thrown the switch” and not be guilty of breaking the fifth commandment. And how this is true also of soldiers, of judges, of policemen, and others who serve us in keeping the peace.
I also felt very sorry for the young person who did this project, the confusion he had, and the distress he must feel for his grandfather. I am sorry I did not get a chance to meet him/her and explain. It also reminded me of how doctrine and life go together, and how important pure doctrine is.
Thursday, May 8, 2008
Another quote from our Good Shepherd Seminar this past Saturday . . . but this one not so good, from Rick Warren and his book The Purpose Driven Church:
“Bringing enjoyment to God is called ‘worship.’ Worship is not for your benefit . . . Worship isn’t for you. It’s for God.” (p 64, 66)
To me, this is a stunning denial of the true nature of worship. On this basis alone I do not know how this book could be used and held up as a good and salutary thing in any
Now, does serving us with the forgiveness of our sins, life, and salvation give God joy? Surely. But to say that worship is not for our benefit but God’s, is a complete misunderstanding of the Scriptures and the Gospel. And with such a basic misunderstanding, all theology is turned on its head. The doctrine of the Church, the sacraments, vocation – all is scuttled, and all that is left is the Law . . . Christians trying to find a way to please and bring enjoyment to God through their deeds. How sad.
Monday, May 5, 2008
Sunday, May 4, 2008
Sorry I haven’t posted – its been a busy week!
First of all, my report from
After we returned home from
We ended the circuit meeting at on Wednesday, so then it was driving home, swinging through
Tomorrow I will try to catch up on many things . . . but did you ever notice, when you use a day as a catch-up day, it puts you behind again for the rest of the week!