The Pastor Challenge

The Pastor Challenge

The Assist Pregnancy Center's Walk-Run-Ride for Life is coming up in May and this year I am challenging myself in order to challenge all of you! I am challenging myself to ride a "Metric Century" (100 kilometers) in four hours, and if I can ride farther than I ever have at one time before, I challenge all of you to support me more than ever before. I set my goal this year at $5,000, and our team (Lutherans for Life) at $7,500! If I can do it, you can do it. Assist helps so many mothers and babies, and they are expanding their facility to help even more - and so need our help more than ever, especially coming out of this pandemic. So please help! CLICK HERE to go to my sponsor page to sponsor me, or you can sponsor anyone else who joins the team, or the team as a whole.

Will you step up to the challenge??

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Evolution as Philosophy

It occurred to me the other day that evolution is not just a theory, but a philosophy. It's not just an explanation about how things might have come to be, but an entire worldview - a way of looking at all of life, and its meaning, purpose, and value.

When I mentioned that to someone, they said, "Of course." But I don't hear it spoken of that way. Maybe if we started to say that more and more, it might help people think a little differently and realize that as a philosophy it is incompatible with theology, which is an entirely different worldview.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

My Yesterday

So yesterday I had to report for Jury Duty! The trial I was considered for was a rape case that was going to last 3-4 days. Ugh. Even though attorneys usually don't like having pastors on their juries, I was a little worried. However, that, coupled with the fact that I have given pastoral counseling to women who have suffered sexual abuse over the years (but never to someone accused of sexual abuse) was enough to have me stricken by one (or both) of the lawyers. The guy next to me was a clinical psychologist who had treated patients in this situation also, and he was excused as well.

We were in the courtroom, though, for a good 1.5 hours, as the attorneys asked their questions and made their notes. What I thought was interesting and had never seen or heard before was that when one of the potential jurors wanted to explain something privately at the bench, the judge had a switch to turn on "white noise" through the speakers in the courtroom, to make sure no one else could hear. It worked. I heard nothing. But after a while, it got to be annoying.

Last night, then, I got to attend my youngest daughter's school orchestra concert. And, just like her big sister, she has ascended to principal, or first chair, in her orchestra. (Quite an achievement for a 7th grader in the Advanced Orchestra in her Middle School!) Below is a picture from the program. (Sorry the quality is not better, but it wasn't my idea to print this on red paper!)

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Ashes To Go? No!

You may have heard of it or seen it - a new fad for Ash Wednesday called "Ashes to go." A pastor or priest goes to a coffee shop, Metro Station, or some other public place and imposes ashes onto the foreheads of any who come and desire them. I think this is a really bad idea. Why?

Well, aside from the fact that I think it is feeding our society's appetite to be "spiritual but not religious" (aka the "I don't have to go to church" movement), this is the real, big problem with it: It gives the Law without the Gospel. Dust you are and to dust you will return, but then no forgiveness in Christ! No resurrection from the death of sin! The person leaves with a sign of sin and death imposed upon them, and the rest is up to them.

Yes, yes, if they are Christians perhaps they know the Gospel. But don't we proclaim it every Sunday because we need to hear it over and over again? Because our world catechizes us with the anti-Gospel? That's why we give it in the Lord's Supper, too!

As a theologian once said: The Gospel assumed is the Gospel denied. Let's stop this fad and instead proclaim the Gospel. Ashes are no good if Jesus doesn't wash them off of us.

Monday, March 4, 2019


So I read two news stories today, which were quite different. In fact, diametrically opposed.

The first story stated that some are trying to normalize pedophilia, saying that it is just another "sexual orientation" that someone is born with and that cannot be changed. So who are we to say that is wrong? Along with this effort comes the desire to lower the age of consent from 18 to something less than that. And get this - if pedophilia gains status as an accepted sexual orientation, that is becomes a protected category under civil rights laws! (HT: Gene Veith)

The second story was a report about the Roman church's recent meeting on protecting children in the church. Out of that meeting was expressed the desire to raise the age of who is considered a minor from 14 to something older. One wonders why it was so low in the first place.

What a messed up, mixed up world we live in.