Preaching “the King’s speech”

I was glad that The King’s Speech took all of the top prizes at the Academy Awards:  Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Director, and (the critical but much neglected category) Best Original Screenplay.

The Lutheran Church of Canada has a nice reflection on how that movie about Prince Albert and his stuttering problem has parallels to what pastors have to do when they, in their stammering way, preach God’s Word, the true “King’s speech.”

Read it here:  Canadian Lutheran Online » Blog Archive » Stuttering kings and imperfect pastors.

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.

  • Dust

    Weren’t the often quoted words of Luther “go and sin boldly” actually given as advice to young or new Pastors to not worry so much about giving a perfect, doctrinely “pure” sermon? In honor of the success of “The King’s Speech” we can now say, go and stutter boldly too :)

  • Dust

    Weren’t the often quoted words of Luther “go and sin boldly” actually given as advice to young or new Pastors to not worry so much about giving a perfect, doctrinely “pure” sermon? In honor of the success of “The King’s Speech” we can now say, go and stutter boldly too :)

  • http://blog.captainthin.net/ Captain Thin

    Glad you liked the article Gene. It was fun writing it.

  • http://blog.captainthin.net/ Captain Thin

    Glad you liked the article Gene. It was fun writing it.

  • Dust

    Captain Thin….a very well written article, congrats! We have friends near Calgary and they often pass their used copies of Maclean’s on to us…..o our surprise, we like it very much! Now we have a nice Canadian Website (yours) to check out and pass on to them :)

  • Dust

    Captain Thin….a very well written article, congrats! We have friends near Calgary and they often pass their used copies of Maclean’s on to us…..o our surprise, we like it very much! Now we have a nice Canadian Website (yours) to check out and pass on to them :)

  • LAJ

    Does that apply for organists also somewhat? Excellent article.

  • LAJ

    Does that apply for organists also somewhat? Excellent article.

  • EGK

    The “Sin boldly” statement was given to Melanchthon in a letter from Luther as Philip was struggling with the question whether it was God’s will for him to marry. Luther’s advice to “sin boldly and trust Christ more boldly” was basically to use the free will you have in this world to make your choices, and simply trust God to forgive the sin and bless the choice. This advice goes counter to the common thought that “I have to seek God’s will in everything lest I do something that might be against his will.” Make your choices from within the faith, and you’ll be fine, Luther is saying.

    Re preaching, Luther said that if a sermon is based on the clear Word of God, there is no need for the preacher to ask for forgiveness when he comes down from the pulpit. But that means that the sermon is of course doctrinally pure.

  • EGK

    The “Sin boldly” statement was given to Melanchthon in a letter from Luther as Philip was struggling with the question whether it was God’s will for him to marry. Luther’s advice to “sin boldly and trust Christ more boldly” was basically to use the free will you have in this world to make your choices, and simply trust God to forgive the sin and bless the choice. This advice goes counter to the common thought that “I have to seek God’s will in everything lest I do something that might be against his will.” Make your choices from within the faith, and you’ll be fine, Luther is saying.

    Re preaching, Luther said that if a sermon is based on the clear Word of God, there is no need for the preacher to ask for forgiveness when he comes down from the pulpit. But that means that the sermon is of course doctrinally pure.

  • Dust

    Thanks EGK…well said, and doctrinally pure as well!

  • Dust

    Thanks EGK…well said, and doctrinally pure as well!

  • Grace

    My father, called of God to be a pastor was dependent upon the HOLY Spirit to guide him, what he preached to the flock he was given. I, a young child of five years, was touched by my fathers messages, often sobbing when he spoke. If a pastor is a real child of God, he is indwelt by the HOLY Spirit, which guides his words and path.

    Those who are called to preach the Gospel of Christ, indwelt with the HOLY Spirit are not stammering, they are filled with the Spirit of God, and speak as He directs them, it’s evident in their message.

    An EXCERPT FROM TOPIC POST: “Would to God,” Luther writes, “that we could gradually train our hearts to believe that the preacher’s words are God’s Word and that the man addressing us is a scholar and a king.”

    A man needs to discern the difference between truth and false teaching. Too often, within many denominations the truth has been disguised, and those who are unlearned in the Scriptures are duped into false teaching.

    <13 Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.

    14 And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.

    15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. 1 John 4

    The kings speech ( a film about King George of England ) has nothing to do with our LORD Jesus Christ, nor is there any comparison. What is of God is what God’s Son preached, He after all is the KING, He is the King of Kings, LORD of Lords. To compare a man who stuttered with the KING of Kings doesn’t make sense.

    Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;
    1 Timothy 6:15

    And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
    Revelation 9:19

    This is our LORD Jesus Christ, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS – He is compared to none other, no one is worthy to be compared to our Savior!

  • Grace

    My father, called of God to be a pastor was dependent upon the HOLY Spirit to guide him, what he preached to the flock he was given. I, a young child of five years, was touched by my fathers messages, often sobbing when he spoke. If a pastor is a real child of God, he is indwelt by the HOLY Spirit, which guides his words and path.

    Those who are called to preach the Gospel of Christ, indwelt with the HOLY Spirit are not stammering, they are filled with the Spirit of God, and speak as He directs them, it’s evident in their message.

    An EXCERPT FROM TOPIC POST: “Would to God,” Luther writes, “that we could gradually train our hearts to believe that the preacher’s words are God’s Word and that the man addressing us is a scholar and a king.”

    A man needs to discern the difference between truth and false teaching. Too often, within many denominations the truth has been disguised, and those who are unlearned in the Scriptures are duped into false teaching.

    <13 Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.

    14 And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.

    15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. 1 John 4

    The kings speech ( a film about King George of England ) has nothing to do with our LORD Jesus Christ, nor is there any comparison. What is of God is what God’s Son preached, He after all is the KING, He is the King of Kings, LORD of Lords. To compare a man who stuttered with the KING of Kings doesn’t make sense.

    Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;
    1 Timothy 6:15

    And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
    Revelation 9:19

    This is our LORD Jesus Christ, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS – He is compared to none other, no one is worthy to be compared to our Savior!

  • Grace

    EGK –

    “The “Sin boldly” statement was given to Melanchthon in a letter from Luther as Philip was struggling with the question whether it was God’s will for him to marry. Luther’s advice to “sin boldly and trust Christ more boldly” was basically to use the free will you have in this world to make your choices, and simply trust God to forgive the sin and bless the choice. This advice goes counter to the common thought that “I have to seek God’s will in everything lest I do something that might be against his will.” Make your choices from within the faith, and you’ll be fine, Luther is saying.”

    Luther’s words have no Biblical foundation. What the Bible states and what Martin Luther lays out as his standard for morality, including his idea of sinning “boldly” have no Christian standard, the Bible doesn’t teach what Luther stated, as seen below:

    “If you are a preacher of grace, then preach a true and not a fictitious grace; if grace is true, you must bear a true [p. 282] and not a fictitious sin. God does not save people who are only fictitious sinners. Be a sinner and sin boldly, but believe and rejoice in Christ even more boldly. . . . as long as we are here [in this world] we have to sin. . . . No sin will separate us from the Lamb, even though we commit fornication and murder a thousand times a day.” – - Martin Luther – -
    Epistle of August 1, 1521 to Melanchthon (This translation is taken from the official Lutheran American Edition of his complete works, vol. 42, pp. 281-82:

  • Grace

    EGK –

    “The “Sin boldly” statement was given to Melanchthon in a letter from Luther as Philip was struggling with the question whether it was God’s will for him to marry. Luther’s advice to “sin boldly and trust Christ more boldly” was basically to use the free will you have in this world to make your choices, and simply trust God to forgive the sin and bless the choice. This advice goes counter to the common thought that “I have to seek God’s will in everything lest I do something that might be against his will.” Make your choices from within the faith, and you’ll be fine, Luther is saying.”

    Luther’s words have no Biblical foundation. What the Bible states and what Martin Luther lays out as his standard for morality, including his idea of sinning “boldly” have no Christian standard, the Bible doesn’t teach what Luther stated, as seen below:

    “If you are a preacher of grace, then preach a true and not a fictitious grace; if grace is true, you must bear a true [p. 282] and not a fictitious sin. God does not save people who are only fictitious sinners. Be a sinner and sin boldly, but believe and rejoice in Christ even more boldly. . . . as long as we are here [in this world] we have to sin. . . . No sin will separate us from the Lamb, even though we commit fornication and murder a thousand times a day.” – - Martin Luther – -
    Epistle of August 1, 1521 to Melanchthon (This translation is taken from the official Lutheran American Edition of his complete works, vol. 42, pp. 281-82:

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    Grace @ 7 – no, the author didn’t compare King George VI with the King of Kings, he compared King George VI with a preacher. Read the article again.

    And as to your general complaint, can you or anybody ever claim that they never sin? Answer – obviously no. So, then, how many sins will disqualify you from being a child of God?

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    Grace @ 7 – no, the author didn’t compare King George VI with the King of Kings, he compared King George VI with a preacher. Read the article again.

    And as to your general complaint, can you or anybody ever claim that they never sin? Answer – obviously no. So, then, how many sins will disqualify you from being a child of God?

  • Grace

    Sinning daily on purpose, would certainly be counter to anything the LORD Jesus Christ gave us, or His Apostles – Proclaiming ………”Be a sinner and sin boldly” most certainly does not represent anyone who was a child of God.

  • Grace

    Sinning daily on purpose, would certainly be counter to anything the LORD Jesus Christ gave us, or His Apostles – Proclaiming ………”Be a sinner and sin boldly” most certainly does not represent anyone who was a child of God.

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    Grace – even your own quotes counter your interpretation of Luther’s words. What Luther is saying is trust God, and do the next thing, as opposed to endlessly fretting about something the Scriptures do not directly command/condemn – in this case, whether Phillip must marry or not. Luther is speaking against a certain mindset that paralyses, namely the over-scrupulous person that cannot decide if doing A or B is God’s will, when neither A not B are apparently sinful.

    Context matters. But I would like to know your answer to my second question at #9, namely, “..how many sins will disqualify you from being a child of God?”

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    Grace – even your own quotes counter your interpretation of Luther’s words. What Luther is saying is trust God, and do the next thing, as opposed to endlessly fretting about something the Scriptures do not directly command/condemn – in this case, whether Phillip must marry or not. Luther is speaking against a certain mindset that paralyses, namely the over-scrupulous person that cannot decide if doing A or B is God’s will, when neither A not B are apparently sinful.

    Context matters. But I would like to know your answer to my second question at #9, namely, “..how many sins will disqualify you from being a child of God?”

  • Grace

    Sinning on purpose, exorting others to do the same is a sinful proclamation. I don’t believe anyone who does such things, and tellls others to follow suit is saved. In doing so, one separates themselves from God – -

    6 Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things.

    7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

    8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. Galatians 6

  • Grace

    Sinning on purpose, exorting others to do the same is a sinful proclamation. I don’t believe anyone who does such things, and tellls others to follow suit is saved. In doing so, one separates themselves from God – -

    6 Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things.

    7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

    8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. Galatians 6

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    Grace, but you are still ignoring the context, even as given in your own quote. Words taken out of context can be made to say whatever you want. And you still decline to answer the question?

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    Grace, but you are still ignoring the context, even as given in your own quote. Words taken out of context can be made to say whatever you want. And you still decline to answer the question?

  • Grace

    The game of “you haven’t answered the question” is lame. I answered it, it’s just not what you wanted to hear.

    I don’t believe that anyone declaring:

    ” Be a sinner and sin boldly, but believe and rejoice in Christ even more boldly. . . . as long as we are here [in this world] we have to sin. . . . No sin will separate us from the Lamb, even though we commit fornication and murder a thousand times a day.”

    will inherit Eternal life with Christ – the individual telling anyone to sin boldly doesn’t have the truth. There is no plausable answer, or EXCUSE one can make for such a statement.

  • Grace

    The game of “you haven’t answered the question” is lame. I answered it, it’s just not what you wanted to hear.

    I don’t believe that anyone declaring:

    ” Be a sinner and sin boldly, but believe and rejoice in Christ even more boldly. . . . as long as we are here [in this world] we have to sin. . . . No sin will separate us from the Lamb, even though we commit fornication and murder a thousand times a day.”

    will inherit Eternal life with Christ – the individual telling anyone to sin boldly doesn’t have the truth. There is no plausable answer, or EXCUSE one can make for such a statement.

  • Grace

    You might not be aware, however this quote among many, many others are well known and discussed within the Christian church. People are very aware of these outrageous statements, and the excuses which ultimately follow.

  • Grace

    You might not be aware, however this quote among many, many others are well known and discussed within the Christian church. People are very aware of these outrageous statements, and the excuses which ultimately follow.

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    No Grace, you DID NOT answer it. You have just resorted into reading into my question things that are not there.

    My question is not how many “wilful” sins, but how many sins. Also, you are still ignoring the context which clearly illustrates that Luther was not talking about wilfull sin at all.

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    No Grace, you DID NOT answer it. You have just resorted into reading into my question things that are not there.

    My question is not how many “wilful” sins, but how many sins. Also, you are still ignoring the context which clearly illustrates that Luther was not talking about wilfull sin at all.

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    So Grace, are you wilfully quoting Luther as saying “one can wilfuuly sin as much as one like”?

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    So Grace, are you wilfully quoting Luther as saying “one can wilfuuly sin as much as one like”?

  • Grace

    Louis –

    Tempting God to see how much you can see “boldly” is a dangerous game, and yes it is a game. It is mocking Him on purpose.

    Pray and ask God how many times you can sin “boldly” and still attain Eternal Life.

  • Grace

    Louis –

    Tempting God to see how much you can see “boldly” is a dangerous game, and yes it is a game. It is mocking Him on purpose.

    Pray and ask God how many times you can sin “boldly” and still attain Eternal Life.

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    Grace, let me write it boldly :) CONTEXT!

    Two: I also did not use the word boldly in my question. My second question leads directly from my first. Let me repeat it here:

    1. Can you or anybody ever claim that they never sin? Answer – obviously no.

    2.So, then, how many sins will disqualify you from being a child of God?

    Can you see that my second question leads from my first? So how about it then? What is Grace’s answer to the second question?

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    Grace, let me write it boldly :) CONTEXT!

    Two: I also did not use the word boldly in my question. My second question leads directly from my first. Let me repeat it here:

    1. Can you or anybody ever claim that they never sin? Answer – obviously no.

    2.So, then, how many sins will disqualify you from being a child of God?

    Can you see that my second question leads from my first? So how about it then? What is Grace’s answer to the second question?

  • Grace

    I answered your question the way I chose to, now if that doesn’t meet your requirements, I really don’t care.

  • Grace

    I answered your question the way I chose to, now if that doesn’t meet your requirements, I really don’t care.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace (@20), it is remarkable how frequently you resort to snippy non-responses like that, once a conversation gets to a certain point. Perhaps you think you’re fooling everyone else into having provided a response, but if so, you’re only fooling yourself. Don’t you think it’s telling that there are certain questions you refuse to answer, at which point you typically start accusing people and sounding upset?

    No matter how much you may claim for yourself the status of having studied this or that — most notably, anything to do with Luther — your highly selective use of quotes from him, absent any context whatsoever makes it clear to everyone else that you either don’t know what that quote means in its context, or that you merely don’t care (because your agenda is not knowledge, but defamation). I am quite certain that my saying so will send you off, talking about “context games” or whatever, but there it is.

    And though I fear that doing so will be in vain, yet I will reply to this one thing you said: “Pray and ask God how many times you can sin ‘boldly’ and still attain Eternal Life.” Tell me, Grace: how many sins did Jesus’ death pay for? Were any of them committed “boldly” (as you understand that term)? Or did Jesus only pay for the meek sins that people like you apparently commit? You don’t have to “ask God” about this — he already told us, in his Word.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace (@20), it is remarkable how frequently you resort to snippy non-responses like that, once a conversation gets to a certain point. Perhaps you think you’re fooling everyone else into having provided a response, but if so, you’re only fooling yourself. Don’t you think it’s telling that there are certain questions you refuse to answer, at which point you typically start accusing people and sounding upset?

    No matter how much you may claim for yourself the status of having studied this or that — most notably, anything to do with Luther — your highly selective use of quotes from him, absent any context whatsoever makes it clear to everyone else that you either don’t know what that quote means in its context, or that you merely don’t care (because your agenda is not knowledge, but defamation). I am quite certain that my saying so will send you off, talking about “context games” or whatever, but there it is.

    And though I fear that doing so will be in vain, yet I will reply to this one thing you said: “Pray and ask God how many times you can sin ‘boldly’ and still attain Eternal Life.” Tell me, Grace: how many sins did Jesus’ death pay for? Were any of them committed “boldly” (as you understand that term)? Or did Jesus only pay for the meek sins that people like you apparently commit? You don’t have to “ask God” about this — he already told us, in his Word.

  • Dust

    Honestly, every Lutheran here should just admit that Luther’s choice of the phrase “sin boldly” was probably a mistake in hindsight, as it can be easily misconstrued to mean the opposite of what he was really trying to say, and to that end, EGK in 5, said it pretty well. But not well enough, perhaps?

    Politicians and others in the public spotlight do it all the time and then need to have their PR folks backtrack and explain and put their words into context, etc. In the meantime, the quote is there and will always be there and folks will always want to explain it the way they want to explain it. If they don’t like Luther or anything to do with Luther, they will explain in a way to be consistent with their purpose and no amount of explanation will change their mind, that’s the way it works. The folks that like Luther and understand his bold way of talking, will put it in a context that explains it in a way that is consistent with their perspective. You know, a love covers a multitude of sins, type of thing perhaps?

    So admit it, Grace has a point, the words are badly chosen, the fact that they are used against Luther and his beliefs is proof enough. We all make mistakes, most of us never write them down and have to live with them for the rest of our lives and beyond. Once we are gone it’s too late to recant or rephrase and if you fear that, then you best stay on the porch, as you definitely don’t have what it takes to sin boldly, shall we say :)

  • Dust

    Honestly, every Lutheran here should just admit that Luther’s choice of the phrase “sin boldly” was probably a mistake in hindsight, as it can be easily misconstrued to mean the opposite of what he was really trying to say, and to that end, EGK in 5, said it pretty well. But not well enough, perhaps?

    Politicians and others in the public spotlight do it all the time and then need to have their PR folks backtrack and explain and put their words into context, etc. In the meantime, the quote is there and will always be there and folks will always want to explain it the way they want to explain it. If they don’t like Luther or anything to do with Luther, they will explain in a way to be consistent with their purpose and no amount of explanation will change their mind, that’s the way it works. The folks that like Luther and understand his bold way of talking, will put it in a context that explains it in a way that is consistent with their perspective. You know, a love covers a multitude of sins, type of thing perhaps?

    So admit it, Grace has a point, the words are badly chosen, the fact that they are used against Luther and his beliefs is proof enough. We all make mistakes, most of us never write them down and have to live with them for the rest of our lives and beyond. Once we are gone it’s too late to recant or rephrase and if you fear that, then you best stay on the porch, as you definitely don’t have what it takes to sin boldly, shall we say :)

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Dust (@22), it is extremely bad practice to blame Person A for the fact that Person B miscontrues his words. This is all the more so if Person B has not even done the due diligence of considering the words in context.

    Under this rubric, most of Scripture itself would not stand, as it is routinely misconstrued. Would you similarly argue that any passage of Scripture that is misunderstood is also “a mistake in hindsight”?

    You yourself blame Luther for a poor choice of words, and yet your first comment here (@1) suggests that, until EGK corrected you (@5), you were also unaware of the context of that statement.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Dust (@22), it is extremely bad practice to blame Person A for the fact that Person B miscontrues his words. This is all the more so if Person B has not even done the due diligence of considering the words in context.

    Under this rubric, most of Scripture itself would not stand, as it is routinely misconstrued. Would you similarly argue that any passage of Scripture that is misunderstood is also “a mistake in hindsight”?

    You yourself blame Luther for a poor choice of words, and yet your first comment here (@1) suggests that, until EGK corrected you (@5), you were also unaware of the context of that statement.

  • http://blog.captainthin.net/ Captain Thin

    Thanks Dust @3 and LAJ @4. I’ll just sidestep the rest of the conversation except to say thanks to Louis @9 for clarifying to Grace that the article compares pastors – not God – to King George VI.

  • http://blog.captainthin.net/ Captain Thin

    Thanks Dust @3 and LAJ @4. I’ll just sidestep the rest of the conversation except to say thanks to Louis @9 for clarifying to Grace that the article compares pastors – not God – to King George VI.

  • Grace

    tODD – 21

    tODD WROTE: “No matter how much you may claim for yourself the status of having studied this or that — most notably, anything to do with Luther — your highly selective use of quotes from him, absent any context whatsoever makes it clear to everyone else that you either don’t know what that quote means in its context, or that you merely don’t care (because your agenda is not knowledge, but defamation). ” – -

    It didn’t occur to me that you wouldn’t know the entire text, or that someone need point it out to you.

    Here is the next paragraph, it’s a shame you don’t know where to find it. If you did, you certainly made your usual fuss, because you cannot find it, or you think I don’t have it.

    Let Your Sins Be Strong: A Letter From Luther to Melanchthon Letter no. 99, 1 August 1521, From the Wartburg (Segment) Translated by Erika Bullmann Flores from: _Dr. Martin Luther’s Saemmtliche Schriften_ Dr, Johannes Georg Walch, Ed. (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, N.D.), Vol. 15,cols. 2585-2590.

    13. If you are a preacher of mercy, do not preach an imaginary but the true mercy. If the mercy is true, you must therefore bear the true, not an imaginary sin. God does not save those who are only imaginary sinners. Be a sinner, and let your sins be strong, but let your trust in Christ be stronger, and rejoice in Christ who is the victor over sin, death, and the world. We will commit sins while we are here, for this life is not a place where justice resides. We, however, says Peter (2. Peter 3:13) are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth where justice will reign. It suffices that through God’s glory we have recognized the Lamb who takes away the sin of the world. No sin can separate us from Him, even if we were to kill or commit adultery thousands of times each day. Do you think such an exalted Lamb paid merely a small price with a meager sacrifice for our sins? Pray hard for you are quite a sinner.
    - On the day of the Feast of St. Peter the Apostle, 1521

    1 Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more.

    2 For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus.

    3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:

    4 That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;

    5 Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God:
    {lust or strong desire: powerful feelings of physical desire}

    6 That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified.

    7 For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.

    8 He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit.
    1 Thessalonians 4

  • Grace

    tODD – 21

    tODD WROTE: “No matter how much you may claim for yourself the status of having studied this or that — most notably, anything to do with Luther — your highly selective use of quotes from him, absent any context whatsoever makes it clear to everyone else that you either don’t know what that quote means in its context, or that you merely don’t care (because your agenda is not knowledge, but defamation). ” – -

    It didn’t occur to me that you wouldn’t know the entire text, or that someone need point it out to you.

    Here is the next paragraph, it’s a shame you don’t know where to find it. If you did, you certainly made your usual fuss, because you cannot find it, or you think I don’t have it.

    Let Your Sins Be Strong: A Letter From Luther to Melanchthon Letter no. 99, 1 August 1521, From the Wartburg (Segment) Translated by Erika Bullmann Flores from: _Dr. Martin Luther’s Saemmtliche Schriften_ Dr, Johannes Georg Walch, Ed. (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, N.D.), Vol. 15,cols. 2585-2590.

    13. If you are a preacher of mercy, do not preach an imaginary but the true mercy. If the mercy is true, you must therefore bear the true, not an imaginary sin. God does not save those who are only imaginary sinners. Be a sinner, and let your sins be strong, but let your trust in Christ be stronger, and rejoice in Christ who is the victor over sin, death, and the world. We will commit sins while we are here, for this life is not a place where justice resides. We, however, says Peter (2. Peter 3:13) are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth where justice will reign. It suffices that through God’s glory we have recognized the Lamb who takes away the sin of the world. No sin can separate us from Him, even if we were to kill or commit adultery thousands of times each day. Do you think such an exalted Lamb paid merely a small price with a meager sacrifice for our sins? Pray hard for you are quite a sinner.
    - On the day of the Feast of St. Peter the Apostle, 1521

    1 Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more.

    2 For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus.

    3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:

    4 That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;

    5 Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God:
    {lust or strong desire: powerful feelings of physical desire}

    6 That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified.

    7 For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.

    8 He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit.
    1 Thessalonians 4

  • Grace

    26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,

    27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.

    28 He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:

    29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?

    30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.

    31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. Hebrews 10

  • Grace

    26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,

    27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.

    28 He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:

    29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?

    30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.

    31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. Hebrews 10

  • Grace

    Captain Thin – 24

    Captain thin, YOU WRITE: ” I’ll just sidestep the rest of the conversation except to say thanks to Louis @9 for clarifying to Grace that the article compares pastors – not God – to King George VI.”

    In my post #7 I posted part of what you wrote in your article. Here is more:

    “God speaks to us through pastors. “Would to God,” Luther writes “that we could gradually train our hearts to believe that the preacher’s words are God’s Word and that the man addressing us is a scholar and a king.” For it truly is the “King’s speech” a pastor is trying to communicate. And we, clergy and laypeople alike, must listen attentively to hear what He says.

    MY RESPONSE: “A man needs to discern the difference between truth and false teaching. Too often, within many denominations the truth has been disguised, and those who are unlearned in the Scriptures are duped into false teaching.”

    The phrase “the preacher’s words are God’s Word” isn’t always true, especially if the pastor is re-wording the Biblical text. God’s Word is His alone,….. a pastor is preaching, but that doesn’t mean that what comes from his lips is truth.

    So, if you are using “the preacher’s words are God’s Word” as Luther did, and you believe it, you are making a comparison.

  • Grace

    Captain Thin – 24

    Captain thin, YOU WRITE: ” I’ll just sidestep the rest of the conversation except to say thanks to Louis @9 for clarifying to Grace that the article compares pastors – not God – to King George VI.”

    In my post #7 I posted part of what you wrote in your article. Here is more:

    “God speaks to us through pastors. “Would to God,” Luther writes “that we could gradually train our hearts to believe that the preacher’s words are God’s Word and that the man addressing us is a scholar and a king.” For it truly is the “King’s speech” a pastor is trying to communicate. And we, clergy and laypeople alike, must listen attentively to hear what He says.

    MY RESPONSE: “A man needs to discern the difference between truth and false teaching. Too often, within many denominations the truth has been disguised, and those who are unlearned in the Scriptures are duped into false teaching.”

    The phrase “the preacher’s words are God’s Word” isn’t always true, especially if the pastor is re-wording the Biblical text. God’s Word is His alone,….. a pastor is preaching, but that doesn’t mean that what comes from his lips is truth.

    So, if you are using “the preacher’s words are God’s Word” as Luther did, and you believe it, you are making a comparison.

  • Dust

    tODD, thanks for your comments but respectfully disagree…first of all there is a huge difference between the words of a man, like Martin Luther or any other man, and the word of God. People misconstrue God’s word because they are fallen and sinful and even at best, see thru a glass darkly….but many times when the words of mortals are misunderstood, it can actually be quite truly because, they are idiots and speak like idiots, or at best, misspoke…whether or not, you think otherwise. My guess is that if I had the time to look thru all previous posts and comments, could find many examples where perhaps you defended someone’s words or comments? Maybe not, doesn’t matter, but it’s not wise to compare God’s word and man’s, am sure you didn’t mean it that way…although could see how one could construe it that way :)

    And another point, my misunderstanding of the context of the words per my comment in 1, doesn’t really change the fact that it is/was a poor choice of words….it is, and the more I read about them, the more poor they seem….good for perhaps Germany in the 1500′s but not for the politically correct and sensitive ears of this golden age of 21st century culture and society?

    Cheers!

  • Dust

    tODD, thanks for your comments but respectfully disagree…first of all there is a huge difference between the words of a man, like Martin Luther or any other man, and the word of God. People misconstrue God’s word because they are fallen and sinful and even at best, see thru a glass darkly….but many times when the words of mortals are misunderstood, it can actually be quite truly because, they are idiots and speak like idiots, or at best, misspoke…whether or not, you think otherwise. My guess is that if I had the time to look thru all previous posts and comments, could find many examples where perhaps you defended someone’s words or comments? Maybe not, doesn’t matter, but it’s not wise to compare God’s word and man’s, am sure you didn’t mean it that way…although could see how one could construe it that way :)

    And another point, my misunderstanding of the context of the words per my comment in 1, doesn’t really change the fact that it is/was a poor choice of words….it is, and the more I read about them, the more poor they seem….good for perhaps Germany in the 1500′s but not for the politically correct and sensitive ears of this golden age of 21st century culture and society?

    Cheers!

  • Grace

    28 – Dust, you nailed it – great post.

    “it’s not wise to compare God’s word and man’s,”

  • Grace

    28 – Dust, you nailed it – great post.

    “it’s not wise to compare God’s word and man’s,”

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    Grace, you are quite the curious person:

    First, you yourself quote somebody’s words within context, and then immediately proceeds to ignore the context, and then disagree with others when they show it to you.

    Then you answer a question by actually ignoring the question, answering a question that wasn’t asked, and then, when gently reporved, say that “I answered your question the way I chose to, now if that doesn’t meet your requirements, I really don’t care.”

    Then you remonstrate with the authorn of a piece, saying that they meant one thing when they themselves say that that is not what they meant.

    Now tewll me Grace, is this pompous arrogance the result of natural inclination, or of careful study. Do tell, because it is a fascinating psychological phenomenon.

    Dust, I think people might take you seriously the day you stop being Grace’s little lapdog.

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    Grace, you are quite the curious person:

    First, you yourself quote somebody’s words within context, and then immediately proceeds to ignore the context, and then disagree with others when they show it to you.

    Then you answer a question by actually ignoring the question, answering a question that wasn’t asked, and then, when gently reporved, say that “I answered your question the way I chose to, now if that doesn’t meet your requirements, I really don’t care.”

    Then you remonstrate with the authorn of a piece, saying that they meant one thing when they themselves say that that is not what they meant.

    Now tewll me Grace, is this pompous arrogance the result of natural inclination, or of careful study. Do tell, because it is a fascinating psychological phenomenon.

    Dust, I think people might take you seriously the day you stop being Grace’s little lapdog.

  • Grace

    Poor Louis !

  • Grace

    Poor Louis !

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    Ah, I believe this is a QED moment!

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    Ah, I believe this is a QED moment!

  • http://blog.captainthin.net/ Captain Thin

    Grace,

    Grace, mercy and peace be to you from God our Father and from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

    I am the first to admit that it is possible I have erred in some way and, if so, am eager to be shown my errors. I assume you are as willing to do the same. Indeed, the Scriptures teach that this is the way in which knowledge is gained – through being rebuked. “Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge,” it is written, “but he who hates reproof is stupid.” I hope therefore that yours and my conversation here will be guided by that sentiment. By both sides listening carefully to reproof and responding to it in love, may we each grow in knowledge. For “whoever ignores instruction despises himself, but he who listens to reproof gains intelligence.”

    I ask therefore, in the name of the resurrected Christ whom we both confess, that you not shout unnecessarily. Using all caps (eg “YOU WRITE”) is considered poor online etiquette in the same way that shouting at a friend in real life would be considered improper. I cannot imagine you would do such a thing in the church, and I must ask you not do so online. As the Scriptures say, “Sweetness of speech increases persuasiveness.” Likewise, “Whoever restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding.” Speaking angrily is neither effective nor biblical.

    Having heard your words and your reproof, I now respond. Your primary accusation against me, if I understand correctly, is that I suggest (following Luther) that when pastors preach, God speaks. I must confess that I fear you have contradicted your earlier posts. You tell us after all that when your father preached, it was not so much him speaking but God. True ministers, you write, are “filled with the Spirit of God, and speak as He directs them.” In other words, they make no mistakes (and do not stutter, as you insist) because it is God’s Word in their mouths. This is not at all different than what Luther says when he says “the preacher’s words are God’s words.”

    The Message that pastors are called to bring forth in their sermons is the Word of God, Jesus Christ Himself. And while that Message is God’s, the vessels who deliver it are pastors. But of course, pastors are flawed human beings, sinful just like every other human being. That’s why they stumble. That’s why they sometimes stutter (metaphorically speaking) when they are preaching – because they are sinners. In those cases where they fail, the article says, pastors must trust God to speak to the congregants in spite of their (ie, the pastor’s) own failings – for it is not the pastor’s words that touches Christians but rather the Holy Spirit working in the hearts of those who hear the pastor’s words. It is not the pastor’s eloquence that cuts congregants to the heart; instead it is the merciful working of the Holy Spirit. It is in this way that the article suggests that pastors are like King George; they are both flawed. But the message that pastors carry is, of course, not their own message; rather it is God’s message – the true King’s Speech.

    You are right to point out that pastors can err and that congregants should judge what their pastors say. Luther never intended to suggest that pastors should not be questioned when he says “the preacher’s words are God’s words”. In fact, he writes explicitly elsewhere that “a Christian has the right and obligation to get up and teach without being called by men if he should find the teacher in that place to be in error, provided that this is done in a becoming and decent manner.” In other words, if the pastor begins to speak on his own (gives us his own words rather than God’s words) then the congregation is obligated to correct him.

    Basically, Luther says that when a pastor preaches the truth, it is God’s Word they are speaking. Hence, “the preacher’s words are God’s words.” But when the pastor ignores God’s Word and speaks a different word of his own devising – then his congregation must correct him.

    I hope that clarifies a few of the points in the article, Grace. But I will not respond again on this topic, for the Scriptures teach: “The beginning of strife is like letting out water, so quit before the quarrel breaks out.” I tried to follow that passage when I said I would “sidestep the rest of the conversation” – I had no desire to be drawn into unfruitful argument, particularly one that seemed so unnecessarily venomous. But as you directly addressed me, demanding a response, I feel I have now satisfied your request. I will not carry the matter further.

    Your brother in Christ,

    Mathew

  • http://blog.captainthin.net/ Captain Thin

    Grace,

    Grace, mercy and peace be to you from God our Father and from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

    I am the first to admit that it is possible I have erred in some way and, if so, am eager to be shown my errors. I assume you are as willing to do the same. Indeed, the Scriptures teach that this is the way in which knowledge is gained – through being rebuked. “Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge,” it is written, “but he who hates reproof is stupid.” I hope therefore that yours and my conversation here will be guided by that sentiment. By both sides listening carefully to reproof and responding to it in love, may we each grow in knowledge. For “whoever ignores instruction despises himself, but he who listens to reproof gains intelligence.”

    I ask therefore, in the name of the resurrected Christ whom we both confess, that you not shout unnecessarily. Using all caps (eg “YOU WRITE”) is considered poor online etiquette in the same way that shouting at a friend in real life would be considered improper. I cannot imagine you would do such a thing in the church, and I must ask you not do so online. As the Scriptures say, “Sweetness of speech increases persuasiveness.” Likewise, “Whoever restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding.” Speaking angrily is neither effective nor biblical.

    Having heard your words and your reproof, I now respond. Your primary accusation against me, if I understand correctly, is that I suggest (following Luther) that when pastors preach, God speaks. I must confess that I fear you have contradicted your earlier posts. You tell us after all that when your father preached, it was not so much him speaking but God. True ministers, you write, are “filled with the Spirit of God, and speak as He directs them.” In other words, they make no mistakes (and do not stutter, as you insist) because it is God’s Word in their mouths. This is not at all different than what Luther says when he says “the preacher’s words are God’s words.”

    The Message that pastors are called to bring forth in their sermons is the Word of God, Jesus Christ Himself. And while that Message is God’s, the vessels who deliver it are pastors. But of course, pastors are flawed human beings, sinful just like every other human being. That’s why they stumble. That’s why they sometimes stutter (metaphorically speaking) when they are preaching – because they are sinners. In those cases where they fail, the article says, pastors must trust God to speak to the congregants in spite of their (ie, the pastor’s) own failings – for it is not the pastor’s words that touches Christians but rather the Holy Spirit working in the hearts of those who hear the pastor’s words. It is not the pastor’s eloquence that cuts congregants to the heart; instead it is the merciful working of the Holy Spirit. It is in this way that the article suggests that pastors are like King George; they are both flawed. But the message that pastors carry is, of course, not their own message; rather it is God’s message – the true King’s Speech.

    You are right to point out that pastors can err and that congregants should judge what their pastors say. Luther never intended to suggest that pastors should not be questioned when he says “the preacher’s words are God’s words”. In fact, he writes explicitly elsewhere that “a Christian has the right and obligation to get up and teach without being called by men if he should find the teacher in that place to be in error, provided that this is done in a becoming and decent manner.” In other words, if the pastor begins to speak on his own (gives us his own words rather than God’s words) then the congregation is obligated to correct him.

    Basically, Luther says that when a pastor preaches the truth, it is God’s Word they are speaking. Hence, “the preacher’s words are God’s words.” But when the pastor ignores God’s Word and speaks a different word of his own devising – then his congregation must correct him.

    I hope that clarifies a few of the points in the article, Grace. But I will not respond again on this topic, for the Scriptures teach: “The beginning of strife is like letting out water, so quit before the quarrel breaks out.” I tried to follow that passage when I said I would “sidestep the rest of the conversation” – I had no desire to be drawn into unfruitful argument, particularly one that seemed so unnecessarily venomous. But as you directly addressed me, demanding a response, I feel I have now satisfied your request. I will not carry the matter further.

    Your brother in Christ,

    Mathew

  • Louis

    You are a good man, Matthew.

  • Louis

    You are a good man, Matthew.

  • Grace

    Captain Thin – 33

    YOU POSTED: “I ask therefore, in the name of the resurrected Christ whom we both confess, that you not shout unnecessarily. Using all caps (eg “YOU WRITE”) is considered poor online etiquette in the same way that shouting at a friend in real life would be considered improper.”

    You might not be aware, but using ALL CAPS when making plain another individuals comments is done all the time, on countless blogs, – - about five years now, no matter who they are – It has nothing to do with “online etiquette” as you claim.

    YOU POST: “Having heard your words and your reproof, I now respond. Your primary accusation against me, if I understand correctly, is that I suggest (following Luther) that when pastors preach, God speaks. I must confess that I fear you have contradicted your earlier posts. You tell us after all that when your father preached, it was not so much him speaking but God.”

    Captain Thin – I never stated “You tell us after all that when your father preached, it was not so much him speaking but God.” You have twisted my words, in an attempt to make a point you don’t have. Not clever!

    This is what I wrote in post #7 –

    ” 7 Grace March 3, 2011 at 12:46 am
    My father, called of God to be a pastor was dependent upon the HOLY Spirit to guide him, what he preached to the flock he was given. I, a young child of five years, was touched by my fathers messages, often sobbing when he spoke. If a pastor is a real child of God, he is indwelt by the HOLY Spirit, which guides his words and path.”

    That does not mean, imply, or infer that ” it was not so much him speaking but God.”

  • Grace

    Captain Thin – 33

    YOU POSTED: “I ask therefore, in the name of the resurrected Christ whom we both confess, that you not shout unnecessarily. Using all caps (eg “YOU WRITE”) is considered poor online etiquette in the same way that shouting at a friend in real life would be considered improper.”

    You might not be aware, but using ALL CAPS when making plain another individuals comments is done all the time, on countless blogs, – - about five years now, no matter who they are – It has nothing to do with “online etiquette” as you claim.

    YOU POST: “Having heard your words and your reproof, I now respond. Your primary accusation against me, if I understand correctly, is that I suggest (following Luther) that when pastors preach, God speaks. I must confess that I fear you have contradicted your earlier posts. You tell us after all that when your father preached, it was not so much him speaking but God.”

    Captain Thin – I never stated “You tell us after all that when your father preached, it was not so much him speaking but God.” You have twisted my words, in an attempt to make a point you don’t have. Not clever!

    This is what I wrote in post #7 –

    ” 7 Grace March 3, 2011 at 12:46 am
    My father, called of God to be a pastor was dependent upon the HOLY Spirit to guide him, what he preached to the flock he was given. I, a young child of five years, was touched by my fathers messages, often sobbing when he spoke. If a pastor is a real child of God, he is indwelt by the HOLY Spirit, which guides his words and path.”

    That does not mean, imply, or infer that ” it was not so much him speaking but God.”

  • Charity

    Great article Mathew!
    It’s amazing to me how God works most mightily through His weak earthen vessels.
    I was thinking, in the OT when people were converted, God often changed their names to a word or phrase that would mark the trajectory of their character going forth through the sanctification process. Would that this be true of all of us. Blessings.

  • Charity

    Great article Mathew!
    It’s amazing to me how God works most mightily through His weak earthen vessels.
    I was thinking, in the OT when people were converted, God often changed their names to a word or phrase that would mark the trajectory of their character going forth through the sanctification process. Would that this be true of all of us. Blessings.


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