The Rich Man & Lazarus

Those of us whose churches follow the three-year lectionary on Sunday heard  the account of the Rich Man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31) and very likely heard a sermon about it.  Last week we had what I found to be a very enlightening trading of notes on a rather challenging parable.  Let’s do that again with this parable.

Here is some of what our Pastor Douthwaite said about it.  (Read the whole sermon, which delves into some fascinating details in the text that are very illuminating.)

Don’t assume things about God, that you know what God is doing and why He’s doing it. That’s a dangerous thing to do, although (it seems to me), it’s done all the time. Don’t assume God is your friend because your life is good, and don’t assume God is against you because things are difficult and trials are many. The truth may be exactly the opposite. The man who had been so rich was now eternally poor, and the man who had been so poor was now eternally rich. . . .

Jesus has come to turn beggars into rich men. For He was the truly rich man who for our sakes became poor (2 Cor 8:9). Who came to all of us Lazarus,’ not to dip only the tip of His finger in water, but to give us the living water of His Word that we may drink and never thirst again (John 7:37-38). Who came not merely to soothe our wounds with the licking of dogs, but to wash and cleanse and heal us from the leprosy of our sin with His forgiveness. And who came to feed us not with crumbs from His table, but with the feast He has come to provide – the feast of His own Body and Blood. And these gifts He comes to give to all people, whether they be rich or poor on the outside, whether they be notorious or hidden sinners – for spiritually, we are all Lazarus’. Crippled and left to die by sin. Wholly dependent on the mercy of God. And so we pray: Lord, have mercy.

And He does. Always. Jesus is no rich man that bypasses, steps over, or ignores those in need. Who feeds the dogs and not His children. Never. For whether or not you have riches in this world, the Spirit, through the Word of God – through Moses and the prophets – directs our eyes where true riches are to be found. The riches that poured forth from the cross. The cross which shows us who God truly is, what God has done for you, and how much God loves you. So that we never have to guess or assume the mind of God – the cross is the mind of God. Who came for you, to die for you, to forgive you. . . .

But there is another clue to Lazarus’ faith, when Abraham told the rich man: “Besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.” Now, it makes sense that those in torment would want to cross from there to the comfort of heaven; but who would want to cross the other way? Why would Abraham say that . . . unless, perhaps, it was Lazarus who was ready to do so. To comfort the one who refused him comfort. To serve the one who refused him service. To help the one who refused him help. For is this not the love of Christ, who did these things for us on the cross? Is this not the love of Christ living in Lazarus’ heart?

That is the love that has been given to you. By the one who did cross the chasm – the only one who could – and served you who were dead in your trespasses and sins, to raise you to a new life in Him. A new life of faith and forgiveness, and of love and service – even to those who sin against you.

For now, we bear the cross – but it will not always be so. A day of rest is coming for all who are in Christ.

via St. Athanasius Lutheran Church: Pentecost 18 Sermon.

What did you pastor do with this (or, if you are a pastor, what did you do with it)?  What did you learn from this text?  How did it affect you?

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • bunnycatch3r

    Why would Abraham say that . . . unless, perhaps, it was Lazarus who was ready to do so. To comfort the one who refused him comfort. To serve the one who refused him service. To help the one who refused him help. For is this not the love of Christ, who did these things for us on the cross? Is this not the love of Christ living in Lazarus’ heart?

    Bravo Pastor Douthwaite!

  • bunnycatch3r

    Why would Abraham say that . . . unless, perhaps, it was Lazarus who was ready to do so. To comfort the one who refused him comfort. To serve the one who refused him service. To help the one who refused him help. For is this not the love of Christ, who did these things for us on the cross? Is this not the love of Christ living in Lazarus’ heart?

    Bravo Pastor Douthwaite!

  • Pastor Grayl

    Well, first of all, this parable is not about the interim state. Nor is it saying rich people go to hell and poor people go to heaven. In fact it never mentions the faith of Lazarus because that is not the point! The point is Jesus brings the reversal of fortunes. We do not get what our actions deserve because He died in our place. While the proud, those who exalt themselves, and those who believe they have been put on this earth to make themselves comfortable will get what they do not want: eternal death in hell.

  • Pastor Grayl

    Well, first of all, this parable is not about the interim state. Nor is it saying rich people go to hell and poor people go to heaven. In fact it never mentions the faith of Lazarus because that is not the point! The point is Jesus brings the reversal of fortunes. We do not get what our actions deserve because He died in our place. While the proud, those who exalt themselves, and those who believe they have been put on this earth to make themselves comfortable will get what they do not want: eternal death in hell.

  • http://enterthevein.blogspot.com J. Dean

    While I must admit that this is an interesting exposition of the parable, doesn’t the lectionary (and I say this with utmost respect, btw) miss the point of eternal punishment by allegorizing it into a salvation message?

    I only say this because I’ve seen people like Rob Bell take a literal historical account (Adam and Eve) and turn it into an allegory for our everyday “forbidden fruit.” Messages like that are interesting, even informative at times, but we need to be careful in digging out secondary applications that we do not miss the primary point. Now, granted, I did not hear or read this whole sermon as of yet, so my concern may be unfounded: I grant that completely. I just have seen such allegorical application overextended in the past, obscuring the original and central meaning of the text.

  • http://enterthevein.blogspot.com J. Dean

    While I must admit that this is an interesting exposition of the parable, doesn’t the lectionary (and I say this with utmost respect, btw) miss the point of eternal punishment by allegorizing it into a salvation message?

    I only say this because I’ve seen people like Rob Bell take a literal historical account (Adam and Eve) and turn it into an allegory for our everyday “forbidden fruit.” Messages like that are interesting, even informative at times, but we need to be careful in digging out secondary applications that we do not miss the primary point. Now, granted, I did not hear or read this whole sermon as of yet, so my concern may be unfounded: I grant that completely. I just have seen such allegorical application overextended in the past, obscuring the original and central meaning of the text.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    http://utah-lutheran.blogspot.com/2010/09/eighteenth-sunday-after-pentecost-2010.html
    Well that is what I did with it if anyone cares. I found that the meaning of this parable, is found in the last line, if they will not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead. There is a bit of irony in this, as he was leveling his attack on pharisees, this is just one of a long discourse about Pharisees and their love for money. And he is saying they don’t listen to Moses and the Prophets.
    To me this is the same as American Evangelicals who praise the Bible and listen to nary a word it says as their doctrine shows. It wasn’t that the pharisees didn’t read Moses and the prophets, it is that they didn’t hear moses and the prophets. They read the law and ignored the Gospel. The promise of a messiah, the forgiveness of sins, all talked about in the old testament did not amount to a hill of beans. They listened only to the law, and far from working a love for neighbor, it worked a hatred of neighbor in them. That is the effect of legalism.
    And so it is even today with those who still read the Bible even the new testament and don’t get the death and resurrection of Christ. It amounts to a hill of beans for many today. they skip right over it and go one with what we have to do to be saved, or stay saved same diff.
    And yes Hell is real. But if there is a scriptural genre that is meant to be allegorized it is the parables. Quite a different thing than the story of Adam and Eve.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    http://utah-lutheran.blogspot.com/2010/09/eighteenth-sunday-after-pentecost-2010.html
    Well that is what I did with it if anyone cares. I found that the meaning of this parable, is found in the last line, if they will not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead. There is a bit of irony in this, as he was leveling his attack on pharisees, this is just one of a long discourse about Pharisees and their love for money. And he is saying they don’t listen to Moses and the Prophets.
    To me this is the same as American Evangelicals who praise the Bible and listen to nary a word it says as their doctrine shows. It wasn’t that the pharisees didn’t read Moses and the prophets, it is that they didn’t hear moses and the prophets. They read the law and ignored the Gospel. The promise of a messiah, the forgiveness of sins, all talked about in the old testament did not amount to a hill of beans. They listened only to the law, and far from working a love for neighbor, it worked a hatred of neighbor in them. That is the effect of legalism.
    And so it is even today with those who still read the Bible even the new testament and don’t get the death and resurrection of Christ. It amounts to a hill of beans for many today. they skip right over it and go one with what we have to do to be saved, or stay saved same diff.
    And yes Hell is real. But if there is a scriptural genre that is meant to be allegorized it is the parables. Quite a different thing than the story of Adam and Eve.

  • S Bauer

    We must remember that this parable is part of a sequence of parables designed to expose the self-righteousness of the scribes and pharisees. The criticism and the warning grows sharper with each parable. The point of comparison is pure theology of the cross – your outward circumstances say nothing about your relationship to God. The punchline is “If they will not hear Moses and the prohets, neither will they hear if someone rises from the dead.” The stance of faith in the Word that points to Jesus is what determines your eternal destiny.

  • S Bauer

    We must remember that this parable is part of a sequence of parables designed to expose the self-righteousness of the scribes and pharisees. The criticism and the warning grows sharper with each parable. The point of comparison is pure theology of the cross – your outward circumstances say nothing about your relationship to God. The punchline is “If they will not hear Moses and the prohets, neither will they hear if someone rises from the dead.” The stance of faith in the Word that points to Jesus is what determines your eternal destiny.

  • Tom Hering

    “Now, it makes sense that those in torment would want to cross from there to the comfort of heaven; but who would want to cross the other way? Why would Abraham say that . . . unless, perhaps, it was Lazarus who was ready to do so. To comfort the one who refused him comfort. To serve the one who refused him service. To help the one who refused him help. For is this not the love of Christ, who did these things for us on the cross? Is this not the love of Christ living in Lazarus’ heart?”

    Will those who are in Heaven have knowledge of those (including loved ones) who are suffering in Hell? I think so, but they will be at perfect peace with God’s perfect justice. So I don’t think they will have any desire to cross over to Hell – to alleviate the sufferings of the damned. They won’t feel a compassion that is at odds with God’s justice – with Christ’s final judgments.

    So, the parable is not a literal picture of how we will feel and think in Heaven. The parable is aimed at us, now. In part, to make us recognize the unalterable nature of the two eternal states. (“… you will not be able … none may …”)

  • Tom Hering

    “Now, it makes sense that those in torment would want to cross from there to the comfort of heaven; but who would want to cross the other way? Why would Abraham say that . . . unless, perhaps, it was Lazarus who was ready to do so. To comfort the one who refused him comfort. To serve the one who refused him service. To help the one who refused him help. For is this not the love of Christ, who did these things for us on the cross? Is this not the love of Christ living in Lazarus’ heart?”

    Will those who are in Heaven have knowledge of those (including loved ones) who are suffering in Hell? I think so, but they will be at perfect peace with God’s perfect justice. So I don’t think they will have any desire to cross over to Hell – to alleviate the sufferings of the damned. They won’t feel a compassion that is at odds with God’s justice – with Christ’s final judgments.

    So, the parable is not a literal picture of how we will feel and think in Heaven. The parable is aimed at us, now. In part, to make us recognize the unalterable nature of the two eternal states. (“… you will not be able … none may …”)

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Tom,
    nonetheless, the parable does seem to indicate that Lazarus has the desire to do for Divers what Divers was not willing to do for Lazarus.
    I agree that the parable is a parable and is more about us now, than it is about us then. In that you are corrrect, and I doubt I will have much compassion for people who are in hell when I am in heaven. At the same time I do care for them now. But a parable is a parable.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Tom,
    nonetheless, the parable does seem to indicate that Lazarus has the desire to do for Divers what Divers was not willing to do for Lazarus.
    I agree that the parable is a parable and is more about us now, than it is about us then. In that you are corrrect, and I doubt I will have much compassion for people who are in hell when I am in heaven. At the same time I do care for them now. But a parable is a parable.

  • Tom Hering

    Bror, we care about those who fail or harm or reject us now, precisely because there’s nothing that can be done for them later. So I wonder if part of the parable’s lesson is that it was too late for Lazarus to love the rich man. Two failures might be indicated – not just one.

  • Tom Hering

    Bror, we care about those who fail or harm or reject us now, precisely because there’s nothing that can be done for them later. So I wonder if part of the parable’s lesson is that it was too late for Lazarus to love the rich man. Two failures might be indicated – not just one.

  • http://lutheranvisuals.com Ken Ring

    Our pastor very interestingly connected the two Lazarus’s, one the begger in the gospel lesson, and the second the one that Jesus raised from the dead. The first Lazarus asked to be raised from the dead so that he could proclaim the truth, the second Lazarus was raised proclaimed the gospel and it didn’t seem to move the peoples hearts. He also said that this is one of the few parables that gives us the name of the person.

  • http://lutheranvisuals.com Ken Ring

    Our pastor very interestingly connected the two Lazarus’s, one the begger in the gospel lesson, and the second the one that Jesus raised from the dead. The first Lazarus asked to be raised from the dead so that he could proclaim the truth, the second Lazarus was raised proclaimed the gospel and it didn’t seem to move the peoples hearts. He also said that this is one of the few parables that gives us the name of the person.

  • George A. Marquart

    Luke 16: 31 He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’”

    For some reason, every sermon dealing with this Parable that I have ever heard avoids dealing with this verse. I suspect that it is because most pastors, even some Lutherans, do not grasp the “chasm” between the Old Covenant and the New: the Old was sealed with the blood of animals, the New with the blood of God. “This,” our Lord said, “is the New Covenant in My Blood.”

    The words of our Lord, and many verses in Scripture, testify to the fact that nobody can understand anything about God without the Holy Spirit. The most clever, sophisticated persuasion is not enough. Even the Apostles, having been given the Holy Spirit on Easter morning, were clueless, because the Holy Spirit is not a substance that causes people to do strange and miraculous things as soon as He begins to dwell in them. That is what Acts 1 is all about. Our Lord told them to wait until they “received power” and the Holy Trinity chose to act on the Day of the Giving of the Law, Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit revealed Himself and gave them power.

    The meaning of this verse is simple: John 14: 16 “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, 17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. You know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you (Note the precision: He had not yet breathed on them and had not yet said, “Receive the Holy Spirit”)”. And John 14: 26 “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, He will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” And John 16: 13 “When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth, for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak, and He will declare to you the things that are to come. 14 He will glorify me, for He will take what is mine and declare it to you. 15 All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that He will take what is mine and declare it to you.”

    Peace and Joy!
    George A. Marquart

  • George A. Marquart

    Luke 16: 31 He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’”

    For some reason, every sermon dealing with this Parable that I have ever heard avoids dealing with this verse. I suspect that it is because most pastors, even some Lutherans, do not grasp the “chasm” between the Old Covenant and the New: the Old was sealed with the blood of animals, the New with the blood of God. “This,” our Lord said, “is the New Covenant in My Blood.”

    The words of our Lord, and many verses in Scripture, testify to the fact that nobody can understand anything about God without the Holy Spirit. The most clever, sophisticated persuasion is not enough. Even the Apostles, having been given the Holy Spirit on Easter morning, were clueless, because the Holy Spirit is not a substance that causes people to do strange and miraculous things as soon as He begins to dwell in them. That is what Acts 1 is all about. Our Lord told them to wait until they “received power” and the Holy Trinity chose to act on the Day of the Giving of the Law, Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit revealed Himself and gave them power.

    The meaning of this verse is simple: John 14: 16 “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, 17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. You know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you (Note the precision: He had not yet breathed on them and had not yet said, “Receive the Holy Spirit”)”. And John 14: 26 “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, He will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” And John 16: 13 “When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth, for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak, and He will declare to you the things that are to come. 14 He will glorify me, for He will take what is mine and declare it to you. 15 All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that He will take what is mine and declare it to you.”

    Peace and Joy!
    George A. Marquart

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Well George, then you ought to read mine, because I almost forgot to deal with any other part of the parable in my sermon.
    But it is not just the Chasm between the old Testament and the New, but that between law and gospel. There was gospel in the Old Testament, but the pharisees failed to see it, and that is why Jesus accuses them of not hearing Moses and the Prophets.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Well George, then you ought to read mine, because I almost forgot to deal with any other part of the parable in my sermon.
    But it is not just the Chasm between the old Testament and the New, but that between law and gospel. There was gospel in the Old Testament, but the pharisees failed to see it, and that is why Jesus accuses them of not hearing Moses and the Prophets.

  • Arfies

    Pastor Douthwaite always provokes me to think, and so do the comments that come after you refer us to his sermons. Thank you for inspiring and informing us in this way. If we pay attention, we may even become better preachers!

  • Arfies

    Pastor Douthwaite always provokes me to think, and so do the comments that come after you refer us to his sermons. Thank you for inspiring and informing us in this way. If we pay attention, we may even become better preachers!

  • Porcell

    Probably, Christ understood that, while ordinary Pharisees and rich men, tended to make an idol of wealth, some men of wealth manage to keep matters in proportion and through charity and generous terms of employment are capable of decent vocation.

    One grows weary of the stereotype of both rich and poor men, all of whom are sinners. In Christ’s time poor people suffered greatly and could do little about their condition. In modern times, poor people for the most part tend to lack ambition, effort in education, sticking to their marriages, and living frugally. Also, they are provided government welfare beyond the imaginations of people in Christ’s time.

  • Porcell

    Probably, Christ understood that, while ordinary Pharisees and rich men, tended to make an idol of wealth, some men of wealth manage to keep matters in proportion and through charity and generous terms of employment are capable of decent vocation.

    One grows weary of the stereotype of both rich and poor men, all of whom are sinners. In Christ’s time poor people suffered greatly and could do little about their condition. In modern times, poor people for the most part tend to lack ambition, effort in education, sticking to their marriages, and living frugally. Also, they are provided government welfare beyond the imaginations of people in Christ’s time.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    [Mouth agape. Stares.]

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    [Mouth agape. Stares.]

  • Porcell

    Todd, [ touche, mouth agape, puella stulta.]

  • Porcell

    Todd, [ touche, mouth agape, puella stulta.]

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Porcell,
    I think you do miss the point. Comment here is reeking with the self-righteous justification of one’s self that Jesus is speaking against.
    When you think you justify yourself or your money by donating to charity, well that which you would use to justify yourself before God becomes your god. Good works, good donations, etc. Do not justify.
    I expect the Pharisees rationalized their money in much the same way. And there is always as long as there are poor people reasons for them being poor. It simply is not true that the poor of Jesus day were any different than the poor we have today, and the same for the rich.
    Now, it simply is not true that being rich is a sin in and of itself. Being poor is no more a sign of God’s pleasure with you than being rich. Just as you can’t determine God is happy with you because you are rich, neither would the opposite be true, which is always a temptation.
    But Jesus is addressing rich people with the law in this parable and not the poor. He is addressing people with the sin they are most prone too. And in short their sin is the result of their lack of faith in the mercy and Grace of God.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Porcell,
    I think you do miss the point. Comment here is reeking with the self-righteous justification of one’s self that Jesus is speaking against.
    When you think you justify yourself or your money by donating to charity, well that which you would use to justify yourself before God becomes your god. Good works, good donations, etc. Do not justify.
    I expect the Pharisees rationalized their money in much the same way. And there is always as long as there are poor people reasons for them being poor. It simply is not true that the poor of Jesus day were any different than the poor we have today, and the same for the rich.
    Now, it simply is not true that being rich is a sin in and of itself. Being poor is no more a sign of God’s pleasure with you than being rich. Just as you can’t determine God is happy with you because you are rich, neither would the opposite be true, which is always a temptation.
    But Jesus is addressing rich people with the law in this parable and not the poor. He is addressing people with the sin they are most prone too. And in short their sin is the result of their lack of faith in the mercy and Grace of God.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    May I also say, in addition to Bror’s comment (@16), which I second, that people who routinely go around here whining about ad hominem attacks should probably refrain from calling anyone a “stupid girl”, especially if they lack the, ahem, cojones to do it in English, lest they appear hypocrites.

    Also, “touché” is a way of acknowledging a hit by one’s opponent.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    May I also say, in addition to Bror’s comment (@16), which I second, that people who routinely go around here whining about ad hominem attacks should probably refrain from calling anyone a “stupid girl”, especially if they lack the, ahem, cojones to do it in English, lest they appear hypocrites.

    Also, “touché” is a way of acknowledging a hit by one’s opponent.

  • Porcell

    Comment here is reeking with the self-righteous justification of one’s self that Jesus is speaking against.

    I have found that the self-righteous justification of self is rather common among those who preach against wealthy people. Preachers commonly rail against the rich in a blatant attempt to curry favor with ordinary people with little understanding of the contribution of wealthy people to the well being of the community.

    I understand that there is great spiritual danger in idolizing material wealth, though this is common to all, not just to wealthy people. Who is to say that a Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, or Steve Jobs are lesser beings than any poor person, notwithstanding popular opinion, including among preachers.

  • Porcell

    Comment here is reeking with the self-righteous justification of one’s self that Jesus is speaking against.

    I have found that the self-righteous justification of self is rather common among those who preach against wealthy people. Preachers commonly rail against the rich in a blatant attempt to curry favor with ordinary people with little understanding of the contribution of wealthy people to the well being of the community.

    I understand that there is great spiritual danger in idolizing material wealth, though this is common to all, not just to wealthy people. Who is to say that a Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, or Steve Jobs are lesser beings than any poor person, notwithstanding popular opinion, including among preachers.

  • bunnycatch3r

    Preachers commonly rail against the rich in a blatant attempt to curry favor with ordinary people with little understanding of the contribution of wealthy people to the well being of the community.

    I knew there was something I didn’t like about Jesus.

  • bunnycatch3r

    Preachers commonly rail against the rich in a blatant attempt to curry favor with ordinary people with little understanding of the contribution of wealthy people to the well being of the community.

    I knew there was something I didn’t like about Jesus.

  • Grace

    5 Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?

    6 But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats?

    7 Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called?

    8 If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well: James 2

    There is nothing sinful about being rich, what is sin? – ignoring those in need. The rich man, ignored Lazarus, his sores, and lack of food – allowing him to have the crumbs from his plate. How can one love the LORD and ignore those who are hungry and ill? Yes, I understand those who could help themselves, spending their money foolishly, .. and yes, they should be made to pay their own way, IF THEY CAN. There are so many who have little food as we see today in our country, those without enough money to eat, they have, or may lose their homes – not always because they spent their money on things they could not afford.

    Lazarus knew why he was in that horrible place, that’s why he begged that someone should go to his brothers. When Jesus revealed this story He used a name, Lazarus, that is the only time He mentions a name. I believe, along with many others that this was a true story. Jesus wanted to instill upon those who would listen, the REAL danger, of turning ones back on the LORD.

    The LORD, speaks of the next world just as naturally as He speaks of this life. There are three who spoke with authority regarding the other side of death – Jesus Christ – John who was given the Revelation and Paul who was caught up to the third heaven.
    2 Corinthians 12:2

  • Grace

    5 Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?

    6 But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats?

    7 Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called?

    8 If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well: James 2

    There is nothing sinful about being rich, what is sin? – ignoring those in need. The rich man, ignored Lazarus, his sores, and lack of food – allowing him to have the crumbs from his plate. How can one love the LORD and ignore those who are hungry and ill? Yes, I understand those who could help themselves, spending their money foolishly, .. and yes, they should be made to pay their own way, IF THEY CAN. There are so many who have little food as we see today in our country, those without enough money to eat, they have, or may lose their homes – not always because they spent their money on things they could not afford.

    Lazarus knew why he was in that horrible place, that’s why he begged that someone should go to his brothers. When Jesus revealed this story He used a name, Lazarus, that is the only time He mentions a name. I believe, along with many others that this was a true story. Jesus wanted to instill upon those who would listen, the REAL danger, of turning ones back on the LORD.

    The LORD, speaks of the next world just as naturally as He speaks of this life. There are three who spoke with authority regarding the other side of death – Jesus Christ – John who was given the Revelation and Paul who was caught up to the third heaven.
    2 Corinthians 12:2

  • Grace

    I have studied the story of Lazarus with great interest many times. Reading the posts here, has been sad in many ways. It has made me search my heart.

    We watched as an older couple, began to sell the contents of their home, just weeks ago. My husband walked down and talked to the husband, as he told him – - his wife went to Florida to be with their children, while he stayed behind to finish the move. The odd part was, they were selling things no one wanted, just junk. After he packed his car, and left…… his next door neighbor told my husband he had lost a very large industrial building, his business and now his home. This man was frugal, he has a good education (Brown Unuiversity) how did all this happen? – the economy. The husband was able to obtain a position in Florida near their children. How many other stories are there just like this one, within our communities that we have no idea of, or the pain they suffer.

    In the future we intend to find out more when we see something like this happening. It’s painful looking back at this situation, we could have done something to make it easier. This is happening all over America.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Porcell
    At times you show a particularly spectacular adeptness at missing the point of what someone has written.
    Quite frankly when I read the parable I tend to see myself in Divers rather than Lazarus. The wealth of this country is obscene and you don’t have to be Bill Gates to enjoy it. our lower middle class knows wealth the likes of which has rarely been enjoyed in this world.
    As for railing against the rich? That was not what I was getting at or even trying to do. I was railing against you if anything. I happen to have a couple wealthy members in my congregation, and am thankful for them as I am for all my members who contribute to the work of the congregation in many different ways. I know that the poor are sometimes more prone to worshiping mammon than the rich. In fact their criticisms of the rich often betrays an envy that is as much a spiritual danger as any. And rich people often support the preaching of the Gospel in places where it might not occur other wise. Paul, as opposed to James, has the tendency of praising rich Christians for supporting his ministry, something I have found to be appropriately mimicked.
    However, YOU, in YOUR post, betray a self righteousness that is hardly in keeping with the gospel, trying to justify it in how you spend your money, and despising the poor. You have no idea why the poor are poor. Christ says there will always be poor among us. And in many respects poor is relative. A lot of money in one area of the world is almost nothing in another. Growing up in Botswana many of the people thought my family was poor, even as we lived in what I considered even at the time to be bewildering luxury, because we had no cows. Go figure, yet there was a maid making my bed because my parents felt obligated to hire her, pay her twice the going rate, and had very little with which to keep her occupied.
    But you seem to have a need to justify yourself, and that is the problem that Jesus is addressing in this parable more than anything else. When you seek to justify yourself, the law becomes your enemy, and you end up hating your neighbor rather than loving him. Even as you use him to climb the next rung in your self-righteous ladder. Either by putting him down or buying him lunch. You don’t have to justify yourself you know. you can try but you just dig a bigger hole for yourself.

  • Grace

    I have studied the story of Lazarus with great interest many times. Reading the posts here, has been sad in many ways. It has made me search my heart.

    We watched as an older couple, began to sell the contents of their home, just weeks ago. My husband walked down and talked to the husband, as he told him – - his wife went to Florida to be with their children, while he stayed behind to finish the move. The odd part was, they were selling things no one wanted, just junk. After he packed his car, and left…… his next door neighbor told my husband he had lost a very large industrial building, his business and now his home. This man was frugal, he has a good education (Brown Unuiversity) how did all this happen? – the economy. The husband was able to obtain a position in Florida near their children. How many other stories are there just like this one, within our communities that we have no idea of, or the pain they suffer.

    In the future we intend to find out more when we see something like this happening. It’s painful looking back at this situation, we could have done something to make it easier. This is happening all over America.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Porcell
    At times you show a particularly spectacular adeptness at missing the point of what someone has written.
    Quite frankly when I read the parable I tend to see myself in Divers rather than Lazarus. The wealth of this country is obscene and you don’t have to be Bill Gates to enjoy it. our lower middle class knows wealth the likes of which has rarely been enjoyed in this world.
    As for railing against the rich? That was not what I was getting at or even trying to do. I was railing against you if anything. I happen to have a couple wealthy members in my congregation, and am thankful for them as I am for all my members who contribute to the work of the congregation in many different ways. I know that the poor are sometimes more prone to worshiping mammon than the rich. In fact their criticisms of the rich often betrays an envy that is as much a spiritual danger as any. And rich people often support the preaching of the Gospel in places where it might not occur other wise. Paul, as opposed to James, has the tendency of praising rich Christians for supporting his ministry, something I have found to be appropriately mimicked.
    However, YOU, in YOUR post, betray a self righteousness that is hardly in keeping with the gospel, trying to justify it in how you spend your money, and despising the poor. You have no idea why the poor are poor. Christ says there will always be poor among us. And in many respects poor is relative. A lot of money in one area of the world is almost nothing in another. Growing up in Botswana many of the people thought my family was poor, even as we lived in what I considered even at the time to be bewildering luxury, because we had no cows. Go figure, yet there was a maid making my bed because my parents felt obligated to hire her, pay her twice the going rate, and had very little with which to keep her occupied.
    But you seem to have a need to justify yourself, and that is the problem that Jesus is addressing in this parable more than anything else. When you seek to justify yourself, the law becomes your enemy, and you end up hating your neighbor rather than loving him. Even as you use him to climb the next rung in your self-righteous ladder. Either by putting him down or buying him lunch. You don’t have to justify yourself you know. you can try but you just dig a bigger hole for yourself.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    “There is nothing sinful about being rich, what is sin? – ignoring those in need. The rich man, ignored Lazarus, his sores, and lack of food – allowing him to have the crumbs from his plate. How can one love the LORD and ignore those who are hungry and ill? Yes, I understand those who could help themselves, spending their money foolishly, .. and yes, they should be made to pay their own way, IF THEY CAN. There are so many who have little food as we see today in our country, those without enough money to eat, they have, or may lose their homes – not always because they spent their money on things they could not afford. ”
    But it is o.k. to ignore those in need when they speak Spanish and don’t have a green card, right? And then we can blame them for crime when we have made it next to impossible for them to find honest employment?

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    “There is nothing sinful about being rich, what is sin? – ignoring those in need. The rich man, ignored Lazarus, his sores, and lack of food – allowing him to have the crumbs from his plate. How can one love the LORD and ignore those who are hungry and ill? Yes, I understand those who could help themselves, spending their money foolishly, .. and yes, they should be made to pay their own way, IF THEY CAN. There are so many who have little food as we see today in our country, those without enough money to eat, they have, or may lose their homes – not always because they spent their money on things they could not afford. ”
    But it is o.k. to ignore those in need when they speak Spanish and don’t have a green card, right? And then we can blame them for crime when we have made it next to impossible for them to find honest employment?

  • Grace

    “But it is o.k. to ignore those in need when they speak Spanish and don’t have a green card, right? And then we can blame them for crime when we have made it next to impossible for them to find honest employment?”

    Two different subjects –

    Breaking the law does not justify anyone. Jesus didn’t tell anyone to break the laws of the land –

  • Grace

    “But it is o.k. to ignore those in need when they speak Spanish and don’t have a green card, right? And then we can blame them for crime when we have made it next to impossible for them to find honest employment?”

    Two different subjects –

    Breaking the law does not justify anyone. Jesus didn’t tell anyone to break the laws of the land –

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace @ 24,
    I suspected as much, thanks for your clarification.
    We should only have compassion on the poor when they are legitimate citizens of the United States.

    Grace,
    Seriously, do you ever stop to think that maybe the way the rich oppress the poor is by passing stupid laws that makes it illegal for them to work, and therefore easier targets for oppression?
    I’m not arguing that breaking the law justifies anyone. I’m just trying to find someone who is justified by the law, that is who actually keeps it perfectly. And I don’t even need to appeal to God’s perfect and holy law. Just the laws of the United States is enough. No anyone who have kept them? I suppose part of the problem is there really are too many to remember, even the cops have to look them up after the arrest you.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace @ 24,
    I suspected as much, thanks for your clarification.
    We should only have compassion on the poor when they are legitimate citizens of the United States.

    Grace,
    Seriously, do you ever stop to think that maybe the way the rich oppress the poor is by passing stupid laws that makes it illegal for them to work, and therefore easier targets for oppression?
    I’m not arguing that breaking the law justifies anyone. I’m just trying to find someone who is justified by the law, that is who actually keeps it perfectly. And I don’t even need to appeal to God’s perfect and holy law. Just the laws of the United States is enough. No anyone who have kept them? I suppose part of the problem is there really are too many to remember, even the cops have to look them up after the arrest you.

  • Grace

    _ “Seriously, do you ever stop to think that maybe the way the rich oppress the poor is by passing stupid laws that makes it illegal for them to work, and therefore easier targets for oppression?” _ _

    Laws that protect this country are not “stupid” as you call it – I know more about the illegal situation than you do, I’ve had to observe it since I was a teen – I was born here, in this country, southern CA. After reading some of your posts on another thread, it becomes crystal clear you haven’t a clue. Giving amnesty in the past hasn’t worked, it’s just made the problem worse. Your argument …… ad hominem!

    Soppy sentimental ideas, will not repair the problem of illegal aliens.

    Lying, cheating, stealing, drugs and gangs, do not make for a good fit, as a future citizen of the U.S. Millions of people would love to come to this country, but instead they wait their turn. I suppose that if YOU don’t have to foot the bill, then you are OK with those of us who will be made to pay through taxes whether we want to or not. I don’t want to hire anyone who has been an illegal alien, but the sob sisters, like you, want to give them a free pass, SO THEN when there is a position available they have just as much right as an individual who was always legal.

    _ _ “I’m not arguing that breaking the law justifies anyone.” _ _

    Then don’t suggest that we pay for those who steal, lie, cheat to become citizens, they clearly break the law. There is no passage of Scripture that supports your position.

    You certainly have tried, and to some extent succeeded in derailing this discussion.

  • Grace

    _ “Seriously, do you ever stop to think that maybe the way the rich oppress the poor is by passing stupid laws that makes it illegal for them to work, and therefore easier targets for oppression?” _ _

    Laws that protect this country are not “stupid” as you call it – I know more about the illegal situation than you do, I’ve had to observe it since I was a teen – I was born here, in this country, southern CA. After reading some of your posts on another thread, it becomes crystal clear you haven’t a clue. Giving amnesty in the past hasn’t worked, it’s just made the problem worse. Your argument …… ad hominem!

    Soppy sentimental ideas, will not repair the problem of illegal aliens.

    Lying, cheating, stealing, drugs and gangs, do not make for a good fit, as a future citizen of the U.S. Millions of people would love to come to this country, but instead they wait their turn. I suppose that if YOU don’t have to foot the bill, then you are OK with those of us who will be made to pay through taxes whether we want to or not. I don’t want to hire anyone who has been an illegal alien, but the sob sisters, like you, want to give them a free pass, SO THEN when there is a position available they have just as much right as an individual who was always legal.

    _ _ “I’m not arguing that breaking the law justifies anyone.” _ _

    Then don’t suggest that we pay for those who steal, lie, cheat to become citizens, they clearly break the law. There is no passage of Scripture that supports your position.

    You certainly have tried, and to some extent succeeded in derailing this discussion.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    I’m sorry Grace, but would you please clarify to me what part of my argument is ad hominem, and how so?

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    I’m sorry Grace, but would you please clarify to me what part of my argument is ad hominem, and how so?

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    As for ad hominem attacks: you are absolutely right, I can no nothing about the illegal immigration problem because I was not born in your country, So. Cal.
    The current immigration laws, by the way, do nothing to protect the united States. And if you could step back for a moment you might see that they are at the root of the all the problems now associated with illegal immigration. Like the prohibition they cause the problem they are supposedly there to put an end to.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    As for ad hominem attacks: you are absolutely right, I can no nothing about the illegal immigration problem because I was not born in your country, So. Cal.
    The current immigration laws, by the way, do nothing to protect the united States. And if you could step back for a moment you might see that they are at the root of the all the problems now associated with illegal immigration. Like the prohibition they cause the problem they are supposedly there to put an end to.

  • Grace

    _ “I’m sorry Grace, but would you please clarify to me what part of my argument is ad hominem, and how so?” _

    No…… I’m not going to go any further with the discussion of “illegal aliens” – I believe you know very well what I meant and need no further clarification.

  • Grace

    _ “I’m sorry Grace, but would you please clarify to me what part of my argument is ad hominem, and how so?” _

    No…… I’m not going to go any further with the discussion of “illegal aliens” – I believe you know very well what I meant and need no further clarification.

  • ignorant fishermman

    Wow, what happened to the rich man and Lazarus?

    I would like to recommend a great teaching on this parable:

    http://www.kfuo.org/LG.htm
    Law & Gospel Monday, September 20
    KFUO Host: Rev. Tom Baker
    Program MP3
    Open Lines: Pastor Baker discusses
    theological distinctions between Law & Gospel.

    Lazarus s means “he who God helps” also, this is the only parable that Jesus NAMED a person

  • ignorant fishermman

    Wow, what happened to the rich man and Lazarus?

    I would like to recommend a great teaching on this parable:

    http://www.kfuo.org/LG.htm
    Law & Gospel Monday, September 20
    KFUO Host: Rev. Tom Baker
    Program MP3
    Open Lines: Pastor Baker discusses
    theological distinctions between Law & Gospel.

    Lazarus s means “he who God helps” also, this is the only parable that Jesus NAMED a person

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    When I followed Erickson’s link, I started reading and thinking about the sores. I know that sounds gross, but it made me think of how sometimes we avoid the obviously sick people we see. The description makes him extremely unappealing, like the kind of guy that you just can’t look at. When I consider my own sinfulness, it seems like I would be exactly so disgusting to God who sees me as revolting like a guy covered with sores. So, when I see people that cause me to kind of back off or turn away, it is sort of like looking in the mirror. Their condition is just on the outside. Also, it seems the natural reaction is to be like that rich man and just ignore because him because he is so nasty, like almost hoping Lazarus would go away so he would not have to look at him. It reminds me of how we sometimes hope someone else will do charity because the poor repel or overwhelm us. Like their needs are so profound, we can’t engage. So, I can see myself in both of the characters: the lucky one who can look away and keep going for now, as well as the disgusting one. I sort of get stuck there like a deer in the headlights because the image is so emotionally engaging. Anyway, for the rest I tend to understand it as Erickson posted on his blog. What I really found interesting was how quickly my 7th grade son picked up on verse 31, and told me that it was foreshadowing and explained how he had seen that in other places.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    When I followed Erickson’s link, I started reading and thinking about the sores. I know that sounds gross, but it made me think of how sometimes we avoid the obviously sick people we see. The description makes him extremely unappealing, like the kind of guy that you just can’t look at. When I consider my own sinfulness, it seems like I would be exactly so disgusting to God who sees me as revolting like a guy covered with sores. So, when I see people that cause me to kind of back off or turn away, it is sort of like looking in the mirror. Their condition is just on the outside. Also, it seems the natural reaction is to be like that rich man and just ignore because him because he is so nasty, like almost hoping Lazarus would go away so he would not have to look at him. It reminds me of how we sometimes hope someone else will do charity because the poor repel or overwhelm us. Like their needs are so profound, we can’t engage. So, I can see myself in both of the characters: the lucky one who can look away and keep going for now, as well as the disgusting one. I sort of get stuck there like a deer in the headlights because the image is so emotionally engaging. Anyway, for the rest I tend to understand it as Erickson posted on his blog. What I really found interesting was how quickly my 7th grade son picked up on verse 31, and told me that it was foreshadowing and explained how he had seen that in other places.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    No Grace, I don’t know what you meant. I’m tempted to think you don’t know what ad hominem is.
    As I understand it, it is an effort to dismiss a persons argument based on who they are despite the logical merits of their arguments. It can also be the use of belittling language when addressing someone in argument.
    I have not tried to dismiss your argument. I’m feeding it back to you. There your words chew on them, because I am in full agreement with you. We should not despise the poor or oppress them. We should help them in what ways we can. I just think that one of those ways might be reexamining our immigration laws, and seeing if they help or exacerbate the problem. It isn’t two different issues, as a great many of the poor in our country especially the ones being oppressed, are here illegally. They are still people for whom Christ died and rose from the dead.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    No Grace, I don’t know what you meant. I’m tempted to think you don’t know what ad hominem is.
    As I understand it, it is an effort to dismiss a persons argument based on who they are despite the logical merits of their arguments. It can also be the use of belittling language when addressing someone in argument.
    I have not tried to dismiss your argument. I’m feeding it back to you. There your words chew on them, because I am in full agreement with you. We should not despise the poor or oppress them. We should help them in what ways we can. I just think that one of those ways might be reexamining our immigration laws, and seeing if they help or exacerbate the problem. It isn’t two different issues, as a great many of the poor in our country especially the ones being oppressed, are here illegally. They are still people for whom Christ died and rose from the dead.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    That is, they are your words, chew on them.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    That is, they are your words, chew on them.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    sg @ 31

    what a lovely and profound post. You have set a noble bar for self reflection and repentance.

    to all…

    It has been suggested to me that the story of lazarus is actually not a parable. This is because the lead is “there was a man named Lazarus.”

    I would be interested to hear what Bror makes of this.

    Grace @29

    I read your comments carefully always here. I am very glad you are here and contributing to the discussions. May I say something that I hope you will not see as anything at all negative about what you say or thing please?

    Better… let me make it about me to avoid you taking anything I say as something negative aimed at your person okay? I have made my fair share of mistakes in my life. In various and sundry ways I do not consider myself to be a good person or good example. I have broken alot of laws. speed laws, litter laws, open container laws… there are probably alot of others I cant think of just now. Alot of my problems… no MOST of my problems are indeed ones I have created for my own self through irresponsibility and bad choices I have made….

    Let´s say that one day you should find me in a gutter somewhere or maybe even doing something I should not be doing. And I have not had a decent meal in a week at the same time. …… would I need to fix what is wrong with me before you would feel right about helping me by providing me with some daily bread? If I was in prison because I had murdered a family member of yours and was unrepentant for that, would it be a bad thing for you to maybe respond such hatefulness on my part by maybe recklessly showing me some compassion and writing to me or just demostrating some random act of forgiveness? I really believe that in that case you dear Grace would be FULL of love and forgiveness. You would find away to forgive that person in prison. you would! And I fully believe that you would go beyond merely mouthing those words by actually doing compassion. I am pretty sure I am not wrong about you here.

    So you can maybe find that same compassion for undocumented immigrants who are here because, yes they did something really wrong, and maybe even reckless and stupid and broke the law so they could work, sleep under a bridge, and send most of their money home to mom , grandma, and their kids… and yes you are right. there are others who engage in crime etc etc. I get that. I really do.

    … and there are many who are here alone, afraid, hungry. Stuck. What would you do if someone like that was placed in your path? call immigration? Or could you picture that person as your own son or daughter who had perhaps made a bad choice and was in a strange land and in true need . would you want others to apply some “tough love” to your loved ones so far from home, or what my dear sister Grace? Offer to buy them a one way ticket home maybe? what would be the right thing to do? turn away from them?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    sg @ 31

    what a lovely and profound post. You have set a noble bar for self reflection and repentance.

    to all…

    It has been suggested to me that the story of lazarus is actually not a parable. This is because the lead is “there was a man named Lazarus.”

    I would be interested to hear what Bror makes of this.

    Grace @29

    I read your comments carefully always here. I am very glad you are here and contributing to the discussions. May I say something that I hope you will not see as anything at all negative about what you say or thing please?

    Better… let me make it about me to avoid you taking anything I say as something negative aimed at your person okay? I have made my fair share of mistakes in my life. In various and sundry ways I do not consider myself to be a good person or good example. I have broken alot of laws. speed laws, litter laws, open container laws… there are probably alot of others I cant think of just now. Alot of my problems… no MOST of my problems are indeed ones I have created for my own self through irresponsibility and bad choices I have made….

    Let´s say that one day you should find me in a gutter somewhere or maybe even doing something I should not be doing. And I have not had a decent meal in a week at the same time. …… would I need to fix what is wrong with me before you would feel right about helping me by providing me with some daily bread? If I was in prison because I had murdered a family member of yours and was unrepentant for that, would it be a bad thing for you to maybe respond such hatefulness on my part by maybe recklessly showing me some compassion and writing to me or just demostrating some random act of forgiveness? I really believe that in that case you dear Grace would be FULL of love and forgiveness. You would find away to forgive that person in prison. you would! And I fully believe that you would go beyond merely mouthing those words by actually doing compassion. I am pretty sure I am not wrong about you here.

    So you can maybe find that same compassion for undocumented immigrants who are here because, yes they did something really wrong, and maybe even reckless and stupid and broke the law so they could work, sleep under a bridge, and send most of their money home to mom , grandma, and their kids… and yes you are right. there are others who engage in crime etc etc. I get that. I really do.

    … and there are many who are here alone, afraid, hungry. Stuck. What would you do if someone like that was placed in your path? call immigration? Or could you picture that person as your own son or daughter who had perhaps made a bad choice and was in a strange land and in true need . would you want others to apply some “tough love” to your loved ones so far from home, or what my dear sister Grace? Offer to buy them a one way ticket home maybe? what would be the right thing to do? turn away from them?

  • Grace

    fws – 34

    – - “Let´s say that one day you should find me in a gutter somewhere or maybe even doing something I should not be doing. And I have not had a decent meal in a week at the same time. …… would I need to fix what is wrong with me before you would feel right about helping me by providing me with some daily bread?” – -

    I would make sure you had food to eat, and directed you to an appropriate shelter.

    – - “If I was in prison because I had murdered a family member of yours and was unrepentant for that, would it be a bad thing for you to maybe respond such hatefulness on my part by maybe recklessly showing me some compassion and writing to me or just demostrating some random act of forgiveness?” – -

    Unrepentant hate, would result in my not writing. Those who choose to do such violent crimes and feel no remorse, suffer the consequences for their behavior. This is one area that I have first hand experience, it happened within my family. The individual killed a total of three people…… a mother, father, a daughter and left a son disabled in a wheel chair for life. Hate is a dangerous substance within the human soul, if it germinates it grows to evils that cannot be imagined within the mind. The key here is “unrepentant” – with lots of excuses/reasons, none of which are viable.

    - – “I really believe that in that case you dear Grace would be FULL of love and forgiveness. You would find away to forgive that person in prison. you would! And I fully believe that you would go beyond merely mouthing those words by actually doing compassion. I am pretty sure I am not wrong about you here.” – -

    “Forgiveness” is not the problem, I forgive, but that doesn’t mean there will be fellowship of any kind. Compassion doesn’t equate to interaction, with someone who uses excuses, etc., to excuse their hateful crime. Remember fws, only GOD can forgive sins, I cannot – I can forgive the person who chooses to to do harm, but that does not mean they have gone to the LORD Jesus Christ to ask forgiveness, which is the only way they will be forgiven, receiving Eternal Life.

    – - “So you can maybe find that same compassion for undocumented immigrants” – -

    “Compassion” isn’t the problem, lying, cheating, stealing, drugs, gangs, I have no compassion in these areas. You are wasting your time and mine – this subject was discussed not that long ago. I’m sure you can find it on this blog, read it and save time.

  • Grace

    fws – 34

    – - “Let´s say that one day you should find me in a gutter somewhere or maybe even doing something I should not be doing. And I have not had a decent meal in a week at the same time. …… would I need to fix what is wrong with me before you would feel right about helping me by providing me with some daily bread?” – -

    I would make sure you had food to eat, and directed you to an appropriate shelter.

    – - “If I was in prison because I had murdered a family member of yours and was unrepentant for that, would it be a bad thing for you to maybe respond such hatefulness on my part by maybe recklessly showing me some compassion and writing to me or just demostrating some random act of forgiveness?” – -

    Unrepentant hate, would result in my not writing. Those who choose to do such violent crimes and feel no remorse, suffer the consequences for their behavior. This is one area that I have first hand experience, it happened within my family. The individual killed a total of three people…… a mother, father, a daughter and left a son disabled in a wheel chair for life. Hate is a dangerous substance within the human soul, if it germinates it grows to evils that cannot be imagined within the mind. The key here is “unrepentant” – with lots of excuses/reasons, none of which are viable.

    - – “I really believe that in that case you dear Grace would be FULL of love and forgiveness. You would find away to forgive that person in prison. you would! And I fully believe that you would go beyond merely mouthing those words by actually doing compassion. I am pretty sure I am not wrong about you here.” – -

    “Forgiveness” is not the problem, I forgive, but that doesn’t mean there will be fellowship of any kind. Compassion doesn’t equate to interaction, with someone who uses excuses, etc., to excuse their hateful crime. Remember fws, only GOD can forgive sins, I cannot – I can forgive the person who chooses to to do harm, but that does not mean they have gone to the LORD Jesus Christ to ask forgiveness, which is the only way they will be forgiven, receiving Eternal Life.

    – - “So you can maybe find that same compassion for undocumented immigrants” – -

    “Compassion” isn’t the problem, lying, cheating, stealing, drugs, gangs, I have no compassion in these areas. You are wasting your time and mine – this subject was discussed not that long ago. I’m sure you can find it on this blog, read it and save time.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    When evangelicals say “only God can forgive sins” do they know that they are. quoting Pharisees over and against Christ? That one always puzzles me. Is the twentieth chapter of John missing from their Bibles?

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    When evangelicals say “only God can forgive sins” do they know that they are. quoting Pharisees over and against Christ? That one always puzzles me. Is the twentieth chapter of John missing from their Bibles?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    bror @36

    “Unrepentant hate, would result in my not writing. Those who choose to do such violent crimes and feel no remorse, suffer the consequences for their behavior. ”

    See? She is just modeling the behavior of her god Bror.

    I don´t think sister Grace´s point is that only God can forgive. It is really, if I understand her correctly that he does not forgive…. until we repent which must be evidenced by walking the walk and not just talking the talk. We need to start doing what is right, and our repentance must be sincere and the right kind and in sufficient quantity. We need to do our part you see Bror. Only then can God forgive us. Not until. Not before.

    Feel free to correct me dear sister Grace if my reading of your posts over time has not enabled me to correctly repeat what your theology says, in my own words.

    Now. I am also guessing something from all this… Is Grace certain that she is saved? No. She hopes she is. On what basis would she, or could she, be certain?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    bror @36

    “Unrepentant hate, would result in my not writing. Those who choose to do such violent crimes and feel no remorse, suffer the consequences for their behavior. ”

    See? She is just modeling the behavior of her god Bror.

    I don´t think sister Grace´s point is that only God can forgive. It is really, if I understand her correctly that he does not forgive…. until we repent which must be evidenced by walking the walk and not just talking the talk. We need to start doing what is right, and our repentance must be sincere and the right kind and in sufficient quantity. We need to do our part you see Bror. Only then can God forgive us. Not until. Not before.

    Feel free to correct me dear sister Grace if my reading of your posts over time has not enabled me to correctly repeat what your theology says, in my own words.

    Now. I am also guessing something from all this… Is Grace certain that she is saved? No. She hopes she is. On what basis would she, or could she, be certain?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    grace @35

    By the way dear Grace, I need to say that I am truly sorry for your loss and the pain you and your family had to have suffered at such an ugly and evil crime. I cannot begin to imagine what that all must have been like. I am so sorry.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    grace @35

    By the way dear Grace, I need to say that I am truly sorry for your loss and the pain you and your family had to have suffered at such an ugly and evil crime. I cannot begin to imagine what that all must have been like. I am so sorry.

  • Grace
    If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
    1 John 1:9

  • Grace
    If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
    1 John 1:9

  • Grace

    But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house.
    Matthew 9:6

  • Grace

    But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house.
    Matthew 9:6

  • Grace

    Jesus Christ spoke the words above in Matthew 9:6 – He had/has the power to forgive sins.

  • Grace

    Jesus Christ spoke the words above in Matthew 9:6 – He had/has the power to forgive sins.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace,
    Hate is a dangerous substance in the soul and it manifests itself in many different ways. Its only cure is forgiveness. This cure, though, will kill you, but then that is what is needed. We can always find excuses not to have compassion, not to forgive, it is our old adam holding on to sin.
    It isn’t the states job to forgive. I don’t argue that. As a citizen we have every right and a duty to demand justice. One might question if a certain law serves justice though. But as christians who have been forgiven, who believe in forgiveness, given before we ever knew to repent, forgiveness that allows us to finally repent and be free of our sins, we really cannot but forgive. To not forgive would be a denial of the forgiveness we have in Christ. And I have found that forgiving those who have wronged me even before they repent, has the effect of killing hate in me. It isn’t easy, but it is better.
    I don’t know what you are getting at with the first john quote. I know that verse very well. I recite it every sunday and then some. But I don’t know what you are getting at with it.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace,
    Hate is a dangerous substance in the soul and it manifests itself in many different ways. Its only cure is forgiveness. This cure, though, will kill you, but then that is what is needed. We can always find excuses not to have compassion, not to forgive, it is our old adam holding on to sin.
    It isn’t the states job to forgive. I don’t argue that. As a citizen we have every right and a duty to demand justice. One might question if a certain law serves justice though. But as christians who have been forgiven, who believe in forgiveness, given before we ever knew to repent, forgiveness that allows us to finally repent and be free of our sins, we really cannot but forgive. To not forgive would be a denial of the forgiveness we have in Christ. And I have found that forgiving those who have wronged me even before they repent, has the effect of killing hate in me. It isn’t easy, but it is better.
    I don’t know what you are getting at with the first john quote. I know that verse very well. I recite it every sunday and then some. But I don’t know what you are getting at with it.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace,
    Now you are just being funny. No one here debates whther jesus could or can forgive sins. Our question is does he not extend that authority to others in John 20, and elsewhere?
    There is also a second question as to how christ goes about forgiving sins today, lutherans answer baptism, confession absoplutiong, the lord’s supper and mutal consolation of the saints, How do you answer?

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace,
    Now you are just being funny. No one here debates whther jesus could or can forgive sins. Our question is does he not extend that authority to others in John 20, and elsewhere?
    There is also a second question as to how christ goes about forgiving sins today, lutherans answer baptism, confession absoplutiong, the lord’s supper and mutal consolation of the saints, How do you answer?

  • ptl

    Porcell….in the name of Christian (not necessarily of the Lutheran variety) charity, hope you’ll ignore most of these rather “poor” and “dead” comments directed against you…..and forgive them, for they know not what they do :(

  • ptl

    Porcell….in the name of Christian (not necessarily of the Lutheran variety) charity, hope you’ll ignore most of these rather “poor” and “dead” comments directed against you…..and forgive them, for they know not what they do :(

  • Grace

    Bror – 43

    We have had these discussions before, I don’t agree with all Lutheran doctrine, you know this.

    Only the LORD can forgive sins. Jesus is the mediator between man and God the Father, no one else.

    – – “Our question is does he not extend that authority to others in John 20, and elsewhere?” – -

    Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained. John 20:23

    This passage of Scripture is often misunderstood.

    Nowhere in the book of Acts or in the Epistles do we find any instance of an apostle remitting the sins of anyone.

    What is it that forgives sins? Even God cannot just arbitrarily forgive sins. Forgiveness of sins is only and alone, through the blood of Jesus Christ. In the OT, the forgiveness of sins was based upon the fact that Christ would come and die. God saved “on credit” in the OT, until Christ would come and pay the penalty. Today God forgives our sins when we believe that Christ died for them.

    We have gone over other parts of Lutheran doctrine, of which I don’t agree. It does not good to continue to go over it time and again.

  • Grace

    Bror – 43

    We have had these discussions before, I don’t agree with all Lutheran doctrine, you know this.

    Only the LORD can forgive sins. Jesus is the mediator between man and God the Father, no one else.

    – – “Our question is does he not extend that authority to others in John 20, and elsewhere?” – -

    Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained. John 20:23

    This passage of Scripture is often misunderstood.

    Nowhere in the book of Acts or in the Epistles do we find any instance of an apostle remitting the sins of anyone.

    What is it that forgives sins? Even God cannot just arbitrarily forgive sins. Forgiveness of sins is only and alone, through the blood of Jesus Christ. In the OT, the forgiveness of sins was based upon the fact that Christ would come and die. God saved “on credit” in the OT, until Christ would come and pay the penalty. Today God forgives our sins when we believe that Christ died for them.

    We have gone over other parts of Lutheran doctrine, of which I don’t agree. It does not good to continue to go over it time and again.

  • Grace

    ptl – 41

    I appreciate the kind words extended to Porcell, he doesn’t deserve the criticism of those on this blog. So many in positions to help others, have given unselfishly to make life better in many ways, only known to the giver and the LORD, that is how it should be. Others can scoff, but it’s to their shame.

  • Grace

    ptl – 41

    I appreciate the kind words extended to Porcell, he doesn’t deserve the criticism of those on this blog. So many in positions to help others, have given unselfishly to make life better in many ways, only known to the giver and the LORD, that is how it should be. Others can scoff, but it’s to their shame.

  • Kelly

    Like 2 Cor. 2:10? Or in the OT, 2 Samuel 12:13 or Isaiah 6:7? I guess confession/absolution, like historic Christian teaching on the Lord’s Supper, gets mistaken as “having an extra mediator or savior” instead of what it is: a person, with the God-given authority to do so, pronouncing the forgiveness of sins to you personally. No one believes that we are saved apart from the blood of Christ. We disagree in how that blood is communicated to us today.

  • Kelly

    Like 2 Cor. 2:10? Or in the OT, 2 Samuel 12:13 or Isaiah 6:7? I guess confession/absolution, like historic Christian teaching on the Lord’s Supper, gets mistaken as “having an extra mediator or savior” instead of what it is: a person, with the God-given authority to do so, pronouncing the forgiveness of sins to you personally. No one believes that we are saved apart from the blood of Christ. We disagree in how that blood is communicated to us today.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Kelly @47

    wow Kelly, pray that I gain your clarity in brevity! I hope that you contribute here much more often. Please!

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Kelly @47

    wow Kelly, pray that I gain your clarity in brevity! I hope that you contribute here much more often. Please!

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Grace , Ptl & Porcell

    I enjoy interacting with all of you here. You make me think things through.

    I do think your words are misplaced. A faithful pastor like Bror is required by his vocation and the solemn vows he took at his ordination to speak the truth clearly . He also is required to speak that truth in love.

    Call him on it (amd me too!) if you see a lack of love. That would be a kindness. But could you please do so more specifically? It is hard for anyone to repent of something they have done to hurt or harm someone if the accusation is not very specific right? And it is perhaps not fair or helpful to anyone, not even your own selves might I suggest?

    What do you feel it is supposed to look like for two christian brothers or sisters to argue and disagree and still manifest the love that God requires and demands of us always without exception or excuse? This I hope you will agree, is what we all agree on, and that we all fall short on, and that we should , in love, encourage and demonstrate as example to one another yes?

    I think this loving disagreement happens more here than on any other blog I have passed through. Give me one example of another blog that exercises this disagreement in love better. Thanks!

    And alot of credit for this atmosphere here goes to our dear host Dr Vieth yes?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Grace , Ptl & Porcell

    I enjoy interacting with all of you here. You make me think things through.

    I do think your words are misplaced. A faithful pastor like Bror is required by his vocation and the solemn vows he took at his ordination to speak the truth clearly . He also is required to speak that truth in love.

    Call him on it (amd me too!) if you see a lack of love. That would be a kindness. But could you please do so more specifically? It is hard for anyone to repent of something they have done to hurt or harm someone if the accusation is not very specific right? And it is perhaps not fair or helpful to anyone, not even your own selves might I suggest?

    What do you feel it is supposed to look like for two christian brothers or sisters to argue and disagree and still manifest the love that God requires and demands of us always without exception or excuse? This I hope you will agree, is what we all agree on, and that we all fall short on, and that we should , in love, encourage and demonstrate as example to one another yes?

    I think this loving disagreement happens more here than on any other blog I have passed through. Give me one example of another blog that exercises this disagreement in love better. Thanks!

    And alot of credit for this atmosphere here goes to our dear host Dr Vieth yes?

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace,
    Apart from Kelly’s astute answer.
    Listen. I’m not asking you to go over “Lutheran” doctrine, I am challenging you with the Bible, which you seem quite adept at ignoring even as you praise it.
    So could you possibly give me another interpretation of John 20:23 in which Jesus has not just instructed the disciples that they are to retain and remit sins? If I am misinterpreting it I would like to know what the correct interpretation is. I do not like to be instructed to ignore it, because it doesn’t fit with your interpretation of other scriptures. Maybe there is an interpretation of all the pertinent scriptures that does not knock one to the side?
    I also wonder, how many times does God have to say something for it to be true?
    And why would it not be good to discuss the Bible? If I am in error I welcome you to show me. But believe me, you are going to have to SHOW me, not just say it and then quit discussion, that isn’t even civil behavior among non-Christians.
    Christians welcome discussion of the Bible, and opportunity to be corrected and reproved. So please, instruct me on the proper interpretation of John 20:23 in which Jesus has not done instructed the disciples that they now have the authority to forgive sins. And then perhaps we can move on to Matthew 18.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace,
    Apart from Kelly’s astute answer.
    Listen. I’m not asking you to go over “Lutheran” doctrine, I am challenging you with the Bible, which you seem quite adept at ignoring even as you praise it.
    So could you possibly give me another interpretation of John 20:23 in which Jesus has not just instructed the disciples that they are to retain and remit sins? If I am misinterpreting it I would like to know what the correct interpretation is. I do not like to be instructed to ignore it, because it doesn’t fit with your interpretation of other scriptures. Maybe there is an interpretation of all the pertinent scriptures that does not knock one to the side?
    I also wonder, how many times does God have to say something for it to be true?
    And why would it not be good to discuss the Bible? If I am in error I welcome you to show me. But believe me, you are going to have to SHOW me, not just say it and then quit discussion, that isn’t even civil behavior among non-Christians.
    Christians welcome discussion of the Bible, and opportunity to be corrected and reproved. So please, instruct me on the proper interpretation of John 20:23 in which Jesus has not done instructed the disciples that they now have the authority to forgive sins. And then perhaps we can move on to Matthew 18.

  • Grace

    Kelly – 47

    “I guess confession/absolution, like historic Christian teaching on the Lord’s Supper, gets mistaken as “having an extra mediator or savior” instead of what it is: a person, with the God-given authority to do so, pronouncing the forgiveness of sins to you personally. ”

    The Roman Catholic Church believes the same way, however, no man can give absolution. The Bible is clear, it is Jesus, He is the ONE!

    For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
    1 Timothy 2:5

    If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness 1 John 1:9

  • Grace

    Kelly – 47

    “I guess confession/absolution, like historic Christian teaching on the Lord’s Supper, gets mistaken as “having an extra mediator or savior” instead of what it is: a person, with the God-given authority to do so, pronouncing the forgiveness of sins to you personally. ”

    The Roman Catholic Church believes the same way, however, no man can give absolution. The Bible is clear, it is Jesus, He is the ONE!

    For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
    1 Timothy 2:5

    If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness 1 John 1:9

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace (@51), come on, you’re not addressing the discussion. That the “Roman Catholic Church believes” something hardly proves it’s wrong. They also believe that Jesus is God, yes?

    No one here is questioning if Jesus is the “one mediator between God and men” — he is. Nor is anyone in any way gainsaying 1 John 1:9. Those are good verses that teach the truth. But they are not the only verses in the Bible.

    And what others have been trying for some time now is to get you to read those other verses to see what Jesus himself taught about the forgiveness that comes from God. How is it to be announced? By whom? In what way?

    One cannot answer these questions fully without reading, among other passages, John 20:

    Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.

    Now, compare that passage to what Jesus says to Peter in Matthew 16:

    I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.

    And then repeats to the disciples in Matthew 18:

    I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.

    Jesus himself is telling us — telling you — something in these verses, Grace. What is it? Do you know? He’s equating something that you can do to other people here on earth to something that happens in heaven. He’s giving you an ability. Read those verses above. And yes, by all means, read the verses you quoted as well. Read them all. And ask yourself: how do they all fit together?

    As for now, you do not show any understanding of the verses quoted above. You understand some things from the Bible, but not all. That means you’re missing something, Grace.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace (@51), come on, you’re not addressing the discussion. That the “Roman Catholic Church believes” something hardly proves it’s wrong. They also believe that Jesus is God, yes?

    No one here is questioning if Jesus is the “one mediator between God and men” — he is. Nor is anyone in any way gainsaying 1 John 1:9. Those are good verses that teach the truth. But they are not the only verses in the Bible.

    And what others have been trying for some time now is to get you to read those other verses to see what Jesus himself taught about the forgiveness that comes from God. How is it to be announced? By whom? In what way?

    One cannot answer these questions fully without reading, among other passages, John 20:

    Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.

    Now, compare that passage to what Jesus says to Peter in Matthew 16:

    I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.

    And then repeats to the disciples in Matthew 18:

    I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.

    Jesus himself is telling us — telling you — something in these verses, Grace. What is it? Do you know? He’s equating something that you can do to other people here on earth to something that happens in heaven. He’s giving you an ability. Read those verses above. And yes, by all means, read the verses you quoted as well. Read them all. And ask yourself: how do they all fit together?

    As for now, you do not show any understanding of the verses quoted above. You understand some things from the Bible, but not all. That means you’re missing something, Grace.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    To second tODD,
    Would you please Grace, tell us what you make of John 20 and Matthew 18 and tell us why you see fit to ignore these verses?

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    To second tODD,
    Would you please Grace, tell us what you make of John 20 and Matthew 18 and tell us why you see fit to ignore these verses?

  • Grace

    Read post 45 again – that is my answer.

    Nowhere in the book of Acts or in the Epistles do we find any instance of an apostle remitting the sins of anyone.

  • Grace

    Read post 45 again – that is my answer.

    Nowhere in the book of Acts or in the Epistles do we find any instance of an apostle remitting the sins of anyone.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace,
    Just a thought here. But the book of Acts, and the Epistles are hardly exhaustive biographies of every pastoral act that the disciples carried out. Most of the Apostles disappear in Acts without hardly a mention.
    So to say that there is no account of them doing this, even if it was true, hardly negates what Jesus says in John 20, and Matthew 18.
    However, Peter does equate Baptism with the forgiveness of sins in Acts chapter 2:38 ff. so at least there in the act of baptizing he was forgiven the sins of many. and that isn’t even to mention the Practice of Paul as illustrated in 2corinthins @:10 to which Kelly already directed you. I know you hate to look up Bible passages and deem it a waste of time so I’ll post it for you.
    Anyone whom you forgive, I also forgive. What I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for your sake in the presence of Christ, (2 Cor. 2:10 (ESV)
    Now perhaps you could tell us what Christ was saying in John 20:23. And by that I mean in evangelical language, exposit on it, without trying to dismiss it by quoting other verses. You have not told us what you think Jesus was doing there. You have tried to move the topic off this verse. I presume here because you are not yet sure what to do with it. If he did not mean that the disciples should forgive sins then what did he mean?

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace,
    Just a thought here. But the book of Acts, and the Epistles are hardly exhaustive biographies of every pastoral act that the disciples carried out. Most of the Apostles disappear in Acts without hardly a mention.
    So to say that there is no account of them doing this, even if it was true, hardly negates what Jesus says in John 20, and Matthew 18.
    However, Peter does equate Baptism with the forgiveness of sins in Acts chapter 2:38 ff. so at least there in the act of baptizing he was forgiven the sins of many. and that isn’t even to mention the Practice of Paul as illustrated in 2corinthins @:10 to which Kelly already directed you. I know you hate to look up Bible passages and deem it a waste of time so I’ll post it for you.
    Anyone whom you forgive, I also forgive. What I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for your sake in the presence of Christ, (2 Cor. 2:10 (ESV)
    Now perhaps you could tell us what Christ was saying in John 20:23. And by that I mean in evangelical language, exposit on it, without trying to dismiss it by quoting other verses. You have not told us what you think Jesus was doing there. You have tried to move the topic off this verse. I presume here because you are not yet sure what to do with it. If he did not mean that the disciples should forgive sins then what did he mean?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    John 20Grace (@54), you do realize that at no point have you explained what Jesus means in John 20:23. Nowhere. All you’ve done is argue from a lack of evidence elsewhere in Scripture — which, as anyone can tell you, is not evidence of a lack. It also completely dodges the question of what that passage of Scripture (but not only that passage of Scripture) means.

    John 20:23. Read it. And then tell us what it means. Do not bother replying with what it doesn’t mean, or what other passages of Scripture do not say. That is not, and never has been, the question.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    John 20Grace (@54), you do realize that at no point have you explained what Jesus means in John 20:23. Nowhere. All you’ve done is argue from a lack of evidence elsewhere in Scripture — which, as anyone can tell you, is not evidence of a lack. It also completely dodges the question of what that passage of Scripture (but not only that passage of Scripture) means.

    John 20:23. Read it. And then tell us what it means. Do not bother replying with what it doesn’t mean, or what other passages of Scripture do not say. That is not, and never has been, the question.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Whoops, an extra “John 20″ slipped in there at the beginning. Sorry.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Whoops, an extra “John 20″ slipped in there at the beginning. Sorry.

  • Grace

    The Word of God does not state, that anyone needs to obtain absolution for their sins from a pastor or priest. The Bible states something very different:

    For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
    1 Timothy 2:5

    If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness
    1 John 1:9

  • Grace

    The Word of God does not state, that anyone needs to obtain absolution for their sins from a pastor or priest. The Bible states something very different:

    For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
    1 Timothy 2:5

    If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness
    1 John 1:9

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace (@58), it’s clear now that you simply refuse to explain what Jesus means in John 20:23. You’ve been asked repeatedly. I gave you very detailed guidelines for how to answer, and you went and ignored them completely, giving the exact same answer as you did before.

    I can only assume that you are incapable of explaining that passage. That you simply don’t know what it means. Or maybe even are afraid of what it might mean. But one thing is clear: you refuse to consider what it means. At least here.

    But even if you refuse to answer our simple, if repeated, questions on that passage, I hope you will read John 20, several times, and ponder that section of Scripture — do not ignore it. Because Jesus, your Lord, is talking to you. He is telling you something, Grace. And that is something you have not understood. Do not shut out God’s truth, Grace.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace (@58), it’s clear now that you simply refuse to explain what Jesus means in John 20:23. You’ve been asked repeatedly. I gave you very detailed guidelines for how to answer, and you went and ignored them completely, giving the exact same answer as you did before.

    I can only assume that you are incapable of explaining that passage. That you simply don’t know what it means. Or maybe even are afraid of what it might mean. But one thing is clear: you refuse to consider what it means. At least here.

    But even if you refuse to answer our simple, if repeated, questions on that passage, I hope you will read John 20, several times, and ponder that section of Scripture — do not ignore it. Because Jesus, your Lord, is talking to you. He is telling you something, Grace. And that is something you have not understood. Do not shut out God’s truth, Grace.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace,
    For Lutherans this isn’t so much about NEED, as it about the blessing of being able to. So could you please tell us what “the Bible” is saying in John 20:23? We do not care to know what it is not saying anymore. You have sufficiently answered that question many times without our asking. Could you now tell us what John 20:23 IS saying? Because it seems to me that it is saying that at a minimum, the disciples can forgive sins, but you are saying they can’t and that this is not what the verse is saying, so I am trying to figure out if it is not saying this, than what is it saying?

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace,
    For Lutherans this isn’t so much about NEED, as it about the blessing of being able to. So could you please tell us what “the Bible” is saying in John 20:23? We do not care to know what it is not saying anymore. You have sufficiently answered that question many times without our asking. Could you now tell us what John 20:23 IS saying? Because it seems to me that it is saying that at a minimum, the disciples can forgive sins, but you are saying they can’t and that this is not what the verse is saying, so I am trying to figure out if it is not saying this, than what is it saying?

  • Grace

    Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.
    John 20:23

    After this, Christ directed the apostles to declare the only method by which sin would be forgiven. This power did not exist at all in the apostles as a power to give judgment, but only as a power to declare the character of those whom God would accept or reject in the day of judgment. They have clearly laid down the marks whereby a child of God may be discerned and be distinguished from a false professor; and according to what they have declared shall every case be decided in the day of judgment. When we assemble in Christ’s name, especially on his holy day, he will meet with us, and speak peace to us. Matthew Henry

    This passage has nothing to do with people coming to a pastor/elder/priest to receive absolution from sin. Anyone who wants forgiveness can go straight to the LORD and ask to to be forgiven. IF the pastor is preaching the Gospel, he will make clear what is sin and what isn’t. Anyone can go to the pastor and request clarification on any given sin, HOWEVER, there is no reason to confuse this passage by saying the pastor can thus give absolution. The power is from Christ. No one knows the HEART of any man, only the LORD knows the heart, only He gives forgiveness.

    There is no reason to believe that any pastor/priest can delete, add to, the Word of God, they were never given that power. Nor does the Bible command those who are Believers to seek the absolution of pastor or priest.

  • Grace

    Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.
    John 20:23

    After this, Christ directed the apostles to declare the only method by which sin would be forgiven. This power did not exist at all in the apostles as a power to give judgment, but only as a power to declare the character of those whom God would accept or reject in the day of judgment. They have clearly laid down the marks whereby a child of God may be discerned and be distinguished from a false professor; and according to what they have declared shall every case be decided in the day of judgment. When we assemble in Christ’s name, especially on his holy day, he will meet with us, and speak peace to us. Matthew Henry

    This passage has nothing to do with people coming to a pastor/elder/priest to receive absolution from sin. Anyone who wants forgiveness can go straight to the LORD and ask to to be forgiven. IF the pastor is preaching the Gospel, he will make clear what is sin and what isn’t. Anyone can go to the pastor and request clarification on any given sin, HOWEVER, there is no reason to confuse this passage by saying the pastor can thus give absolution. The power is from Christ. No one knows the HEART of any man, only the LORD knows the heart, only He gives forgiveness.

    There is no reason to believe that any pastor/priest can delete, add to, the Word of God, they were never given that power. Nor does the Bible command those who are Believers to seek the absolution of pastor or priest.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace,
    Thank you for answering our question. You like Matthew Henry don’t you?
    I’m tempted to say here you are following the teachings of men. I see nothing in Jesus instruction here that would indicate this was a mere matter of the disciples being able to discern a persons character. In fact Matthew Henry, here seems to be saying the exact opposite of what the plain words of scripture are saying.
    This is one reason I have grown weary of commentaries. I have found commentaries do one of two things, they say what is painfully obvious from the text, and those tend to be the better ones, or they say something the exact opposite of what the text says because the text does not fit with their preconceived notions of what is and is not possible, and if the text were allowed to stand it would destroy their carefully constructed theology.
    he does say that if they forgive sins they are forgiven in heave does he not?
    What scripture does Matthew Henry use to temper the language of this passage such as to make it say the opposite of what it is saying?
    He tells peter and the rest of the apostles in Matthew 18 that he is going to give them the authority to do, just what he says they now have the authority to do in John 20.
    I’m not arguing to know the heart of anyone. I am not arguing that one HAS TO do anything. I am arguing that here Jesus gives authority to the Disciples to do a very wonderful thing, pronounce absolution in the ears of a terrified soul, who can pray and pray and may never hear the words he needs to hear, may never know if they have repented enough.
    And then there are other sad times when a pastor has to tell a person based on their unrepentance that their sin is not forgiven, and those are heavy matters. Yet we see the apostles do that with Simon Magus. Just as we see them forgiving in 2 cor.
    But again thanks for attempting some explanation of the passage, I find it wanting.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace,
    Thank you for answering our question. You like Matthew Henry don’t you?
    I’m tempted to say here you are following the teachings of men. I see nothing in Jesus instruction here that would indicate this was a mere matter of the disciples being able to discern a persons character. In fact Matthew Henry, here seems to be saying the exact opposite of what the plain words of scripture are saying.
    This is one reason I have grown weary of commentaries. I have found commentaries do one of two things, they say what is painfully obvious from the text, and those tend to be the better ones, or they say something the exact opposite of what the text says because the text does not fit with their preconceived notions of what is and is not possible, and if the text were allowed to stand it would destroy their carefully constructed theology.
    he does say that if they forgive sins they are forgiven in heave does he not?
    What scripture does Matthew Henry use to temper the language of this passage such as to make it say the opposite of what it is saying?
    He tells peter and the rest of the apostles in Matthew 18 that he is going to give them the authority to do, just what he says they now have the authority to do in John 20.
    I’m not arguing to know the heart of anyone. I am not arguing that one HAS TO do anything. I am arguing that here Jesus gives authority to the Disciples to do a very wonderful thing, pronounce absolution in the ears of a terrified soul, who can pray and pray and may never hear the words he needs to hear, may never know if they have repented enough.
    And then there are other sad times when a pastor has to tell a person based on their unrepentance that their sin is not forgiven, and those are heavy matters. Yet we see the apostles do that with Simon Magus. Just as we see them forgiving in 2 cor.
    But again thanks for attempting some explanation of the passage, I find it wanting.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    of course I do nt have to look into a persons heart to forgive them. that is not a prerequisite given in John 20:23, or Matthew 18. But if I was to be able to discern their “character” I would have to look into their hearts. That said I know what I would find there. Jesus is clear on that, Murder, Adultery, Theft…..

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    of course I do nt have to look into a persons heart to forgive them. that is not a prerequisite given in John 20:23, or Matthew 18. But if I was to be able to discern their “character” I would have to look into their hearts. That said I know what I would find there. Jesus is clear on that, Murder, Adultery, Theft…..

  • Grace

    Bror – “I’m tempted to say here you are following the teachings of men.”

    You follow Martin Luther lock step. He was just a man, a man who believed he could sin 1000 times a day – fornication and murder – who do you think you’re fooling?

  • Grace

    Bror – “I’m tempted to say here you are following the teachings of men.”

    You follow Martin Luther lock step. He was just a man, a man who believed he could sin 1000 times a day – fornication and murder – who do you think you’re fooling?

  • Grace

    Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? 2 Corinthians 13:5

    NOTICE: “Examine yourselves” - they aren’t asked to seek the pastor/elder to receive absolution of their sins.

    What do we do when we have sinned?

    For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
    1 Timothy 2:5

    If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness 1 John 1:9

  • Grace

    Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? 2 Corinthians 13:5

    NOTICE: “Examine yourselves” - they aren’t asked to seek the pastor/elder to receive absolution of their sins.

    What do we do when we have sinned?

    For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
    1 Timothy 2:5

    If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness 1 John 1:9

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace (@61), I have to admit I am puzzled why you ever criticized Lutherans (among others) for “identifying with men who preached and wrote books 1500 years after Christ’s death and resurrection”, given that this is now the fifth time you’ve quoted the man. Of course, his books were written 1700 years after Christ’s death. :)

    Why, exactly, should we listen to Matthew Henry over and against the words of our Lord? We know that “Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light,” and that “his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness.” And what were Satan’s first words in the Bible? “Did God really say …?”

    So when our Lord Jesus tells His disciples “If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven,” but Matthew Henry and Grace say “that’s not what God meant!”, I must side with Jesus on the matter. (There is, of course, also the matter of Matthew 18, as Bror and I have noted.)

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace (@61), I have to admit I am puzzled why you ever criticized Lutherans (among others) for “identifying with men who preached and wrote books 1500 years after Christ’s death and resurrection”, given that this is now the fifth time you’ve quoted the man. Of course, his books were written 1700 years after Christ’s death. :)

    Why, exactly, should we listen to Matthew Henry over and against the words of our Lord? We know that “Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light,” and that “his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness.” And what were Satan’s first words in the Bible? “Did God really say …?”

    So when our Lord Jesus tells His disciples “If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven,” but Matthew Henry and Grace say “that’s not what God meant!”, I must side with Jesus on the matter. (There is, of course, also the matter of Matthew 18, as Bror and I have noted.)

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Sorry, that should read (@66), “this is now the fifth time you’ve quoted Matthew Henry.”

    “You follow Martin Luther lock step” (@64). Now now, Grace. The best construction I can put on that comment is that you are surprisingly forgetful! Bror has made it clear that he does not — nor does any Lutheran church body — follow Luther “lock-step”. You risk sounding dishonest if you insist on such things!

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Sorry, that should read (@66), “this is now the fifth time you’ve quoted Matthew Henry.”

    “You follow Martin Luther lock step” (@64). Now now, Grace. The best construction I can put on that comment is that you are surprisingly forgetful! Bror has made it clear that he does not — nor does any Lutheran church body — follow Luther “lock-step”. You risk sounding dishonest if you insist on such things!

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace, whether I follow Luther “lock step” is really immaterial here. It is an ad hominem attack in any case. But I’ll assure you I have found plenty reason to disagree with Luther. I follow him only in those areas where I find his scripture arguments to be sound. And would do the same for Matthew Henry. But in this I find his statements to be unconvincing. I will mote, I have not quoted Luther near as much as you have Matthew Henry. I’m not sure if I have quoted Luther at all.
    In any case I am not here concerned with passages wher people are instructed to examine themselves. I do that myself, even as I forgive their sins. I am here concerned with what jeuse instructs his disciples to do in John 20, which is not incompatable with what the people of Corinth are instructed to do in 2 Cor. 2:13, nor does it in anyway stand in the way between jesus being the one mediator. Could you pleas answer my questions now?

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace, whether I follow Luther “lock step” is really immaterial here. It is an ad hominem attack in any case. But I’ll assure you I have found plenty reason to disagree with Luther. I follow him only in those areas where I find his scripture arguments to be sound. And would do the same for Matthew Henry. But in this I find his statements to be unconvincing. I will mote, I have not quoted Luther near as much as you have Matthew Henry. I’m not sure if I have quoted Luther at all.
    In any case I am not here concerned with passages wher people are instructed to examine themselves. I do that myself, even as I forgive their sins. I am here concerned with what jeuse instructs his disciples to do in John 20, which is not incompatable with what the people of Corinth are instructed to do in 2 Cor. 2:13, nor does it in anyway stand in the way between jesus being the one mediator. Could you pleas answer my questions now?

  • Grace

    todd –

    As long as the Lutheran Church quotes Martin Luther, makes mention of all his writing, etc., etc., etc – and calls themselves Lutheran, it all adds up to Martin Luther.

    You and others can deny your allegiance to Martin Luther, however your walk doesn’t match the talk, or in this case the posts you make.

    Luther could not attend the Diet of Worms, instead he was forced to live at the Castle Coburg, during the event. However, Martin Luther’s friend and co-worker, Philip Melanchthon represented him. Philip Melanchthon wrote the Augsburg Confession as most of you know, BUT, he was in communication with Luther every day by letter.

    Each individual who signed the “confession” believed the what Martin Luther preached – After the Confession was read, princes and officials signed it…… they were on the side of Martin Luther an outlaw/heretic.

    When anyone follows the Augsburg Confession they are following Martin Luther, even though Melanchthon wrote it.

  • Grace

    todd –

    As long as the Lutheran Church quotes Martin Luther, makes mention of all his writing, etc., etc., etc – and calls themselves Lutheran, it all adds up to Martin Luther.

    You and others can deny your allegiance to Martin Luther, however your walk doesn’t match the talk, or in this case the posts you make.

    Luther could not attend the Diet of Worms, instead he was forced to live at the Castle Coburg, during the event. However, Martin Luther’s friend and co-worker, Philip Melanchthon represented him. Philip Melanchthon wrote the Augsburg Confession as most of you know, BUT, he was in communication with Luther every day by letter.

    Each individual who signed the “confession” believed the what Martin Luther preached – After the Confession was read, princes and officials signed it…… they were on the side of Martin Luther an outlaw/heretic.

    When anyone follows the Augsburg Confession they are following Martin Luther, even though Melanchthon wrote it.

  • Grace

    POST 69 is for Bror as well -

  • Grace

    POST 69 is for Bror as well -

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace, luther was at the diet of worms it wasa where he put forward most forcefully the scripture alone principle, and denied that any one should follow him where he had erred. Lutherans take him seriously ther. As for the augsburg confession, show me where any thing in there is unbiblical. And would you rather have had those men bow to the pope? Those were the options.
    Now can you show me how what matt hen said is at all consistent with John 20? Where does John 20 talk about judging character?

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace, luther was at the diet of worms it wasa where he put forward most forcefully the scripture alone principle, and denied that any one should follow him where he had erred. Lutherans take him seriously ther. As for the augsburg confession, show me where any thing in there is unbiblical. And would you rather have had those men bow to the pope? Those were the options.
    Now can you show me how what matt hen said is at all consistent with John 20? Where does John 20 talk about judging character?

  • Grace

    Bror – I’ve answered your questions – give it a rest!

  • Grace

    Bror – I’ve answered your questions – give it a rest!

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    grace @ 72

    aw. c´mon gracie. be a good sport. answer that one last question . pleease?

    “Now can you show me how what matt hen said is at all consistent with John 20? Where does John 20 talk about judging character?”

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    grace @ 72

    aw. c´mon gracie. be a good sport. answer that one last question . pleease?

    “Now can you show me how what matt hen said is at all consistent with John 20? Where does John 20 talk about judging character?”

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace, ditto what frank said.
    I’m really not sure why you think you have answered the questions. What you have done is tried to deflect the conversation to things that have nothing t do with the questions I have asked. When I challenge you as to the whether or not Matthew Henry has really done the scripture passage in question justice with his commentary, and is not therefore the teaching of a man, not in alignment with scripture. You go off on a tirade accusing me of things I have repeatedly shown to be untrue. That is called slander Grace, it is a breaking of the eighth commandment. And then you want the conversation to stop there? What are you in seventh grade?
    I would like you to show me what in the confessio augastana is unBiblical. I would also like you to show me how what Matt Hen has said is at all consistent with John 20:23, and where Jesus is instructing the disciples in character judgment? You have not answered those questions. Can you? Or are you just spouting off in ignorance? Accusing others of that for which you are guilty? Don’t accuse me of things you can’t back up.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace, ditto what frank said.
    I’m really not sure why you think you have answered the questions. What you have done is tried to deflect the conversation to things that have nothing t do with the questions I have asked. When I challenge you as to the whether or not Matthew Henry has really done the scripture passage in question justice with his commentary, and is not therefore the teaching of a man, not in alignment with scripture. You go off on a tirade accusing me of things I have repeatedly shown to be untrue. That is called slander Grace, it is a breaking of the eighth commandment. And then you want the conversation to stop there? What are you in seventh grade?
    I would like you to show me what in the confessio augastana is unBiblical. I would also like you to show me how what Matt Hen has said is at all consistent with John 20:23, and where Jesus is instructing the disciples in character judgment? You have not answered those questions. Can you? Or are you just spouting off in ignorance? Accusing others of that for which you are guilty? Don’t accuse me of things you can’t back up.

  • ptl

    Bror and FWS…..am not nearly as up to speed on my Lutheran doctrine or that of other denominations, but isn’t it true that a “big” problem other reformed churches (such as Baptist) have with us, is this forgiveness of sins thing? If so, then don’t you think that the Reformed apologists have answered just about every possible kind of objection possible? You know where to find them if you need them, why harass a gentle soul like Grace? You might be thinking you may enlighten her, but this blog may not be the most appropriate venue…in the meantime, try some grace and some prayer :)

  • ptl

    Bror and FWS…..am not nearly as up to speed on my Lutheran doctrine or that of other denominations, but isn’t it true that a “big” problem other reformed churches (such as Baptist) have with us, is this forgiveness of sins thing? If so, then don’t you think that the Reformed apologists have answered just about every possible kind of objection possible? You know where to find them if you need them, why harass a gentle soul like Grace? You might be thinking you may enlighten her, but this blog may not be the most appropriate venue…in the meantime, try some grace and some prayer :)

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    PTl
    Plenty of prayer has been happening. But we aren’t harassing any body. We are pressing Grace to back up her accusations, and stand her ground or back off.
    I’ve dropped the subject a few times. She keeps coming back with her self-righteous indignation. And it would not be christian to let her leave with it.
    And no the reformed have not answered every possible objection. Grace is doing as good a job as any, and you see what that has done for her.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    PTl
    Plenty of prayer has been happening. But we aren’t harassing any body. We are pressing Grace to back up her accusations, and stand her ground or back off.
    I’ve dropped the subject a few times. She keeps coming back with her self-righteous indignation. And it would not be christian to let her leave with it.
    And no the reformed have not answered every possible objection. Grace is doing as good a job as any, and you see what that has done for her.

  • Grace

    Bror – 74 – “What are you in seventh grade??

    No – are you? – I have answered your questions, but you don’t like the answers. NO where does it state in the Word of God anyone should seek absolution from an elder/pastor or priest….. where is your proof that this practice should exist? Yes, I know the Roman Catholic Church believes strongly in this, but why do you?

    I don’t believe for one moment that one needs to seek absolution from a pastor or priest. Since YOU DO, who do YOU go to for ABSOLUTION?

  • Grace

    Bror – 74 – “What are you in seventh grade??

    No – are you? – I have answered your questions, but you don’t like the answers. NO where does it state in the Word of God anyone should seek absolution from an elder/pastor or priest….. where is your proof that this practice should exist? Yes, I know the Roman Catholic Church believes strongly in this, but why do you?

    I don’t believe for one moment that one needs to seek absolution from a pastor or priest. Since YOU DO, who do YOU go to for ABSOLUTION?

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace,
    Do you read? Who hear is arguing anyone needs to do anything?
    This is about one CAN do. But I do have another pastor I go to, when I think it migjt be nce to hear “your sins are forgiven.”
    Now could you answer my questions?

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace,
    Do you read? Who hear is arguing anyone needs to do anything?
    This is about one CAN do. But I do have another pastor I go to, when I think it migjt be nce to hear “your sins are forgiven.”
    Now could you answer my questions?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    “As long as the Lutheran Church quotes Martin Luther, makes mention of all his writing, etc., etc., etc – and calls themselves Lutheran, it all adds up to Martin Luther,” Grace said (@69), shortly after having quoted Matthew Henry for the fifth time. Now, ask yourself, Grace: how many times has anyone invoked a Martin Luther quote in this thread? If anyone is beholden to the ideas of men, it is probably the person who could not answer what John 20:23 means until she quoted the words of another man. Meanwhile, the Lutherans here have merely been quoting Scripture, and begging you to keep your attention on the same. Your accusation rings surprisingly hollow.

    That said, I do think that we Lutherans have been (slightly) remiss in our focus here. Though Bror has made clear allusions to what this passage actually teaches (while you continue to dodge the same), he hasn’t been as perfectly blunt as he could be … indeed, as he apparently needs to be.

    I get the impression that you feel we’re defending some Catholic understanding of confession and absolution (cf. “The Roman Catholic Church believes the same way” @51). Let me be clear: we are not. This is why Bror said (@60), “For Lutherans this isn’t so much about NEED, as it about the blessing of being able to.” And again (@62), “I am not arguing that one HAS TO do anything. I am arguing that here Jesus gives authority to the Disciples to do a very wonderful thing, pronounce absolution in the ears of a terrified soul, who can pray and pray and may never hear the words he needs to hear, may never know if they have repented enough.”

    If I may, an example from my life. My wife was raised Southern Baptist. Your thoughts sound very familiar to her, Grace. She knew what it meant, week after week, to hear that one needs to be truly repentant to be forgiven. That one needs to sincerely pray to God to be forgiven. She was pointed to Christ, and Christ alone, yes, but she knew what it meant for her own doubt to get between her and Christ’s forgiveness. She wondered, week after week, if she had truly believed enough, if she had prayed sincerely enough, if she had borne enough fruit. She, too, bristled when she first heard the pastor at my Lutheran church announcing to her, in no uncertain terms, that her sins were forgiven.

    But she doesn’t bristle anymore. Because she, unlike you, understands John 20:23. In fact, it has become something of a custom in our house when someone apologizes to another person (usually for being grumpy or self-centered, the pet sin of our household), for the other person to say, “I forgive you.” And — and here’s the important part — for that person to add, “And God forgives you.” Because he does. And he gives me the authority to say so. And by announcing to my wife that God forgives her, all sorts of good and God-pleasing things take place.

    For my wife, she cannot suspect that God is still angry with her. She cannot feel the continued pangs of guilt. She knows her sin is forgiven, she cannot feel guilty anymore. She also knows that, since God has forgiven her, I certainly have no grounds on which to hold a grudge against her. God has forgiven her; who can accuse her? And, in reminding her of God’s forgiveness, I remind myself. I, too, am reminded that there is nothing to hold against my wife. The slate is wiped clean. Our relationship starts anew. Nobody owes anybody anything, except the continued “debt” to love — and love freely!

    Quite frankly, I have to doubt if this true grasp of forgiveness, of being free from guilt — not by looking at one’s own filthy, “righteous” rags, but by hearing the actual, forgiving words of Christ, as spoken by his authorization, literally resonate in your ears — is something you’ve understood. You can, but it would appear you don’t.

    This isn’t about having to go to confession to receive absolution only from a priest. This is about truly understanding that you are forgiven because Christ paid for all your sins. Lutherans understand that in a way, frankly, that you do not. Of course, one can understand by only reading Scripture that one’s sins are forgiven — this is where we read about our forgiveness and, what’s more, read Jesus granting us the authority to announce to others in a very real sense that their sins are forgiven. But I am almost certain, Grace, that you know what it means to doubt what God tells you in his word, to ask if you’ve repented enough, been sincere enough, borne enough fruits. At such a time, it is such a pleasure, such a relief to hear a person speaking by the authority of Christ to tell you that, truly, your sins are forgiven. Again, this is an experience you lack and do not understand.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    “As long as the Lutheran Church quotes Martin Luther, makes mention of all his writing, etc., etc., etc – and calls themselves Lutheran, it all adds up to Martin Luther,” Grace said (@69), shortly after having quoted Matthew Henry for the fifth time. Now, ask yourself, Grace: how many times has anyone invoked a Martin Luther quote in this thread? If anyone is beholden to the ideas of men, it is probably the person who could not answer what John 20:23 means until she quoted the words of another man. Meanwhile, the Lutherans here have merely been quoting Scripture, and begging you to keep your attention on the same. Your accusation rings surprisingly hollow.

    That said, I do think that we Lutherans have been (slightly) remiss in our focus here. Though Bror has made clear allusions to what this passage actually teaches (while you continue to dodge the same), he hasn’t been as perfectly blunt as he could be … indeed, as he apparently needs to be.

    I get the impression that you feel we’re defending some Catholic understanding of confession and absolution (cf. “The Roman Catholic Church believes the same way” @51). Let me be clear: we are not. This is why Bror said (@60), “For Lutherans this isn’t so much about NEED, as it about the blessing of being able to.” And again (@62), “I am not arguing that one HAS TO do anything. I am arguing that here Jesus gives authority to the Disciples to do a very wonderful thing, pronounce absolution in the ears of a terrified soul, who can pray and pray and may never hear the words he needs to hear, may never know if they have repented enough.”

    If I may, an example from my life. My wife was raised Southern Baptist. Your thoughts sound very familiar to her, Grace. She knew what it meant, week after week, to hear that one needs to be truly repentant to be forgiven. That one needs to sincerely pray to God to be forgiven. She was pointed to Christ, and Christ alone, yes, but she knew what it meant for her own doubt to get between her and Christ’s forgiveness. She wondered, week after week, if she had truly believed enough, if she had prayed sincerely enough, if she had borne enough fruit. She, too, bristled when she first heard the pastor at my Lutheran church announcing to her, in no uncertain terms, that her sins were forgiven.

    But she doesn’t bristle anymore. Because she, unlike you, understands John 20:23. In fact, it has become something of a custom in our house when someone apologizes to another person (usually for being grumpy or self-centered, the pet sin of our household), for the other person to say, “I forgive you.” And — and here’s the important part — for that person to add, “And God forgives you.” Because he does. And he gives me the authority to say so. And by announcing to my wife that God forgives her, all sorts of good and God-pleasing things take place.

    For my wife, she cannot suspect that God is still angry with her. She cannot feel the continued pangs of guilt. She knows her sin is forgiven, she cannot feel guilty anymore. She also knows that, since God has forgiven her, I certainly have no grounds on which to hold a grudge against her. God has forgiven her; who can accuse her? And, in reminding her of God’s forgiveness, I remind myself. I, too, am reminded that there is nothing to hold against my wife. The slate is wiped clean. Our relationship starts anew. Nobody owes anybody anything, except the continued “debt” to love — and love freely!

    Quite frankly, I have to doubt if this true grasp of forgiveness, of being free from guilt — not by looking at one’s own filthy, “righteous” rags, but by hearing the actual, forgiving words of Christ, as spoken by his authorization, literally resonate in your ears — is something you’ve understood. You can, but it would appear you don’t.

    This isn’t about having to go to confession to receive absolution only from a priest. This is about truly understanding that you are forgiven because Christ paid for all your sins. Lutherans understand that in a way, frankly, that you do not. Of course, one can understand by only reading Scripture that one’s sins are forgiven — this is where we read about our forgiveness and, what’s more, read Jesus granting us the authority to announce to others in a very real sense that their sins are forgiven. But I am almost certain, Grace, that you know what it means to doubt what God tells you in his word, to ask if you’ve repented enough, been sincere enough, borne enough fruits. At such a time, it is such a pleasure, such a relief to hear a person speaking by the authority of Christ to tell you that, truly, your sins are forgiven. Again, this is an experience you lack and do not understand.

  • Grace

    Bror – 76 “We are pressing Grace to back up her accusations, and stand her ground or back off.”

    I have backed up my beliefs, and I’m standing ground!

    Lutheran small Catechism

    What is Confession?
    “Confession has two parts. First, that we confess our sins, and second, that we receive absolution, that is, forgiveness, from the pastor as from God Himself, not doubting, but firmly believing that by it our sins are forgiven before God in heaven.”

    This is no different than the Roman Catholic Church,…. and the Pope of Rome.

    For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
    1 Timothy 2:5

    If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness 1 John 1:9

  • Grace

    Bror – 76 “We are pressing Grace to back up her accusations, and stand her ground or back off.”

    I have backed up my beliefs, and I’m standing ground!

    Lutheran small Catechism

    What is Confession?
    “Confession has two parts. First, that we confess our sins, and second, that we receive absolution, that is, forgiveness, from the pastor as from God Himself, not doubting, but firmly believing that by it our sins are forgiven before God in heaven.”

    This is no different than the Roman Catholic Church,…. and the Pope of Rome.

    For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
    1 Timothy 2:5

    If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness 1 John 1:9

  • Grace

    Bror – 78 – “But I do have another pastor I go to, when I think it migjt be nce to hear “your sins are forgiven.”
    Now could you answer my questions?”

    Isn’t God’s forgiveness enough? - do you not believe He and He alone can forgive you, why do you need a man to forgive you of your sins, when the LORD of heaven is available?

  • Grace

    Bror – 78 – “But I do have another pastor I go to, when I think it migjt be nce to hear “your sins are forgiven.”
    Now could you answer my questions?”

    Isn’t God’s forgiveness enough? - do you not believe He and He alone can forgive you, why do you need a man to forgive you of your sins, when the LORD of heaven is available?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace (@80), it is “different than the Roman Catholic Church”, though I’m far more qualified to discuss what Lutherans believe than what the Catholic understanding is. Which, frankly, is still better than your apparent grasp of the subject.

    Grace, I love 1 Timothy 2:5 and 1 John 1:9, but no matter how many times you quote them (you’re on, what, the fourth time now), John 20:23 is not going to disappear from Scripture. The question here isn’t “what do 1 Timothy 2:5 and 1 John 1:9 say?” but “what does Scripture teach about forgiveness?” Your answer does not incorporate John 20:23, non sequiturs from Matthew Henry notwithstanding, which means you aren’t answering what Scripture teaches in full.

    You are missing something. You are ignoring the clear teaching of your Lord and Savior because Matthew Henry told you to do so.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace (@80), it is “different than the Roman Catholic Church”, though I’m far more qualified to discuss what Lutherans believe than what the Catholic understanding is. Which, frankly, is still better than your apparent grasp of the subject.

    Grace, I love 1 Timothy 2:5 and 1 John 1:9, but no matter how many times you quote them (you’re on, what, the fourth time now), John 20:23 is not going to disappear from Scripture. The question here isn’t “what do 1 Timothy 2:5 and 1 John 1:9 say?” but “what does Scripture teach about forgiveness?” Your answer does not incorporate John 20:23, non sequiturs from Matthew Henry notwithstanding, which means you aren’t answering what Scripture teaches in full.

    You are missing something. You are ignoring the clear teaching of your Lord and Savior because Matthew Henry told you to do so.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace said (@82), “why do you need a man to forgive you of your sins, when the LORD of heaven is available?”

    Grace, you are ignoring the very words of that same LORD of Heaven! The same Jesus who died on the cross for the sins of the whole world spoke as clearly as possible to his disciples and said, “If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

    Until you understand what Christ meant by that, you have no ground to pretend to point us to Jesus alone. We are listening to Jesus, and him alone — not Matthew Henry.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace said (@82), “why do you need a man to forgive you of your sins, when the LORD of heaven is available?”

    Grace, you are ignoring the very words of that same LORD of Heaven! The same Jesus who died on the cross for the sins of the whole world spoke as clearly as possible to his disciples and said, “If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

    Until you understand what Christ meant by that, you have no ground to pretend to point us to Jesus alone. We are listening to Jesus, and him alone — not Matthew Henry.

  • Grace

    todd – 79 – “But I am almost certain, Grace, that you know what it means to doubt what God tells you in his word, to ask if you’ve repented enough, been sincere enough, borne enough fruits.”

    Well todd, you’re “doubt” is unfounde. I don’t doubt God, but I know that no man can forgive sins but the LORD. Your small Catechism, What is Confession? – believing you “receive absolution, that is, forgiveness, from the pastor as from God Himself ” – - is not Biblical, it is no different that the Pope of Rome, who does not speak for God. He does not have the power of God, nor does any man on this earth.

    “Confession has two parts. First, that we confess our sins, and second, that we receive absolution, that is, forgiveness, from the pastor as from God Himself, not doubting, but firmly believing that by it our sins are forgiven before God in heaven.”

    No where does the Word of God are we told to go to a pastor/priest for absolution of sin -

  • Grace

    todd – 79 – “But I am almost certain, Grace, that you know what it means to doubt what God tells you in his word, to ask if you’ve repented enough, been sincere enough, borne enough fruits.”

    Well todd, you’re “doubt” is unfounde. I don’t doubt God, but I know that no man can forgive sins but the LORD. Your small Catechism, What is Confession? – believing you “receive absolution, that is, forgiveness, from the pastor as from God Himself ” – - is not Biblical, it is no different that the Pope of Rome, who does not speak for God. He does not have the power of God, nor does any man on this earth.

    “Confession has two parts. First, that we confess our sins, and second, that we receive absolution, that is, forgiveness, from the pastor as from God Himself, not doubting, but firmly believing that by it our sins are forgiven before God in heaven.”

    No where does the Word of God are we told to go to a pastor/priest for absolution of sin -

  • Grace

    Todd – 83

    Read your Bible – the problem with those who rely on Roministic beliefs is….. it’s all about taking a passage and making it something it isn’t. The RCC has done it for years, and you follow.

    AGAIN, there is no place in Scripture that says we need to seek absolution from a pastor or priest. NOWHERE!

  • Grace

    Todd – 83

    Read your Bible – the problem with those who rely on Roministic beliefs is….. it’s all about taking a passage and making it something it isn’t. The RCC has done it for years, and you follow.

    AGAIN, there is no place in Scripture that says we need to seek absolution from a pastor or priest. NOWHERE!

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace said, “I don’t doubt God” (@84). But you do doubt him when he says, “If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

    And Grace, I’m sorry, but how … how could you possibly argue that that quote from the Small Catechism “is not Biblical”?! It comes from the very passage of the Bible we are discussing (and you are dismissing) here this evening: John 20:23!

    Do you know who has “the power of God”? The people to whom God has given it! And do you know where God does this? In Matthew 18 and John 20! And yet you continue to ignore these passages and tell us that what they teach is not in the Bible, all the while justifying this by pointing us away from the Bible to Matthew Henry or the Pope.

    Grace, read your Bible!

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace said, “I don’t doubt God” (@84). But you do doubt him when he says, “If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

    And Grace, I’m sorry, but how … how could you possibly argue that that quote from the Small Catechism “is not Biblical”?! It comes from the very passage of the Bible we are discussing (and you are dismissing) here this evening: John 20:23!

    Do you know who has “the power of God”? The people to whom God has given it! And do you know where God does this? In Matthew 18 and John 20! And yet you continue to ignore these passages and tell us that what they teach is not in the Bible, all the while justifying this by pointing us away from the Bible to Matthew Henry or the Pope.

    Grace, read your Bible!

  • Grace

    Todd – 86

    “Do you know who has “the power of God”? The people to whom God has given it! And do you know where God does this? In Matthew 18 and John 20! And yet you continue to ignore these passages and tell us that what they teach is not in the Bible, all the while justifying this by pointing us away from the Bible to Matthew Henry or the Pope.”

    The LORD Jesus Christ has the power to forgive sins, no one else. You can try and use that verse to stand on the power being given to men, rather than Christ having all the power to forgive sins (after all he was the one dying on the cross with His blood ) but instead you believe that honor has been given away to your pastor/priest and further more the passages of Scripture as follows are of little importance because your pastor is in charge, in the place of God?

    - – “First, that we confess our sins, and second, that we receive absolution, that is, forgiveness, from the pastor as from God Himself, not doubting, but firmly believing that by it our sins are forgiven before God in heaven.” – -

    No one takes the place of God – – For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
    1 Timothy 2:5 – -

    it’s not your pastor!!

  • Grace

    Todd – 86

    “Do you know who has “the power of God”? The people to whom God has given it! And do you know where God does this? In Matthew 18 and John 20! And yet you continue to ignore these passages and tell us that what they teach is not in the Bible, all the while justifying this by pointing us away from the Bible to Matthew Henry or the Pope.”

    The LORD Jesus Christ has the power to forgive sins, no one else. You can try and use that verse to stand on the power being given to men, rather than Christ having all the power to forgive sins (after all he was the one dying on the cross with His blood ) but instead you believe that honor has been given away to your pastor/priest and further more the passages of Scripture as follows are of little importance because your pastor is in charge, in the place of God?

    - – “First, that we confess our sins, and second, that we receive absolution, that is, forgiveness, from the pastor as from God Himself, not doubting, but firmly believing that by it our sins are forgiven before God in heaven.” – -

    No one takes the place of God – – For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
    1 Timothy 2:5 – -

    it’s not your pastor!!

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace, this is not the first time anyone here has said this, but no one here is arguing that “we need to seek absolution from a pastor or priest” — this is your straw man which you continue to rebuild no matter how many times we reject it.

    Again, read John 20:23. It is not about “have to” — such things are what the legalists seek out in their attempts to justify themselves, foolishly, in front of a holy God. It is about “get to” — and such things are sought out by the New Man created in us through faith in God’s promises of salvation. I get to tell people that their sins are forgiven. I get to hear that my sins are forgiven. But you would tear that away from me and them — indeed, from the very mouth of Jesus, your Lord.

    You accuse us here of “taking a passage and making it something it isn’t”, all the while you have yet to be able to tell us what John 20:23 is. You claim to tell us what it isn’t, but to do so, you must distort what we say it is, or you must rely on the words of men.

    I will not be swayed from the words, the promises of my Lord.
    Even if an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one preached to me in the Scriptures, let him be eternally condemned!

    Even if you refuse to listen to us on the matter, we Lutherans do not believe the same things as does Rome, but if Rome did agree with us, so what? Even a blind pig finds an acorn once in a while.

    You can dance around John 20:23 all you want, but it will still be there. And you will still not have understood it.

    Ignore Rome, Grace. Ignore Matthew Henry. Ignore, perhaps most especially, Grace — like all of us, your heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Listen to Jesus, Grace.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace, this is not the first time anyone here has said this, but no one here is arguing that “we need to seek absolution from a pastor or priest” — this is your straw man which you continue to rebuild no matter how many times we reject it.

    Again, read John 20:23. It is not about “have to” — such things are what the legalists seek out in their attempts to justify themselves, foolishly, in front of a holy God. It is about “get to” — and such things are sought out by the New Man created in us through faith in God’s promises of salvation. I get to tell people that their sins are forgiven. I get to hear that my sins are forgiven. But you would tear that away from me and them — indeed, from the very mouth of Jesus, your Lord.

    You accuse us here of “taking a passage and making it something it isn’t”, all the while you have yet to be able to tell us what John 20:23 is. You claim to tell us what it isn’t, but to do so, you must distort what we say it is, or you must rely on the words of men.

    I will not be swayed from the words, the promises of my Lord.
    Even if an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one preached to me in the Scriptures, let him be eternally condemned!

    Even if you refuse to listen to us on the matter, we Lutherans do not believe the same things as does Rome, but if Rome did agree with us, so what? Even a blind pig finds an acorn once in a while.

    You can dance around John 20:23 all you want, but it will still be there. And you will still not have understood it.

    Ignore Rome, Grace. Ignore Matthew Henry. Ignore, perhaps most especially, Grace — like all of us, your heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Listen to Jesus, Grace.

  • Grace

    todd – 88

    – - “no one here is arguing that “we need to seek absolution from a pastor or priest” — this is your straw man which you continue to rebuild no matter how many times we reject it.” – -

    Then why does Lutheran small Catechism state:

    What is Confession?
    “Confession has two parts. First, that we confess our sins, and second, that we receive absolution, that is, forgiveness, from the pastor as from God Himself, not doubting, but firmly believing that by it our sins are forgiven before God in heaven.”

    Todd – – ” I get to tell people that their sins are forgiven. I get to hear that my sins are forgiven. But you would tear that away from me and them — indeed, from the very mouth of Jesus, your Lord.” – -

    You don’t have a right to forgive anyones sins – it is only the LORD who can do that.

    Todd – - “Ignore Rome, Grace. Ignore Matthew Henry. Ignore, perhaps most especially, Grace — like all of us, your heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Listen to Jesus, Grace.” – -

    I listen to the LORD, read His Word,….. it doesn’t line up with your ideas of being powerful to forgive others of their sins. You Todd, do not know another mans heart.

  • Grace

    todd – 88

    – - “no one here is arguing that “we need to seek absolution from a pastor or priest” — this is your straw man which you continue to rebuild no matter how many times we reject it.” – -

    Then why does Lutheran small Catechism state:

    What is Confession?
    “Confession has two parts. First, that we confess our sins, and second, that we receive absolution, that is, forgiveness, from the pastor as from God Himself, not doubting, but firmly believing that by it our sins are forgiven before God in heaven.”

    Todd – – ” I get to tell people that their sins are forgiven. I get to hear that my sins are forgiven. But you would tear that away from me and them — indeed, from the very mouth of Jesus, your Lord.” – -

    You don’t have a right to forgive anyones sins – it is only the LORD who can do that.

    Todd – - “Ignore Rome, Grace. Ignore Matthew Henry. Ignore, perhaps most especially, Grace — like all of us, your heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Listen to Jesus, Grace.” – -

    I listen to the LORD, read His Word,….. it doesn’t line up with your ideas of being powerful to forgive others of their sins. You Todd, do not know another mans heart.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace said (@87), “The LORD Jesus Christ has the power to forgive sins, no one else.” Grace, the question continues to be: why do you ignore what the LORD Jesus Christ said on the matter in John 20:23? He gave his disciples this authority. You would deny it to them. Why? Was Jesus wrong to say what he did? You’re certainly arguing as much. Do you know better than Jesus?

    You keep trying to force the Roman Catholic viewpoint onto me with your continued harping on “pastor/priests”, but I reject that as much as you do. Unfortunately, you don’t get that. Jesus gave this authority to his disciples — the same disciples into which you and I have been “made” (cf. Matt. 28) — that is, you and me!

    So is my pastor “in the place of God”? Sure, by God’s own authority, as made clear in Matt. 18 and John 20:23. But, by that same authority, I can announce God’s forgiveness to my wife. Without a pastor or priest. Of course, since my wife and I have not given up meeting together, we do routinely hear the pronouncement — by Jesus’ authority — of the forgiveness of our own sins by our pastor.

    “No one takes the place of God”. Indeed. But God grants men the authority to speak in His stead; indeed, to speak his own words. “If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” Why do you deny this teaching, Grace?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace said (@87), “The LORD Jesus Christ has the power to forgive sins, no one else.” Grace, the question continues to be: why do you ignore what the LORD Jesus Christ said on the matter in John 20:23? He gave his disciples this authority. You would deny it to them. Why? Was Jesus wrong to say what he did? You’re certainly arguing as much. Do you know better than Jesus?

    You keep trying to force the Roman Catholic viewpoint onto me with your continued harping on “pastor/priests”, but I reject that as much as you do. Unfortunately, you don’t get that. Jesus gave this authority to his disciples — the same disciples into which you and I have been “made” (cf. Matt. 28) — that is, you and me!

    So is my pastor “in the place of God”? Sure, by God’s own authority, as made clear in Matt. 18 and John 20:23. But, by that same authority, I can announce God’s forgiveness to my wife. Without a pastor or priest. Of course, since my wife and I have not given up meeting together, we do routinely hear the pronouncement — by Jesus’ authority — of the forgiveness of our own sins by our pastor.

    “No one takes the place of God”. Indeed. But God grants men the authority to speak in His stead; indeed, to speak his own words. “If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” Why do you deny this teaching, Grace?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace told me (@89), “You don’t have a right to forgive anyones sins.” And you would be right, Grace. That is, you would be right … if Jesus had not spoken the words of John 20:23. Come on, at least address the text. If I have a choice between the words of my Lord and Savior, on the one hand, and blog commenter Grace — as, indeed, I have here — I’m going with the words of my Savior. I hope you understand. And, though you may have read these words once before, yet you do not understand them, my Savior said to his disciples, and I quote, “If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” No blog commenter is going to take that away from me. Your words and arguments, Grace, do not trump those of Jesus.

    “I listen to the LORD, read His Word” … but you do not listen to His words in Matthew 18 or John 20, Grace. So you pick and choose which words of His you will listen to.

    “You Todd, do not know another mans heart.” Agreed. And you, Grace, do not yet know the teachings of your Savior.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace told me (@89), “You don’t have a right to forgive anyones sins.” And you would be right, Grace. That is, you would be right … if Jesus had not spoken the words of John 20:23. Come on, at least address the text. If I have a choice between the words of my Lord and Savior, on the one hand, and blog commenter Grace — as, indeed, I have here — I’m going with the words of my Savior. I hope you understand. And, though you may have read these words once before, yet you do not understand them, my Savior said to his disciples, and I quote, “If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” No blog commenter is going to take that away from me. Your words and arguments, Grace, do not trump those of Jesus.

    “I listen to the LORD, read His Word” … but you do not listen to His words in Matthew 18 or John 20, Grace. So you pick and choose which words of His you will listen to.

    “You Todd, do not know another mans heart.” Agreed. And you, Grace, do not yet know the teachings of your Savior.

  • Grace

    Todd – 90

    – - “God grants men the authority to speak in His stead; indeed, to speak his own words. “If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” Why do you deny this teaching, Grace?” – -

    Because it’s FALSE – you cannot deny forgiveness to anyone who seeks it, the LORD will give it to them whether you like it or not. You don’t have the right to withold forgiveness, you are not capable of knowing the heart of another person.

    Again, you don’t have the authority to forgive anyone’s sins, only the LORD can do that. The Apostles had power that was not given to those today. Rome, and the Pope believe they have the same importance, especially the Pope –

    And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. Revelation 21:14

    These men were chosen of the LORD, they are different than you and me. When they were given the task of spreading His Word, their gifts were multiplied. They were able to heal, speak in another’s tongue, and many other things. They spend 40 days with Christ after His Resurrection, they had in that time, more seminary, more Biblical knowledge than you or I – they also had power that was a special gift, that we don’t have.

    Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. Luke 9:1

    Do you know anyone today who has that kind of power? I don’t.

    You can forgive someone that has treated YOU badly, that is what we as Believers are to do – – - – - BUT, you cannot forgive a man his sins that are not against you.

    The passages you quote are not saying you can …….”forgive sins receive absolution, that is, forgiveness, from the pastor as from God Himself,”………. You are placing yourself in God’s place.

  • Grace

    Todd – 90

    – - “God grants men the authority to speak in His stead; indeed, to speak his own words. “If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” Why do you deny this teaching, Grace?” – -

    Because it’s FALSE – you cannot deny forgiveness to anyone who seeks it, the LORD will give it to them whether you like it or not. You don’t have the right to withold forgiveness, you are not capable of knowing the heart of another person.

    Again, you don’t have the authority to forgive anyone’s sins, only the LORD can do that. The Apostles had power that was not given to those today. Rome, and the Pope believe they have the same importance, especially the Pope –

    And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. Revelation 21:14

    These men were chosen of the LORD, they are different than you and me. When they were given the task of spreading His Word, their gifts were multiplied. They were able to heal, speak in another’s tongue, and many other things. They spend 40 days with Christ after His Resurrection, they had in that time, more seminary, more Biblical knowledge than you or I – they also had power that was a special gift, that we don’t have.

    Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. Luke 9:1

    Do you know anyone today who has that kind of power? I don’t.

    You can forgive someone that has treated YOU badly, that is what we as Believers are to do – – - – - BUT, you cannot forgive a man his sins that are not against you.

    The passages you quote are not saying you can …….”forgive sins receive absolution, that is, forgiveness, from the pastor as from God Himself,”………. You are placing yourself in God’s place.

  • Grace

    Todd – 90

    – - ” But God grants men the authority to speak in His stead; indeed, to speak his own words. “If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” Why do you deny this teaching, Grace?” – -

    Christ stated:

    But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses. Mark 11:26

  • Grace

    Todd – 90

    – - ” But God grants men the authority to speak in His stead; indeed, to speak his own words. “If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” Why do you deny this teaching, Grace?” – -

    Christ stated:

    But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses. Mark 11:26

  • colliebear06

    My experience was like tODD’s wife, as he describes it @79, until my family checked out the Lutheran church when we moved to Michigan.

    It was a sobering reality check. Up until that point, I thought I knew everything (important, anyway) about my faith. The new member class taught me things I had never considered before. Like how God communicates through MEANS. Tangible things, stuff we can see, feel and hear. I’ll never forget the words of the pastor when he was describing this concept to us: “God likes stuff!” – and he pinched his forearm for emphasis.

    These things – the spoken words of forgiveness, water & words in baptism, bread and wine in the Lord’s Supper , and words on a page of our bible are objective things that really communicate God’s forgiveness. It’s as if he’s giving many options to stay connected to him, knowing how our old Adam is constantly trying to pull us away from Jesus, as fws reminds us in another thread.

    As I see it, these things are gifts from God to be cherished.

  • colliebear06

    My experience was like tODD’s wife, as he describes it @79, until my family checked out the Lutheran church when we moved to Michigan.

    It was a sobering reality check. Up until that point, I thought I knew everything (important, anyway) about my faith. The new member class taught me things I had never considered before. Like how God communicates through MEANS. Tangible things, stuff we can see, feel and hear. I’ll never forget the words of the pastor when he was describing this concept to us: “God likes stuff!” – and he pinched his forearm for emphasis.

    These things – the spoken words of forgiveness, water & words in baptism, bread and wine in the Lord’s Supper , and words on a page of our bible are objective things that really communicate God’s forgiveness. It’s as if he’s giving many options to stay connected to him, knowing how our old Adam is constantly trying to pull us away from Jesus, as fws reminds us in another thread.

    As I see it, these things are gifts from God to be cherished.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    collibear @ 94

    Yes! That´s it!

    It is good to understand where this Lutheran thinking came from. It came from the Pauline distinction Luther found in the Holy Apostle St Paul called the distinction between Law & Gospel. But even for Lutherans, it is not obvious how this “God likes stuff” and “God works through [material] means”, because we have lost the idea that the doctrine of the Two Kingdoms is simply and only a global Law/Gospel tool in favor of emasculating the power of the doctrine as being some sort of wierd governmental theory of Churchly estate vs civil estate, left hand/right hand stuff that is only tangentially or as byproduct law/gospel.

    The traditional view ot Saint Paul´s Romans 8 distinction of flesh/body vs Spirit or spirit. This view was the scholastic view based on aristotelian categories that had flesh/body be metaphor for flesh-ly/carnal [ie bad] vs spirit being metaphor for spiritual transcendent stuff [ie good].

    Luther simply saw that this passage should be read literally. Flesh means exactly what it says. Flesh is , in this contrast, a morally neutral category (meaning that the fact that it is stuff is not what makes something good or bad), of concrete, tanglible, sense-ible “stuff”. Flesh/body then becomes everything that we can see and touch and do. Note this fully includes bread and wine, water, pastor, the liturgy, church work. sermons, etc. And note that these things too will perish with the earth, along with those who bet their lives on these things.

    Luther called this the Earthly Kingdom. And he said that that Earthly kingdom has a righteousness that truly pleases God. This righteousness too is visible and looks exactly like what St James describes. We Lutherans tend to put this righteousness in quotes as “righteousness” because we note that this righteousness is only an external righteousness. So we discount it and get into pointless arguments over st james. We can stop that. It IS only an external righteousness of the Earthly Kingdom that WILL perish with the earth along with all who bet their lives on it, but it is TRUE righteousness, that is external righteousness that God demands and makes happen. He doesnt demand it as obedience to him. That would be going back to scholasticism as the Reformed did. He demands it only and solely because here in the Earthly Kingdom of Old Adam this is precisely how he provides all the gifts of the 1st article and 4th petition. It is the kingdom of the law. pure law. law law law. That is a good thing. even if our old adam in us hates this. We all want and demand love, but we dont want to provide it.

    Ok. blah blah blah… Why is this important and how did this illumine Luther and give him the clarity of Law and Gospel is the question you should be asking here.

    Here it is: If the Earthly Kingdom of “flesh/body” includes everything we can do in our bodies, this then allows Luther to think this:

    (I paraphrase from memory with a link to the exact text following)…

    “The heavenly kingdom does not include anything that we can do in our bodies. How could it? ALL that “stuff” is already included in the Earthly Kingdom. So then what alone remains is invisible faith in Christ alone. This faith is meaningless in the earthly kingdom except to God and a troubled conscience. ”

    See?

    There is a popular teaching now in our seminaries pushed by Aland there called “Two Kinds of Righteousness”. You can see now that this again, is merely just a variation of the theme of Law and Gospel. It is the righteousness that is the visible legal tender of the Earthly Kingdom vs the invisible Legal tender, faith alone, that alone is currency in the Heavenly Kingdom.

    The core idea of reading scriptures through the lense of the Confessions is to imagine that applying a Law/Gospel distinction to troublesome passages or doctrinal controversy is how a Lutheran does things. Everything is in the very visible kingdom of the law or earthly kingdom except for one thing, invisible faith in Christ. Alone.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    collibear @ 94

    Yes! That´s it!

    It is good to understand where this Lutheran thinking came from. It came from the Pauline distinction Luther found in the Holy Apostle St Paul called the distinction between Law & Gospel. But even for Lutherans, it is not obvious how this “God likes stuff” and “God works through [material] means”, because we have lost the idea that the doctrine of the Two Kingdoms is simply and only a global Law/Gospel tool in favor of emasculating the power of the doctrine as being some sort of wierd governmental theory of Churchly estate vs civil estate, left hand/right hand stuff that is only tangentially or as byproduct law/gospel.

    The traditional view ot Saint Paul´s Romans 8 distinction of flesh/body vs Spirit or spirit. This view was the scholastic view based on aristotelian categories that had flesh/body be metaphor for flesh-ly/carnal [ie bad] vs spirit being metaphor for spiritual transcendent stuff [ie good].

    Luther simply saw that this passage should be read literally. Flesh means exactly what it says. Flesh is , in this contrast, a morally neutral category (meaning that the fact that it is stuff is not what makes something good or bad), of concrete, tanglible, sense-ible “stuff”. Flesh/body then becomes everything that we can see and touch and do. Note this fully includes bread and wine, water, pastor, the liturgy, church work. sermons, etc. And note that these things too will perish with the earth, along with those who bet their lives on these things.

    Luther called this the Earthly Kingdom. And he said that that Earthly kingdom has a righteousness that truly pleases God. This righteousness too is visible and looks exactly like what St James describes. We Lutherans tend to put this righteousness in quotes as “righteousness” because we note that this righteousness is only an external righteousness. So we discount it and get into pointless arguments over st james. We can stop that. It IS only an external righteousness of the Earthly Kingdom that WILL perish with the earth along with all who bet their lives on it, but it is TRUE righteousness, that is external righteousness that God demands and makes happen. He doesnt demand it as obedience to him. That would be going back to scholasticism as the Reformed did. He demands it only and solely because here in the Earthly Kingdom of Old Adam this is precisely how he provides all the gifts of the 1st article and 4th petition. It is the kingdom of the law. pure law. law law law. That is a good thing. even if our old adam in us hates this. We all want and demand love, but we dont want to provide it.

    Ok. blah blah blah… Why is this important and how did this illumine Luther and give him the clarity of Law and Gospel is the question you should be asking here.

    Here it is: If the Earthly Kingdom of “flesh/body” includes everything we can do in our bodies, this then allows Luther to think this:

    (I paraphrase from memory with a link to the exact text following)…

    “The heavenly kingdom does not include anything that we can do in our bodies. How could it? ALL that “stuff” is already included in the Earthly Kingdom. So then what alone remains is invisible faith in Christ alone. This faith is meaningless in the earthly kingdom except to God and a troubled conscience. ”

    See?

    There is a popular teaching now in our seminaries pushed by Aland there called “Two Kinds of Righteousness”. You can see now that this again, is merely just a variation of the theme of Law and Gospel. It is the righteousness that is the visible legal tender of the Earthly Kingdom vs the invisible Legal tender, faith alone, that alone is currency in the Heavenly Kingdom.

    The core idea of reading scriptures through the lense of the Confessions is to imagine that applying a Law/Gospel distinction to troublesome passages or doctrinal controversy is how a Lutheran does things. Everything is in the very visible kingdom of the law or earthly kingdom except for one thing, invisible faith in Christ. Alone.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    here is the link to the Luther sermon I quoted…

    http://www.thirduse.com The sermon is the basis for the Law/Gospel distinction found in the Formula of Concord´s article VI.

    Note that alot of folks spin off wildly because if the title of article VI “The Third Use of the Law” and get into useless discussions about whether there is or is not a Lutheran Third use. (hint there really is so NOT in the reformed sense…).

    Reread article VI looking for a sharp set of two categories of Law and Gospel, faith vs works. or specifically in art VI …. New Man vs Old Adam, and … Sanctification vs Mortification , even though those two words sanctification and mortification do not actually appear in art VI.

    Reread article VI looking for this. It becomes THE Lutheran response to neo-scholastic calvinistic spiritulizing of things.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    here is the link to the Luther sermon I quoted…

    http://www.thirduse.com The sermon is the basis for the Law/Gospel distinction found in the Formula of Concord´s article VI.

    Note that alot of folks spin off wildly because if the title of article VI “The Third Use of the Law” and get into useless discussions about whether there is or is not a Lutheran Third use. (hint there really is so NOT in the reformed sense…).

    Reread article VI looking for a sharp set of two categories of Law and Gospel, faith vs works. or specifically in art VI …. New Man vs Old Adam, and … Sanctification vs Mortification , even though those two words sanctification and mortification do not actually appear in art VI.

    Reread article VI looking for this. It becomes THE Lutheran response to neo-scholastic calvinistic spiritulizing of things.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace,
    “Because it’s FALSE – you cannot deny forgiveness to anyone who seeks it, the LORD will give it to them whether you like it or not. You don’t have the right to withold forgiveness, you are not capable of knowing the heart of another person.”
    Grace,
    I don’t have to look into a persons heart to forgive them their sins, Neither to retain their sins. I just need to take them at face value for what they say. I don’t second guess the person who is repentant of their sin. Neither do I second guess the person who is not repentant of their sin. When a person confesses their sin to me, I forgive it in the name of Christ, as per John 20:23, Matthew 18 and other verses. I do this because it is what Christ instructs me to do.
    There are at times though, people living in open and unrepentant sin that is shameful and scandalous to the Christian community of which they are a part. In such cases the pastor has the duty of confronting the person with this sin, to explain how what they are doing is not in keeping with love for one’s neighbor, and what can be done to rectify the situation. If they refuse to repent at that time, then a pastor has the duty to tell them these sins are not forgiven, and “hand them over to Satan” to use Paul’s phraseology, in a particularly scandalous case.
    It has nothing to do with looking into their hearts, which based on your posts I am led to believe is a power that has only been given to you, since you feel so free to call into question the faith of so many, and bristle when one uses your own measuring rod against yourself. It would for instance require that you look into ones heart to discern their character.
    In John 20:23 Jesus gives men the power and authority to forgive and retain sins. There is no way around that. This is not about the Roman abuse and false doctrine concerning this. This is about a great blessing God has given his church on earth. A blessing that allows many people find to be relieving to say the least. And you should be ashamed of yourself for trying to take that comfort away from people like Colliebear above or myself. Not to mention stubbornly refusing to believe the clear words of Christ, while yet calling yourself a Christian.
    To be a Christian is to believe in Christ, and to believe in Christ is to believe Christ. And it is that third part that I see evangelicals having trouble with. They are ever prone to doubting Christ’s words. Why? They are ever prone to twisting the words of Christ to say something they are not saying. And ever prone to telling others what God can’t do.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace,
    “Because it’s FALSE – you cannot deny forgiveness to anyone who seeks it, the LORD will give it to them whether you like it or not. You don’t have the right to withold forgiveness, you are not capable of knowing the heart of another person.”
    Grace,
    I don’t have to look into a persons heart to forgive them their sins, Neither to retain their sins. I just need to take them at face value for what they say. I don’t second guess the person who is repentant of their sin. Neither do I second guess the person who is not repentant of their sin. When a person confesses their sin to me, I forgive it in the name of Christ, as per John 20:23, Matthew 18 and other verses. I do this because it is what Christ instructs me to do.
    There are at times though, people living in open and unrepentant sin that is shameful and scandalous to the Christian community of which they are a part. In such cases the pastor has the duty of confronting the person with this sin, to explain how what they are doing is not in keeping with love for one’s neighbor, and what can be done to rectify the situation. If they refuse to repent at that time, then a pastor has the duty to tell them these sins are not forgiven, and “hand them over to Satan” to use Paul’s phraseology, in a particularly scandalous case.
    It has nothing to do with looking into their hearts, which based on your posts I am led to believe is a power that has only been given to you, since you feel so free to call into question the faith of so many, and bristle when one uses your own measuring rod against yourself. It would for instance require that you look into ones heart to discern their character.
    In John 20:23 Jesus gives men the power and authority to forgive and retain sins. There is no way around that. This is not about the Roman abuse and false doctrine concerning this. This is about a great blessing God has given his church on earth. A blessing that allows many people find to be relieving to say the least. And you should be ashamed of yourself for trying to take that comfort away from people like Colliebear above or myself. Not to mention stubbornly refusing to believe the clear words of Christ, while yet calling yourself a Christian.
    To be a Christian is to believe in Christ, and to believe in Christ is to believe Christ. And it is that third part that I see evangelicals having trouble with. They are ever prone to doubting Christ’s words. Why? They are ever prone to twisting the words of Christ to say something they are not saying. And ever prone to telling others what God can’t do.

  • colliebear06

    fws, thank you for that explanation. I can’t say I understand it like you do, but it is fascinating, all the same. You guys – Pastor, tODD and fws have inspired me to crack open the Confessions again.

    I practically inhaled Lutheran theology when I was first exposed to it(about 12 years ago), couldn’t get enough, and would sit at the computer all day and monopolize the dial-up connection to read all kinds of theology online. I compared Luther with Calvin on the Lord’s Supper, especially. Nobody could call but it didn’t matter because I didn’t have many friends in my new hometown yet. It was such a relief to finally feel like a Christian. Meaning to say, I always felt like maybe I wasn’t a Christian, because I was always comparing myself to the other Christians around me with seemingly better ‘fruit’. I just knew that I was more sinful than anyone else.

    Now, I still feel pretty sinful, but I don’t doubt anymore if I’m a Christian. Instead of looking at all my sins, I look to Christ, using all these external ‘means’ and believe his promise that he has blotted them out on the Cross.

  • colliebear06

    fws, thank you for that explanation. I can’t say I understand it like you do, but it is fascinating, all the same. You guys – Pastor, tODD and fws have inspired me to crack open the Confessions again.

    I practically inhaled Lutheran theology when I was first exposed to it(about 12 years ago), couldn’t get enough, and would sit at the computer all day and monopolize the dial-up connection to read all kinds of theology online. I compared Luther with Calvin on the Lord’s Supper, especially. Nobody could call but it didn’t matter because I didn’t have many friends in my new hometown yet. It was such a relief to finally feel like a Christian. Meaning to say, I always felt like maybe I wasn’t a Christian, because I was always comparing myself to the other Christians around me with seemingly better ‘fruit’. I just knew that I was more sinful than anyone else.

    Now, I still feel pretty sinful, but I don’t doubt anymore if I’m a Christian. Instead of looking at all my sins, I look to Christ, using all these external ‘means’ and believe his promise that he has blotted them out on the Cross.

  • Grace

    97 – Bror – “And it is that third part that I see evangelicals having trouble with. They are ever prone to doubting Christ’s words. Why? They are ever prone to twisting the words of Christ to say something they are not saying. And ever prone to telling others what God can’t do.”

    Jesus didn’t tell anyone they needed to seek a pastor for absolution, there is no Scripture to back up Luther’s Small Catechism Confession – I see no “comfort” in going to a pastor to be forgiven, it’s nothing but a man made ‘tradition’ that the RCC practices – Luther concocted another one, (which you and others twist to involve John 20:23) – - Luther believed “No sin will separate us from the Lamb, even though we commit fornication and murder a thousand times a day.” in a letter to Melanchthon – how Luther could have made absolution important, and yet believed as he did, regarding fornication and murder is twisted.

    I can see individuals going to a pastor for counseling, asking questions regarding sin, or perhaps the sin they are involved with – asking for prayer and direction, – but that is far different then needing absolution from the pastor. Most people know there is no way their sinful practices can be blessed or that they can continue in sinful lifestyles, ie: homosexuality, fornication, stealing, etc., they know their wrong.

    YOU and other Lutherans have problems with the words of Jesus when answered Nicodemus and said “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. John 3:3 – - – YOU doubt those who say they are Born Again, putting a spin on their belief which is false, using your religious malt machine in an effort to further distort what Evangelicals believe.

    Twisting what I post, doesn’t change my core beliefs, no matter how you mix it up.

  • Grace

    97 – Bror – “And it is that third part that I see evangelicals having trouble with. They are ever prone to doubting Christ’s words. Why? They are ever prone to twisting the words of Christ to say something they are not saying. And ever prone to telling others what God can’t do.”

    Jesus didn’t tell anyone they needed to seek a pastor for absolution, there is no Scripture to back up Luther’s Small Catechism Confession – I see no “comfort” in going to a pastor to be forgiven, it’s nothing but a man made ‘tradition’ that the RCC practices – Luther concocted another one, (which you and others twist to involve John 20:23) – - Luther believed “No sin will separate us from the Lamb, even though we commit fornication and murder a thousand times a day.” in a letter to Melanchthon – how Luther could have made absolution important, and yet believed as he did, regarding fornication and murder is twisted.

    I can see individuals going to a pastor for counseling, asking questions regarding sin, or perhaps the sin they are involved with – asking for prayer and direction, – but that is far different then needing absolution from the pastor. Most people know there is no way their sinful practices can be blessed or that they can continue in sinful lifestyles, ie: homosexuality, fornication, stealing, etc., they know their wrong.

    YOU and other Lutherans have problems with the words of Jesus when answered Nicodemus and said “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. John 3:3 – - – YOU doubt those who say they are Born Again, putting a spin on their belief which is false, using your religious malt machine in an effort to further distort what Evangelicals believe.

    Twisting what I post, doesn’t change my core beliefs, no matter how you mix it up.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace,
    So much fun!
    Alright, lets get back on track here. No one is blessing a sin by forgiving it. Quite the opposite actually. As for what Luther says, either he is right, or we are all going to hell. If the sin of fornication separates us from God, than all sins do. And if we say we have no so sin…. So I’m banking that Luther was absolutely correct, and yet he was thereby not supporting sin. If you would get to the context of that statement you might see it.
    John 20@3 says what it says, and Luther but repeats it. you might read that section a few times. It is not the same as the RC doctrine, and saying it is false is far different from showing that it is false.
    You may find no comfort in going to a pastor to receive absolution. You are not me or Colliebear, or FWs, you are one person, who from the tones of your post really doesn’t find much comfort anywhere. And that is sad. I think if you could finally believe the words of Christ without twisting them to say what they are not, you might be a much happier, and less neurotic, paranoid and hysterical person.
    As for John 3 and being born again. Well I imagine you are baptized so I do think you are born again. I just differ with you as to how you came to be born again. I also despise the moniker because it makes claims of exclusivity implying that other Christians are not born again, because they haven’t had the same liver shiver you have had, or don’t hold to the same shallow beliefs concerning the scripture that you hold to. They might even have the audacity to believe that when Christ says “if you forgive the sins of any they are forgiven” he means what he just said, and are led to go to a pastor with a burdened conscience to be forgiven.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace,
    So much fun!
    Alright, lets get back on track here. No one is blessing a sin by forgiving it. Quite the opposite actually. As for what Luther says, either he is right, or we are all going to hell. If the sin of fornication separates us from God, than all sins do. And if we say we have no so sin…. So I’m banking that Luther was absolutely correct, and yet he was thereby not supporting sin. If you would get to the context of that statement you might see it.
    John 20@3 says what it says, and Luther but repeats it. you might read that section a few times. It is not the same as the RC doctrine, and saying it is false is far different from showing that it is false.
    You may find no comfort in going to a pastor to receive absolution. You are not me or Colliebear, or FWs, you are one person, who from the tones of your post really doesn’t find much comfort anywhere. And that is sad. I think if you could finally believe the words of Christ without twisting them to say what they are not, you might be a much happier, and less neurotic, paranoid and hysterical person.
    As for John 3 and being born again. Well I imagine you are baptized so I do think you are born again. I just differ with you as to how you came to be born again. I also despise the moniker because it makes claims of exclusivity implying that other Christians are not born again, because they haven’t had the same liver shiver you have had, or don’t hold to the same shallow beliefs concerning the scripture that you hold to. They might even have the audacity to believe that when Christ says “if you forgive the sins of any they are forgiven” he means what he just said, and are led to go to a pastor with a burdened conscience to be forgiven.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace, Grace, Grace (@99). Grace! Do you believe that by repeating a false statement enough times, you can make it true? I must conclude that you do. Well, it doesn’t work.

    You keep (and I mean keep — @58, 77, 81, 85, 89, 99, among others) talking about “needing to seek a pastor for absolution”, about “needing absolution from the pastor”. And though we have repeatedly (and I mean repeatedly — @60, 78, 79, 88, among others) rejected your straw man based on some legalistic notion of “need”, yet you cling to it desperately in your replies.

    You keep (and I mean keep — @51, 77, 80, 85, 99) conflating what we Lutherans are talking about from John 20:23 with what the Catholics do, but no matter how many times we explain it isn’t so — this is really the same point as above, after all — you don’t listen.

    You keep (and I mean keep — @80, 84, 89, 99) saying that “there is no Scripture to back up Luther’s Small Catechism Confession”, but you can only say that because you continue (and here I’ll just refer vaguely to every comment you’ve made in this discussion) to ignore the very passages of Scripture we are discussing. John 20:23 very much backs up what Luther said in the Small Catechism. That is our point. And if you would, for one minute, bother to engage that text, read it, try to understand what it does say, you would perhaps get how we can say that.

    At what point, I am forced to wonder, is it no longer rude but merely prudent for me to assume that you have reading comprehension or memory issues?

    “Twisting what I post, doesn’t change my core beliefs.” And it is clear, Grace, that your “core beliefs” do not encompass, nor can they comprehend, what your Lord is telling you in John 20:23 and Matthew 18. Instead, you twist what Jesus says clearly in those passages so that you may cause others to doubt that they are forgiven by Christ’s atoning sacrifice on the cross.

    You are doing the Devil’s work by causing believers to doubt that they are forgiven, to doubt God’s clear words of Gospel, and his command to his disciples to announce that forgiveness to others.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace, Grace, Grace (@99). Grace! Do you believe that by repeating a false statement enough times, you can make it true? I must conclude that you do. Well, it doesn’t work.

    You keep (and I mean keep — @58, 77, 81, 85, 89, 99, among others) talking about “needing to seek a pastor for absolution”, about “needing absolution from the pastor”. And though we have repeatedly (and I mean repeatedly — @60, 78, 79, 88, among others) rejected your straw man based on some legalistic notion of “need”, yet you cling to it desperately in your replies.

    You keep (and I mean keep — @51, 77, 80, 85, 99) conflating what we Lutherans are talking about from John 20:23 with what the Catholics do, but no matter how many times we explain it isn’t so — this is really the same point as above, after all — you don’t listen.

    You keep (and I mean keep — @80, 84, 89, 99) saying that “there is no Scripture to back up Luther’s Small Catechism Confession”, but you can only say that because you continue (and here I’ll just refer vaguely to every comment you’ve made in this discussion) to ignore the very passages of Scripture we are discussing. John 20:23 very much backs up what Luther said in the Small Catechism. That is our point. And if you would, for one minute, bother to engage that text, read it, try to understand what it does say, you would perhaps get how we can say that.

    At what point, I am forced to wonder, is it no longer rude but merely prudent for me to assume that you have reading comprehension or memory issues?

    “Twisting what I post, doesn’t change my core beliefs.” And it is clear, Grace, that your “core beliefs” do not encompass, nor can they comprehend, what your Lord is telling you in John 20:23 and Matthew 18. Instead, you twist what Jesus says clearly in those passages so that you may cause others to doubt that they are forgiven by Christ’s atoning sacrifice on the cross.

    You are doing the Devil’s work by causing believers to doubt that they are forgiven, to doubt God’s clear words of Gospel, and his command to his disciples to announce that forgiveness to others.

  • Grace

    Todd –
    “You are doing the Devil’s work by causing believers to doubt that they are forgiven, to doubt God’s clear words of Gospel, and his command to his disciples to announce that forgiveness to others.”

    The devil would have us believe we are not forgiven, even by praying and confessing our sins to God, in Jesus Name – the devil is happy when people are left without the promise of forgivness, because their prayers to HIM are not enough, they need to receive absolution from a priest or pastor…… and rely on this practice as a means of forgiveness.

    POINT people to the Bible this is where it is written, clearly, so that anyone can understand:

    For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
    1 Timothy 2:5

    If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness 1 John 1:9

  • Grace

    Todd –
    “You are doing the Devil’s work by causing believers to doubt that they are forgiven, to doubt God’s clear words of Gospel, and his command to his disciples to announce that forgiveness to others.”

    The devil would have us believe we are not forgiven, even by praying and confessing our sins to God, in Jesus Name – the devil is happy when people are left without the promise of forgivness, because their prayers to HIM are not enough, they need to receive absolution from a priest or pastor…… and rely on this practice as a means of forgiveness.

    POINT people to the Bible this is where it is written, clearly, so that anyone can understand:

    For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
    1 Timothy 2:5

    If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness 1 John 1:9

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Ah, good. We’re now on the sixth time for you to quote 1 Tim. 2:5 and 1 John 1:9. I guess you thought we’d forgotten about those.

    And yet, John 20:23, in all its clarity and comfort, is still there. At least in my Bible — perhaps you’ve ripped it out of yours? Crossed it out with a black marker? Scrawled next to it “Does not mean what it seems to mean!!!”? Maybe pasted in a picture of Matthew Henry over that whole page?

    Oh, and look! You said “need to receive absolution from a priest or pastor.” Again. Again, again, again. I guess it is a reading comprehension issue, then. I’m sorry. There are classes for that. Or perhaps glasses for that. Whatever the problem is.

    “The devil is happy when people are left without the promise of forgivness.” Indeed, Grace. And that is exactly what you are trying to rip from people’s hands and hearts — the promise of forgiveness. The promise given by Jesus, who told his disciples (that’s us!) to speak this same promise as if from Jesus himself.

    “If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

    Scream, “That’s not true!” if you want, Grace. Plug up your ears and yell, “La la la! I can’t hear what Jesus is saying!” But don’t pretend you’re being faithful to your Lord when you do so.

    In fact, ignoring Jesus’ words, calling him a liar is, well, it’s a sin. A sin that needs forgiving. It’s too bad that there’s no one you can confess that sin to. That there’s no one that can tell you that Jesus died for that sin, as well. And the reason there’s no one to do that is that you’ve shut them out of your life. You want Jesus to tell you you’re forgiven, but you won’t listen to the ones he’s sent, the ones who speak Jesus’ own words — indeed, you won’t even listen to Jesus’ words.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Ah, good. We’re now on the sixth time for you to quote 1 Tim. 2:5 and 1 John 1:9. I guess you thought we’d forgotten about those.

    And yet, John 20:23, in all its clarity and comfort, is still there. At least in my Bible — perhaps you’ve ripped it out of yours? Crossed it out with a black marker? Scrawled next to it “Does not mean what it seems to mean!!!”? Maybe pasted in a picture of Matthew Henry over that whole page?

    Oh, and look! You said “need to receive absolution from a priest or pastor.” Again. Again, again, again. I guess it is a reading comprehension issue, then. I’m sorry. There are classes for that. Or perhaps glasses for that. Whatever the problem is.

    “The devil is happy when people are left without the promise of forgivness.” Indeed, Grace. And that is exactly what you are trying to rip from people’s hands and hearts — the promise of forgiveness. The promise given by Jesus, who told his disciples (that’s us!) to speak this same promise as if from Jesus himself.

    “If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

    Scream, “That’s not true!” if you want, Grace. Plug up your ears and yell, “La la la! I can’t hear what Jesus is saying!” But don’t pretend you’re being faithful to your Lord when you do so.

    In fact, ignoring Jesus’ words, calling him a liar is, well, it’s a sin. A sin that needs forgiving. It’s too bad that there’s no one you can confess that sin to. That there’s no one that can tell you that Jesus died for that sin, as well. And the reason there’s no one to do that is that you’ve shut them out of your life. You want Jesus to tell you you’re forgiven, but you won’t listen to the ones he’s sent, the ones who speak Jesus’ own words — indeed, you won’t even listen to Jesus’ words.

  • Louis

    Grace evidently believes in VOLUME and repition repition repition….

    I’m sorry Grace, but for all your posturing, you have the dialectic skills of a 3 year old.

  • Louis

    Grace evidently believes in VOLUME and repition repition repition….

    I’m sorry Grace, but for all your posturing, you have the dialectic skills of a 3 year old.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace,
    No one is here arguing that one cannot pray for forgiveness and receive it. NO ONE. But that you can pray for forgiveness does not negate the fact that you can ALSO receive absolution from your pastor, or even a fellow christian for that matter. And again no one is saying you NEED to do anything. We are arguing that you may if you so wish.
    You are the one speaking against forgiveness here, not tODD, and not me. You are the one arguing that one is not forgiven when their pastor or as I said even a fellow Christian pronounces them forgiven.
    I would also like to point out that neither of the two verses you point to say anything about praying for forgiveness. One talks about confessing sins, but says little about how this is done. By the way we quote that verse in just about every rite of confession absolution that has ever been written by a Lutheran, that is a rite in which one would confess their sins to a pastor and hear absolution pronounced.
    If I were going to make the argument or point someone to a place in the Bible where one is instructed to pray for forgiveness, I would not point to these verses which say nothing of prayer, but to the Lord’s Prayer, where Jesus instructs his disciples to pray. and there again we are instructed to forgive the sins of others. So…
    Just to reiterate. tODD and I are not instructing anyone to doubt that their sins are forgiven. We are asking that people believe and not doubt the clear words of scripture that says you can confess your sins to a pastor, and he has the authority to forgive your sins, and when he forgives your sins he speaks for Christ as a steward of the mysteries of God (1 Cor4:1).
    This way no one ever has to wonder if they have prayed hard enough, or repented enough, if the sin was truly forgiven because they are still a sinner etc, or though they have tried to forgive others they still harbor resentment because of the atrocity of the crime committed against them and their family. (That is the way the Lord’s prayer reads, and it causes me to quiver a few times. I can harbor some resentment, and really wish it wasn’t there. ) But when I hear my father confessor speak the words of absolution, ah well then to argue with him is to argue with Christ and faith won’t let me do that.
    It seems odd to me that you would argue that where as their sins are forgiven by Christ without going to a pastor, that somehow they aren’t because they did go to a pastor. Are you saying a pastor can’t forgive, but he can somehow nullify Christ’s forgiveness, make forgiveness null and void because someone sought the forgiveness from a pastor? That would seem a much greater task for the pastor to do then the one Christ has given him to do.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace,
    No one is here arguing that one cannot pray for forgiveness and receive it. NO ONE. But that you can pray for forgiveness does not negate the fact that you can ALSO receive absolution from your pastor, or even a fellow christian for that matter. And again no one is saying you NEED to do anything. We are arguing that you may if you so wish.
    You are the one speaking against forgiveness here, not tODD, and not me. You are the one arguing that one is not forgiven when their pastor or as I said even a fellow Christian pronounces them forgiven.
    I would also like to point out that neither of the two verses you point to say anything about praying for forgiveness. One talks about confessing sins, but says little about how this is done. By the way we quote that verse in just about every rite of confession absolution that has ever been written by a Lutheran, that is a rite in which one would confess their sins to a pastor and hear absolution pronounced.
    If I were going to make the argument or point someone to a place in the Bible where one is instructed to pray for forgiveness, I would not point to these verses which say nothing of prayer, but to the Lord’s Prayer, where Jesus instructs his disciples to pray. and there again we are instructed to forgive the sins of others. So…
    Just to reiterate. tODD and I are not instructing anyone to doubt that their sins are forgiven. We are asking that people believe and not doubt the clear words of scripture that says you can confess your sins to a pastor, and he has the authority to forgive your sins, and when he forgives your sins he speaks for Christ as a steward of the mysteries of God (1 Cor4:1).
    This way no one ever has to wonder if they have prayed hard enough, or repented enough, if the sin was truly forgiven because they are still a sinner etc, or though they have tried to forgive others they still harbor resentment because of the atrocity of the crime committed against them and their family. (That is the way the Lord’s prayer reads, and it causes me to quiver a few times. I can harbor some resentment, and really wish it wasn’t there. ) But when I hear my father confessor speak the words of absolution, ah well then to argue with him is to argue with Christ and faith won’t let me do that.
    It seems odd to me that you would argue that where as their sins are forgiven by Christ without going to a pastor, that somehow they aren’t because they did go to a pastor. Are you saying a pastor can’t forgive, but he can somehow nullify Christ’s forgiveness, make forgiveness null and void because someone sought the forgiveness from a pastor? That would seem a much greater task for the pastor to do then the one Christ has given him to do.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Louis,
    I’ve seen 3 year olds follow an argument better, and debate a point better, especially when it comes to Christ. They truly have child like faith in Him. Only a jaded adult, brainwashed by naysayers, harboring resentment, and too full of pride to let another person hear her sin, even if his office requires him by Christ’s command to not utter it again, and too full of pride to admit that they might be wrong, much less admit they are wrong, could be as obtuse as Grace is on this. This is an adult’s disease not a child’s. It is a cancer of the soul, that just won’t let them enter the kingdom of God like a little child, and have that child like faith.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Louis,
    I’ve seen 3 year olds follow an argument better, and debate a point better, especially when it comes to Christ. They truly have child like faith in Him. Only a jaded adult, brainwashed by naysayers, harboring resentment, and too full of pride to let another person hear her sin, even if his office requires him by Christ’s command to not utter it again, and too full of pride to admit that they might be wrong, much less admit they are wrong, could be as obtuse as Grace is on this. This is an adult’s disease not a child’s. It is a cancer of the soul, that just won’t let them enter the kingdom of God like a little child, and have that child like faith.

  • Grace

    Bror – 100

    - – “I think if you could finally believe the words of Christ without twisting them to say what they are not, you might be a much happier, and less neurotic, paranoid and hysterical person.” – -

    I believe what the Word of God says,….. I don’t add to it, believing something has been left out, but Luthere did. Luther had many problems, one being his hatred of the Jewish people. I find it strange that he found it necessary to cast the Jews in such an evil way. When Jesus was on the Cross, He said “forgive them for they know not what they do” yet Martin Luther couldn’t follow Christ in His love for the Jews, instead he wrote one of the most anti-semitic books in Germany. Later in the last century Germany with Hitler leading, slaughtered six million Jews, men, women and children. Luther’s self righteous hatred and lack of Biblical understanding is still evident today!

    I couldn’t care less how you define me. What is troubling, you state being a pastor, yet you speak in derogatory terms to elevate yourself as a vainglorious, pretentious windbag.

    - – “Well I imagine you are baptized so I do think you are born again. I just differ with you as to how you came to be born again. I also despise the moniker because it makes claims of exclusivity implying that other Christians are not born again,” – -

    “DESPISE” ? the words of Jesus Christ? – the DESPISER, just might come down to not being Born Again – Try telling Christ your definition, as though He didn’t get it right, scorning His words. It is YOU who have deep seated problems with one of the most important statements Christ made, loathing and contempt for His Words.

  • Grace

    Bror – 100

    - – “I think if you could finally believe the words of Christ without twisting them to say what they are not, you might be a much happier, and less neurotic, paranoid and hysterical person.” – -

    I believe what the Word of God says,….. I don’t add to it, believing something has been left out, but Luthere did. Luther had many problems, one being his hatred of the Jewish people. I find it strange that he found it necessary to cast the Jews in such an evil way. When Jesus was on the Cross, He said “forgive them for they know not what they do” yet Martin Luther couldn’t follow Christ in His love for the Jews, instead he wrote one of the most anti-semitic books in Germany. Later in the last century Germany with Hitler leading, slaughtered six million Jews, men, women and children. Luther’s self righteous hatred and lack of Biblical understanding is still evident today!

    I couldn’t care less how you define me. What is troubling, you state being a pastor, yet you speak in derogatory terms to elevate yourself as a vainglorious, pretentious windbag.

    - – “Well I imagine you are baptized so I do think you are born again. I just differ with you as to how you came to be born again. I also despise the moniker because it makes claims of exclusivity implying that other Christians are not born again,” – -

    “DESPISE” ? the words of Jesus Christ? – the DESPISER, just might come down to not being Born Again – Try telling Christ your definition, as though He didn’t get it right, scorning His words. It is YOU who have deep seated problems with one of the most important statements Christ made, loathing and contempt for His Words.

  • Louis

    You are probably right, Bror. I think it is because if she admits anything that you or Todd or most of the other good folks around here write, she will have to admit deficiencies in her understanding. And that is a no-no, because “evangelicals” like her fundamentally, though not in so many words, believe that you are saved by the right doctrine. Thus one cannot even have a civil discussion – it is my way or no way. The really sad thing is that she also believes that she herself is the final court of appeal in all matters of doctrine. No, she might say Scripture, but it is in essence her specific reading and comprehension thereof which is the final court of appeal, her love of Matthew Henry nonetheless. This is an incredible burden to bear, as a even discussing doctrine might bring “your whole salvation into doubt”. It becomes, in fact, a psychological condition so to speak, and leads either to delusions of grandeur, or incredible depression.

    I was there, I know.

  • Louis

    You are probably right, Bror. I think it is because if she admits anything that you or Todd or most of the other good folks around here write, she will have to admit deficiencies in her understanding. And that is a no-no, because “evangelicals” like her fundamentally, though not in so many words, believe that you are saved by the right doctrine. Thus one cannot even have a civil discussion – it is my way or no way. The really sad thing is that she also believes that she herself is the final court of appeal in all matters of doctrine. No, she might say Scripture, but it is in essence her specific reading and comprehension thereof which is the final court of appeal, her love of Matthew Henry nonetheless. This is an incredible burden to bear, as a even discussing doctrine might bring “your whole salvation into doubt”. It becomes, in fact, a psychological condition so to speak, and leads either to delusions of grandeur, or incredible depression.

    I was there, I know.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace (@107), if we were to accuse anyone of being too focused on Luther, do you know who it would be? I’ll give you a hint: it’s not us Lutherans! Give it a rest. Let’s stick to the Bible text, hmm?

    And while you may claim that you “believe what the Word of God says,” yet you deny over and over and over and over and over what the Word of God says in John 20:23 and Matthew 18. You don’t believe what God says in those passages. As your own arguments here make clear.

    As for the whole “born again”/”Born Again” thing, I’m sorry, but that is a discussion with far subtler distinctions than the discussion we’re having here. If you don’t understand the clear words of Jesus in John 20:23 (and you don’t), you’re not likely to get what Bror is saying about those labels. No offense.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace (@107), if we were to accuse anyone of being too focused on Luther, do you know who it would be? I’ll give you a hint: it’s not us Lutherans! Give it a rest. Let’s stick to the Bible text, hmm?

    And while you may claim that you “believe what the Word of God says,” yet you deny over and over and over and over and over what the Word of God says in John 20:23 and Matthew 18. You don’t believe what God says in those passages. As your own arguments here make clear.

    As for the whole “born again”/”Born Again” thing, I’m sorry, but that is a discussion with far subtler distinctions than the discussion we’re having here. If you don’t understand the clear words of Jesus in John 20:23 (and you don’t), you’re not likely to get what Bror is saying about those labels. No offense.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace,
    Is anyone defending Luther’s view of the Jews here? No. Though Luther had all the same reasons in his old age for not liking them that you have for not liking illegal aliens.
    And yes my description of you has been harsh. It is not meant to boost me up. It is to show you the perception you give of yourself when you refuse to hear another persons arguments, constantly repeat points that have nothing to do with the topic at hand, and refuse to answer the questions being asked of you. It is the impression you give when you refuse to be civil enough to answer another persons question when you are debating them. It is the impression you have given of yourself to just about everyone involved in this debate with you. It is the impression you give when you accuse someone of false teaching and then refuse to show them where they are wrong.
    and Grace, I do not despise the words of Christ, you know that. I despise you using them as a moniker to imply that you are born again where as other Christians like me who have not shared your liver shiver, or “born again experience” are not born again, though they have been given the same Holy Spirit and were born from above when they were regenerated in the waters of baptism.
    So if you do not want people to think of you as neurotic, paranoid and hysterical, get off your high horse, and engage your opponents in debate in a civil way that makes one think you actually care about truth.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace,
    Is anyone defending Luther’s view of the Jews here? No. Though Luther had all the same reasons in his old age for not liking them that you have for not liking illegal aliens.
    And yes my description of you has been harsh. It is not meant to boost me up. It is to show you the perception you give of yourself when you refuse to hear another persons arguments, constantly repeat points that have nothing to do with the topic at hand, and refuse to answer the questions being asked of you. It is the impression you give when you refuse to be civil enough to answer another persons question when you are debating them. It is the impression you have given of yourself to just about everyone involved in this debate with you. It is the impression you give when you accuse someone of false teaching and then refuse to show them where they are wrong.
    and Grace, I do not despise the words of Christ, you know that. I despise you using them as a moniker to imply that you are born again where as other Christians like me who have not shared your liver shiver, or “born again experience” are not born again, though they have been given the same Holy Spirit and were born from above when they were regenerated in the waters of baptism.
    So if you do not want people to think of you as neurotic, paranoid and hysterical, get off your high horse, and engage your opponents in debate in a civil way that makes one think you actually care about truth.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace,
    Now could you please answer this?
    “It seems odd to me that you would argue that where as their sins are forgiven by Christ without going to a pastor, that somehow they aren’t because they did go to a pastor. Are you saying a pastor can’t forgive, but he can somehow nullify Christ’s forgiveness, make forgiveness null and void because someone sought the forgiveness from a pastor? That would seem a much greater task for the pastor to do then the one Christ has given him to do.”

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace,
    Now could you please answer this?
    “It seems odd to me that you would argue that where as their sins are forgiven by Christ without going to a pastor, that somehow they aren’t because they did go to a pastor. Are you saying a pastor can’t forgive, but he can somehow nullify Christ’s forgiveness, make forgiveness null and void because someone sought the forgiveness from a pastor? That would seem a much greater task for the pastor to do then the one Christ has given him to do.”

  • ptl

    Let me put it another way…..Grace is reading her bible, like we all do, but she is coming up with different doctrines, omg, what a shock! All the various denominations read from the same Bible, but come up with different conclusions, right? We Lutherans believe things others don’t….such as infant baptism, real presence, baptism = faith and forgiveness, and lots more. All of these things are been discussed for hundreds of years by professional theologians from both sides of the issue. Both camps looking at the very same scriptures and coming up with completely different conclusions….and these are folks all very well educated and used to debating and arguing, etc. etc. and very few have changed their minds. Now we don’t say any of these fine folks are not Christians, do we, eh? So my guess the same is with Grace….
    What would be a more interesting way to go about this discussion is to say what sorts of rules we have for interpretation of scripture and why those lead us to different results than many other kind and good souls. That for me has always been the clincher and what makes a Lutheran, Lutheran…..our view of Scriptures and how we set the rules for it’s interpretation. Try some of those on Grace and see if it helps….at least you won’t be going round in circles, or will you :)

  • ptl

    Let me put it another way…..Grace is reading her bible, like we all do, but she is coming up with different doctrines, omg, what a shock! All the various denominations read from the same Bible, but come up with different conclusions, right? We Lutherans believe things others don’t….such as infant baptism, real presence, baptism = faith and forgiveness, and lots more. All of these things are been discussed for hundreds of years by professional theologians from both sides of the issue. Both camps looking at the very same scriptures and coming up with completely different conclusions….and these are folks all very well educated and used to debating and arguing, etc. etc. and very few have changed their minds. Now we don’t say any of these fine folks are not Christians, do we, eh? So my guess the same is with Grace….
    What would be a more interesting way to go about this discussion is to say what sorts of rules we have for interpretation of scripture and why those lead us to different results than many other kind and good souls. That for me has always been the clincher and what makes a Lutheran, Lutheran…..our view of Scriptures and how we set the rules for it’s interpretation. Try some of those on Grace and see if it helps….at least you won’t be going round in circles, or will you :)

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Ptl,
    People have change their minds because of debates like this. I have watched it happen. Second we Lutherans don’t set rules for interpreting scripture, we let scripture do that. but one way you get to the discussion of hermeneutics is to apply it to a text which is what we are doing with grace here.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Ptl,
    People have change their minds because of debates like this. I have watched it happen. Second we Lutherans don’t set rules for interpreting scripture, we let scripture do that. but one way you get to the discussion of hermeneutics is to apply it to a text which is what we are doing with grace here.

  • Grace

    Bror – 110

    “Is anyone defending Luther’s view of the Jews here? No. Though Luther had all the same reasons in his old age for not liking them that you have for not liking illegal aliens.”

    The above statement proves, how disconnected you are. You hit the wrong nail on this one.

    You’ve taken hatred Luther had for the Jews, who were living in Germany legally, and comparing those who have broken the laws of the U.S., lied, stolen and cheated the citizens of this country. You preach an illegal alien socialism. Your idea’s are well rooted in Obama’s agenda, after all he wants to ‘spread the wealth’ – He wants to give legal status to those who break our laws, and you agree with him, who would have ever guessed.

    You have no idea the history of this country, or history concerning the Jews, it’s obvious in your commentary, your inability to keep two entirely different situations as SEPARATE. Maybe that is why you have fallen prey to doctrine that is just a revised face of the Roman Catholic Church. Many who have been brought up in that doctrine have difficulty, if only they had studied the Bible, rather than leaving it up to Luther.

  • Grace

    Bror – 110

    “Is anyone defending Luther’s view of the Jews here? No. Though Luther had all the same reasons in his old age for not liking them that you have for not liking illegal aliens.”

    The above statement proves, how disconnected you are. You hit the wrong nail on this one.

    You’ve taken hatred Luther had for the Jews, who were living in Germany legally, and comparing those who have broken the laws of the U.S., lied, stolen and cheated the citizens of this country. You preach an illegal alien socialism. Your idea’s are well rooted in Obama’s agenda, after all he wants to ‘spread the wealth’ – He wants to give legal status to those who break our laws, and you agree with him, who would have ever guessed.

    You have no idea the history of this country, or history concerning the Jews, it’s obvious in your commentary, your inability to keep two entirely different situations as SEPARATE. Maybe that is why you have fallen prey to doctrine that is just a revised face of the Roman Catholic Church. Many who have been brought up in that doctrine have difficulty, if only they had studied the Bible, rather than leaving it up to Luther.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    PTL (@112), if Grace won’t even engage the actual text of John 20:23, what makes you think that a debate on the proper hermeneutics for exegesis of the same will somehow prove more productive?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    PTL (@112), if Grace won’t even engage the actual text of John 20:23, what makes you think that a debate on the proper hermeneutics for exegesis of the same will somehow prove more productive?

  • Grace

    Well, here we GO!

    “Is anyone defending Luther’s view of the Jews here? No. Though Luther had all the same reasons in his old age for not liking them that you have for not liking illegal aliens.”

    The above statement proves, how disconnected you are. You hit the wrong nail on this one.

    You’ve taken hatred Luther had for the Jews, who were living in Germany legally, and comparing those who have broken the laws of the U.S., lied, stolen and cheated the citizens of this country. You preach an illegal alien soci@lism. Your idea’s are well rooted in Obama’s agenda, after all he wants to ‘spread the wealth’ – He wants to give legal status to those who break our laws, and you agree with him, who would have ever guessed.

    You have no idea the history of this country, or history concerning the Jews, it’s obvious in your commentary, your inability to keep two entirely different situations as SEPARATE. Maybe that is why you have fallen prey to doctrine that is just a revised face of the Roman Catholic Church. Many who have been brought up in that doctrine have difficulty, if only they had studied the Bible, rather than leaving it up to Luther.

  • Grace

    Well, here we GO!

    “Is anyone defending Luther’s view of the Jews here? No. Though Luther had all the same reasons in his old age for not liking them that you have for not liking illegal aliens.”

    The above statement proves, how disconnected you are. You hit the wrong nail on this one.

    You’ve taken hatred Luther had for the Jews, who were living in Germany legally, and comparing those who have broken the laws of the U.S., lied, stolen and cheated the citizens of this country. You preach an illegal alien soci@lism. Your idea’s are well rooted in Obama’s agenda, after all he wants to ‘spread the wealth’ – He wants to give legal status to those who break our laws, and you agree with him, who would have ever guessed.

    You have no idea the history of this country, or history concerning the Jews, it’s obvious in your commentary, your inability to keep two entirely different situations as SEPARATE. Maybe that is why you have fallen prey to doctrine that is just a revised face of the Roman Catholic Church. Many who have been brought up in that doctrine have difficulty, if only they had studied the Bible, rather than leaving it up to Luther.

  • Grace

    The Apostles had power that was not given to those today. Rome, and the Pope believe they have the same importance today, and so do other groups like the Lutheran Church.

    The Aposles were chosen of the LORD, they are different than you and me. When they were given the task of spreading His Word, their gifts were multiplied. They were able to heal, speak in other’s tongue/languages, and many other things. They spent 40 days with Christ after His Resurrection, they had in that time, more seminary, more Biblical knowledge than you or I – they also had power that was a special gift, that we don’t have.

    Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. Luke 9:1

    Do you know anyone today who has that kind of power? I don’t.

    This is my point: the authority was give the Disciples of Christ, His Apostles, not to you or anyone else, it wasn’t HANDED DOWN, like the Roman Catholic Church believes.

  • Grace

    The Apostles had power that was not given to those today. Rome, and the Pope believe they have the same importance today, and so do other groups like the Lutheran Church.

    The Aposles were chosen of the LORD, they are different than you and me. When they were given the task of spreading His Word, their gifts were multiplied. They were able to heal, speak in other’s tongue/languages, and many other things. They spent 40 days with Christ after His Resurrection, they had in that time, more seminary, more Biblical knowledge than you or I – they also had power that was a special gift, that we don’t have.

    Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. Luke 9:1

    Do you know anyone today who has that kind of power? I don’t.

    This is my point: the authority was give the Disciples of Christ, His Apostles, not to you or anyone else, it wasn’t HANDED DOWN, like the Roman Catholic Church believes.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    grace,
    Let me put it this way. Luther wanted the jewish population in germany to be considered illegal aliens, for the same reasons many hispanics are illegal aliens in this country, and for the same reason you want it to stay that way. and in fact it is my anti-socialism that wants to reform the immigration laws of this country. If you had ever listened to a word I said you would no that. Illegal immigration is about keeping socialism viable.
    Now, can we get back to this? your hypocrisy aside, this is the topic at hand.
    “It seems odd to me that you would argue that where as their sins are forgiven by Christ without going to a pastor, that somehow they aren’t because they did go to a pastor. Are you saying a pastor can’t forgive, but he can somehow nullify Christ’s forgiveness, make forgiveness null and void because someone sought the forgiveness from a pastor? That would seem a much greater task for the pastor to do then the one Christ has given him to do.”

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    grace,
    Let me put it this way. Luther wanted the jewish population in germany to be considered illegal aliens, for the same reasons many hispanics are illegal aliens in this country, and for the same reason you want it to stay that way. and in fact it is my anti-socialism that wants to reform the immigration laws of this country. If you had ever listened to a word I said you would no that. Illegal immigration is about keeping socialism viable.
    Now, can we get back to this? your hypocrisy aside, this is the topic at hand.
    “It seems odd to me that you would argue that where as their sins are forgiven by Christ without going to a pastor, that somehow they aren’t because they did go to a pastor. Are you saying a pastor can’t forgive, but he can somehow nullify Christ’s forgiveness, make forgiveness null and void because someone sought the forgiveness from a pastor? That would seem a much greater task for the pastor to do then the one Christ has given him to do.”

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Well, I guess we see what Grace would rather talk about than the meaning of Jesus’ words in John 20:23 (other than the obvious answer of: anything else)!

    Bror, I kind of wish you hadn’t goaded Grace with that aside (@110). Grace, I definitely wish you’d been serious when you said “I’m not going to go any further with the discussion of ‘illegal aliens’” (@29).

    I would like to take this time, however, to note the irony of someone — who is currently doing her darnedest to ignore what certain passages of the Bible clearly teach — saying things like “if only they had studied the Bible.”

    Once again, Grace, you are the one obsessed with Luther. You are the one quoting him and mentioning him. If only you were as obsessed with quoting and mentioning Jesus! Specifically, his words in John 20:23 and Matthew 18. Have you heard of those passages, Grace? I’ve just mentioned them for the first time ever. Maybe now that I’ve done that for the first time, you can go read them and tell me what they say? That would be nice. Thanks.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Well, I guess we see what Grace would rather talk about than the meaning of Jesus’ words in John 20:23 (other than the obvious answer of: anything else)!

    Bror, I kind of wish you hadn’t goaded Grace with that aside (@110). Grace, I definitely wish you’d been serious when you said “I’m not going to go any further with the discussion of ‘illegal aliens’” (@29).

    I would like to take this time, however, to note the irony of someone — who is currently doing her darnedest to ignore what certain passages of the Bible clearly teach — saying things like “if only they had studied the Bible.”

    Once again, Grace, you are the one obsessed with Luther. You are the one quoting him and mentioning him. If only you were as obsessed with quoting and mentioning Jesus! Specifically, his words in John 20:23 and Matthew 18. Have you heard of those passages, Grace? I’ve just mentioned them for the first time ever. Maybe now that I’ve done that for the first time, you can go read them and tell me what they say? That would be nice. Thanks.

  • Grace

    Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained. John 20:23

    And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Matthew 16:19

    Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
    Matthew 18:18

    Here are the THREE passages of Scripture.

    The passages above were made to the Disciples/Apostles. As I stated earlier, they were given many gifts we don’t have today, gifts to perform miracles.

    You as Lutheran’s believe that your pastor’s can offer absolution – why ONLY pastor’s, why not those who are Believers in the LORD Jesus Christ, why would it just need to be men? – why not women? – IF you believe that these passages were to be handed down, and that somehow pastor’s could offer absolution what Scripture do you have to substantiate your belief?

  • Grace

    Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained. John 20:23

    And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Matthew 16:19

    Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
    Matthew 18:18

    Here are the THREE passages of Scripture.

    The passages above were made to the Disciples/Apostles. As I stated earlier, they were given many gifts we don’t have today, gifts to perform miracles.

    You as Lutheran’s believe that your pastor’s can offer absolution – why ONLY pastor’s, why not those who are Believers in the LORD Jesus Christ, why would it just need to be men? – why not women? – IF you believe that these passages were to be handed down, and that somehow pastor’s could offer absolution what Scripture do you have to substantiate your belief?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Oh, hey, we’re back on topic now (@116). That’s nice. I spoke too soon — sorry, Grace!

    Er, well, you’re still going on about the Catholics. I don’t know why. Are you a Catholic, Grace? Based sheerly on the number of allusions made to the teachings of men in this thread, I’d have to guess, Grace, that you’re some sort of weird Catholic/Lutheran/Presbyterian hybrid. Is that correct? (Henry was a Presbyterian, if you didn’t know.) If it isn’t correct, perhaps you’d like to stop talking about those people and focus on the Bible? You do believe the Bible, don’t you, Grace? Good. (All of it?) Then let’s talk about it.

    Anyhow, it is nice to see you try a different tack with your arguing. Thanks for that.

    Unfortunately, you are now gainsaying everything you’ve said before. When you say, in apparent answer to the question of what John 20:23 means, that “the authority was give the Disciples of Christ, His Apostles, not to you or anyone else”, you’re now (again, apparently) saying that yes, in fact, men were given the authority, by Jesus, to announce the forgiveness of sins, to forgive the sins of other on behalf of Jesus.

    If so, you agree with us on that. It’s now merely a question of to whom that authority, that power, was given. You now answer, “His Apostles, not to you or anyone else.” Which is odd, since John 20:23 doesn’t use that word. It says, “the disciples”. It also notes that Thomas wasn’t there. So, at best, you’d have to argue that this authority was only given to 10 of the apostles. But you’d have to argue from the text why “the disciples” only included those 10 apostles and no one else. Keep in mind how John uses the term “disciples” and note that he does not use it exclusively to refer to the Twelve (cf. John 6:60-71). Remember also Jesus’ words in John 8:31: “To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, ‘If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.’” Hmm. Sounds like you have a tough road ahead of you to prove that John 20:23 applied only to the Twelve … er, Ten.

    You’d also have to explain by what authority Nathan could have told David that he was forgiven. Or by what authority Paul forgave. Are you up to it?

    “You as Lutheran’s believe that your pastor’s can offer absolution – why ONLY pastor’s?” (@118). False, false, false. You might try asking people what they believe, rather than just making incorrect assumptions. These passages apply to all of Jesus’ disciples. I am one, because I, by grace, “hold to Jesus’ teaching.”

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Oh, hey, we’re back on topic now (@116). That’s nice. I spoke too soon — sorry, Grace!

    Er, well, you’re still going on about the Catholics. I don’t know why. Are you a Catholic, Grace? Based sheerly on the number of allusions made to the teachings of men in this thread, I’d have to guess, Grace, that you’re some sort of weird Catholic/Lutheran/Presbyterian hybrid. Is that correct? (Henry was a Presbyterian, if you didn’t know.) If it isn’t correct, perhaps you’d like to stop talking about those people and focus on the Bible? You do believe the Bible, don’t you, Grace? Good. (All of it?) Then let’s talk about it.

    Anyhow, it is nice to see you try a different tack with your arguing. Thanks for that.

    Unfortunately, you are now gainsaying everything you’ve said before. When you say, in apparent answer to the question of what John 20:23 means, that “the authority was give the Disciples of Christ, His Apostles, not to you or anyone else”, you’re now (again, apparently) saying that yes, in fact, men were given the authority, by Jesus, to announce the forgiveness of sins, to forgive the sins of other on behalf of Jesus.

    If so, you agree with us on that. It’s now merely a question of to whom that authority, that power, was given. You now answer, “His Apostles, not to you or anyone else.” Which is odd, since John 20:23 doesn’t use that word. It says, “the disciples”. It also notes that Thomas wasn’t there. So, at best, you’d have to argue that this authority was only given to 10 of the apostles. But you’d have to argue from the text why “the disciples” only included those 10 apostles and no one else. Keep in mind how John uses the term “disciples” and note that he does not use it exclusively to refer to the Twelve (cf. John 6:60-71). Remember also Jesus’ words in John 8:31: “To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, ‘If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.’” Hmm. Sounds like you have a tough road ahead of you to prove that John 20:23 applied only to the Twelve … er, Ten.

    You’d also have to explain by what authority Nathan could have told David that he was forgiven. Or by what authority Paul forgave. Are you up to it?

    “You as Lutheran’s believe that your pastor’s can offer absolution – why ONLY pastor’s?” (@118). False, false, false. You might try asking people what they believe, rather than just making incorrect assumptions. These passages apply to all of Jesus’ disciples. I am one, because I, by grace, “hold to Jesus’ teaching.”

  • Grace

    Todd,

    Some of your posts make ‘some’ sense’ but this last one was that of a child going over something, using verbalism as a way of skirting what I posted.

    If you can address what I posted and give reasons why you do not agree, MAYBE we can go forward. Otherwise it’s a waste of time.

  • Grace

    Todd,

    Some of your posts make ‘some’ sense’ but this last one was that of a child going over something, using verbalism as a way of skirting what I posted.

    If you can address what I posted and give reasons why you do not agree, MAYBE we can go forward. Otherwise it’s a waste of time.

  • Grace

    Todd 119

    “Er, well, you’re still going on about the Catholics. I don’t know why. Are you a Catholic, Grace? Based sheerly on the number of allusions made to the teachings of men in this thread, I’d have to guess, Grace, that you’re some sort of weird Catholic/Lutheran/Presbyterian hybrid. Is that correct? (Henry was a Presbyterian, if you didn’t know.) If it isn’t correct, perhaps you’d like to stop talking about those people and focus on the Bible? You do believe the Bible, don’t you, Grace?”

    Another snarky attack!

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace (@120), I did “address what you posted” — I quoted your words and replied to them! The ball is in your court to prove that John 20:23′s reference to “the disciples” refers only to the 10 Apostles that were there, and not to all of Jesus’ disciples (which would include me and, I assume, you).

    You are also, I noted, mistaken about what Lutherans believe about absolution.

  • Grace

    Todd 119

    “Er, well, you’re still going on about the Catholics. I don’t know why. Are you a Catholic, Grace? Based sheerly on the number of allusions made to the teachings of men in this thread, I’d have to guess, Grace, that you’re some sort of weird Catholic/Lutheran/Presbyterian hybrid. Is that correct? (Henry was a Presbyterian, if you didn’t know.) If it isn’t correct, perhaps you’d like to stop talking about those people and focus on the Bible? You do believe the Bible, don’t you, Grace?”

    Another snarky attack!

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace (@120), I did “address what you posted” — I quoted your words and replied to them! The ball is in your court to prove that John 20:23′s reference to “the disciples” refers only to the 10 Apostles that were there, and not to all of Jesus’ disciples (which would include me and, I assume, you).

    You are also, I noted, mistaken about what Lutherans believe about absolution.

  • Grace

    Todd, 122

    No you didn’t answer anything, you took what I wrote, and mixed it up – LOL

  • Grace

    Todd, 122

    No you didn’t answer anything, you took what I wrote, and mixed it up – LOL

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace (@123), if you’re not going to read (all of) what I wrote (@119), nor reply to it, why bother commenting at all?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace (@123), if you’re not going to read (all of) what I wrote (@119), nor reply to it, why bother commenting at all?

  • Grace

    Todd,

    Your posts, snide remarks to me personally are disgraceful – I have no reason to continue discussing anything with you.

    Take care -

  • Grace

    Todd,

    Your posts, snide remarks to me personally are disgraceful – I have no reason to continue discussing anything with you.

    Take care -

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Yes Grace!
    See Ptl, and you didn’t think it could happen.

    Grace,
    Thank you for admitting that Jesus is giving authority to men, however specific, to forgive sins. In this you acknowledge that God can delegate authority to men to forgive sins.
    Your next question is a very good one, and I feel we are finally moving in this discussion and discussing something worthwhile to discuss.
    Todd is right to admonish you though for not asking what it is Lutherans believe, rather than assuming that we believe something. In fact even the Catholic church acknowledges, or at least used too, in as much as Augustine was a Catholic, that all Christians have the right to forgive sins. It is fairly clear from Matthew 18 that this right is given to all Christians, since the instruction of confronting your brother with his sin is for all Christians to follow. So you are wrong there in what we believe.
    however there is an emphasis on the Pastor doing it in Lutheranism, and this is because the office of pastor is a divinely instituted office that Christ put in place especially for this reason, this is an office that has an intimate connection with that of the apostles, though it is not the same as that of the apostles. We get this idea from many different passages of scripture actually. The one that comes to mind first and formost is 1 Cointhians 4:1, but also Peter in first Peter refers to himself as a pastor, in fact he, being instructed to “feed my sheep” is the one who uses the language of shepherd or undershepherd or pastor most explicitly, but in 1 Peter 5:1 he calls himself an “elder”. Elsewhere pastors are called elders, overseers (that is bishops) and stewards of God, as in Titus 1. In act 14:23 the apostles appoint elders. In 1 Corinthians 4:1 he is mentioning ‘elders” and those in company with him such as Timothy and Titus, who were training to be pastors, and says that they should be considered stewards of the mysteries of God.
    Women can forgive sins just as anyother Christian can forgive sins, but are forbidden to be pastors as you well know.
    The office of pastor is a special office in the church, pastors are set a part by the congregation to do these tasks. Not everyone is a pastor, and not everyone is bound by ordination vows. Perhaps that is the biggest reason for the emphasis on the pastoral office as the place to hear forgiveness. Pastors in the Lutheran church take a vow of silence not to divulge what they hear in confession. And believe me you and most Christians don’t want to hear. The hearing of confession is not always easy. There is solace though in knowing that forgiveness and the gospel are much more likely to change a heart, and therefore activity than the law.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Yes Grace!
    See Ptl, and you didn’t think it could happen.

    Grace,
    Thank you for admitting that Jesus is giving authority to men, however specific, to forgive sins. In this you acknowledge that God can delegate authority to men to forgive sins.
    Your next question is a very good one, and I feel we are finally moving in this discussion and discussing something worthwhile to discuss.
    Todd is right to admonish you though for not asking what it is Lutherans believe, rather than assuming that we believe something. In fact even the Catholic church acknowledges, or at least used too, in as much as Augustine was a Catholic, that all Christians have the right to forgive sins. It is fairly clear from Matthew 18 that this right is given to all Christians, since the instruction of confronting your brother with his sin is for all Christians to follow. So you are wrong there in what we believe.
    however there is an emphasis on the Pastor doing it in Lutheranism, and this is because the office of pastor is a divinely instituted office that Christ put in place especially for this reason, this is an office that has an intimate connection with that of the apostles, though it is not the same as that of the apostles. We get this idea from many different passages of scripture actually. The one that comes to mind first and formost is 1 Cointhians 4:1, but also Peter in first Peter refers to himself as a pastor, in fact he, being instructed to “feed my sheep” is the one who uses the language of shepherd or undershepherd or pastor most explicitly, but in 1 Peter 5:1 he calls himself an “elder”. Elsewhere pastors are called elders, overseers (that is bishops) and stewards of God, as in Titus 1. In act 14:23 the apostles appoint elders. In 1 Corinthians 4:1 he is mentioning ‘elders” and those in company with him such as Timothy and Titus, who were training to be pastors, and says that they should be considered stewards of the mysteries of God.
    Women can forgive sins just as anyother Christian can forgive sins, but are forbidden to be pastors as you well know.
    The office of pastor is a special office in the church, pastors are set a part by the congregation to do these tasks. Not everyone is a pastor, and not everyone is bound by ordination vows. Perhaps that is the biggest reason for the emphasis on the pastoral office as the place to hear forgiveness. Pastors in the Lutheran church take a vow of silence not to divulge what they hear in confession. And believe me you and most Christians don’t want to hear. The hearing of confession is not always easy. There is solace though in knowing that forgiveness and the gospel are much more likely to change a heart, and therefore activity than the law.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace,
    If I may, the way you word your comments, and accuse based on assumptions, invites snarky responses. You come at us, tODD and I and Lutherans in general with a high handed tone, and then say things that are just not true, you repeatedly set up straw men and so forth. And when you complain about a snarky response you are like a “christian” slapping another christian across the face, and complaining that the Christian does not turn the other cheek. When the Christian is admonishing you and rebuking you as Christ commands us to do in Luke 17. Because a “Christian” should not be slapping another across the face in the first place.
    So if you do not want snarky responses don’t come at us with a know it all attitude accusing us of believing things we don’t believe.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace,
    If I may, the way you word your comments, and accuse based on assumptions, invites snarky responses. You come at us, tODD and I and Lutherans in general with a high handed tone, and then say things that are just not true, you repeatedly set up straw men and so forth. And when you complain about a snarky response you are like a “christian” slapping another christian across the face, and complaining that the Christian does not turn the other cheek. When the Christian is admonishing you and rebuking you as Christ commands us to do in Luke 17. Because a “Christian” should not be slapping another across the face in the first place.
    So if you do not want snarky responses don’t come at us with a know it all attitude accusing us of believing things we don’t believe.

  • Grace

    Bror – your first paragraph, and sentence in the next one, in post 110 is enough –

    Take care!

  • Grace

    Bror – your first paragraph, and sentence in the next one, in post 110 is enough –

    Take care!

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace (@125), I’m honestly sorry to see you go. I hope at least you will read what I wrote (@119) and consider it, even if you don’t reply back.

    I will cop to, at times, being less-than-helpfully snarky here — how could I deny it? I apologize. Though I will also add that you frequently mistake — please note, mistake — my playfulness and sense of humor as some sort of a personal attack on you.

    Anyhow, my two short posts (@122, 124) before you accused me of “snide remarks” were completely sincere. You accused me of not answering you, of “skirting what you’d posted”, but that’s simply, factually, false. Read my reply (@119) again. I quoted you directly, twice, and then followed up with my reply. In short, I don’t know why you’ve chosen now to leave. I thought the conversation was, just now, finally getting somewhere.

    But whether you continue this discussion with me or not, I must urge you to read and reread John 20 and Matthew 18 in their full context. Ask yourself who “the disciples” were — again, from the context. Ask yourself why you believe this authority was given only to a certain subset of men, and no one else ever again in history. You will not find that spelled out in the text itself. Prayerfully ask God why that is, and to teach you what He wants to teach you in these passages.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace (@125), I’m honestly sorry to see you go. I hope at least you will read what I wrote (@119) and consider it, even if you don’t reply back.

    I will cop to, at times, being less-than-helpfully snarky here — how could I deny it? I apologize. Though I will also add that you frequently mistake — please note, mistake — my playfulness and sense of humor as some sort of a personal attack on you.

    Anyhow, my two short posts (@122, 124) before you accused me of “snide remarks” were completely sincere. You accused me of not answering you, of “skirting what you’d posted”, but that’s simply, factually, false. Read my reply (@119) again. I quoted you directly, twice, and then followed up with my reply. In short, I don’t know why you’ve chosen now to leave. I thought the conversation was, just now, finally getting somewhere.

    But whether you continue this discussion with me or not, I must urge you to read and reread John 20 and Matthew 18 in their full context. Ask yourself who “the disciples” were — again, from the context. Ask yourself why you believe this authority was given only to a certain subset of men, and no one else ever again in history. You will not find that spelled out in the text itself. Prayerfully ask God why that is, and to teach you what He wants to teach you in these passages.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace,
    you never cease to amaze me with your fickleness. Are you serious? seventh grade, that is when you stopped maturing is my guess.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace,
    you never cease to amaze me with your fickleness. Are you serious? seventh grade, that is when you stopped maturing is my guess.

  • ptl

    Bror….really your last comment coming from a Lutheran Pastor is shameful :(

  • ptl

    Bror….really your last comment coming from a Lutheran Pastor is shameful :(

  • ptl

    Bore…..er, Bror, may I say one more thing? You talk about an every day person stopped at a 7th grade maturity level…..how about you? Even though you have that gun in your hand, 7th grade is about the same time I passed my NRA test and got my hunting license….the difference is, regular people are not game to be hunted down for fun and/or sport…perhaps it’s time you remove the log from your eye and not treat everyone as if they are some backward hick from Utah? You can do it….you went to a good Lutheran Seminary :)

  • ptl

    Bore…..er, Bror, may I say one more thing? You talk about an every day person stopped at a 7th grade maturity level…..how about you? Even though you have that gun in your hand, 7th grade is about the same time I passed my NRA test and got my hunting license….the difference is, regular people are not game to be hunted down for fun and/or sport…perhaps it’s time you remove the log from your eye and not treat everyone as if they are some backward hick from Utah? You can do it….you went to a good Lutheran Seminary :)

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    PTL (@132), I’m not really sure why you’re injecting yourself into this discussion every 30 comments or so, but I guess that’s your choice.

    Still, while I am not excusing Bror’s sharper comments (nor my own, but I already copped to that @129) …

    Really? Really? You’re going to complain about Bror’s “7th-grade maturity level” comment, challenge him to “remove the log from your eye”, and yet, somehow, start your whole reply to Bror by making fun of his name? Really? Really?

    I mean, pick a stance. Are you opposed to “7th-grade” antics? Then don’t mock someone’s name like you were a 7th grader. Are you opposed to hypocrisy? Then don’t engage in it. “Bore”! Good grief! At the very least, be more creative than that.

    Besides, I don’t know what comment thread you’re reading, but no one was treating Grace like “some backward hick from Utah”, whatever that means. We were treating her like a person who repeatedly refused to answer questions directed at her, continually refused to believe our own statements about ourselves, would not stay on topic, and a host of other problems when it comes to the skill of conversation, much less debate. Read this thread and tell me it’s wrong to say such things.

    You want to defend Grace, PTL — and it is a good instinct you have. You’re being, in a way, nice. But being “nice” in the defense of heterodoxy — and arrogant heterodoxy, at that — isn’t actually a virtue. It’s just niceness for niceness’ sake. “Can’t we all just get along?” That sort of thing. That way lies religious liberalism. And the death of truth.

    So yes, by all means, remind us all of the love we need to show to each other. But do keep in mind that it is not nice to anybody to ignore false teaching, even if it does avoid hard feelings to do so. Join in the actual discussion, while you’re at it. This doesn’t require some PhD in “Lutheran doctrine” (or at least I hope not; I don’t have one of those), you just have to read the Bible (and not ignore the parts you don’t like, of course). That is, ultimately, what we’re talking about here.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    PTL (@132), I’m not really sure why you’re injecting yourself into this discussion every 30 comments or so, but I guess that’s your choice.

    Still, while I am not excusing Bror’s sharper comments (nor my own, but I already copped to that @129) …

    Really? Really? You’re going to complain about Bror’s “7th-grade maturity level” comment, challenge him to “remove the log from your eye”, and yet, somehow, start your whole reply to Bror by making fun of his name? Really? Really?

    I mean, pick a stance. Are you opposed to “7th-grade” antics? Then don’t mock someone’s name like you were a 7th grader. Are you opposed to hypocrisy? Then don’t engage in it. “Bore”! Good grief! At the very least, be more creative than that.

    Besides, I don’t know what comment thread you’re reading, but no one was treating Grace like “some backward hick from Utah”, whatever that means. We were treating her like a person who repeatedly refused to answer questions directed at her, continually refused to believe our own statements about ourselves, would not stay on topic, and a host of other problems when it comes to the skill of conversation, much less debate. Read this thread and tell me it’s wrong to say such things.

    You want to defend Grace, PTL — and it is a good instinct you have. You’re being, in a way, nice. But being “nice” in the defense of heterodoxy — and arrogant heterodoxy, at that — isn’t actually a virtue. It’s just niceness for niceness’ sake. “Can’t we all just get along?” That sort of thing. That way lies religious liberalism. And the death of truth.

    So yes, by all means, remind us all of the love we need to show to each other. But do keep in mind that it is not nice to anybody to ignore false teaching, even if it does avoid hard feelings to do so. Join in the actual discussion, while you’re at it. This doesn’t require some PhD in “Lutheran doctrine” (or at least I hope not; I don’t have one of those), you just have to read the Bible (and not ignore the parts you don’t like, of course). That is, ultimately, what we’re talking about here.

  • ptl

    tODD…who made you the authority on when folks may comment or not? you seem to think yourself pretty almighty and than is pretty offensive….although my guess you could hardly care :( boo hoo to you, you’re kind of snobby in addition to snarky….mind you, have been around your kind of lutheran’s (for a time was even in the WELS but could not deal with the exclusiveness with regard to prayer with Christians other than them holy selves)…although respected their right to feel that way. But really, is this your blog? and you feel some authority to judge whether someone’s comment is appropriate? yuck! and your way of dealing with dissenters is right up there with some of the great advocates of free speech…guess you could expect that from someone from the police state atmosphere of good ole liberal Portland, Ore-e-gone?

  • ptl

    tODD…who made you the authority on when folks may comment or not? you seem to think yourself pretty almighty and than is pretty offensive….although my guess you could hardly care :( boo hoo to you, you’re kind of snobby in addition to snarky….mind you, have been around your kind of lutheran’s (for a time was even in the WELS but could not deal with the exclusiveness with regard to prayer with Christians other than them holy selves)…although respected their right to feel that way. But really, is this your blog? and you feel some authority to judge whether someone’s comment is appropriate? yuck! and your way of dealing with dissenters is right up there with some of the great advocates of free speech…guess you could expect that from someone from the police state atmosphere of good ole liberal Portland, Ore-e-gone?

  • ptl

    ok now I feel bad and sorry for being so nasty…..but my point is my opinion is you guys really gang up on folks and the way you go about trying to set them straight just seems coarse…..of course, you are doing that in the spirit of Luther himself, who did not mince words with dissenters….but for heavens’ sake the Reformation is over, and my hope would be you find a kinder and gentler way to deal with the non-Lutherans, or just let it go….you should know, as a Web Master, how hard it is to communicate via blogs (emails, etc.) which have none of the body language and other communication information that one gets in one on one talks…..folks so often mis-read many things into things written in emails and blogs, especially. In my opinion, would share the opinion with Grace that your tactics are sometimes very harsh, am sorry to say…..my Pastor once said, we are to be a light unto the world, but not a flood light, if that makes sense to you? if not, perhaps can put you in touch with him for clarification…but he is Missouri Synod so am sure a WELS member would consider him to be suspect? Well, just kiddin (like you do so often, eh?)….but anyway, it’s fun to read you and Porcell and Bror and many others go at it….just every once and awhile can’t stand it and throw in a comment…didn;t realize it was against the rules :( Will continue to wish you all the best in your quest to do whatever it is you all hope to do here…..and look forward to getting it all straightened out in the blog of all blogs on the other side of this internet thing :)

  • ptl

    ok now I feel bad and sorry for being so nasty…..but my point is my opinion is you guys really gang up on folks and the way you go about trying to set them straight just seems coarse…..of course, you are doing that in the spirit of Luther himself, who did not mince words with dissenters….but for heavens’ sake the Reformation is over, and my hope would be you find a kinder and gentler way to deal with the non-Lutherans, or just let it go….you should know, as a Web Master, how hard it is to communicate via blogs (emails, etc.) which have none of the body language and other communication information that one gets in one on one talks…..folks so often mis-read many things into things written in emails and blogs, especially. In my opinion, would share the opinion with Grace that your tactics are sometimes very harsh, am sorry to say…..my Pastor once said, we are to be a light unto the world, but not a flood light, if that makes sense to you? if not, perhaps can put you in touch with him for clarification…but he is Missouri Synod so am sure a WELS member would consider him to be suspect? Well, just kiddin (like you do so often, eh?)….but anyway, it’s fun to read you and Porcell and Bror and many others go at it….just every once and awhile can’t stand it and throw in a comment…didn;t realize it was against the rules :( Will continue to wish you all the best in your quest to do whatever it is you all hope to do here…..and look forward to getting it all straightened out in the blog of all blogs on the other side of this internet thing :)

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Ptl @135

    You said that you felt bad and sorry for saying some of the things you did. And you say you are a Lutheran.

    Suggestion:

    Go to your pastor and ask to recieve Holy Absolution. This is where you pastor will place his hand on your head after hearing your confession of sin and say “as a called and ordained servant of the word, I forgive you your sins in the name of the father, the son and the holy spirit. + Amen!”

    As a Lutheran christian, you know just how powerful this is and what a wonderful blessing of release this is. And if like alot of Lutherans, you have never taken advantage of this blessing, I would encourage you to go to your Lutheran pastor and ask him to do his job in this way. He would be very, very happy Ptl at your request. I can assure you!

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Ptl @135

    You said that you felt bad and sorry for saying some of the things you did. And you say you are a Lutheran.

    Suggestion:

    Go to your pastor and ask to recieve Holy Absolution. This is where you pastor will place his hand on your head after hearing your confession of sin and say “as a called and ordained servant of the word, I forgive you your sins in the name of the father, the son and the holy spirit. + Amen!”

    As a Lutheran christian, you know just how powerful this is and what a wonderful blessing of release this is. And if like alot of Lutherans, you have never taken advantage of this blessing, I would encourage you to go to your Lutheran pastor and ask him to do his job in this way. He would be very, very happy Ptl at your request. I can assure you!

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Todd @ 133

    I am just curious Todd, how is the WELS doing at trying to rexstore the very Lutheran practice of private confessions and absolution?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Todd @ 133

    I am just curious Todd, how is the WELS doing at trying to rexstore the very Lutheran practice of private confessions and absolution?

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    ptl,
    I’m just not sure what conversation you have been monitoring, or why you think you need to scold me for something. I’m not trying to hunt anybody down, but I will defend Lutheran Doctrine, and go on the offensive when someone feels like they need to take a pot shot at Lutheranism. I’m always open for honest cordial debate, but then if you want honest cordial debate there is a way of engaging the subject to bring that about. Grace doesn’t. She comes in in an arrogant way, insulting others and expecting that they will turn the other cheek. And I explained that to her above. And yes that will invite the debater in me to come out full bore. (And there I am not making a pun on my name.) Grace had many options, she could have changed here tune, she could have left the conversation, but she chose to be stubborn and obstinate and not engage the questions, but keep making the same statements over and over again all the while accusing Lutherans of false doctrine. That is not going to play well.
    You might notice in the other thread with J.Dean, I had a very pleasant conversation. Ask yourself why? Why is it I was not as abrasive with him as I sometimes get with Grace here? Perhaps it is Grace asks for it and feigns offense for sympathy, where as J.Dean actually had a question, asked it in a polite way, and received the answer in a polite way. He didn’t assume anything about what Lutherans believe or doggedly hold to those assumptions.
    Other than that, I think Veith does a fine enough job monitoring this site. He is our host, a good host, and is corrective where he deems it necessary to be corrective. I might ask you to leave the monitoring to him. On this site, we have a history of heated debate and friendship, it is what makes it tick. We find that we move positions and grow that way. We can be hard on each other, and yet agree with each other on other subjects.
    As it is though, I’m going to be checking out for a while. I have some work I need to get done. I hope to be back debating with my friends soon.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    ptl,
    I’m just not sure what conversation you have been monitoring, or why you think you need to scold me for something. I’m not trying to hunt anybody down, but I will defend Lutheran Doctrine, and go on the offensive when someone feels like they need to take a pot shot at Lutheranism. I’m always open for honest cordial debate, but then if you want honest cordial debate there is a way of engaging the subject to bring that about. Grace doesn’t. She comes in in an arrogant way, insulting others and expecting that they will turn the other cheek. And I explained that to her above. And yes that will invite the debater in me to come out full bore. (And there I am not making a pun on my name.) Grace had many options, she could have changed here tune, she could have left the conversation, but she chose to be stubborn and obstinate and not engage the questions, but keep making the same statements over and over again all the while accusing Lutherans of false doctrine. That is not going to play well.
    You might notice in the other thread with J.Dean, I had a very pleasant conversation. Ask yourself why? Why is it I was not as abrasive with him as I sometimes get with Grace here? Perhaps it is Grace asks for it and feigns offense for sympathy, where as J.Dean actually had a question, asked it in a polite way, and received the answer in a polite way. He didn’t assume anything about what Lutherans believe or doggedly hold to those assumptions.
    Other than that, I think Veith does a fine enough job monitoring this site. He is our host, a good host, and is corrective where he deems it necessary to be corrective. I might ask you to leave the monitoring to him. On this site, we have a history of heated debate and friendship, it is what makes it tick. We find that we move positions and grow that way. We can be hard on each other, and yet agree with each other on other subjects.
    As it is though, I’m going to be checking out for a while. I have some work I need to get done. I hope to be back debating with my friends soon.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    FWS asked (@137), “How is the WELS doing at trying to rexstore the very Lutheran practice of private confessions and absolution?”

    Um, poorly? I’m really not connected with the WELS except in my local area. Our subscription to Forward in Christ got canceled (for the moment) when we moved from a mission church to a fully-fledged one, so if they’ve mentioned it in there in the past few months, I’ve missed it. Certainly none of my pastors have ever offered it openly, though I will admit I’ve never asked them about it as an option for just me. On the one hand, I wish it were a common practice. On the other hand, I see how swamped our pastors are, as to their time. Not that they’re necessarily swamped with things that are more important than that, no. But still. I think it’s also likely that, given that I haven’t yet bothered to ask one of my pastors if I could do confession/absolution with them, that even if it were offered to all, I would not necessarily have taken them up on it. Because I am sinful and proud and scared of admitting my sins to another human being. Which is why confession would be a good thing, of course.

    Anyhow, I was thinking about this, and it did occur to me that, even if they don’t call it “confession”, most counseling sessions, of one form or another, could be considered a type of confession/absolution. Just a thought.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    FWS asked (@137), “How is the WELS doing at trying to rexstore the very Lutheran practice of private confessions and absolution?”

    Um, poorly? I’m really not connected with the WELS except in my local area. Our subscription to Forward in Christ got canceled (for the moment) when we moved from a mission church to a fully-fledged one, so if they’ve mentioned it in there in the past few months, I’ve missed it. Certainly none of my pastors have ever offered it openly, though I will admit I’ve never asked them about it as an option for just me. On the one hand, I wish it were a common practice. On the other hand, I see how swamped our pastors are, as to their time. Not that they’re necessarily swamped with things that are more important than that, no. But still. I think it’s also likely that, given that I haven’t yet bothered to ask one of my pastors if I could do confession/absolution with them, that even if it were offered to all, I would not necessarily have taken them up on it. Because I am sinful and proud and scared of admitting my sins to another human being. Which is why confession would be a good thing, of course.

    Anyhow, I was thinking about this, and it did occur to me that, even if they don’t call it “confession”, most counseling sessions, of one form or another, could be considered a type of confession/absolution. Just a thought.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Todd @ 139

    Thanks for that. I have a very soft and warm spot for the WELS as my spiritual mother.

    I grew up in the dakotas where the volga russians had a healthy dose of pietism . communion 4 times a year. flee from making the sign of the cross or a crucifix because it was too roman catholic. etc.

    They still had a practice though called “announcing ” for communion, where the pastor would sit in his study and hang out and people could come and talk to him before communion. I suspect pretty strongly that that was the left over from private confession. Even today when I tell a WELS person that I do private confession they slot it in as a preparation for the sacrament of the altar. that is where they place it in their theological matrix.

    Interesting stuff.

    You should compell your pastor to do is job and hear your private confession on a regular basis. And you should follow Luther´s advice and fill the content of your confession not with the ways you have sinned against God. You may leave that for the general confession you do in church. No. in private confession think about how you have not loved your neighbor and confess that. that way your confession does not become some theological abstraction. The sin list should be about something you did. you can leave the thought sins somewhere else….

    But now my most important suggestion:

    Go on a regular basis and limit yourself to only one sin against your neighbor in each session. The idea is to develop the habit and discipline of going and hearing the Absolution, and this will help you avoid placing the focus on the sin list, where contra logically it does not belong in that sacrament of absolution.

    Then, after doing this faithfully for 6 months. I give you permission to expand the sin list you bring. But not before. Your Old adam will do his best to subvert your confession if you do not wait 6 months to start a more detailed sin list. It will become about you, and not about Jesus and his absolution upon you.

    Finally, use the order of private confession in the new LCMS hymnal. Yours truly had a very direct and personal hand in developing this format that was finally selected to be included in the new hynmal. So think about your gay friend kindly when you go and use that short form for confession and feel free to imagine just why the sacrament of Holy Absolution matters that much to him.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Todd @ 139

    Thanks for that. I have a very soft and warm spot for the WELS as my spiritual mother.

    I grew up in the dakotas where the volga russians had a healthy dose of pietism . communion 4 times a year. flee from making the sign of the cross or a crucifix because it was too roman catholic. etc.

    They still had a practice though called “announcing ” for communion, where the pastor would sit in his study and hang out and people could come and talk to him before communion. I suspect pretty strongly that that was the left over from private confession. Even today when I tell a WELS person that I do private confession they slot it in as a preparation for the sacrament of the altar. that is where they place it in their theological matrix.

    Interesting stuff.

    You should compell your pastor to do is job and hear your private confession on a regular basis. And you should follow Luther´s advice and fill the content of your confession not with the ways you have sinned against God. You may leave that for the general confession you do in church. No. in private confession think about how you have not loved your neighbor and confess that. that way your confession does not become some theological abstraction. The sin list should be about something you did. you can leave the thought sins somewhere else….

    But now my most important suggestion:

    Go on a regular basis and limit yourself to only one sin against your neighbor in each session. The idea is to develop the habit and discipline of going and hearing the Absolution, and this will help you avoid placing the focus on the sin list, where contra logically it does not belong in that sacrament of absolution.

    Then, after doing this faithfully for 6 months. I give you permission to expand the sin list you bring. But not before. Your Old adam will do his best to subvert your confession if you do not wait 6 months to start a more detailed sin list. It will become about you, and not about Jesus and his absolution upon you.

    Finally, use the order of private confession in the new LCMS hymnal. Yours truly had a very direct and personal hand in developing this format that was finally selected to be included in the new hynmal. So think about your gay friend kindly when you go and use that short form for confession and feel free to imagine just why the sacrament of Holy Absolution matters that much to him.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    wow. This site is getting to be really interesting eh? 135 comments and it wasnt about something to do with homosexuality or abortion!

    and we have now had quite a few theologically oriented posts that ended up like this. I am really liking this alot!

    Thanks Dr Veith!

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    wow. This site is getting to be really interesting eh? 135 comments and it wasnt about something to do with homosexuality or abortion!

    and we have now had quite a few theologically oriented posts that ended up like this. I am really liking this alot!

    Thanks Dr Veith!

  • Grace

    140 – “gay”

    141 – “homosexuality or abortion!” –

    Hm…. homosexuality is gay? – or is that not the same thing?

  • Grace

    140 – “gay”

    141 – “homosexuality or abortion!” –

    Hm…. homosexuality is gay? – or is that not the same thing?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Hi, Grace (@142)! Have you had a chance to consider my questions (@119 — start at paragraph 4, if you’d like)?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Hi, Grace (@142)! Have you had a chance to consider my questions (@119 — start at paragraph 4, if you’d like)?

  • Grace

    READING COMPREHENSION ALERT!

    Please see post 125 -

  • Grace

    READING COMPREHENSION ALERT!

    Please see post 125 -

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    grace @ 142

    Todd and Bror´s invitation to talk about Jesus and how his forgiveness is communicated in applied to you personally Grace , should, interest you more than dictionary definitions.

    I could not live without Christ and his forgiveness. This is precisely because I am a poor miserable sinner, and because I daily sin against God in thought word and deed and do what I should not and fail to show love and mercy where I could and should and am unclean and deserve nothing but temporal and eternal punishment.

    It is said that “it takes one to know one”.

    I know you dear sister Grace. We are like two peas in a pod you and me. Our sins look so very similar. Maybe we were twins separated at birth.

    So I cannot help but love you and see that that shell you put around yourself is because it masks alot of pain and fear.

    Please listen to Todd and Bror and do not be afraid to accept their invitation to know Jesus in a different way. The god you trust will need to die (I have lots of false gods too, so don´t take that as an insult or barb please). But in it´s place you will find a Peace that passes all human understanding.

    Grace, no matter what your darkest secrets are, your Jesus knows your secret sins and he will never ever leave you or forsake you. And for that Lover of your soul to send Bror and Todd and now sinful me, who is, I know unworthy to serve you, to tell you that He loves you so very very much AS a sinner, just as you are. Is that a bad thing really?

    You are a beautiful brave woman Grace. You deserve more than you allow for yourself, and here is your gentle meek Jesus knocking at your door in the form of flawed sinners.

    Will you open that door and allow his love to flow to you?

    God bless you in your journey dear sister.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    grace @ 142

    Todd and Bror´s invitation to talk about Jesus and how his forgiveness is communicated in applied to you personally Grace , should, interest you more than dictionary definitions.

    I could not live without Christ and his forgiveness. This is precisely because I am a poor miserable sinner, and because I daily sin against God in thought word and deed and do what I should not and fail to show love and mercy where I could and should and am unclean and deserve nothing but temporal and eternal punishment.

    It is said that “it takes one to know one”.

    I know you dear sister Grace. We are like two peas in a pod you and me. Our sins look so very similar. Maybe we were twins separated at birth.

    So I cannot help but love you and see that that shell you put around yourself is because it masks alot of pain and fear.

    Please listen to Todd and Bror and do not be afraid to accept their invitation to know Jesus in a different way. The god you trust will need to die (I have lots of false gods too, so don´t take that as an insult or barb please). But in it´s place you will find a Peace that passes all human understanding.

    Grace, no matter what your darkest secrets are, your Jesus knows your secret sins and he will never ever leave you or forsake you. And for that Lover of your soul to send Bror and Todd and now sinful me, who is, I know unworthy to serve you, to tell you that He loves you so very very much AS a sinner, just as you are. Is that a bad thing really?

    You are a beautiful brave woman Grace. You deserve more than you allow for yourself, and here is your gentle meek Jesus knocking at your door in the form of flawed sinners.

    Will you open that door and allow his love to flow to you?

    God bless you in your journey dear sister.

  • Grace

    “I know you dear sister Grace. We are like two peas in a pod you and me. Our sins look so very similar. Maybe we were twins separated at birth.

    So I cannot help but love you and see that that shell you put around yourself is because it masks alot of pain and fear. ”

    Cut the crystal balling drivel!

  • Grace

    “I know you dear sister Grace. We are like two peas in a pod you and me. Our sins look so very similar. Maybe we were twins separated at birth.

    So I cannot help but love you and see that that shell you put around yourself is because it masks alot of pain and fear. ”

    Cut the crystal balling drivel!

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    grace @ 146

    see what I mean Grace! Now THAT is exactly what I was talkin about in what you quoted!

    Bingo.

    It is so Joan-Crawford-as-Mommy-dearest. See how I, as a gay-or-is-it-homosexual-man-boy-am-i-confused-over-that … um… person would totally identify with your blog persona here gal?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    grace @ 146

    see what I mean Grace! Now THAT is exactly what I was talkin about in what you quoted!

    Bingo.

    It is so Joan-Crawford-as-Mommy-dearest. See how I, as a gay-or-is-it-homosexual-man-boy-am-i-confused-over-that … um… person would totally identify with your blog persona here gal?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    C´mon Grace. Pull up to the virtual bar here at Cranach and have a beer , or two, or three with us, and let´s have some laughs as we disagree. I promise it won´t hurt a bit. This is very serious stuff we are talkin bout. Too serious to get all like that.

    I love you Gracie gal. Even if it makes ya twitch a little.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    C´mon Grace. Pull up to the virtual bar here at Cranach and have a beer , or two, or three with us, and let´s have some laughs as we disagree. I promise it won´t hurt a bit. This is very serious stuff we are talkin bout. Too serious to get all like that.

    I love you Gracie gal. Even if it makes ya twitch a little.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace, I only asked (@143) if you’d “had a chance to consider” my earlier questions. You don’t have to share your considerations with me. I appreciate your very bold alert (@144), but I did understand your earlier statement (@125). I just thought that, maybe, you’d have forgiven me by now. Even if I don’t know what, exactly, I did to set you off, I did apologize for my tone, after all (@129).

    Do you see the irony, Grace? The same woman who teaches that humans cannot forgive other humans, cannot announce the forgiveness of God as Jesus instructed them to in John 20:23 … as far as I can tell, that same woman has yet to forgive me. Do you think those things are related, Grace?

    Do you want to keep being angry at me? Do you think it’s the loving thing to do? Do you think it’s the Christian thing to do? What do you think forgiveness is, Grace?

    And if forgiveness is something that I have from Jesus — and I can tell you with 100% certainty that it is, Grace, even for my snarkiness in this discussion — then who are you to withhold it from me?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace, I only asked (@143) if you’d “had a chance to consider” my earlier questions. You don’t have to share your considerations with me. I appreciate your very bold alert (@144), but I did understand your earlier statement (@125). I just thought that, maybe, you’d have forgiven me by now. Even if I don’t know what, exactly, I did to set you off, I did apologize for my tone, after all (@129).

    Do you see the irony, Grace? The same woman who teaches that humans cannot forgive other humans, cannot announce the forgiveness of God as Jesus instructed them to in John 20:23 … as far as I can tell, that same woman has yet to forgive me. Do you think those things are related, Grace?

    Do you want to keep being angry at me? Do you think it’s the loving thing to do? Do you think it’s the Christian thing to do? What do you think forgiveness is, Grace?

    And if forgiveness is something that I have from Jesus — and I can tell you with 100% certainty that it is, Grace, even for my snarkiness in this discussion — then who are you to withhold it from me?

  • Grace

    I forgive each person for whatever they have done. That does not mean I want to interact with them. Posting on blogs is a CHOICE, it is not a command performance!

  • Grace

    I forgive each person for whatever they have done. That does not mean I want to interact with them. Posting on blogs is a CHOICE, it is not a command performance!

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    grace @ 150

    you are not only required to forgive. You are required to be loving. Do you think anyone would read what you wrote and how you wrote it and say…

    “geez, now that woman Grace, she is a model demostration of what loving argumentation looks like!”

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    grace @ 150

    you are not only required to forgive. You are required to be loving. Do you think anyone would read what you wrote and how you wrote it and say…

    “geez, now that woman Grace, she is a model demostration of what loving argumentation looks like!”

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Grace I know you. You can do better.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Grace I know you. You can do better.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace (@150), thanks, glad to hear it, but … when were you planning on telling me that you’d forgiven me? Don’t you think it’s important to tell people you forgive them? And not merely to announce to no one in particular that you “forgive each person for whatever they have done”, but to tell the people — especially those who apologize to you — that you forgive them, specifically for the wrong they have done? Forgiveness is not merely a mental exercise. It has to be communicated.

    And of course, you are free to comment here or not. I would only ask that you also consider your choice to read my earlier comment (@119) and consider the questions I asked you there about your contention that Jesus’ authority only applied to the 10 Apostles and no one else, ever.

    And even if you don’t believe it, Grace, I forgive you, God forgives you for the attitude you’ve displayed here in this thread. He forgives you for doubting his Word. He forgives you completely … for Jesus’ sake. And so do I.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace (@150), thanks, glad to hear it, but … when were you planning on telling me that you’d forgiven me? Don’t you think it’s important to tell people you forgive them? And not merely to announce to no one in particular that you “forgive each person for whatever they have done”, but to tell the people — especially those who apologize to you — that you forgive them, specifically for the wrong they have done? Forgiveness is not merely a mental exercise. It has to be communicated.

    And of course, you are free to comment here or not. I would only ask that you also consider your choice to read my earlier comment (@119) and consider the questions I asked you there about your contention that Jesus’ authority only applied to the 10 Apostles and no one else, ever.

    And even if you don’t believe it, Grace, I forgive you, God forgives you for the attitude you’ve displayed here in this thread. He forgives you for doubting his Word. He forgives you completely … for Jesus’ sake. And so do I.

  • Grace

    “And even if you don’t believe it, Grace, I forgive you, God forgives you for the attitude you’ve displayed here in this thread. He forgives you for doubting his Word. He forgives you completely … for Jesus’ sake. And so do I.”

    Thank GOD, HE does it for you too!

    A caveat, I don’t doubt GOD’s Word – I just do not agree with your interpretation, and you don’t agree with mine.

  • Grace

    “And even if you don’t believe it, Grace, I forgive you, God forgives you for the attitude you’ve displayed here in this thread. He forgives you for doubting his Word. He forgives you completely … for Jesus’ sake. And so do I.”

    Thank GOD, HE does it for you too!

    A caveat, I don’t doubt GOD’s Word – I just do not agree with your interpretation, and you don’t agree with mine.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    grace @ 154

    “A caveat, I don’t doubt GOD’s Word – I just do not agree with your interpretation, and you don’t agree with mine”

    Grace, grace, grace.

    You said that a christian has no authority to forgive the sins of others in God´s name. You said that that authority died with the apostles. This is not a matter of interpretation. The text is pretty clear.

    You have yet to wrestle with the two texts Todd and Bror presented you with. You have fled from those texts like a vampiress from garlic. Why?

    Deal with those texts. Get honest Grace.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    grace @ 154

    “A caveat, I don’t doubt GOD’s Word – I just do not agree with your interpretation, and you don’t agree with mine”

    Grace, grace, grace.

    You said that a christian has no authority to forgive the sins of others in God´s name. You said that that authority died with the apostles. This is not a matter of interpretation. The text is pretty clear.

    You have yet to wrestle with the two texts Todd and Bror presented you with. You have fled from those texts like a vampiress from garlic. Why?

    Deal with those texts. Get honest Grace.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    “I don’t doubt GOD’s Word – I just do not agree with your interpretation, and you don’t agree with mine” (@154). Oh, let’s not have this devolve into liberal relativism, Grace. I don’t think you really believe that.

    But who knows how many errors — soul-crushing, faith killing errors — could be tip-toed around by saying “I don’t doubt GOD’s Word – I just do not agree with your interpretation, and you don’t agree with mine.” Perhaps the Gnostics had the exact same response in regards to whether Jesus was fully human or not. Perhaps the Pope could also use this response in justifying the error that he teaches. It’s just a matter of interpretation, right?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    “I don’t doubt GOD’s Word – I just do not agree with your interpretation, and you don’t agree with mine” (@154). Oh, let’s not have this devolve into liberal relativism, Grace. I don’t think you really believe that.

    But who knows how many errors — soul-crushing, faith killing errors — could be tip-toed around by saying “I don’t doubt GOD’s Word – I just do not agree with your interpretation, and you don’t agree with mine.” Perhaps the Gnostics had the exact same response in regards to whether Jesus was fully human or not. Perhaps the Pope could also use this response in justifying the error that he teaches. It’s just a matter of interpretation, right?

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com/ Louis

    Grace – to underline something fws mentions – do you indeed believe that “authority died with the apostels”? Could you “colour in” that staement for me – what are you beliefs in this matter?

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com/ Louis

    Grace – to underline something fws mentions – do you indeed believe that “authority died with the apostels”? Could you “colour in” that staement for me – what are you beliefs in this matter?

  • Grace

    When I was dating, before my marriage – there were a few men who were not happy about my not wanting to date them anymore. No amount of reasoning worked, …. they actually believed they had a right to my time, and attention. This holds true for a few female friends as well, they demand attention, even though we have nothing in common, add to that, disagreements that don’t elicit fellowship – sometimes when this happens, the individuals start a campaign to harass for attention, at that point, there is nothing else to do but IGNORE them.

  • Grace

    When I was dating, before my marriage – there were a few men who were not happy about my not wanting to date them anymore. No amount of reasoning worked, …. they actually believed they had a right to my time, and attention. This holds true for a few female friends as well, they demand attention, even though we have nothing in common, add to that, disagreements that don’t elicit fellowship – sometimes when this happens, the individuals start a campaign to harass for attention, at that point, there is nothing else to do but IGNORE them.

  • Grace

    It’s interesting that when someone doesn’t agree, they make the claim, either .. “you don’t understand what it means” or “if you would let me further discuss it, and let me interpret it for you, you would agree” The problem with these two (there are other examples) is that they can’t imagine anyone having a different point of view, no matter how many times its discussed.

    I have studied the Word of God, doctrines from many different denominations, grappled with many passages of Scripture, until I’ve come to terms with what it means – I’m not likely to change my mind.

    Doctrinal issues can be discussed again at another time, but at the present time, this particular subject “absolution” in my mind, has been discussed enough – no one has changed their mind, and that includes me.

    I have had other conversations with friends and relatives, who are of another denomination, such as yours, and a raft of others, it’s no different, they continue until their throats are dry, eyes glassy, and still want more –

  • Grace

    It’s interesting that when someone doesn’t agree, they make the claim, either .. “you don’t understand what it means” or “if you would let me further discuss it, and let me interpret it for you, you would agree” The problem with these two (there are other examples) is that they can’t imagine anyone having a different point of view, no matter how many times its discussed.

    I have studied the Word of God, doctrines from many different denominations, grappled with many passages of Scripture, until I’ve come to terms with what it means – I’m not likely to change my mind.

    Doctrinal issues can be discussed again at another time, but at the present time, this particular subject “absolution” in my mind, has been discussed enough – no one has changed their mind, and that includes me.

    I have had other conversations with friends and relatives, who are of another denomination, such as yours, and a raft of others, it’s no different, they continue until their throats are dry, eyes glassy, and still want more –

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Grace @ 158

    I get it now.

    People all want a piece of Grace. They want any morsel they can get of her time and attention.

    You have been very generous with everyone here in light of what you just shared. I had no idea you got it like that gal. And I thought my drag queen friends know how to throw attitude.

    Honey, they are NO match for you.

    i can appreciate your annoyance at this, and now better appreciate your graciousness in the midst of your quite justifiable annoyance.

    You go girl!

    You keep demonstrating how much we have in common with each other Grace. I totally can relate to what you wrote.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Grace @ 158

    I get it now.

    People all want a piece of Grace. They want any morsel they can get of her time and attention.

    You have been very generous with everyone here in light of what you just shared. I had no idea you got it like that gal. And I thought my drag queen friends know how to throw attitude.

    Honey, they are NO match for you.

    i can appreciate your annoyance at this, and now better appreciate your graciousness in the midst of your quite justifiable annoyance.

    You go girl!

    You keep demonstrating how much we have in common with each other Grace. I totally can relate to what you wrote.

  • ptl

    Am no theologian in the least, so this may not be entirely accurate, but hopefully somewhat on point, at least in spirit? In any case, don’t we Lutheran’s take a position very similar to Grace’s position with respect to gifts of the spirit….like prophesy, speaking in tongues, etc. Isn’t at least a small part of our argument against them approaching something like that of Grace’s in that “they died out with the Apostles”? Maybe not, but thought had heard that those gifts of the spirit they apostles enjoyed on Pentacost were sort of a “one time deal” and can’t be applied to all believers in all ages? If so, then perhaps Grace’s interpretation of scripture is informed along similar lines in regard to absolution? Would be interesting if Grace would comment on her understanding of the gifts of the Holy Spirit in this context….if not Grace, that will be fine too :)

  • ptl

    Am no theologian in the least, so this may not be entirely accurate, but hopefully somewhat on point, at least in spirit? In any case, don’t we Lutheran’s take a position very similar to Grace’s position with respect to gifts of the spirit….like prophesy, speaking in tongues, etc. Isn’t at least a small part of our argument against them approaching something like that of Grace’s in that “they died out with the Apostles”? Maybe not, but thought had heard that those gifts of the spirit they apostles enjoyed on Pentacost were sort of a “one time deal” and can’t be applied to all believers in all ages? If so, then perhaps Grace’s interpretation of scripture is informed along similar lines in regard to absolution? Would be interesting if Grace would comment on her understanding of the gifts of the Holy Spirit in this context….if not Grace, that will be fine too :)

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    ptl @ 161

    the answer is no. If a luthran pastor made this argument he should be spanked.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    ptl @ 161

    the answer is no. If a luthran pastor made this argument he should be spanked.

  • Grace

    ptl – 161 — “Isn’t at least a small part of our argument against them approaching something like that of Grace’s in that “they died out with the Apostles”?”

    Yes.

    I will either come back later tonight, or post tomorrow regarding your question. :)

  • Grace

    ptl – 161 — “Isn’t at least a small part of our argument against them approaching something like that of Grace’s in that “they died out with the Apostles”?”

    Yes.

    I will either come back later tonight, or post tomorrow regarding your question. :)

  • ptl

    FWS….thanks, so what do the Lutherans have to say about gifts of the spirit as described in Corinthians? Other than the usual, love is better please! How do they write off those verses and what do they have to say about the gifts of the spirit on Pentecost, and in particular, how they apply to Christians today? And how can so many other, well meaning Christians who do believe in these things get it wrong? What is their big error or misunderstanding? What do the Lutherans know that lead them to the right position? Just wondering….if you don’t feel like giving specifics, that will be fine too :)

  • ptl

    FWS….thanks, so what do the Lutherans have to say about gifts of the spirit as described in Corinthians? Other than the usual, love is better please! How do they write off those verses and what do they have to say about the gifts of the spirit on Pentecost, and in particular, how they apply to Christians today? And how can so many other, well meaning Christians who do believe in these things get it wrong? What is their big error or misunderstanding? What do the Lutherans know that lead them to the right position? Just wondering….if you don’t feel like giving specifics, that will be fine too :)

  • Louis

    Grace @ 163: You have just shot yourself in the foot in a very serious way. You sau authority died out with the disciples. So – how come you hold to those 27 books of the New Testament? If you have done all those studies as you say, you’d know that it took centuries before the church began having general agreement on most of those books. It took many councils. There are many other books on the periphery (old and New Testaments). Some of them are even quoted in the books we hold to be in the NT – like Enoch being quoted in Jude & 2 Peter. So, do you realise that without authority in the church, you do not have a Bible at all? There can be no such thing as Me and my Bible, and the two of us alone. Me and the Bible only makes sense within the context of an authoritative, historic Christianity. And you reject that it seems.

  • Louis

    Grace @ 163: You have just shot yourself in the foot in a very serious way. You sau authority died out with the disciples. So – how come you hold to those 27 books of the New Testament? If you have done all those studies as you say, you’d know that it took centuries before the church began having general agreement on most of those books. It took many councils. There are many other books on the periphery (old and New Testaments). Some of them are even quoted in the books we hold to be in the NT – like Enoch being quoted in Jude & 2 Peter. So, do you realise that without authority in the church, you do not have a Bible at all? There can be no such thing as Me and my Bible, and the two of us alone. Me and the Bible only makes sense within the context of an authoritative, historic Christianity. And you reject that it seems.

  • ptl

    Louis….with all due respect, just because Grace said something about the apostles with respect to a certain point of doctrine, it’s not clear to me that she intended to apply that “rule” to everything regarding our Christian faith or history. Of course, we’ll have to wait for Grace to set the record straight and speak for herself…..where are you Grace when we need you :)

  • Grace

    165 Louis – There are many other books on the periphery (old and New Testaments). Some of them are even quoted in the books we hold to be in the NT – like Enoch being quoted in Jude & 2 Peter.

    Enoch is mentioned in Jude 1:14 - where is he mentioned in
    2 Peter?

  • ptl

    Louis….with all due respect, just because Grace said something about the apostles with respect to a certain point of doctrine, it’s not clear to me that she intended to apply that “rule” to everything regarding our Christian faith or history. Of course, we’ll have to wait for Grace to set the record straight and speak for herself…..where are you Grace when we need you :)

  • Grace

    165 Louis – There are many other books on the periphery (old and New Testaments). Some of them are even quoted in the books we hold to be in the NT – like Enoch being quoted in Jude & 2 Peter.

    Enoch is mentioned in Jude 1:14 - where is he mentioned in
    2 Peter?

  • ptl

    fws…..by the way, who would you recommend “spank” that errant pastor? would you be comfortable if it were one of your “friends” mentioned in 160…the ones that know how to throw an attitude? Sorry, just kiddin’….and assume you would enjoy too :)

  • ptl

    fws…..by the way, who would you recommend “spank” that errant pastor? would you be comfortable if it were one of your “friends” mentioned in 160…the ones that know how to throw an attitude? Sorry, just kiddin’….and assume you would enjoy too :)

  • ptl

    to clarify….enjoy the humor, not the spanking, yikes :(

  • ptl

    to clarify….enjoy the humor, not the spanking, yikes :(

  • Grace

    To ALL:

    The Bible is the inspired, inerrant Word of God. – That being said, it is up to EACH INDIVIDUAL TO STUDY and UNDERSTAND what it says.

    Do any of you believe people speak in tongues? – if so, does your church adhere to this teaching?

    A thought provoking passage of Scripture:

    Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. Luke 9:1

    NOTICE: It is only Christ’s Twelve disciples.

    Could that mean the UNUSUAL POWER, given the disciples was for the time these men were on earth giving out the Word, spreading the Gospel? I believe it was. As the passage states:

    “Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases.”

    Do you know anyone today who has that kind of power? I don’t. I have often wondered why those who claim to have power to cure diseases do not go through the hospitals and heal/cure all those who are dying and ill, especially the children. Have you ever been to a hospital that specialized in children, their disease? I HAVE. It is one of the most pain wrenching sights you will ever see. How could anyone, who has the gift of healing and curing diseases, overlook children?

    I don’t question God, so don’t come back with commentary on that subject.

  • Grace

    To ALL:

    The Bible is the inspired, inerrant Word of God. – That being said, it is up to EACH INDIVIDUAL TO STUDY and UNDERSTAND what it says.

    Do any of you believe people speak in tongues? – if so, does your church adhere to this teaching?

    A thought provoking passage of Scripture:

    Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. Luke 9:1

    NOTICE: It is only Christ’s Twelve disciples.

    Could that mean the UNUSUAL POWER, given the disciples was for the time these men were on earth giving out the Word, spreading the Gospel? I believe it was. As the passage states:

    “Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases.”

    Do you know anyone today who has that kind of power? I don’t. I have often wondered why those who claim to have power to cure diseases do not go through the hospitals and heal/cure all those who are dying and ill, especially the children. Have you ever been to a hospital that specialized in children, their disease? I HAVE. It is one of the most pain wrenching sights you will ever see. How could anyone, who has the gift of healing and curing diseases, overlook children?

    I don’t question God, so don’t come back with commentary on that subject.

  • Louis

    Grace: 2 Peter 4:4, 3:13 have been mentioned, but that is not the thrust of my post @ 165. I’d really like to see you answer / comment on that.

  • Louis

    Grace: 2 Peter 4:4, 3:13 have been mentioned, but that is not the thrust of my post @ 165. I’d really like to see you answer / comment on that.

  • Louis

    Sorry, that should be 2 Peter 2:4.

  • Louis

    Sorry, that should be 2 Peter 2:4.

  • Grace

    Louis – 172

    RE: For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; 2 Peter 2:4

    What point are you trying to make – please be specific.

  • Grace

    Louis – 172

    RE: For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; 2 Peter 2:4

    What point are you trying to make – please be specific.

  • Louis

    OK Grace, I’ll repost me previous comment, but with all peripheral issues removed. hopefully that helps:

    You say authority died out with the disciples. So – how come you hold to those 27 books of the New Testament? If you have done all those studies as you say, you’d know that it took centuries before the church began having general agreement on most of those books. It took many councils. …… So, do you realise that without authority in the church, you do not have a Bible at all? There can be no such thing as Me and my Bible, and the two of us alone. Me and the Bible only makes sense within the context of an authoritative, historic Christianity. And you reject that it seems.

  • Louis

    OK Grace, I’ll repost me previous comment, but with all peripheral issues removed. hopefully that helps:

    You say authority died out with the disciples. So – how come you hold to those 27 books of the New Testament? If you have done all those studies as you say, you’d know that it took centuries before the church began having general agreement on most of those books. It took many councils. …… So, do you realise that without authority in the church, you do not have a Bible at all? There can be no such thing as Me and my Bible, and the two of us alone. Me and the Bible only makes sense within the context of an authoritative, historic Christianity. And you reject that it seems.

  • Grace

    Louis – 174 “You say authority died out with the disciples. ”

    No Louis, I didn’t say that. I was very specific as to my comments 1 I was referencing ptl post 161 in my post 163.

    Read post 170, that will give you some idea -

    Do you believe the Holy Spirit and God’s Word are not capable of imparting Biblical truth to anyone searching the Scriptures for answers and truth?

  • Grace

    Louis – 174 “You say authority died out with the disciples. ”

    No Louis, I didn’t say that. I was very specific as to my comments 1 I was referencing ptl post 161 in my post 163.

    Read post 170, that will give you some idea -

    Do you believe the Holy Spirit and God’s Word are not capable of imparting Biblical truth to anyone searching the Scriptures for answers and truth?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Ptl @ 161

    I don´t know is the short answer. I think only honest person can really only speculate.

    Maybe those gifts were more in evidence in the early church to do exactly the same thing Jesus miracles were intended for, to establish authority. As a witness. Ok., That is one theory. A theory. And it is about apostolic authority as Jesus miracles were done around His authority. But it is still a theory. Maybe even a good theory. Dunno. Pick ya poison dear Ptl.

    Today many claim to have somethings that they think are the gifts found in the book of acts etc. How could they know that what it is they have is the same thing found in the NT? They really can´t know for sure can they? This is sort of a subtle point. I hope you are tracking here. Because this is really the most important point. Yet they have had experiences and why would I need or want to deny that those experiences are very real to them. There is no need to do that is there? Beyond that first point I made there are others… was speaking in tongues in the NT a real language or some ecstatic Holy Spirit language? So what what would speaking in tongues look and sound like? It is a related point. I just don´t know. No one can know for sure can they? On what basis could they know this? This is about an experience someone had. And not an experience back in AD 30.

    Here is why I say what I say and why it is THE point for a Lutheran:

    Lutherans believe in Sola Scriptura. Scriptures alone. That means that we Lutherans would not assert anything as religious truth if we cannot prove it from the Scriptures.

    So then my problem, if I start speaking in some language I dont understand all of a sudden in church is this: “Was it maybe those overly spicy bean burritos I ate? Or is it some neural twitch I have, or is it maybe , just maybe what was decscribed in the NT. Just how would I know for sure ptl?

    And then , there is a followon´point that may sound sorta flip. But it is an important point if we care about being righteous people here on earth the way God defines earthly righteousness. The point is this:

    So what?

    What would I DO with… this…. thing.. I have just experienced.? If it does not make something better for my neighbor, like edify him, communicate something about Jesus for example, since that is THE purpose of the Divine Service, then it is useless isn´t it? Only things we do that is something we love our neighbor with could be righteousness or a fruit of the spirit.

    It is impossible to know if someone is a christian or not, because the only thing that makes him that is invisible. Faith.

    It is ALWAYS possible to know if anything we do is God Pleasing. Here is how: It has visible EVIDENCE. No it is not conformity to some God-list like the 10 commandments. We can follow those to the letter and still lack righteousness in our outward works. Eg the Pharisees. They really DID keep the commandments. But, as Jesus said, that is a great place to start learning what righteous works look like… That evidence I am talking about always looks and is love. That is, it is providing something for our neighbor that he or she needs and improves his or her life.

    So self discipline and chastity, by themselves are not any righteousness that God demands. But they create a condition where righteousness (aka love) can then happen. And righteousness cannot happen without those sorts of things either in our Old Adams. And speaking in tongues for the same reason, is not a gift of the spirit (aka righteousness, aka love) if it does not do love, if it does not do something for our neighbor. Now you can go and read St Paul and hear him say the same thing.

    I hope that helps dear Ptl.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Ptl @ 161

    I don´t know is the short answer. I think only honest person can really only speculate.

    Maybe those gifts were more in evidence in the early church to do exactly the same thing Jesus miracles were intended for, to establish authority. As a witness. Ok., That is one theory. A theory. And it is about apostolic authority as Jesus miracles were done around His authority. But it is still a theory. Maybe even a good theory. Dunno. Pick ya poison dear Ptl.

    Today many claim to have somethings that they think are the gifts found in the book of acts etc. How could they know that what it is they have is the same thing found in the NT? They really can´t know for sure can they? This is sort of a subtle point. I hope you are tracking here. Because this is really the most important point. Yet they have had experiences and why would I need or want to deny that those experiences are very real to them. There is no need to do that is there? Beyond that first point I made there are others… was speaking in tongues in the NT a real language or some ecstatic Holy Spirit language? So what what would speaking in tongues look and sound like? It is a related point. I just don´t know. No one can know for sure can they? On what basis could they know this? This is about an experience someone had. And not an experience back in AD 30.

    Here is why I say what I say and why it is THE point for a Lutheran:

    Lutherans believe in Sola Scriptura. Scriptures alone. That means that we Lutherans would not assert anything as religious truth if we cannot prove it from the Scriptures.

    So then my problem, if I start speaking in some language I dont understand all of a sudden in church is this: “Was it maybe those overly spicy bean burritos I ate? Or is it some neural twitch I have, or is it maybe , just maybe what was decscribed in the NT. Just how would I know for sure ptl?

    And then , there is a followon´point that may sound sorta flip. But it is an important point if we care about being righteous people here on earth the way God defines earthly righteousness. The point is this:

    So what?

    What would I DO with… this…. thing.. I have just experienced.? If it does not make something better for my neighbor, like edify him, communicate something about Jesus for example, since that is THE purpose of the Divine Service, then it is useless isn´t it? Only things we do that is something we love our neighbor with could be righteousness or a fruit of the spirit.

    It is impossible to know if someone is a christian or not, because the only thing that makes him that is invisible. Faith.

    It is ALWAYS possible to know if anything we do is God Pleasing. Here is how: It has visible EVIDENCE. No it is not conformity to some God-list like the 10 commandments. We can follow those to the letter and still lack righteousness in our outward works. Eg the Pharisees. They really DID keep the commandments. But, as Jesus said, that is a great place to start learning what righteous works look like… That evidence I am talking about always looks and is love. That is, it is providing something for our neighbor that he or she needs and improves his or her life.

    So self discipline and chastity, by themselves are not any righteousness that God demands. But they create a condition where righteousness (aka love) can then happen. And righteousness cannot happen without those sorts of things either in our Old Adams. And speaking in tongues for the same reason, is not a gift of the spirit (aka righteousness, aka love) if it does not do love, if it does not do something for our neighbor. Now you can go and read St Paul and hear him say the same thing.

    I hope that helps dear Ptl.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    PTL

    Notice that for Lutherans, everything goes back to something about Law and Gospel. Speaking in Tongues is something we DO. So we label it in the Law category. It is earthly Kingdom stuff that will perish with the earth.

    Penticostals have a habit of making stuff like this into a part of the Gospel by making it a part of what the definition of a christian might be.

    But what makes a christian is alone faith in Christ isnt it?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    PTL

    Notice that for Lutherans, everything goes back to something about Law and Gospel. Speaking in Tongues is something we DO. So we label it in the Law category. It is earthly Kingdom stuff that will perish with the earth.

    Penticostals have a habit of making stuff like this into a part of the Gospel by making it a part of what the definition of a christian might be.

    But what makes a christian is alone faith in Christ isnt it?

  • Grace

    This must have been an experience to hear the Works of God in all these different languages, all the people represented. What a joy it must have been. Read all the languages in verses 9, 10, and 11. Yes these were real languages.

    6 Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.

    7 And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?

    8 And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?

    9 Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia,

    10 Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes,

    11 Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.

    12 And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this? Acts 2

  • Grace

    This must have been an experience to hear the Works of God in all these different languages, all the people represented. What a joy it must have been. Read all the languages in verses 9, 10, and 11. Yes these were real languages.

    6 Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.

    7 And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?

    8 And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?

    9 Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia,

    10 Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes,

    11 Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.

    12 And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this? Acts 2

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    I know I said I was retiring for a while. But I get the email updates and I just have to say this.
    If the ability to forgive and retain sins has died with the apostles then the church died with the apostles. The church lives on the forgiveness of sins, Jesus makes this clear when he first mentions giving the keys to the church in Matt. 16, and when he then elaborates on this gift and gives them to the church in Matt. 18. The church lives off this gift and cannot do without it, unlike the gift of tongues or healing or any of the other gifts that were given to support this one task of the church, to forgive and retain sins. It is integral to the life of the church.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    I know I said I was retiring for a while. But I get the email updates and I just have to say this.
    If the ability to forgive and retain sins has died with the apostles then the church died with the apostles. The church lives on the forgiveness of sins, Jesus makes this clear when he first mentions giving the keys to the church in Matt. 16, and when he then elaborates on this gift and gives them to the church in Matt. 18. The church lives off this gift and cannot do without it, unlike the gift of tongues or healing or any of the other gifts that were given to support this one task of the church, to forgive and retain sins. It is integral to the life of the church.

  • Grace

    - – “If the ability to forgive and retain sins has died with the apostles then the church died with the apostles.” – -

    Christ isn’t dead, He lives, and so does the church. He alone forgives sin, if we but pray and ask forgiveness.

    “Thereupon, I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

    No where in Scripture does it tell the congregant to seek out the pastor, and receive absolution. Matthew 16 doesn’t say this, but it most certainly has been contrived by the RCC, Lutherans and a few others to do so.

    The pastor isn’t God, he can’t forgive sins, he doesn’t know the heart of man. The passage in Matthew 16 doesn’t give any pastor the right to stand in the place of God, or forgive anyone. Instead of asking God’s forgiveness, the repentant take a detour to the pastor – just like the Roman Catholic Church, the priests and Pope, standing in the confessional -

  • Grace

    - – “If the ability to forgive and retain sins has died with the apostles then the church died with the apostles.” – -

    Christ isn’t dead, He lives, and so does the church. He alone forgives sin, if we but pray and ask forgiveness.

    “Thereupon, I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

    No where in Scripture does it tell the congregant to seek out the pastor, and receive absolution. Matthew 16 doesn’t say this, but it most certainly has been contrived by the RCC, Lutherans and a few others to do so.

    The pastor isn’t God, he can’t forgive sins, he doesn’t know the heart of man. The passage in Matthew 16 doesn’t give any pastor the right to stand in the place of God, or forgive anyone. Instead of asking God’s forgiveness, the repentant take a detour to the pastor – just like the Roman Catholic Church, the priests and Pope, standing in the confessional -

  • Louis

    Grace@175 – I’m happy that you acknowledge that the Church has authority. But I do think you misunderstand my question: I’m not asking on what grounds, or under Whose guidance, you study/interpret the Scripture. I’m asking by what authority, if you will, you except that the Book you have in your hand IS Scripture. Why these 66 books, and not those x number of books. How does it come to you (through time and space, I mean)?

    The second question leads from your question at 175: IThe Holy Spirit surely leads those who ask Him. But, how can we then distinguish if our conclusions drawn from the Sccripture we studies is right / just / orthodox, and not influenced by our own natures / will / a false spirit. Because assuredly the false teacher claim the guidance of The Spirit as well. So how’s a poor Christian to know? For instance, the arians were very adept at a non-Trinitarian reading of the Scriptures. So are the open-Theists and all those in the modern days.

  • Louis

    Grace@175 – I’m happy that you acknowledge that the Church has authority. But I do think you misunderstand my question: I’m not asking on what grounds, or under Whose guidance, you study/interpret the Scripture. I’m asking by what authority, if you will, you except that the Book you have in your hand IS Scripture. Why these 66 books, and not those x number of books. How does it come to you (through time and space, I mean)?

    The second question leads from your question at 175: IThe Holy Spirit surely leads those who ask Him. But, how can we then distinguish if our conclusions drawn from the Sccripture we studies is right / just / orthodox, and not influenced by our own natures / will / a false spirit. Because assuredly the false teacher claim the guidance of The Spirit as well. So how’s a poor Christian to know? For instance, the arians were very adept at a non-Trinitarian reading of the Scriptures. So are the open-Theists and all those in the modern days.

  • Grace

    Louis – 181

    “I’m asking by what authority, if you will, you except that the Book you have in your hand IS Scripture. Why these 66 books, and not those x number of books. How does it come to you (through time and space, I mean)?”

    Honestly Louis, that isn’t a real bright question. As though you need to question my ability to KNOW that the Word of God is true, inspired and inerrant as I’ve stated over and over again – citing Scriptures from the KJV.

    I don’t accept the Apocrypha – there is no reason to delve into that discussion at this point – - IF that is where you ultimately are going, I’m not going to engage at this time. That is a debate that has been going on for Y E A R S -

  • Grace

    Louis – 181

    “I’m asking by what authority, if you will, you except that the Book you have in your hand IS Scripture. Why these 66 books, and not those x number of books. How does it come to you (through time and space, I mean)?”

    Honestly Louis, that isn’t a real bright question. As though you need to question my ability to KNOW that the Word of God is true, inspired and inerrant as I’ve stated over and over again – citing Scriptures from the KJV.

    I don’t accept the Apocrypha – there is no reason to delve into that discussion at this point – - IF that is where you ultimately are going, I’m not going to engage at this time. That is a debate that has been going on for Y E A R S -

  • Grace

    Louis – 181
    “The second question leads from your question at 175: IThe Holy Spirit surely leads those who ask Him. But, how can we then distinguish if our conclusions drawn from the Sccripture we studies is right ”

    They are RIGHT if they line up with Scripture.

  • Grace

    Louis – 181
    “The second question leads from your question at 175: IThe Holy Spirit surely leads those who ask Him. But, how can we then distinguish if our conclusions drawn from the Sccripture we studies is right ”

    They are RIGHT if they line up with Scripture.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace,
    I do wish you would start looking at what is being said, and not what you think is being said.
    The Keys were given to the church, to all christians, this is clear from Matthew 18 and 16 if not also John 20:23. No one here is saying you must seek out a pastor. no one here is saying you have to do anything.
    But if the church cannot forgive the sins of repentant sinners in the name of Christ, then it has lost its reason for existing, the reason Christ gave for its existence.
    No one is arguing that either the church or Christ is dead. Of course the Church exists today, the gates of hell will not prevail against it. And so it still retains its purpose. And this is the difference between the keys and the gift of tongues. The church can do without the latter.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace,
    I do wish you would start looking at what is being said, and not what you think is being said.
    The Keys were given to the church, to all christians, this is clear from Matthew 18 and 16 if not also John 20:23. No one here is saying you must seek out a pastor. no one here is saying you have to do anything.
    But if the church cannot forgive the sins of repentant sinners in the name of Christ, then it has lost its reason for existing, the reason Christ gave for its existence.
    No one is arguing that either the church or Christ is dead. Of course the Church exists today, the gates of hell will not prevail against it. And so it still retains its purpose. And this is the difference between the keys and the gift of tongues. The church can do without the latter.

  • Louis

    Grace – either you are challenged insofar as comprehension is concerned, or you do not want to answer my question:

    It has nothing to do with interpretation. It has to do with the origin of the Scriptures you hold in your hands. You can quote all you want, but it merely becomes task in self referencing. Who tells you that what you are quoting is the true Scriptures? This is not a rhetorical question, it has a clear answer. But I want yours.

  • Louis

    Grace – either you are challenged insofar as comprehension is concerned, or you do not want to answer my question:

    It has nothing to do with interpretation. It has to do with the origin of the Scriptures you hold in your hands. You can quote all you want, but it merely becomes task in self referencing. Who tells you that what you are quoting is the true Scriptures? This is not a rhetorical question, it has a clear answer. But I want yours.

  • ptl

    Do non-Lutheran churches (other than Catholics) have something along the lines of absolution? My guess is no for such denominations as Baptists and Pentecostals and am sure perhaps more. But don’t the Lutherans still think of them as Christian churches? Just in error, of course. So if true, then for them, the primary role of their Church is not to forgive sins, but to declare the Gospel and that God forgives sins because of what Jesus did for us and we receive that forgiveness when we believe that Gospel. Now that does not sound so bad, and in fact, Lutheran Churches do that too…but they go one step further.
    So if this is all true, and it may not be as am not a Theologian or know my Bible as well as many others here, and am really out of my league, but if it is true then one can still have a Church without Absolution as the Lutherans have it? That is, you can still declare the Gospel as per John 3:16 and many others, and still do a good and God pleasing work….just not as “full” as the Lutherans?
    Now that would be from a Lutheran perspective, but from the other side, they may see the Lutherans as going too far with that Absolution position, and as still being “too Catholic” and all that. Well, if that’s true, well that discussion has been going on for many hundreds of years, as several have stated above. In that case, what many folks are doing here is just rehashing many of the debates and discussion that the various Theologians from the various sides have had for those many, many years. Sometimes you will be able to change someone’s mind or heart and other times you won’t. Sure am learning a lot from all this though….hopefuly anyway :)

  • ptl

    Do non-Lutheran churches (other than Catholics) have something along the lines of absolution? My guess is no for such denominations as Baptists and Pentecostals and am sure perhaps more. But don’t the Lutherans still think of them as Christian churches? Just in error, of course. So if true, then for them, the primary role of their Church is not to forgive sins, but to declare the Gospel and that God forgives sins because of what Jesus did for us and we receive that forgiveness when we believe that Gospel. Now that does not sound so bad, and in fact, Lutheran Churches do that too…but they go one step further.
    So if this is all true, and it may not be as am not a Theologian or know my Bible as well as many others here, and am really out of my league, but if it is true then one can still have a Church without Absolution as the Lutherans have it? That is, you can still declare the Gospel as per John 3:16 and many others, and still do a good and God pleasing work….just not as “full” as the Lutherans?
    Now that would be from a Lutheran perspective, but from the other side, they may see the Lutherans as going too far with that Absolution position, and as still being “too Catholic” and all that. Well, if that’s true, well that discussion has been going on for many hundreds of years, as several have stated above. In that case, what many folks are doing here is just rehashing many of the debates and discussion that the various Theologians from the various sides have had for those many, many years. Sometimes you will be able to change someone’s mind or heart and other times you won’t. Sure am learning a lot from all this though….hopefuly anyway :)

  • ptl

    FWS at 178….thanks for your comments….was really hoping to get a bunch of quotes from the Confessions, but perhaps they are kind of quiet on this subject? In any case, am going to let it rest for me, as it is getting pretty circular and don’t have tons of time to nail down all the details. Always enjoy your comments….thanks again :)

  • ptl

    FWS at 178….thanks for your comments….was really hoping to get a bunch of quotes from the Confessions, but perhaps they are kind of quiet on this subject? In any case, am going to let it rest for me, as it is getting pretty circular and don’t have tons of time to nail down all the details. Always enjoy your comments….thanks again :)

  • Grace

    I have given my views in the past, maybe some of you have missed my posts.

    The New Testament was written in Greek – we don’t have the original documents, but we do have almost six thousand copies of the Greek manuscripts that were copied close to the originals in time. The interesting and MOST important part of these copies, agree with each other and its almost one hundred percent (100%) accurate. The NT is just over being 99.5% pure textually —- taking it another step further there is about 1/2 of maybe 1% of all the manuscripts that don’t agree 100%. Most of the so called inaccuracies are nothing more than spelling errors, which in themselves are minor. It’s been pointed out many times that the errors are those which are, instead of the copy saying Jesus, instead says Jesus Christ. The documents have been proven to be accurate as that of the original manuscripts/documents.

    As for the Old Testament, the Dead Sea Scrolls found last century matched much of what is in our Old Testament, written in Hebrew.

    As for you Louis ……. “either you are challenged insofar as comprehension is concerned, or you do not want to answer my question” – give it up,….. you have used this juvenile approach in the past, to play your teacher/student game. Either you can speak with respect OR you can consider my interaction with you over.

  • Grace

    I have given my views in the past, maybe some of you have missed my posts.

    The New Testament was written in Greek – we don’t have the original documents, but we do have almost six thousand copies of the Greek manuscripts that were copied close to the originals in time. The interesting and MOST important part of these copies, agree with each other and its almost one hundred percent (100%) accurate. The NT is just over being 99.5% pure textually —- taking it another step further there is about 1/2 of maybe 1% of all the manuscripts that don’t agree 100%. Most of the so called inaccuracies are nothing more than spelling errors, which in themselves are minor. It’s been pointed out many times that the errors are those which are, instead of the copy saying Jesus, instead says Jesus Christ. The documents have been proven to be accurate as that of the original manuscripts/documents.

    As for the Old Testament, the Dead Sea Scrolls found last century matched much of what is in our Old Testament, written in Hebrew.

    As for you Louis ……. “either you are challenged insofar as comprehension is concerned, or you do not want to answer my question” – give it up,….. you have used this juvenile approach in the past, to play your teacher/student game. Either you can speak with respect OR you can consider my interaction with you over.

  • Grace

    181 Bror October 2, 2010 at 8:42 pm
    “I know I said I was retiring for a while. But I get the email updates and I just have to say this.
    If the ability to forgive and retain sins has died with the apostles then the church died with the apostles.”

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    182 Grace October 2, 2010 at 9:54 pm

    “Christ isn’t dead, He lives, and so does the church. He alone forgives sin, if we but pray and ask forgiveness.”

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    186 Bror

    “But if the church cannot forgive the sins of repentant sinners in the name of Christ, then it has lost its reason for existing, the reason Christ gave for its existence.
    No one is arguing that either the church or Christ is dead. Of course the Church exists today, the gates of hell will not prevail against it. And so it still retains its purpose. And this is the difference between the keys and the gift of tongues. The church can do without the latter.”

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Bror, You contradicted yourself from 181 to 186 –

    This subject goes forward today, under the auspices of mere men being given the right to forgive sins, as if they are speaking for God Himself. They cannot. The Roman Catholic Church began this practice, which was never mentioned in the Word of God. No where in Scripture does one of the Apostles or Paul make this assumption.

    Luther nailed his 95 on the door, but he carried with him the practice of giving absolution, forgiveness of sins into another church, which is another face of the RCC. The Roman Church believes that the Pope speaks in the place of God on earth, however there is no place in Scripture that gives him that honor or right.

    How many pastors believe they have the right to decide what is RIGHT in their own eyes, even to the extent of allowing homosexual men and women to be pastor’s? – women to stand behind the pulpit, and the list goes on. These were men (pastors) who believed strongly just as the RCC that they were gifted to remit and to give absolution to what they deemed right or wrong.

    No one can forgive sins but God. The Jews knew that, what they didn’t understand was, that Jesus is God the Son, He is the Messiah.

    7 Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only?

    8 And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts?

    9 Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk?

    10 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, Mark 2

    Nothing has changed, O N L Y GOD can forgive sin, no one else stands in the place of Him to give men of their sins. Everyone who is a Believer can help persuade those who are sinning, those who willfully sin to to ask the LORD to forgive them, but it is up to the individual to seek God, and ask Him for forgiveness, there is no man who can forgive sins, not one.

  • Grace

    181 Bror October 2, 2010 at 8:42 pm
    “I know I said I was retiring for a while. But I get the email updates and I just have to say this.
    If the ability to forgive and retain sins has died with the apostles then the church died with the apostles.”

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    182 Grace October 2, 2010 at 9:54 pm

    “Christ isn’t dead, He lives, and so does the church. He alone forgives sin, if we but pray and ask forgiveness.”

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    186 Bror

    “But if the church cannot forgive the sins of repentant sinners in the name of Christ, then it has lost its reason for existing, the reason Christ gave for its existence.
    No one is arguing that either the church or Christ is dead. Of course the Church exists today, the gates of hell will not prevail against it. And so it still retains its purpose. And this is the difference between the keys and the gift of tongues. The church can do without the latter.”

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Bror, You contradicted yourself from 181 to 186 –

    This subject goes forward today, under the auspices of mere men being given the right to forgive sins, as if they are speaking for God Himself. They cannot. The Roman Catholic Church began this practice, which was never mentioned in the Word of God. No where in Scripture does one of the Apostles or Paul make this assumption.

    Luther nailed his 95 on the door, but he carried with him the practice of giving absolution, forgiveness of sins into another church, which is another face of the RCC. The Roman Church believes that the Pope speaks in the place of God on earth, however there is no place in Scripture that gives him that honor or right.

    How many pastors believe they have the right to decide what is RIGHT in their own eyes, even to the extent of allowing homosexual men and women to be pastor’s? – women to stand behind the pulpit, and the list goes on. These were men (pastors) who believed strongly just as the RCC that they were gifted to remit and to give absolution to what they deemed right or wrong.

    No one can forgive sins but God. The Jews knew that, what they didn’t understand was, that Jesus is God the Son, He is the Messiah.

    7 Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only?

    8 And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts?

    9 Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk?

    10 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, Mark 2

    Nothing has changed, O N L Y GOD can forgive sin, no one else stands in the place of Him to give men of their sins. Everyone who is a Believer can help persuade those who are sinning, those who willfully sin to to ask the LORD to forgive them, but it is up to the individual to seek God, and ask Him for forgiveness, there is no man who can forgive sins, not one.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace,
    The only reason you THINK I have contradicted myself is that you cannot follow an if/then argument. Nor are you able to recognize the hypothetical. So you probably will not understand this. If everyone here were to break off conversation with people for being juvenile then we would have broken with you a long time ago.
    ptl,
    I subscribe to the confessions. But I prefer to make my arguments from scripture as they do.
    I’m arguing from the basis of Matt 16 and 18. And I’m arguing about ability. That someone is able to do something does not mean they do it.

    Though I would ask how one proclaims the gospel in any sense without forgiving sins, or excerrsize church discipline without retaining sins. ( Such as asking a pastor to leave the fellowship for straying from church practice.) In a sense many of these heterodox churches are churches only because of a felicitous inconsistency.
    It isn’t that I can’t argue from the confessions. But why? To what purpose. As the normed norm it’s authority pales in comparison to scripture which it defends.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace,
    The only reason you THINK I have contradicted myself is that you cannot follow an if/then argument. Nor are you able to recognize the hypothetical. So you probably will not understand this. If everyone here were to break off conversation with people for being juvenile then we would have broken with you a long time ago.
    ptl,
    I subscribe to the confessions. But I prefer to make my arguments from scripture as they do.
    I’m arguing from the basis of Matt 16 and 18. And I’m arguing about ability. That someone is able to do something does not mean they do it.

    Though I would ask how one proclaims the gospel in any sense without forgiving sins, or excerrsize church discipline without retaining sins. ( Such as asking a pastor to leave the fellowship for straying from church practice.) In a sense many of these heterodox churches are churches only because of a felicitous inconsistency.
    It isn’t that I can’t argue from the confessions. But why? To what purpose. As the normed norm it’s authority pales in comparison to scripture which it defends.

  • ptl

    Bror….thanks for your reply, but could you answer my question with regard to whether or not a Church that does not believe in Absolution can still be a Christian Church….my guess is yes, hopefully, but am not sure. As you your other points, they all sound fine to me and have no argument with what the Lutheran Church practices, although am beginning to see why others don’t…..just wondering how they feel about Churches that do not, thanks!

  • ptl

    Bror….thanks for your reply, but could you answer my question with regard to whether or not a Church that does not believe in Absolution can still be a Christian Church….my guess is yes, hopefully, but am not sure. As you your other points, they all sound fine to me and have no argument with what the Lutheran Church practices, although am beginning to see why others don’t…..just wondering how they feel about Churches that do not, thanks!

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Ptl,
    Stay with me, The church is larger than the lcms or even Lutherans. It is made of all those who believe the gospel. All who believe the gospel have the ability to forgive and retain sins, even if they don’t use it.
    You see this in the felicitous inconsistencies of other church bodies. Which are churches in so far as they believe and proclaim the gospel, even if some of their doctrines are extremely dangerous for the faith of their members.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Ptl,
    Stay with me, The church is larger than the lcms or even Lutherans. It is made of all those who believe the gospel. All who believe the gospel have the ability to forgive and retain sins, even if they don’t use it.
    You see this in the felicitous inconsistencies of other church bodies. Which are churches in so far as they believe and proclaim the gospel, even if some of their doctrines are extremely dangerous for the faith of their members.

  • ptl

    Bror….now you are clear, thanks!

  • ptl

    Bror….now you are clear, thanks!

  • ptl

    PS….so if that’s true, just curious how that “balances” with your earlier comment that the Church would disappear or die, or something like that without absolution? you must have been not thinking of forgiveness offered just via Pastors? Am not trying to trap you, but thought you sounded pretty depressed on that comment and that would not make sense….but am just a person who has a hard time staying with a train of thought….especially on the internet.

  • ptl

    PS….so if that’s true, just curious how that “balances” with your earlier comment that the Church would disappear or die, or something like that without absolution? you must have been not thinking of forgiveness offered just via Pastors? Am not trying to trap you, but thought you sounded pretty depressed on that comment and that would not make sense….but am just a person who has a hard time staying with a train of thought….especially on the internet.

  • Grace

    Bror – 192 – “If everyone here were to break off conversation with people for being juvenile then we would have broken with you a long time ago.”

    You suffer from ‘selective memory’ regarding your comments, which certainly have not been stellar. Maybe it’s those “Margarita’s and Corona” – LOL

  • Grace

    Bror – 192 – “If everyone here were to break off conversation with people for being juvenile then we would have broken with you a long time ago.”

    You suffer from ‘selective memory’ regarding your comments, which certainly have not been stellar. Maybe it’s those “Margarita’s and Corona” – LOL

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace,
    Unlike you, I have not been claiming my comments are or childishly threatening to break conversation with those who don’t behave in manners I don’t like. When the real problem at hand is your inability to admit loss in a debate, or concede to another a point well made.
    Ptl,
    I might get you confused with Grace if you keep this up. I have never been arguing about absolution offered via JUST pastors! I don’t know how often I have to make this point. It is not my position nor the Lutheran churches that this is the sole domain of pastors! It belongs to the church.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace,
    Unlike you, I have not been claiming my comments are or childishly threatening to break conversation with those who don’t behave in manners I don’t like. When the real problem at hand is your inability to admit loss in a debate, or concede to another a point well made.
    Ptl,
    I might get you confused with Grace if you keep this up. I have never been arguing about absolution offered via JUST pastors! I don’t know how often I have to make this point. It is not my position nor the Lutheran churches that this is the sole domain of pastors! It belongs to the church.

  • Grace

    Bror 198 “When the real problem at hand is your inability to admit loss in a debate, or concede to another a point well made.”

    A point “well made” does NOT TRUTH make it truth. There have been many men and women who have spoken eloquently on thousands of subjects, but that doesn’t make their points, TRUE.

    I don’t believe I have lost anything, certainly not the discussion regarding pastors giving absolution to their congregants – they cannot give forgiveness of sins, only God can do this.

  • Grace

    Bror 198 “When the real problem at hand is your inability to admit loss in a debate, or concede to another a point well made.”

    A point “well made” does NOT TRUTH make it truth. There have been many men and women who have spoken eloquently on thousands of subjects, but that doesn’t make their points, TRUE.

    I don’t believe I have lost anything, certainly not the discussion regarding pastors giving absolution to their congregants – they cannot give forgiveness of sins, only God can do this.

  • Grace

    Bror,

    I wouldn’t want you to answer if you would rather not. My question: Have you been in the Lutheran Church all your life, if not, when did you become part of this denomination?

  • Grace

    Bror,

    I wouldn’t want you to answer if you would rather not. My question: Have you been in the Lutheran Church all your life, if not, when did you become part of this denomination?

  • ptl

    “If the ability to forgive and retain sins has died with the apostles then the church died with the apostles. The church lives on the forgiveness of sins, Jesus makes this clear when he first mentions giving the keys to the church in Matt. 16, and when he then elaborates on this gift and gives them to the church in Matt. 18. The church lives off this gift and cannot do without it, unlike the gift of tongues or healing or any of the other gifts that were given to support this one task of the church, to forgive and retain sins. It is integral to the life of the church.”
    Bror at 181….

    Perhaps this is what i HATE about trying to have some sort of virtual discussions via these blogs….my “interpretation” of the above seems to me like if Pastors did not have this ability to forgive “and retain” sins, then the Church is lost. But guess I am wrong….that’s fine, doesn’t bother me what you believe, but am not comfortable with making myself look silly for thinking someone said something and then later claim they didn’t. But no biggy….am happy that you are happy again :)

  • ptl

    “If the ability to forgive and retain sins has died with the apostles then the church died with the apostles. The church lives on the forgiveness of sins, Jesus makes this clear when he first mentions giving the keys to the church in Matt. 16, and when he then elaborates on this gift and gives them to the church in Matt. 18. The church lives off this gift and cannot do without it, unlike the gift of tongues or healing or any of the other gifts that were given to support this one task of the church, to forgive and retain sins. It is integral to the life of the church.”
    Bror at 181….

    Perhaps this is what i HATE about trying to have some sort of virtual discussions via these blogs….my “interpretation” of the above seems to me like if Pastors did not have this ability to forgive “and retain” sins, then the Church is lost. But guess I am wrong….that’s fine, doesn’t bother me what you believe, but am not comfortable with making myself look silly for thinking someone said something and then later claim they didn’t. But no biggy….am happy that you are happy again :)

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Ptl,
    Where in the above did I say anything about pastors? And given everything I’ve said previously, I am at a loss for how you could read that in there. This is Grace’s problem, she reads into thing the exact opposite of what they have written, and keeps arguing againsta position no one holds. As is evident form her second to last post.
    Grace,
    Yes I am a life long lutheran. Not to say I haven’t had my dalliances with other church bodies, but those just made me appreciate Lutheranism all the more, and convicted me al the more of the Biblical faithfulness over and above other confessions.
    But, I’d like to know what you think you have gained in this conversation, or shown in this debate. Have you yet found a scripture passage not quoting pharisees, that says men cannot forgive sin? No. Infact it has been shown that your position is untenable, because the Bible shows men forgiving sins in the stead of God. Have you shown the ability to follow an argument? No. You have repeatedly accused us of believing things we don’t and ignored scripture, which is to say not dealt with it at all. You answer questions that aren’t being asked and think you have answered the question being asked repeatedly. As you just did for the umpteenth time with Louise.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Ptl,
    Where in the above did I say anything about pastors? And given everything I’ve said previously, I am at a loss for how you could read that in there. This is Grace’s problem, she reads into thing the exact opposite of what they have written, and keeps arguing againsta position no one holds. As is evident form her second to last post.
    Grace,
    Yes I am a life long lutheran. Not to say I haven’t had my dalliances with other church bodies, but those just made me appreciate Lutheranism all the more, and convicted me al the more of the Biblical faithfulness over and above other confessions.
    But, I’d like to know what you think you have gained in this conversation, or shown in this debate. Have you yet found a scripture passage not quoting pharisees, that says men cannot forgive sin? No. Infact it has been shown that your position is untenable, because the Bible shows men forgiving sins in the stead of God. Have you shown the ability to follow an argument? No. You have repeatedly accused us of believing things we don’t and ignored scripture, which is to say not dealt with it at all. You answer questions that aren’t being asked and think you have answered the question being asked repeatedly. As you just did for the umpteenth time with Louise.

  • Louis

    Grace – you still miss my question, but I’m going to leave it there. Maybe some other time.

  • Louis

    Grace – you still miss my question, but I’m going to leave it there. Maybe some other time.

  • Grace

    Bror – 202

    Bror – - “But, I’d like to know what you think you have gained in this conversation, or shown in this debate.” – -

    Pay attention this time!!

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Bror — “Have you yet found a scripture passage not quoting pharisees, that says men cannot forgive sin?” –

    Do you understand that the Jews knew who could forgive sins, and that is why they made the point?

    7 Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only?
    10 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, Mark 2

    The problem Bror, wasn’t that these men where Pharisees, they KNEW that NO ONE could FORGIVE SINS except GOD, they had been taught since childhood. Their problem was: that they did not UNDERSTAND who Jesus was,….. He was God the Son. If they had understood this, they wouldn’t have questioned HIS ability to forgive sins. They couldn’t comprehend that Jesus was the long awaited Messiah. It hasn’t anything to do with their being Pharisees.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Bror- – “No. Infact it has been shown that your position is untenable, because the Bible shows men forgiving sins in the stead of God.” – -

    Many times Jesus said “Thy sins are forgiven” – where can I find an Apostle who utters those same words in the same way Christ Jesus stated them?

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Bror – - “Have you shown the ability to follow an argument? No.”

    I differ with you. You don’t like my answers, that is at the crux of the problem –

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Bror – - “You have repeatedly accused us of believing things we don’t and ignored scripture, which is to say not dealt with it at all.” – -

    You and others believe a pastor can give absolution, I do not agree – that is what much of this debate has become. You and the RCC are off base to believe anyone, pastor, Pope, etc., can forgive sins, no matter how you want to word it.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Bror – - “You answer questions that aren’t being asked and think you have answered the question being asked repeatedly. As you just did for the umpteenth time with Louise.” – -

    I post what I wish, just as you do. Because you don’t ask a question, has nothing to do with how I choose to speak on a given subject. So it’s …. “I will answer as spoken to” – Lol – you’re a hoot Bror, you don’t know how hilarious this last comment is.

    AGAIN, AGAIN, AGAIN – you and others don’t like my answers, so you whine that I haven’t answered them… I just won’t get it right until you hear the words that say “I agree with you” Again, I laugh, but it is sad, to see a man who cannot accept an answer until the individual (in this instance ME) agrees with you.

  • Grace

    Bror – 202

    Bror – - “But, I’d like to know what you think you have gained in this conversation, or shown in this debate.” – -

    Pay attention this time!!

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Bror — “Have you yet found a scripture passage not quoting pharisees, that says men cannot forgive sin?” –

    Do you understand that the Jews knew who could forgive sins, and that is why they made the point?

    7 Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only?
    10 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, Mark 2

    The problem Bror, wasn’t that these men where Pharisees, they KNEW that NO ONE could FORGIVE SINS except GOD, they had been taught since childhood. Their problem was: that they did not UNDERSTAND who Jesus was,….. He was God the Son. If they had understood this, they wouldn’t have questioned HIS ability to forgive sins. They couldn’t comprehend that Jesus was the long awaited Messiah. It hasn’t anything to do with their being Pharisees.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Bror- – “No. Infact it has been shown that your position is untenable, because the Bible shows men forgiving sins in the stead of God.” – -

    Many times Jesus said “Thy sins are forgiven” – where can I find an Apostle who utters those same words in the same way Christ Jesus stated them?

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Bror – - “Have you shown the ability to follow an argument? No.”

    I differ with you. You don’t like my answers, that is at the crux of the problem –

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Bror – - “You have repeatedly accused us of believing things we don’t and ignored scripture, which is to say not dealt with it at all.” – -

    You and others believe a pastor can give absolution, I do not agree – that is what much of this debate has become. You and the RCC are off base to believe anyone, pastor, Pope, etc., can forgive sins, no matter how you want to word it.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Bror – - “You answer questions that aren’t being asked and think you have answered the question being asked repeatedly. As you just did for the umpteenth time with Louise.” – -

    I post what I wish, just as you do. Because you don’t ask a question, has nothing to do with how I choose to speak on a given subject. So it’s …. “I will answer as spoken to” – Lol – you’re a hoot Bror, you don’t know how hilarious this last comment is.

    AGAIN, AGAIN, AGAIN – you and others don’t like my answers, so you whine that I haven’t answered them… I just won’t get it right until you hear the words that say “I agree with you” Again, I laugh, but it is sad, to see a man who cannot accept an answer until the individual (in this instance ME) agrees with you.

  • Grace

    Louis – 103 “you still miss my question, but I’m going to leave it there. Maybe some other time.”

    I didn’t miss a thing Louis, this is a tired old debating trick that is used in Jr. High and some high schools, ….. – why don’t you answer your own question, so we will all understand what your idea of the right answer would be Of course that doesn’t mean I would agree with you, but at LAST you will have imparted this knowledge to all of us.

  • Grace

    Louis – 103 “you still miss my question, but I’m going to leave it there. Maybe some other time.”

    I didn’t miss a thing Louis, this is a tired old debating trick that is used in Jr. High and some high schools, ….. – why don’t you answer your own question, so we will all understand what your idea of the right answer would be Of course that doesn’t mean I would agree with you, but at LAST you will have imparted this knowledge to all of us.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace,
    You don’t answer our questions you answer questions you think we are asking, I think this is because you are incapable of reading comprehension, which also shows in tje way you read scripture.
    The rc position is indeed that priests alone can forgive sins. This is not the lutheran position.
    Now jesus is god and has the authority to forgive sins on that we are agreed. As god he also has the ability to let others forgive sins. This he does in many places. And it has been shown that not only did the apostles do this but admonished their churches to do this also. Show me a passage that indicates this died with the apostles? Show me somewhere where this is taken away from the church. And please drop the pastor bit. I’m arguing that you can and should forgive sins. If christ can, we who are the body of christ, who live in him as he lives in us can, and not only can but are ordered to Luke 17:4 seven times a day if needed.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace,
    You don’t answer our questions you answer questions you think we are asking, I think this is because you are incapable of reading comprehension, which also shows in tje way you read scripture.
    The rc position is indeed that priests alone can forgive sins. This is not the lutheran position.
    Now jesus is god and has the authority to forgive sins on that we are agreed. As god he also has the ability to let others forgive sins. This he does in many places. And it has been shown that not only did the apostles do this but admonished their churches to do this also. Show me a passage that indicates this died with the apostles? Show me somewhere where this is taken away from the church. And please drop the pastor bit. I’m arguing that you can and should forgive sins. If christ can, we who are the body of christ, who live in him as he lives in us can, and not only can but are ordered to Luke 17:4 seven times a day if needed.

  • Grace

    Bror,

    Bror – 206 – “And please drop the pastor bit.”

    Luther’s Small Catechism, Confession

    Confession has two parts. First, that we confess our sins, and second, that we receive absolution, that is, forgiveness, from the pastor as from God Himself, not doubting, but firmly believing that by it our sins are forgiven before God in heaven

    that we receive absolution, that is, forgiveness, from the pastor as from God Himself,

    Martin Luther ONLY mentions pastor in Luther’s Small Catechism, Confession. You do know that right?

    Bror – 105 ” By the way we quote that verse in just about every rite of confession absolution that has ever been written by a Lutheran, that is a rite in which one would confess their sins to a pastor and hear absolution pronounced.”

    fws – 138 “Go to your pastor and ask to recieve Holy Absolution. This is where you pastor will place his hand on your head after hearing your confession of sin and say “as a called and ordained servant of the word, I forgive you your sins in the name of the father, the son and the holy spirit. + Amen!”

    FWS asked (@137), “How is the WELS doing at trying to rexstore the very Lutheran practice of private confessions and absolution?”

  • Grace

    Bror,

    Bror – 206 – “And please drop the pastor bit.”

    Luther’s Small Catechism, Confession

    Confession has two parts. First, that we confess our sins, and second, that we receive absolution, that is, forgiveness, from the pastor as from God Himself, not doubting, but firmly believing that by it our sins are forgiven before God in heaven

    that we receive absolution, that is, forgiveness, from the pastor as from God Himself,

    Martin Luther ONLY mentions pastor in Luther’s Small Catechism, Confession. You do know that right?

    Bror – 105 ” By the way we quote that verse in just about every rite of confession absolution that has ever been written by a Lutheran, that is a rite in which one would confess their sins to a pastor and hear absolution pronounced.”

    fws – 138 “Go to your pastor and ask to recieve Holy Absolution. This is where you pastor will place his hand on your head after hearing your confession of sin and say “as a called and ordained servant of the word, I forgive you your sins in the name of the father, the son and the holy spirit. + Amen!”

    FWS asked (@137), “How is the WELS doing at trying to rexstore the very Lutheran practice of private confessions and absolution?”

  • kerner

    Grace:

    I know I’m entering into this discussion very late, but I wonder if you are not as far from what we believe as you think. Maybe we are going at this backwards.

    I assume that you believe that Christ died for the sins of the whole world. You have said many times that God can forgives sins. I think you acknowledge that God’s forgiveness is (at least in a way) conditioned on the individual sinner confessing that he/she is a sinner, repenting, and seeking forgiveness at the foot of the Cross of Jesus Christ. Are we together on this so far? I think we are, but I don’t want to put words in your mouth.

    Anyway, let’s assume that someone in your presence does just that. Confesses that he/she is a sinner, expresses repentence, and cries out to Jesus Christ for forgiveness. What do you, Grace, believe that a Christian CAN legitimately tell such a person about the forgiveness of his/her sins?

  • kerner

    Grace:

    I know I’m entering into this discussion very late, but I wonder if you are not as far from what we believe as you think. Maybe we are going at this backwards.

    I assume that you believe that Christ died for the sins of the whole world. You have said many times that God can forgives sins. I think you acknowledge that God’s forgiveness is (at least in a way) conditioned on the individual sinner confessing that he/she is a sinner, repenting, and seeking forgiveness at the foot of the Cross of Jesus Christ. Are we together on this so far? I think we are, but I don’t want to put words in your mouth.

    Anyway, let’s assume that someone in your presence does just that. Confesses that he/she is a sinner, expresses repentence, and cries out to Jesus Christ for forgiveness. What do you, Grace, believe that a Christian CAN legitimately tell such a person about the forgiveness of his/her sins?

  • Grace

    I forgive those who do harm to me, whether they apologize or not. But what they have done, needs to be confessed to God, only He can forgive their sins……

    When I do something to another person, I can go to them and say I’m sorry – I also need to confess my sin to the LORD.

  • Grace

    I forgive those who do harm to me, whether they apologize or not. But what they have done, needs to be confessed to God, only He can forgive their sins……

    When I do something to another person, I can go to them and say I’m sorry – I also need to confess my sin to the LORD.

  • Grace

    Kerner – 208 “Anyway, let’s assume that someone in your presence does just that. Confesses that he/she is a sinner, expresses repentence, and cries out to Jesus Christ for forgiveness. What do you, Grace, believe that a Christian CAN legitimately tell such a person about the forgiveness of his/her sins?”

    I can tell anyone they need to repent and confess their sins, but I can’t forgive them for whatever they have done in their life, that is up to God. IF the individual has asked the LORD for forgiveness, that is all that’s needed. I have no part in forgiving them, that is between them and God.

  • Grace

    Kerner – 208 “Anyway, let’s assume that someone in your presence does just that. Confesses that he/she is a sinner, expresses repentence, and cries out to Jesus Christ for forgiveness. What do you, Grace, believe that a Christian CAN legitimately tell such a person about the forgiveness of his/her sins?”

    I can tell anyone they need to repent and confess their sins, but I can’t forgive them for whatever they have done in their life, that is up to God. IF the individual has asked the LORD for forgiveness, that is all that’s needed. I have no part in forgiving them, that is between them and God.

  • kerner

    Grace:

    Yeah, but that wasn’t my question exactly. I mean, what if a friend of yours tells you he has done a lot of bad things and that his conscience is bothering him. He believes in Jesus wants to be forgiven by God, and he believes that Jesus died so sins can be forgiven, but he isn’t sure about himself because he knows how bad his own sins are.

    What can you tell this person in the name of Jesus Christ?

  • kerner

    Grace:

    Yeah, but that wasn’t my question exactly. I mean, what if a friend of yours tells you he has done a lot of bad things and that his conscience is bothering him. He believes in Jesus wants to be forgiven by God, and he believes that Jesus died so sins can be forgiven, but he isn’t sure about himself because he knows how bad his own sins are.

    What can you tell this person in the name of Jesus Christ?

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace,
    Yep that is what luther’s sc saya. Yet he doesn’t say there or anywhere else that laymen can’t forgive sins. This isn’t the entirety of what the lutheran confessions say on the matter either. And it is not what I, tODD, or now kerner are arguing. Because we and the lutheran confessions realize that pastors can’t forgive sins if christians can’t. There is reason to go to your pastor, but you can go to any christian.
    On the otherside of this, there seems to be some doubt on your part that anyone can ever know their sins are forgiven. Hence your reluctanc to say they are forgivn or to pronounce forgiveness. As far as I’m concerned forgiveness is an objective facct. Christ died for the sins of the world did he not?

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace,
    Yep that is what luther’s sc saya. Yet he doesn’t say there or anywhere else that laymen can’t forgive sins. This isn’t the entirety of what the lutheran confessions say on the matter either. And it is not what I, tODD, or now kerner are arguing. Because we and the lutheran confessions realize that pastors can’t forgive sins if christians can’t. There is reason to go to your pastor, but you can go to any christian.
    On the otherside of this, there seems to be some doubt on your part that anyone can ever know their sins are forgiven. Hence your reluctanc to say they are forgivn or to pronounce forgiveness. As far as I’m concerned forgiveness is an objective facct. Christ died for the sins of the world did he not?

  • ptl

    Bror at 202…..that’s right you did not mention Pastors, but went back and read my Small Catechism and it mentioned Pastors, so who else is supposed to forgive/retains sins/forgiveness in the Lutheran Church? So didn’t think it was really necessary to mention it to you, but guess was wrong. But perhaps you believe it is not just Pastors? Actually to tell you the truth, these kind of “debates” over a blog and/or emails just take up so much time and generally quibble over a word, and making a huge deal about it and missing the “spirit” of the point. OK, let’s go at it….you did not mention Pastors, so what then did you mean? Seriously, you and several others on this blog always go back to something like “you didn’t read what I said” and then use that as an excuse to not answer the question put to you. But you know, that’s ok….am just not going to inquire any more about this with all you, since these questions have been settled/debated for hundreds of years and will just try and look up some answers in some books written by experts on these topics…..and we are just upsetting each other it seems to me, well at least it is upsetting me that am trying to have a discussion in good faith and get quibbling about words and blame being put back on me…it’s really not working too well, but thanks for giving it a try!

  • ptl

    Bror at 202…..that’s right you did not mention Pastors, but went back and read my Small Catechism and it mentioned Pastors, so who else is supposed to forgive/retains sins/forgiveness in the Lutheran Church? So didn’t think it was really necessary to mention it to you, but guess was wrong. But perhaps you believe it is not just Pastors? Actually to tell you the truth, these kind of “debates” over a blog and/or emails just take up so much time and generally quibble over a word, and making a huge deal about it and missing the “spirit” of the point. OK, let’s go at it….you did not mention Pastors, so what then did you mean? Seriously, you and several others on this blog always go back to something like “you didn’t read what I said” and then use that as an excuse to not answer the question put to you. But you know, that’s ok….am just not going to inquire any more about this with all you, since these questions have been settled/debated for hundreds of years and will just try and look up some answers in some books written by experts on these topics…..and we are just upsetting each other it seems to me, well at least it is upsetting me that am trying to have a discussion in good faith and get quibbling about words and blame being put back on me…it’s really not working too well, but thanks for giving it a try!

  • Grace

    Kerner 211

    What I can do is tell the individual to repent and confess their sins to the LORD. HE is the only means of forgiveness!

  • Grace

    Kerner 211

    What I can do is tell the individual to repent and confess their sins to the LORD. HE is the only means of forgiveness!

  • Grace

    Bror – 212 – “Yep that is what luther’s sc saya. Yet he doesn’t say there or anywhere else that laymen can’t forgive sins.”

    The Bible doesn’t say anyone can forgive sins except the LORD.

  • Grace

    Bror – 212 – “Yep that is what luther’s sc saya. Yet he doesn’t say there or anywhere else that laymen can’t forgive sins.”

    The Bible doesn’t say anyone can forgive sins except the LORD.

  • Grace

    Bror – 212 “On the otherside of this, there seems to be some doubt on your part that anyone can ever know their sins are forgiven.”

    I KNOW my sins are forgiven, I have no doubt!

  • Grace

    Bror – 212 “On the otherside of this, there seems to be some doubt on your part that anyone can ever know their sins are forgiven.”

    I KNOW my sins are forgiven, I have no doubt!

  • Grace

    ptl

    God bless you – I hope I have not upset you, if I have, I am very sorry. :(

  • Grace

    ptl

    God bless you – I hope I have not upset you, if I have, I am very sorry. :(

  • kerner

    Grace @211:

    OK, so suppose you tell him that, and suppose he drops to his knees right there in front of you and prays:

    “Most merciful God, I am a poor miserable sinner, and I confess to you all the sins I have ever done against you and other people” (maybe he even names a couple of his sins, even though he couldn’t possibly name them all). “But”, he says, “I am really truly sorry for my sins, and I sincerely repent of them, and I ask you God, for the sake of the innocent suffering and death of Your Son, Jesus Christ, to be gracious and merciful to a sinner like me.”

    Now you and I both know that Jesus is not going visibly to appear before this guy and tell him that his sins are forgiven. My question is, Grace, can you, in the name of Jesus Christ (because you are part of the Body of Christ, certainly not in your own name) assure him that his sins have been paid for by the blood of Jesus Christ and forgiven?

  • kerner

    Grace @211:

    OK, so suppose you tell him that, and suppose he drops to his knees right there in front of you and prays:

    “Most merciful God, I am a poor miserable sinner, and I confess to you all the sins I have ever done against you and other people” (maybe he even names a couple of his sins, even though he couldn’t possibly name them all). “But”, he says, “I am really truly sorry for my sins, and I sincerely repent of them, and I ask you God, for the sake of the innocent suffering and death of Your Son, Jesus Christ, to be gracious and merciful to a sinner like me.”

    Now you and I both know that Jesus is not going visibly to appear before this guy and tell him that his sins are forgiven. My question is, Grace, can you, in the name of Jesus Christ (because you are part of the Body of Christ, certainly not in your own name) assure him that his sins have been paid for by the blood of Jesus Christ and forgiven?

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Ptl. During the whole course of this debate I have been arguing that the office of the keys is something each individual chrisitian has’ that is every christian has the ability to hear confession and forgive sin. I’m sorry if I seem short with you. I am not trying to “put it back on you” but am asking that you read the whole conversation especially before you jump in and all over tODD and I for how we are debating. Because the previouse comments wold have made it clear that I was not arguing for pastors only. And as I told grace Luther’s sc is not the sum total of what the conf. Say on this matter.
    Grace if you know your sins are forgiven why cankt you tell your friends his are? And could you please tell me how luke 17:3 says only the lord can forgive sins? Because it eems he is saying we should all forgive sins.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Ptl. During the whole course of this debate I have been arguing that the office of the keys is something each individual chrisitian has’ that is every christian has the ability to hear confession and forgive sin. I’m sorry if I seem short with you. I am not trying to “put it back on you” but am asking that you read the whole conversation especially before you jump in and all over tODD and I for how we are debating. Because the previouse comments wold have made it clear that I was not arguing for pastors only. And as I told grace Luther’s sc is not the sum total of what the conf. Say on this matter.
    Grace if you know your sins are forgiven why cankt you tell your friends his are? And could you please tell me how luke 17:3 says only the lord can forgive sins? Because it eems he is saying we should all forgive sins.

  • Grace

    Kerner 218

    Either the person knows they are forgiven or they don’t – it is between them and God. I don’t know their heart, but God does. Every Believer needs to trust the LORD when they confess their sins, that they are forgiven.

  • Grace

    Kerner 218

    Either the person knows they are forgiven or they don’t – it is between them and God. I don’t know their heart, but God does. Every Believer needs to trust the LORD when they confess their sins, that they are forgiven.

  • Grace

    Bror – 219 –
    And could you please tell me how luke 17:3 says only the lord can forgive sins? Because it eems he is saying we should all forgive sins.”

    The verse you cite doesn’t encompass a sin, other than one against me, which I can forgive, but that would not negate the individual confessing their sin to God.

    IF the sin doesn’t include me, I am not involved with their forgiveness, they need to confess their sin to God.

    Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. Luke 17:3

    Bror, this passage is a “trespass” against the person to whom they harmed.

    And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him. Luke 17:4

    Again Bror, these are sins against an individual – and again, the individual can forgive, because it is they, to whom the harm was done.

  • Grace

    Bror – 219 –
    And could you please tell me how luke 17:3 says only the lord can forgive sins? Because it eems he is saying we should all forgive sins.”

    The verse you cite doesn’t encompass a sin, other than one against me, which I can forgive, but that would not negate the individual confessing their sin to God.

    IF the sin doesn’t include me, I am not involved with their forgiveness, they need to confess their sin to God.

    Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. Luke 17:3

    Bror, this passage is a “trespass” against the person to whom they harmed.

    And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him. Luke 17:4

    Again Bror, these are sins against an individual – and again, the individual can forgive, because it is they, to whom the harm was done.

  • kerner

    “Every Believer needs to trust the LORD when they confess their sins, that they are forgiven.”

    Well, yeah. How are they going to know that they can trust the LORD, if Christians won’t tell them they can?

    Come on Grace. At least once in your life, didn’t you pray a prayer something like the one I described @218? And didn’t a pastor, or maybe just a layperson-Christian, tell YOU that you could now be absolutely positive that your sins were forgiven?

  • kerner

    “Every Believer needs to trust the LORD when they confess their sins, that they are forgiven.”

    Well, yeah. How are they going to know that they can trust the LORD, if Christians won’t tell them they can?

    Come on Grace. At least once in your life, didn’t you pray a prayer something like the one I described @218? And didn’t a pastor, or maybe just a layperson-Christian, tell YOU that you could now be absolutely positive that your sins were forgiven?

  • Grace

    Kerner – 222- – “Well, yeah. How are they going to know that they can trust the LORD, if Christians won’t tell them they can?” – -

    I can tell anyone they can trust in the LORD.

    Kerner – - “Come on Grace. At least once in your life, didn’t you pray a prayer something like the one I described @218? And didn’t a pastor, or maybe just a layperson-Christian, tell YOU that you could now be absolutely positive that your sins were forgiven?”

    “once in your life” ? – I understood that God loves me, I do need to confess my sins to HIM, and if I do, God will forgive me.

    I learned the following passage of Scripture at a very young age –

    If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

    Notice the “he” in the passage above – and the “cleanse us from all unrighteousness” – that Kerner is God’s forgiveness and only HIS.

  • Grace

    Kerner – 222- – “Well, yeah. How are they going to know that they can trust the LORD, if Christians won’t tell them they can?” – -

    I can tell anyone they can trust in the LORD.

    Kerner – - “Come on Grace. At least once in your life, didn’t you pray a prayer something like the one I described @218? And didn’t a pastor, or maybe just a layperson-Christian, tell YOU that you could now be absolutely positive that your sins were forgiven?”

    “once in your life” ? – I understood that God loves me, I do need to confess my sins to HIM, and if I do, God will forgive me.

    I learned the following passage of Scripture at a very young age –

    If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

    Notice the “he” in the passage above – and the “cleanse us from all unrighteousness” – that Kerner is God’s forgiveness and only HIS.

  • ptl

    Kerner….you and Grace are saying the same thing…at least that’s how I see it. Every time you pose your question, just like in 222:

    “And didn’t a pastor, or maybe just a layperson-Christian, tell YOU that you could now be absolutely positive that your sins were forgiven?”

    Here you say that a person/Pastor can TELL you…you are forgiven. But that is totally different that that person actually being the one who forgives you, as if it their decision.

    And that is Grace’s point, if I can speak for her, or at least my interpretation of what she says. She has no problem telling someone that God has forgiven them, such as Nathan telling David. But she doesn’t feel she has the authority to actually forgive that sin (unless it is against her). Do you see the difference?

    You know, it’s funny…..have been a life long (and it’s been a long time) Lutheran and have always enjoyed the confession of sins and hearing the Pastor tell us we are forgiven. Forgive me (no pun intended) but never really thought that it was the Pastor forgiving me….here’s what the Pastor says in TLH (non communion service) following confession:

    “Almighty God, our heavenly Father, hath had mercy upon us and hath given His only Son to die for us and for His sake forgiveth us all our sins. To them that believe on His name He giveth power to become the sons of God and hath promised them His Holy Spirit. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved. Grant this Lord, unto us all.”

    Note: there are still congregations that use the very old THL, my favorite!

    But note, that it isn’t clear that it is the Pastor who is forgiving our sins, rather it is the Pastor telling us that God has forgiven our sins. My guess is that Grace would have no problem with those words? And if she did, well that is her decision and am ok with that too, am just guessing that it would be ok?

    So that is what is said most every Sunday, but on communion Sundays, we hear:

    “Upon this your confession, I, by virtue of my office, as a called and ordained servant of the Word, announce the grace of God unto all you, and in the stead and by the command of my Lord Jesus Christ I forgive you all your sins in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”

    Now the announcement part is great and am sure we have no difference with Grace….she would be happy to announce the grace of God unto a repentant sinner, like Nathan and David, once again. But then the next part, where the Pastor says “I forgive you” etc. is the sticking point.

    To be honest, and repeat my self, have never thought about it much until now, and would tend to at least want to give some “room” to the things that Grace is saying. Not necessarily to agree with her, but to say how it could be difficult for someone not brought up in the Lutheran tradition to easily be uncomfortable with the idea of a Pastor forgiving sins. Am surprised that no one else here can say that they can see where it would be difficult to accept this, especially since the only 2 verses that support it, do deal with the Apostles…and it is not too big of a stretch as a matter of interpretation to at least entertain that as a legitimate concern, rather than toss it off as a comprehension problem, or worse opinion about the person’s motives or abilities :(

    In fact, this has got me thinking a whole lot more about the issue and most of the time come down on the side of giving some room to the ideas presented by Grace. Consider the Lord’s Prayer, for example. We are taught by Jesus to pray “and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us”. So who are we asking to forgive our trespasses? Our Father, who art in Heaven! If we can do that, why do we need anything else? Am not saying this because I necessarily believe this, but am saying this because I can see why someone else might believe it that way, it’s right there in the Lord’s prayer!

    And just like Lutherans have no need for the Saints or Mary to go through to pray or ask to intervene, because we can go straight to the main guy, it seems to me to be at least a similar possibility with respect to this forgiveness issue. Not saying it is, since do not know all of the other reasons why the Lutheran’s have this doctrine, but just saying that can see why lay people might see it Grace’s way.

    For one, we simple people don’t have the technical or intellectual skills to interpret the Bible in the way that solid Lutherans do to arrive at their beliefs! Just look at the SC. Luther says “Pastors are to forgive/retain sins.” But then we find out from Bror, that it means people other than Pastors, but Luther did not think it was necessary to say it. How can one be bright enough to discern that kind of hidden truths? Certainly to be a Lutheran theologian one must have such highly tuned skills!

    But it now has hit me more clearly that the Pastor is forgiving me and to cut to the chase, am slightly uncomfortable with that, if it is just the 2 verses that are always used to explain it. That would not cause me to leave my Church, but it does make me think that that particular point of doctrine might be something to be explored in more depth.

    Must say that the points made by Grace are pretty good and solid and she defends herself very well and with scripture. The only counter argument to her so far has been the 2 versus, the same 2 in the SC, and honestly when put together with all the other points, also taken from the Bible, it seems to me to be harder and harder to defend the Lutheran position. Am very surprised at myself, and guess perhaps am not as good a Lutheran as my Mom would hope for me?

    In any case, this has all been very interesting and am thinking will have to stay away from this blog, as it seems to damage my faith. There might be some who won’t forgive me too?

  • ptl

    Kerner….you and Grace are saying the same thing…at least that’s how I see it. Every time you pose your question, just like in 222:

    “And didn’t a pastor, or maybe just a layperson-Christian, tell YOU that you could now be absolutely positive that your sins were forgiven?”

    Here you say that a person/Pastor can TELL you…you are forgiven. But that is totally different that that person actually being the one who forgives you, as if it their decision.

    And that is Grace’s point, if I can speak for her, or at least my interpretation of what she says. She has no problem telling someone that God has forgiven them, such as Nathan telling David. But she doesn’t feel she has the authority to actually forgive that sin (unless it is against her). Do you see the difference?

    You know, it’s funny…..have been a life long (and it’s been a long time) Lutheran and have always enjoyed the confession of sins and hearing the Pastor tell us we are forgiven. Forgive me (no pun intended) but never really thought that it was the Pastor forgiving me….here’s what the Pastor says in TLH (non communion service) following confession:

    “Almighty God, our heavenly Father, hath had mercy upon us and hath given His only Son to die for us and for His sake forgiveth us all our sins. To them that believe on His name He giveth power to become the sons of God and hath promised them His Holy Spirit. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved. Grant this Lord, unto us all.”

    Note: there are still congregations that use the very old THL, my favorite!

    But note, that it isn’t clear that it is the Pastor who is forgiving our sins, rather it is the Pastor telling us that God has forgiven our sins. My guess is that Grace would have no problem with those words? And if she did, well that is her decision and am ok with that too, am just guessing that it would be ok?

    So that is what is said most every Sunday, but on communion Sundays, we hear:

    “Upon this your confession, I, by virtue of my office, as a called and ordained servant of the Word, announce the grace of God unto all you, and in the stead and by the command of my Lord Jesus Christ I forgive you all your sins in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”

    Now the announcement part is great and am sure we have no difference with Grace….she would be happy to announce the grace of God unto a repentant sinner, like Nathan and David, once again. But then the next part, where the Pastor says “I forgive you” etc. is the sticking point.

    To be honest, and repeat my self, have never thought about it much until now, and would tend to at least want to give some “room” to the things that Grace is saying. Not necessarily to agree with her, but to say how it could be difficult for someone not brought up in the Lutheran tradition to easily be uncomfortable with the idea of a Pastor forgiving sins. Am surprised that no one else here can say that they can see where it would be difficult to accept this, especially since the only 2 verses that support it, do deal with the Apostles…and it is not too big of a stretch as a matter of interpretation to at least entertain that as a legitimate concern, rather than toss it off as a comprehension problem, or worse opinion about the person’s motives or abilities :(

    In fact, this has got me thinking a whole lot more about the issue and most of the time come down on the side of giving some room to the ideas presented by Grace. Consider the Lord’s Prayer, for example. We are taught by Jesus to pray “and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us”. So who are we asking to forgive our trespasses? Our Father, who art in Heaven! If we can do that, why do we need anything else? Am not saying this because I necessarily believe this, but am saying this because I can see why someone else might believe it that way, it’s right there in the Lord’s prayer!

    And just like Lutherans have no need for the Saints or Mary to go through to pray or ask to intervene, because we can go straight to the main guy, it seems to me to be at least a similar possibility with respect to this forgiveness issue. Not saying it is, since do not know all of the other reasons why the Lutheran’s have this doctrine, but just saying that can see why lay people might see it Grace’s way.

    For one, we simple people don’t have the technical or intellectual skills to interpret the Bible in the way that solid Lutherans do to arrive at their beliefs! Just look at the SC. Luther says “Pastors are to forgive/retain sins.” But then we find out from Bror, that it means people other than Pastors, but Luther did not think it was necessary to say it. How can one be bright enough to discern that kind of hidden truths? Certainly to be a Lutheran theologian one must have such highly tuned skills!

    But it now has hit me more clearly that the Pastor is forgiving me and to cut to the chase, am slightly uncomfortable with that, if it is just the 2 verses that are always used to explain it. That would not cause me to leave my Church, but it does make me think that that particular point of doctrine might be something to be explored in more depth.

    Must say that the points made by Grace are pretty good and solid and she defends herself very well and with scripture. The only counter argument to her so far has been the 2 versus, the same 2 in the SC, and honestly when put together with all the other points, also taken from the Bible, it seems to me to be harder and harder to defend the Lutheran position. Am very surprised at myself, and guess perhaps am not as good a Lutheran as my Mom would hope for me?

    In any case, this has all been very interesting and am thinking will have to stay away from this blog, as it seems to damage my faith. There might be some who won’t forgive me too?

  • Grace

    ptl – 224 “In any case, this has all been very interesting and am thinking will have to stay away from this blog, as it seems to damage my faith. There might be some who won’t forgive me too?”

    I have just read your post. You are a very strong person, please, please do not stay away.

    Your faith in Jesus Christ is secure, as long as you believe in HIM. One of my favorite passages is this:

    5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

    6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
    Proverbs 3

    Your forgiveness ptl comes from HIM, no one else, no one on this blog. It is only the He the LORD, …… He loves you, He died for you, He will see you through.

    I am praying for you. God bless and keep you.

    Love, Grace

  • Grace

    ptl – 224 “In any case, this has all been very interesting and am thinking will have to stay away from this blog, as it seems to damage my faith. There might be some who won’t forgive me too?”

    I have just read your post. You are a very strong person, please, please do not stay away.

    Your faith in Jesus Christ is secure, as long as you believe in HIM. One of my favorite passages is this:

    5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

    6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
    Proverbs 3

    Your forgiveness ptl comes from HIM, no one else, no one on this blog. It is only the He the LORD, …… He loves you, He died for you, He will see you through.

    I am praying for you. God bless and keep you.

    Love, Grace

  • http://www.Toddstadler.Com tODD

    “If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

  • http://www.Toddstadler.Com tODD

    “If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

  • kerner

    ptl @ 224:

    You are absolutely correct. My whole point is that Grace is really saying the same thing as I am. She’s really saying pretty much the same thing that all Lutherans say. And if she has ever confessed her sinful condition in the presence of a pastor, or even another Christian, who then assured her that her sins are forgiven, then Grace has confessed and received absolution pretty much the way Lutherans understand it.

    But I believe (sorry Grace, but I do see it this way) that she has been banging heads with Bror since Thursday and she’s is never going to admit anything close to that at this point. Maybe she isn’t completely blame for that, but who knows?

    As you point out above, you (and I) have never believed that our forgiveness comes from the human at the front of the church. We don’t address the pastor when we confess. Forgiveness comes from God for the sake of the suffering and death of Jesus Christ. It is God we ask forgiveness from. The pastor only tells us we are forgiven because Jesus is not going to say so out loud.

    You are also correct when you point out that the argument seems to be over the words used, not their meaning. We all mean the same thing. And I understand why the dispute over the words comes up. I was not raised a Lutheran, and the first time I heard the words of absolution that you quoted I was shocked. I had to study the Bible to see why they were used, and I get it now. It really is kind of a “po-tay-to, po-tah-to” difference.

    But I think the reason for the difference is found in the basics of Lutheran theology. While Lutherans believe in much the same results as many protestant churches, Lutherans believe that God uses earthly means to accomplish His work, and we take the scriptures that say so seriously.

    God’s Word is His own, but he uses us, the members of the Body of Christ, to preach it.

    The Holy Spirit changes people’s hearts, but God uses us, the members of His Body, to Baptize.

    Christ’s body and blood were nailed to the cross, but God uses us, the members of His Body, to give it to each other.

    And, yes, God alone forgives our sins, but He uses us, the members of His Body, to say so in His name.

    Now, God certainly does not NEED to use the members of His Body to accomplish anything. He could use any method He chose. But there are specific Scriptures to support all of the Lutheran doctrines about the means we believe God uses. The scriptures that support our positions worry and confuse Baptistic Christians, so they tend to ignore them, or attempt to explain them away.

    In the case of confession and absolution, some people may have a problem with a pastor saying “In the stead and by the command of Our Lord Jesus Christ, I forgive you all your sins…” to convey the meaning we all agree on. But Jesus didn’t have a problem with that choice of words. They are HIS words!!!! (John 20:23). But Grace insists on reading something into our practice that is not there.

    Another thing that is interesting is Jesus choice of words when he healed the paralytic (Luke 5:20) or spoke to the sinful woman (luke 7:48). In both cases Jesus did not say “I forgive your sins.” He said both times, “Your sins are forgiven.” And both times the Pharisees knew that He meant EXACTLY the same thing as “I forgive your sins”, and complained about it. “I forgive your sins” and “Your sins are forgiven” really are synonymous. So, even if Lutherans were to change what we say ever so slightly, the Pharisees (or in this case, the Baptists) would still complain about it.

    And I was able to find some additional scripture passages. At least once I found that believers in Antioch came forward and publicly confessed their evil deeds before the Church, including sorcery, which would not have been a sin against anybody in particular (Acts 19:18-19). You also see Christians being told to confess to each other (without any reference to anybody in particular being sinned against) and pray for the forgiveness of each other’s sins in James 5:14-16.

    Finally, somewhere above Grace said that we can’t really withold forgiveness from someone who truly repents; God will forgive them anyway. She’s right of course. But this is kind of like what the catechism says about the Lord’s prayer. God commands us to pray for a lot of things that He is going to accomplish whether we pray for them or not. But God wants us to pray for them, or otherwise participate in them, anyway, not because our participation is necessary, but because He, in His wisdom, wants us to be involved in His work.

  • kerner

    ptl @ 224:

    You are absolutely correct. My whole point is that Grace is really saying the same thing as I am. She’s really saying pretty much the same thing that all Lutherans say. And if she has ever confessed her sinful condition in the presence of a pastor, or even another Christian, who then assured her that her sins are forgiven, then Grace has confessed and received absolution pretty much the way Lutherans understand it.

    But I believe (sorry Grace, but I do see it this way) that she has been banging heads with Bror since Thursday and she’s is never going to admit anything close to that at this point. Maybe she isn’t completely blame for that, but who knows?

    As you point out above, you (and I) have never believed that our forgiveness comes from the human at the front of the church. We don’t address the pastor when we confess. Forgiveness comes from God for the sake of the suffering and death of Jesus Christ. It is God we ask forgiveness from. The pastor only tells us we are forgiven because Jesus is not going to say so out loud.

    You are also correct when you point out that the argument seems to be over the words used, not their meaning. We all mean the same thing. And I understand why the dispute over the words comes up. I was not raised a Lutheran, and the first time I heard the words of absolution that you quoted I was shocked. I had to study the Bible to see why they were used, and I get it now. It really is kind of a “po-tay-to, po-tah-to” difference.

    But I think the reason for the difference is found in the basics of Lutheran theology. While Lutherans believe in much the same results as many protestant churches, Lutherans believe that God uses earthly means to accomplish His work, and we take the scriptures that say so seriously.

    God’s Word is His own, but he uses us, the members of the Body of Christ, to preach it.

    The Holy Spirit changes people’s hearts, but God uses us, the members of His Body, to Baptize.

    Christ’s body and blood were nailed to the cross, but God uses us, the members of His Body, to give it to each other.

    And, yes, God alone forgives our sins, but He uses us, the members of His Body, to say so in His name.

    Now, God certainly does not NEED to use the members of His Body to accomplish anything. He could use any method He chose. But there are specific Scriptures to support all of the Lutheran doctrines about the means we believe God uses. The scriptures that support our positions worry and confuse Baptistic Christians, so they tend to ignore them, or attempt to explain them away.

    In the case of confession and absolution, some people may have a problem with a pastor saying “In the stead and by the command of Our Lord Jesus Christ, I forgive you all your sins…” to convey the meaning we all agree on. But Jesus didn’t have a problem with that choice of words. They are HIS words!!!! (John 20:23). But Grace insists on reading something into our practice that is not there.

    Another thing that is interesting is Jesus choice of words when he healed the paralytic (Luke 5:20) or spoke to the sinful woman (luke 7:48). In both cases Jesus did not say “I forgive your sins.” He said both times, “Your sins are forgiven.” And both times the Pharisees knew that He meant EXACTLY the same thing as “I forgive your sins”, and complained about it. “I forgive your sins” and “Your sins are forgiven” really are synonymous. So, even if Lutherans were to change what we say ever so slightly, the Pharisees (or in this case, the Baptists) would still complain about it.

    And I was able to find some additional scripture passages. At least once I found that believers in Antioch came forward and publicly confessed their evil deeds before the Church, including sorcery, which would not have been a sin against anybody in particular (Acts 19:18-19). You also see Christians being told to confess to each other (without any reference to anybody in particular being sinned against) and pray for the forgiveness of each other’s sins in James 5:14-16.

    Finally, somewhere above Grace said that we can’t really withold forgiveness from someone who truly repents; God will forgive them anyway. She’s right of course. But this is kind of like what the catechism says about the Lord’s prayer. God commands us to pray for a lot of things that He is going to accomplish whether we pray for them or not. But God wants us to pray for them, or otherwise participate in them, anyway, not because our participation is necessary, but because He, in His wisdom, wants us to be involved in His work.

  • ptl

    Have not written code in a long, long time but will give it a try here (please “forgive” me for any syntax errors :)

    BEGIN

    DO FOR I = 1, N

    POST COMMENT

    IF (COMMENT NEW) THEN

    READ AND POST RESPONSE

    I = I + 1

    ELSE IF (COMMENT JOHN 20:23)

    I = 1

    GO TO COMMENT 45

    END DO;

    Am just trying to save everyone some time :)

  • ptl

    Have not written code in a long, long time but will give it a try here (please “forgive” me for any syntax errors :)

    BEGIN

    DO FOR I = 1, N

    POST COMMENT

    IF (COMMENT NEW) THEN

    READ AND POST RESPONSE

    I = I + 1

    ELSE IF (COMMENT JOHN 20:23)

    I = 1

    GO TO COMMENT 45

    END DO;

    Am just trying to save everyone some time :)

  • ptl

    ps. save everyone (especially tODD) some time :)

  • ptl

    ps. save everyone (especially tODD) some time :)

  • kerner

    ptl:

    Ha!

    I can’t read computer code, but re comment 45, God does not “extend” the authority to forgive sins is the sense that He relinquishes it. What He does is He involves His people in the process of doing something (in this case forgiving sins) that He is going to do with or without us. We forgive others in His name because He tells us to and so the forgiven will hear it and be comforted. We have no authority to forgive, or withhold forgiveness, apart from what our sovereign God would do anyway.

  • kerner

    ptl:

    Ha!

    I can’t read computer code, but re comment 45, God does not “extend” the authority to forgive sins is the sense that He relinquishes it. What He does is He involves His people in the process of doing something (in this case forgiving sins) that He is going to do with or without us. We forgive others in His name because He tells us to and so the forgiven will hear it and be comforted. We have no authority to forgive, or withhold forgiveness, apart from what our sovereign God would do anyway.

  • Grace

    227 kerner “My whole point is that Grace is really saying the same thing as I am. She’s really saying pretty much the same thing that all Lutherans say. And if she has ever confessed her sinful condition in the presence of a pastor, or even another Christian, who then assured her that her sins are forgiven, then Grace has confessed and received absolution pretty much the way Lutherans understand it.”

    I would caution YOU not to speak for me, or to CRYSTAL BALL my heart – it is presumptuous to say the least. I have ALWAYS KNOWN and BELIEVED that Jesus Christ is the only one who can forgive my sins, I know what my sins are.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Kerner – “As you point out above, you (and I) have never believed that our forgiveness comes from the human at the front of the church. We don’t address the pastor when we confess. Forgiveness comes from God for the sake of the suffering and death of Jesus Christ. It is God we ask forgiveness from. The pastor only tells us we are forgiven because Jesus is not going to say so out loud.”

    God’s Word isn’t enough, you need to hear an audible word from someone who cannot forgive your sins?

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Kerner - “The scriptures that support our positions worry and confuse Baptistic Christians, so they tend to ignore them, or attempt to explain them away.”

    Nothing could be further from the truth – you make inflammatory remarks without foundational truth.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Kerner – “In the case of confession and absolution, some people may have a problem with a pastor saying “In the stead and by the command of Our Lord Jesus Christ, I forgive you all your sins…” to convey the meaning we all agree on. But Jesus didn’t have a problem with that choice of words. They are HIS words!!!! (John 20:23). But Grace insists on reading something into our practice that is not there.”

    The words spoken by Jesus, were to His Disciples, NO ONE ELSE, that is where you make your mistake!

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Kerner – “He said both times, “Your sins are forgiven.” And both times the Pharisees knew that He meant EXACTLY the same thing as “I forgive your sins”, and complained about it. “I forgive your sins” and “Your sins are forgiven” really are synonymous. So, even if Lutherans were to change what we say ever so slightly, the Pharisees (or in this case, the Baptists) would still complain about it.”

    I fail to understand why you call everyone who isn’t a Lutheran a Baptist – when that isn’t true, do you know the difference between doctrine within the Protestant churches, or do you lump them all together because you don’t know? The Believers did not complain, and neither did the Disciples or followers of Jesus when they asked “who can forgive sin but God” – you twist this up Kerner as though the Pharisees are no different than Baptists, of which you cannot distinguish between other Protestant Believers.

    Your statement regarding Pharisees and Baptists show nothing but ignorance and distain from Lutherans, as Baptists, (which I am not a member) are Christian Believers – that takes NERVE!!

  • Grace

    227 kerner “My whole point is that Grace is really saying the same thing as I am. She’s really saying pretty much the same thing that all Lutherans say. And if she has ever confessed her sinful condition in the presence of a pastor, or even another Christian, who then assured her that her sins are forgiven, then Grace has confessed and received absolution pretty much the way Lutherans understand it.”

    I would caution YOU not to speak for me, or to CRYSTAL BALL my heart – it is presumptuous to say the least. I have ALWAYS KNOWN and BELIEVED that Jesus Christ is the only one who can forgive my sins, I know what my sins are.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Kerner – “As you point out above, you (and I) have never believed that our forgiveness comes from the human at the front of the church. We don’t address the pastor when we confess. Forgiveness comes from God for the sake of the suffering and death of Jesus Christ. It is God we ask forgiveness from. The pastor only tells us we are forgiven because Jesus is not going to say so out loud.”

    God’s Word isn’t enough, you need to hear an audible word from someone who cannot forgive your sins?

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Kerner - “The scriptures that support our positions worry and confuse Baptistic Christians, so they tend to ignore them, or attempt to explain them away.”

    Nothing could be further from the truth – you make inflammatory remarks without foundational truth.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Kerner – “In the case of confession and absolution, some people may have a problem with a pastor saying “In the stead and by the command of Our Lord Jesus Christ, I forgive you all your sins…” to convey the meaning we all agree on. But Jesus didn’t have a problem with that choice of words. They are HIS words!!!! (John 20:23). But Grace insists on reading something into our practice that is not there.”

    The words spoken by Jesus, were to His Disciples, NO ONE ELSE, that is where you make your mistake!

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Kerner – “He said both times, “Your sins are forgiven.” And both times the Pharisees knew that He meant EXACTLY the same thing as “I forgive your sins”, and complained about it. “I forgive your sins” and “Your sins are forgiven” really are synonymous. So, even if Lutherans were to change what we say ever so slightly, the Pharisees (or in this case, the Baptists) would still complain about it.”

    I fail to understand why you call everyone who isn’t a Lutheran a Baptist – when that isn’t true, do you know the difference between doctrine within the Protestant churches, or do you lump them all together because you don’t know? The Believers did not complain, and neither did the Disciples or followers of Jesus when they asked “who can forgive sin but God” – you twist this up Kerner as though the Pharisees are no different than Baptists, of which you cannot distinguish between other Protestant Believers.

    Your statement regarding Pharisees and Baptists show nothing but ignorance and distain from Lutherans, as Baptists, (which I am not a member) are Christian Believers – that takes NERVE!!

  • Grace

    tODD – 52 – ““Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.“

    tODD – 66 – “So when our Lord Jesus tells His disciples “If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven,”

    tODD – 83 – “Grace, you are ignoring the very words of that same LORD of Heaven! The same Jesus who died on the cross for the sins of the whole world spoke as clearly as possible to his disciples and said, “If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

    tODD – 86 – “Grace said, “I don’t doubt God” (@84). But you do doubt him when he says, “If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

    tODD – 90 – ““No one takes the place of God”. Indeed. But God grants men the authority to speak in His stead; indeed, to speak his own words. “If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

    tODD – 91 – “I hope you understand. And, though you may have read these words once before, yet you do not understand them, my Savior said to his disciples, and I quote, “If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

    (This is KEY tODD, HE, Jesus Christ, said this to His Disciples not to anyone else. You nor I can forgive sins.)

    tODD – 103 – “The promise given by Jesus, who told his disciples (that’s us!) to speak this same promise as if from Jesus himself.
    “If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

    The twelve Disciples are not the same as we are, they have gifts that we don’t have.

    tODD – 226 – ““If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    The passage of Scripture is as follows:

    19 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.

    20 And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the LORD.

    21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.

    22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:

    23 Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained. …………… John 20

    Jesus the risen Savior was speaking to His Disciples in verse 23. It was not to every single person born, or would be born. This is where the Roman Church has developed their doctrine, and spread the idea with an iron hand that they could control the congregants as the Pope chose – AGAIN: it was to His Disciples, no one else.

    Go to Acts, REMEMBERING that the risen Christ had already “breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost”

    1 The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,

    2 Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen:

    3 To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:

    4 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.

    5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.

    6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?

    7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.

    8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

    9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight…………. Acts 1

    ( Receive ye the Holy Ghost John 20:22

    ( ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. Acts 1

    Keep in mind there are two different events – the one right after Christ arose, and the other when He spoke to His Disciples before He was taken up to Heaven. This is a sobering thought, one is – receiving the Holy Ghost and the other being baptized with the Holy Ghost –

  • Grace

    tODD – 52 – ““Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.“

    tODD – 66 – “So when our Lord Jesus tells His disciples “If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven,”

    tODD – 83 – “Grace, you are ignoring the very words of that same LORD of Heaven! The same Jesus who died on the cross for the sins of the whole world spoke as clearly as possible to his disciples and said, “If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

    tODD – 86 – “Grace said, “I don’t doubt God” (@84). But you do doubt him when he says, “If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

    tODD – 90 – ““No one takes the place of God”. Indeed. But God grants men the authority to speak in His stead; indeed, to speak his own words. “If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

    tODD – 91 – “I hope you understand. And, though you may have read these words once before, yet you do not understand them, my Savior said to his disciples, and I quote, “If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

    (This is KEY tODD, HE, Jesus Christ, said this to His Disciples not to anyone else. You nor I can forgive sins.)

    tODD – 103 – “The promise given by Jesus, who told his disciples (that’s us!) to speak this same promise as if from Jesus himself.
    “If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

    The twelve Disciples are not the same as we are, they have gifts that we don’t have.

    tODD – 226 – ““If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    The passage of Scripture is as follows:

    19 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.

    20 And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the LORD.

    21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.

    22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:

    23 Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained. …………… John 20

    Jesus the risen Savior was speaking to His Disciples in verse 23. It was not to every single person born, or would be born. This is where the Roman Church has developed their doctrine, and spread the idea with an iron hand that they could control the congregants as the Pope chose – AGAIN: it was to His Disciples, no one else.

    Go to Acts, REMEMBERING that the risen Christ had already “breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost”

    1 The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,

    2 Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen:

    3 To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:

    4 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.

    5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.

    6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?

    7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.

    8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

    9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight…………. Acts 1

    ( Receive ye the Holy Ghost John 20:22

    ( ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. Acts 1

    Keep in mind there are two different events – the one right after Christ arose, and the other when He spoke to His Disciples before He was taken up to Heaven. This is a sobering thought, one is – receiving the Holy Ghost and the other being baptized with the Holy Ghost –

  • kerner

    Oh, I also think that the idea of NOT declaring forgiveness to someone is expressed in I Cor. 5. This chapter describes Church discipline for a person who is in an obvious state of non-repentance. Verse 5 says that such a person must be delivered unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. Which I think means that Christians should declare that this unrepentant person is NOT forgiven in the hope that he will actually repent at which point he will then be saved and we can truthfully say that he IS forgiven. At least I think that this is what that chapter is talking about.

  • kerner

    Oh, I also think that the idea of NOT declaring forgiveness to someone is expressed in I Cor. 5. This chapter describes Church discipline for a person who is in an obvious state of non-repentance. Verse 5 says that such a person must be delivered unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. Which I think means that Christians should declare that this unrepentant person is NOT forgiven in the hope that he will actually repent at which point he will then be saved and we can truthfully say that he IS forgiven. At least I think that this is what that chapter is talking about.

  • kerner

    Grace:

    I don’t understand you. You say @231 and 232 that in John 20:23 that Jesus must have been talking to his dicsiples and no one else. But why do you think that? The scripture doesn’t say that they were the only ones there, and we do know (as tODD pointed out) that Thomas was NOT there.

    But back @54 you say that nowhere in Acts nor in the Epistles do we see an Apostle remitting the sins of anyone else.

    So which is it?

    You also say @231 that you have always known and believed that Jesus is the only one who can forgive your sins, and that you know what your sins are.

    Forgive me, but are either of those statements really true? How could you possibly have known how your sins could be forgiven until some Christian told you? And how can anyone really claim to know what ALL of their sins are? We all have too many. I dare say every Christian has forgotten more sins than he/she has ever confessed to God.

    Also, I’m sorry if I have mistaken your theology for something it is not. Much of what you say sounds like that of Baptist theologians I have read, but maybe you disagree with them in some ways I don’t know about.

  • kerner

    Grace:

    I don’t understand you. You say @231 and 232 that in John 20:23 that Jesus must have been talking to his dicsiples and no one else. But why do you think that? The scripture doesn’t say that they were the only ones there, and we do know (as tODD pointed out) that Thomas was NOT there.

    But back @54 you say that nowhere in Acts nor in the Epistles do we see an Apostle remitting the sins of anyone else.

    So which is it?

    You also say @231 that you have always known and believed that Jesus is the only one who can forgive your sins, and that you know what your sins are.

    Forgive me, but are either of those statements really true? How could you possibly have known how your sins could be forgiven until some Christian told you? And how can anyone really claim to know what ALL of their sins are? We all have too many. I dare say every Christian has forgotten more sins than he/she has ever confessed to God.

    Also, I’m sorry if I have mistaken your theology for something it is not. Much of what you say sounds like that of Baptist theologians I have read, but maybe you disagree with them in some ways I don’t know about.

  • kerner

    oops: Above I meqant why do you believe it was only the Apostles that Jesus was talking to. The passage itself says “disciples”, but the word “disciples” does not always mean just the Apostles.

  • kerner

    oops: Above I meqant why do you believe it was only the Apostles that Jesus was talking to. The passage itself says “disciples”, but the word “disciples” does not always mean just the Apostles.

  • kerner

    “God’s Word isn’t enough, you need an audible word from someone who cannot forgive your sins?

    (sigh)

    Grace, first of all God’s Word says that faith cometh by hearing, so an audible word doesn’t sound like such a bad thing to me. Second, Christians are COMMANDED by God’s Word to PREACH the Gospel!!! The Gospel IS that my (and your) sins are forgiven. It is not that God needs my pastor to preach to me for me to be saved ( although preaching the Gospel was certainly necessary when I still had never heard it. It is that, for whatever reason He may have, God has COMMANDED my pastor to preach the Gospel to me and to everybody else who will listen to him. God’s Word also commands all us Christians to share the Gospel, audibly, among other ways, with other Christians as well as the unsaved. The whole job of the Body of Christ is to make disciples of all nations by baptizing and teaching (Matthew 28:18-20). This is God’s plan and command to the whole Church. We didn’t just make this up. This is God’s plan for His people, declared over and over again.

    If my pastor ever stops telling me that my sins are forgiven, and why, I’m finding a new church. Not because I expect to forget the Gospel, but because it is the duty of my brothers and sisters in Christ to declare the Gospel to me, and I to them. My pastor, because of his calling, is to lead me in this by example.

  • kerner

    “God’s Word isn’t enough, you need an audible word from someone who cannot forgive your sins?

    (sigh)

    Grace, first of all God’s Word says that faith cometh by hearing, so an audible word doesn’t sound like such a bad thing to me. Second, Christians are COMMANDED by God’s Word to PREACH the Gospel!!! The Gospel IS that my (and your) sins are forgiven. It is not that God needs my pastor to preach to me for me to be saved ( although preaching the Gospel was certainly necessary when I still had never heard it. It is that, for whatever reason He may have, God has COMMANDED my pastor to preach the Gospel to me and to everybody else who will listen to him. God’s Word also commands all us Christians to share the Gospel, audibly, among other ways, with other Christians as well as the unsaved. The whole job of the Body of Christ is to make disciples of all nations by baptizing and teaching (Matthew 28:18-20). This is God’s plan and command to the whole Church. We didn’t just make this up. This is God’s plan for His people, declared over and over again.

    If my pastor ever stops telling me that my sins are forgiven, and why, I’m finding a new church. Not because I expect to forget the Gospel, but because it is the duty of my brothers and sisters in Christ to declare the Gospel to me, and I to them. My pastor, because of his calling, is to lead me in this by example.

  • colliebear

    Before the Gutenberg printing press (1441), there were probably few paper copies of the bible in the average Christian home. Therefore, Christians would have relied on the audible word to hear the gospel.

  • colliebear

    Before the Gutenberg printing press (1441), there were probably few paper copies of the bible in the average Christian home. Therefore, Christians would have relied on the audible word to hear the gospel.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Ptl & Grace & Kerner.

    Think of the power to forgive sins according the concept of “office”. You can answer and ask all questions thinking of this

    We have lost that concept in church but it is still very alive and kicking in government.

    Office: police officers, judges…

    Do judges have the personal power to free someone from prison? yes.
    do the police have the power to arrest? why? how?
    Is it limited power? why ? how?
    can everyone do the same thing (think citizen´s arrest here)?
    when an individual does some of this, why is the result not as certain?
    What if no one had this power? what would that look like (what grace suggests maybe? or anarchy?)
    Why is it important for Justices and police to be given power to judge and arrest? why is it important to them both to wear uniforms? what makes what a judge or policement does in their actions different than what a private individual does? what authority do they have when they are acting unofficially or outside of their office? what happens and what power do they have when they abuse their office or act contrary to their authority?

    Try asking and answering these questions in this framework. It will provide instant clarity.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Ptl & Grace & Kerner.

    Think of the power to forgive sins according the concept of “office”. You can answer and ask all questions thinking of this

    We have lost that concept in church but it is still very alive and kicking in government.

    Office: police officers, judges…

    Do judges have the personal power to free someone from prison? yes.
    do the police have the power to arrest? why? how?
    Is it limited power? why ? how?
    can everyone do the same thing (think citizen´s arrest here)?
    when an individual does some of this, why is the result not as certain?
    What if no one had this power? what would that look like (what grace suggests maybe? or anarchy?)
    Why is it important for Justices and police to be given power to judge and arrest? why is it important to them both to wear uniforms? what makes what a judge or policement does in their actions different than what a private individual does? what authority do they have when they are acting unofficially or outside of their office? what happens and what power do they have when they abuse their office or act contrary to their authority?

    Try asking and answering these questions in this framework. It will provide instant clarity.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace @ 221
    Luke 17:3 says nothing about someone tresspassing against you, or thee. How many translations did you have to go through to find one you liked and fit your preconceived notions of how things ought to go?
    The word is, excuse my transliteration, harmato, and simply means sin. In verse three the Greek reads if your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents forgive him.
    If you see your brother sinning, say looking at porn, or being a drunk, not necessarily doing anything to you, you are to rebuke him, chastise him for it. If he repents you are to forgive him. that is the sense of verse 3.
    Only in verse four does Jesus go on to the harder task of forgiving someone who sins against you personally, stealing your money, gossiping about you etc, and the same word, sin, not trespass. Yet in either case you are forgiving sin. And in either case jesus is telling men to forgive sin.
    The upshot of all this is your position ignores scripture.
    A good rule of thumb is you are on thin ice when you start quoting pharisees.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace @ 221
    Luke 17:3 says nothing about someone tresspassing against you, or thee. How many translations did you have to go through to find one you liked and fit your preconceived notions of how things ought to go?
    The word is, excuse my transliteration, harmato, and simply means sin. In verse three the Greek reads if your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents forgive him.
    If you see your brother sinning, say looking at porn, or being a drunk, not necessarily doing anything to you, you are to rebuke him, chastise him for it. If he repents you are to forgive him. that is the sense of verse 3.
    Only in verse four does Jesus go on to the harder task of forgiving someone who sins against you personally, stealing your money, gossiping about you etc, and the same word, sin, not trespass. Yet in either case you are forgiving sin. And in either case jesus is telling men to forgive sin.
    The upshot of all this is your position ignores scripture.
    A good rule of thumb is you are on thin ice when you start quoting pharisees.

  • ptl

    FWS…thanks, but when comparing your arguments versus Grace’s, it becomes more clear to me why some folks think the Reformation did not go far enough. Am not saying you are wrong, but it is confusing as to why Lutherans don’t feel the need for Saints, as an intermediary in Heaven, but feel the need for one on Earth, when it seems clear from the Lord’s Prayer and many other versus that are in the 200 plus comments that you can go directly to the Father? Am aware that the Lutherans do not deny this, but they add on this extra “means” just in case one needs it. Well, that is fine, am just saying can see why others don’t believe it. Can you see that too? Am very sure you do, and that’s why we have all these other denominations….with the Lutherans at the top of the pecking order for sure :)

  • ptl

    FWS…thanks, but when comparing your arguments versus Grace’s, it becomes more clear to me why some folks think the Reformation did not go far enough. Am not saying you are wrong, but it is confusing as to why Lutherans don’t feel the need for Saints, as an intermediary in Heaven, but feel the need for one on Earth, when it seems clear from the Lord’s Prayer and many other versus that are in the 200 plus comments that you can go directly to the Father? Am aware that the Lutherans do not deny this, but they add on this extra “means” just in case one needs it. Well, that is fine, am just saying can see why others don’t believe it. Can you see that too? Am very sure you do, and that’s why we have all these other denominations….with the Lutherans at the top of the pecking order for sure :)

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Kerner,
    Grace is a baptist, not a Baptist. Baptist is a label for denominations that are honest enough to own up to who they are and what their confession is. Grace belongs to Calvary Chapel, one of the largest baptist denominations in the country right now, but one that likes to think it is not a denomination. None the less Grace does hold to baptist beliefs and would not baptize a baby which is what makes a Baptist a Baptist, whether they be American Baptist, Southern Baptist, Two Seeds in the Spirit Baptist, or any other kind of Baptist.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Kerner,
    Grace is a baptist, not a Baptist. Baptist is a label for denominations that are honest enough to own up to who they are and what their confession is. Grace belongs to Calvary Chapel, one of the largest baptist denominations in the country right now, but one that likes to think it is not a denomination. None the less Grace does hold to baptist beliefs and would not baptize a baby which is what makes a Baptist a Baptist, whether they be American Baptist, Southern Baptist, Two Seeds in the Spirit Baptist, or any other kind of Baptist.

  • colliebear

    fws, I agree. I also wonder how Sunday School teachers teach about Jesus if they can’t say “God forgives your sins”

    I think many people grow up with the idea that they are not forgiven unless they specifically ask for forgiveness for a particular sin. As was pointed out above, this is the Catholic teaching, but I used to think like this too and I was raised in Presybterian and Methodist churches, some of which were liberal and some conservative.
    It was another lightbulb moment when I realized that Christ had already forgiven all my sins, by grace, through faith; sins past present and future. Do we not believe that our God is generous, and overflowing with mercy? Maybe he gave us all these other means of forgiveness, including hearing it from a Christian brother to help keep us connected to Him – the vine. (John 15:4-5)

    Interesting Coincidence, we sang this in church yesterday:
    “As Surely as I Live,” God Said

    614, Lutheran Service Book
    Text and Music: Public Domain
    Ezek. 33:11; John 20:21-23; Matt 16:19; Rom 3:23-24

    “As surely as I live,” God said,
    “I would not see the sinner dead.
    I want him turned from error’s ways,
    Repentant, living endless days.”

    And so our Lord gave this command:
    “Go forth and preach in ev’ry land;
    Bestow on all My pard’ning grace
    Who will repent and mend their ways.

    “All those whose sins you thus remit
    I truly pardon and acquit,
    And those whose sins you will retain
    Condemned and guilty shall remain.

    “What you will bind, that bound shall be;
    What you will loose, that shall be free;
    To My dear Church the keys are giv’n
    To open, close the gates of heav’n”

    The words which absolution give
    Are His who died that we might live;
    The minister whom Christ has sent
    Is but His humble instrument.

    When ministers lay on their hands,
    Absolved by Christ the sinner stands;
    He who by grace the Word believes
    The purchase of His blood receives.

    All praise to You, O Christ, shall be
    For absolution full and free,
    In which You show Your richest grace;
    From false indulgence guard our race.

    Praise God the Father and the Son
    And Holy Spirit, Three in One
    As was, is now, and so shall be
    World without end, eternally!

  • colliebear

    fws, I agree. I also wonder how Sunday School teachers teach about Jesus if they can’t say “God forgives your sins”

    I think many people grow up with the idea that they are not forgiven unless they specifically ask for forgiveness for a particular sin. As was pointed out above, this is the Catholic teaching, but I used to think like this too and I was raised in Presybterian and Methodist churches, some of which were liberal and some conservative.
    It was another lightbulb moment when I realized that Christ had already forgiven all my sins, by grace, through faith; sins past present and future. Do we not believe that our God is generous, and overflowing with mercy? Maybe he gave us all these other means of forgiveness, including hearing it from a Christian brother to help keep us connected to Him – the vine. (John 15:4-5)

    Interesting Coincidence, we sang this in church yesterday:
    “As Surely as I Live,” God Said

    614, Lutheran Service Book
    Text and Music: Public Domain
    Ezek. 33:11; John 20:21-23; Matt 16:19; Rom 3:23-24

    “As surely as I live,” God said,
    “I would not see the sinner dead.
    I want him turned from error’s ways,
    Repentant, living endless days.”

    And so our Lord gave this command:
    “Go forth and preach in ev’ry land;
    Bestow on all My pard’ning grace
    Who will repent and mend their ways.

    “All those whose sins you thus remit
    I truly pardon and acquit,
    And those whose sins you will retain
    Condemned and guilty shall remain.

    “What you will bind, that bound shall be;
    What you will loose, that shall be free;
    To My dear Church the keys are giv’n
    To open, close the gates of heav’n”

    The words which absolution give
    Are His who died that we might live;
    The minister whom Christ has sent
    Is but His humble instrument.

    When ministers lay on their hands,
    Absolved by Christ the sinner stands;
    He who by grace the Word believes
    The purchase of His blood receives.

    All praise to You, O Christ, shall be
    For absolution full and free,
    In which You show Your richest grace;
    From false indulgence guard our race.

    Praise God the Father and the Son
    And Holy Spirit, Three in One
    As was, is now, and so shall be
    World without end, eternally!

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    kerner @236

    KERNER”It is not that God needs my pastor to preach to me for me to be saved ( although preaching the Gospel was certainly necessary when I still had never heard it.”

    FWS yes he does Kerner. It is the word that saves, and keeps you in the faith. There is still a part of you that needs converting besides. The like that cuts between church and unchurch cuts right down the middle of you eh?

    KERNER As you point out above, you (and I) have never believed that our forgiveness comes from the human at the front of the church. We don’t address the pastor when we confess.
    You are also correct when you point out that the argument seems to be over the words used, not their meaning.

    FWS Well, We DO ask the pastor to forgive our sins. Luther´s short form for confession “dear pastor, will you please here my confession and forgive my sins in order to complete God´s will?” and does the pastor have this personal authority? Yes! why? Let me ask: Did Christ our Lord have the power to forgive sins? Well now then: Jesus gave his power to forgive sins to the church.

    But there is something going on behind all this that no one has really addressed unless I missed it. It is really why Grace, and Ptl , have a problem with all this.

    Grace and Ptl question this all because of the basis of the certainty of their salvation. There are two parts here…

    We are all agreed that we are saved becase of what Christ did! The difference is how any of us each can be certain that what Christ did applys to us each individually. There is exactly where the difference is. Exactly there. Correct me if I am wrong grace and ptl. It is obvious I am aiming for clarity and not to put words into your mouth right?

    Grace is sure of her salvation because she has faith. I am sure she knows that she is saved because of what Jesus did, but she knows that what Jesus did is her possession why? why because she can see that she has true faith! I am pretty sure that if you ask Grace how she KNOWS she has that all important faith inside of her, she would respond that it is because she made a decision of faith for Christ at a certain time and place.

    Secondarily, grace is certain that she has this true and living faith because she has evidence of this because she feels she “walks the walk”, that is she bears evidence of the fruit of the spirit in her daily walk. she resists sin and she strives to live a christ-like life.

    So when Grace or ptl tell people the gospel, it must then always be a conditional telling. as in “IF you have sincerely repented and sincerely believe, THEN Christ will forgive you your sins.” This is exactly why Grace CANNOT tell someone simply “God HAS CERTAINLY forgiven you your sins!” She cannot look into their hearts as she correctly points out , and so she must always make this conditional. This is because forgiveness of sins is conditional . It is IF we have TRUE faith and SINCERELY repent. Only then are we forgiven.

    I will leave it to the rest of you to show how this is different for Lutherans, and why this is the reason Lutheran forgiveness is unconditional. You all can explain why , in response to the question ‘how do you KNOW you are saved?’ Luther would respond ‘I am baptized! That is exactly where and how I know I am saved!’

    Kerner, take care with your words dear brother.

    Peace of the Lord to all of you!

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    kerner @236

    KERNER”It is not that God needs my pastor to preach to me for me to be saved ( although preaching the Gospel was certainly necessary when I still had never heard it.”

    FWS yes he does Kerner. It is the word that saves, and keeps you in the faith. There is still a part of you that needs converting besides. The like that cuts between church and unchurch cuts right down the middle of you eh?

    KERNER As you point out above, you (and I) have never believed that our forgiveness comes from the human at the front of the church. We don’t address the pastor when we confess.
    You are also correct when you point out that the argument seems to be over the words used, not their meaning.

    FWS Well, We DO ask the pastor to forgive our sins. Luther´s short form for confession “dear pastor, will you please here my confession and forgive my sins in order to complete God´s will?” and does the pastor have this personal authority? Yes! why? Let me ask: Did Christ our Lord have the power to forgive sins? Well now then: Jesus gave his power to forgive sins to the church.

    But there is something going on behind all this that no one has really addressed unless I missed it. It is really why Grace, and Ptl , have a problem with all this.

    Grace and Ptl question this all because of the basis of the certainty of their salvation. There are two parts here…

    We are all agreed that we are saved becase of what Christ did! The difference is how any of us each can be certain that what Christ did applys to us each individually. There is exactly where the difference is. Exactly there. Correct me if I am wrong grace and ptl. It is obvious I am aiming for clarity and not to put words into your mouth right?

    Grace is sure of her salvation because she has faith. I am sure she knows that she is saved because of what Jesus did, but she knows that what Jesus did is her possession why? why because she can see that she has true faith! I am pretty sure that if you ask Grace how she KNOWS she has that all important faith inside of her, she would respond that it is because she made a decision of faith for Christ at a certain time and place.

    Secondarily, grace is certain that she has this true and living faith because she has evidence of this because she feels she “walks the walk”, that is she bears evidence of the fruit of the spirit in her daily walk. she resists sin and she strives to live a christ-like life.

    So when Grace or ptl tell people the gospel, it must then always be a conditional telling. as in “IF you have sincerely repented and sincerely believe, THEN Christ will forgive you your sins.” This is exactly why Grace CANNOT tell someone simply “God HAS CERTAINLY forgiven you your sins!” She cannot look into their hearts as she correctly points out , and so she must always make this conditional. This is because forgiveness of sins is conditional . It is IF we have TRUE faith and SINCERELY repent. Only then are we forgiven.

    I will leave it to the rest of you to show how this is different for Lutherans, and why this is the reason Lutheran forgiveness is unconditional. You all can explain why , in response to the question ‘how do you KNOW you are saved?’ Luther would respond ‘I am baptized! That is exactly where and how I know I am saved!’

    Kerner, take care with your words dear brother.

    Peace of the Lord to all of you!

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    ptl,
    the reformed beef is not with Lutheran’s it is with scripture. I don’t know why Jesus told men to forgive and retain sins. However, I am quite glad he did.
    This man is not an mediator between man and God, but a mouthpiece for Christ, speaking Christ’s words at his command to sinners who need to hear that their sins are forgiven when they need to hear it. It is a great gift and blessing.
    The irony is that Lutherans went just far enough, the reformed have gone to far, and are no better than Rome when it comes to works righteousness. Only where the Roman Catholics talk about works contributing to Justification, the reformed talk about sanctification. Big difference, but I fail to see it.
    in anycase telling your brother his sins are forgiven is a scriptural practice, and an edifying one. The other option is to become Pharisees.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    ptl,
    the reformed beef is not with Lutheran’s it is with scripture. I don’t know why Jesus told men to forgive and retain sins. However, I am quite glad he did.
    This man is not an mediator between man and God, but a mouthpiece for Christ, speaking Christ’s words at his command to sinners who need to hear that their sins are forgiven when they need to hear it. It is a great gift and blessing.
    The irony is that Lutherans went just far enough, the reformed have gone to far, and are no better than Rome when it comes to works righteousness. Only where the Roman Catholics talk about works contributing to Justification, the reformed talk about sanctification. Big difference, but I fail to see it.
    in anycase telling your brother his sins are forgiven is a scriptural practice, and an edifying one. The other option is to become Pharisees.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Ptl @ 240

    Ah but now you have come close to hitting the nail on the head!

    Ok. So you pray and can ask God for forgiveness directly. This is most certainly true, and you should do this, probably on your knees is the correct physical posture dear woman in light of the criminal nature and degree of your uncleanliness right?

    But then what do you hear as the answer to your prayer? Do you feel a burning in your bosom that Mormons would point you to? Do you hear a small quiet voice inside of you?

    Ptl where do you receive an answer to your prayer? How do you know God is even listening to you? Does God here the prayer of the heathen? How do you KNOW you are saved? By your good life? By mouthing the words “jesus is lord”? How do you KNOW ptl? What if you were to die in the middle of doing some sin and don´t get a chance to ‘repent”? Then what? What are the chances that you ARE in fact going to die in the middle of some sinful thought word or deed? Then what?

    I would turn to the saints and ask for forgiveness from them if the Scriptures pointed me there. But they don´t do they? I get your point ptl. what is the diff between intercessory saints and intercessory pastors and christians? ptl YOU are a priest and so you are an intercessor. But God has set apart some to be custodians of His gifts publicly as we. “Faith comes from hearing and hearing by the [spoken] word of God. …. how shall they hear of someone is not sent?… and so God sends pastors….”

    Ptl. You are absolutely right” The Conservative ( ie lutheran) Reformation is a lot different than that of those who came after it. We tried to conserve what came before us that was true and good.

    Those others whom grace represents thought we did not complete the reformation. the task was to tear it all down and start from scratch. This is why Lutherans can rejoice at there being Christians in the roman church and at rome being itself a christain church. we dont hear Lutherans say “before I was a christian” and then inform us that before they were lutheran they were roman catholic. We fully recognize the baptism of the church of rome. grace, and apparently you, do not.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Ptl @ 240

    Ah but now you have come close to hitting the nail on the head!

    Ok. So you pray and can ask God for forgiveness directly. This is most certainly true, and you should do this, probably on your knees is the correct physical posture dear woman in light of the criminal nature and degree of your uncleanliness right?

    But then what do you hear as the answer to your prayer? Do you feel a burning in your bosom that Mormons would point you to? Do you hear a small quiet voice inside of you?

    Ptl where do you receive an answer to your prayer? How do you know God is even listening to you? Does God here the prayer of the heathen? How do you KNOW you are saved? By your good life? By mouthing the words “jesus is lord”? How do you KNOW ptl? What if you were to die in the middle of doing some sin and don´t get a chance to ‘repent”? Then what? What are the chances that you ARE in fact going to die in the middle of some sinful thought word or deed? Then what?

    I would turn to the saints and ask for forgiveness from them if the Scriptures pointed me there. But they don´t do they? I get your point ptl. what is the diff between intercessory saints and intercessory pastors and christians? ptl YOU are a priest and so you are an intercessor. But God has set apart some to be custodians of His gifts publicly as we. “Faith comes from hearing and hearing by the [spoken] word of God. …. how shall they hear of someone is not sent?… and so God sends pastors….”

    Ptl. You are absolutely right” The Conservative ( ie lutheran) Reformation is a lot different than that of those who came after it. We tried to conserve what came before us that was true and good.

    Those others whom grace represents thought we did not complete the reformation. the task was to tear it all down and start from scratch. This is why Lutherans can rejoice at there being Christians in the roman church and at rome being itself a christain church. we dont hear Lutherans say “before I was a christian” and then inform us that before they were lutheran they were roman catholic. We fully recognize the baptism of the church of rome. grace, and apparently you, do not.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace (@232), thanks for noting some (but not all) of the times I referred to John 20:23. Not sure why you did that. I certainly hope you’re not annoyed I keep pointing us back to the Scripture passage that, while we discuss it, keeps getting ignored (oddly). It would be a curious Christian that got annoyed when she was pointed to the Scripture.

    Anyhow, the reason I keep pointing us to John 20:23 is that people keep saying things like this (@215): “The Bible doesn’t say anyone can forgive sins except the LORD.” But, of course, the Bible does say that. It says that in John 20:23, with Jesus’ own words. You know that. You haven’t really explained what you think that verse means, but you know that, because you keep arguing that, though it does say that, it doesn’t apply to us today.

    Which brings us to your next argument. You know that Jesus gives his 10 Apostles the authority to forgive sins, you admit that, which means your statement I quoted above (from @215) is incorrect, even by your standards.

    But here you make a curious error. You keep referring to the “twelve Disciples” (@232 and elsewhere), as if there were only, well, twelve disciples of Jesus. There weren’t. There were many. There were, of course, twelve Apostles, but John 20:23 doesn’t refer to “Apostles”, it says “disciples”. Confusing the two suggests you need to reread your Gospels some more.

    The Apostles were “the Twelve”. The disciples were all of Jesus’ followers. You and I are also Jesus’ disciples. After all, we are products of the Great Commission from Matthew 28: “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” So I’m a disciple. So are you.

    If you want to see a clear distinction between disciples and Apostles, you should read the passage from John 6 I referred you to earlier (@123):

    On hearing it, many of his disciples said, “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?”Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, “Does this offend you? What if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before! The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life. Yet there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him. He went on to say, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled him.” From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him. “You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve.

    So “disciples” clearly is not the same as “Apostles” (or, as John says, “the Twelve”). In fact, in case you didn’t know (I just found out myself), John’s gospel doesn’t use the word “Apostles” at all, referring only to “the Twelve”. So when he uses “the disciples” in John 20:23, John is using his term for all of Jesus’ believers.

    Of course, not that it matters, really, who was in the room at that time. Your argument is that words spoken only to “the disciples” in the Bible can be safely ignored by us today. Think about that. What words in the Bible would apply to us at all, by that logic? They were all only spoken to disciples of Jesus! And yet, Scripture itself teaches us that “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” — all of it, not just the general exhortations to no one in particular!

    My point being: Jesus gave his authority to forgive to his disciples. He also told his disciples to go and make other disciples, teaching them everything Jesus had taught them. That is why we continue to teach from Scripture today, to adhere to Jesus’ words and teachings. The problem here is that there are some of his words and teachings that you are ignoring, skipping, assuming that they don’t apply to you or anyone else. That is a very dangerous path to start on. That is what false teachers do.

    And I will continue to quote John 20:23 until you (and others) here stop ignoring it. It is the issue.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace (@232), thanks for noting some (but not all) of the times I referred to John 20:23. Not sure why you did that. I certainly hope you’re not annoyed I keep pointing us back to the Scripture passage that, while we discuss it, keeps getting ignored (oddly). It would be a curious Christian that got annoyed when she was pointed to the Scripture.

    Anyhow, the reason I keep pointing us to John 20:23 is that people keep saying things like this (@215): “The Bible doesn’t say anyone can forgive sins except the LORD.” But, of course, the Bible does say that. It says that in John 20:23, with Jesus’ own words. You know that. You haven’t really explained what you think that verse means, but you know that, because you keep arguing that, though it does say that, it doesn’t apply to us today.

    Which brings us to your next argument. You know that Jesus gives his 10 Apostles the authority to forgive sins, you admit that, which means your statement I quoted above (from @215) is incorrect, even by your standards.

    But here you make a curious error. You keep referring to the “twelve Disciples” (@232 and elsewhere), as if there were only, well, twelve disciples of Jesus. There weren’t. There were many. There were, of course, twelve Apostles, but John 20:23 doesn’t refer to “Apostles”, it says “disciples”. Confusing the two suggests you need to reread your Gospels some more.

    The Apostles were “the Twelve”. The disciples were all of Jesus’ followers. You and I are also Jesus’ disciples. After all, we are products of the Great Commission from Matthew 28: “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” So I’m a disciple. So are you.

    If you want to see a clear distinction between disciples and Apostles, you should read the passage from John 6 I referred you to earlier (@123):

    On hearing it, many of his disciples said, “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?”Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, “Does this offend you? What if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before! The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life. Yet there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him. He went on to say, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled him.” From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him. “You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve.

    So “disciples” clearly is not the same as “Apostles” (or, as John says, “the Twelve”). In fact, in case you didn’t know (I just found out myself), John’s gospel doesn’t use the word “Apostles” at all, referring only to “the Twelve”. So when he uses “the disciples” in John 20:23, John is using his term for all of Jesus’ believers.

    Of course, not that it matters, really, who was in the room at that time. Your argument is that words spoken only to “the disciples” in the Bible can be safely ignored by us today. Think about that. What words in the Bible would apply to us at all, by that logic? They were all only spoken to disciples of Jesus! And yet, Scripture itself teaches us that “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” — all of it, not just the general exhortations to no one in particular!

    My point being: Jesus gave his authority to forgive to his disciples. He also told his disciples to go and make other disciples, teaching them everything Jesus had taught them. That is why we continue to teach from Scripture today, to adhere to Jesus’ words and teachings. The problem here is that there are some of his words and teachings that you are ignoring, skipping, assuming that they don’t apply to you or anyone else. That is a very dangerous path to start on. That is what false teachers do.

    And I will continue to quote John 20:23 until you (and others) here stop ignoring it. It is the issue.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    bror @ 244

    “The irony is that Lutherans went just far enough, the reformed have gone to far, and are no better than Rome when it comes to works righteousness. Only where the Roman Catholics talk about works contributing to Justification, the reformed talk about sanctification. Big difference, but I fail to see it.”

    And of course grace and her kind are exactly like roman catholics. they are saved by the works done in cooperation with the holy spirit in their sanctification, most importantly those spiritual things only a christian can do, such as truly repent and truly have faith. none of which, of course, would be possible, if christ had not first done his part and died for us right? so we are saved then by the blood of christ + faith + repentance/christ-like-living-ie-works.

    Isn´t this right Ptl? You believe this and not faith ALONE and that faith not of your own doing….

    This is exactly what the roman catholic church teaches ptl.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    bror @ 244

    “The irony is that Lutherans went just far enough, the reformed have gone to far, and are no better than Rome when it comes to works righteousness. Only where the Roman Catholics talk about works contributing to Justification, the reformed talk about sanctification. Big difference, but I fail to see it.”

    And of course grace and her kind are exactly like roman catholics. they are saved by the works done in cooperation with the holy spirit in their sanctification, most importantly those spiritual things only a christian can do, such as truly repent and truly have faith. none of which, of course, would be possible, if christ had not first done his part and died for us right? so we are saved then by the blood of christ + faith + repentance/christ-like-living-ie-works.

    Isn´t this right Ptl? You believe this and not faith ALONE and that faith not of your own doing….

    This is exactly what the roman catholic church teaches ptl.

  • ptl

    Bror…you just said it, thanks!

    “in anycase telling your brother his sins are forgiven is a scriptural practice, and an edifying one.”

    Everyone here agrees that TELLING is an edifying practice……and beautiful! How beautiful are the feet of those who bring Good News, Isaiah 52:7.

    We have agreed at least….a great way to start the week…..PTL :)

  • ptl

    Bror…you just said it, thanks!

    “in anycase telling your brother his sins are forgiven is a scriptural practice, and an edifying one.”

    Everyone here agrees that TELLING is an edifying practice……and beautiful! How beautiful are the feet of those who bring Good News, Isaiah 52:7.

    We have agreed at least….a great way to start the week…..PTL :)

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Ptl. you need to have a looooong talk with your Lutheran pastor! I am out of here.

    Dear Grace, you may have taken my words as sarcasm. Please do not dear sister.

    At the end of this all, I know that God will only be pleased with how I deal with you here if you can feel love from me. Only YOU can be the judge of that. So I treat you as the judge of my behavior that God has made you to be. This demands humility on my part. I apologize where I have not shown that or the Love it makes one free to produce.

    Nothing else here matters to me. It will all perish along with all that I can do here. Thank God. My imperfections burned by fire. What will remain is the Faith and the Love.

    If you Grace and Ptl will hear the words of God in a way that can make you more certain of your salvation , and can learn better to assure others too of that same salvation, that is not something I can make happen or not. My part is to love you and share what I know out of that Love.

    God bless you dear Grace, and you too my dear Ptl. Ptl, please do see your pastor. You deserve to have that assurance that probably is what attracted you to the Lutheran church to begin with. Don´t give up on Lutheranism yet.

    Bless you all.
    I am off to the gym! Come down to brasil . I will show you the same love by receiving you into my home and feeding you while you are here.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Ptl. you need to have a looooong talk with your Lutheran pastor! I am out of here.

    Dear Grace, you may have taken my words as sarcasm. Please do not dear sister.

    At the end of this all, I know that God will only be pleased with how I deal with you here if you can feel love from me. Only YOU can be the judge of that. So I treat you as the judge of my behavior that God has made you to be. This demands humility on my part. I apologize where I have not shown that or the Love it makes one free to produce.

    Nothing else here matters to me. It will all perish along with all that I can do here. Thank God. My imperfections burned by fire. What will remain is the Faith and the Love.

    If you Grace and Ptl will hear the words of God in a way that can make you more certain of your salvation , and can learn better to assure others too of that same salvation, that is not something I can make happen or not. My part is to love you and share what I know out of that Love.

    God bless you dear Grace, and you too my dear Ptl. Ptl, please do see your pastor. You deserve to have that assurance that probably is what attracted you to the Lutheran church to begin with. Don´t give up on Lutheranism yet.

    Bless you all.
    I am off to the gym! Come down to brasil . I will show you the same love by receiving you into my home and feeding you while you are here.

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com/ Louis

    I might upset a great many people, but that is why I, as a Lutheran, prefer RC’ism to the Baptist faith. The Roman Catholics do this honestly and unabashedly. Also, they are consistent in their application of their understanding of authority etc. Of course, they are consistently wrong :) , but I know where they stand, and they know where I stand, and we can respectfully (at times at least :) ) disagree.

    Baptist (or baptist) theology smuggle in salvation through works by the back door. Most of all, epistemologically they are thoroughly and entirely modernist, the children of Rousseau et al.

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com/ Louis

    I might upset a great many people, but that is why I, as a Lutheran, prefer RC’ism to the Baptist faith. The Roman Catholics do this honestly and unabashedly. Also, they are consistent in their application of their understanding of authority etc. Of course, they are consistently wrong :) , but I know where they stand, and they know where I stand, and we can respectfully (at times at least :) ) disagree.

    Baptist (or baptist) theology smuggle in salvation through works by the back door. Most of all, epistemologically they are thoroughly and entirely modernist, the children of Rousseau et al.

  • kerner

    Bror @244

    “This man is not a mediator between man and God but a mouthpiece for Christ speaking Christ’s words at his command…” Right! exactly! Thank you.

    fws:

    I should choose my words carefully…it was late :(

    But I stand by my statement that God does not HAVE TO convey forgiveness of sins through the Word and sacraments, in the sense that He could have designed another way to do it. But I think that God’s Word is pretty clear that He has decided to do just that. So in the sense that God does what He says, I guess that He does have to.

  • kerner

    Bror @244

    “This man is not a mediator between man and God but a mouthpiece for Christ speaking Christ’s words at his command…” Right! exactly! Thank you.

    fws:

    I should choose my words carefully…it was late :(

    But I stand by my statement that God does not HAVE TO convey forgiveness of sins through the Word and sacraments, in the sense that He could have designed another way to do it. But I think that God’s Word is pretty clear that He has decided to do just that. So in the sense that God does what He says, I guess that He does have to.

  • kerner

    ptl:

    “Everyone here agrees that TELLING is an edifying practice…and beautiful!”

    I thought Grace agreed with that, but now I’m not sure anymore. From her last comments she seems to think that telling a Christian that his sins are forgiven is at best a waste of breath. She seems to think that it being in God’s Word should be enough for us, nobody should have to TELL us. At worst, Grace seems to think that a mere mortal telling a fellow Christian that his sins are forgiven is usurping God’s authority.

    (Maybe I’m misinterpreting you, Grace, so correct me if I am wrong, but that’s what your arguments sound like to me).

  • kerner

    ptl:

    “Everyone here agrees that TELLING is an edifying practice…and beautiful!”

    I thought Grace agreed with that, but now I’m not sure anymore. From her last comments she seems to think that telling a Christian that his sins are forgiven is at best a waste of breath. She seems to think that it being in God’s Word should be enough for us, nobody should have to TELL us. At worst, Grace seems to think that a mere mortal telling a fellow Christian that his sins are forgiven is usurping God’s authority.

    (Maybe I’m misinterpreting you, Grace, so correct me if I am wrong, but that’s what your arguments sound like to me).

  • ptl

    FWS…..am surprised you of all people, who try to take people and their word and not pry too much into their heart, would do the exact opposite :(

    “We fully recognize the baptism of the church of rome. grace, and apparently you, do not.” Gee, where did I say that? Must have figured that out in between other words of mine?

    “Isn´t this right Ptl? You believe this and not faith ALONE and that faith not of your own doing….” Well, thanks for that assumption and knowing me so well here too!

    It is enjoyable to read this blog, but not so much to participate, as there are many more examples of this kind of stuff, from many other of the other commentators…..how can one have a discussion and stick to the topic or points one is trying to make, when you have to take time to answer these sorts of things?

    Perhaps this blog is just a place where Lutherans can knock the crap out of all the people that dare question them….yes, why else go to the gym :)

  • ptl

    FWS…..am surprised you of all people, who try to take people and their word and not pry too much into their heart, would do the exact opposite :(

    “We fully recognize the baptism of the church of rome. grace, and apparently you, do not.” Gee, where did I say that? Must have figured that out in between other words of mine?

    “Isn´t this right Ptl? You believe this and not faith ALONE and that faith not of your own doing….” Well, thanks for that assumption and knowing me so well here too!

    It is enjoyable to read this blog, but not so much to participate, as there are many more examples of this kind of stuff, from many other of the other commentators…..how can one have a discussion and stick to the topic or points one is trying to make, when you have to take time to answer these sorts of things?

    Perhaps this blog is just a place where Lutherans can knock the crap out of all the people that dare question them….yes, why else go to the gym :)

  • ptl

    Kerner….if you’re talking abou 223, it seems to me Grace said “she can tell anyone to trust” the Lord, etc. Doesn’t seem to me to be a problem?

    My guess is you won’t hear from Grace on this topic….my guess is there is not much more to talk about. We keep going over the same things, and the questions all begin to look alike and it takes so long to answer every little thing, especially when so much hinges on one little word, or one little misunderstanding. Will stand by my words…these blogs are the worst place to do this kind of thing.

    Also for me, this is it….it has been interesting and it’s my first time have made this many comments….am sure it will be my last. Am going to continue to read the blog as there are very good links to other sites and references to great books (like Chesterson (?) from Louis) and it all gets me to think and grow. What is not fun, is the name calling and taunting, blog bullying you might call it? It would be easy to fall into that and have done that way up at the top, in response to the treatment applied to Grace. Could do it more, but am sorry about the first time and don’t want to get into that kind of spirit….although it would be sooooooo easy :)

  • ptl

    Kerner….if you’re talking abou 223, it seems to me Grace said “she can tell anyone to trust” the Lord, etc. Doesn’t seem to me to be a problem?

    My guess is you won’t hear from Grace on this topic….my guess is there is not much more to talk about. We keep going over the same things, and the questions all begin to look alike and it takes so long to answer every little thing, especially when so much hinges on one little word, or one little misunderstanding. Will stand by my words…these blogs are the worst place to do this kind of thing.

    Also for me, this is it….it has been interesting and it’s my first time have made this many comments….am sure it will be my last. Am going to continue to read the blog as there are very good links to other sites and references to great books (like Chesterson (?) from Louis) and it all gets me to think and grow. What is not fun, is the name calling and taunting, blog bullying you might call it? It would be easy to fall into that and have done that way up at the top, in response to the treatment applied to Grace. Could do it more, but am sorry about the first time and don’t want to get into that kind of spirit….although it would be sooooooo easy :)

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    ptl,
    I’m sorry you don’t find this blog enjoyable to participate in. Sometimes I need to take a break from it. But for the most part I find it enjoyable. I find most enjoyable that at times I disagree with a person and at other times we agree. It can be a great forum. But I would caution one in how they tread into the waters.
    It isn’t about knocking the crap out of all others. It is about having honest discussion about what scripture says. Some people though are incapable of that.
    Finally you would be wrong to think that by my saying it is the scriptural practice to tell one’s brother that his sins are forgiven, that I believe you can do this without actually forgiving their sins as Christ has commanded us in numerous places to do. Or that that negates actually forgiving their sins from the repertoire of grace accessible to the Christians. And no, you may agree with me, Grace most certainly does not. She repeatedly says I cannot look into ones heart to see if they are forgiven. I don’t even know what all that means for my part. Why should I have to look into someone’s heart to do what Christ commands?
    Finally I want to reiterate, when you jump into a conversation half way, you may find it un-enjoyable if you assume to much about what the other person is arguing, and ignoring what he is arguing. If you found it frustrating that I was “putting it back on you”. Believe me I found it much more frustrating to have you claim I was arguing for a position I repeatedly said I was not arguing for.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    ptl,
    I’m sorry you don’t find this blog enjoyable to participate in. Sometimes I need to take a break from it. But for the most part I find it enjoyable. I find most enjoyable that at times I disagree with a person and at other times we agree. It can be a great forum. But I would caution one in how they tread into the waters.
    It isn’t about knocking the crap out of all others. It is about having honest discussion about what scripture says. Some people though are incapable of that.
    Finally you would be wrong to think that by my saying it is the scriptural practice to tell one’s brother that his sins are forgiven, that I believe you can do this without actually forgiving their sins as Christ has commanded us in numerous places to do. Or that that negates actually forgiving their sins from the repertoire of grace accessible to the Christians. And no, you may agree with me, Grace most certainly does not. She repeatedly says I cannot look into ones heart to see if they are forgiven. I don’t even know what all that means for my part. Why should I have to look into someone’s heart to do what Christ commands?
    Finally I want to reiterate, when you jump into a conversation half way, you may find it un-enjoyable if you assume to much about what the other person is arguing, and ignoring what he is arguing. If you found it frustrating that I was “putting it back on you”. Believe me I found it much more frustrating to have you claim I was arguing for a position I repeatedly said I was not arguing for.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    ptl,
    I’m sorry you don’t find this blog enjoyable to participate in. Sometimes I need to take a break from it. But for the most part I find it enjoyable. I find most enjoyable that at times I disagree with a person and at other times we agree. It can be a great forum. But I would caution one in how they tread into the waters.
    It isn’t about knocking the crap out of all others. It is about having honest discussion about what scripture says. Some people though are incapable of that.
    Finally you would be wrong to think that by my saying it is the scriptural practice to tell one’s brother that his sins are forgiven, that I believe you can do this without actually forgiving their sins as Christ has commanded us in numerous places to do. Or that that negates actually forgiving their sins from the repertoire of grace accessible to the Christians. And no, you may agree with me, Grace most certainly does not. She repeatedly says I cannot look into ones heart to see if they are forgiven. I don’t even know what all that means for my part. Why should I have to look into someone’s heart to do what Christ commands?
    Finally I want to reiterate, when you jump into a conversation half way, you may find it un-enjoyable if you assume to much about what the other person is arguing, and ignoring what he is arguing. If you found it frustrating that I was “putting it back on you”. Believe me I found it much more frustrating to have you claim I was arguing for a position I repeatedly said I was not arguing for.
    on the other hand, I have found these blogs can be a most enjoyable place to have these conversations, really they can be. If people are careful to read what was written, and answer the questions that have been asked, rather than assuming what was written and answering questions that haven’t been asked. This time around perhaps has not been that enjoyable. Perhaps a bar is better for these conversations, but this isn’t the worst place by any means.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    ptl,
    I’m sorry you don’t find this blog enjoyable to participate in. Sometimes I need to take a break from it. But for the most part I find it enjoyable. I find most enjoyable that at times I disagree with a person and at other times we agree. It can be a great forum. But I would caution one in how they tread into the waters.
    It isn’t about knocking the crap out of all others. It is about having honest discussion about what scripture says. Some people though are incapable of that.
    Finally you would be wrong to think that by my saying it is the scriptural practice to tell one’s brother that his sins are forgiven, that I believe you can do this without actually forgiving their sins as Christ has commanded us in numerous places to do. Or that that negates actually forgiving their sins from the repertoire of grace accessible to the Christians. And no, you may agree with me, Grace most certainly does not. She repeatedly says I cannot look into ones heart to see if they are forgiven. I don’t even know what all that means for my part. Why should I have to look into someone’s heart to do what Christ commands?
    Finally I want to reiterate, when you jump into a conversation half way, you may find it un-enjoyable if you assume to much about what the other person is arguing, and ignoring what he is arguing. If you found it frustrating that I was “putting it back on you”. Believe me I found it much more frustrating to have you claim I was arguing for a position I repeatedly said I was not arguing for.
    on the other hand, I have found these blogs can be a most enjoyable place to have these conversations, really they can be. If people are careful to read what was written, and answer the questions that have been asked, rather than assuming what was written and answering questions that haven’t been asked. This time around perhaps has not been that enjoyable. Perhaps a bar is better for these conversations, but this isn’t the worst place by any means.

  • Grace

    Kerner 232

    Church discipline is another situation – one that is practices in most Churches.

  • Grace

    Kerner 232

    Church discipline is another situation – one that is practices in most Churches.

  • Grace

    Kerner 234

    I learned very early that I could/would be forgiven by praying to God for forgiveness. That was something all children learned, they learned to PRAY to GOD when they sinned, disobeying parents, lying, unkind to siblings, etc. It is a very important teaching in the homes of Christians – and likewise to the parents as well.

    If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

    No Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came John 20:24 – that doesn’t mean he wasn’t advised as to the passage that reads: John 20:23 Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained. Kerner it would help you IF you read the entire chapter of John 20.

    Kerner - “Also, I’m sorry if I have mistaken your theology for something it is not. Much of what you say sounds like that of Baptist theologians I have read, but maybe you disagree with them in some ways I don’t know about.”

    It wouldn’t matter Kerner – you aligning Baptists with Pharisees is unlearned – I didn’t know you had such dislike for the Baptists, many of my good friends attend those churches, the love the LORD with all their heart. SHAME ON YOU!

    A Pharisee is defined as follows:
    1. Pharisee A member of an ancient Jewish sect that emphasized strict interpretation and observance of the Mosaic law in both its oral and written form.
    2. A hypocritically self-righteous person.

    The Pharisee accusation is one which is attached to anything others, just like yourself don’t like – it doesn’t feel good does it Kerner, when Christian Believers identify false doctrinal practices. It’s uncomfortable, in fact it scratches the very area of ones conscience – but there are dozens of excuses to give for calling another a Pharisee, IF you are going to misuse the word.

    As a pastors daughter, I have rarely (maybe several occasions) heard a Christian sling that accusation upon another Believer. I would take more care next time. Study and learn just what a Pharisee really is.

  • Grace

    Kerner 234

    I learned very early that I could/would be forgiven by praying to God for forgiveness. That was something all children learned, they learned to PRAY to GOD when they sinned, disobeying parents, lying, unkind to siblings, etc. It is a very important teaching in the homes of Christians – and likewise to the parents as well.

    If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

    No Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came John 20:24 – that doesn’t mean he wasn’t advised as to the passage that reads: John 20:23 Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained. Kerner it would help you IF you read the entire chapter of John 20.

    Kerner - “Also, I’m sorry if I have mistaken your theology for something it is not. Much of what you say sounds like that of Baptist theologians I have read, but maybe you disagree with them in some ways I don’t know about.”

    It wouldn’t matter Kerner – you aligning Baptists with Pharisees is unlearned – I didn’t know you had such dislike for the Baptists, many of my good friends attend those churches, the love the LORD with all their heart. SHAME ON YOU!

    A Pharisee is defined as follows:
    1. Pharisee A member of an ancient Jewish sect that emphasized strict interpretation and observance of the Mosaic law in both its oral and written form.
    2. A hypocritically self-righteous person.

    The Pharisee accusation is one which is attached to anything others, just like yourself don’t like – it doesn’t feel good does it Kerner, when Christian Believers identify false doctrinal practices. It’s uncomfortable, in fact it scratches the very area of ones conscience – but there are dozens of excuses to give for calling another a Pharisee, IF you are going to misuse the word.

    As a pastors daughter, I have rarely (maybe several occasions) heard a Christian sling that accusation upon another Believer. I would take more care next time. Study and learn just what a Pharisee really is.

  • Grace

    Kerner – 236 “If my pastor ever stops telling me that my sins are forgiven, and why, I’m finding a new church. Not because I expect to forget the Gospel, but because it is the duty of my brothers and sisters in Christ to declare the Gospel to me, and I to them. My pastor, because of his calling, is to lead me in this by example.”

    Do you study the Bible dilligently?

    The Bible says:

    Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
    2 Timothy 2:15

    It is up to you to study and learn what the Scriptures say.

    A question – - do you take your Bible to church with you?

  • Grace

    Kerner – 236 “If my pastor ever stops telling me that my sins are forgiven, and why, I’m finding a new church. Not because I expect to forget the Gospel, but because it is the duty of my brothers and sisters in Christ to declare the Gospel to me, and I to them. My pastor, because of his calling, is to lead me in this by example.”

    Do you study the Bible dilligently?

    The Bible says:

    Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
    2 Timothy 2:15

    It is up to you to study and learn what the Scriptures say.

    A question – - do you take your Bible to church with you?

  • Grace

    Bror – 239 – - “Grace @ 221 Luke 17:3 says nothing about someone tresspassing against you, or thee. How many translations did you have to go through to find one you liked and fit your preconceived notions of how things ought to go?” – -

    Do you use the KJV? – I do.

    Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. Luke 17:3 KJV

    I gave you the KJV the first time, and here it is again.

    The verse you cite doesn’t encompass a sin, other than one against me, which I can forgive, but that would not negate the individual confessing their sin to God.

    IF the sin doesn’t include me, I am not involved with their forgiveness, they need to confess their sin to God.

    Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. Luke 17:3

    Bror, this passage is a “trespass” against the person to whom they harmed.

    And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him. Luke 17:4

    Again Bror, these are sins against an individual – and again, the individual can forgive, because it is they, to whom the harm was done.

  • Grace

    Bror – 239 – - “Grace @ 221 Luke 17:3 says nothing about someone tresspassing against you, or thee. How many translations did you have to go through to find one you liked and fit your preconceived notions of how things ought to go?” – -

    Do you use the KJV? – I do.

    Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. Luke 17:3 KJV

    I gave you the KJV the first time, and here it is again.

    The verse you cite doesn’t encompass a sin, other than one against me, which I can forgive, but that would not negate the individual confessing their sin to God.

    IF the sin doesn’t include me, I am not involved with their forgiveness, they need to confess their sin to God.

    Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. Luke 17:3

    Bror, this passage is a “trespass” against the person to whom they harmed.

    And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him. Luke 17:4

    Again Bror, these are sins against an individual – and again, the individual can forgive, because it is they, to whom the harm was done.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Kerner,
    Have you gotten the hip waders out yet? It seems to be getting awful thick and directed your way.
    Grace,
    Kerner is absolutely right. And has studied the Bible quite dilligently, which shows in Kerner’s posts.
    You are the one here who has yet to produce one scripture passage in support of your position.
    tODD is right to do this, I’m going to do it again. John 20:23 (ESV)
    If you forgive the sins of anyone, they are forgiven; if you withhold forgiveness from anyone, it is withheld.”

    Believe me if you can take What Paul wrote to Timothy in a Pastoral Epistle, to apply to you, I can take what Christ said to the disciples in John 20 and apply it to me.
    By the way, there is another definition of Pharisee, legalist, which is what they were, that led them to hypocrisy, as it does you and your Baptist friends.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Kerner,
    Have you gotten the hip waders out yet? It seems to be getting awful thick and directed your way.
    Grace,
    Kerner is absolutely right. And has studied the Bible quite dilligently, which shows in Kerner’s posts.
    You are the one here who has yet to produce one scripture passage in support of your position.
    tODD is right to do this, I’m going to do it again. John 20:23 (ESV)
    If you forgive the sins of anyone, they are forgiven; if you withhold forgiveness from anyone, it is withheld.”

    Believe me if you can take What Paul wrote to Timothy in a Pastoral Epistle, to apply to you, I can take what Christ said to the disciples in John 20 and apply it to me.
    By the way, there is another definition of Pharisee, legalist, which is what they were, that led them to hypocrisy, as it does you and your Baptist friends.

  • Grace

    Bror – 241 – - “Grace is a baptist, not a Baptist. Baptist is a label for denominations that are honest enough to own up to who they are and what their confession is. Grace belongs to Calvary Chapel, one of the largest baptist denominations in the country right now, but one that likes to think it is not a denomination.”

    Wrong Bror – I’m not a Baptist. They are in fact a denomination, even though some might think otherwise. The rest of your comment is incorrect.

  • Grace

    Bror – 241 – - “Grace is a baptist, not a Baptist. Baptist is a label for denominations that are honest enough to own up to who they are and what their confession is. Grace belongs to Calvary Chapel, one of the largest baptist denominations in the country right now, but one that likes to think it is not a denomination.”

    Wrong Bror – I’m not a Baptist. They are in fact a denomination, even though some might think otherwise. The rest of your comment is incorrect.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace @260,
    I have no qualms with the KJV, but I don’t change translations to make points either. And i generally do not use the KJV. Why? Because it would be a waste of all that Greek I spent thousands to learn how to read in college. The Greek does not talk about sins against anyone in particular until Luke 17:4. The ESV Here is much more accurate. Luke 17:3 (ESV)
    Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him,
    and that is how it reads in the Greek, which I think we both agree is more accurate than the KJV.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace @260,
    I have no qualms with the KJV, but I don’t change translations to make points either. And i generally do not use the KJV. Why? Because it would be a waste of all that Greek I spent thousands to learn how to read in college. The Greek does not talk about sins against anyone in particular until Luke 17:4. The ESV Here is much more accurate. Luke 17:3 (ESV)
    Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him,
    and that is how it reads in the Greek, which I think we both agree is more accurate than the KJV.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace,
    I didn’t say you were a Baptist, but a baptist. You say you aren’t? Then you changed your mind and now have no trouble baptizing infants?

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace,
    I didn’t say you were a Baptist, but a baptist. You say you aren’t? Then you changed your mind and now have no trouble baptizing infants?

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com/ Louis

    Grace – Bror is making a point by using the non-capitalised ‘baptist’, instead of “Baptist”. By this he says that although there is a distinction between Baptists such as those of the SBC, and other groups such as Calvary Chapel, their theology holds much in common, to the point where the diffrences could be minor differences of praxis, and denominational (or non-denominational ;) ) labels, association and organisation, and maybe degrees of conservatism (with the IFB’s on one end, I presume).

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com/ Louis

    Grace – Bror is making a point by using the non-capitalised ‘baptist’, instead of “Baptist”. By this he says that although there is a distinction between Baptists such as those of the SBC, and other groups such as Calvary Chapel, their theology holds much in common, to the point where the diffrences could be minor differences of praxis, and denominational (or non-denominational ;) ) labels, association and organisation, and maybe degrees of conservatism (with the IFB’s on one end, I presume).

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace,
    You write “Again Bror, these are sins against an individual – and again, the individual can forgive, because it is they, to whom the harm was done.”
    This is just fundamentally wrong. Every sin is a sin against God. Even David after committing Adultery and Murder, cries out. Psalm 51:4 (ESV)
    Against you, you only, have I sinned
    and done what is evil in your sight,
    so that you may be justified in your words
    and blameless in your judgment.

    Every sin, is fundamentally a sin against God, and therefore it is from God that forgiveness must come, but how it comes and through whom is another matter. If someone sins against me, they have sinned against God, against his creation, against his servant. They are responsible to God, being responsible to me is a small thing. The same when they sin against you, or anyone for that matter.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace,
    You write “Again Bror, these are sins against an individual – and again, the individual can forgive, because it is they, to whom the harm was done.”
    This is just fundamentally wrong. Every sin is a sin against God. Even David after committing Adultery and Murder, cries out. Psalm 51:4 (ESV)
    Against you, you only, have I sinned
    and done what is evil in your sight,
    so that you may be justified in your words
    and blameless in your judgment.

    Every sin, is fundamentally a sin against God, and therefore it is from God that forgiveness must come, but how it comes and through whom is another matter. If someone sins against me, they have sinned against God, against his creation, against his servant. They are responsible to God, being responsible to me is a small thing. The same when they sin against you, or anyone for that matter.

  • Grace

    Bror – 244 – - “The irony is that Lutherans went just far enough, the reformed have gone to far, and are no better than Rome when it comes to works righteousness. Only where the Roman Catholics talk about works contributing to Justification, the reformed talk about sanctification. Big difference, but I fail to see it.”

    Interesting that you bring up works Bror – the book of James has a lot to say regarding FAITH and WORKS:

    14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?

    15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,

    16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?

    17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

    18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

    19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

    20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?James 2

    For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. James 2:26

  • Grace

    Bror – 244 – - “The irony is that Lutherans went just far enough, the reformed have gone to far, and are no better than Rome when it comes to works righteousness. Only where the Roman Catholics talk about works contributing to Justification, the reformed talk about sanctification. Big difference, but I fail to see it.”

    Interesting that you bring up works Bror – the book of James has a lot to say regarding FAITH and WORKS:

    14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?

    15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,

    16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?

    17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

    18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

    19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

    20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?James 2

    For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. James 2:26

  • colliebear

    I’d like to know how, if someone sins against me, and I forgive them, then Christ, who lives in me (I Cor 3:16-17) is not part of that forgiveness. Could I even have the capacity for forgiveness without belief in Christ?

  • colliebear

    I’d like to know how, if someone sins against me, and I forgive them, then Christ, who lives in me (I Cor 3:16-17) is not part of that forgiveness. Could I even have the capacity for forgiveness without belief in Christ?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace said (@258):

    No Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came John 20:24 – that doesn’t mean he wasn’t advised as to the passage that reads: John 20:23 Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.

    So let’s think your argument through here for a minute. You’re arguing that, though Thomas wasn’t physically present to hear Jesus’ words that granted the disciples authority to forgive sins, he could have been “advised” about this teaching. And, presumably, thereby gained the authority to forgive sins. Because he was also a disciple of Jesus.

    Just think about that for a minute, Grace. Mull it over.

    Because see, I too am a disciple of Jesus. Now, I wasn’t present physically, either, when Jesus came and gave that command. But! That doesn’t mean I wasn’t advised as to his command.

    Do you see how that works?

    If Thomas could have been told by the other disciples, and thereby also gained the authority that Jesus gave to those specific disciples that heard Jesus’ words, then … that would apply also to any and all disciples of Jesus since then that were also told those words. And that applies for all who read the Gospel of John, chapter 20, verse 23. Like me. And you.

    Now, you still need to work out what John meant by “disciples”, and why that wasn’t just “the Twelve”.

    But, though you (nominally) appear to continue to hold to your argument (@215) that “The Bible doesn’t say anyone can forgive sins except the LORD,” you have told us that, in fact, Jesus did give that authority to at least some men, and, furthermore, that the authority he gave to his disciples can be passed on by teaching others who weren’t there to hear Jesus words.

    Sounds like you’ve all but laid out for us the case that Bror, Kerner, and I are trying to make. Perhaps all that is left is to agree with us.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace said (@258):

    No Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came John 20:24 – that doesn’t mean he wasn’t advised as to the passage that reads: John 20:23 Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.

    So let’s think your argument through here for a minute. You’re arguing that, though Thomas wasn’t physically present to hear Jesus’ words that granted the disciples authority to forgive sins, he could have been “advised” about this teaching. And, presumably, thereby gained the authority to forgive sins. Because he was also a disciple of Jesus.

    Just think about that for a minute, Grace. Mull it over.

    Because see, I too am a disciple of Jesus. Now, I wasn’t present physically, either, when Jesus came and gave that command. But! That doesn’t mean I wasn’t advised as to his command.

    Do you see how that works?

    If Thomas could have been told by the other disciples, and thereby also gained the authority that Jesus gave to those specific disciples that heard Jesus’ words, then … that would apply also to any and all disciples of Jesus since then that were also told those words. And that applies for all who read the Gospel of John, chapter 20, verse 23. Like me. And you.

    Now, you still need to work out what John meant by “disciples”, and why that wasn’t just “the Twelve”.

    But, though you (nominally) appear to continue to hold to your argument (@215) that “The Bible doesn’t say anyone can forgive sins except the LORD,” you have told us that, in fact, Jesus did give that authority to at least some men, and, furthermore, that the authority he gave to his disciples can be passed on by teaching others who weren’t there to hear Jesus words.

    Sounds like you’ve all but laid out for us the case that Bror, Kerner, and I are trying to make. Perhaps all that is left is to agree with us.

  • Grace

    Louis – 250 – - “Baptist (or baptist) theology smuggle in salvation through works by the back door. Most of all, epistemologically they are thoroughly and entirely modernist, the children of Rousseau et al.”

    No it isn’t the Baptist – it is the book of James found right in the New Testament, that talks about FAITH and WORKS. Take a look at post #267

    Martin Luther didn’t like the book of James, he stated:

    “St. James’ epistle is really an epistle of straw.for it has nothing of the nature of the gospel about it” Martin Luther
    (Luther, M. Preface to the New Testament, 1546).

  • Grace

    Louis – 250 – - “Baptist (or baptist) theology smuggle in salvation through works by the back door. Most of all, epistemologically they are thoroughly and entirely modernist, the children of Rousseau et al.”

    No it isn’t the Baptist – it is the book of James found right in the New Testament, that talks about FAITH and WORKS. Take a look at post #267

    Martin Luther didn’t like the book of James, he stated:

    “St. James’ epistle is really an epistle of straw.for it has nothing of the nature of the gospel about it” Martin Luther
    (Luther, M. Preface to the New Testament, 1546).

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com/ Louis

    Grace: There is a big difference between good works in general, and good works required as a prerequisite for salvation. As Lutherans, we very strongly disagree with the Latter.

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com/ Louis

    Grace: There is a big difference between good works in general, and good works required as a prerequisite for salvation. As Lutherans, we very strongly disagree with the Latter.

  • Grace

    Bror – 264

    Cut the nonsense – I haven’t changed my mind about infant baptism.

  • Grace

    Bror – 264

    Cut the nonsense – I haven’t changed my mind about infant baptism.

  • Grace

    The rendition most of you have regarding Baptist/baptist are incorrect, but I doubt anyone can tell you differently. I certainly don’t have the time to go back and forth.

  • Grace

    The rendition most of you have regarding Baptist/baptist are incorrect, but I doubt anyone can tell you differently. I certainly don’t have the time to go back and forth.

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com/ Louis

    Grace: I’m not sure we are on the same page. All non-infant baptising theologies have much in common, in that they require a specific act of the individual concerned prior to being accepted into God’s Kingdom / Being saved etc. This act requires mental comprehension and assent at the very minimum, though some (like the sect of my childhood) required much more. Thus, we Lutherans say, they violate the fact that salvation is all God’s doing. Thus we call them theologies of work righteousness. But calling them baptist is easier/shorther, and to distinguish between those officially named Baptist, and those not, folks like Bror uses terms like Baptist, or baptist, depending on the context. It is juat a form of shorthand.

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com/ Louis

    Grace: I’m not sure we are on the same page. All non-infant baptising theologies have much in common, in that they require a specific act of the individual concerned prior to being accepted into God’s Kingdom / Being saved etc. This act requires mental comprehension and assent at the very minimum, though some (like the sect of my childhood) required much more. Thus, we Lutherans say, they violate the fact that salvation is all God’s doing. Thus we call them theologies of work righteousness. But calling them baptist is easier/shorther, and to distinguish between those officially named Baptist, and those not, folks like Bror uses terms like Baptist, or baptist, depending on the context. It is juat a form of shorthand.

  • Grace

    Louis – 274 – - “But calling them baptist is easier/shorther, and to distinguish between those officially named Baptist, and those not, folks like Bror uses terms like Baptist, or baptist, depending on the context. It is juat a form of shorthand.”

    With that as your excuse: One could easily equate Lutherans as Roman Lutherans –

    “Folks like Bror” are unlearned in doctrine of other denominations, using definitions for my beliefs that are incorrect.

    I have met other individuals who were cradle RC, they are no different from Lutherans – what they understand about other churches and denominations is precious little. What they hear is what is spoon fed by their church or college – hence, they have no real understanding.

  • Grace

    Louis – 274 – - “But calling them baptist is easier/shorther, and to distinguish between those officially named Baptist, and those not, folks like Bror uses terms like Baptist, or baptist, depending on the context. It is juat a form of shorthand.”

    With that as your excuse: One could easily equate Lutherans as Roman Lutherans –

    “Folks like Bror” are unlearned in doctrine of other denominations, using definitions for my beliefs that are incorrect.

    I have met other individuals who were cradle RC, they are no different from Lutherans – what they understand about other churches and denominations is precious little. What they hear is what is spoon fed by their church or college – hence, they have no real understanding.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace,
    How Roman Catholic of you to quote James by the way. Did you know that they canonized it at the council of Trent just so they could quote it against us Lutheran’s, and yet up to that time it was not regarded as scripture by even the Catholics, because everyone had serious doubts as to who wrote it?
    Second, what makes a baptist a baptist, no matter what else they may be is a refusal to baptize infants. And that is what Lutherans mean when they say you are a baptist, you don’t baptize infants. You should not buckle at that unless it is untrue that you do not baptize infants.
    Third, I know quite a bit about your the faith of other denominations. Though I hardly need to draw on my experiences in baptist churches, and other denominations, my reading of countless “evangelical” authors or conversations with good friends in these church bodies to read and understand what you write and challenge it.
    what is funny is the person who has showed a lack of ability to understand another denomination is you. And you also seem to have trouble reading and comprehending what we write.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace,
    How Roman Catholic of you to quote James by the way. Did you know that they canonized it at the council of Trent just so they could quote it against us Lutheran’s, and yet up to that time it was not regarded as scripture by even the Catholics, because everyone had serious doubts as to who wrote it?
    Second, what makes a baptist a baptist, no matter what else they may be is a refusal to baptize infants. And that is what Lutherans mean when they say you are a baptist, you don’t baptize infants. You should not buckle at that unless it is untrue that you do not baptize infants.
    Third, I know quite a bit about your the faith of other denominations. Though I hardly need to draw on my experiences in baptist churches, and other denominations, my reading of countless “evangelical” authors or conversations with good friends in these church bodies to read and understand what you write and challenge it.
    what is funny is the person who has showed a lack of ability to understand another denomination is you. And you also seem to have trouble reading and comprehending what we write.

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com/ Louis

    Grace – I’m not a cradle Lutheran. I was born and baptised Dutch Reformed, my folks left that for baptist churches (and were rebaptised, I was still too young) by the time I was 7 (they had been charismatically influenced long before this), and eventually they ended up in a semi-pelagian sect that acted a bit like an African variant of an IFB- church. I grew up within this non-denominational mission (yes, that is what they called themselves, I can refer you to their webpages if you are interested). After my marriage, to a girl within this sect, we decided to leave – amid hard doctrinal questions. We ended up in the Dutch Reformed Church, switched to the Church of England in South Africa, which was a bit like evangelical Anglicanism (Sydney Anglicanism), attended a Reformed Baptist Church for awhile (but never became members, since we were not baptist), attended another Reformed church, and then started attending the Lutheran Church when we arrived here in Canada, eventually becoming members – I have no 2 daughters already confirmed.

    I have been around the denominational block. Most of that was because I was theolgically questioning, searching, reading. I grew up with almost every single argument you have mentioned up till now. I’ve seen all sides of the debate (including the KJV one…).

    Also, as an aside, I’m not a simpleton. I say this to get it across to you that somebody that could confess what Lutherans believe are not simplisticaaly minded, or brainwashed from childhood etc. I have been co-author on several published scientific papers. My company brought me to Canada because of my expertise.

    Not long ago, I could say to my wife – I am finally, after many years, at rest, theologically. The fear of getting it wrong is gone. Now I can say – it is not I, but Christ. I can rejoice in my salvation, point to my baptism, and partake in Him through Holy Communion. I am no longer under the burden of the Law – and believe me, in my sectarian background, that was one massive burden. Even my Calvinist days were not entirely free from this burden. But that’s another subject for another day.

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com/ Louis

    Grace – I’m not a cradle Lutheran. I was born and baptised Dutch Reformed, my folks left that for baptist churches (and were rebaptised, I was still too young) by the time I was 7 (they had been charismatically influenced long before this), and eventually they ended up in a semi-pelagian sect that acted a bit like an African variant of an IFB- church. I grew up within this non-denominational mission (yes, that is what they called themselves, I can refer you to their webpages if you are interested). After my marriage, to a girl within this sect, we decided to leave – amid hard doctrinal questions. We ended up in the Dutch Reformed Church, switched to the Church of England in South Africa, which was a bit like evangelical Anglicanism (Sydney Anglicanism), attended a Reformed Baptist Church for awhile (but never became members, since we were not baptist), attended another Reformed church, and then started attending the Lutheran Church when we arrived here in Canada, eventually becoming members – I have no 2 daughters already confirmed.

    I have been around the denominational block. Most of that was because I was theolgically questioning, searching, reading. I grew up with almost every single argument you have mentioned up till now. I’ve seen all sides of the debate (including the KJV one…).

    Also, as an aside, I’m not a simpleton. I say this to get it across to you that somebody that could confess what Lutherans believe are not simplisticaaly minded, or brainwashed from childhood etc. I have been co-author on several published scientific papers. My company brought me to Canada because of my expertise.

    Not long ago, I could say to my wife – I am finally, after many years, at rest, theologically. The fear of getting it wrong is gone. Now I can say – it is not I, but Christ. I can rejoice in my salvation, point to my baptism, and partake in Him through Holy Communion. I am no longer under the burden of the Law – and believe me, in my sectarian background, that was one massive burden. Even my Calvinist days were not entirely free from this burden. But that’s another subject for another day.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Louis,
    Quite the story, I rejoice that you have found peace. Me, I have given other church bodies as honest a hearing as I could, but in the end, they have failed to convince me from scripture and plain reason that Lutherans are wrong.
    Now that Grace has asked for mine, and has also gotten your history, I would like to know what her history is.
    Grace, wer you always Calvary Chapel? What sort of pastor was your dad?

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Louis,
    Quite the story, I rejoice that you have found peace. Me, I have given other church bodies as honest a hearing as I could, but in the end, they have failed to convince me from scripture and plain reason that Lutherans are wrong.
    Now that Grace has asked for mine, and has also gotten your history, I would like to know what her history is.
    Grace, wer you always Calvary Chapel? What sort of pastor was your dad?

  • Grace

    Bror – 276 “How Roman Catholic of you to quote James by the way. Did you know that they canonized it at the council of Trent just so they could quote it against us Lutheran’s, and yet up to that time it was not regarded as scripture by even the Catholics, because everyone had serious doubts as to who wrote it?”

    Try doing some research on James – the manuscripts exist. You recite the excuses used by Lutherans to discredit the book of James, yet it exists, for no other reason than it is factual, just as all the other books Martin Luther hated.

    Martin Luther disliked or discounted many books of the Bible, not just James ….. there is a long list of books in the Bible Luther found disagreeable to his beliefs -

    “The book of Esther I toss into the Elbe. I am such an enemy to the book of Esther that I wish it did not exist, for it Judaizes too much.”

    The statement by Luther above is a glimpse into his hatred of the Jews, hence the book he wrote: “On the Jews and Their Lies, 1543. by Martin Luther –

    As Martin Luther quipped: “We have no wish either to see or hear Moses” (Ibid, p. 202)

    Another nasty gem -

  • Grace

    Bror – 276 “How Roman Catholic of you to quote James by the way. Did you know that they canonized it at the council of Trent just so they could quote it against us Lutheran’s, and yet up to that time it was not regarded as scripture by even the Catholics, because everyone had serious doubts as to who wrote it?”

    Try doing some research on James – the manuscripts exist. You recite the excuses used by Lutherans to discredit the book of James, yet it exists, for no other reason than it is factual, just as all the other books Martin Luther hated.

    Martin Luther disliked or discounted many books of the Bible, not just James ….. there is a long list of books in the Bible Luther found disagreeable to his beliefs -

    “The book of Esther I toss into the Elbe. I am such an enemy to the book of Esther that I wish it did not exist, for it Judaizes too much.”

    The statement by Luther above is a glimpse into his hatred of the Jews, hence the book he wrote: “On the Jews and Their Lies, 1543. by Martin Luther –

    As Martin Luther quipped: “We have no wish either to see or hear Moses” (Ibid, p. 202)

    Another nasty gem -

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    So Grace,
    you must also then accept Tobit? Bell and the Dragon?
    They are manuscripts too they also exist.
    Perhaps you like the Gospel according to Judas? It exists also.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    So Grace,
    you must also then accept Tobit? Bell and the Dragon?
    They are manuscripts too they also exist.
    Perhaps you like the Gospel according to Judas? It exists also.

  • Grace

    Louis – 277 – “Even my Calvinist days were not entirely free from this burden. But that’s another subject for another day.”

    We might agree on this, I am not a Calvinist, although I would agree to some of it. Perhaps another time we could discuss our thoughts.

  • Grace

    Louis – 277 – “Even my Calvinist days were not entirely free from this burden. But that’s another subject for another day.”

    We might agree on this, I am not a Calvinist, although I would agree to some of it. Perhaps another time we could discuss our thoughts.

  • Grace

    Bror – 280

    Perhaps you join the RCC in their love of the Apocrypha, I don’t accept them -

  • Grace

    Bror – 280

    Perhaps you join the RCC in their love of the Apocrypha, I don’t accept them -

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace,
    I didn’t figure that you did accept the apocrypha, I was just wondering why not. What gives you the right to deny them. I mean if all they have to be is a text that exists for us to accept them as canonical. There must be more to it than that?
    Perhaps Christ can clear all that up for us in John 5:39?

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace,
    I didn’t figure that you did accept the apocrypha, I was just wondering why not. What gives you the right to deny them. I mean if all they have to be is a text that exists for us to accept them as canonical. There must be more to it than that?
    Perhaps Christ can clear all that up for us in John 5:39?

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    I mean Grace, If you allow them to canonize James for you, how do you not let the RC canonize Tobit for you?

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    I mean Grace, If you allow them to canonize James for you, how do you not let the RC canonize Tobit for you?

  • Grace

    Bror — 283 – - “What gives you the right to deny them. I mean if all they have to be is a text that exists for us to accept them as canonical. There must be more to it than that?”

    There is more. The Apocrypha was never quoted by Jesus nor His Apostles. There are more than 240 quotations from the Old Testament brought forward into the New Testament……. but no quotation from the Apocrypha. The Apocrypha was in existence during Christ Jesus time on earth, yet He never referred to it, ….. most likely because it had no merit. That would be a very good reason to leave it out of the Bible which is inspired and inerrant.

  • Grace

    Bror — 283 – - “What gives you the right to deny them. I mean if all they have to be is a text that exists for us to accept them as canonical. There must be more to it than that?”

    There is more. The Apocrypha was never quoted by Jesus nor His Apostles. There are more than 240 quotations from the Old Testament brought forward into the New Testament……. but no quotation from the Apocrypha. The Apocrypha was in existence during Christ Jesus time on earth, yet He never referred to it, ….. most likely because it had no merit. That would be a very good reason to leave it out of the Bible which is inspired and inerrant.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace, do you believe in the canonicity of John 20:23?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace, do you believe in the canonicity of John 20:23?

  • Grace

    Martin Luther had no use for the book of Revelation. His nasty remarks, sound more like a jealous child, unable to understand how God blessed and gave John the Revelation, instead of him (Luther)

    About this book of the Revelation of John.I miss more than one thing in this book, and it makes me consider it to be neither apostolic nor prophetic. I can in no way detect that the Holy Spirit produced it. Moreover he seems to me to be going much too far when he commends his own book so highly-indeed, more than any of the other sacred books do, though they are much more important-and threatens that if anyone takes away anything from it, God will take away from him, etc. Again, they are supposed to be blessed who keep what is written in this book; and yet no one knows what that is, to say nothing of keeping it. This is just the same as if we did not have the book at all. And there are many far better books available for us to keep.My spirit cannot accommodate itself to this book. For me this is reason enough not to think highly of it: Christ is neither taught nor known in it” (Luther, M. Preface to the Revelation of St. John, 1522)

    Couple the statement by Martin Luther above, the book of hatred against the Jews, and the book of Esther in the Old Testament which Luther found to be too Jewish, and you have a man who is consumed with anger and resentment. Maybe Martin Luther was envious because he wasn’t born a Jew! There is jealousy today of the Jews, it has always been a problem. All the Apostles were Jews.

  • Grace

    Martin Luther had no use for the book of Revelation. His nasty remarks, sound more like a jealous child, unable to understand how God blessed and gave John the Revelation, instead of him (Luther)

    About this book of the Revelation of John.I miss more than one thing in this book, and it makes me consider it to be neither apostolic nor prophetic. I can in no way detect that the Holy Spirit produced it. Moreover he seems to me to be going much too far when he commends his own book so highly-indeed, more than any of the other sacred books do, though they are much more important-and threatens that if anyone takes away anything from it, God will take away from him, etc. Again, they are supposed to be blessed who keep what is written in this book; and yet no one knows what that is, to say nothing of keeping it. This is just the same as if we did not have the book at all. And there are many far better books available for us to keep.My spirit cannot accommodate itself to this book. For me this is reason enough not to think highly of it: Christ is neither taught nor known in it” (Luther, M. Preface to the Revelation of St. John, 1522)

    Couple the statement by Martin Luther above, the book of hatred against the Jews, and the book of Esther in the Old Testament which Luther found to be too Jewish, and you have a man who is consumed with anger and resentment. Maybe Martin Luther was envious because he wasn’t born a Jew! There is jealousy today of the Jews, it has always been a problem. All the Apostles were Jews.

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com/ Louis

    Grace – you are misunderstanding Bror. He is not arguing FOR the apocrypha, but he is asking you questions, given your comments earlier, regarding the inclusion / exclusion of certain books. This links up with my earlier, repetitive question to you. Though the section of “inter-Testamental books” were there at the time of Christ, some of the others weren’t there – Bror talks about the Gospel of Judas, but there are also others: Shepherd of Hermas, Epsitle of Clement, and many others.

    Thus the question becomes – On which authority do you accept these 27 books? Early Church writings, such as that by Chrysostom, references 22 (no 2 Peter, 2 John, 3 John, Jude and Revelation). Others include the Epsitle of Clement, for instance, while the Shepherd of Hermas is included in the Codex Sinaiticus.

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com/ Louis

    Grace – you are misunderstanding Bror. He is not arguing FOR the apocrypha, but he is asking you questions, given your comments earlier, regarding the inclusion / exclusion of certain books. This links up with my earlier, repetitive question to you. Though the section of “inter-Testamental books” were there at the time of Christ, some of the others weren’t there – Bror talks about the Gospel of Judas, but there are also others: Shepherd of Hermas, Epsitle of Clement, and many others.

    Thus the question becomes – On which authority do you accept these 27 books? Early Church writings, such as that by Chrysostom, references 22 (no 2 Peter, 2 John, 3 John, Jude and Revelation). Others include the Epsitle of Clement, for instance, while the Shepherd of Hermas is included in the Codex Sinaiticus.

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com/ Louis

    And Grace – we have been over the matter of Luther and the Jews many times already. We do not worship him. We do not necessarily agree with every single word he ever uttered. So please leave the matter now, and let’s discuss the matters at hand. Please?

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com/ Louis

    And Grace – we have been over the matter of Luther and the Jews many times already. We do not worship him. We do not necessarily agree with every single word he ever uttered. So please leave the matter now, and let’s discuss the matters at hand. Please?

  • Grace

    Louis – 289 – - “we have been over the matter of Luther and the Jews many times already. We do not worship him. We do not necessarily agree with every single word he ever uttered. So please leave the matter now, and let’s discuss the matters at hand. Please?”

    No, I believe that discussing Luther is a good thing, sorry you disagree.

  • Grace

    Louis – 289 – - “we have been over the matter of Luther and the Jews many times already. We do not worship him. We do not necessarily agree with every single word he ever uttered. So please leave the matter now, and let’s discuss the matters at hand. Please?”

    No, I believe that discussing Luther is a good thing, sorry you disagree.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Thank you tODD,
    Do you Grace accept the canonicity of John 120:23,
    because where as it has been a nice discussion on Canon, I think we can all agree that John 20:23 also.

    though it might be nice if you could give me some criteria for accepting a book in the New Testament, what guarantees that it was inspired by the Holy Spirit. Jesus never quoted James either.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Thank you tODD,
    Do you Grace accept the canonicity of John 120:23,
    because where as it has been a nice discussion on Canon, I think we can all agree that John 20:23 also.

    though it might be nice if you could give me some criteria for accepting a book in the New Testament, what guarantees that it was inspired by the Holy Spirit. Jesus never quoted James either.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace, discussing Luther can be a good thing.
    However the discussion at hand is whether or not men can forgive sins, and John 20:23.
    Now Luther might bring a good distraction from that, but you are not going to change what the Bible says by discussing Luther.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace, discussing Luther can be a good thing.
    However the discussion at hand is whether or not men can forgive sins, and John 20:23.
    Now Luther might bring a good distraction from that, but you are not going to change what the Bible says by discussing Luther.

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com/ Louis

    Grace – would you care to answer the question in #288 (and # 286 for that matter).

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com/ Louis

    Grace – would you care to answer the question in #288 (and # 286 for that matter).

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    “I believe that discussing Luther is a good thing, sorry you disagree” (@290). Would you rather discuss Luther’s views on the Jews, or what John 20:23 says? And why? After all, you have lots to say when it comes to judging the heart of a dead man (cf. “a man who is consumed with anger and resentment. Maybe Martin Luther was envious” @287).

    But you’ve had surprisingly little to say in, by my count, your almost 100 comments (!) about what that verse actually has to teach us. There are many things you want to discuss, but when it comes to John 20:23, many things appear to take priority over the teachings of our Lord and Savior.

    Just for reference, that verse reads: “If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    “I believe that discussing Luther is a good thing, sorry you disagree” (@290). Would you rather discuss Luther’s views on the Jews, or what John 20:23 says? And why? After all, you have lots to say when it comes to judging the heart of a dead man (cf. “a man who is consumed with anger and resentment. Maybe Martin Luther was envious” @287).

    But you’ve had surprisingly little to say in, by my count, your almost 100 comments (!) about what that verse actually has to teach us. There are many things you want to discuss, but when it comes to John 20:23, many things appear to take priority over the teachings of our Lord and Savior.

    Just for reference, that verse reads: “If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

  • Grace

    Bror – 291 – -

    “Jesus never quoted James either.”

    Did you study the books of the Bible and when they most likely were written, when attending Bible school and Seminary? If you did, you would not have asked such a ridiculous question. James hadn’t written the book until after Christ died, arose and assended up to Heaven.

  • Grace

    Bror – 291 – -

    “Jesus never quoted James either.”

    Did you study the books of the Bible and when they most likely were written, when attending Bible school and Seminary? If you did, you would not have asked such a ridiculous question. James hadn’t written the book until after Christ died, arose and assended up to Heaven.

  • Grace

    Bror, tODD and Louis,

    We have discussed the passage in John – more than enough!

  • Grace

    Bror, tODD and Louis,

    We have discussed the passage in John – more than enough!

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com/ Louis

    And the other question?

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com/ Louis

    And the other question?

  • Grace

    Louis,

    I made referrence to it way up on the thread, sometime yesterday.

    Why don’t you make your points, and leave it at that. I honestly don’t have time to play teacher/student -

  • Grace

    Louis,

    I made referrence to it way up on the thread, sometime yesterday.

    Why don’t you make your points, and leave it at that. I honestly don’t have time to play teacher/student -

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace,
    have we discussed John 20:23 enough? you are agreed then that Jesus gives the authority to forgive sins to men? or are you just frustrated that that passage defeats your earlier statements.
    I am well aware that James was written after Christ, by who is another question, But it still remains that if your criteria for inclusion into the Bible is Jesus quoting it, then James still doesn’t make it. So what criteria do you put forward? Why not, as Louis asks 1 Clement? Why not the Shepherd of Hermes?

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace,
    have we discussed John 20:23 enough? you are agreed then that Jesus gives the authority to forgive sins to men? or are you just frustrated that that passage defeats your earlier statements.
    I am well aware that James was written after Christ, by who is another question, But it still remains that if your criteria for inclusion into the Bible is Jesus quoting it, then James still doesn’t make it. So what criteria do you put forward? Why not, as Louis asks 1 Clement? Why not the Shepherd of Hermes?

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace,
    you have plenty of time to play teacher student, as long as we let you fancy yourself teacher. But hey were just asking you to abide by normal debate etiquette.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace,
    you have plenty of time to play teacher student, as long as we let you fancy yourself teacher. But hey were just asking you to abide by normal debate etiquette.

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com/ Louis

    Grace – I want to know your view. At this stage it looks as if you do not have an answer. And that would be serious indeed.

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com/ Louis

    Grace – I want to know your view. At this stage it looks as if you do not have an answer. And that would be serious indeed.

  • Grace

    Bror – 291 – “Jesus never quoted James either.”

    Bror – 299 – “I am well aware that James was written after Christ, by who is another question, ”

    No you weren’t – you wouldn’t have asked the question if you knew the answer. LOL

  • Grace

    Bror – 291 – “Jesus never quoted James either.”

    Bror – 299 – “I am well aware that James was written after Christ, by who is another question, ”

    No you weren’t – you wouldn’t have asked the question if you knew the answer. LOL

  • Grace

    Bror –

    You don’t have the answers, and you don’t either Louis, that is why you ask all the questions. You are both, including tODD so used to taking the doctrine you’ve been taught, never questioning the one who wrote most of it (Luther) and then trying to defend it.

  • Grace

    Bror –

    You don’t have the answers, and you don’t either Louis, that is why you ask all the questions. You are both, including tODD so used to taking the doctrine you’ve been taught, never questioning the one who wrote most of it (Luther) and then trying to defend it.

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com/ Louis

    Grace – my question does not concern Luther.

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com/ Louis

    Grace – my question does not concern Luther.

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com/ Louis

    Grace – from Wikipedia:

    The Socratic method (or Method of Elenchus or Socratic Debate), named after the Classical Greek philosopher Socrates, is a form of inquiry and debate between individuals with opposing viewpoints based on asking and answering questions to stimulate critical thinking and to illuminate ideas.

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com/ Louis

    Grace – from Wikipedia:

    The Socratic method (or Method of Elenchus or Socratic Debate), named after the Classical Greek philosopher Socrates, is a form of inquiry and debate between individuals with opposing viewpoints based on asking and answering questions to stimulate critical thinking and to illuminate ideas.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    “You are both, including tODD so used to taking the doctrine you’ve been taught, never questioning the one who wrote most of it (Luther) and then trying to defend it” (@303).

    I don’t believe I’ve quoted Luther once, nor even referred to him, except in reply to your references. You’re the one who keeps quoting him. I’m just as happy to ignore him as you’d apparently like to think you are. But you won’t let him go. There must be a reason you’d rather discuss Luther’s personal sins than the Bible verse at hand.

    All I’m doing is quoting the Bible for my doctrine. Not Matthew Henry. Not Luther. Not the Pope. No other Catholics either, for what it’s worth. Just the Gospel of John. And I believe what it says. What do you believe John 20:23 says? At best, it’s not clear. Sometimes you believe that “The Bible doesn’t say anyone can forgive sins except the LORD” (@215). At other times, you appear to believe that the 10 Apostles in the locked room could forgive sins (“The Apostles had power that was not given to those today.” @92, 117). And at still other times, you appear to believe, as you said (@258), that “Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came John 20:24 – that doesn’t mean he wasn’t advised as to the passage that reads: John 20:23 …” thereby, apparently, granting him also the authority to forgive sins that Jesus gave to his disciples.

    Meanwhile, I take Jesus’ words at face value when he says to his disciples — the 10 Apostles, Thomas, you, Bror, me, et al. — “If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

    So why don’t you tell us what Jesus meant when he said that, Grace?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    “You are both, including tODD so used to taking the doctrine you’ve been taught, never questioning the one who wrote most of it (Luther) and then trying to defend it” (@303).

    I don’t believe I’ve quoted Luther once, nor even referred to him, except in reply to your references. You’re the one who keeps quoting him. I’m just as happy to ignore him as you’d apparently like to think you are. But you won’t let him go. There must be a reason you’d rather discuss Luther’s personal sins than the Bible verse at hand.

    All I’m doing is quoting the Bible for my doctrine. Not Matthew Henry. Not Luther. Not the Pope. No other Catholics either, for what it’s worth. Just the Gospel of John. And I believe what it says. What do you believe John 20:23 says? At best, it’s not clear. Sometimes you believe that “The Bible doesn’t say anyone can forgive sins except the LORD” (@215). At other times, you appear to believe that the 10 Apostles in the locked room could forgive sins (“The Apostles had power that was not given to those today.” @92, 117). And at still other times, you appear to believe, as you said (@258), that “Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came John 20:24 – that doesn’t mean he wasn’t advised as to the passage that reads: John 20:23 …” thereby, apparently, granting him also the authority to forgive sins that Jesus gave to his disciples.

    Meanwhile, I take Jesus’ words at face value when he says to his disciples — the 10 Apostles, Thomas, you, Bror, me, et al. — “If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

    So why don’t you tell us what Jesus meant when he said that, Grace?

  • Grace

    Louis, asking the same questions over and over, will not elicit a different answer – you’re bright enough to know that aren’t you?

  • Grace

    Louis, asking the same questions over and over, will not elicit a different answer – you’re bright enough to know that aren’t you?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Indeed, Louis, asking the same question over and over will often not elicit an answer at all!

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Indeed, Louis, asking the same question over and over will often not elicit an answer at all!

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com/ Louis

    tODD: Indeed.

    Grace: Please show others the respect you claim for yourself. Either do that, or acknowledge that you do not know.

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com/ Louis

    tODD: Indeed.

    Grace: Please show others the respect you claim for yourself. Either do that, or acknowledge that you do not know.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Things Grace wants to discuss:
    * What the disciples were not recorded doing in the New Testament (except for a few places; ignore those)
    * What Roman Catholics teach
    * What verses other than John 20:23 have to say about topics other than forgiveness of sins
    * Various straw-man arguments that no one is putting forth involving pastors and priests
    * Quotes by Matthew Henry
    * Martin Luther
    * Misunderstandings of paraphrases of Martin Luther’s writings
    * The Small Catechism
    * The ability to cure diseases
    * What, exactly, is meant by the phrases “born again” or “Born Again”
    * Whether or not her beliefs have been “twisted” by others
    * What Martin Luther thought about the Jews
    * Illegal aliens and soci@lism
    * To whom Jesus gave his authority, and how long that authority lasted
    * Restatements of straw-man arguments no one is putting forth
    * Whether or not other people are responding to her points
    * Whether or not other people are being “snarky”
    * Whether or not she’s going to ever reply to you personally or not
    * Homosexuality
    * Whether posting on blogs is a choice or not
    * Whether there are disagreements in interpretation or not
    * Her dating history
    * Enoch
    * Speaking in tongues
    * The power to cure diseases, again
    * Further restatements of straw-man arguments no one is putting forth
    * The Apocrypha and its canonicity
    * What language the New Testament was written in
    * The Dead Sea Scrolls
    * Transmission error rates
    * What Roman Catholics teach, again
    * Allowing homosexual men and women to be pastors
    * Bror’s consumption of alcoholic beverages
    * How long Bror has been a Lutheran
    * Whether the Pharisees were right
    * Debating tricks from junior high
    * The Small Catechism, again
    * Whether or not you should “CRYSTAL BALL” her
    * Baptists
    * What the definition of “Pharisee” is
    * Whether Kerner takes his Bible to church with him
    * What version of the Bible she reads
    * The difference between “baptist” and “Baptist”
    * The book of James
    * Faith vs. works
    * What Luther thought about the book of James
    * Infant baptism
    * Similarities between Lutherans and Roman Catholics
    * Manuscripts of the books of James
    * The book of Esther
    * Whether Jesus ever quoted from the Apocrypha
    * Martin Luther’s thoughts on the book of Revelation
    * What Martin Luther thought about the Jews, again
    * Some guesses as to Luther’s past emotional conditions
    * Whether discussing Luther is a good thing
    * When James wrote his book
    * The fact that we have discussed John 20:23 “more than enough”
    * Whether she has time to “play teacher/student”
    * Whether she is or is not currently laughing out loud
    * Whether other people “have the answers” or not

    Things Grace does not want to discuss:
    * What John 20:23 actually means.

    Here is the clearest position I could find from Grace on the last point: “This passage of Scripture is often misunderstood” (@45).

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Things Grace wants to discuss:
    * What the disciples were not recorded doing in the New Testament (except for a few places; ignore those)
    * What Roman Catholics teach
    * What verses other than John 20:23 have to say about topics other than forgiveness of sins
    * Various straw-man arguments that no one is putting forth involving pastors and priests
    * Quotes by Matthew Henry
    * Martin Luther
    * Misunderstandings of paraphrases of Martin Luther’s writings
    * The Small Catechism
    * The ability to cure diseases
    * What, exactly, is meant by the phrases “born again” or “Born Again”
    * Whether or not her beliefs have been “twisted” by others
    * What Martin Luther thought about the Jews
    * Illegal aliens and soci@lism
    * To whom Jesus gave his authority, and how long that authority lasted
    * Restatements of straw-man arguments no one is putting forth
    * Whether or not other people are responding to her points
    * Whether or not other people are being “snarky”
    * Whether or not she’s going to ever reply to you personally or not
    * Homosexuality
    * Whether posting on blogs is a choice or not
    * Whether there are disagreements in interpretation or not
    * Her dating history
    * Enoch
    * Speaking in tongues
    * The power to cure diseases, again
    * Further restatements of straw-man arguments no one is putting forth
    * The Apocrypha and its canonicity
    * What language the New Testament was written in
    * The Dead Sea Scrolls
    * Transmission error rates
    * What Roman Catholics teach, again
    * Allowing homosexual men and women to be pastors
    * Bror’s consumption of alcoholic beverages
    * How long Bror has been a Lutheran
    * Whether the Pharisees were right
    * Debating tricks from junior high
    * The Small Catechism, again
    * Whether or not you should “CRYSTAL BALL” her
    * Baptists
    * What the definition of “Pharisee” is
    * Whether Kerner takes his Bible to church with him
    * What version of the Bible she reads
    * The difference between “baptist” and “Baptist”
    * The book of James
    * Faith vs. works
    * What Luther thought about the book of James
    * Infant baptism
    * Similarities between Lutherans and Roman Catholics
    * Manuscripts of the books of James
    * The book of Esther
    * Whether Jesus ever quoted from the Apocrypha
    * Martin Luther’s thoughts on the book of Revelation
    * What Martin Luther thought about the Jews, again
    * Some guesses as to Luther’s past emotional conditions
    * Whether discussing Luther is a good thing
    * When James wrote his book
    * The fact that we have discussed John 20:23 “more than enough”
    * Whether she has time to “play teacher/student”
    * Whether she is or is not currently laughing out loud
    * Whether other people “have the answers” or not

    Things Grace does not want to discuss:
    * What John 20:23 actually means.

    Here is the clearest position I could find from Grace on the last point: “This passage of Scripture is often misunderstood” (@45).

  • Grace

    Luther made a change to Romans 3:28 ADDING the word “alone”

    The true version: “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law Romans 3:21

    Martin Luther’s contrived version: Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith “alone” without the deeds of the law.

    No wonder Luther hated the book of James, because it clearly states:

    But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?James 2:20

    For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. James 2:26

    Luther had to deal with works, like it or not – “faith without works is dead” -

    You tell me what a great fuss the Papists are making because the word alone in not in the text of Paul.say right out to him: ‘Dr. Martin Luther will have it so,’.I will have it so, and I order it to be so, and my will is reason enough. I know very well that the word ‘alone’ is not in the Latin or the Greek text (Stoddard J. Rebuilding a Lost Faith. 1922, pp. 101-102; see also Luther M. Amic. Discussion, 1, 127)

    Here we have an example of Martin Luther’s supreme COMMAND to add to the book of Romans. As Luther snorts “Dr. Martin Luther will have it so,” – as he said “my will is reason enough.”

  • Grace

    Luther made a change to Romans 3:28 ADDING the word “alone”

    The true version: “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law Romans 3:21

    Martin Luther’s contrived version: Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith “alone” without the deeds of the law.

    No wonder Luther hated the book of James, because it clearly states:

    But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?James 2:20

    For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. James 2:26

    Luther had to deal with works, like it or not – “faith without works is dead” -

    You tell me what a great fuss the Papists are making because the word alone in not in the text of Paul.say right out to him: ‘Dr. Martin Luther will have it so,’.I will have it so, and I order it to be so, and my will is reason enough. I know very well that the word ‘alone’ is not in the Latin or the Greek text (Stoddard J. Rebuilding a Lost Faith. 1922, pp. 101-102; see also Luther M. Amic. Discussion, 1, 127)

    Here we have an example of Martin Luther’s supreme COMMAND to add to the book of Romans. As Luther snorts “Dr. Martin Luther will have it so,” – as he said “my will is reason enough.”

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace, where are you going with this? Really, you have been arguing for faith alone forever on this blog. So how do you take beef with Luther on this one? He was translating and for clarity he translated alone, which is what without works of the law would mean. it merely emphasizes that we are saved without works of the law.
    But are you now arguing that we need works, that faith is not enough?
    Really?

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Grace, where are you going with this? Really, you have been arguing for faith alone forever on this blog. So how do you take beef with Luther on this one? He was translating and for clarity he translated alone, which is what without works of the law would mean. it merely emphasizes that we are saved without works of the law.
    But are you now arguing that we need works, that faith is not enough?
    Really?

  • Grace

    Bror -

    Faith without works is dead!

  • Grace

    Bror -

    Faith without works is dead!

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    grace @ 313

    context!

    You quoted earlier this fuller context:

    “20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?James 2 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. James 2:26″

    James is saying here that faith is to works as the body is to breath. that is what he says the relationship is. We check to see if someone is alive or not by seeing if they are breathing. That is what James is saying is true about works.

    So here is what seems like the obvious question. What do you do if someone is not breathing? Encourage them to breathe? Tell them that they are sinning by not breathing? tell people who have difficulty breathing to just try harder to breathe more? Where do you want to take that analogy Grace?

    “For as the body without spirit is dead” is clearer translated “for as the body without breath is dead”. You can check other english translations to verify I am not playing games with the text here dear Grace.

    Curious Grace: what do you do with james 2:24. you seemed to skip over it. where james says “see , you are made righteousness by your works and not by faith”. What do you do with that. I am not trying to make any point at all here. Just curious. And I already know what Matthew Henry says. I want to know what YOU think. Thanks

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    grace @ 313

    context!

    You quoted earlier this fuller context:

    “20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?James 2 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. James 2:26″

    James is saying here that faith is to works as the body is to breath. that is what he says the relationship is. We check to see if someone is alive or not by seeing if they are breathing. That is what James is saying is true about works.

    So here is what seems like the obvious question. What do you do if someone is not breathing? Encourage them to breathe? Tell them that they are sinning by not breathing? tell people who have difficulty breathing to just try harder to breathe more? Where do you want to take that analogy Grace?

    “For as the body without spirit is dead” is clearer translated “for as the body without breath is dead”. You can check other english translations to verify I am not playing games with the text here dear Grace.

    Curious Grace: what do you do with james 2:24. you seemed to skip over it. where james says “see , you are made righteousness by your works and not by faith”. What do you do with that. I am not trying to make any point at all here. Just curious. And I already know what Matthew Henry says. I want to know what YOU think. Thanks

  • Grace

    - – “Curious Grace: what do you do with james 2:24. you seemed to skip over it. where james says “see , you are made righteousness by your works and not by faith”. What do you do with that.”

    One is saved by FAITH, but then …….. where are the works, if you truly believe? – what did Jesus say that Believers should do? Are they works? What are they if you love HIM?

    17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

    18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

    19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

    20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?James 2

    21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?

    22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?

    23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.

    * * * 24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

    25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?

    26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. James 2

    What do you do with James 2:24, – - – YOU BELIEVE IT!

    By faith are you saved, but if you have no works????? you figure it out – that was one of Martin Luther’s problems.

  • Grace

    - – “Curious Grace: what do you do with james 2:24. you seemed to skip over it. where james says “see , you are made righteousness by your works and not by faith”. What do you do with that.”

    One is saved by FAITH, but then …….. where are the works, if you truly believe? – what did Jesus say that Believers should do? Are they works? What are they if you love HIM?

    17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

    18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

    19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

    20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?James 2

    21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?

    22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?

    23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.

    * * * 24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

    25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?

    26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. James 2

    What do you do with James 2:24, – - – YOU BELIEVE IT!

    By faith are you saved, but if you have no works????? you figure it out – that was one of Martin Luther’s problems.

  • Louis

    Grace, really, to throw people’s questions back in their faces as you have done several times here is very bad form. To enter a debate, make statements, and then refuse to answer the majority of questions, and to constantly go off topic, is not very good either. Sure, it is your choice. But good manners, even if just in debating, should not be discarded. And to top it all off, as soon as somebody takes you to task, or answers kind with kind, you claim offense and get on your high horse. I implore you Grace, discard those tactics, and enter into honest, forthright debate. You’ll find you’ll quickly garner a lot of respect, even in disagreement.

  • Louis

    Grace, really, to throw people’s questions back in their faces as you have done several times here is very bad form. To enter a debate, make statements, and then refuse to answer the majority of questions, and to constantly go off topic, is not very good either. Sure, it is your choice. But good manners, even if just in debating, should not be discarded. And to top it all off, as soon as somebody takes you to task, or answers kind with kind, you claim offense and get on your high horse. I implore you Grace, discard those tactics, and enter into honest, forthright debate. You’ll find you’ll quickly garner a lot of respect, even in disagreement.

  • Grace

    Louis, – you have asked questions off topic, and then taken them from thread to thread, asking for an answer.

    If bowing to you, answering your questions over and over will garner your respect – keep it, I don’t need it.

    Many questions you pose, I don’t agree with. Grow up Louis, accept the fact – people don’t agree.

    Take care -

  • Grace

    Louis, – you have asked questions off topic, and then taken them from thread to thread, asking for an answer.

    If bowing to you, answering your questions over and over will garner your respect – keep it, I don’t need it.

    Many questions you pose, I don’t agree with. Grow up Louis, accept the fact – people don’t agree.

    Take care -

  • ptl

    Grace 101

    Team Robo-Lutheran 0

    as per FWS much earlier (in a better mood?)….you go girl :)

    Louis really, what are you talking about? Although may not be 101% in agreement with Grace, but she does a pretty fine job of answering the pertinent questions….in my opiniion, as good as the good ole Lutheran boys :)

  • ptl

    Grace 101

    Team Robo-Lutheran 0

    as per FWS much earlier (in a better mood?)….you go girl :)

    Louis really, what are you talking about? Although may not be 101% in agreement with Grace, but she does a pretty fine job of answering the pertinent questions….in my opiniion, as good as the good ole Lutheran boys :)

  • Louis

    Grace – the question leads into the topic. And you did not answer my question, once. Actually, you rarely answer any questions – as soon as they get difficult, you change the subject. Todd showed above very clearly that you are not interested in discussion.

    Well, I hope you have a good nights’ rest. One of these bright days, I hope you’ll actually enter the discussion properly. I’m looking forward to it.

  • Louis

    Grace – the question leads into the topic. And you did not answer my question, once. Actually, you rarely answer any questions – as soon as they get difficult, you change the subject. Todd showed above very clearly that you are not interested in discussion.

    Well, I hope you have a good nights’ rest. One of these bright days, I hope you’ll actually enter the discussion properly. I’m looking forward to it.

  • Louis

    ptl – lay off the juice.

  • Louis

    ptl – lay off the juice.

  • Grace

    BOO HO – has everyone heard the news Grace hasn’t answered Louis questions to agree with him…. O my, it’s tootin hoot, we need to have a BOO HO party!

  • Grace

    BOO HO – has everyone heard the news Grace hasn’t answered Louis questions to agree with him…. O my, it’s tootin hoot, we need to have a BOO HO party!

  • Grace

    Hey Louis – 320 “lay off the juice.”

    You have more nerve than I thought. PTL makes a point and you attack like a 5 year old who has lost their ba ba.

  • Grace

    Hey Louis – 320 “lay off the juice.”

    You have more nerve than I thought. PTL makes a point and you attack like a 5 year old who has lost their ba ba.

  • ptl

    Louis….YOU may think tODD made his point very clearly, but in my opinion it sounded quite juvenile, sorry to say, if not a bit in the spirit of a kind of blog stalker type, what with taking the time to look up all those petty details….but perhaps that style appeals to you? Please say it isn’t so….not from someone who enjoys the magnanimity and class of someone like Chesterson :)

  • ptl

    Louis….YOU may think tODD made his point very clearly, but in my opinion it sounded quite juvenile, sorry to say, if not a bit in the spirit of a kind of blog stalker type, what with taking the time to look up all those petty details….but perhaps that style appeals to you? Please say it isn’t so….not from someone who enjoys the magnanimity and class of someone like Chesterson :)

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Oh, look, yet another issue that Grace will discuss (@311) that, once again, isn’t John 20:23.

    Because Grace doesn’t understand John 20:23, so she is intent on discrediting Martin Luther in a surprisingly misguided attempt to rebut Lutherans. Misguided, because she apparently believes, no matter how many times we tell her otherwise, that we agree with everything Luther said.

    But no, Grace has copied and pasted some points she found on a hasty Internet search for dirt on Martin Luther (some of which will turn up some valid points, but most of which is taken out of context or completely misses the point), perhaps from this site or one of the dozens of sites that quotes that site in full. After all, if Grace knew the first thing about Luther and his writings, she wouldn’t be quoting some third-party source, she’d actually quote from Luther’s open letter on translating the Bible, where her quote comes from. But Grace is ignorant of such things, so she foolishly copies and pastes the footnote that tells us she is ignorant of the context of the quote from her anti-Luther site.

    What’s more, Grace is, quite ironically, quoting from a book that details one man’s journey from Protestantism to agnosticism to Catholicism (that would be the Rebuilding a Lost Faith she quotes), even while she rails against Lutherans for being just like Catholics. So she will listen to the Catholics quite readily when it comes to quoting Luther out of context. She listens to many sources that aren’t Scripture.

    I will not rebut Grace’s attacks on Martin Luther, mainly because I don’t care, but also because she has no interest in dialog, as I have already shown. She’s taking her potshots as she can, and let her. Replying to her arguments with any amount of reason or sense will only cause her to repeat herself for a time before she moves on to some other paltry Web source for her attacks. Addressing her points is a waste of both your and her time.

    Poor Grace. Haunted by a man who died many centuries ago. And still unable to believe what Jesus says in John 20:23.

    But maybe there’s another anti-Luther Web site you can find out there to put your conscience at ease, eh, Grace?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Oh, look, yet another issue that Grace will discuss (@311) that, once again, isn’t John 20:23.

    Because Grace doesn’t understand John 20:23, so she is intent on discrediting Martin Luther in a surprisingly misguided attempt to rebut Lutherans. Misguided, because she apparently believes, no matter how many times we tell her otherwise, that we agree with everything Luther said.

    But no, Grace has copied and pasted some points she found on a hasty Internet search for dirt on Martin Luther (some of which will turn up some valid points, but most of which is taken out of context or completely misses the point), perhaps from this site or one of the dozens of sites that quotes that site in full. After all, if Grace knew the first thing about Luther and his writings, she wouldn’t be quoting some third-party source, she’d actually quote from Luther’s open letter on translating the Bible, where her quote comes from. But Grace is ignorant of such things, so she foolishly copies and pastes the footnote that tells us she is ignorant of the context of the quote from her anti-Luther site.

    What’s more, Grace is, quite ironically, quoting from a book that details one man’s journey from Protestantism to agnosticism to Catholicism (that would be the Rebuilding a Lost Faith she quotes), even while she rails against Lutherans for being just like Catholics. So she will listen to the Catholics quite readily when it comes to quoting Luther out of context. She listens to many sources that aren’t Scripture.

    I will not rebut Grace’s attacks on Martin Luther, mainly because I don’t care, but also because she has no interest in dialog, as I have already shown. She’s taking her potshots as she can, and let her. Replying to her arguments with any amount of reason or sense will only cause her to repeat herself for a time before she moves on to some other paltry Web source for her attacks. Addressing her points is a waste of both your and her time.

    Poor Grace. Haunted by a man who died many centuries ago. And still unable to believe what Jesus says in John 20:23.

    But maybe there’s another anti-Luther Web site you can find out there to put your conscience at ease, eh, Grace?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    grace @313 & Ptl @323

    “What do you do with James 2:24, – – – YOU BELIEVE IT!
    By faith are you saved, but if you have no works????? you figure it out – that was one of Martin Luther’s problems.”

    I do believe it Grace! It is specifically something that the Lutheran Confessions teach.. The Lutheran Confessions do teach that in the Earthly Kingdom both believer and pagan are justified or are truly righteous by works of the law to the complete exclusion of faith. And further, there is nothng you or I can do here on earth that a fullblown pagan can not also do just as well right? This fully includes faith and repentance. Pagans do have faith and they also have repentance and feel sorry for their sins and amend their lives without God. Alcoholics Anonymous is chock full of people like that right? And for many of them god=’Group Of Drunks’. So don´t let the literature fool ya eh?

    Could this be the thing that we all agree on? This: God requires here on earth that everyone justifies themselves according to what they do. If so that is a great place to start a discussion. Todd and Bror and Dr Veith and Louis and all Lutherans believe this Grace.

    So maybe we all got off on the wrong foot and need to just focus on the law here and forget absolution and Luther and M Henry and all that for now? What say you?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    grace @313 & Ptl @323

    “What do you do with James 2:24, – – – YOU BELIEVE IT!
    By faith are you saved, but if you have no works????? you figure it out – that was one of Martin Luther’s problems.”

    I do believe it Grace! It is specifically something that the Lutheran Confessions teach.. The Lutheran Confessions do teach that in the Earthly Kingdom both believer and pagan are justified or are truly righteous by works of the law to the complete exclusion of faith. And further, there is nothng you or I can do here on earth that a fullblown pagan can not also do just as well right? This fully includes faith and repentance. Pagans do have faith and they also have repentance and feel sorry for their sins and amend their lives without God. Alcoholics Anonymous is chock full of people like that right? And for many of them god=’Group Of Drunks’. So don´t let the literature fool ya eh?

    Could this be the thing that we all agree on? This: God requires here on earth that everyone justifies themselves according to what they do. If so that is a great place to start a discussion. Todd and Bror and Dr Veith and Louis and all Lutherans believe this Grace.

    So maybe we all got off on the wrong foot and need to just focus on the law here and forget absolution and Luther and M Henry and all that for now? What say you?

  • Louis

    ptl – I forgot the :) in my comment at 320. sorry.

  • Louis

    ptl – I forgot the :) in my comment at 320. sorry.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Louis @ 326

    Grace and Ptl want Christ as example. You know what I mean here brother and am suggesting. Let´s allow them to have a feast of that.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Louis @ 326

    Grace and Ptl want Christ as example. You know what I mean here brother and am suggesting. Let´s allow them to have a feast of that.

  • Louis

    fws – True. I’ll ignore the … hubub maybe? .. in future. But the old Adam is rebelling very much at the thought.

  • Louis

    fws – True. I’ll ignore the … hubub maybe? .. in future. But the old Adam is rebelling very much at the thought.

  • Louis

    Maybe I should state the reason for my question to Grace: She very much stands in the “Me and my Bible alone” school of thought. This is a very problematic point, for 3 reasons:

    1. Historically, it would mean that she would not have claim to the Bible at all. The Bible was written, and importantly, defined (such as at the Council of Carthage), by a community, known as the Church. The individual believer had to give credence to the leadership of the Council (same as with Nicea, Chalcedon and others). Prior to the enlightenment, the individualism which she claims did not exist. Even Luther worked within th context of a community of faith – we tend to read history through our own modern lenses, but if you go into it, there was centuries of preparation for Luther, including men like Nicholas of Cusa and others.
    2. If we stick to me and my bible alone (solo, not sola), we tend to read it through our own lenses, be they modernist or postmodernist etc. – thus we are not aware of the precoceptions we bring to the Text. A modernist epistemology brings different meanings to the text alltogether.
    3. Self deception: For nothing is as easy, since we can convinve ourselves as to the leading of the Holy Spirit. I was part of such “movings” – I know.

    There it is.

  • Louis

    Maybe I should state the reason for my question to Grace: She very much stands in the “Me and my Bible alone” school of thought. This is a very problematic point, for 3 reasons:

    1. Historically, it would mean that she would not have claim to the Bible at all. The Bible was written, and importantly, defined (such as at the Council of Carthage), by a community, known as the Church. The individual believer had to give credence to the leadership of the Council (same as with Nicea, Chalcedon and others). Prior to the enlightenment, the individualism which she claims did not exist. Even Luther worked within th context of a community of faith – we tend to read history through our own modern lenses, but if you go into it, there was centuries of preparation for Luther, including men like Nicholas of Cusa and others.
    2. If we stick to me and my bible alone (solo, not sola), we tend to read it through our own lenses, be they modernist or postmodernist etc. – thus we are not aware of the precoceptions we bring to the Text. A modernist epistemology brings different meanings to the text alltogether.
    3. Self deception: For nothing is as easy, since we can convinve ourselves as to the leading of the Holy Spirit. I was part of such “movings” – I know.

    There it is.

  • kerner

    ptl @254:

    I know this is reaching back a ways, but I stand by my conclusion that grace sees little or no value (and quite probably she sees harm) in the practice of Christians (especially clergy) telling other Christians that their sins are forgiven. I wasn’t refering to her comment @231 in which she implied that God’s Word should be enough. She later @259 questioned whether I study my Bible in response to my position that my pastor and fellow Christians telling me that my sins are forgiven is important. This leads me to believe that, when it comes to finding the comfort of the Gospel, assurance that your sins are forgiven, Grace belives that the Bible is very important, but she thinks that the body of believers, aka “the Church”, is unimportant, maybe even worthless or harmful.

    (Not trying to put words in you mouth, Grace, I left my crystal ball at home today. Feel free to jump in to correct me of clarify)

    You also guessed we wouldn’t hear any more on this topic from Grace. I don’t know if we are still on topic, but we sure are still hearing from Grace.

    I am getting the impression, ptl, that you object to the tone of the discussion here. I understand why you would. The bonds of civility are sometimes, er, strained. I try to avoid crossing the line myself, but I know I’m sometimes guilty of doing it.

    Am I right when I get the impression that one of the reasons you have been kind of rooting for Grace on this thread is that you regard the rest of us as a bunch of rude overbearing know-it-alls?

    Well, I hope chivalry isn’t completely dead, but it seems to me that Grace thrives in this environment. She is certainly capable of giving as good as she gets.

  • kerner

    ptl @254:

    I know this is reaching back a ways, but I stand by my conclusion that grace sees little or no value (and quite probably she sees harm) in the practice of Christians (especially clergy) telling other Christians that their sins are forgiven. I wasn’t refering to her comment @231 in which she implied that God’s Word should be enough. She later @259 questioned whether I study my Bible in response to my position that my pastor and fellow Christians telling me that my sins are forgiven is important. This leads me to believe that, when it comes to finding the comfort of the Gospel, assurance that your sins are forgiven, Grace belives that the Bible is very important, but she thinks that the body of believers, aka “the Church”, is unimportant, maybe even worthless or harmful.

    (Not trying to put words in you mouth, Grace, I left my crystal ball at home today. Feel free to jump in to correct me of clarify)

    You also guessed we wouldn’t hear any more on this topic from Grace. I don’t know if we are still on topic, but we sure are still hearing from Grace.

    I am getting the impression, ptl, that you object to the tone of the discussion here. I understand why you would. The bonds of civility are sometimes, er, strained. I try to avoid crossing the line myself, but I know I’m sometimes guilty of doing it.

    Am I right when I get the impression that one of the reasons you have been kind of rooting for Grace on this thread is that you regard the rest of us as a bunch of rude overbearing know-it-alls?

    Well, I hope chivalry isn’t completely dead, but it seems to me that Grace thrives in this environment. She is certainly capable of giving as good as she gets.

  • kerner

    oops. I meant that I WAS referring to Grace’s comment at 231.

  • kerner

    oops. I meant that I WAS referring to Grace’s comment at 231.

  • Grace

    I believe very strongly in the Church, and the body of Christ. Anyone who believes the church isn’t important hasn’t read God’s Word.

    Church discipline is important, but too often not instituted for a number of reasons, which in my opinion is a cancer within the church body. Today we have a great many sins that are openly public, whether its adultery, living together without marriage, homosexuality, and abortion. Some churches are firm regarding sinful practices, within their congregations, and others overlook it, or rather not deal with it. The Bible is clear how the situation should be treated, but it falls too often, on deaf ears. This is most likely because the world at large doesn’t embrace what God has made clear in His Word.

    It’s a shame when those who are Believers, are not able to trust in the LORD and believe with all their heart, they have been forgiven of their sins, after praying to God for forgiveness. It’s a trusting, belief issue in God to question His forgiveness when we humbly come to Him in contrition of our sins.

    The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. Psalms 34:18

    Giving my views (from your point of view) with a NEW TWIST, to offer more fodder for discussion is of no value. Trying to STUMP me or anyone else, by playing a QUESTION game to ad nauseum, isn’t fruitful.

  • Grace

    I believe very strongly in the Church, and the body of Christ. Anyone who believes the church isn’t important hasn’t read God’s Word.

    Church discipline is important, but too often not instituted for a number of reasons, which in my opinion is a cancer within the church body. Today we have a great many sins that are openly public, whether its adultery, living together without marriage, homosexuality, and abortion. Some churches are firm regarding sinful practices, within their congregations, and others overlook it, or rather not deal with it. The Bible is clear how the situation should be treated, but it falls too often, on deaf ears. This is most likely because the world at large doesn’t embrace what God has made clear in His Word.

    It’s a shame when those who are Believers, are not able to trust in the LORD and believe with all their heart, they have been forgiven of their sins, after praying to God for forgiveness. It’s a trusting, belief issue in God to question His forgiveness when we humbly come to Him in contrition of our sins.

    The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. Psalms 34:18

    Giving my views (from your point of view) with a NEW TWIST, to offer more fodder for discussion is of no value. Trying to STUMP me or anyone else, by playing a QUESTION game to ad nauseum, isn’t fruitful.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    so how does the church exercise discipline if it cannot retain sins? How does that work Grace?

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    so how does the church exercise discipline if it cannot retain sins? How does that work Grace?

  • kerner

    Grace @257

    “Church discipline is another situation — one that is practiced in most churches.”

    Well, actually, I think I Corinthians 5 is probably a very practical example of disciples refusing to confer forgiveness as per Jesus’ statement in John 20:23. Basicly, if someone is so clearly and obviously not repenting of something, the Church, or, as you admit, most churches, have a duty to declare that such a person is not repentant, not a Christian, not forgiven. I haven’t really read anything about this, and I’m always a little uncomfortalbe with just interpreting scripture off the top of my head, but church discipline seems to me to mesh with John 20:23 pretty well.

    Another passage that seems to mesh pretty well is James 5:15-16 (As long as we have gotten James into the discussion):

    “And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”

    So, confession and prayer with other Christians yields healing and forgiveness? This leads me to conclude that the Church has an important function after all.

    Which is not to say that the Bible is unimportant. I just don’t see why it has to be an either/or situation. I think God uses the Bible and the Church to do His work. John 20:23, ICor. 5, and James 5:15-16 are just examples of how that works.

  • kerner

    Grace @257

    “Church discipline is another situation — one that is practiced in most churches.”

    Well, actually, I think I Corinthians 5 is probably a very practical example of disciples refusing to confer forgiveness as per Jesus’ statement in John 20:23. Basicly, if someone is so clearly and obviously not repenting of something, the Church, or, as you admit, most churches, have a duty to declare that such a person is not repentant, not a Christian, not forgiven. I haven’t really read anything about this, and I’m always a little uncomfortalbe with just interpreting scripture off the top of my head, but church discipline seems to me to mesh with John 20:23 pretty well.

    Another passage that seems to mesh pretty well is James 5:15-16 (As long as we have gotten James into the discussion):

    “And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”

    So, confession and prayer with other Christians yields healing and forgiveness? This leads me to conclude that the Church has an important function after all.

    Which is not to say that the Bible is unimportant. I just don’t see why it has to be an either/or situation. I think God uses the Bible and the Church to do His work. John 20:23, ICor. 5, and James 5:15-16 are just examples of how that works.

  • kerner

    Oh you’re still there. Great. I’m not trying to play let’s stump Grace. I’m just trying to suggest that if the Church has the authority to exercise discipline, the other side to that coin is absolution. Declaring in the name of the Lord who is forgiven and who is not, as per John 20:23, is part of what Christ’s disciples, the Church, are supposed to do.

    Now this authority can be, and throughout history certainly has been, misused. But that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist.

  • kerner

    Oh you’re still there. Great. I’m not trying to play let’s stump Grace. I’m just trying to suggest that if the Church has the authority to exercise discipline, the other side to that coin is absolution. Declaring in the name of the Lord who is forgiven and who is not, as per John 20:23, is part of what Christ’s disciples, the Church, are supposed to do.

    Now this authority can be, and throughout history certainly has been, misused. But that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist.

  • Grace

    9 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:
    10 Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world.
    11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.
    12 For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within?
    13 But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.
    1 Corinthians 5

    This is the passage that Kerner has brought forth and I agree. Sin in the church most often is apparent, it is not always hidden. Those who sin openly aren’t hard to miss. Of course the church body can be fooled with secret sin.

    Those who are pastors, elders have a responsibility to confront the individual and question their behavior, they can admit to it, or deny it. If there is proof of guilt, and the person denies it, OR believes they have every right to (example) adultery, living with someone without marriage, or homosexuality, there is no other recourse but to cut them off from the church body.

  • Grace

    9 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:
    10 Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world.
    11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.
    12 For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within?
    13 But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.
    1 Corinthians 5

    This is the passage that Kerner has brought forth and I agree. Sin in the church most often is apparent, it is not always hidden. Those who sin openly aren’t hard to miss. Of course the church body can be fooled with secret sin.

    Those who are pastors, elders have a responsibility to confront the individual and question their behavior, they can admit to it, or deny it. If there is proof of guilt, and the person denies it, OR believes they have every right to (example) adultery, living with someone without marriage, or homosexuality, there is no other recourse but to cut them off from the church body.

  • ptl

    From the Sermon at the top of it all:

    ” Crippled and left to die by sin. Wholly dependent on the mercy of God. And so we pray: Lord, have mercy.

    And He does. Always.”

    Note…ALWAYS! Perhaps, just perhaps that’s why some folks prefer Jesus over a Pastor? You never know, that Pastor might retain that sin, depending of course on their definition of a sin, which in today’s world with all the extremely controversial issues, it would not be hard to imagine. Well, can’t speak for everyone.

    “The cross which shows us who God truly is, what God has done for you, and how much God loves you. So that we never have to guess or assume the mind of God – the cross is the mind of God. Who came for you, to die for you, to forgive you. . . .”

    Just kind of an amplification of the first comment, with the additional comfort that we never need to assume the mind of God and his desire to forgive…..always!

    ” Is this not the love of Christ living in Lazarus’ heart?

    That is the love that has been given to you. By the one who did cross the chasm – the only one who could – and served you who were dead in your trespasses and sins, to raise you to a new life in Him. A new life of faith and forgiveness, and of love and service – even to those who sin against you.”

    Come on guys….show us, and amazing Grace, the love!

    Peace out…….

  • ptl

    From the Sermon at the top of it all:

    ” Crippled and left to die by sin. Wholly dependent on the mercy of God. And so we pray: Lord, have mercy.

    And He does. Always.”

    Note…ALWAYS! Perhaps, just perhaps that’s why some folks prefer Jesus over a Pastor? You never know, that Pastor might retain that sin, depending of course on their definition of a sin, which in today’s world with all the extremely controversial issues, it would not be hard to imagine. Well, can’t speak for everyone.

    “The cross which shows us who God truly is, what God has done for you, and how much God loves you. So that we never have to guess or assume the mind of God – the cross is the mind of God. Who came for you, to die for you, to forgive you. . . .”

    Just kind of an amplification of the first comment, with the additional comfort that we never need to assume the mind of God and his desire to forgive…..always!

    ” Is this not the love of Christ living in Lazarus’ heart?

    That is the love that has been given to you. By the one who did cross the chasm – the only one who could – and served you who were dead in your trespasses and sins, to raise you to a new life in Him. A new life of faith and forgiveness, and of love and service – even to those who sin against you.”

    Come on guys….show us, and amazing Grace, the love!

    Peace out…….

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    ptl,
    fear of the pastor is indeed the biggest reason for the decline of confession and absolution. However, when a person comes and confesses their sin to the pastor that is a pretty good sign they are repentant of it, and the pastor is all but obligated to forgive. It has nothing to do with what he considers to be a sin or not, but what the penitent considers to be a sin. Even if it can’t be shown to be a sin Biblically, if it is sin to the person it is still sin, though if he can’t show it from the Bible he is bound to keep it to himself and not go after others with it.

    I want to rip into you at this point ptl. forgive me, would you?
    I’ll just say, if what you want is “love,” you have an odd way of trying to get it. And you might yourself try to be a bit more charitable in your posts…

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    ptl,
    fear of the pastor is indeed the biggest reason for the decline of confession and absolution. However, when a person comes and confesses their sin to the pastor that is a pretty good sign they are repentant of it, and the pastor is all but obligated to forgive. It has nothing to do with what he considers to be a sin or not, but what the penitent considers to be a sin. Even if it can’t be shown to be a sin Biblically, if it is sin to the person it is still sin, though if he can’t show it from the Bible he is bound to keep it to himself and not go after others with it.

    I want to rip into you at this point ptl. forgive me, would you?
    I’ll just say, if what you want is “love,” you have an odd way of trying to get it. And you might yourself try to be a bit more charitable in your posts…

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    I think it’s fascinating, Grace (@336), that you’re willing to listen to God’s Word when it comes to the church “cutting off” people who are unrepentant sinners, but not when it comes to announcing forgiveness.

    Because, of course, the authority to do both comes from John 20:23. You can’t read 1 Corinthians 5 without acknowledging where Paul gets the authority to command the Corinthians to cast out the immoral brother, and that is from Jesus’ words that “If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

    Apparently, you have no problem with the church pointing out people’s sins, and even showing them in a very visceral sense the separation from God that their unrepentance has wrought. But forgiveness? People are on their own for that one! The church has nothing to say!

    Of course, I can’t help but notice that your list includes the easy targets. You know, the bad people. Them. Adulterers. Gays.

    What about those who openly deny the words of Jesus? Say, John 20:23? Those sins are also done in the open. At least, they are here. Should the church also cast out such people? Or should the church just shrug and say it’s all a matter of interpretation? Because that seems like a more applicable situation than the, you know, big sexual sins. How should the church deal with you, Grace, and your unrepentant denial of Christ’s words?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    I think it’s fascinating, Grace (@336), that you’re willing to listen to God’s Word when it comes to the church “cutting off” people who are unrepentant sinners, but not when it comes to announcing forgiveness.

    Because, of course, the authority to do both comes from John 20:23. You can’t read 1 Corinthians 5 without acknowledging where Paul gets the authority to command the Corinthians to cast out the immoral brother, and that is from Jesus’ words that “If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

    Apparently, you have no problem with the church pointing out people’s sins, and even showing them in a very visceral sense the separation from God that their unrepentance has wrought. But forgiveness? People are on their own for that one! The church has nothing to say!

    Of course, I can’t help but notice that your list includes the easy targets. You know, the bad people. Them. Adulterers. Gays.

    What about those who openly deny the words of Jesus? Say, John 20:23? Those sins are also done in the open. At least, they are here. Should the church also cast out such people? Or should the church just shrug and say it’s all a matter of interpretation? Because that seems like a more applicable situation than the, you know, big sexual sins. How should the church deal with you, Grace, and your unrepentant denial of Christ’s words?

  • Grace

    tODD,

    You’re stuck, you can’t see it – you want to play father confessor, just like the Roman church. It isn’t there!

    Try as you might, cutting fellowship with a congregant who is sinning openly, has not one thing to do with anyone going to God in prayer, asking forgivness of sin.

    Example: a man or woman has chosen to have an affair, it becomes common knowledge OR, a few people in the Church have found out. Sometimes people jump to conclusions which are false, the person wasn’t doing anything wrong. OR – The individual is confronted, if they deny it, or if they agree they are involved, but make excuses, saying they don’t think it’s wrong, there is nothing left to do, but cut them off. If however, they admit to guilt, praying to God for forgivness, they are forgiven by the ONLY one who can forgive, the LORD!

    And YES, there are sins that are obvious, ….. who would have ever guessed that was hard to figure out.

    Secret sins are another thing –

    There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. 1 Corinthians 10:13

    The reason any of us get into trouble is; we don’t take the Word of God as TRUTH – God does give us an escape, but man often doesn’t want it, they want to indulge in sin.

  • Grace

    tODD,

    You’re stuck, you can’t see it – you want to play father confessor, just like the Roman church. It isn’t there!

    Try as you might, cutting fellowship with a congregant who is sinning openly, has not one thing to do with anyone going to God in prayer, asking forgivness of sin.

    Example: a man or woman has chosen to have an affair, it becomes common knowledge OR, a few people in the Church have found out. Sometimes people jump to conclusions which are false, the person wasn’t doing anything wrong. OR – The individual is confronted, if they deny it, or if they agree they are involved, but make excuses, saying they don’t think it’s wrong, there is nothing left to do, but cut them off. If however, they admit to guilt, praying to God for forgivness, they are forgiven by the ONLY one who can forgive, the LORD!

    And YES, there are sins that are obvious, ….. who would have ever guessed that was hard to figure out.

    Secret sins are another thing –

    There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. 1 Corinthians 10:13

    The reason any of us get into trouble is; we don’t take the Word of God as TRUTH – God does give us an escape, but man often doesn’t want it, they want to indulge in sin.

  • ptl

    Bror…forgive you for what, being a cyber bully? Thought had seen it all, but never thought a heated debate would result with in a threat of physical harm. Am guessing that is what you meant with your words “rip into you” otherwise why wouldn’t you have just “unloaded” on me with more comments? Am happy to forgive you, but also would like a clarification, for my own peace of mind. Thank you!

  • ptl

    Bror…forgive you for what, being a cyber bully? Thought had seen it all, but never thought a heated debate would result with in a threat of physical harm. Am guessing that is what you meant with your words “rip into you” otherwise why wouldn’t you have just “unloaded” on me with more comments? Am happy to forgive you, but also would like a clarification, for my own peace of mind. Thank you!

  • Grace

    I read:

    “I want to rip into you at this point ptl. forgive me, would you?”

    – - – because my husband is in our home office today, I asked him to read it too. This is over the line, it reeks of hate, and a declaration to do harm.

    That was a vicious statement, one I would take seriously,….. it reeks of cyber stalking and harm to another person.

  • Grace

    I read:

    “I want to rip into you at this point ptl. forgive me, would you?”

    – - – because my husband is in our home office today, I asked him to read it too. This is over the line, it reeks of hate, and a declaration to do harm.

    That was a vicious statement, one I would take seriously,….. it reeks of cyber stalking and harm to another person.

  • kerner

    ptl: peace back to you.

    Grace:

    This is not a trick question or a game or an attempt to twist what you say, but it IS my opinion that is partly based on what you just said.

    I Cor. 5 is one part of John 20:23 in practice. Declaring is Christ’s name, that unrepentant sinners are not forgiven, hence unsaved.

    But Christians are sinners too. We sin every day. The difference is that we repent and turn to God for His mercy for Christ’s sake. You are right when you argue that we could just turn to God, go straight to the top, so to speak, when we repent. If I were marooned on a desert island and never confessed to or received absolution from another Christian for the rest of my life, I would still be forgiven.

    But I think that the point of John 20:23 and James 5:15-16, and other verses quoted above is that God doesn’t want me to operate that way under normal conditions. Ordinarily, He wants me to confess my sinful condition, and actual sins (at least generally, if not specifically) to one or more other Christians, and be told and reassured in Christ’s name that my sins are forgiven. Sure, this very thing is written in God’s Word, but I believe that it helps me in all kinds of ways for me to say it out loud and hear it back out loud. Maybe this is because of my own human weakness, but all humans are subject to that. These Bible passages seem to me to indicate that I should, and it certainly doesn’t do any harm.

    Because we believe that God wants us to confess to each other and receive a word of forgiveness on a recurring basis, we have built it right into our worship service. There are Lutherans who think we should privately confess a lot more than we do, but private confession has been considered voluntary for as long as I can remember, and it is rare in practise.

    In our worship services, however, we typically address God, confess to God (along with the pastor) that we are all (including the pastor) sinful and that we have sinned in fact. Generally, there is a moment of silence so we can mentally confess anything specific on our consciences. After we have all confessed, the pastor turns toward us and assures us of God’s grace and mercy and “in the stead of Jesus Christ and by His authority” forgives us our sins. The pastor is not an intermediary. He is only, as Bror called him, a mouthpiece for Christ, saying what God’s word already says.

    I would like you to admit, because it is true, that this is not what Catholics do, nor is it done for the same reasons they do what they do.

    But if you’ve got some other problems with what we do, let’s hear them .

  • kerner

    ptl: peace back to you.

    Grace:

    This is not a trick question or a game or an attempt to twist what you say, but it IS my opinion that is partly based on what you just said.

    I Cor. 5 is one part of John 20:23 in practice. Declaring is Christ’s name, that unrepentant sinners are not forgiven, hence unsaved.

    But Christians are sinners too. We sin every day. The difference is that we repent and turn to God for His mercy for Christ’s sake. You are right when you argue that we could just turn to God, go straight to the top, so to speak, when we repent. If I were marooned on a desert island and never confessed to or received absolution from another Christian for the rest of my life, I would still be forgiven.

    But I think that the point of John 20:23 and James 5:15-16, and other verses quoted above is that God doesn’t want me to operate that way under normal conditions. Ordinarily, He wants me to confess my sinful condition, and actual sins (at least generally, if not specifically) to one or more other Christians, and be told and reassured in Christ’s name that my sins are forgiven. Sure, this very thing is written in God’s Word, but I believe that it helps me in all kinds of ways for me to say it out loud and hear it back out loud. Maybe this is because of my own human weakness, but all humans are subject to that. These Bible passages seem to me to indicate that I should, and it certainly doesn’t do any harm.

    Because we believe that God wants us to confess to each other and receive a word of forgiveness on a recurring basis, we have built it right into our worship service. There are Lutherans who think we should privately confess a lot more than we do, but private confession has been considered voluntary for as long as I can remember, and it is rare in practise.

    In our worship services, however, we typically address God, confess to God (along with the pastor) that we are all (including the pastor) sinful and that we have sinned in fact. Generally, there is a moment of silence so we can mentally confess anything specific on our consciences. After we have all confessed, the pastor turns toward us and assures us of God’s grace and mercy and “in the stead of Jesus Christ and by His authority” forgives us our sins. The pastor is not an intermediary. He is only, as Bror called him, a mouthpiece for Christ, saying what God’s word already says.

    I would like you to admit, because it is true, that this is not what Catholics do, nor is it done for the same reasons they do what they do.

    But if you’ve got some other problems with what we do, let’s hear them .

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace, you lament (@340) that “we don’t take the Word of God as TRUTH”, and yet, there you are, denying the truth of John 20:23. You won’t address it, and you’ll discuss anything but what it says, but there it is. It will not go away.

    Your own words condemn you: “The individual is confronted, … if they agree they are involved, but make excuses, saying they don’t think it’s wrong, there is nothing left to do, but cut them off.”

    Yup, let’s see, I’ve confronted you about the way you blatantly ignore Jesus’ teaching in John 20:23. You agree that you are ignoring what he says by your comments here, but you make excuses, saying you don’t think it’s wrong to ignore some of what Jesus said. So what is left to do? What should I announce to you, according to your own logic?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace, you lament (@340) that “we don’t take the Word of God as TRUTH”, and yet, there you are, denying the truth of John 20:23. You won’t address it, and you’ll discuss anything but what it says, but there it is. It will not go away.

    Your own words condemn you: “The individual is confronted, … if they agree they are involved, but make excuses, saying they don’t think it’s wrong, there is nothing left to do, but cut them off.”

    Yup, let’s see, I’ve confronted you about the way you blatantly ignore Jesus’ teaching in John 20:23. You agree that you are ignoring what he says by your comments here, but you make excuses, saying you don’t think it’s wrong to ignore some of what Jesus said. So what is left to do? What should I announce to you, according to your own logic?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    And, for the idiomatically challenged, I’d like to offer, as a free service, this definition of “rip into” copied and pasted from an online dictionary:

    Phrasal Verbs:
    rip into
    To attack or criticize vehemently: ripped into her opponent’s political record.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    And, for the idiomatically challenged, I’d like to offer, as a free service, this definition of “rip into” copied and pasted from an online dictionary:

    Phrasal Verbs:
    rip into
    To attack or criticize vehemently: ripped into her opponent’s political record.

  • kerner

    Grace @340:

    “The reason any of us get into trouble is: we don’t take God’s Word as TRUTH.”

    Boy do I agree with you there.

    Do you realize what a HUGE opening you just gave me to put a TWIST (as you call it) on what you just said?

    But I won’t.

  • kerner

    Grace @340:

    “The reason any of us get into trouble is: we don’t take God’s Word as TRUTH.”

    Boy do I agree with you there.

    Do you realize what a HUGE opening you just gave me to put a TWIST (as you call it) on what you just said?

    But I won’t.

  • kerner

    Too late, tODD went for it.

  • kerner

    Too late, tODD went for it.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    ptl
    I assure you I was not threatening bodily harm. If you think I was barraging you, well I don’t know what to say for you. Cyber Bullying?
    Hmmm. Lets just say I consider that at this point to be a very unfair accusation. I don’t normally accuse people of passive aggressiveness. But really your antics here are as dishonest and uncivil as they get. I do recommend for you, and you thin skin, weak heart etc. That you just leave the conversation. It is the best pastoral advice I can give.
    You are the first person I have ever run into who considers “Rip into” a threat of bodily harm. Believe me what I said to you was tame compared to what I wanted to say. and even at this point I’m tempering myself. Perhaps it is I just got back from doing a couple hospital calls and am just in a calmer mood after having communed.
    I will in the future refrain from being tempered with you or taking your thin skin, or “weak” conscience into account when responding to your posts. and yes I wrote that just how I meant it.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    ptl
    I assure you I was not threatening bodily harm. If you think I was barraging you, well I don’t know what to say for you. Cyber Bullying?
    Hmmm. Lets just say I consider that at this point to be a very unfair accusation. I don’t normally accuse people of passive aggressiveness. But really your antics here are as dishonest and uncivil as they get. I do recommend for you, and you thin skin, weak heart etc. That you just leave the conversation. It is the best pastoral advice I can give.
    You are the first person I have ever run into who considers “Rip into” a threat of bodily harm. Believe me what I said to you was tame compared to what I wanted to say. and even at this point I’m tempering myself. Perhaps it is I just got back from doing a couple hospital calls and am just in a calmer mood after having communed.
    I will in the future refrain from being tempered with you or taking your thin skin, or “weak” conscience into account when responding to your posts. and yes I wrote that just how I meant it.

  • Grace

    Bror – 348

    ” But really your antics here are as dishonest and uncivil as they get. I do recommend for you, and you thin skin, weak heart etc. That you just leave the conversation. It is the best pastoral advice I can give.”

    The above written to ptl.

    Pastoral? – there is nothing in that post that comes close to “pastoral” – You accuse this person of being “dishonest and uncivil” – - I dare say you are out of line, no matter what your vocation might be, but since you style yourself as a pastor, it’s unbelievable. Being in the company of many pastors all through my life, I am in a position to know this, your words/behavior to ptl are the worst I have ever heard.

    If you ever bellowed those words in the community where I live, to a neighbor, in ear shot of most all residents…. I can guarantee you the police would be called, you would be questioned, as to your motives and intentions, adding to that the comment made earlier above.

  • Grace

    Bror – 348

    ” But really your antics here are as dishonest and uncivil as they get. I do recommend for you, and you thin skin, weak heart etc. That you just leave the conversation. It is the best pastoral advice I can give.”

    The above written to ptl.

    Pastoral? – there is nothing in that post that comes close to “pastoral” – You accuse this person of being “dishonest and uncivil” – - I dare say you are out of line, no matter what your vocation might be, but since you style yourself as a pastor, it’s unbelievable. Being in the company of many pastors all through my life, I am in a position to know this, your words/behavior to ptl are the worst I have ever heard.

    If you ever bellowed those words in the community where I live, to a neighbor, in ear shot of most all residents…. I can guarantee you the police would be called, you would be questioned, as to your motives and intentions, adding to that the comment made earlier above.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    I guess some people would rather act all offended than discuss the topic at hand. Playing the poor, poor victim. Just more fodder for my list (@310), I guess.

    For what it’s worth, last I heard, the police do not keep you safe from being offended, nor do they interpret First-Amendment-protected speech like an ESL student who’s never heard of idiomatic language. But go ahead, Grace. Why not call the police right now. It’s not like you’re going to discuss John 20:23. And if you’re that quick to threaten to turn someone in over the use of non-literal speech, I can only imagine that the police are already quite familiar with you at this point. (“Hi again, Grace. No, Burger King is not threatening you. It’s just an ad. No, we will not send anyone out. Have a nice night.”) Let’s keep those 9-1-1 lines open, what say, and keep our police attending to matters of actual criminal importance. Deal?

    Look, I’ll admit that Bror’s tone sounds pretty piqued right now. I don’t think he should have used the words “dishonest and uncivil” (@348), as they presume too much on PTL’s part.

    But nor do I think PTL is treating others as he would be treated. He asks (@337) for others here to show him and Grace “the love”, but then goes on to read Bror’s comments in the most ridiculously uncharitable light, interpreting Bror’s phrase “rip into” in a way that even a 10-year-old wouldn’t, going on to accuse him of being a “cyber bully”. And, lest we already forget, that phrase was used to announce what Bror’s sinful nature wanted to do, but not what Bror was actually doing; Bror asked for forgiveness for what he was actually thinking.

    Of course, Grace is notably short on forgiveness, in keeping with her argument here, I suppose. But perhaps, PTL, you could go ahead and forgive Bror, like you said you’d be “happy” to (@341), especially given his clarification?

    Hey, speaking of forgiveness, has anyone ever read this verse in the Bible, which I just now found: “If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” It’s from John 20:23. What do you all think it means? I’m curious.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    I guess some people would rather act all offended than discuss the topic at hand. Playing the poor, poor victim. Just more fodder for my list (@310), I guess.

    For what it’s worth, last I heard, the police do not keep you safe from being offended, nor do they interpret First-Amendment-protected speech like an ESL student who’s never heard of idiomatic language. But go ahead, Grace. Why not call the police right now. It’s not like you’re going to discuss John 20:23. And if you’re that quick to threaten to turn someone in over the use of non-literal speech, I can only imagine that the police are already quite familiar with you at this point. (“Hi again, Grace. No, Burger King is not threatening you. It’s just an ad. No, we will not send anyone out. Have a nice night.”) Let’s keep those 9-1-1 lines open, what say, and keep our police attending to matters of actual criminal importance. Deal?

    Look, I’ll admit that Bror’s tone sounds pretty piqued right now. I don’t think he should have used the words “dishonest and uncivil” (@348), as they presume too much on PTL’s part.

    But nor do I think PTL is treating others as he would be treated. He asks (@337) for others here to show him and Grace “the love”, but then goes on to read Bror’s comments in the most ridiculously uncharitable light, interpreting Bror’s phrase “rip into” in a way that even a 10-year-old wouldn’t, going on to accuse him of being a “cyber bully”. And, lest we already forget, that phrase was used to announce what Bror’s sinful nature wanted to do, but not what Bror was actually doing; Bror asked for forgiveness for what he was actually thinking.

    Of course, Grace is notably short on forgiveness, in keeping with her argument here, I suppose. But perhaps, PTL, you could go ahead and forgive Bror, like you said you’d be “happy” to (@341), especially given his clarification?

    Hey, speaking of forgiveness, has anyone ever read this verse in the Bible, which I just now found: “If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” It’s from John 20:23. What do you all think it means? I’m curious.

  • ptl

    tODD……you know the difference between me and you and your kind (using the beloved fws phase)? Nothing! You just don’t like it when your tactics are turned on you! My observation is that you and your kind can dish it out (as your last sarcastic, mocking comment) and we are just supposed to take it. When we try something similar in response, then you cry foul! Of course, you are not going to see it this way, that’s typical of us kind, eh?
    You want me to forgive Bror, in spite of all the nice things he said after his clarification? OK fine, in keeping with the Lutheran tradition of putting the best construction on everything, all is well in that regard and hope that that puts the issue to rest. As for me am never going to use sarcasm and mocking and snarky and witty little jabs on this blog ever again, as proof of my contrition and sorrow. You want to make that pledge too? My guess is we will both struggle with it, but we will be better witnesses to the love and forgiveness and service of our Lord for it…PTL!

  • ptl

    tODD……you know the difference between me and you and your kind (using the beloved fws phase)? Nothing! You just don’t like it when your tactics are turned on you! My observation is that you and your kind can dish it out (as your last sarcastic, mocking comment) and we are just supposed to take it. When we try something similar in response, then you cry foul! Of course, you are not going to see it this way, that’s typical of us kind, eh?
    You want me to forgive Bror, in spite of all the nice things he said after his clarification? OK fine, in keeping with the Lutheran tradition of putting the best construction on everything, all is well in that regard and hope that that puts the issue to rest. As for me am never going to use sarcasm and mocking and snarky and witty little jabs on this blog ever again, as proof of my contrition and sorrow. You want to make that pledge too? My guess is we will both struggle with it, but we will be better witnesses to the love and forgiveness and service of our Lord for it…PTL!

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    PTL,
    Don’t want to speak for tODD, but no there is a difference. tODD and I are given at times to snarkiness, and sarcasm. And I’ll take what I dish there. Infact I at times relish a good snark at my expense.
    What I have little tolerance for is someone feigning offence, and playing weaker brother, trying to act the mediator, and proving himself to be nothing but a dishonest jack@ss. A jack@ss I can get aong with. Hypocritcal legalists? Not so much.
    And btwm grace I don’t fashion myself anything. Fact is I am a pastorn I just have little tolerance for wolves poorly dressed in fleece.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    PTL,
    Don’t want to speak for tODD, but no there is a difference. tODD and I are given at times to snarkiness, and sarcasm. And I’ll take what I dish there. Infact I at times relish a good snark at my expense.
    What I have little tolerance for is someone feigning offence, and playing weaker brother, trying to act the mediator, and proving himself to be nothing but a dishonest jack@ss. A jack@ss I can get aong with. Hypocritcal legalists? Not so much.
    And btwm grace I don’t fashion myself anything. Fact is I am a pastorn I just have little tolerance for wolves poorly dressed in fleece.

  • Grace

    “What I have little tolerance for is someone feigning offence, and playing weaker brother, trying to act the mediator, and proving himself to be nothing but a dishonest jack@ss. A jack@ss I can get aong with. Hypocritcal legalists? Not so much.
    And btwm grace I don’t fashion myself anything. Fact is I am a pastorn I just have little tolerance for wolves poorly dressed in fleece.”

    Your “fleece” has fallen on the floor, no need to pick it up. and try it once again. Your language with the “@” is offensive, but then if that is who you “get along with” who you are, so be it.

  • Grace

    “What I have little tolerance for is someone feigning offence, and playing weaker brother, trying to act the mediator, and proving himself to be nothing but a dishonest jack@ss. A jack@ss I can get aong with. Hypocritcal legalists? Not so much.
    And btwm grace I don’t fashion myself anything. Fact is I am a pastorn I just have little tolerance for wolves poorly dressed in fleece.”

    Your “fleece” has fallen on the floor, no need to pick it up. and try it once again. Your language with the “@” is offensive, but then if that is who you “get along with” who you are, so be it.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    PTL (@351), I honestly have no idea what you’re talking about. I “can dish it out” but not “take it”? Take … what?

    Grace (@353), as ever, any pretext for offense will do for you. Though I wish Bror hadn’t given you that opening, it’s not like you need an invitation to ignore the topic we’re ostensibly discussing here.

    I continue to find your outright denial of the words of Christ to be far more offensive than Bror’s (poor) choice of words. Not that I’m excusing them — though, as Bror noted, such honest brusqueness is at least something “I can get along with.”

    But hey, that’s how legalism goes, right? Nitpick the small points when addressing others, but ignore the Scriptures for yourself.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    PTL (@351), I honestly have no idea what you’re talking about. I “can dish it out” but not “take it”? Take … what?

    Grace (@353), as ever, any pretext for offense will do for you. Though I wish Bror hadn’t given you that opening, it’s not like you need an invitation to ignore the topic we’re ostensibly discussing here.

    I continue to find your outright denial of the words of Christ to be far more offensive than Bror’s (poor) choice of words. Not that I’m excusing them — though, as Bror noted, such honest brusqueness is at least something “I can get along with.”

    But hey, that’s how legalism goes, right? Nitpick the small points when addressing others, but ignore the Scriptures for yourself.

  • ptl

    To quote from the good Pastor’s sermon on Lazarus:

    ” A new life of faith and forgiveness, and of love and service – even to those who sin against you.

    For now, we bear the cross – but it will not always be so. A day of rest is coming for all who are in Christ. ”

    Don’t know about you all, but am going to put this to rest….and as Louis says, go hit the juice :)

  • ptl

    To quote from the good Pastor’s sermon on Lazarus:

    ” A new life of faith and forgiveness, and of love and service – even to those who sin against you.

    For now, we bear the cross – but it will not always be so. A day of rest is coming for all who are in Christ. ”

    Don’t know about you all, but am going to put this to rest….and as Louis says, go hit the juice :)

  • colliebear

    I’ll just say, I like a bit of snarkiness and sarcasm. It’s a very effective tool to convey serious points with humor. I live with the king of sarcasm (my husband). I have learned to appreciate a well placed bit of snark, even at my own expense.

  • colliebear

    I’ll just say, I like a bit of snarkiness and sarcasm. It’s a very effective tool to convey serious points with humor. I live with the king of sarcasm (my husband). I have learned to appreciate a well placed bit of snark, even at my own expense.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Colliebear
    Thanks. I like snarkiness for the same reasons as you. I would though give it up where Grace is concerned if she ever wanted to have an honest conversation on this blog, not to mention one concerning John 20:23. One that wasn’t always trying to change the subject and launching ad hominem attacks at Luther. And might actually take Christ’s words for what they literally say.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Colliebear
    Thanks. I like snarkiness for the same reasons as you. I would though give it up where Grace is concerned if she ever wanted to have an honest conversation on this blog, not to mention one concerning John 20:23. One that wasn’t always trying to change the subject and launching ad hominem attacks at Luther. And might actually take Christ’s words for what they literally say.

  • colliebear

    Pastor Erickson @ 357, I’ve learned that being on the receiving end of sarcasm stings sometimes, but usually I deserve it. When I don’t think I deserve it, it is a great time to exercise that forgiveness thing ala John 20:23.

  • colliebear

    Pastor Erickson @ 357, I’ve learned that being on the receiving end of sarcasm stings sometimes, but usually I deserve it. When I don’t think I deserve it, it is a great time to exercise that forgiveness thing ala John 20:23.

  • ptl

    Similar to the expression “one person’s junk is another person’s treasure” perhaps “one person’s sarcasm is another person’s insult” or something like that….what am trying to say is that how insulting any particular snark or whatever could be, is a matter of interpretation. That might be why folks ought to be careful about making remarks dealing with personal issues, and just stick to facts on the topic. You may not like what one is saying about a particular issue, but that should not be a pretext for making personal comments. Am guilty of that myself, and am never going to do that again….am going to stick to the facts, so Sgt. Friday will be proud of me.

    But the best way to prevent this is perhaps this site needs folks to register and then “sign” (by clicking something) a statement of code of conduct. Most major sites do this, for example Yahoo and the following is taken from their conditions of participation, or something like that:

    You agree to not use the Yahoo! Services to:

    1. upload, post, email, transmit or otherwise make available any Content that is unlawful, harmful, threatening, abusive, harassing, tortious, defamatory, vulgar, obscene, libelous, invasive of another’s privacy, hateful, or racially, ethnically or otherwise objectionable;

    m. “stalk” or otherwise harass another; and/or

    Part of the reason these sites have these things is probably to give them some legal “cover” if they ever need it?

    Maybe not, but it would at least describe some rules by which the “game” is played on the blog. Afterall, all games need rules, even on the playground, or else the playground will be ruled by well, you know. Without these rules, this site could become a magnet to folks who can’t get away with this kind of stuff on other sites, but find a refuge here that will tolerate almost anything. That would be a bad thing, if that is how others use the freedom allowed here, at the expense of hurting others, all in the name of speaking the truth, etc. etc. And by the way, if you can’t take it, then you can just take a hike. OK, then they get to set the rules, and again it becomes like the schoolyard playground gone out of control.

    Not saying that is the case here by any means, but from my perspective, things often do get out of hand and that can make folks decide to no longer participate? It already seems to me that the number of comments these past few days have gone down?

    In any case, perhaps an email to Dr. Veith requesting something like this would be an appropriate way to deal with it. The debate will still be “lively” as you can see if you look at comments on Yahoo and similar sites (perhaps your local newspaper like we have here, they require folks to sign and agree to a list of terms of service and code of conduct).

    Am sure there will be objections, but if one feels they have done nothing that meets the definitions stated in the Yahoo terms, then you have nothing to worry about. This would just make the rules clear and make sure everyone gets treated with respect, just like in a court room or a real college debate. It will ensure the debate is lively with respect to conflicting facts, not personal opinions about one’s character or motives. Thank you!

  • ptl

    Similar to the expression “one person’s junk is another person’s treasure” perhaps “one person’s sarcasm is another person’s insult” or something like that….what am trying to say is that how insulting any particular snark or whatever could be, is a matter of interpretation. That might be why folks ought to be careful about making remarks dealing with personal issues, and just stick to facts on the topic. You may not like what one is saying about a particular issue, but that should not be a pretext for making personal comments. Am guilty of that myself, and am never going to do that again….am going to stick to the facts, so Sgt. Friday will be proud of me.

    But the best way to prevent this is perhaps this site needs folks to register and then “sign” (by clicking something) a statement of code of conduct. Most major sites do this, for example Yahoo and the following is taken from their conditions of participation, or something like that:

    You agree to not use the Yahoo! Services to:

    1. upload, post, email, transmit or otherwise make available any Content that is unlawful, harmful, threatening, abusive, harassing, tortious, defamatory, vulgar, obscene, libelous, invasive of another’s privacy, hateful, or racially, ethnically or otherwise objectionable;

    m. “stalk” or otherwise harass another; and/or

    Part of the reason these sites have these things is probably to give them some legal “cover” if they ever need it?

    Maybe not, but it would at least describe some rules by which the “game” is played on the blog. Afterall, all games need rules, even on the playground, or else the playground will be ruled by well, you know. Without these rules, this site could become a magnet to folks who can’t get away with this kind of stuff on other sites, but find a refuge here that will tolerate almost anything. That would be a bad thing, if that is how others use the freedom allowed here, at the expense of hurting others, all in the name of speaking the truth, etc. etc. And by the way, if you can’t take it, then you can just take a hike. OK, then they get to set the rules, and again it becomes like the schoolyard playground gone out of control.

    Not saying that is the case here by any means, but from my perspective, things often do get out of hand and that can make folks decide to no longer participate? It already seems to me that the number of comments these past few days have gone down?

    In any case, perhaps an email to Dr. Veith requesting something like this would be an appropriate way to deal with it. The debate will still be “lively” as you can see if you look at comments on Yahoo and similar sites (perhaps your local newspaper like we have here, they require folks to sign and agree to a list of terms of service and code of conduct).

    Am sure there will be objections, but if one feels they have done nothing that meets the definitions stated in the Yahoo terms, then you have nothing to worry about. This would just make the rules clear and make sure everyone gets treated with respect, just like in a court room or a real college debate. It will ensure the debate is lively with respect to conflicting facts, not personal opinions about one’s character or motives. Thank you!

  • Grace

    ptl – 359 0 0 “Maybe not, but it would at least describe some rules by which the “game” is played on the blog. Afterall, all games need rules, even on the playground, or else the playground will be ruled by well, you know.”

    EXCELLENT POINT. The entire post makes points – foul language should never be allowed.

  • Grace

    ptl – 359 0 0 “Maybe not, but it would at least describe some rules by which the “game” is played on the blog. Afterall, all games need rules, even on the playground, or else the playground will be ruled by well, you know.”

    EXCELLENT POINT. The entire post makes points – foul language should never be allowed.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Ptl, you and grace, are funny. Vieth has been running this blog for many years. To the poit where many of us on this blog have developed friendships and great respect for one another. We argue our points vehemently when we feel like it. When it gets out of hand vieth is not afraid to step in and tell you so. But for the most part he gives us the freedom to monitor ourselves and decide what is acceptable or not,mostly though the people here are familiar enough with the rules of debate that it isn’t needed. If you can’t handle that, then go somewhere else.
    But my. Uess is, given the history of this blog, his tolerance for “foul” language is a bit higher than Grace’s, and he isnkt going to consider it stalking to hold someone to what they have previously, said on this blog.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Ptl, you and grace, are funny. Vieth has been running this blog for many years. To the poit where many of us on this blog have developed friendships and great respect for one another. We argue our points vehemently when we feel like it. When it gets out of hand vieth is not afraid to step in and tell you so. But for the most part he gives us the freedom to monitor ourselves and decide what is acceptable or not,mostly though the people here are familiar enough with the rules of debate that it isn’t needed. If you can’t handle that, then go somewhere else.
    But my. Uess is, given the history of this blog, his tolerance for “foul” language is a bit higher than Grace’s, and he isnkt going to consider it stalking to hold someone to what they have previously, said on this blog.

  • Grace

    Then you might consider this attack – the words of Jesus Christ Himself as your means to belittle my faith in Christ.

    Bror – 110

    and Grace, I do not despise the words of Christ, you know that. I despise you using them as a moniker to imply that you are born again where as other Christians like me who have not shared your liver shiver, or “born again experience” are not born again, though they have been given the same Holy Spirit and were born from above when they were regenerated in the waters of baptism.
    So if you do not want people to think of you as neurotic, paranoid and hysterical, get off your high horse, and engage your opponents in debate in a civil way that makes one think you actually care about truth.

    That was nothing but a personal attack, of which you have delivered many to me.

  • Grace

    Then you might consider this attack – the words of Jesus Christ Himself as your means to belittle my faith in Christ.

    Bror – 110

    and Grace, I do not despise the words of Christ, you know that. I despise you using them as a moniker to imply that you are born again where as other Christians like me who have not shared your liver shiver, or “born again experience” are not born again, though they have been given the same Holy Spirit and were born from above when they were regenerated in the waters of baptism.
    So if you do not want people to think of you as neurotic, paranoid and hysterical, get off your high horse, and engage your opponents in debate in a civil way that makes one think you actually care about truth.

    That was nothing but a personal attack, of which you have delivered many to me.

  • Grace

    Maybe Dr. Veith doesn’t have time to check all the posts, or those on this extended thread – Foul language, using inflammatory language against another poster should be something any individual is capable of, in controlling emotions.

  • Grace

    Maybe Dr. Veith doesn’t have time to check all the posts, or those on this extended thread – Foul language, using inflammatory language against another poster should be something any individual is capable of, in controlling emotions.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Ah. A “code of conduct” (@359). Great. Maybe you can draft a proposal for such a code. Make sure to cover every possible case. If we’re lucky, maybe we can all have a 52-page code that we can all completely ignore and click “Accept” before moving on to write the comment we were going to write, anyhow, hmm? But if you have extra time, PTL, go for it.

    Myself, I suggest this code of conduct:
    1) It’s Dr. Veith’s call.
    a) That is all.

    But if you’re going to adopt Grace’s position and attempt to create morality through rules (which always works swell; cf. the Old Testament), perhaps starting with “foul language should never be allowed” (@360), I’d like to suggest some more rules:

    I) People who deny the words of Jesus are not allowed to comment
    II) People who do not stick to the topic are not allowed to comment
    III) Thin-skinned people are not allowed to comment (they’re only allowed to read if it will not subsequently provoke them to comment)
    IV) People with reading comprehension issues are not even allowed to read this blog, though of course they necessarily won’t even understand this rule, which is problematic
    V) People who are wrong about things are not allowed to comment
    VI) People who think they’re, like, all that and walk around all snooty and stuff, like, are way not allowed, even to exist, really
    VII) People who appropriate dialects solely for humorous purposes are not allowed to comment
    VIII) People who are inclined to tattle-tale on other commenters? You know what happens to them
    IX) The neurotic and paranoid are not allowed to comment, and why would you, because you know perfectly well that They are reading your every comment, don’t you?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Ah. A “code of conduct” (@359). Great. Maybe you can draft a proposal for such a code. Make sure to cover every possible case. If we’re lucky, maybe we can all have a 52-page code that we can all completely ignore and click “Accept” before moving on to write the comment we were going to write, anyhow, hmm? But if you have extra time, PTL, go for it.

    Myself, I suggest this code of conduct:
    1) It’s Dr. Veith’s call.
    a) That is all.

    But if you’re going to adopt Grace’s position and attempt to create morality through rules (which always works swell; cf. the Old Testament), perhaps starting with “foul language should never be allowed” (@360), I’d like to suggest some more rules:

    I) People who deny the words of Jesus are not allowed to comment
    II) People who do not stick to the topic are not allowed to comment
    III) Thin-skinned people are not allowed to comment (they’re only allowed to read if it will not subsequently provoke them to comment)
    IV) People with reading comprehension issues are not even allowed to read this blog, though of course they necessarily won’t even understand this rule, which is problematic
    V) People who are wrong about things are not allowed to comment
    VI) People who think they’re, like, all that and walk around all snooty and stuff, like, are way not allowed, even to exist, really
    VII) People who appropriate dialects solely for humorous purposes are not allowed to comment
    VIII) People who are inclined to tattle-tale on other commenters? You know what happens to them
    IX) The neurotic and paranoid are not allowed to comment, and why would you, because you know perfectly well that They are reading your every comment, don’t you?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace (@362), the best way to counter an assertion that you are not “neurotic, paranoid and hysterical” would, in my opinion, be to not indulge in those qualities. And yet …

    Honestly, you repeatedly, consistently, utterly fail to grasp Bror’s point about the distinction between “born again” and “Born Again”. I won’t bother rebutting your argument, because I’ve already tried and I saw where that went.

    You take umbrage at the word “moniker”. I … that’s not even logical! It is, in the most honest way I can tell you, hysterical. And not in the “ha ha” sense. More like in the “[quietly shaking head, staring]” sense.

    But hey, look, Grace is acting offended, once more. It’s pretty much your main debating technique, isn’t it? Well, that and completely dodging the alleged matter being discussed.

    Which, at one point, was John 20:23. Not that you ever discussed that verse, but oh how we tried to get you to. But no, there was always some way for you to act indignant about something.

    And you think this is what Christians do when they discuss Scripture, do you? You think they completely ignore the text and just claim offense at some irrelevant point?

    Man, I would love to attend one of your Bible studies. It would be all, “our text for today is Matthew 18 and …” and then someone would point a finger and then the shouting would start and then someone would complain about how the soda is flat and then, two hours later, it would adjourn without anyone having actually read the text.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace (@362), the best way to counter an assertion that you are not “neurotic, paranoid and hysterical” would, in my opinion, be to not indulge in those qualities. And yet …

    Honestly, you repeatedly, consistently, utterly fail to grasp Bror’s point about the distinction between “born again” and “Born Again”. I won’t bother rebutting your argument, because I’ve already tried and I saw where that went.

    You take umbrage at the word “moniker”. I … that’s not even logical! It is, in the most honest way I can tell you, hysterical. And not in the “ha ha” sense. More like in the “[quietly shaking head, staring]” sense.

    But hey, look, Grace is acting offended, once more. It’s pretty much your main debating technique, isn’t it? Well, that and completely dodging the alleged matter being discussed.

    Which, at one point, was John 20:23. Not that you ever discussed that verse, but oh how we tried to get you to. But no, there was always some way for you to act indignant about something.

    And you think this is what Christians do when they discuss Scripture, do you? You think they completely ignore the text and just claim offense at some irrelevant point?

    Man, I would love to attend one of your Bible studies. It would be all, “our text for today is Matthew 18 and …” and then someone would point a finger and then the shouting would start and then someone would complain about how the soda is flat and then, two hours later, it would adjourn without anyone having actually read the text.

  • Grace

    Harassing another poster for an answer that DOES NOT agree with your beliefs, benefits no one.

    Comprehension, doesn’t define itself as: ….. “if you understood, then you would agree” and “if you don’t agree, then you don’t comprehend” – asking the question 15 different ways doesn’t work as well. Children use that as a way to get their own way, adults who use that M.O. are most likely imitating their children, or they have not grown up to the point, of discarding a childish habit, that should have been dealt with when they were in grammar school.

    Humor is a good thing, but when anyone makes a statement that obviously is an attack and then PLEADS humor, sarcasm, or some other lame excuse, is a weak candidate for credibility.

    Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained. John 20:23

    ANSWERED – 45, 51, 54, 61, 77 – and the list goes on – those of you, who believe differently than I do, are able to extract the answer you want, SO, you continue to harass, asking again and again – Reading comprehension skills gone sour, should include: asking the same question, getting the same answer, but unwilling to accept what’s given.

  • Grace

    Harassing another poster for an answer that DOES NOT agree with your beliefs, benefits no one.

    Comprehension, doesn’t define itself as: ….. “if you understood, then you would agree” and “if you don’t agree, then you don’t comprehend” – asking the question 15 different ways doesn’t work as well. Children use that as a way to get their own way, adults who use that M.O. are most likely imitating their children, or they have not grown up to the point, of discarding a childish habit, that should have been dealt with when they were in grammar school.

    Humor is a good thing, but when anyone makes a statement that obviously is an attack and then PLEADS humor, sarcasm, or some other lame excuse, is a weak candidate for credibility.

    Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained. John 20:23

    ANSWERED – 45, 51, 54, 61, 77 – and the list goes on – those of you, who believe differently than I do, are able to extract the answer you want, SO, you continue to harass, asking again and again – Reading comprehension skills gone sour, should include: asking the same question, getting the same answer, but unwilling to accept what’s given.

  • colliebear

    I like the Cranach blog just the way it is.

  • colliebear

    I like the Cranach blog just the way it is.

  • kerner

    I like it the way it is, too. Having to register and jump through a bunch of hoops to comment has chased a technologically challenged guy like me away from other blogs. Maybe it has chased away others as well. Put me on the side of user friendly anarchy, I guess.

  • kerner

    I like it the way it is, too. Having to register and jump through a bunch of hoops to comment has chased a technologically challenged guy like me away from other blogs. Maybe it has chased away others as well. Put me on the side of user friendly anarchy, I guess.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Speaking of M.O., let’s see if I can reply using yours …

    You called us “children”! Another snarky attack! Aaaaaaaah! I’m so offended! Someone call Dr. Veith and/or the police!

    Seems about right.

    Anyhow, “Harassing another poster for an answer that DOES NOT agree with your beliefs, benefits no one” (@366). Wait, you have an answer that doesn’t agree with my beliefs? Wouldn’t that require you to have given an answer?

    Oh, what’s that you say? “ANSWERED – 45, 51, 54, 61, 77.” Careful Grace, you’re stalking yourself!

    Anyhow, none of those posts answer what John 20:23 actually says. They usually spend their energy telling me either what it does not say, or what some other passage of the Bible says. Let’s take a look:

    @45: We have a claim, without any Scriptural backing, that John 20:23 does not mean what it says, followed by “This passage of Scripture is often misunderstood,” without any further explanation of how it should be understood. Then a vague pointer to most of the New Testament and an (inaccurate) claim that there is no evidence that the Apostles believed Jesus’ words in John 20:23.

    @51: We have an accusation that our beliefs are equivalent to those of the RCC, followed by the quoting of two other Bible verses. No discussion of John 20:23′s words at all.

    @54: Quotes a point from earlier (@45). John 20:23 isn’t quoted, mentioned, or even referenced.

    @61: Spends more time quoting Matthew Henry than it does Scripture, and Henry goes about inserting things into his reading that are nowhere to be found in the text (e.g. “a power to declare the character”). Repeats your assertion of what John 20:23 does not mean, without saying what it does mean.

    @77: Discusses who is in seventh grade or not. Again tells us what John 20:23 does not say, and what we here were not arguing it says, anyhow.

    You’re clearly missing this point, but I enjoy a challenge, so let me say this as clearly as possible:

    I (tODD) want you (Grace) to write a comment here on this blog that tells us what John 20:23 means. In order to do this, you will have to read John 20:23. Preferably in its full context. You will then have to tell us what those words mean. This will require you to make references to the words of John 20:23. If you find it helpful, you can make references to other verses in the Bible, but you must also make reference to the words of John 20:23. Your answer cannot merely be you telling us what it doesn’t mean, as that is not an explanation of what it means.

    Here are some examples. Bad example of what the word “wine” means in John 2:1-10: “The word ‘wine’ does not mean alcoholic beverage, but rather grape juice, because drinking alcohol is bad.” See, this is a bad example, because it doesn’t engage the text at all. It merely asserts a pre-existing opinion.

    Good example, using the same text: “The word ‘wine’ in John 2 clearly refers to the alcoholic beverage, as the master of the banquet refers to people having ‘too much to drink’ in the context of people’s senses being dulled. Furthermore, we know that alcohol is not forbidden by God due to many references from the Old and New Testament such as [...]”

    Got it? Now, armed with those examples, please tell us what John 20:23 actually says, using the words from John 20:23.

    Thank you.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Speaking of M.O., let’s see if I can reply using yours …

    You called us “children”! Another snarky attack! Aaaaaaaah! I’m so offended! Someone call Dr. Veith and/or the police!

    Seems about right.

    Anyhow, “Harassing another poster for an answer that DOES NOT agree with your beliefs, benefits no one” (@366). Wait, you have an answer that doesn’t agree with my beliefs? Wouldn’t that require you to have given an answer?

    Oh, what’s that you say? “ANSWERED – 45, 51, 54, 61, 77.” Careful Grace, you’re stalking yourself!

    Anyhow, none of those posts answer what John 20:23 actually says. They usually spend their energy telling me either what it does not say, or what some other passage of the Bible says. Let’s take a look:

    @45: We have a claim, without any Scriptural backing, that John 20:23 does not mean what it says, followed by “This passage of Scripture is often misunderstood,” without any further explanation of how it should be understood. Then a vague pointer to most of the New Testament and an (inaccurate) claim that there is no evidence that the Apostles believed Jesus’ words in John 20:23.

    @51: We have an accusation that our beliefs are equivalent to those of the RCC, followed by the quoting of two other Bible verses. No discussion of John 20:23′s words at all.

    @54: Quotes a point from earlier (@45). John 20:23 isn’t quoted, mentioned, or even referenced.

    @61: Spends more time quoting Matthew Henry than it does Scripture, and Henry goes about inserting things into his reading that are nowhere to be found in the text (e.g. “a power to declare the character”). Repeats your assertion of what John 20:23 does not mean, without saying what it does mean.

    @77: Discusses who is in seventh grade or not. Again tells us what John 20:23 does not say, and what we here were not arguing it says, anyhow.

    You’re clearly missing this point, but I enjoy a challenge, so let me say this as clearly as possible:

    I (tODD) want you (Grace) to write a comment here on this blog that tells us what John 20:23 means. In order to do this, you will have to read John 20:23. Preferably in its full context. You will then have to tell us what those words mean. This will require you to make references to the words of John 20:23. If you find it helpful, you can make references to other verses in the Bible, but you must also make reference to the words of John 20:23. Your answer cannot merely be you telling us what it doesn’t mean, as that is not an explanation of what it means.

    Here are some examples. Bad example of what the word “wine” means in John 2:1-10: “The word ‘wine’ does not mean alcoholic beverage, but rather grape juice, because drinking alcohol is bad.” See, this is a bad example, because it doesn’t engage the text at all. It merely asserts a pre-existing opinion.

    Good example, using the same text: “The word ‘wine’ in John 2 clearly refers to the alcoholic beverage, as the master of the banquet refers to people having ‘too much to drink’ in the context of people’s senses being dulled. Furthermore, we know that alcohol is not forbidden by God due to many references from the Old and New Testament such as [...]”

    Got it? Now, armed with those examples, please tell us what John 20:23 actually says, using the words from John 20:23.

    Thank you.

  • ptl

    Wow, ok guess the code of conduct isn’t a good idea, but how about a warning, something along the lines of what you see if you accidentally land on one of those adult sites, yikes! Something like:

    WARNING! You are about to enter a site that contains Adult Material, Explicit Language, and vicious personal attacks. This site is NOT intended for the thin skinned, weak hearted, j@ck@sses, baptists, pharisees, or any non-Lutherans who dare to question anything about Lutheran theology, in any way. And if you don’t like it or can’t take it, then you need to go somewhere else!

  • ptl

    Wow, ok guess the code of conduct isn’t a good idea, but how about a warning, something along the lines of what you see if you accidentally land on one of those adult sites, yikes! Something like:

    WARNING! You are about to enter a site that contains Adult Material, Explicit Language, and vicious personal attacks. This site is NOT intended for the thin skinned, weak hearted, j@ck@sses, baptists, pharisees, or any non-Lutherans who dare to question anything about Lutheran theology, in any way. And if you don’t like it or can’t take it, then you need to go somewhere else!

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    PTL (@370), sounds good. But you forgot to mention “passive-aggressive types”.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    PTL (@370), sounds good. But you forgot to mention “passive-aggressive types”.

  • colliebear

    I didn’t like the season-opening episode of “House”, so I just stopped watching it.

    At the same time, I’m sure there were lots of people out there that loved it and enjoyed it, while I changed the station or read a book.

    Everyone’s happy.

  • colliebear

    I didn’t like the season-opening episode of “House”, so I just stopped watching it.

    At the same time, I’m sure there were lots of people out there that loved it and enjoyed it, while I changed the station or read a book.

    Everyone’s happy.

  • ptl

    You know you might be surprised what Dr. Veith might do if he starts to see his numbers go down, as they look to me as though they are? that might be because others are also turned off by the tone of the discussion. And even with a few days rest and a suggestion as to how to change the tone since it is clear it won’t happen on it’s own, perhaps it is time Dr. Veith does the right thing. You know, the big boys like Yahoo do have those terms as a form of protection…legal protection just in case? And to avoid a case or damage to one’s reputation and good name? Don’t know, just saying….

  • ptl

    You know you might be surprised what Dr. Veith might do if he starts to see his numbers go down, as they look to me as though they are? that might be because others are also turned off by the tone of the discussion. And even with a few days rest and a suggestion as to how to change the tone since it is clear it won’t happen on it’s own, perhaps it is time Dr. Veith does the right thing. You know, the big boys like Yahoo do have those terms as a form of protection…legal protection just in case? And to avoid a case or damage to one’s reputation and good name? Don’t know, just saying….

  • ptl

    Grace….here’s a quick thought concerning Bror and tODD. Let’s have some compassion on them and forgive them. Am not really sure why they do what they do, but am sure they have been hurt in the past or have some other reasons unknown to us, as to why they need to say the thing they say in the way they say it. Have met hurt folks like this in my life, people who have been hurt by others and often take it out on others. And they especially have an ability to go after the thin skinned and weak hearted folks, like a hunter, they have an ability to zero in on those types and show them no mercy. It’s almost as though they can’t help themselves, something inside just makes them act that way. Well, am just guessing since all it takes is a little word from you or me and they unleash paragraphs and paragraphs of reply….really don’t know where they find the time. Sort of like an addiction, if you will?

    In any case, it is not right for you or me to taunt and torment them that way with our comments. It is not the kind of love and care that we would want if we were like that. So my advice to you, and am going to do this myself, is to let this go and not engage them any more, at least on this topic and perhaps no other topic either, as there is just too much bad blood to maybe ever be cordial with one another? Do it because it’s the right thing to do, and you can be sure your Heavenly Father will bless you, and it will be better for them as well.

    Peace out all…….PTL!

    ps. sorry if this wasn’t written particularly well, and may have said things in a way that didn’t come across as good as it could, but my intentions are honorable, and hope you all take it in the spirit of forgiveness and understanding, on me a poor sinful being. Amen!

  • ptl

    Grace….here’s a quick thought concerning Bror and tODD. Let’s have some compassion on them and forgive them. Am not really sure why they do what they do, but am sure they have been hurt in the past or have some other reasons unknown to us, as to why they need to say the thing they say in the way they say it. Have met hurt folks like this in my life, people who have been hurt by others and often take it out on others. And they especially have an ability to go after the thin skinned and weak hearted folks, like a hunter, they have an ability to zero in on those types and show them no mercy. It’s almost as though they can’t help themselves, something inside just makes them act that way. Well, am just guessing since all it takes is a little word from you or me and they unleash paragraphs and paragraphs of reply….really don’t know where they find the time. Sort of like an addiction, if you will?

    In any case, it is not right for you or me to taunt and torment them that way with our comments. It is not the kind of love and care that we would want if we were like that. So my advice to you, and am going to do this myself, is to let this go and not engage them any more, at least on this topic and perhaps no other topic either, as there is just too much bad blood to maybe ever be cordial with one another? Do it because it’s the right thing to do, and you can be sure your Heavenly Father will bless you, and it will be better for them as well.

    Peace out all…….PTL!

    ps. sorry if this wasn’t written particularly well, and may have said things in a way that didn’t come across as good as it could, but my intentions are honorable, and hope you all take it in the spirit of forgiveness and understanding, on me a poor sinful being. Amen!

  • ptl

    Sorry just one more thing….Grace, am sure Bror and tODD are really nice guys, you know they love the Lord. This is just not going to go anywhere, so perhaps give it some space and sometime in the future we can all get together and laugh about it….sure hope so, pray so too!

  • ptl

    Sorry just one more thing….Grace, am sure Bror and tODD are really nice guys, you know they love the Lord. This is just not going to go anywhere, so perhaps give it some space and sometime in the future we can all get together and laugh about it….sure hope so, pray so too!

  • Grace

    ptl – I believe you are RIGHT – must important we forgive them, which I do, we have no other choice.

    As for posting, I had avoided posting to several of them in the past few weeks, I should not have begun engaging a few individuals again, it served no purpose.

    Thanks for the input ptl, you’re heart is in the right place :)

  • Grace

    ptl – I believe you are RIGHT – must important we forgive them, which I do, we have no other choice.

    As for posting, I had avoided posting to several of them in the past few weeks, I should not have begun engaging a few individuals again, it served no purpose.

    Thanks for the input ptl, you’re heart is in the right place :)

  • Louis

    Todd/Bror – why don’t we just organise an acorn soup cook-off – whoever makes the best one, can tell Veith… Oh never mind :) :) :)

  • Louis

    Todd/Bror – why don’t we just organise an acorn soup cook-off – whoever makes the best one, can tell Veith… Oh never mind :) :) :)

  • ptl

    Dear Grace….do you notice the lack of comments or response to an overture of reconciliation? Well, there was one attempt to rekindle the fun and games, too bad. Say, isn’t the silence of forgiveness, so peaceful and sweet? If you feed the fire, you should not be surprised when you get burned, eh?

    God Bless You and keep you Grace….Lutheran or not, you are amazing and always will be, to me and more importantly, in the eyes of our Lord and Savior! That is the most important than the approval of man, and something no one will every take from you….EVER, PTL!!!!!!

  • ptl

    Dear Grace….do you notice the lack of comments or response to an overture of reconciliation? Well, there was one attempt to rekindle the fun and games, too bad. Say, isn’t the silence of forgiveness, so peaceful and sweet? If you feed the fire, you should not be surprised when you get burned, eh?

    God Bless You and keep you Grace….Lutheran or not, you are amazing and always will be, to me and more importantly, in the eyes of our Lord and Savior! That is the most important than the approval of man, and something no one will every take from you….EVER, PTL!!!!!!

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    ptl and grace. you two just never cease to amaze me. truly.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    ptl and grace. you two just never cease to amaze me. truly.

  • Grace

    Oh my dear ptl – we have a lot to be grateful for, …. I haven’t felt any burns yet, but you never know.. if my skin tans HURRAY, if it turns a crackly brown, …. YUCK!

    Maybe they’ll have a wiener roast and invite the whole crowd from Veith’s blog, including Veith. Now that, is an interesting idea. Can you see the whole group, not allowing anyone to wear a ‘name tag’ having to interact with each other for an hour, until…….SCREECH and SCRAMBLE ….. all the name tags appear! Everyone who was just getting acquainted, ran in the other direction, hotdog and bun in hand, wondering how they could like a soul who hadn’t been their bud on the blog? LOL, LOL

    God bless us all, may we learn to see ourselves as the unrighteous rags we are. Let us ask the LORD to forgive our nasty ways, unpleasant, unkind words – let us live in peace as the passage in God’s Word pronounces”

    14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:

    15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;

    16 Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.

    17 For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears. Hebrews 12

    God bless you ptl, you have a way with words, a gift from the LORD -

  • Grace

    Oh my dear ptl – we have a lot to be grateful for, …. I haven’t felt any burns yet, but you never know.. if my skin tans HURRAY, if it turns a crackly brown, …. YUCK!

    Maybe they’ll have a wiener roast and invite the whole crowd from Veith’s blog, including Veith. Now that, is an interesting idea. Can you see the whole group, not allowing anyone to wear a ‘name tag’ having to interact with each other for an hour, until…….SCREECH and SCRAMBLE ….. all the name tags appear! Everyone who was just getting acquainted, ran in the other direction, hotdog and bun in hand, wondering how they could like a soul who hadn’t been their bud on the blog? LOL, LOL

    God bless us all, may we learn to see ourselves as the unrighteous rags we are. Let us ask the LORD to forgive our nasty ways, unpleasant, unkind words – let us live in peace as the passage in God’s Word pronounces”

    14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:

    15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;

    16 Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.

    17 For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears. Hebrews 12

    God bless you ptl, you have a way with words, a gift from the LORD -

  • ptl

    uh, what exactly is that supposed to mean….is that good? or bad? guess will just guess….since you are being so vague? in any case, it’s curious you can comment about Grace and I, and hardly a bleep about your fellow Lutherans…..my guess is you overlook it, since you have not thought it wise to comment in that regard? too bad fws..but not a big surprise :(

  • ptl

    uh, what exactly is that supposed to mean….is that good? or bad? guess will just guess….since you are being so vague? in any case, it’s curious you can comment about Grace and I, and hardly a bleep about your fellow Lutherans…..my guess is you overlook it, since you have not thought it wise to comment in that regard? too bad fws..but not a big surprise :(

  • Grace

    ptl – 378 “God Bless You and keep you Grace….Lutheran or not, you are amazing and always will be, to me and more importantly, in the eyes of our Lord and Savior! That is the most important than the approval of man, and something no one will every take from you….EVER, PTL!!!!!!”

    THANK YOU, it means a lot to me. I want to please HIM and honor HIM, but I fall short, as we all do. The approval of man is so important, but in the end, it will mean nothing, it’s all about what the LORD sees. It’s a sobering thought.

    Blessings

  • Grace

    ptl – 378 “God Bless You and keep you Grace….Lutheran or not, you are amazing and always will be, to me and more importantly, in the eyes of our Lord and Savior! That is the most important than the approval of man, and something no one will every take from you….EVER, PTL!!!!!!”

    THANK YOU, it means a lot to me. I want to please HIM and honor HIM, but I fall short, as we all do. The approval of man is so important, but in the end, it will mean nothing, it’s all about what the LORD sees. It’s a sobering thought.

    Blessings

  • kerner

    Well. I’m sure that Bror and tODD are happy to hear that ptl(@374) and Grace (@376) forgive them. Given their position on John 20:23, this must be very good news to them indeed. ;)

    Look folks, I appreciate that some higher degree of civility could be useful here. I don’t really read a blog like this to listen to one person leave a heavy handed comment, only to express abjectly hurt feelings after the inevitable return salvo.

    This blog is not supposed to be about feelings, hurt or otherwise. It’s supposed to be a discussion, often a “lively” debate, about religious, and sometimes social or political, issues. In order to keep the debate lively, but focused on he issues, it would help if the debaters worried less about taking offense and more about substance. On the other hand, it might be even more helpful if the debaters would mind their manners in the first place.

    I don’t mean to act as though I’m above all this. I’m sure I’ve crossed the line myself sometimes. But, goodness, I don’t even like writing this comment. I don’t want to be some kind of half baked Rodney King. I want to talk about John 20:23…or not, if everybody has run out of things to say about it.

  • kerner

    Well. I’m sure that Bror and tODD are happy to hear that ptl(@374) and Grace (@376) forgive them. Given their position on John 20:23, this must be very good news to them indeed. ;)

    Look folks, I appreciate that some higher degree of civility could be useful here. I don’t really read a blog like this to listen to one person leave a heavy handed comment, only to express abjectly hurt feelings after the inevitable return salvo.

    This blog is not supposed to be about feelings, hurt or otherwise. It’s supposed to be a discussion, often a “lively” debate, about religious, and sometimes social or political, issues. In order to keep the debate lively, but focused on he issues, it would help if the debaters worried less about taking offense and more about substance. On the other hand, it might be even more helpful if the debaters would mind their manners in the first place.

    I don’t mean to act as though I’m above all this. I’m sure I’ve crossed the line myself sometimes. But, goodness, I don’t even like writing this comment. I don’t want to be some kind of half baked Rodney King. I want to talk about John 20:23…or not, if everybody has run out of things to say about it.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    kerner @383

    Ptl & grace are not interested in John 20:23 because …. well, why?

    Kerner, in some of your posts you have expressed the idea that the pastor is merely “announcing ” the forgiveness of sins and so have suggested that the difference then is mostly a semantic one.

    I think this is the very crux of the matter. For years I left the church thinking that there was no room for me. What brought me back was the memory of the general confession and absolution.

    If the pastor was merely announcing the grace of God, then things become rather conditional. If we sincerely repent and sincerely have faith, and sincerely and heartily get things subjectively right, then that announcement applies to us, if not, then we are not forgiven. In fact if you listen to a general confession and absolution in a PCA church, that is what you should really hear.You should hear that the forgiveness is really based on something subject-ive within us. So I would have needed to check under my spiritual hood to be certain that that announcement was, in fact, intended by God to apply to me.

    I would never have returned to church in that case. I would not be typing to you here now.

    But I am here now. Why? I state in my confession that I am sinful and… unclean. Wow. Put that word unclean in the vernacular and lob it at anyone and see the reaction you get. We say it and don´t really internalize and mean it do we? I had to internalize it. I had no choice. It left me with nothing in my hand that I could bargain with God with. It stripped me bare as only the Law can do.

    So then what followed was a pastor, a called and ordained servant of the word, a sent one, one empowered just as John 20:23 describes saying this to everyone in a room; “AS a called and ordained servant of the word, I forgive you ALL your sins. And I do this in the name of and by the command and authority of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

    AMEN!

    So then my thinking gets to look like this: “Does FWS have that sincerity and heartiness and true faith and true repentance that is sincere and really real and the right kind and amount that God does in fact rightfully demand of him? ” My conscience says “no!” In fact my conscience can even speculate that FWS has NO faith, and NO repentance. None. Zip. There is alot of evidence for this to be in fact the case for FWS.

    So what to think from that? Assume the posture of the child towards the parent who cries out “but you promised!” This is no calvinistic covenant partnership. God does not partner with the dead. He raises the dead. That is , he raises them again AFTER he kills them. What a crazy deal that is.

    So what the pastor does is not an announcement that one can reach out for and apply to one´s self if one has the right tools of faith and repentance to do that. No. What the pastor personally had the obligation and call and duty to do is to literally do forgiveness. To bind God with his own frail human words. When the pastor speaks, God is bound. This is true to the extent that if the words of the pastor are conditional, then God is a liar.

    And our appropriate response is to bind God to his word of absolution in spite of everything we see within our thoughts words and deeds that , if we are honest, should fully negate that word of absolution. But it does not. Because we have been baptised. Christ lives in us. And we know this only in utter and complete disregard for anything and everything we can see within our own unclean selves.

    “As a called and ordained servant of the word, in the name and stead of , and by the command of our Lord Jesus Christ, I forgive you all your sins, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen!”

    Amen means “so be it!” It is the gospel opposite of that weary so be it that we say in tired resignation of the facts of sin in our lives.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    kerner @383

    Ptl & grace are not interested in John 20:23 because …. well, why?

    Kerner, in some of your posts you have expressed the idea that the pastor is merely “announcing ” the forgiveness of sins and so have suggested that the difference then is mostly a semantic one.

    I think this is the very crux of the matter. For years I left the church thinking that there was no room for me. What brought me back was the memory of the general confession and absolution.

    If the pastor was merely announcing the grace of God, then things become rather conditional. If we sincerely repent and sincerely have faith, and sincerely and heartily get things subjectively right, then that announcement applies to us, if not, then we are not forgiven. In fact if you listen to a general confession and absolution in a PCA church, that is what you should really hear.You should hear that the forgiveness is really based on something subject-ive within us. So I would have needed to check under my spiritual hood to be certain that that announcement was, in fact, intended by God to apply to me.

    I would never have returned to church in that case. I would not be typing to you here now.

    But I am here now. Why? I state in my confession that I am sinful and… unclean. Wow. Put that word unclean in the vernacular and lob it at anyone and see the reaction you get. We say it and don´t really internalize and mean it do we? I had to internalize it. I had no choice. It left me with nothing in my hand that I could bargain with God with. It stripped me bare as only the Law can do.

    So then what followed was a pastor, a called and ordained servant of the word, a sent one, one empowered just as John 20:23 describes saying this to everyone in a room; “AS a called and ordained servant of the word, I forgive you ALL your sins. And I do this in the name of and by the command and authority of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

    AMEN!

    So then my thinking gets to look like this: “Does FWS have that sincerity and heartiness and true faith and true repentance that is sincere and really real and the right kind and amount that God does in fact rightfully demand of him? ” My conscience says “no!” In fact my conscience can even speculate that FWS has NO faith, and NO repentance. None. Zip. There is alot of evidence for this to be in fact the case for FWS.

    So what to think from that? Assume the posture of the child towards the parent who cries out “but you promised!” This is no calvinistic covenant partnership. God does not partner with the dead. He raises the dead. That is , he raises them again AFTER he kills them. What a crazy deal that is.

    So what the pastor does is not an announcement that one can reach out for and apply to one´s self if one has the right tools of faith and repentance to do that. No. What the pastor personally had the obligation and call and duty to do is to literally do forgiveness. To bind God with his own frail human words. When the pastor speaks, God is bound. This is true to the extent that if the words of the pastor are conditional, then God is a liar.

    And our appropriate response is to bind God to his word of absolution in spite of everything we see within our thoughts words and deeds that , if we are honest, should fully negate that word of absolution. But it does not. Because we have been baptised. Christ lives in us. And we know this only in utter and complete disregard for anything and everything we can see within our own unclean selves.

    “As a called and ordained servant of the word, in the name and stead of , and by the command of our Lord Jesus Christ, I forgive you all your sins, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen!”

    Amen means “so be it!” It is the gospel opposite of that weary so be it that we say in tired resignation of the facts of sin in our lives.

  • kerner

    fws:

    I agree with you, but I fear that we can get onto shaky ground when we try too hard to describe in particular detail the mechanics of how our infinite and eternal and sovereign God does things.

    I believe that this is very much like the paradox we see in prayer. We know God’s will is eternal and sovereign, and yet He commands us to ask Him for things, as though we could change His mind.

    As the Small Catechism points our about the Lord’s Prayer, God will do much of what we pray for without our asking, yet we pray so that it may be done among us also.

    I don’t know whether it helps us to try to understand completely whether God forgives us because the Pastor has declared it, or whether the Pastor declares it because God has forgiven us. This involves trying to translate an act of God, who is eternal and infinite, into our acts, which are finite. It just doesn’t fit into our finite brains very well.

    I think we are better off to accept the fact that the God of all the ages, in His infinite mercy, has unconditionally forgiven us, but that He has for some reason chosen these flawed and finite servants of His to do His will in His name in the here and now. Whatever the detailed mechanics of this process may be, we are forgiven, without condition. AMEN.

    It’s not so much semantics as the inadequacy of human language to acurately describe that I was talking about.

  • kerner

    fws:

    I agree with you, but I fear that we can get onto shaky ground when we try too hard to describe in particular detail the mechanics of how our infinite and eternal and sovereign God does things.

    I believe that this is very much like the paradox we see in prayer. We know God’s will is eternal and sovereign, and yet He commands us to ask Him for things, as though we could change His mind.

    As the Small Catechism points our about the Lord’s Prayer, God will do much of what we pray for without our asking, yet we pray so that it may be done among us also.

    I don’t know whether it helps us to try to understa