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??

Saturday, February 20, 2021

What I Noticed . . .

Mark does not give us a lot of details about Jesus' temptation, like Matthew and Luke. OK - he doesn't give us ANY details! Only tells us that it happened. In fact, he doesn't even tell us how it turned out. Jesus just afterwards shows up in Galilee. So He came out alright.

Hmmm. That got me thinking . . . The shorter ending of Mark's Gospel is the same way, isn't it? There is no risen Jesus, but the young man/angel who is sitting there does say He is risen and then this little tantalizing nugget: go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.

Jesus, victorious over the devil in His temptation in the wilderness, shows up in Galilee. So too Jesus, victorious over sin, death, and hell in His resurrection, shows up in Galilee. Which is, of course, what He told them (14:28). 

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Vaccines, Embryos, and Ethics - Updated

NOTE: I'll be leaving this post at the top of my blog given it's importance. But will also be putting up some new posts below it. So scroll down and see those too! :-)

There are Covid vaccines now being given in our country and in the world. Many people have questions about these vaccines, because some vaccines are researched and developed using tissue from aborted babies. If we are pro-life (and we are!), which vaccines use this tissue and which ones do not? Which vaccines can we use? Are we morally culpable if we receive a vaccine that had been developed unethically? What if we didn't know it?

Here are some resources for you to answer or help answer these questions.

Regarding vaccines and how they were researched and developed:

Covid-19 vaccines

List of other vaccines

These lists are from the reliable pro-life Charlotte Lozier Institute.

Other reading:

How to think about moral complicity (from an LCMS scholar)

Information and writings from Lutherans for Life

What You Should Know about the Covid Vaccines (Dr. Grobien, LCMS Seminary Professor)

A Pastoral Letter on COVID and Vaccines (By me!)

A Pastoral Letter from LCMS President Matthew Harrison

LCMS COVID Vaccine Fact Sheet

COVID Vaccines and Fetal Cells: What's Ethical and What Isn't

(This last is from the Eternal Perspectives blog and is a very comprehensive article. Some of the information I have already linked to here, but there are some others links and videos as well. I have not watched them all so cannot vouch for them all, but lots of information here and this seems to me like a very sober and accurate assessment.)

The matter of moral complicity is a thorny and difficult issue to answer, and there are many things to take into consideration. So read and think about these things! 

Nailed It

The Synod referendum, that is. I predicted that 90% of the congregations who voted would approve. The count is now in: Yea - 3,371. Nay - 347. Approved by . . . 90.67%. 

So, for those of you old enough to remember . . .