Lutheranism as the emergent church?

Set aside the pastor being a woman.  Set aside the tattoos.   Set aside the social justice stuff.  Well, you’ll have to set aside quite a bit.  But what’s striking here is that the latest star of the “emergent church” (congregations trying to reach trendy postmodernists by being trendy and postmodernist) employs traditional Lutheran theology and liturgy:

Lutheran pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber is a dichotomy wrapped in a paradox covered in tattoos.

Creation, Advent, Christmas, Lent, Good Friday, Easter and Pentecost — practically the entire liturgical year — unfurl in technicolor ink from her shoulder to her wrist.

That’s just her left arm. Mary Magdalene and Lazarus rising from the dead are on the long right arm of this 6-foot-1 Christian billboard.

The 42-year-old came to Jesus later in life but then pursued a vocation in Christ full throttle. In a state where Focus on the Family and other strands of evangelical Christianity have long grabbed most headlines, a progressive Lutheran is now stealing the marquee.

On the strength of her preaching, Bolz-Weber received the invitation to sermonize Sunday at Easter sunrise services for roughly 10,000 people at Red Rocks Amphitheatre.

In the few years since ordination in late 2008, she has become famous within her denomination, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and achieved international acclaim.

She has a wide audience for her sermons and blogs, touted by the likes of progressive Christianity torch-bearer Jim Wallis. Her blog is under the heading “Sarcastic Lutheran: The cranky spirituality of a postmodern Gal. Emerging church ala Luther.” . . .

Bolz-Weber sums up her own small mission church as “a group of folks figuring out how to be liturgical, Christo-centric, social-justice oriented, queer inclusive, incarnational, contemplative, irreverent, ancient-future church with a progressive but deeply rooted theological imagination.”

Bolz-Weber makes it seem reasonable and fun to be simultaneously traditional and innovative, ancient and postmodern, devout and irreverent, brash and humble, flip and profound, and so on. . . .

While she shatters all stereotypes of Lutheran pastors, [ELCA Presiding Bishop Mark] Hanson said, she is “absolutely grounded in the heart of Lutheran theology.”

Bolz-Weber herself bristles at the notion she is a “rogue Lutheran” or that her church is niche marketing.

“I’ve never asked myself what do young adults want on church,” she said. “I’ve never tried to fill a market niche by producing a particular religious product.”

She just wanted to start a church her friends didn’t have “to commute to spiritually and culturally” from the context of their normal lives. . . .

She tried out the Unitarian Universalist Church, where they have “a high opinion of humans” that didn’t fit with her experience. People are flawed, she said.”It’s dark in there,” she said tapping her chest over her heart. “We’re all simultaneously sinners and saints. We live in response to God’s grace. Nobody’s climbing the spiritual ladder.”

She chose the Lutheran denomination, she said, “because I met this really cute guy playing volleyball.”

He’s now her husband. Matthew Weber is also a Lutheran pastor, but of a more mainline stripe. Married in 1996, the couple have two children, 10 and 12.

Bolz-Weber also fell in love with the Lutheran liturgy, she said. “The Lutheran Church is the only place that gave me language true to what I’d experienced, true to my life,” she said. “I want to give people what I got out of that.”

James Wall, a self-described coat-and-tie Episcopalian who co-founded “The Wilderness,” an emerging church within the church at St. John’s Episcopal Cathedral, serves as contemplative-in-residence at House for All Sinners and Saints.

“She works within a mainstream denomination, yet her congregation is nearly all young people,” Wall said. “The liturgy is traditional and sacramental, with ancient chants and traditional hymns. This is not some rock-band-led, happy-clappy church in the suburbs. And yet young, radical Christians come every Sunday.”

via Pastor turns heads by blending tradition and irreverence – The Denver Post”.

I have been critical of the emergent church movement, with its doctrinal revisionism, while saluting some of its  criticisms of American Christianity.   Emergent Christians, to their credit, want to bring back “mystery” into their beliefs and ritual into their worship, but they by-and-large reject Christian orthodoxy, which reveals the true mysteries of the faith, and they ignore the historical liturgy in favor of made-up rituals, even though the former is so much better by any standard.  They seem to be groping for the sacramental, but they lack the theology and the doctrines for a genuine sacramental spirituality.  I have often thought that Lutheranism is the true emergent church, addressing its valid concerns without falling into its mistakes.  So maybe the Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber is onto something.  But are postmodernists so shallow that they need so much coolness and progressive trappings  in a pastor?  Why wouldn’t a regular congregation with traditional theology, liturgy, and sacraments do just as well?

HT: David Halbrook

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.

  • Pete

    “Why wouldn’t a regular congregation with traditional theology, liturgy, and sacraments do just as well?”
    I suspect the answer is in Rev. Bolz-Weber’s statement that her church is “a group of folks figuring out how to be liturgical, Christo-centric, social-justice oriented, queer inclusive, incarnational, contemplative, irreverent, ancient-future church with a progressive but deeply rooted theological imagination.”
    The traditional Lutheran paradigm is not one of “figuring out” who we are. It’s corporate confession that we KNOW who we are and that we KNOW that God knows who we are, as well. And that who we are is not so hot. Damnable, in fact. And the transaction that occurs, via the liturgical service, solves that “damnability” (a word?) in our receiving the Holy God as He has chosen to give Himself to us – in His Word and sacraments. Said another way, the church is not “a group of folks” trying to figure stuff out. The church is the bride of Christ.
    That said, I think she’s moving the right direction in many ways.

  • Pete

    “Why wouldn’t a regular congregation with traditional theology, liturgy, and sacraments do just as well?”
    I suspect the answer is in Rev. Bolz-Weber’s statement that her church is “a group of folks figuring out how to be liturgical, Christo-centric, social-justice oriented, queer inclusive, incarnational, contemplative, irreverent, ancient-future church with a progressive but deeply rooted theological imagination.”
    The traditional Lutheran paradigm is not one of “figuring out” who we are. It’s corporate confession that we KNOW who we are and that we KNOW that God knows who we are, as well. And that who we are is not so hot. Damnable, in fact. And the transaction that occurs, via the liturgical service, solves that “damnability” (a word?) in our receiving the Holy God as He has chosen to give Himself to us – in His Word and sacraments. Said another way, the church is not “a group of folks” trying to figure stuff out. The church is the bride of Christ.
    That said, I think she’s moving the right direction in many ways.

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

    As somebody acquainted with the details of the emergent church movement, I have one thing to say: stay away from it, period. It is nothing but a warmed-over hodgepodge of neo-orthodoxy that flirts with universalism and denies the essence of the gospel itself. It subsitutes sound doctrine with activism and a mysticism more akin to paganism than Christianity.

    I think John MacArthur hits the nail on the head well when addressing Rob Bell, a prominent spokesman in the emergent movement: http://www.gty.org/Blog/B110421

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

    As somebody acquainted with the details of the emergent church movement, I have one thing to say: stay away from it, period. It is nothing but a warmed-over hodgepodge of neo-orthodoxy that flirts with universalism and denies the essence of the gospel itself. It subsitutes sound doctrine with activism and a mysticism more akin to paganism than Christianity.

    I think John MacArthur hits the nail on the head well when addressing Rob Bell, a prominent spokesman in the emergent movement: http://www.gty.org/Blog/B110421

  • larry

    “They seem to be groping for the sacramental”

    This connects well with the church that lives on the Word in faith when the opposite is seen, sensed, reasoned after a few posts back.

    That’s the lynch pin. In a way this very simple. Fallen man as a term of “talking about”, “analyzing the situation”, “dissecting the state of man” is one thing, its at length sterile and purely academic. Even if all that is said of such is 100% truth. However, contra Darwinianism, every person is just that A PERSON, that feels the pain of death, the law and hell. That fear/terror/despair of eternal death and separation from their Creator via sin. “The sting of death is sin…”

    All that to say that one cannot escape the NEED for a real and true “pro me” of the Creator that touches the creature. Until then all is “to be groping for the sacramental”. They may not call it “sacramental”. This is why philosophical signage and symbolism, i.e. the sign of a thing absent, always in the end leaves one utterly empty.

    So men and women, pagans, heterodox and orthodox alike all NEED that “pro me” sacramental. Not a sign, not vacuous Gnostic fleeting into the atmosphere “spiritual” connection, but an enfleshed sacramental (mystery) that says God has fixed this for me in spite of all the death and things I see to the contrary. Something must take away the stinger of death and thus the fear/terror/despair, else all else is utterly lost and pointless.

    So, fallen man being individuals and persons needing a “pro me” and not some nebulous giddy spiritual thing, an enfleshment of the Word, needs that sacramental that mystery were the Word has spoken and is what it speaks. Else all men can do in such utter helplessness is to “grope for the sacramental”, yet only finding pseudo sacraments to seemingly patch the gap but in the end always fail.

    However, when baptism does what it says and the body and blood of the Son of God are real and true and do what the Word says it does, the groping ends and the sacramental has truly been found, rather given.

    The summary is the “pro me” need of fallen man is to the man in particular the persons as individuals and not just a category of people like so many stoically cataloged insects – is inescapable. It will either be the true Worded sacramental pro me, or false ones.

  • larry

    “They seem to be groping for the sacramental”

    This connects well with the church that lives on the Word in faith when the opposite is seen, sensed, reasoned after a few posts back.

    That’s the lynch pin. In a way this very simple. Fallen man as a term of “talking about”, “analyzing the situation”, “dissecting the state of man” is one thing, its at length sterile and purely academic. Even if all that is said of such is 100% truth. However, contra Darwinianism, every person is just that A PERSON, that feels the pain of death, the law and hell. That fear/terror/despair of eternal death and separation from their Creator via sin. “The sting of death is sin…”

    All that to say that one cannot escape the NEED for a real and true “pro me” of the Creator that touches the creature. Until then all is “to be groping for the sacramental”. They may not call it “sacramental”. This is why philosophical signage and symbolism, i.e. the sign of a thing absent, always in the end leaves one utterly empty.

    So men and women, pagans, heterodox and orthodox alike all NEED that “pro me” sacramental. Not a sign, not vacuous Gnostic fleeting into the atmosphere “spiritual” connection, but an enfleshed sacramental (mystery) that says God has fixed this for me in spite of all the death and things I see to the contrary. Something must take away the stinger of death and thus the fear/terror/despair, else all else is utterly lost and pointless.

    So, fallen man being individuals and persons needing a “pro me” and not some nebulous giddy spiritual thing, an enfleshment of the Word, needs that sacramental that mystery were the Word has spoken and is what it speaks. Else all men can do in such utter helplessness is to “grope for the sacramental”, yet only finding pseudo sacraments to seemingly patch the gap but in the end always fail.

    However, when baptism does what it says and the body and blood of the Son of God are real and true and do what the Word says it does, the groping ends and the sacramental has truly been found, rather given.

    The summary is the “pro me” need of fallen man is to the man in particular the persons as individuals and not just a category of people like so many stoically cataloged insects – is inescapable. It will either be the true Worded sacramental pro me, or false ones.

  • WebMonk

    Sort of what Pete said – I don’t know that I would call that church Lutheran (in make-up, not by denominational affiliation) any more than I would call them Episcopalian or anything else. Sounds like they are a mixture of several things.

    I would also be sort of curious to know what sort of liturgy she is using since her origin is ELCA and the two ELCA churches I know personally are barely liturgical at all.

  • WebMonk

    Sort of what Pete said – I don’t know that I would call that church Lutheran (in make-up, not by denominational affiliation) any more than I would call them Episcopalian or anything else. Sounds like they are a mixture of several things.

    I would also be sort of curious to know what sort of liturgy she is using since her origin is ELCA and the two ELCA churches I know personally are barely liturgical at all.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    This looks really promising:

    she says this:

    “But she doesn’t want a megachurch and doubts she could grow one, she said. ” ‘Come and die to yourself’ will never sell,” she said. ” ‘Jesus wants you to be rich’ sells. But comfort is not a gift of the Holy Spirit.”"

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    This looks really promising:

    she says this:

    “But she doesn’t want a megachurch and doubts she could grow one, she said. ” ‘Come and die to yourself’ will never sell,” she said. ” ‘Jesus wants you to be rich’ sells. But comfort is not a gift of the Holy Spirit.”"

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    and this looks really good too….

    “Now, I’ve been in a whole lot of churches and I gotta say, In most of them there is no dirt under the nails of the resurrected Christ. Because we’ve had to clean him up to look more impressive at Easter. And my theory is this: I think it’s because we go straight from Christmas to Easter, we go from the sentimentality of the Baby Jesus to the glory of the resurrected Christ, Santa Claus to Peter Cotton Tail, so quickly that we don’t bother with the messy important parts in-between: namely, what Jesus taught, how Jesus lived and how Jesus died. So, since there’s basically 10,000 of you guys just sitting here this morning, I thought I’d fill you in on the messy parts real quick…

    See it starts here: Once upon a time, the God of the Universe was basically fed up with being on the receiving end of all our human projections, tired of being nothing more to us than what we thought God should be: angry, show-offy, defensive, insecure, in short, the vengeance-seeking tyrant we would be if we were God. So, at that time, over 2,000 years ago, God’s Loving Desire to really be Known overflowed the heavens and was made manifest in the rapidly dividing cells within the womb of an insignificant peasant girl named Mary. And when the time came for her to give birth to God, there was no room in our expectations – no room in any impressive or spiffy or safe place. So this God was born in straw and dirt. He grew up, this Jesus of Nazareth, left his home, and found some, let’s be honest, rather unimpressive characters to follow him. Fishermen, Tax collectors, prostitutes, homeless women with no teeth, people from Commerce City, Ann Coulter and Charlie Sheen. If you think I’m kidding…read it for yourselves. These people were questionable. So, with his little band of misfits Jesus went about the countryside turning water to wine, eating with all the wrong people, angering the religious establishment and insisting that in him the kingdom of God had come near, that through him the world according to God was coming right to us. He touched the unclean and used spit and dirt to heal the blind and said crazy destabilizing things like the first shall be last and the last shall be first, and sell all you have and give it to the poor.

    And the thing that really cooked people’s noodles wasn’t the question “is Jesus like God” it was “what if God is like Jesus”. What if God is not who we thought? (bold added) What if the most reliable way to know God is not through religion, not through a sin and punishment program, but through a person. What if the most reliable way to know God is to look at how God chose to reveal God’s self in Jesus?

    Because that changes everything. If what we see in Jesus is God’s own self, revealed, then what we are dealing with here is a God who is ridiculously indiscriminate about choosing friends. A God who would rather die than be in the sin accounting business anymore. A God who would not lift a finger to condemn those who crucified him, but went to the depths of Hell rather than be apart even from his betrayers. A God unafraid to get his hands dirty for the ones he loves. This, this is the God who rises to new life with dirt still under his nails.

    So while the churches may try and clean up Jesus so the visitors will be impressed today, The God of Easter, the God who brings life out of death doesn’t want to make you impressive, this God isn’t satisfied with making you good or nice. IF you think that’s what resurrection looks like, if you think it looks like perfection and piety and therefore you haven’t experienced it, you might be wrong. Because God isn’t about making you spiffy. God isn’t about making you nicer. God is about making you new. And new doesn’t always look perfect, with a fabulous new dress because like the Easter story itself, new can be messy.

    New looks like recovering alcoholics. New looks like reconciliation between family members who don’t actually deserve it. New looks like every time I manage to admit I was wrong and every time I manage to not mention when I’m right. New looks like the lumpy awkward forgiveness we manage to scrounge up despite ourselves. New looks like every fresh start and every act of forgiveness and every moment of letting go of what we thought we couldn’t live without and then somehow living without it anyway. New is the thing you never saw coming …never even hoped for, but ends up being what you needed all along and it happens to all of us. Because as Jesus said…the world according to God is near to us. And God simply keeps reaching down into the dirt of humanity and pulling us out of the graves we dig for ourselves through our violence, our lies, our selfishness, our arrogance and our addictions. And God keeps loving us back to life over and over.

    So by all means enjoy the lilies and chocolate and fancy music. But know that if there is anything impressive about following Jesus it’s that you are loved so powerfully by God that God has swept you up into God’s own story of death and life and life after death. And if there’s anything impressive about Christians, it’s that we are a people who still have the dirt from our graves under our nails, while we stand here shouting Alleluia! Christ is risen.

    http://www.sarcasticlutheran.typepad.com/

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    and this looks really good too….

    “Now, I’ve been in a whole lot of churches and I gotta say, In most of them there is no dirt under the nails of the resurrected Christ. Because we’ve had to clean him up to look more impressive at Easter. And my theory is this: I think it’s because we go straight from Christmas to Easter, we go from the sentimentality of the Baby Jesus to the glory of the resurrected Christ, Santa Claus to Peter Cotton Tail, so quickly that we don’t bother with the messy important parts in-between: namely, what Jesus taught, how Jesus lived and how Jesus died. So, since there’s basically 10,000 of you guys just sitting here this morning, I thought I’d fill you in on the messy parts real quick…

    See it starts here: Once upon a time, the God of the Universe was basically fed up with being on the receiving end of all our human projections, tired of being nothing more to us than what we thought God should be: angry, show-offy, defensive, insecure, in short, the vengeance-seeking tyrant we would be if we were God. So, at that time, over 2,000 years ago, God’s Loving Desire to really be Known overflowed the heavens and was made manifest in the rapidly dividing cells within the womb of an insignificant peasant girl named Mary. And when the time came for her to give birth to God, there was no room in our expectations – no room in any impressive or spiffy or safe place. So this God was born in straw and dirt. He grew up, this Jesus of Nazareth, left his home, and found some, let’s be honest, rather unimpressive characters to follow him. Fishermen, Tax collectors, prostitutes, homeless women with no teeth, people from Commerce City, Ann Coulter and Charlie Sheen. If you think I’m kidding…read it for yourselves. These people were questionable. So, with his little band of misfits Jesus went about the countryside turning water to wine, eating with all the wrong people, angering the religious establishment and insisting that in him the kingdom of God had come near, that through him the world according to God was coming right to us. He touched the unclean and used spit and dirt to heal the blind and said crazy destabilizing things like the first shall be last and the last shall be first, and sell all you have and give it to the poor.

    And the thing that really cooked people’s noodles wasn’t the question “is Jesus like God” it was “what if God is like Jesus”. What if God is not who we thought? (bold added) What if the most reliable way to know God is not through religion, not through a sin and punishment program, but through a person. What if the most reliable way to know God is to look at how God chose to reveal God’s self in Jesus?

    Because that changes everything. If what we see in Jesus is God’s own self, revealed, then what we are dealing with here is a God who is ridiculously indiscriminate about choosing friends. A God who would rather die than be in the sin accounting business anymore. A God who would not lift a finger to condemn those who crucified him, but went to the depths of Hell rather than be apart even from his betrayers. A God unafraid to get his hands dirty for the ones he loves. This, this is the God who rises to new life with dirt still under his nails.

    So while the churches may try and clean up Jesus so the visitors will be impressed today, The God of Easter, the God who brings life out of death doesn’t want to make you impressive, this God isn’t satisfied with making you good or nice. IF you think that’s what resurrection looks like, if you think it looks like perfection and piety and therefore you haven’t experienced it, you might be wrong. Because God isn’t about making you spiffy. God isn’t about making you nicer. God is about making you new. And new doesn’t always look perfect, with a fabulous new dress because like the Easter story itself, new can be messy.

    New looks like recovering alcoholics. New looks like reconciliation between family members who don’t actually deserve it. New looks like every time I manage to admit I was wrong and every time I manage to not mention when I’m right. New looks like the lumpy awkward forgiveness we manage to scrounge up despite ourselves. New looks like every fresh start and every act of forgiveness and every moment of letting go of what we thought we couldn’t live without and then somehow living without it anyway. New is the thing you never saw coming …never even hoped for, but ends up being what you needed all along and it happens to all of us. Because as Jesus said…the world according to God is near to us. And God simply keeps reaching down into the dirt of humanity and pulling us out of the graves we dig for ourselves through our violence, our lies, our selfishness, our arrogance and our addictions. And God keeps loving us back to life over and over.

    So by all means enjoy the lilies and chocolate and fancy music. But know that if there is anything impressive about following Jesus it’s that you are loved so powerfully by God that God has swept you up into God’s own story of death and life and life after death. And if there’s anything impressive about Christians, it’s that we are a people who still have the dirt from our graves under our nails, while we stand here shouting Alleluia! Christ is risen.

    http://www.sarcasticlutheran.typepad.com/

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    and this is an amazing testimony to the Holy Liturgy and our baptismal Life in Christ Jesus written in a tatoo on this Lutheran Pastor´s body.

    http://www.patheos.com/Resources/Additional-Resources/Tattoo-Faith?offset=0&max=1

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    and this is an amazing testimony to the Holy Liturgy and our baptismal Life in Christ Jesus written in a tatoo on this Lutheran Pastor´s body.

    http://www.patheos.com/Resources/Additional-Resources/Tattoo-Faith?offset=0&max=1

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    and then this about her work as a Lutheran Preacher….

    She really gets it.

    Excerpts:

    One argument within the emerging church conversation is that the preacher is not ontologically different and therefore somehow special. But I have come to realize I am not the special person, I just don’t have the same freedom as everyone else. I am not free to point to anything but Christ, not free to point to my opinion or someone else’s perspective, I have to point to Christ and him crucified.

    I’ve noticed you use a manuscript when you preach.

    The manuscript is about discipline more than anything else. I don’t trust myself to ad-lib.

    How do you preach for transformation and/or movement toward justice?

    I am not a social justice preacher. Occasionally a political reality will enter the sermon if it’s on everyone’s mind and it would be irresponsible not to talk about. But, I am a Lutheran preacher and that is a fierce particularity. It means I preach law and gospel. I ask what is convicting me. I have to first be convicted by something within the text before my preaching of it has a chance to transform someone else. Just like the Christian life, preaching is about dying and having new life. I hope I never preach a text as “here’s the problem and here’s what you can do with it.” I never want to do that, because it’s just not good news. Good news is when God is the subject and we are the objects. You can be convicting without being preachy.

    http://www.patheos.com/Resources/Additional-Resources/Preacher-to-Preacher-An-Interview-with-Nadia-Bolz-Weber-Jenny-Warner-03-03-2011?offset=0&max=1

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    and then this about her work as a Lutheran Preacher….

    She really gets it.

    Excerpts:

    One argument within the emerging church conversation is that the preacher is not ontologically different and therefore somehow special. But I have come to realize I am not the special person, I just don’t have the same freedom as everyone else. I am not free to point to anything but Christ, not free to point to my opinion or someone else’s perspective, I have to point to Christ and him crucified.

    I’ve noticed you use a manuscript when you preach.

    The manuscript is about discipline more than anything else. I don’t trust myself to ad-lib.

    How do you preach for transformation and/or movement toward justice?

    I am not a social justice preacher. Occasionally a political reality will enter the sermon if it’s on everyone’s mind and it would be irresponsible not to talk about. But, I am a Lutheran preacher and that is a fierce particularity. It means I preach law and gospel. I ask what is convicting me. I have to first be convicted by something within the text before my preaching of it has a chance to transform someone else. Just like the Christian life, preaching is about dying and having new life. I hope I never preach a text as “here’s the problem and here’s what you can do with it.” I never want to do that, because it’s just not good news. Good news is when God is the subject and we are the objects. You can be convicting without being preachy.

    http://www.patheos.com/Resources/Additional-Resources/Preacher-to-Preacher-An-Interview-with-Nadia-Bolz-Weber-Jenny-Warner-03-03-2011?offset=0&max=1

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    I went to that site many years ago and it seemed very political and antinomian (anything goes, and we’re good with that).

    I think it was just her husband’s blog at that point.

    Anyway, I read a few posts and never went back.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    I went to that site many years ago and it seemed very political and antinomian (anything goes, and we’re good with that).

    I think it was just her husband’s blog at that point.

    Anyway, I read a few posts and never went back.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    It took me two seconds to already start disagreeing with her.

    (I just found this quote)

    “We are a people of The Book, like Jews and Muslims are people of The Book.”

    Huh?

    We are people of the Word. Christ Jesus is that Word. What do Jews and Muslims have to do with Him? Not much.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    It took me two seconds to already start disagreeing with her.

    (I just found this quote)

    “We are a people of The Book, like Jews and Muslims are people of The Book.”

    Huh?

    We are people of the Word. Christ Jesus is that Word. What do Jews and Muslims have to do with Him? Not much.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    steve @ 10

    I would love to see the link to that quote. I think this woman has evolved over time.

    I read her stuff of 5 years ago and it is really bad. I would encourage you to google her and read some of her more recent sermons. I am pretty challenged to find problems there. I do find some.

    I would be interested for you to read her more recent sermons and tell me where you find problems dear Steve. I am seeing alot of Christ , and Christ crucified in her recent stuff.

    http://sarcasticlutheran.typepad.com/sarcastic_lutheran/

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    steve @ 10

    I would love to see the link to that quote. I think this woman has evolved over time.

    I read her stuff of 5 years ago and it is really bad. I would encourage you to google her and read some of her more recent sermons. I am pretty challenged to find problems there. I do find some.

    I would be interested for you to read her more recent sermons and tell me where you find problems dear Steve. I am seeing alot of Christ , and Christ crucified in her recent stuff.

    http://sarcasticlutheran.typepad.com/sarcastic_lutheran/

  • Booklover

    It is hard to reconcile a leader of a “community” not seeming to make a successful community of the most basic kind–her family. She is a pastor of one church; her husband is the pastor of another. How does their family fit into all of that? I suppose, if her husband’s church meets in the morning, they could all attend both services, since hers is in the evening; yet it seems less than ideal, “community-wise.”

  • Booklover

    It is hard to reconcile a leader of a “community” not seeming to make a successful community of the most basic kind–her family. She is a pastor of one church; her husband is the pastor of another. How does their family fit into all of that? I suppose, if her husband’s church meets in the morning, they could all attend both services, since hers is in the evening; yet it seems less than ideal, “community-wise.”

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    fws,

    I got that quote from one of the links you provided.

    I will read some more of her writings and sermons. I have no doubt that she knows what the gospel is. I’m not crazy about all this religious equivelancy (sp?) stuff.

    I won’t write her off just yet, because of you. I know you and know that you are a good theologian, so I’ll give her another chance.But not just yet since I have to get ready for work.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    fws,

    I got that quote from one of the links you provided.

    I will read some more of her writings and sermons. I have no doubt that she knows what the gospel is. I’m not crazy about all this religious equivelancy (sp?) stuff.

    I won’t write her off just yet, because of you. I know you and know that you are a good theologian, so I’ll give her another chance.But not just yet since I have to get ready for work.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    booklover @12

    I would ask you , in charity, to reconsider your comment. Many women have vocations outside of their home as CEOs, saleswomen, etc.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    booklover @12

    I would ask you , in charity, to reconsider your comment. Many women have vocations outside of their home as CEOs, saleswomen, etc.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Here’s where I read that quote about Jews, Christians, and Muslims all being “people of the Book”

    http://www.patheos.com/Resources/Additional-Resources/Tattoo-Faith?offset=0&max=1

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Here’s where I read that quote about Jews, Christians, and Muslims all being “people of the Book”

    http://www.patheos.com/Resources/Additional-Resources/Tattoo-Faith?offset=0&max=1

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    steve martin @ 13

    Thanks for the nice compliment Steve. I think she is a work in progress becoming ever more confessional and Lutheran in her identity. She is in regular contact now with Chris Rosebrough who is a good friend of mine and wrote some very critical articles on her. They consider each other friends now. I see alot of growth from what she wrote even a couple of years ago. In exactly the right direction.

    I am most concerned about what she will do with the Name of God. The ELCA is deep into “inclusive language”. I think this threat is greater to the ELCA remaining christian, let alone lutheran, than any other. I haven´t run across any of that stuff in her sermons yet…

    I really wish the LCMS would make a bigger deal of this inclusive language evil with the ELCA at an institutional level.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    steve martin @ 13

    Thanks for the nice compliment Steve. I think she is a work in progress becoming ever more confessional and Lutheran in her identity. She is in regular contact now with Chris Rosebrough who is a good friend of mine and wrote some very critical articles on her. They consider each other friends now. I see alot of growth from what she wrote even a couple of years ago. In exactly the right direction.

    I am most concerned about what she will do with the Name of God. The ELCA is deep into “inclusive language”. I think this threat is greater to the ELCA remaining christian, let alone lutheran, than any other. I haven´t run across any of that stuff in her sermons yet…

    I really wish the LCMS would make a bigger deal of this inclusive language evil with the ELCA at an institutional level.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Steve @ 15

    Ok that is helpful. That could be read, easily, and with only a small amount or charity, in the right and orthodox way. This is especially true in what she says in the rest of the article about the Crucifixion etc.

    I would really encourage you to read her sermons rather than interviews of her. That is where you will really get a bead on her.

    Like I say, she is a work in progress, but I like very much the direction to which she is progressing.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Steve @ 15

    Ok that is helpful. That could be read, easily, and with only a small amount or charity, in the right and orthodox way. This is especially true in what she says in the rest of the article about the Crucifixion etc.

    I would really encourage you to read her sermons rather than interviews of her. That is where you will really get a bead on her.

    Like I say, she is a work in progress, but I like very much the direction to which she is progressing.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Thanks fws.

    The ELCA is gone (as far as being a confessional Lutheran church). I would not waste any MORE time on them.

    As far as she is concerned, that is another matter. I would be willing, however, to bet my bottom dollar that she is just fine with clergy living in open sin and advocating that sin. (Gay clergy).
    I would love to know her stand on that, and that would pretty much show me how she handles the Word of God.

    Remember, even the devil knows what the gospel is and is able to vocalize it.

    Gotta run now. I was just stepping into the shower when I got those thoughts.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Thanks fws.

    The ELCA is gone (as far as being a confessional Lutheran church). I would not waste any MORE time on them.

    As far as she is concerned, that is another matter. I would be willing, however, to bet my bottom dollar that she is just fine with clergy living in open sin and advocating that sin. (Gay clergy).
    I would love to know her stand on that, and that would pretty much show me how she handles the Word of God.

    Remember, even the devil knows what the gospel is and is able to vocalize it.

    Gotta run now. I was just stepping into the shower when I got those thoughts.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    steve @ 18

    There are still alot of ELCA Churches that cling to Christ Crucified. We identify them as fellow christians by their baptisms. This was also the basis for identifying the Church of the Very Antichrist (ie Roman Catholics) as fellow christians in our Augsburg Confession and Apology Steve.

    I would note that our LCMS has many pastors wh0 are very, very discreetly Gay. They do not identify publicly as such. I assume they are all celebate.

    My vote is then to not write The ELCA off.

    here are two sermons as to how she deals with homosexuality and other such misfits Steve:

    http://queermergent.wordpress.com/category/nadia-bolz-weber/

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    steve @ 18

    There are still alot of ELCA Churches that cling to Christ Crucified. We identify them as fellow christians by their baptisms. This was also the basis for identifying the Church of the Very Antichrist (ie Roman Catholics) as fellow christians in our Augsburg Confession and Apology Steve.

    I would note that our LCMS has many pastors wh0 are very, very discreetly Gay. They do not identify publicly as such. I assume they are all celebate.

    My vote is then to not write The ELCA off.

    here are two sermons as to how she deals with homosexuality and other such misfits Steve:

    http://queermergent.wordpress.com/category/nadia-bolz-weber/

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    I am in the ELCA, fws.

    I know there are a lot of good and faithful pastors and congregations. But the ELCA is lost. They have NO desire to dialogue on these important matters, it’s their way, or the highway. Trust me. We have been round and round with them.

    Being discreetly gay is one thing. Openly advocating it and allowing clergy, no less, to openly practice sin is WRONG. It totally goes against the Word of Holy Scripture.

    Gay people are welcome in our congregation. They are not welcome to make an issue of it, or to make political statements about it.

    If this woman is for openly gay clergy then she has no understanding of God’s Word on the matter.

    Bit I’ll reserve judgement until I find out her stance on the issue.

    Now, I am really late for work!!!

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    I am in the ELCA, fws.

    I know there are a lot of good and faithful pastors and congregations. But the ELCA is lost. They have NO desire to dialogue on these important matters, it’s their way, or the highway. Trust me. We have been round and round with them.

    Being discreetly gay is one thing. Openly advocating it and allowing clergy, no less, to openly practice sin is WRONG. It totally goes against the Word of Holy Scripture.

    Gay people are welcome in our congregation. They are not welcome to make an issue of it, or to make political statements about it.

    If this woman is for openly gay clergy then she has no understanding of God’s Word on the matter.

    Bit I’ll reserve judgement until I find out her stance on the issue.

    Now, I am really late for work!!!

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    PS- I’ll check out the link you sent when I get home in the late afternoon.

    Thanks!

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    PS- I’ll check out the link you sent when I get home in the late afternoon.

    Thanks!

  • larry

    Frank brings up a good observation here, in general. When there is a “work in progress”, for a lack of a better way of putting it, from a conservative Christian group/denomination/confession/church, we tend to embrace it rather quickly, nourish it, bring it in close to us. Yet, when that “work in progress” comes from a more liberal side of things, we tend to imply at least, “EEEEHHHHH, I don’t know about that”.

    E.g. The writings against more or less liberal theologies are by far and more defended against than are the same more or less conservative theologies, yet both false and heterodox and deceive equally.

    It goes back to the ECLA reaction last year as example. By far and wide the ordaining of gays was worse in most eyes and received the lion’s share of public outrage among laity and theologians alike, while the opening of the communion doors hardly received as much as a peep. When the weight of the reactions should have been just the opposite, the greater the later and the lesser the former.

    In a generic sense: what is perceived as “antinomianism” gets spotted right away, and the alarms go off. But that which is works righteousness, especially if it’s implied and not crass, can be rather easily smuggled in to any church with nary a peep about it.
    I think it’s because of the making of the inappropriate division in churches and doctrine to be liberal versus conservative, the main concept there being law. But in reality the division is not that, but rather orthodoxy versus heterodoxy. That distinction allows heterodoxy, i.e. false, to cut across both liberal and conservative lines.
    So, that if a person finds themselves in “searching mode”, i.e. innocently not knowing about certain things and desperately searching for a bleeding Jesus that did so FOR THEM, he or she might actually hear more Gospel at liberal venue than a conservative venue. I know of some very conservative denominations that are practically on guard for the Gospel and if they spot it they’ll slap an antinomian label on it and kick it out the door expeditiously.

    Luther was right, the “white devil” is far more dangerous than the “black devil”.

  • larry

    Frank brings up a good observation here, in general. When there is a “work in progress”, for a lack of a better way of putting it, from a conservative Christian group/denomination/confession/church, we tend to embrace it rather quickly, nourish it, bring it in close to us. Yet, when that “work in progress” comes from a more liberal side of things, we tend to imply at least, “EEEEHHHHH, I don’t know about that”.

    E.g. The writings against more or less liberal theologies are by far and more defended against than are the same more or less conservative theologies, yet both false and heterodox and deceive equally.

    It goes back to the ECLA reaction last year as example. By far and wide the ordaining of gays was worse in most eyes and received the lion’s share of public outrage among laity and theologians alike, while the opening of the communion doors hardly received as much as a peep. When the weight of the reactions should have been just the opposite, the greater the later and the lesser the former.

    In a generic sense: what is perceived as “antinomianism” gets spotted right away, and the alarms go off. But that which is works righteousness, especially if it’s implied and not crass, can be rather easily smuggled in to any church with nary a peep about it.
    I think it’s because of the making of the inappropriate division in churches and doctrine to be liberal versus conservative, the main concept there being law. But in reality the division is not that, but rather orthodoxy versus heterodoxy. That distinction allows heterodoxy, i.e. false, to cut across both liberal and conservative lines.
    So, that if a person finds themselves in “searching mode”, i.e. innocently not knowing about certain things and desperately searching for a bleeding Jesus that did so FOR THEM, he or she might actually hear more Gospel at liberal venue than a conservative venue. I know of some very conservative denominations that are practically on guard for the Gospel and if they spot it they’ll slap an antinomian label on it and kick it out the door expeditiously.

    Luther was right, the “white devil” is far more dangerous than the “black devil”.

  • http://www.cyberbrethren.com Rev. Paul T. McCain

    Unfortunately, this woman is very much an advocate and passionate spokesman for the gay/lesbian “rights” movement in the ELCA, and was the preacher for the ceremony by which homosexual clergy were received back on to the roster of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

    It just goes to show that all the trappings, vestments, smells and bells of Lutheran liturgy can never be a substitute for, or make up for, bad theology.

  • http://www.cyberbrethren.com Rev. Paul T. McCain

    Unfortunately, this woman is very much an advocate and passionate spokesman for the gay/lesbian “rights” movement in the ELCA, and was the preacher for the ceremony by which homosexual clergy were received back on to the roster of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

    It just goes to show that all the trappings, vestments, smells and bells of Lutheran liturgy can never be a substitute for, or make up for, bad theology.

  • Grace

    Apprising Ministries
    OUTLAW PREACHER NADIA BOLZ-WEBER
    By Ken Silva pastor-teacher on Sep 14, 2009

    “Apprising Ministries has long been maintaining that Mainstream Evangelicalism Is Now On The Rapid Slide To Apostasy because of its ongoing embrace of the egregiously ecumenical Emerging Church aka Emergent Church—morphing into Emergence Christianity—(EC), as I recently pointed out in Did Nadia Bolz-Weber Just Call Jesus “A Schmuck”?”

    http://apprising.org/2009/09/14/outlaw-preacher-nadia-bolz-weber/

    Apprising Ministries

    DID NADIA BOLZ-WEBER JUST CALL JESUS “A SCHMUCK”?

    Apprising Ministries
    By Ken Silva pastor-teacher on Sep 2, 2009

    Excerpt__________

    “Pastrix Bolz-Weber calling Psalm 45 “the nerdiest Psalm ever” is precisely the focus of this particular piece. During the short “exposition” of Psalm 45 by this EC “Voice” Bolz-Weber will tell us that this Psalm talks about “like the chicks in your court, are like, totally hot,” and “it makes me think the person he’s writing about is actually kind of a schmuck and he doesn’t like him.” But Psalm 45 is a Messianic Psalm, it’s ultimately about the Christ—Jesus of Nazareth.”

    http://apprising.org/2009/09/02/did-nadia-bolz-weber-just-call-jesus-a-schmuck/

    There is much more on this site.

  • Grace

    Apprising Ministries
    OUTLAW PREACHER NADIA BOLZ-WEBER
    By Ken Silva pastor-teacher on Sep 14, 2009

    “Apprising Ministries has long been maintaining that Mainstream Evangelicalism Is Now On The Rapid Slide To Apostasy because of its ongoing embrace of the egregiously ecumenical Emerging Church aka Emergent Church—morphing into Emergence Christianity—(EC), as I recently pointed out in Did Nadia Bolz-Weber Just Call Jesus “A Schmuck”?”

    http://apprising.org/2009/09/14/outlaw-preacher-nadia-bolz-weber/

    Apprising Ministries

    DID NADIA BOLZ-WEBER JUST CALL JESUS “A SCHMUCK”?

    Apprising Ministries
    By Ken Silva pastor-teacher on Sep 2, 2009

    Excerpt__________

    “Pastrix Bolz-Weber calling Psalm 45 “the nerdiest Psalm ever” is precisely the focus of this particular piece. During the short “exposition” of Psalm 45 by this EC “Voice” Bolz-Weber will tell us that this Psalm talks about “like the chicks in your court, are like, totally hot,” and “it makes me think the person he’s writing about is actually kind of a schmuck and he doesn’t like him.” But Psalm 45 is a Messianic Psalm, it’s ultimately about the Christ—Jesus of Nazareth.”

    http://apprising.org/2009/09/02/did-nadia-bolz-weber-just-call-jesus-a-schmuck/

    There is much more on this site.

  • larry

    I don’t know this woman nor have read anymore than is posted here. Nor am I advocating her position on things. Yet, I have to ask myself, “Why do I feel it necessary to caveat it that way?” One side of Lutheranism falls for the trap of more or less liberal theology, the other side of Lutheranism tends fall for the trap of “conservative” false theology.

    A good example of this is what happened a few years ago under the Baptist umbrella we were in, conservative and Calvinistic to the hilt. John MacArthur, a very conservative and type of Baptistic Calvinist made a great point at least in principle. Because he did at least see the danger here. It was the general alignment of many conservative Baptist politically with other conservative cults, specifically he exampled Mormons and even conservative non-believers. His point was one can form such a union on mutual conservative ideas the blend into religion, but what then do you do when you say “Christ alone”, “Uhoh!” was his sarcastic but apropos response. And therein lay the compromising danger to the conservative bend. His summary was that it was the very immoral Romans that aligned with the very moral Jews to crucify Christ.

    False doctrine, hence, comes under either way. Yet, it is most attractive generally under a morally pious way (the white devil).

    Again a PERFECT data IN FACT of this was the ELCA reaction last year as example. By far and wide the ordaining of gays was worse in most eyes and received the lion’s share of public outrage among laity and theologians alike, while the opening of the communion doors hardly received as much as a peep. When the weight of the reactions should have been just the opposite, the greater the later and the lesser the former. In fact ELCA received an open letter call to repentance from false conservative teacher John Piper. To repent from the issue concerning ordination of gays. OK, but what about by theological comparison the plank in ELCA’s eye of opening the communion doors – nothing of course from Piper on this (you wouldn’t expect it) and hardly a teeny tiny peep about it anywhere else.

    In some sense fighting liberal moral issues is kind of like shooting fish in a barrel and there’s no shortage of theologians willing to belly up to the bar on this easy greasy battle. But fighting the real battles on the sacraments, i.e. the Gospel, people are not exactly jumping in line for that.

    False and damning doctrine baked with a very bitter crust of more or less liberal theology sours more easily in the mouth and is spit out much easier and sooner so that it doesn’t poison and kill as many. But false doctrine smeared with a nice syrupy glaze of conservative-like theological honey, goes down nearly undetected so that seconds and thirds are ate until death finally comes.

  • larry

    I don’t know this woman nor have read anymore than is posted here. Nor am I advocating her position on things. Yet, I have to ask myself, “Why do I feel it necessary to caveat it that way?” One side of Lutheranism falls for the trap of more or less liberal theology, the other side of Lutheranism tends fall for the trap of “conservative” false theology.

    A good example of this is what happened a few years ago under the Baptist umbrella we were in, conservative and Calvinistic to the hilt. John MacArthur, a very conservative and type of Baptistic Calvinist made a great point at least in principle. Because he did at least see the danger here. It was the general alignment of many conservative Baptist politically with other conservative cults, specifically he exampled Mormons and even conservative non-believers. His point was one can form such a union on mutual conservative ideas the blend into religion, but what then do you do when you say “Christ alone”, “Uhoh!” was his sarcastic but apropos response. And therein lay the compromising danger to the conservative bend. His summary was that it was the very immoral Romans that aligned with the very moral Jews to crucify Christ.

    False doctrine, hence, comes under either way. Yet, it is most attractive generally under a morally pious way (the white devil).

    Again a PERFECT data IN FACT of this was the ELCA reaction last year as example. By far and wide the ordaining of gays was worse in most eyes and received the lion’s share of public outrage among laity and theologians alike, while the opening of the communion doors hardly received as much as a peep. When the weight of the reactions should have been just the opposite, the greater the later and the lesser the former. In fact ELCA received an open letter call to repentance from false conservative teacher John Piper. To repent from the issue concerning ordination of gays. OK, but what about by theological comparison the plank in ELCA’s eye of opening the communion doors – nothing of course from Piper on this (you wouldn’t expect it) and hardly a teeny tiny peep about it anywhere else.

    In some sense fighting liberal moral issues is kind of like shooting fish in a barrel and there’s no shortage of theologians willing to belly up to the bar on this easy greasy battle. But fighting the real battles on the sacraments, i.e. the Gospel, people are not exactly jumping in line for that.

    False and damning doctrine baked with a very bitter crust of more or less liberal theology sours more easily in the mouth and is spit out much easier and sooner so that it doesn’t poison and kill as many. But false doctrine smeared with a nice syrupy glaze of conservative-like theological honey, goes down nearly undetected so that seconds and thirds are ate until death finally comes.

  • Porcell

    Larry, the problem with your argument is that while most conservative Lutheran and Reformed Christians are willing to open the communion door to any truly repentant Christians, they for very good reason object to homosexuals, especially pastors, who argue that homosexual behavior and marriage are some sort of civil and moral right.

    Rev. McCain is right that Nadia Bolz-Weber is very much an advocate and passionate spokesman for the gay/lesbian “rights” movement in the ELCA, and was the preacher for the ceremony by which homosexual clergy were received back on to the roster of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

  • Porcell

    Larry, the problem with your argument is that while most conservative Lutheran and Reformed Christians are willing to open the communion door to any truly repentant Christians, they for very good reason object to homosexuals, especially pastors, who argue that homosexual behavior and marriage are some sort of civil and moral right.

    Rev. McCain is right that Nadia Bolz-Weber is very much an advocate and passionate spokesman for the gay/lesbian “rights” movement in the ELCA, and was the preacher for the ceremony by which homosexual clergy were received back on to the roster of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

  • Steve

    This woman does sound interesting, perhaps a bit off and drinking a wee too much of the emergent Kool-Aid, but interesting nonetheless.

    But this James Wall, the “self-described coat-and-tie Episcopalian” is what really gets me in this article. Being called the “contemplative-in-residence” has to be the most pretentious thing I’ve ever heard. Please, please tell me he doesn’t use that title. It’s absolutely absurd, even if it’s in jest.

  • Steve

    This woman does sound interesting, perhaps a bit off and drinking a wee too much of the emergent Kool-Aid, but interesting nonetheless.

    But this James Wall, the “self-described coat-and-tie Episcopalian” is what really gets me in this article. Being called the “contemplative-in-residence” has to be the most pretentious thing I’ve ever heard. Please, please tell me he doesn’t use that title. It’s absolutely absurd, even if it’s in jest.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Porcell (@26), when you say, “most conservative Lutheran … Christians are willing to open the communion door to any truly repentant Christians”, you only express your ignorance about conservative Lutheranism.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Porcell (@26), when you say, “most conservative Lutheran … Christians are willing to open the communion door to any truly repentant Christians”, you only express your ignorance about conservative Lutheranism.

  • Grace

    Regarding the LINK in Post 19, which then takes one to “Sermon on Phillip and the Ethiopian Eunuch”

    Posted on June 8, 2009 by queermergent

    Sermon on Phillip and the Ethiopian Eunuch

    BY Nadia Bolz-Weber

    An excerpt from the sermon________________

    “But today I’m not so sure. Because if the Eunuch was reading Isaiah as he returned from Jerusalem having gone there to worship – see if he was reading Isaiah then I would bet he was also familiar with Dueteronomy, specifically 23:1 “No one whose testicles are cut off or whose penis is cut off shall be admitted to the assembly of the Lord” Anyone have that one as a memory verse growing up?
    This law strictly forbids a Eunuch from entering the assembly of the Lord. Their transgression of gender binaries and the inability to fit in proper categories made them profane by nature. They do not fit in the tent. But the Eunuch went to Jerusalem to worship despite the fact that in all likelihood he would be turned away by the religious establishment. The Eunuch sought God anyway.

    See, when the Spirit guided Phillip to that road in the desert I like to think she guided him to his own conversion.”

    http://queermergent.wordpress.com/2009/06/08/sermon-on-phillip-and-the-ethiopian-eunuch/

    The problem Nadia Bolz-Weber has, which either appears to evade her, or she chooses not to understand is this; Christ died for the whole world, not just those who have genitals, but those who are born without them.

    But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
    Matthew 9:13

    For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. 2 Corinthians 6:10

    For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
    Romans 10:10

    The Eunuch believed as Philip preached to him in Acts 8. Nadia Bolz-Weber, might like to “think” that Phillip became a Believer at the same time, but her assertion is absurd.

    For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother’s womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.
    Matthew 19:12

    This is from the NEW Testament. The passage above should settle the dispute.

  • Grace

    Regarding the LINK in Post 19, which then takes one to “Sermon on Phillip and the Ethiopian Eunuch”

    Posted on June 8, 2009 by queermergent

    Sermon on Phillip and the Ethiopian Eunuch

    BY Nadia Bolz-Weber

    An excerpt from the sermon________________

    “But today I’m not so sure. Because if the Eunuch was reading Isaiah as he returned from Jerusalem having gone there to worship – see if he was reading Isaiah then I would bet he was also familiar with Dueteronomy, specifically 23:1 “No one whose testicles are cut off or whose penis is cut off shall be admitted to the assembly of the Lord” Anyone have that one as a memory verse growing up?
    This law strictly forbids a Eunuch from entering the assembly of the Lord. Their transgression of gender binaries and the inability to fit in proper categories made them profane by nature. They do not fit in the tent. But the Eunuch went to Jerusalem to worship despite the fact that in all likelihood he would be turned away by the religious establishment. The Eunuch sought God anyway.

    See, when the Spirit guided Phillip to that road in the desert I like to think she guided him to his own conversion.”

    http://queermergent.wordpress.com/2009/06/08/sermon-on-phillip-and-the-ethiopian-eunuch/

    The problem Nadia Bolz-Weber has, which either appears to evade her, or she chooses not to understand is this; Christ died for the whole world, not just those who have genitals, but those who are born without them.

    But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
    Matthew 9:13

    For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. 2 Corinthians 6:10

    For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
    Romans 10:10

    The Eunuch believed as Philip preached to him in Acts 8. Nadia Bolz-Weber, might like to “think” that Phillip became a Believer at the same time, but her assertion is absurd.

    For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother’s womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.
    Matthew 19:12

    This is from the NEW Testament. The passage above should settle the dispute.

  • Porcell

    Well Todd, how is it that you argue on this blog for the rights of homosexuals, though belong to a WELS church that denies them communion?

  • Porcell

    Well Todd, how is it that you argue on this blog for the rights of homosexuals, though belong to a WELS church that denies them communion?

  • Joe

    Procell – whether the gov’t takes a position on same sex sex has pretty nothing to do with whether a church should commune someone. But, more importantly the WELS does not deny all homosexuals communion (neither does the LCMS). Instead, they treat the sins of same sex attracted people (including the sin of engaging in same sex sex) like the sins of all people. Preach the Law, announce the forgiveness of the Gospel and commune all those who have repented (and are in fellowship).

  • Joe

    Procell – whether the gov’t takes a position on same sex sex has pretty nothing to do with whether a church should commune someone. But, more importantly the WELS does not deny all homosexuals communion (neither does the LCMS). Instead, they treat the sins of same sex attracted people (including the sin of engaging in same sex sex) like the sins of all people. Preach the Law, announce the forgiveness of the Gospel and commune all those who have repented (and are in fellowship).

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    I just got home and will try and read some more of her writings, sermons, etc.

    But what I don’t understand is all of this “work in progress” talk.

    What does that mean? Either one is faithful to the Word, or not. I don’t want to wait for my pastor, or any other pastor to finally understand the Word (the law AND the gospel), and to finally realize that Christ is the only Way.

    Is all the excitement that she draws big crowds under the banner of Lutheranism?

    The Law and the gospel rightly preached has never drawn big crowds. Are they coming because of her cool tattoos? Her cool attire, or demeanor? Her message of inclusivity? (if indeed that is what she has).

    The Word of God is far too important to wait until someone gets it right. And in the meantime people are hearing another ‘word’…a ‘more generous word’, maybe, a ‘more tolerant word’, maybe…but it is still ‘another word’.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    I just got home and will try and read some more of her writings, sermons, etc.

    But what I don’t understand is all of this “work in progress” talk.

    What does that mean? Either one is faithful to the Word, or not. I don’t want to wait for my pastor, or any other pastor to finally understand the Word (the law AND the gospel), and to finally realize that Christ is the only Way.

    Is all the excitement that she draws big crowds under the banner of Lutheranism?

    The Law and the gospel rightly preached has never drawn big crowds. Are they coming because of her cool tattoos? Her cool attire, or demeanor? Her message of inclusivity? (if indeed that is what she has).

    The Word of God is far too important to wait until someone gets it right. And in the meantime people are hearing another ‘word’…a ‘more generous word’, maybe, a ‘more tolerant word’, maybe…but it is still ‘another word’.

  • Joe

    Steve – you raise a great point. As far as the core of doctrine that work should be done well before ordination.

  • Joe

    Steve – you raise a great point. As far as the core of doctrine that work should be done well before ordination.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Yeah, Joe…and as a Lutheran myself, I just can’t stand that word “progress”. :D

    Thanks!

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Yeah, Joe…and as a Lutheran myself, I just can’t stand that word “progress”. :D

    Thanks!

  • Porcell

    Joe, I stated [while] Lutheran and Reformed Christians are willing to open the communion door to any truly repentant Christians, they for very good reason object to homosexuals, especially pastors, who argue that homosexual behavior and marriage are some sort of civil and moral right., in answer to which Todd remarked that this was “ignorant” concerning conservative Lutherans. How say you on this?

  • Porcell

    Joe, I stated [while] Lutheran and Reformed Christians are willing to open the communion door to any truly repentant Christians, they for very good reason object to homosexuals, especially pastors, who argue that homosexual behavior and marriage are some sort of civil and moral right., in answer to which Todd remarked that this was “ignorant” concerning conservative Lutherans. How say you on this?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    steve @ 34

    “work in progress…..

    she started out as a unitarian Now she increasingly identifies as a Lutheran.

    Here is what she wrote about writing sermons:

    “One argument within the emerging church conversation is that the preacher is not ontologically different and therefore somehow special. But I have come to realize I am not the special person, I just don’t have the same freedom as everyone else. I am not free to point to anything but Christ, not free to point to my opinion or someone else’s perspective, I have to point to Christ and him crucified…..

    How do you preach for transformation and/or movement toward justice?

    I am not a social justice preacher. Occasionally a political reality will enter the sermon if it’s on everyone’s mind and it would be irresponsible not to talk about. But, I am a Lutheran preacher and that is a fierce particularity. It means I preach law and gospel.

    http://www.patheos.com/Resources/Additional-Resources/Preacher-to-Preacher-An-Interview-with-Nadia-Bolz-Weber-Jenny-Warner-03-03-2011?offset=1&max=1

    Here is my impression: She does pretty good on the Law. I would like to see her more explicit in the message she has said she is alone permitted to preach as a pastor.

    Now the good news: She says she left the Unitarians because they were not realistic about the darkness in the heart. She preaches death and resurrection in baptism and the forgiveness of sins found in the body and blood of the Holy Supper. She invokes the Holy Trinity at the start of each sermon “father,son and Holy Spirit” and says she loves the liturgy because it resonates to what she has learned from Holy Scritures. She says her church will never grow because she is inviting people to die.

    If I were an LCMS pastor or a Dr Veith… hmmm, I would reach out maybe and try to influence this woman even more in the direction of our Confessions. Confessional Lutheranism is not something she got from the ELCA seminary I am willing to bet. But what she DID get , somehow, is pretty remarkable thinking about where she is coming from I think. She has the liturgical calendar tattooed on her arm. geez.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    steve @ 34

    “work in progress…..

    she started out as a unitarian Now she increasingly identifies as a Lutheran.

    Here is what she wrote about writing sermons:

    “One argument within the emerging church conversation is that the preacher is not ontologically different and therefore somehow special. But I have come to realize I am not the special person, I just don’t have the same freedom as everyone else. I am not free to point to anything but Christ, not free to point to my opinion or someone else’s perspective, I have to point to Christ and him crucified…..

    How do you preach for transformation and/or movement toward justice?

    I am not a social justice preacher. Occasionally a political reality will enter the sermon if it’s on everyone’s mind and it would be irresponsible not to talk about. But, I am a Lutheran preacher and that is a fierce particularity. It means I preach law and gospel.

    http://www.patheos.com/Resources/Additional-Resources/Preacher-to-Preacher-An-Interview-with-Nadia-Bolz-Weber-Jenny-Warner-03-03-2011?offset=1&max=1

    Here is my impression: She does pretty good on the Law. I would like to see her more explicit in the message she has said she is alone permitted to preach as a pastor.

    Now the good news: She says she left the Unitarians because they were not realistic about the darkness in the heart. She preaches death and resurrection in baptism and the forgiveness of sins found in the body and blood of the Holy Supper. She invokes the Holy Trinity at the start of each sermon “father,son and Holy Spirit” and says she loves the liturgy because it resonates to what she has learned from Holy Scritures. She says her church will never grow because she is inviting people to die.

    If I were an LCMS pastor or a Dr Veith… hmmm, I would reach out maybe and try to influence this woman even more in the direction of our Confessions. Confessional Lutheranism is not something she got from the ELCA seminary I am willing to bet. But what she DID get , somehow, is pretty remarkable thinking about where she is coming from I think. She has the liturgical calendar tattooed on her arm. geez.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Frank,

    She does a terrible job with the Law. I read those two sermons on homosexuality and she just flat out ignored God’s law. No law, no need for repentance. What she wanted was for us who still uphold God’s law regarding homosexuality, to repent of that.

    She’s says one thing and then does another.

    We had a sub. pastor sent ton us by the ELCA about two years ago. This pastor did exactly the same thing to us. He preached on tolerance of gays, but did not uphold God’s law. We got NO law and NO gospel…just a lesson on how to be tolerant to gays.

    No thanks. That is not loving towards gays. Gays need the law, too. Jesus said “repent and believe”. he also said , “go your way and sin NO MORE.”

    Her type of preaching may be new and attractive to you, but it is the same old, tired message blathered by too many ELCA preachers for too long.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Frank,

    She does a terrible job with the Law. I read those two sermons on homosexuality and she just flat out ignored God’s law. No law, no need for repentance. What she wanted was for us who still uphold God’s law regarding homosexuality, to repent of that.

    She’s says one thing and then does another.

    We had a sub. pastor sent ton us by the ELCA about two years ago. This pastor did exactly the same thing to us. He preached on tolerance of gays, but did not uphold God’s law. We got NO law and NO gospel…just a lesson on how to be tolerant to gays.

    No thanks. That is not loving towards gays. Gays need the law, too. Jesus said “repent and believe”. he also said , “go your way and sin NO MORE.”

    Her type of preaching may be new and attractive to you, but it is the same old, tired message blathered by too many ELCA preachers for too long.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    We had a gay man in our congregation for years. He was on the church council and volunteered to read the Scriptures during worship, which he often did. He did not discuss his sexuality.

    Then one day he did. He approached the pastor and wanted permission to be open about his homosexuality. Our pastor said no. And that maybe he should look for another church where he could do that.

    I relate that so folks will understand that we DO welcome gays into our congregation. But we do NOT allow anyone to avocate and flaunt their sin…no matter what sin it might be.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    We had a gay man in our congregation for years. He was on the church council and volunteered to read the Scriptures during worship, which he often did. He did not discuss his sexuality.

    Then one day he did. He approached the pastor and wanted permission to be open about his homosexuality. Our pastor said no. And that maybe he should look for another church where he could do that.

    I relate that so folks will understand that we DO welcome gays into our congregation. But we do NOT allow anyone to avocate and flaunt their sin…no matter what sin it might be.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Porcell (@30), that is a remarkable non sequitur!

    Remember, we were discussing your claim (@26) that “most conservative Lutheran … Christians are willing to open the communion door to any truly repentant Christians”. When I said that was, quite simply, wrong, you then changed the subject to … “the rights of homosexuals”? And you consider this related somehow? (For that matter, as Joe points out @31, you think that civil rights and communion fellowship are equal?)

    Anyhow, the point on which you are ignorant is the (Lutheran) doctrine of fellowship. The LCMS and the WELS (along with the ELS) — the only synods you could really call “conservative” — have differences in their understanding of this doctrine, but officially they all agree on its application to the Lord’s Supper, anyhow and practice “close[d] communion”.

    But don’t take my word — or Joe’s, for that matter. Lutheran synods do have Web sites, you know. The WELS doesn’t have an official doctrinal statement on just communion alone as regards fellowship. You’d have to read the doctrinal statement on church fellowship[1] and understand that it applies to communion (as it makes clear).

    However, they do have this pretty clear statement in a Q&A[2]:

    Both WELS and the LCMS believe and practice closed communion, that is, the belief that members should commune only in churches of their own fellowship.

    You can also read any number of articles in the WELS magazine, Forward in Christ, that cover the topic of “close[d] communion”.

    And while I’m sure the LCMS Web site will get around to fixing things, they appear to have revamped their site right now, and all the results that Google turned up are not to be found on their site. But it should suffice to show you this Google-cache version of a Q&A from their site:

    The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod has never understood or applied the historic practice of close[d] Communion in such a way as to mean that only LCMS members are permitted to commune at LCMS altars. The official position of the Synod is that not only are members of other Lutheran churches with whom we are in altar and pulpit fellowship invited to commune with us, but also that in certain extraordinary cases of pastoral care and in emergencies members of churches not in fellowship with us may be given Communion. The Synod stated, for example, in 1986 “that pastors and congregations of The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod continue to abide by the practice of close communion, which includes the necessity of exercising responsible pastoral care in extraordinary situations and circumstances” (1986 Res. 3-08 “To Maintain Practice of Close Communion”).

    (My emphasis. The LCMS is mainly in fellowship with other Lutheran churches around the world, in case you didn’t know.)

    There’s also this Q&A from the (old) LCMS site on the history of “close[d] communion” (Google cache version):

    You are probably aware that it is the official practice of the LCMS to not extend an open invitation to the Lord’s Supper to all who share our belief in the real presence of Christ’s body and blood in the Sacrament.

    The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod practices close[d] Communion for two main reasons. First, we are a close fellowship. We all believe and confess the same things, especially about Holy Communion. We express and celebrate that close Communion with each other when we commune together.

    The second reason is more serious. Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 11:29 make it important for us to teach people about Holy Communion, or at least be sure they have been taught, before giving it to them.

    In contrast to your original claim, Porcell, it is the liberal Lutheran churches that open the Lord’s Supper to any and all Christians (and even, in the case of some ELCA congregations, those who are not baptized). It is not surprising, however, that you assumed that those who agree with your position are “conservative”. However, reality does not bear that out.

    [1]wels.net/about-wels/doctrinal-statements/church-fellowship
    [2]wels.net/what-we-believe/questions-answers/lcms/missouri-synod

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Porcell (@30), that is a remarkable non sequitur!

    Remember, we were discussing your claim (@26) that “most conservative Lutheran … Christians are willing to open the communion door to any truly repentant Christians”. When I said that was, quite simply, wrong, you then changed the subject to … “the rights of homosexuals”? And you consider this related somehow? (For that matter, as Joe points out @31, you think that civil rights and communion fellowship are equal?)

    Anyhow, the point on which you are ignorant is the (Lutheran) doctrine of fellowship. The LCMS and the WELS (along with the ELS) — the only synods you could really call “conservative” — have differences in their understanding of this doctrine, but officially they all agree on its application to the Lord’s Supper, anyhow and practice “close[d] communion”.

    But don’t take my word — or Joe’s, for that matter. Lutheran synods do have Web sites, you know. The WELS doesn’t have an official doctrinal statement on just communion alone as regards fellowship. You’d have to read the doctrinal statement on church fellowship[1] and understand that it applies to communion (as it makes clear).

    However, they do have this pretty clear statement in a Q&A[2]:

    Both WELS and the LCMS believe and practice closed communion, that is, the belief that members should commune only in churches of their own fellowship.

    You can also read any number of articles in the WELS magazine, Forward in Christ, that cover the topic of “close[d] communion”.

    And while I’m sure the LCMS Web site will get around to fixing things, they appear to have revamped their site right now, and all the results that Google turned up are not to be found on their site. But it should suffice to show you this Google-cache version of a Q&A from their site:

    The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod has never understood or applied the historic practice of close[d] Communion in such a way as to mean that only LCMS members are permitted to commune at LCMS altars. The official position of the Synod is that not only are members of other Lutheran churches with whom we are in altar and pulpit fellowship invited to commune with us, but also that in certain extraordinary cases of pastoral care and in emergencies members of churches not in fellowship with us may be given Communion. The Synod stated, for example, in 1986 “that pastors and congregations of The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod continue to abide by the practice of close communion, which includes the necessity of exercising responsible pastoral care in extraordinary situations and circumstances” (1986 Res. 3-08 “To Maintain Practice of Close Communion”).

    (My emphasis. The LCMS is mainly in fellowship with other Lutheran churches around the world, in case you didn’t know.)

    There’s also this Q&A from the (old) LCMS site on the history of “close[d] communion” (Google cache version):

    You are probably aware that it is the official practice of the LCMS to not extend an open invitation to the Lord’s Supper to all who share our belief in the real presence of Christ’s body and blood in the Sacrament.

    The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod practices close[d] Communion for two main reasons. First, we are a close fellowship. We all believe and confess the same things, especially about Holy Communion. We express and celebrate that close Communion with each other when we commune together.

    The second reason is more serious. Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 11:29 make it important for us to teach people about Holy Communion, or at least be sure they have been taught, before giving it to them.

    In contrast to your original claim, Porcell, it is the liberal Lutheran churches that open the Lord’s Supper to any and all Christians (and even, in the case of some ELCA congregations, those who are not baptized). It is not surprising, however, that you assumed that those who agree with your position are “conservative”. However, reality does not bear that out.

    [1]wels.net/about-wels/doctrinal-statements/church-fellowship
    [2]wels.net/what-we-believe/questions-answers/lcms/missouri-synod

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    steve martin @ 38

    I am curious what that gay man would have been doing differently by “being open ” about his sexuality steve. Can you tell me more?

    Steve, I am pretty sure that that gay man in your congretation had no problem confessing his sins just as you do. I suspect that he just did not see his homosexuality as being sin or sinful is all. I also do not see homosexuality as being sin or sinful Steve. And I think it would be sinful for me to hide the fact that I am a homosexual man. Why would I not want to be truthful especially in my Church?

    Now then, I do not go to church waving a banner. The focus needs to be on Christ. Not all people in my congretation would be comfortable with my being a gay man. For that same reason St Paul initially had his followers circumcized. It is good and right to conform in love for weaker brethren.

    But there was a point where circumcision was no longer possible.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    steve martin @ 38

    I am curious what that gay man would have been doing differently by “being open ” about his sexuality steve. Can you tell me more?

    Steve, I am pretty sure that that gay man in your congretation had no problem confessing his sins just as you do. I suspect that he just did not see his homosexuality as being sin or sinful is all. I also do not see homosexuality as being sin or sinful Steve. And I think it would be sinful for me to hide the fact that I am a homosexual man. Why would I not want to be truthful especially in my Church?

    Now then, I do not go to church waving a banner. The focus needs to be on Christ. Not all people in my congretation would be comfortable with my being a gay man. For that same reason St Paul initially had his followers circumcized. It is good and right to conform in love for weaker brethren.

    But there was a point where circumcision was no longer possible.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    steve martin @ 38

    At some level this man´s homosexuality was no secret. It sounds like you and anyone else who cared to know could know. I would like to hear more. This sounds similar to my own situation.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    steve martin @ 38

    At some level this man´s homosexuality was no secret. It sounds like you and anyone else who cared to know could know. I would like to hear more. This sounds similar to my own situation.

  • larry

    Case closed. Data = Porcell’s comments.

    Therein is the confusion and extreme danger of making the supposed “truth” distinction of doctrine, and theology, “conservative” versus “liberal”. Then, all religious argumentation can then lean on a particular sin as “a common union case”. Rather than the issue of the Gospel related to the sacraments. Again the ELCA example, a LOT of noise on their ordination issue last year (and I’m not saying that’s not an issue) but “crickets and frogs” for the most part on the REAL issue. At least among confessing Lutherans it should be the REAL issue that “shocked” everyone, I’m not all that surprised that it was not among other confessions who are “conservative”. What should have happened was shock and gasp and lamentation over the opening of the communion doors, but what largely happened was shock and gasp over the lamentation issue.

    This is the danger to orthodox confessing Lutherans, not so much the “liberal theology”, the temptation of common cause with “conservatives”. A kind of, “Yes we disagree on this not overly essential issue of the sacraments, but we REALLY AGREE on this CONSERVATIVE issue, so let us unite in common cause.” This is hauntingly similar to the temptation Luther faced when the sacrament of the altar was of issue with Zwingli and later Calvin. In a nut shell the temptation came from Zwingli, et. al. in order to make common cause against a common enemy, the Papacy, let us put aside this issue of the Lord’s Supper and unite in Rome’s defeat. It must have been a tremendous temptation to Luther and Lutheran’s of that time, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”, whereby a stiff and decisive blow may be dealt. But at what cost? Loosing everything!

    What is missed, in opening communion, is that such have in given up on the Word of God at really the most critical point. “This is My body/blood…” is given up on in reality. For in opening communion with the Reformed by implication and act they’ve de facto confessed it not to be the true conviction of their confession of what the Word of God says and made political allegiance otherwise. This is the real heart and cause of everything else. Thus, it’s not surprising that an EFFECT, in this case, of such giving up on the Word via the sacrament, was the ordination issues arising due to the cause of the issue on the sacrament.

    The note always sounds on the wrong syllable, the more or less moral issue and not the Gospel doctrine issue that gets scooted under the rug. In other words the “alarm bells” were sounded when the ordination issue came up, while most sleep through the open communion issue. But that’s like people screaming and waiving their arms, “LOOK OUT for that fly about to swerve into your eye!”, while a 100 mile per hour train is bearing down on you only 50 feet away.

    To turn the words “conservative” and “liberal” in a more true direction; during the Reformation Luther and the later confessional Lutherans were the Conservative Reformers, they conserved the orthodox and true doctrine. While the radical (like liberal) reformers where not just the Anabaptist but Calvin and the Calvinist. So if the terms “conservative” versus “liberal” are to be used in a way that reflects Christian doctrine versus that which only procures the name but is false, the conservatives are the orthodox and the liberals are the heterodox, and not the normal conservative versus liberal meaning morality and/or political ideals.
    From this point of view the most conservative Baptist church is ever as much liberal as the most liberal mainline church, regardless of who stands in the pulpit.

    And this is the both the isolating lonely way of and great temptation all orthodox confessing Lutheran bodies must suffer. The Lutheran church is being attacked from both sides, the “liberal” theologies on one side and the “conservative” theologies that would like to union with her. But Lutheran’s, we, must keep our eye on the ball and not be tempted either way. For some the temptation is easier on the “liberal” issues for others it’s the “conservative” issues.
    Orthodoxy will always be called an “antinomian” by the hidden works righteousness confessors (i.e. conservative) for preaching, teaching, confessing and rigorously defending the Word and Sacraments, as is, and thus the freeness of the pure Gospel expressed in Word and Sacrament on the one hand; and “legalistic” by the “liberal” by insisting on the same preaching, teaching, confessing and rigorously defending of the Word and sacraments on the other hand. I.e. that baptism and the Lord’s Supper actually give, assure and do forgiveness of sins, salvation, etc…that sounds like antinomianism to the conservative mind. To insist upon closed communion and not deviating from this same doctrine, that sounds like legalism to the liberal mind.

  • larry

    Case closed. Data = Porcell’s comments.

    Therein is the confusion and extreme danger of making the supposed “truth” distinction of doctrine, and theology, “conservative” versus “liberal”. Then, all religious argumentation can then lean on a particular sin as “a common union case”. Rather than the issue of the Gospel related to the sacraments. Again the ELCA example, a LOT of noise on their ordination issue last year (and I’m not saying that’s not an issue) but “crickets and frogs” for the most part on the REAL issue. At least among confessing Lutherans it should be the REAL issue that “shocked” everyone, I’m not all that surprised that it was not among other confessions who are “conservative”. What should have happened was shock and gasp and lamentation over the opening of the communion doors, but what largely happened was shock and gasp over the lamentation issue.

    This is the danger to orthodox confessing Lutherans, not so much the “liberal theology”, the temptation of common cause with “conservatives”. A kind of, “Yes we disagree on this not overly essential issue of the sacraments, but we REALLY AGREE on this CONSERVATIVE issue, so let us unite in common cause.” This is hauntingly similar to the temptation Luther faced when the sacrament of the altar was of issue with Zwingli and later Calvin. In a nut shell the temptation came from Zwingli, et. al. in order to make common cause against a common enemy, the Papacy, let us put aside this issue of the Lord’s Supper and unite in Rome’s defeat. It must have been a tremendous temptation to Luther and Lutheran’s of that time, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”, whereby a stiff and decisive blow may be dealt. But at what cost? Loosing everything!

    What is missed, in opening communion, is that such have in given up on the Word of God at really the most critical point. “This is My body/blood…” is given up on in reality. For in opening communion with the Reformed by implication and act they’ve de facto confessed it not to be the true conviction of their confession of what the Word of God says and made political allegiance otherwise. This is the real heart and cause of everything else. Thus, it’s not surprising that an EFFECT, in this case, of such giving up on the Word via the sacrament, was the ordination issues arising due to the cause of the issue on the sacrament.

    The note always sounds on the wrong syllable, the more or less moral issue and not the Gospel doctrine issue that gets scooted under the rug. In other words the “alarm bells” were sounded when the ordination issue came up, while most sleep through the open communion issue. But that’s like people screaming and waiving their arms, “LOOK OUT for that fly about to swerve into your eye!”, while a 100 mile per hour train is bearing down on you only 50 feet away.

    To turn the words “conservative” and “liberal” in a more true direction; during the Reformation Luther and the later confessional Lutherans were the Conservative Reformers, they conserved the orthodox and true doctrine. While the radical (like liberal) reformers where not just the Anabaptist but Calvin and the Calvinist. So if the terms “conservative” versus “liberal” are to be used in a way that reflects Christian doctrine versus that which only procures the name but is false, the conservatives are the orthodox and the liberals are the heterodox, and not the normal conservative versus liberal meaning morality and/or political ideals.
    From this point of view the most conservative Baptist church is ever as much liberal as the most liberal mainline church, regardless of who stands in the pulpit.

    And this is the both the isolating lonely way of and great temptation all orthodox confessing Lutheran bodies must suffer. The Lutheran church is being attacked from both sides, the “liberal” theologies on one side and the “conservative” theologies that would like to union with her. But Lutheran’s, we, must keep our eye on the ball and not be tempted either way. For some the temptation is easier on the “liberal” issues for others it’s the “conservative” issues.
    Orthodoxy will always be called an “antinomian” by the hidden works righteousness confessors (i.e. conservative) for preaching, teaching, confessing and rigorously defending the Word and Sacraments, as is, and thus the freeness of the pure Gospel expressed in Word and Sacrament on the one hand; and “legalistic” by the “liberal” by insisting on the same preaching, teaching, confessing and rigorously defending of the Word and sacraments on the other hand. I.e. that baptism and the Lord’s Supper actually give, assure and do forgiveness of sins, salvation, etc…that sounds like antinomianism to the conservative mind. To insist upon closed communion and not deviating from this same doctrine, that sounds like legalism to the liberal mind.

  • larry

    Correction:

    “but what largely happened was shock and gasp over the lamentation issue.”

    Should be:

    “but what largely happened was shock and gasp over the ordination issue.”

  • larry

    Correction:

    “but what largely happened was shock and gasp over the lamentation issue.”

    Should be:

    “but what largely happened was shock and gasp over the ordination issue.”

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Frank,

    The Church is not, and cannot be in the business of affirming sin.

    The gay man in our congregation wanted us to do just that.

    Everyone in our congregation has nagging sins that just will not let go of us. But we live in daily repentance and forgiveness. We don’t make an issue of those sins (we let the Word of God do that) unless they start to affect the congregation, or the if the individual shows signs of their life being affected. Then we (the pastor) will step in.

    In my estimation, we have had other gay people in our congregation before (I believe there are some there now), also. They are welcome and are treated no differently than anyone else.

    Gay people have a particularly difficult sin, but it is sin, nonetheless. We cannot affirm sin, especially our pastors.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Frank,

    The Church is not, and cannot be in the business of affirming sin.

    The gay man in our congregation wanted us to do just that.

    Everyone in our congregation has nagging sins that just will not let go of us. But we live in daily repentance and forgiveness. We don’t make an issue of those sins (we let the Word of God do that) unless they start to affect the congregation, or the if the individual shows signs of their life being affected. Then we (the pastor) will step in.

    In my estimation, we have had other gay people in our congregation before (I believe there are some there now), also. They are welcome and are treated no differently than anyone else.

    Gay people have a particularly difficult sin, but it is sin, nonetheless. We cannot affirm sin, especially our pastors.

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

    The church welcomes sinners. The church does not welcome sin.

    There is the difference.

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

    The church welcomes sinners. The church does not welcome sin.

    There is the difference.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    steve @ 44

    I say a hearty “amen ” to everything you said. I just don´t see, scripturally, how gay men and transgenders and lesbians have a “particular” sin that you reference.

    I don´t think of homosexuality as being different than being left handed. And I would most certainly not class homosexuality with the pathologies that we would call compulsive behaviors today medically speaking. But then I want to make this point. It is a critical one: What I just said in this paragraph is not about anything Scriptural. Many on both sides try to make what I suggest in this paragraph into a Scriptural or Moral issue. Scripture deals with sin and in a congregation exactly as you described Steve. Scripture does not deal with homosexuality per se. It just doesn´t.

    That does not mean that homosexuals are not sinners and do not need to confess their sins. It just means that their homosexuality is as much a sin for them as being left handed is. And yes, even being left handed or right handed will be curved toward idolatry. This is what Old Adam does. And this needs to be confessed and repented of.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    steve @ 44

    I say a hearty “amen ” to everything you said. I just don´t see, scripturally, how gay men and transgenders and lesbians have a “particular” sin that you reference.

    I don´t think of homosexuality as being different than being left handed. And I would most certainly not class homosexuality with the pathologies that we would call compulsive behaviors today medically speaking. But then I want to make this point. It is a critical one: What I just said in this paragraph is not about anything Scriptural. Many on both sides try to make what I suggest in this paragraph into a Scriptural or Moral issue. Scripture deals with sin and in a congregation exactly as you described Steve. Scripture does not deal with homosexuality per se. It just doesn´t.

    That does not mean that homosexuals are not sinners and do not need to confess their sins. It just means that their homosexuality is as much a sin for them as being left handed is. And yes, even being left handed or right handed will be curved toward idolatry. This is what Old Adam does. And this needs to be confessed and repented of.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    J dean @ 45

    Amen to what you said too!

    This would include the chief sin of thinking that an outward act, like demanding celebacy, is necessary to propitiate God. Only the works of Christ are Propitiatory. Only the works of Christ affect and effect our right relationship with God.

    Our works are alone to serve our neighbor and make his life better. Alone.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    J dean @ 45

    Amen to what you said too!

    This would include the chief sin of thinking that an outward act, like demanding celebacy, is necessary to propitiate God. Only the works of Christ are Propitiatory. Only the works of Christ affect and effect our right relationship with God.

    Our works are alone to serve our neighbor and make his life better. Alone.

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

    fws @ 46

    “I don´t think of homosexuality as being different than being left handed.”

    I suggest you re-read the Bible. Leviticus 20, Romans 1, and I Corinthians 6. Those passages have pretty clear injunctions against homosexuality. Unless one has a tendency to abnormally twist scriptural hermaneutics, there’s no way around those passages.

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

    fws @ 46

    “I don´t think of homosexuality as being different than being left handed.”

    I suggest you re-read the Bible. Leviticus 20, Romans 1, and I Corinthians 6. Those passages have pretty clear injunctions against homosexuality. Unless one has a tendency to abnormally twist scriptural hermaneutics, there’s no way around those passages.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    J dean @ 48

    that is like saying that Biblical passages that are about rape and incest and polygamy and adultery and prostitution are clear injunctions against heterosexuality J Dean.

    Show me one post-fall example of heterosexual sex in the Bible that is not about some pretty appalling sin that would bar the practicioners from most Lutheran congregations today.

    Let me try to express what I just said in a different way dear brother Dean:

    Your view says that the Sodom and Gomorrah story is “traditionally ” understood to be about “homosexuality”. Ok. In what sense is that text about homosexuality? Are “homosexuals” “defined” in the Holy Scriptures in that case about people who are sexually predatory and bent on group rape?

    In that case, I am not a homosexual. But I would call myself a “homosexual” according to the 21st century Medical definition. I would then reject what you would anachronistically do by imposing a 20th century medical term on the Sacred text. This is the equvalent of turning the text “be joyful always” into “never be clinically depressed.” It makes no sense at all. It is a post modernistic revisionism of the Sacred Text in fact to insert a 20th century technical medical term into the Scriptures.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    J dean @ 48

    that is like saying that Biblical passages that are about rape and incest and polygamy and adultery and prostitution are clear injunctions against heterosexuality J Dean.

    Show me one post-fall example of heterosexual sex in the Bible that is not about some pretty appalling sin that would bar the practicioners from most Lutheran congregations today.

    Let me try to express what I just said in a different way dear brother Dean:

    Your view says that the Sodom and Gomorrah story is “traditionally ” understood to be about “homosexuality”. Ok. In what sense is that text about homosexuality? Are “homosexuals” “defined” in the Holy Scriptures in that case about people who are sexually predatory and bent on group rape?

    In that case, I am not a homosexual. But I would call myself a “homosexual” according to the 21st century Medical definition. I would then reject what you would anachronistically do by imposing a 20th century medical term on the Sacred text. This is the equvalent of turning the text “be joyful always” into “never be clinically depressed.” It makes no sense at all. It is a post modernistic revisionism of the Sacred Text in fact to insert a 20th century technical medical term into the Scriptures.

  • Grace

    “I don´t think of homosexuality as being different than being left handed.”

    If you can mix that up, you can mix and match anything!

    Paul made it real clear in Romans 1 as to the meaning of homosexuality – men “lusting” for one another.

    26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:

    27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

    28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Romans 1

  • Grace

    “I don´t think of homosexuality as being different than being left handed.”

    If you can mix that up, you can mix and match anything!

    Paul made it real clear in Romans 1 as to the meaning of homosexuality – men “lusting” for one another.

    26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:

    27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

    28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Romans 1

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace (@50), please stop abusing the <a> tag to add color and underlines to your words. That tag is for making hyperlinks — and only for that.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace (@50), please stop abusing the <a> tag to add color and underlines to your words. That tag is for making hyperlinks — and only for that.

  • Grace

    tODD, ….. everything I do offends you, in fact you find fault all the time.

  • Grace

    tODD, ….. everything I do offends you, in fact you find fault all the time.

  • Grace

    So now tODD, the post above has been changed,…. why would this particular passage of Scripture and subject be the one you choose to change? why not the other half dozen or so?

  • Grace

    So now tODD, the post above has been changed,…. why would this particular passage of Scripture and subject be the one you choose to change? why not the other half dozen or so?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Grace @ 50

    You are missing three things in Romans 1 Grace:

    1) in Romans 1 , the “they” are all men who “left their women” and what, up until that point came naturally to them which was a desire for women. So am I to understand that you believe that all homosexuals, by definition, start out with preferring sex and relations with women?

    2) then you are missing that the list of nonsexual sinful qualities and characteristics listed in romans 29-32 in that case must be fully included in what you claim is the “biblical definition of homosexuality”. The following would then be essential and defining characteristics of ALL homosexuals according to the Bible if what you are saying is true right? Gays then are ALL, by biblical definition, full of the following:

    ALL manner of unrighteousness
    evil
    covetousness
    malice
    envy
    murder
    strife
    deceit
    maliciousness
    gossips
    slanderers
    haters of God
    insolent
    haughty
    boastful
    inventors of evil
    disobedient to parents
    foolish
    faithless
    heartless, and finally…
    ruthless.
    Thy know God’s decree that those who practice such things listed immediately above deserve to die
    They not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.

    3)And you seem to be ignoring what Romans 2:1 says about all this as it relates to you and me personally.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Grace @ 50

    You are missing three things in Romans 1 Grace:

    1) in Romans 1 , the “they” are all men who “left their women” and what, up until that point came naturally to them which was a desire for women. So am I to understand that you believe that all homosexuals, by definition, start out with preferring sex and relations with women?

    2) then you are missing that the list of nonsexual sinful qualities and characteristics listed in romans 29-32 in that case must be fully included in what you claim is the “biblical definition of homosexuality”. The following would then be essential and defining characteristics of ALL homosexuals according to the Bible if what you are saying is true right? Gays then are ALL, by biblical definition, full of the following:

    ALL manner of unrighteousness
    evil
    covetousness
    malice
    envy
    murder
    strife
    deceit
    maliciousness
    gossips
    slanderers
    haters of God
    insolent
    haughty
    boastful
    inventors of evil
    disobedient to parents
    foolish
    faithless
    heartless, and finally…
    ruthless.
    Thy know God’s decree that those who practice such things listed immediately above deserve to die
    They not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.

    3)And you seem to be ignoring what Romans 2:1 says about all this as it relates to you and me personally.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace (@52), please don’t play the victim. Again, you’ve been abusing the HTML link tag. It makes it look like you have lots of links all over your comments, but you don’t, which is confusing. Please stop. I usually try to clean it up whenever I see you doing it — as I do with all other HTML errors that other commenters create (typically incorrectly closing an open tag). You’re not a special target.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace (@52), please don’t play the victim. Again, you’ve been abusing the HTML link tag. It makes it look like you have lots of links all over your comments, but you don’t, which is confusing. Please stop. I usually try to clean it up whenever I see you doing it — as I do with all other HTML errors that other commenters create (typically incorrectly closing an open tag). You’re not a special target.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Grace @ 53

    Do you agree with saint Paul that those who sin the sins that are listed in Romans 1:29-32 deserve to die according to God´s decree?

    I hope your answer is yes. So that would mean that if you have ever done any of these things then you too deserve to die according to God´s decree right?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Grace @ 53

    Do you agree with saint Paul that those who sin the sins that are listed in Romans 1:29-32 deserve to die according to God´s decree?

    I hope your answer is yes. So that would mean that if you have ever done any of these things then you too deserve to die according to God´s decree right?

  • Grace

    fws,

    You’re as mixed up about left and right handedness, and then believe you have even a slight chance to teach me what the Bible says? – the words of Paul are clear, but you twist them like a piece of ‘silly putty’ a child trying to make something in pre-school.

  • Grace

    fws,

    You’re as mixed up about left and right handedness, and then believe you have even a slight chance to teach me what the Bible says? – the words of Paul are clear, but you twist them like a piece of ‘silly putty’ a child trying to make something in pre-school.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Grace @ 57

    Saint Paul , as inspired by God Himself, says what he says. I merely quoted him to you.

    I have nothing to teach you. I was hoping that Saint Paul would.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Grace @ 57

    Saint Paul , as inspired by God Himself, says what he says. I merely quoted him to you.

    I have nothing to teach you. I was hoping that Saint Paul would.

  • Grace

    fws

    The homosexual life, those participating in it, their continued belief that they can, and then stand with Bible in hand trying to pretend they have a case against the Word of God, are deluded.

    I have heard your excuse before, it goes something like this:

    “If a person is born homosexual, then homosexuality is OK… if someone is born straight, and then has homosexual sex, it’s sin.”

  • Grace

    fws

    The homosexual life, those participating in it, their continued belief that they can, and then stand with Bible in hand trying to pretend they have a case against the Word of God, are deluded.

    I have heard your excuse before, it goes something like this:

    “If a person is born homosexual, then homosexuality is OK… if someone is born straight, and then has homosexual sex, it’s sin.”

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    grace @ 57

    Yes the words of saint paul are crystal clear. We agree on that much.

    So if you are going to say that Romans 1 is the biblical definition of the word “homosexual” you don´t get to pick and chose what parts of Romans 1 you get to include in the definition.

    The “they” referred to in Romans 1 is the same “they” throughout the entire chapter and through to romans 2:1. This is irrefutable Grace.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    grace @ 57

    Yes the words of saint paul are crystal clear. We agree on that much.

    So if you are going to say that Romans 1 is the biblical definition of the word “homosexual” you don´t get to pick and chose what parts of Romans 1 you get to include in the definition.

    The “they” referred to in Romans 1 is the same “they” throughout the entire chapter and through to romans 2:1. This is irrefutable Grace.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Grace @ 59

    If you want to put words into my mouth make sure they are accurate words. I agree with none of what you wrote in your post 59. You just demonstrated that you do not have the slightest clue as to what I believe about homosexuality.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Grace @ 59

    If you want to put words into my mouth make sure they are accurate words. I agree with none of what you wrote in your post 59. You just demonstrated that you do not have the slightest clue as to what I believe about homosexuality.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    grace @ 59

    consider our conversation now closed on this topic between the two of us. If you need the last word, then be my guest.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    grace @ 59

    consider our conversation now closed on this topic between the two of us. If you need the last word, then be my guest.

  • Grace

    Apparently Paul has nothing to teach you, you’re blinded when it comes to Romans 1 -

  • Grace

    Apparently Paul has nothing to teach you, you’re blinded when it comes to Romans 1 -

  • larry

    That list pretty much gets us all and those that don’t think it does can highlight for themselves, “deceit” and “haughty”, oh and “foolish”. Oh and don’t forget drunkards and gluttons, what size pants do you were. And “the heart is desperately wicked above all things, who can know it”.

    The Law pretty much nails us.

    And the proof’s in the pudding again as the emphasis sounds upon a particular sin issue, rather than the doctrinal issues which are worse.

    We went from: “Set aside the pastor being a woman. Set aside the tattoos. Set aside the social justice stuff. Well, you’ll have to set aside quite a bit….They seem to be groping for the sacramental, but they lack the theology and the doctrines for a genuine sacramental spirituality” to “X sin issue that’s not “MY” particular issue but I can point a finger at that others have and all the while ignore my sheer idolatry concerning the Word and Sacraments.”

    How the white devil so EASILY hides.

  • larry

    That list pretty much gets us all and those that don’t think it does can highlight for themselves, “deceit” and “haughty”, oh and “foolish”. Oh and don’t forget drunkards and gluttons, what size pants do you were. And “the heart is desperately wicked above all things, who can know it”.

    The Law pretty much nails us.

    And the proof’s in the pudding again as the emphasis sounds upon a particular sin issue, rather than the doctrinal issues which are worse.

    We went from: “Set aside the pastor being a woman. Set aside the tattoos. Set aside the social justice stuff. Well, you’ll have to set aside quite a bit….They seem to be groping for the sacramental, but they lack the theology and the doctrines for a genuine sacramental spirituality” to “X sin issue that’s not “MY” particular issue but I can point a finger at that others have and all the while ignore my sheer idolatry concerning the Word and Sacraments.”

    How the white devil so EASILY hides.

  • Grace

    If you take that stance, then homosexuality is just dandy, as long as you were either ‘born that way’ or you re-arrange Scripture to enable one to live a purposeful sinful life. Covering up a lifestyle which is rought with disease, and continues to run rampant throughout the homosexual community.

    9 The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:

    10 But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.
    2 Peter 2

  • Grace

    If you take that stance, then homosexuality is just dandy, as long as you were either ‘born that way’ or you re-arrange Scripture to enable one to live a purposeful sinful life. Covering up a lifestyle which is rought with disease, and continues to run rampant throughout the homosexual community.

    9 The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:

    10 But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.
    2 Peter 2

  • Grace

    larry, are you defending homosexuality?

  • Grace

    larry, are you defending homosexuality?

  • Porcell

    Todd, at fifty-one: Grace (@50), please stop abusing the tag to add color and underlines to your words. That tag is for making hyperlinks — and only for that.

    Grace at fifty made the basic point that FWS was mistaken in his view that homosexuality is no different than being left handed.

    Her use of the <a> tag is an obscure point. What is your view of her major point? i.e., don’t obsess with detail and address the main point.

    Larry, at sixty-four: Oh and don’t forget drunkards and gluttons…The Law pretty much nails us.

    Agreed, though drunkards and gluttons sensibly don’t defend their sin, while, contemporary homosexuals make a virtue of their vice.

  • Porcell

    Todd, at fifty-one: Grace (@50), please stop abusing the tag to add color and underlines to your words. That tag is for making hyperlinks — and only for that.

    Grace at fifty made the basic point that FWS was mistaken in his view that homosexuality is no different than being left handed.

    Her use of the <a> tag is an obscure point. What is your view of her major point? i.e., don’t obsess with detail and address the main point.

    Larry, at sixty-four: Oh and don’t forget drunkards and gluttons…The Law pretty much nails us.

    Agreed, though drunkards and gluttons sensibly don’t defend their sin, while, contemporary homosexuals make a virtue of their vice.

  • Porcell

    Allow me to correct the disaster of a post at sixty-seven with the following:

    Todd, at fifty-one: Grace (@50), please stop abusing the tag to add color and underlines to your words. That tag is for making hyperlinks — and only for that.

    Grace at fifty made the basic point that FWS was mistaken in his view that homosexuality is no different than being left handed.

    Her use of the tag is an obscure point. What is your view of her major point? i.e., don’t obsess with detail and address the main point.

    Larry, at sixty-four: Oh and don’t forget drunkards and gluttons…The Law pretty much nails us.

    Agreed, though drunkards and gluttons sensibly don’t defend their sin, while, contemporary homosexuals make a virtue of their vice.

  • Porcell

    Allow me to correct the disaster of a post at sixty-seven with the following:

    Todd, at fifty-one: Grace (@50), please stop abusing the tag to add color and underlines to your words. That tag is for making hyperlinks — and only for that.

    Grace at fifty made the basic point that FWS was mistaken in his view that homosexuality is no different than being left handed.

    Her use of the tag is an obscure point. What is your view of her major point? i.e., don’t obsess with detail and address the main point.

    Larry, at sixty-four: Oh and don’t forget drunkards and gluttons…The Law pretty much nails us.

    Agreed, though drunkards and gluttons sensibly don’t defend their sin, while, contemporary homosexuals make a virtue of their vice.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Criminy, Porcell (@68), who died and made you der Kommissar der Kommentare?

    I will address the points I find interesting or relevant. If you’re going to make up rules about what I can or cannot discuss, you might at least take as your rubric sticking to the original topic offered by Dr. Veith — which does not include a discussion of the biblical understanding of homosexuality, which topic, as you might have noticed, has been flogged not a little bit on this blog already, and is in no need for more comments on it from me at this point.

    Yeesh.

    Also, attacking meta-comments through the medium of meta-comments smacks just a little bit of hypocrisy. FYI.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Criminy, Porcell (@68), who died and made you der Kommissar der Kommentare?

    I will address the points I find interesting or relevant. If you’re going to make up rules about what I can or cannot discuss, you might at least take as your rubric sticking to the original topic offered by Dr. Veith — which does not include a discussion of the biblical understanding of homosexuality, which topic, as you might have noticed, has been flogged not a little bit on this blog already, and is in no need for more comments on it from me at this point.

    Yeesh.

    Also, attacking meta-comments through the medium of meta-comments smacks just a little bit of hypocrisy. FYI.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Porcell said (@68), “drunkards and gluttons sensibly don’t defend their sin”. Ha! They most certainly do! They simply deny that they’ve eaten or drunk too much. Or they point to those who are even more drunk or gluttonous — a favorite tactic of sinners.

    But it gets worse, Porcell! Why, I’ve even seen people defend their own un-Christian faith, if you can believe it! I’ve seen people outright deny the assurance of salvation found in Scripture and, what’s more, decry as “boorish” those who cling to the promise of salvation found in God’s Word.

    I mean, it’s one thing to try to justify one’s own sins even as you look to Jesus for salvation, but to try to destroy the faith of another, even as one denies his own salvation by Christ’s propitiation — what kind of godlessness must be at the root of a behavior like that?

    I mean, at least the gay guy knows he’s saved and encourages others to put their faith in Christ alone.

    Ahem.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Porcell said (@68), “drunkards and gluttons sensibly don’t defend their sin”. Ha! They most certainly do! They simply deny that they’ve eaten or drunk too much. Or they point to those who are even more drunk or gluttonous — a favorite tactic of sinners.

    But it gets worse, Porcell! Why, I’ve even seen people defend their own un-Christian faith, if you can believe it! I’ve seen people outright deny the assurance of salvation found in Scripture and, what’s more, decry as “boorish” those who cling to the promise of salvation found in God’s Word.

    I mean, it’s one thing to try to justify one’s own sins even as you look to Jesus for salvation, but to try to destroy the faith of another, even as one denies his own salvation by Christ’s propitiation — what kind of godlessness must be at the root of a behavior like that?

    I mean, at least the gay guy knows he’s saved and encourages others to put their faith in Christ alone.

    Ahem.

  • Grace

    “I mean, at least the gay guy knows he’s saved and encourages others to put their faith in Christ alone.”

    Those who defend sin are mocking 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

    The choice: “corruption” or “life everlasting”

    Many excuse themselves from the work of religion, though they may make a show, and profess it. They may impose upon others, yet they deceive themselves if they think to impose upon God, who knows their hearts as well as actions; and as he cannot be deceived, so he will not be mocked. Our present time is seed time; in the other world we shall reap as we sow now. As there are two sorts of sowing, one to the flesh, and the other to the Spirit, so will the reckoning be hereafter. Those who live a carnal, sensual life, must expect no other fruit from such a course than misery and ruin. But those who, under the guidance and influences of the Holy Spirit, live a life of faith in Christ, and abound in Christian graces, shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

  • Grace

    “I mean, at least the gay guy knows he’s saved and encourages others to put their faith in Christ alone.”

    Those who defend sin are mocking 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

    The choice: “corruption” or “life everlasting”

    Many excuse themselves from the work of religion, though they may make a show, and profess it. They may impose upon others, yet they deceive themselves if they think to impose upon God, who knows their hearts as well as actions; and as he cannot be deceived, so he will not be mocked. Our present time is seed time; in the other world we shall reap as we sow now. As there are two sorts of sowing, one to the flesh, and the other to the Spirit, so will the reckoning be hereafter. Those who live a carnal, sensual life, must expect no other fruit from such a course than misery and ruin. But those who, under the guidance and influences of the Holy Spirit, live a life of faith in Christ, and abound in Christian graces, shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

  • kerner

    (cracking knuckles) So, old adversary, we meet again. ;)

    Just kidding, Frank, but I knew that when I saw a topic inching over 70 comments, it would be about this.

    @54:

    Actually, I do put “homosexuals” in the same category with those kinds of people. But I put everyone else, including myself, there as well. If we are guilty of one part of the law, we are guilty of it all, no?

    But I’m not sure that Paul’s purpose is to list every bad sin that deserves death. That list would be too long. What I think Paul was really doing was telling us that justifying our own sin is a grave error.

  • kerner

    (cracking knuckles) So, old adversary, we meet again. ;)

    Just kidding, Frank, but I knew that when I saw a topic inching over 70 comments, it would be about this.

    @54:

    Actually, I do put “homosexuals” in the same category with those kinds of people. But I put everyone else, including myself, there as well. If we are guilty of one part of the law, we are guilty of it all, no?

    But I’m not sure that Paul’s purpose is to list every bad sin that deserves death. That list would be too long. What I think Paul was really doing was telling us that justifying our own sin is a grave error.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace said (@71), “Those who defend sin are mocking God” — but Grace, that includes those who defend false doctrine, as well, like you do!

    Also, if you’re going to quote Matthew Henry’s commentary at length, don’t you think you should give him credit?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace said (@71), “Those who defend sin are mocking God” — but Grace, that includes those who defend false doctrine, as well, like you do!

    Also, if you’re going to quote Matthew Henry’s commentary at length, don’t you think you should give him credit?

  • Grace

    tODD – 73

    “Those who defend sin are mocking God” — but Grace, that includes those who defend false doctrine, as well, like you do!

    Also, if you’re going to quote Matthew Henry’s commentary at length, don’t you think you should give him credit?”

    As for Matthew Henry, …. I did not give him credit, but should have.

    As for false doctrine, I don’t agree with all Lutheran doctrine. I don’t agree with Luther. I believe Luther’s doctrine in some areas are false, and I have made that clear.

    Homosexuals continually find any and all excuses why they aren’t sinning,….. because they believe they were born that way. So one could say, they were born to steal, kill, lie, molest children or anyone else. So…..if you’re born to do these things, you can say it isn’t sinful, because that’s the way you were born.

  • Grace

    tODD – 73

    “Those who defend sin are mocking God” — but Grace, that includes those who defend false doctrine, as well, like you do!

    Also, if you’re going to quote Matthew Henry’s commentary at length, don’t you think you should give him credit?”

    As for Matthew Henry, …. I did not give him credit, but should have.

    As for false doctrine, I don’t agree with all Lutheran doctrine. I don’t agree with Luther. I believe Luther’s doctrine in some areas are false, and I have made that clear.

    Homosexuals continually find any and all excuses why they aren’t sinning,….. because they believe they were born that way. So one could say, they were born to steal, kill, lie, molest children or anyone else. So…..if you’re born to do these things, you can say it isn’t sinful, because that’s the way you were born.

  • SKPeterson

    Ahh, what was the question again?

  • SKPeterson

    Ahh, what was the question again?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Kerner @ 72

    Great to see you dear brother.

    My point is this:

    1) romans 2:1 is the point of romans 1. And the overall point of Romans is that God has condemned ALL to death, so that he might redeem ALL to life.

    2) The “they” in Romans 1 is the same “they” throughout chapter 1. That means something important. It means this: if romans one is about defining homosexuality or homosexuals then the entire chapter is about that and romans 2:1 , in that case, is addressed as well, only to us homosexuals. Sorry you are excluded from the epistle to the Romans Kerner. (just kidding.)

    3) I see myself in Romans 1. I see you in Romans 1. I see all homosexuals in romans 1 . I see all heterosexuals in romans 1. Equally.

    4) I don´t see what is described in Romans one as what “homosexuality ” would be defined by any medical textbook. Since the word homosexual is a medical term, I don´t think that is an irrelevant fact. Homosexuality is not a pathology that medically starts with the practice of coarse idolatry in any physician´s desk reference that I am aware of, and it rarely starts with the homosexuals being natural womanizers or women lovers, and then , precisely because of their coarse idolatry ditch their women in favor of coveting the same gender. And I would be challenged to see the list of charateristics in vs 29-32 as sure and certain diagnostic indications of a homosexual pathology…..In that case you are correct Kerner. You would be a homosexual in that case by diagnostic definition!

    Homosexuality is not a subject explicitly addressed by Holy Scripture is my point. Here we are in the realm of logical arguments and conjectures.

    5) All Homosexuals sin sexually and in every other way Old Adams sin. Jesus is the only propitiation for that problem. Trying to please God by straightening up is just another form of idolatry and sin. Homos sin sexually in exactly the same way that all men and women sin. All sin is at it´s root idolatry. And we all covet sex in a way that is a theft against others and their good.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Kerner @ 72

    Great to see you dear brother.

    My point is this:

    1) romans 2:1 is the point of romans 1. And the overall point of Romans is that God has condemned ALL to death, so that he might redeem ALL to life.

    2) The “they” in Romans 1 is the same “they” throughout chapter 1. That means something important. It means this: if romans one is about defining homosexuality or homosexuals then the entire chapter is about that and romans 2:1 , in that case, is addressed as well, only to us homosexuals. Sorry you are excluded from the epistle to the Romans Kerner. (just kidding.)

    3) I see myself in Romans 1. I see you in Romans 1. I see all homosexuals in romans 1 . I see all heterosexuals in romans 1. Equally.

    4) I don´t see what is described in Romans one as what “homosexuality ” would be defined by any medical textbook. Since the word homosexual is a medical term, I don´t think that is an irrelevant fact. Homosexuality is not a pathology that medically starts with the practice of coarse idolatry in any physician´s desk reference that I am aware of, and it rarely starts with the homosexuals being natural womanizers or women lovers, and then , precisely because of their coarse idolatry ditch their women in favor of coveting the same gender. And I would be challenged to see the list of charateristics in vs 29-32 as sure and certain diagnostic indications of a homosexual pathology…..In that case you are correct Kerner. You would be a homosexual in that case by diagnostic definition!

    Homosexuality is not a subject explicitly addressed by Holy Scripture is my point. Here we are in the realm of logical arguments and conjectures.

    5) All Homosexuals sin sexually and in every other way Old Adams sin. Jesus is the only propitiation for that problem. Trying to please God by straightening up is just another form of idolatry and sin. Homos sin sexually in exactly the same way that all men and women sin. All sin is at it´s root idolatry. And we all covet sex in a way that is a theft against others and their good.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    SKPeterson @ 75

    Grace decided to take us on a side expedition down Romans Chapter 1. She deserved an answer.

    I am ready to again discuss the main topic at hand. ;)

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    SKPeterson @ 75

    Grace decided to take us on a side expedition down Romans Chapter 1. She deserved an answer.

    I am ready to again discuss the main topic at hand. ;)

  • Grace

    fws

    “All Homosexuals sin sexually and in every other way Old Adams sin. Jesus is the only propitiation for that problem. Trying to please God by straightening up is just another form of idolatry and sin. Homos sin sexually in exactly the same way that all men and women sin. All sin is at it´s root idolatry. And we all covet sex in a way that is a theft against others and their good.”

    Speak for yourself fws – we don’t ALL anything.

    Grouping everyone into the sin of homosexuality, as though you can equalize the sin is FALSE. Homosexuals are not to have sex with the same sex, it’s sin, as stated by Paul in Romans 1 –

    9 The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:

    10 But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.
    2 Peter 2

    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

    fws, ignore the Scripture that contradict you. You can avoid temptation, you can be delievered from temptation. It’s up to you, whether it’s worth it or not.

  • Grace

    fws

    “All Homosexuals sin sexually and in every other way Old Adams sin. Jesus is the only propitiation for that problem. Trying to please God by straightening up is just another form of idolatry and sin. Homos sin sexually in exactly the same way that all men and women sin. All sin is at it´s root idolatry. And we all covet sex in a way that is a theft against others and their good.”

    Speak for yourself fws – we don’t ALL anything.

    Grouping everyone into the sin of homosexuality, as though you can equalize the sin is FALSE. Homosexuals are not to have sex with the same sex, it’s sin, as stated by Paul in Romans 1 –

    9 The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:

    10 But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.
    2 Peter 2

    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

    fws, ignore the Scripture that contradict you. You can avoid temptation, you can be delievered from temptation. It’s up to you, whether it’s worth it or not.

  • Porcell

    Todd, at seventy, denying one’s sin and projecting it onto others is rather distinct from the homosexuals who often attempt to make a virtue of their vice.

  • Porcell

    Todd, at seventy, denying one’s sin and projecting it onto others is rather distinct from the homosexuals who often attempt to make a virtue of their vice.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    porcell @ 79

    I am in no way denying our minimizing my sinfulness. Projecting my sinfulness onto you is unnecessary.

    God´s Word declares my sinfulness to be exactly the same as yours is. And vica versa.

    Now as to earthly virtues, I have no doubt, and sincerely so dear brother Peter, that you are a far more virtuous man than I am. I am grateful for that. It is great to hear how you have served your country, community and family. Such an attitude of service is rare.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    porcell @ 79

    I am in no way denying our minimizing my sinfulness. Projecting my sinfulness onto you is unnecessary.

    God´s Word declares my sinfulness to be exactly the same as yours is. And vica versa.

    Now as to earthly virtues, I have no doubt, and sincerely so dear brother Peter, that you are a far more virtuous man than I am. I am grateful for that. It is great to hear how you have served your country, community and family. Such an attitude of service is rare.

  • Stephen

    From the article above:

    “So maybe the Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber is onto something. But are postmodernists so shallow that they need so much coolness and progressive trappings in a pastor? Why wouldn’t a regular congregation with traditional theology, liturgy, and sacraments do just as well?”

    As for the pastor, don’t know her, haven’t met her, haven’t read her sermons. Speaking from experience, there are the kind of theologically grounded pastors in the ELCA that Bishop Hansen speaks of, even if, ironically, Bishop Hansen himself might be a little quesitonable by some. And that is not to question his faith. I used to go to his church. He’s a political liberal and he gets that mixed up with being Lutheran and Christian. There’ s not just a few conservative Lutherans who get being Republican mixed up with their Lutheran Christian faith too. But let’s give that a rest. Oh yeah I go forgot – we havea culture war to fight! Those terms are becoming more silly all the time because we begin to lose track of what exactly we are talking about.

    The comment above gives a near compliment and then takes it back with smirk and a slap. It is loaded with code words like “postmodern” as if we all know what that means beyond something very bad (indeed “shallow”) to the ears of people who are theologically conservative (there’s that word again), just as the word “progressive” is very positive to the people this pastor is reaching out to and very negative (politically) to the people who consider themselves “conservative.” It’s all very mushy and unreal and eventually starts to become meaningless. One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism, or so I thought. Please tell me what a “regular congregation” is? Would that be one with sinners or without? One with people with tattoos or without? One with gay people or without? What are the rules for regularness? Is it the type of people and what they like, or is it why they are there and who and what is preached?

    The last sentence in the quote seems to bely a hidden prejudice. Isn’t the whole point that this pastor IS using traditional worship styles and returning to old forms to bring people back into a historic understanding of Christian faith? Is THAT what bothers people, that she’s going Lutheran, or she’s ersatz Lutheran. No, it’s the homos again.

    Larry makes the vital point in several ways. What matters is what she is preaching. Is she preaching Christ and him crucified? Are we stumbling all over that because she preaches it to homos without reservation, welcoming them to hear that message? Is it the tattoos? Not enough law in the world? What is the whole of the law? Does it apply to gay people in a way that it does not apply to everyone else? Perhaps she is teaching that it doesn’t, that we are all just as messed up as the next person. We like to think that is what our churches teach, but in what way is that so? From the discussion on this thread and others, I hear them being singled out over and over for special treatment under the law. But I have worn that out and I’m not going there until I get something like an answer.

    And why does this author equate this pastor’s politics and personal “style” with shallowness? Could it not just simply be that it isn’t to his middle-class tastes? Don’t we all tend to gravitate toward people who share similar likes and dislikes? What does any of that have to do with Christ? He almost sounds like he wants to advocate for some kind of circumcision of tastes in order to be a “regular” church and thus prove one’s faith is not “shallow” and therefore more sincere. Once again we are looking for outward conformity as a sign of faith, and yet the scriptures tell us that our Lord “had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.” Whose standard of attractiveness is being challenged here? Who is really being shallow?

    Now, if she was communing Buddhists, that would really, really bad. If it is true she presided over the service that welcomed the gay ministers into the ELCA, then I’ve got a problem with her. Somebody ship her a Book of Concord and beg her to read it! That service was pretty horrifying to me when I read the liturgy, and I’m not even talking about the gay thing. It was syncretistic! That is what ought to bother confessional Lutherans, and I garuntee there are many in the ELCA that would throw up at such things. But I think “conservative” Lutheranism (of whatever stripe) bears some responsibility for that outcome in that it drives people away on just the kind of terms I’ve hinted at – cultural ones of style, social class and politics. I left the ELCA because of their hymnal and its language, otherwise I might have stayed, advocating for traditional worship styles, Word and Sacrament, and law/gospel theology. There are plenty there that live in that but the political liberals do have the upper hand. I’m still crawling back to the LCMS where I began and finding it difficult for other reasons. The Confessions are Lutheranism’s only hope. Indeed, they are the orthodox faith’s purest expression.

  • Stephen

    From the article above:

    “So maybe the Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber is onto something. But are postmodernists so shallow that they need so much coolness and progressive trappings in a pastor? Why wouldn’t a regular congregation with traditional theology, liturgy, and sacraments do just as well?”

    As for the pastor, don’t know her, haven’t met her, haven’t read her sermons. Speaking from experience, there are the kind of theologically grounded pastors in the ELCA that Bishop Hansen speaks of, even if, ironically, Bishop Hansen himself might be a little quesitonable by some. And that is not to question his faith. I used to go to his church. He’s a political liberal and he gets that mixed up with being Lutheran and Christian. There’ s not just a few conservative Lutherans who get being Republican mixed up with their Lutheran Christian faith too. But let’s give that a rest. Oh yeah I go forgot – we havea culture war to fight! Those terms are becoming more silly all the time because we begin to lose track of what exactly we are talking about.

    The comment above gives a near compliment and then takes it back with smirk and a slap. It is loaded with code words like “postmodern” as if we all know what that means beyond something very bad (indeed “shallow”) to the ears of people who are theologically conservative (there’s that word again), just as the word “progressive” is very positive to the people this pastor is reaching out to and very negative (politically) to the people who consider themselves “conservative.” It’s all very mushy and unreal and eventually starts to become meaningless. One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism, or so I thought. Please tell me what a “regular congregation” is? Would that be one with sinners or without? One with people with tattoos or without? One with gay people or without? What are the rules for regularness? Is it the type of people and what they like, or is it why they are there and who and what is preached?

    The last sentence in the quote seems to bely a hidden prejudice. Isn’t the whole point that this pastor IS using traditional worship styles and returning to old forms to bring people back into a historic understanding of Christian faith? Is THAT what bothers people, that she’s going Lutheran, or she’s ersatz Lutheran. No, it’s the homos again.

    Larry makes the vital point in several ways. What matters is what she is preaching. Is she preaching Christ and him crucified? Are we stumbling all over that because she preaches it to homos without reservation, welcoming them to hear that message? Is it the tattoos? Not enough law in the world? What is the whole of the law? Does it apply to gay people in a way that it does not apply to everyone else? Perhaps she is teaching that it doesn’t, that we are all just as messed up as the next person. We like to think that is what our churches teach, but in what way is that so? From the discussion on this thread and others, I hear them being singled out over and over for special treatment under the law. But I have worn that out and I’m not going there until I get something like an answer.

    And why does this author equate this pastor’s politics and personal “style” with shallowness? Could it not just simply be that it isn’t to his middle-class tastes? Don’t we all tend to gravitate toward people who share similar likes and dislikes? What does any of that have to do with Christ? He almost sounds like he wants to advocate for some kind of circumcision of tastes in order to be a “regular” church and thus prove one’s faith is not “shallow” and therefore more sincere. Once again we are looking for outward conformity as a sign of faith, and yet the scriptures tell us that our Lord “had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.” Whose standard of attractiveness is being challenged here? Who is really being shallow?

    Now, if she was communing Buddhists, that would really, really bad. If it is true she presided over the service that welcomed the gay ministers into the ELCA, then I’ve got a problem with her. Somebody ship her a Book of Concord and beg her to read it! That service was pretty horrifying to me when I read the liturgy, and I’m not even talking about the gay thing. It was syncretistic! That is what ought to bother confessional Lutherans, and I garuntee there are many in the ELCA that would throw up at such things. But I think “conservative” Lutheranism (of whatever stripe) bears some responsibility for that outcome in that it drives people away on just the kind of terms I’ve hinted at – cultural ones of style, social class and politics. I left the ELCA because of their hymnal and its language, otherwise I might have stayed, advocating for traditional worship styles, Word and Sacrament, and law/gospel theology. There are plenty there that live in that but the political liberals do have the upper hand. I’m still crawling back to the LCMS where I began and finding it difficult for other reasons. The Confessions are Lutheranism’s only hope. Indeed, they are the orthodox faith’s purest expression.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    There is a middle ground in Lutheranism, you know. I am fortunate to be in a congregation that has a pastor who will not go to the Left, or to the Right.

    I have been there for about 14 years and know the parishoners fairly well. We are about 50-50 when it comes to liberals and conservatives in our congregation.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    There is a middle ground in Lutheranism, you know. I am fortunate to be in a congregation that has a pastor who will not go to the Left, or to the Right.

    I have been there for about 14 years and know the parishoners fairly well. We are about 50-50 when it comes to liberals and conservatives in our congregation.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Frank,

    I guess we’ll have to disagree on what the Bible says about homosexuality.

    I will say this, it is no worse than the trainwreck of sins that I drag behind me.

    But the church needs to draw and hold the line against affirming sin of any kind. The ELCA has given themselves to the idea that everything goes, and hence they really have no doctrine of sin anymore. And their being comfortable with others being lost in false religions is not Christian. Not at all. But it is very liberal of them. Big deal.

    God bless you, Frank.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Frank,

    I guess we’ll have to disagree on what the Bible says about homosexuality.

    I will say this, it is no worse than the trainwreck of sins that I drag behind me.

    But the church needs to draw and hold the line against affirming sin of any kind. The ELCA has given themselves to the idea that everything goes, and hence they really have no doctrine of sin anymore. And their being comfortable with others being lost in false religions is not Christian. Not at all. But it is very liberal of them. Big deal.

    God bless you, Frank.

  • Grace

    fws – 79

    “God´s Word declares my sinfulness to be exactly the same as yours is. And vica versa.”

    No, that isn’t true, but the devil would certainly agree with you, just like he told Eve there was nothing wrong in eating the forbidden fruit.

    I have never once read where Porcell supported homosexuality.

    The Bible tells us the road is narrow, and few shall find it. There is a heaven and hell, one cannot live in the pig pen, declare to everyone that he/she was born to enjoy the pig pen, (“that’s how they were born”) then proceed to state that the pen is inevitable, and everyone is the same.

    18 For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error.

    19, While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.

    20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.

    21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.

    22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire. 2 Peter 2

    Verse 9 of 2 Peter 2 is clear, a man can avoid temptation, it’s a CHOICE -

  • Grace

    fws – 79

    “God´s Word declares my sinfulness to be exactly the same as yours is. And vica versa.”

    No, that isn’t true, but the devil would certainly agree with you, just like he told Eve there was nothing wrong in eating the forbidden fruit.

    I have never once read where Porcell supported homosexuality.

    The Bible tells us the road is narrow, and few shall find it. There is a heaven and hell, one cannot live in the pig pen, declare to everyone that he/she was born to enjoy the pig pen, (“that’s how they were born”) then proceed to state that the pen is inevitable, and everyone is the same.

    18 For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error.

    19, While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.

    20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.

    21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.

    22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire. 2 Peter 2

    Verse 9 of 2 Peter 2 is clear, a man can avoid temptation, it’s a CHOICE -

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace said (@74), “I don’t agree with all Lutheran doctrine. I don’t agree with Luther.” But of course, I also recall that you deny the plain words of Scripture, as has been pointed out to you before.

    And while you complain that “homosexuals continually find any and all excuses why they aren’t sinning”, it reminds me of the “any and all excuses” you offered to us long ago on why John 20:23 does not mean what it plainly says. Or why Acts 2:38-39 do not mean what they plainly say. Or why 1 Corinthianss 11:23ff do not mean what they plainly say.

    Disagreeing with Luther is one thing. Disagreeing with Scripture is quite another. But you defend your sin — and therefore, by your own words, you mock God. And find any and all excuses on why you aren’t really sinning when you deny God’s Word.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace said (@74), “I don’t agree with all Lutheran doctrine. I don’t agree with Luther.” But of course, I also recall that you deny the plain words of Scripture, as has been pointed out to you before.

    And while you complain that “homosexuals continually find any and all excuses why they aren’t sinning”, it reminds me of the “any and all excuses” you offered to us long ago on why John 20:23 does not mean what it plainly says. Or why Acts 2:38-39 do not mean what they plainly say. Or why 1 Corinthianss 11:23ff do not mean what they plainly say.

    Disagreeing with Luther is one thing. Disagreeing with Scripture is quite another. But you defend your sin — and therefore, by your own words, you mock God. And find any and all excuses on why you aren’t really sinning when you deny God’s Word.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Porcell (@79), it isn’t merely “the homosexuals who often attempt to make a virtue of their vice”!

    Why, on this very blog, you have taken your vice of doubting the assurance God gives us in his Word — and not only doubting it yourself, but attacking other Christians who find assurance in it! — and attempted to pass it off as a virtue, decrying those who trust in God’s promises as “boorish”!

    I’d far, far rather listen to a homosexual Christian remind me of both his and my sin — as well as point me to the all-atoning forgiveness won by Christ and given by God’s grace through faith — than to listen to someone who isn’t even sure he’s a Christian try to attack my faith and pass it off as some absurd brand of piety that ostensibly makes him better than the homosexual!

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Porcell (@79), it isn’t merely “the homosexuals who often attempt to make a virtue of their vice”!

    Why, on this very blog, you have taken your vice of doubting the assurance God gives us in his Word — and not only doubting it yourself, but attacking other Christians who find assurance in it! — and attempted to pass it off as a virtue, decrying those who trust in God’s promises as “boorish”!

    I’d far, far rather listen to a homosexual Christian remind me of both his and my sin — as well as point me to the all-atoning forgiveness won by Christ and given by God’s grace through faith — than to listen to someone who isn’t even sure he’s a Christian try to attack my faith and pass it off as some absurd brand of piety that ostensibly makes him better than the homosexual!

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    If Nadia Bolz-Weber could preach a sermon like this, then I would say she had what it takes.

    http://theoldadam.wordpress.com/2011/04/29/theres-only-one/

    Trouble is, I don’t think her liberal sensibilities would allow her to do it.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    If Nadia Bolz-Weber could preach a sermon like this, then I would say she had what it takes.

    http://theoldadam.wordpress.com/2011/04/29/theres-only-one/

    Trouble is, I don’t think her liberal sensibilities would allow her to do it.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    FWS said (@80): “God’s Word declares my sinfulness to be exactly the same as yours is. And vice versa.”
    Grace said (@84): “No, that isn’t true, but the devil would certainly agree with you.”
    God’s Word says: “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one. … There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
    Advantage: FWS!

    Grace said (@84): “Verse 9 of 2 Peter 2 is clear, a man can avoid temptation, it’s a CHOICE.”
    God’s Word says: “the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials.”
    Todd says: I don’t see where you get anything about a “choice” from that verse. It does say that it’s God who rescues us, though — and not that we rescue ourselves by our good choices.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    FWS said (@80): “God’s Word declares my sinfulness to be exactly the same as yours is. And vice versa.”
    Grace said (@84): “No, that isn’t true, but the devil would certainly agree with you.”
    God’s Word says: “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one. … There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
    Advantage: FWS!

    Grace said (@84): “Verse 9 of 2 Peter 2 is clear, a man can avoid temptation, it’s a CHOICE.”
    God’s Word says: “the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials.”
    Todd says: I don’t see where you get anything about a “choice” from that verse. It does say that it’s God who rescues us, though — and not that we rescue ourselves by our good choices.

  • Grace

    tODD,

    I understand that you don’t understand 2 Peter 9 and 1 Corinthians 10:13 – there are lots of people in your corner, they too won’t believe that the LORD does and will, deliver those who seek HIM from temptation.

    The passages I spoke of above are a CHOICE, that’s the problem – man wants to think it’s not their fault if they choose the pig pen, but IT IS!

  • Grace

    tODD,

    I understand that you don’t understand 2 Peter 9 and 1 Corinthians 10:13 – there are lots of people in your corner, they too won’t believe that the LORD does and will, deliver those who seek HIM from temptation.

    The passages I spoke of above are a CHOICE, that’s the problem – man wants to think it’s not their fault if they choose the pig pen, but IT IS!

  • Grace

    tODD – 85 “And while you complain that “homosexuals continually find any and all excuses why they aren’t sinning”, it reminds me of the “any and all excuses” you offered to us long ago on why John 20:23 does not mean what it plainly says.”

    John 20:23 – a great passage of Scripture:

    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 was DIRECTED to the LORD’s Apostles, it wasn’t directed to be handed down, or to be given to a pope or any other man. It was given to Christ’s Apostles.

    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?

  • Grace

    tODD – 85 “And while you complain that “homosexuals continually find any and all excuses why they aren’t sinning”, it reminds me of the “any and all excuses” you offered to us long ago on why John 20:23 does not mean what it plainly says.”

    John 20:23 – a great passage of Scripture:

    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 was DIRECTED to the LORD’s Apostles, it wasn’t directed to be handed down, or to be given to a pope or any other man. It was given to Christ’s Apostles.

    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?

  • Grace

    tODD – 85 “Or why Acts 2:38-39 do not mean what they plainly say.”

    Another great passage of Scripture:

    38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

    39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the LORD our God shall call. Acts 2

    The mention of infants is not in the Bible. One must repent and believe before they are baptized. I know that you cannot understand this, but there is no passage in Scripture that gives parents the right to baptize, believing that they have OBTAINED SALVATION for their infants. This is a dangerous doctrine, one that has made many a young person believe they are saved when they have no conception of what that means, they only know they were baptized. Parents cannot give their children Salvation insurance….. an individual must repent of their sins, believe on Christ as their Savior for Salvation.

  • Grace

    tODD – 85 “Or why Acts 2:38-39 do not mean what they plainly say.”

    Another great passage of Scripture:

    38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

    39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the LORD our God shall call. Acts 2

    The mention of infants is not in the Bible. One must repent and believe before they are baptized. I know that you cannot understand this, but there is no passage in Scripture that gives parents the right to baptize, believing that they have OBTAINED SALVATION for their infants. This is a dangerous doctrine, one that has made many a young person believe they are saved when they have no conception of what that means, they only know they were baptized. Parents cannot give their children Salvation insurance….. an individual must repent of their sins, believe on Christ as their Savior for Salvation.

  • Grace

    tODD – 85

    “Or why 1 Corinthianss 11:23ff do not mean what they plainly say.”

    There is a much better passage of Scripture to describe the LORD’s Supper accurately, it comes from the LORD Jesus Christ lips:

    But FIRST one must understand REPENTANCE and BELIEF as Christ is Savior.

    But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
    Matthew 9:13

    For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. 2 Corinthians 6:10

    For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
    Romans 10:10

    53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.

    54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.

    55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.

    56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.

    57 As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.

    58 This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever. John 6

  • Grace

    tODD – 85

    “Or why 1 Corinthianss 11:23ff do not mean what they plainly say.”

    There is a much better passage of Scripture to describe the LORD’s Supper accurately, it comes from the LORD Jesus Christ lips:

    But FIRST one must understand REPENTANCE and BELIEF as Christ is Savior.

    But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
    Matthew 9:13

    For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. 2 Corinthians 6:10

    For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
    Romans 10:10

    53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.

    54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.

    55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.

    56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.

    57 As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.

    58 This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever. John 6

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace (@89), you continue to misread 1 Corinthians 10:13. It doesn’t say that Christians are faithful. It says “God is faithful” (just like 2 Peter 2:9 says that it’s God who rescues us, not that good Christians rescue themselves). Christians ought to be faithful, and God’s Law demands that they be, but they — including you — continually fail to be faithful. Yes, when we are tempted, we cannot blame God for putting us in a situation where we must sin — for God does not tempt us. But, we — including you — still sin, yes, even willfully. Stop trusting in your own ability to avoid sin (which you obviously fail at, as even your comments here attest), and trust in Jesus to forgive for all the many times you ignore God’s Law and give in to temptation.

    As to John 20:23 (@90), you argue (as you did in the past) that “this passage of Scripture was DIRECTED to the LORD’s Apostles”. But you know that’s false, Grace — we all can read Scripture! John 20 says that “the disciples were together” — the “disciples”, not the Apostles! — when Jesus came and gave them the authority to forgive sins. If you have read John enough, you know that he uses the word “disciples” to refer to the Jesus’ followers in general, but he uses the phrase “the Twelve” to refer specifically to the Apostles. See, for example, John 6, where John clearly contrasts “the disciples” (many of whom abandoned Jesus at that time) with “the Twelve”. Regardless, your assertion that Jesus only gave the authority to forgive sins to the Apostles is baseless and not found in Scripture. No passages you find about healing or casting out demons will change that fact. Stop denying Christ’s own words and justifying your denial, Grace.

    As to Acts 2:38, it’s kind of funny. You say “the mention of infants is not in the Bible” right under where you quote “the promise is unto you, and to your children“. I guess you think infants aren’t children. That is your own problem. You also say, “there is no passage in Scripture that gives parents the right to baptize, believing that they have OBTAINED SALVATION for their infants” but it’s not a “right” to baptize, it’s a flat-out command from our Lord and Savior: “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 you deny that one “obtains salvation” through baptism right under the words of Scripture you quote: “be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins.” Stop denying the words of Scripture and justifying your denial, Grace.

    And you don’t even try to explain 1 Corinthians 11:23ff, instead pointing us to other passages of Scripture — which in no way deny the clear teaching of 1 Corinthians! Yet you deny them!

    Man, I don’t understand how you can continue to deny all those passages from the very Word of God and yet still deign to stand in judgment on homosexuals who “continually find any and all excuses why they aren’t sinning”. Sounds like you and those homosexuals have a lot in common when it comes to sin and denial … and a need for a Savior.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace (@89), you continue to misread 1 Corinthians 10:13. It doesn’t say that Christians are faithful. It says “God is faithful” (just like 2 Peter 2:9 says that it’s God who rescues us, not that good Christians rescue themselves). Christians ought to be faithful, and God’s Law demands that they be, but they — including you — continually fail to be faithful. Yes, when we are tempted, we cannot blame God for putting us in a situation where we must sin — for God does not tempt us. But, we — including you — still sin, yes, even willfully. Stop trusting in your own ability to avoid sin (which you obviously fail at, as even your comments here attest), and trust in Jesus to forgive for all the many times you ignore God’s Law and give in to temptation.

    As to John 20:23 (@90), you argue (as you did in the past) that “this passage of Scripture was DIRECTED to the LORD’s Apostles”. But you know that’s false, Grace — we all can read Scripture! John 20 says that “the disciples were together” — the “disciples”, not the Apostles! — when Jesus came and gave them the authority to forgive sins. If you have read John enough, you know that he uses the word “disciples” to refer to the Jesus’ followers in general, but he uses the phrase “the Twelve” to refer specifically to the Apostles. See, for example, John 6, where John clearly contrasts “the disciples” (many of whom abandoned Jesus at that time) with “the Twelve”. Regardless, your assertion that Jesus only gave the authority to forgive sins to the Apostles is baseless and not found in Scripture. No passages you find about healing or casting out demons will change that fact. Stop denying Christ’s own words and justifying your denial, Grace.

    As to Acts 2:38, it’s kind of funny. You say “the mention of infants is not in the Bible” right under where you quote “the promise is unto you, and to your children“. I guess you think infants aren’t children. That is your own problem. You also say, “there is no passage in Scripture that gives parents the right to baptize, believing that they have OBTAINED SALVATION for their infants” but it’s not a “right” to baptize, it’s a flat-out command from our Lord and Savior: “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 you deny that one “obtains salvation” through baptism right under the words of Scripture you quote: “be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins.” Stop denying the words of Scripture and justifying your denial, Grace.

    And you don’t even try to explain 1 Corinthians 11:23ff, instead pointing us to other passages of Scripture — which in no way deny the clear teaching of 1 Corinthians! Yet you deny them!

    Man, I don’t understand how you can continue to deny all those passages from the very Word of God and yet still deign to stand in judgment on homosexuals who “continually find any and all excuses why they aren’t sinning”. Sounds like you and those homosexuals have a lot in common when it comes to sin and denial … and a need for a Savior.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    steve @ 87

    Run, don´t walk to the link that Steve posted! His site is amazingly full of extremely useful stuff.

    Yes steve that sermon is awesome. Pastor Bolz-Webber is moving pretty rapidly in a Confessional Lutheran direction. I think she may end up better than you think.

    And you are right, she has alot to learn. She is a work in progress like the rest of us.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    steve @ 87

    Run, don´t walk to the link that Steve posted! His site is amazingly full of extremely useful stuff.

    Yes steve that sermon is awesome. Pastor Bolz-Webber is moving pretty rapidly in a Confessional Lutheran direction. I think she may end up better than you think.

    And you are right, she has alot to learn. She is a work in progress like the rest of us.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Todd @ 93

    “Man, I don’t understand how you can continue to deny all those passages from the very Word of God and yet still deign to stand in judgment on homosexuals who “continually find any and all excuses why they aren’t sinning”. Sounds like you and those homosexuals have a lot in common when it comes to sin and denial … and a need for a Savior.”

    Wow Todd. So it´s not just me. I noticed too that Grace and Peter/Porcell and I share those things in common too. I can really identify with how they think because I think the same way they do and find myself needing to repent of it daily… and turn to the works of Christ.

    It is only tbe Works of Christ that can turn God´s anger and judgement of death that is still upon me in my Old Adam that thinks like that. .

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Todd @ 93

    “Man, I don’t understand how you can continue to deny all those passages from the very Word of God and yet still deign to stand in judgment on homosexuals who “continually find any and all excuses why they aren’t sinning”. Sounds like you and those homosexuals have a lot in common when it comes to sin and denial … and a need for a Savior.”

    Wow Todd. So it´s not just me. I noticed too that Grace and Peter/Porcell and I share those things in common too. I can really identify with how they think because I think the same way they do and find myself needing to repent of it daily… and turn to the works of Christ.

    It is only tbe Works of Christ that can turn God´s anger and judgement of death that is still upon me in my Old Adam that thinks like that. .

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Todd @ 93

    As brother steve says on his blog … my Old Adam always wants to be in the saddle. He needs to die.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Todd @ 93

    As brother steve says on his blog … my Old Adam always wants to be in the saddle. He needs to die.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Grace @ 92

    The only sure and certain cure for what you and I have Grace is to die. You and I needed to die with Christ in our baptism.

    Have you been baptized Grace?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Grace @ 92

    The only sure and certain cure for what you and I have Grace is to die. You and I needed to die with Christ in our baptism.

    Have you been baptized Grace?

  • larry

    Porcell,

    “Agreed, though drunkards and gluttons sensibly don’t defend their sin, while, contemporary homosexuals make a virtue of their vice.”

    Disagree.

    I’ve seen and heard in my former heterodox days among the Reformed/Baptist more than one huffing and puffing preacher preach that the alcohol in and of itself was either sinful or at least “not spiritual”, all the while their bellies where well lapping over their belts as they waddled across the stage (and I mean stage not pulpit). The issue being shear and utter hypocrisy.

    But this misses the larger point of gluttony and drunkenness. There are two types, the dry drunk/glutton and the wet drunk/glutton, and this extends to all sin (i.e. those who do the “negative sin” versus those who abstain from it but secretly or not so secretly laud their works, tag it with “grace” and pretend they are resting in the sufficiency of Christ alone). E.g. the glutton, there is the “wet” glutton who is visibly such and at which society sneers their nose up very high in the air. Then there is the dry glutton who lauds his/her abstinence of being a glutton and not given over to gluttony. Yet both are gluttons one thinks he lives by his gluttony, the other (worse) thinks he lives by not being a glutton. The same with a drunk, he thinks he finds life in his abuse of alcohol, yet the abstainer thinks he lives and is twice the son of hell as the other. The same with the sexually promiscuous who thinks he/she lives by this way, but the two time son/daughter of hell thinks they live by their pious work of not being nor ever having been promiscuous. You see the law very well has you either way.

    Thus, there’s more than one way to make virtue out of vice. Those who point out and point their fingers at say homosexuals, and single out more or less that issue, are doing exactly what you miss, making virtue out of their (own) vice. It’s a fine and subtle trick the old Adam pulls; if I can point to that other guy/gal over there and his/her negative sin issue thus deflecting the fact of all my sins, not to say the least my sin nature, then I am raising myself up virtuously by deflecting all attention to them.

    But it ALL misses the larger point, here we have a battle of sins via the Law, when in reality the bigger issue is the false doctrine. To put it bluntly, NO sin is greater by infinite measure than idolatry, which is a sin against the first commandment. To put a very fine point on this, a promiscuous parade and display during Marti Gras is less sinful than the doctrine of believers baptism and the cracker and juice ceremony denying the Words of Christ.

  • larry

    Porcell,

    “Agreed, though drunkards and gluttons sensibly don’t defend their sin, while, contemporary homosexuals make a virtue of their vice.”

    Disagree.

    I’ve seen and heard in my former heterodox days among the Reformed/Baptist more than one huffing and puffing preacher preach that the alcohol in and of itself was either sinful or at least “not spiritual”, all the while their bellies where well lapping over their belts as they waddled across the stage (and I mean stage not pulpit). The issue being shear and utter hypocrisy.

    But this misses the larger point of gluttony and drunkenness. There are two types, the dry drunk/glutton and the wet drunk/glutton, and this extends to all sin (i.e. those who do the “negative sin” versus those who abstain from it but secretly or not so secretly laud their works, tag it with “grace” and pretend they are resting in the sufficiency of Christ alone). E.g. the glutton, there is the “wet” glutton who is visibly such and at which society sneers their nose up very high in the air. Then there is the dry glutton who lauds his/her abstinence of being a glutton and not given over to gluttony. Yet both are gluttons one thinks he lives by his gluttony, the other (worse) thinks he lives by not being a glutton. The same with a drunk, he thinks he finds life in his abuse of alcohol, yet the abstainer thinks he lives and is twice the son of hell as the other. The same with the sexually promiscuous who thinks he/she lives by this way, but the two time son/daughter of hell thinks they live by their pious work of not being nor ever having been promiscuous. You see the law very well has you either way.

    Thus, there’s more than one way to make virtue out of vice. Those who point out and point their fingers at say homosexuals, and single out more or less that issue, are doing exactly what you miss, making virtue out of their (own) vice. It’s a fine and subtle trick the old Adam pulls; if I can point to that other guy/gal over there and his/her negative sin issue thus deflecting the fact of all my sins, not to say the least my sin nature, then I am raising myself up virtuously by deflecting all attention to them.

    But it ALL misses the larger point, here we have a battle of sins via the Law, when in reality the bigger issue is the false doctrine. To put it bluntly, NO sin is greater by infinite measure than idolatry, which is a sin against the first commandment. To put a very fine point on this, a promiscuous parade and display during Marti Gras is less sinful than the doctrine of believers baptism and the cracker and juice ceremony denying the Words of Christ.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Thanks, Frank.

    I hope she does (keep moving towards the center – which is Christ..alone).

    Off to the salt mine…again. That Old Adam/Eve really messed things up for me. :D

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Thanks, Frank.

    I hope she does (keep moving towards the center – which is Christ..alone).

    Off to the salt mine…again. That Old Adam/Eve really messed things up for me. :D

  • Porcell

    Todd, at eighty-six: Why, on this very blog, you have taken your vice of doubting the assurance God gives us in his Word — and not only doubting it yourself, but attacking other Christians who find assurance in it!

    That “vice” of which you speak is straight doctrine from Calvin via the Reformed Westminster Longer Catechism. Your problem as usual is parochial moralizing about doctrinal differences.

  • Porcell

    Todd, at eighty-six: Why, on this very blog, you have taken your vice of doubting the assurance God gives us in his Word — and not only doubting it yourself, but attacking other Christians who find assurance in it!

    That “vice” of which you speak is straight doctrine from Calvin via the Reformed Westminster Longer Catechism. Your problem as usual is parochial moralizing about doctrinal differences.

  • Stephen

    Porcell @ 100

    “That “vice” of which you speak is straight doctrine from Calvin via the Reformed Westminster Longer Catechism. Your problem as usual is parochial moralizing about doctrinal differences.”

    And so, ipso facto, if we are to believe you rightly represent that Reformed doctrine as you yourself claim, you pretty much have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that Calvinism is a faith-murdering doctrine by your own words, words that attempt to rob others and even yourself of the assurance of salvation promised in scripture.

    BIG difference with Confessional Lutheran orthodoxy I’m afraid – as far as east is from the west. Too bad you refuse to see it.

  • Stephen

    Porcell @ 100

    “That “vice” of which you speak is straight doctrine from Calvin via the Reformed Westminster Longer Catechism. Your problem as usual is parochial moralizing about doctrinal differences.”

    And so, ipso facto, if we are to believe you rightly represent that Reformed doctrine as you yourself claim, you pretty much have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that Calvinism is a faith-murdering doctrine by your own words, words that attempt to rob others and even yourself of the assurance of salvation promised in scripture.

    BIG difference with Confessional Lutheran orthodoxy I’m afraid – as far as east is from the west. Too bad you refuse to see it.

  • Porcell

    Stephen, I quite understand the doctrinal differences, though am not given to such quaint and uncivil remarks as faith murdering doctrine.

  • Porcell

    Stephen, I quite understand the doctrinal differences, though am not given to such quaint and uncivil remarks as faith murdering doctrine.

  • larry

    Porcell,

    Oh but it’s not uncivil for it is in fact faith murdering by definition, assuming you are the Calvinist spokesman.
    It goes like this:
    If one has assurance per the Word of God, then one is “likely in for a BIG surprise” as it has been put. So in order to not “be in for a big surprise” upon death and eternity, one must not have assurance. Yet, that would “assurance”, assuring one would not “likely in for a BIG surprise” by not having assurance that one was assured so as to “likely in for a BIG surprise”. But then if that is so, having assurance by not having assurance, then that would “assurance” which would put one into the realm again of “likely in for a BIG surprise”. So you’d have be unassured of one’s salvation a second time so as to not be assured by the first unassured time whereby one is avoiding the “likely in for a BIG surprise”. But then THAT would be assurance and then place one into the realm of “likely in for a BIG surprise” whereby one would have to a third make sure one was not assured so as to not “likely in for a BIG surprise”, which spirals back to assurance and likely to be “likely in for a BIG surprise” and then round four of being unassurred of being assured by unassured of being assured by unassured of being assured by unassured so as to not be “likely in for a BIG surprise” and ad infinitum, ad nausem.
    Puritan Buddhism disguised as Christianity I suppose.

    And you wouldn’t want to do TOO many good works under such a venue for fear of knowing by them that you are indeed elect. One do so many good works and be assured they are elect and then “likely in for a BIG surprise” at the end as the religion goes.
    The works righteousness way always reveals itself in such endless circular spins of un assurance and hence unbelief. Calvin’s religion is more like a dog violently increasingly with greater and greater vigor and zeal of chasing his tail in hopes of catching it.

  • larry

    Porcell,

    Oh but it’s not uncivil for it is in fact faith murdering by definition, assuming you are the Calvinist spokesman.
    It goes like this:
    If one has assurance per the Word of God, then one is “likely in for a BIG surprise” as it has been put. So in order to not “be in for a big surprise” upon death and eternity, one must not have assurance. Yet, that would “assurance”, assuring one would not “likely in for a BIG surprise” by not having assurance that one was assured so as to “likely in for a BIG surprise”. But then if that is so, having assurance by not having assurance, then that would “assurance” which would put one into the realm again of “likely in for a BIG surprise”. So you’d have be unassured of one’s salvation a second time so as to not be assured by the first unassured time whereby one is avoiding the “likely in for a BIG surprise”. But then THAT would be assurance and then place one into the realm of “likely in for a BIG surprise” whereby one would have to a third make sure one was not assured so as to not “likely in for a BIG surprise”, which spirals back to assurance and likely to be “likely in for a BIG surprise” and then round four of being unassurred of being assured by unassured of being assured by unassured of being assured by unassured so as to not be “likely in for a BIG surprise” and ad infinitum, ad nausem.
    Puritan Buddhism disguised as Christianity I suppose.

    And you wouldn’t want to do TOO many good works under such a venue for fear of knowing by them that you are indeed elect. One do so many good works and be assured they are elect and then “likely in for a BIG surprise” at the end as the religion goes.
    The works righteousness way always reveals itself in such endless circular spins of un assurance and hence unbelief. Calvin’s religion is more like a dog violently increasingly with greater and greater vigor and zeal of chasing his tail in hopes of catching it.

  • Porcell

    Larry, Calvin understood as well as Luther that Gospel by far superseded both law and works. However, he distinguished between salvation and assurance; at best true assurance could only come from a lifetime of faith sometimes overcoming doubt and bearing tangible fruit in the perseverance of sanctification, demonstrated, yes, through actual works. That by the way is likely why Luther put together his excellent catechism. He was no simple minded enthusiastic American Lutheran evangelical, especially a fervent ex agnostic and then Baptist one who has breathlessly converted for now to the only true religion.

    Calvinists fervently hope and pray for the assurance of their salvation, though are wise enough not to presume so. Calling them “murderers of faith” is both ignorant and ludicrous.

  • Porcell

    Larry, Calvin understood as well as Luther that Gospel by far superseded both law and works. However, he distinguished between salvation and assurance; at best true assurance could only come from a lifetime of faith sometimes overcoming doubt and bearing tangible fruit in the perseverance of sanctification, demonstrated, yes, through actual works. That by the way is likely why Luther put together his excellent catechism. He was no simple minded enthusiastic American Lutheran evangelical, especially a fervent ex agnostic and then Baptist one who has breathlessly converted for now to the only true religion.

    Calvinists fervently hope and pray for the assurance of their salvation, though are wise enough not to presume so. Calling them “murderers of faith” is both ignorant and ludicrous.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Porcell, you’re hilarious! You spend an entire thread huffing and puffing about how Lutherans and other Christians who are assured of their salvation by trusting in the promises in God’s Word are all “boorish”, at the same time holding very strongly to your tenet that Christ did not die for the sins of all mankind and anyone who thinks so is dead wrong … and then you have the cognitive dissonance to come here (@100) and whine about “parochial moralizing about doctrinal differences”.

    I guess such “parochial moralizing” or “narrow-minded sectarianism” or “boorish” arrogance is a right you reserve only for yourself. Hypocrite.

    And I don’t care if it is “straight doctrine from Calvin via the Reformed Westminster Longer Catechism”. As Paul said, “even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!” Your “gospel” of limited atonement and no assurance is certainly not the one Paul preached.

    As always, Porcell, when you resort to complaining about others being “uncivil”, you truly have reached the end of your rhetorical rope, given how frequently uncivil you are to those you disagree with.

    So while you whine here (@102) about “such quaint and uncivil remarks as ‘faith murdering doctrine’”, yet on other threads, you feel no compunction in declaring that “those who claim absolute truth are correctly regarded as fanatics.”

    One wonders where your argument about seeing “through a glass darkly” has gone in this thread, Porcell. … Oh, that’s right, you only bring that out when you want to deny others’ use of Scripture and their claims to understand it correctly. It never applies to you and your understanding of Scripture.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Porcell, you’re hilarious! You spend an entire thread huffing and puffing about how Lutherans and other Christians who are assured of their salvation by trusting in the promises in God’s Word are all “boorish”, at the same time holding very strongly to your tenet that Christ did not die for the sins of all mankind and anyone who thinks so is dead wrong … and then you have the cognitive dissonance to come here (@100) and whine about “parochial moralizing about doctrinal differences”.

    I guess such “parochial moralizing” or “narrow-minded sectarianism” or “boorish” arrogance is a right you reserve only for yourself. Hypocrite.

    And I don’t care if it is “straight doctrine from Calvin via the Reformed Westminster Longer Catechism”. As Paul said, “even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!” Your “gospel” of limited atonement and no assurance is certainly not the one Paul preached.

    As always, Porcell, when you resort to complaining about others being “uncivil”, you truly have reached the end of your rhetorical rope, given how frequently uncivil you are to those you disagree with.

    So while you whine here (@102) about “such quaint and uncivil remarks as ‘faith murdering doctrine’”, yet on other threads, you feel no compunction in declaring that “those who claim absolute truth are correctly regarded as fanatics.”

    One wonders where your argument about seeing “through a glass darkly” has gone in this thread, Porcell. … Oh, that’s right, you only bring that out when you want to deny others’ use of Scripture and their claims to understand it correctly. It never applies to you and your understanding of Scripture.

  • larry

    Porcell,
    Porcell,

    Assuming, again, you are spokesman for Calvinism and apparently you are. The only matter I would concur with concerning your religion, Porcell, is that you are indeed logically consistent with it. What you say is logically consistent Calvinism and though I like the direction the cryptolutheran calvinist at least inconsistently lean (in the direction of real Gospel), I am forced to admit their’s is nothing more than a happy inconsistency and yours is in reality a sad consistency.

    The sad reality is that the cryptolutheran calvinist don’t realize that your Calvinism, though logically consistent, would not be their confession, or if it was, they’d despair of hope as Judas did. And so you both pretend you have the same confession when you do not. Not surprising because you ignorantly attempt to procure Luther to your cause.

    Which is not surprising, for Calvinist think, in utter vain, if they can produce a Luther that sounds like Calvin they can move Lutheranism into union with Calvinism citing the force and authority of Luther. But unlike Calvin and Calvinism, as Sasse points out, Luther was never in and of himself binding and in his later life Luther fades away as others are raised up which precipitated the confessions. This is the difference in author of sect, like Calvin, versus a defender of the faith subservient to the Word of God. For Calvinist think, again impotently, that if they can squeeze a Luther out of the Bondage of the Will that is pretty Calvin agreeing, that they can convince the Orthodox confessions to move their way. Yet, again, Luther disappears into the shadows as God’s called servant as others came forth which produced the confessions. Like Calvin himself falsely accusing the Lutherans of his time for blindly following Luther, in his ignorance he entirely missed the point that they were not, but developing the Confessions based upon the Word of God alone. To put it another way, hypothetically, if tomorrow some slip of paper was found that was authenticated as Luther’s last words “for sure” and it said, “I got the Lord’s Supper wrong”. That Luther would be rejected by the Lutheran confessions. That won’t happen but it makes the point that Calvinist in vain attempt to paint a more “Calvinistic” Martin Luther. For it is not Luther that rejects Calvin, though he does, but the confessions and that will never change. This why fierce defenders of the faith like Westphal, Chemnitz, Sasse, etc… receive no attention and are largely ignored and why Calvinist always, almost always singularly, go after converting Luther into a Calvin-Luther. The one holy catholic and apostolic church in singular unified confession is, yes, larger than Luther. So like many who wish convert Paul over to Rome and Luther over to Calvin, it is pissing in the wind.

    Thus, murders of the faith is precisely what such doctrines are that lead men from assurance in their God, i.e. Christ, into speculative realms. In fact that, speculation, is original sin whereby the devil says, “hath God really said”. That is precisely to murder faith, it happened in the beginning at the fall and the serpent’s words echo today in such false religions as Calvin.

    For Luther saw all temptation to examine predestination as from the devil not God, he even cites the Psalms as full examples of this. When the temptation is “am I elect”, Luther replies, “I don’t care if I’m elect I am baptized”. Luther identified numerous times that true assurance comes not from a lifetime of faith, but from external Word and Sacraments. Assurance in faith is idolatry as Luther points out regarding the rebaptizers who baptize based upon faith that such is in fact idolatry, faith and assurance in faith.

    This is why nothing happens in Calvin’s supper. One does not actually receive the forgiveness of sins actually, really, tangibly, palpably. One does not actually receive Christ’s body and blood. And thus why no assurance is ever had.

    Some Calvinist may indeed fervently hope and pray for the assurance of their salvation as if that is a means of grace and then await some unmediated encounter with the Spirit is pure Wordless fumbling about for God in the nude, original sin, and not one wit different from the more crass versions of pentecostalism. This type of religion is not a bit different from paganism nor Islam. In fact a Muslim friend of mine expressed your precise words five years ago after his family member had died unexpected. Looking at me he said ‘we can only hope and pray’ where he is or we go.

    Thus, what you blasphemously call wisdom to not presume upon the Word of God when it so clearly says, “given for you for the forgiveness of sin”, “this baptism saves”, is merely so much smoke screen for rank unbelief and calling the Word a liar.

    Your religion is a Wordless religion which merely procures for itself on the side the Word of God in hopes that by the mere presence of it and its intrinsic majesty would give some level of legitimacy and authenticity to it.

    Your “wise enough not to presume” is hardly humility but pure arrogance that is in fact unbelief and in the final analysis presumption upon the Word of God – the very thing it says it is not. For it does not believe what the Word says and so it, thus, presumes to be higher than the Word itself (i.e. its own god).

  • larry

    Porcell,
    Porcell,

    Assuming, again, you are spokesman for Calvinism and apparently you are. The only matter I would concur with concerning your religion, Porcell, is that you are indeed logically consistent with it. What you say is logically consistent Calvinism and though I like the direction the cryptolutheran calvinist at least inconsistently lean (in the direction of real Gospel), I am forced to admit their’s is nothing more than a happy inconsistency and yours is in reality a sad consistency.

    The sad reality is that the cryptolutheran calvinist don’t realize that your Calvinism, though logically consistent, would not be their confession, or if it was, they’d despair of hope as Judas did. And so you both pretend you have the same confession when you do not. Not surprising because you ignorantly attempt to procure Luther to your cause.

    Which is not surprising, for Calvinist think, in utter vain, if they can produce a Luther that sounds like Calvin they can move Lutheranism into union with Calvinism citing the force and authority of Luther. But unlike Calvin and Calvinism, as Sasse points out, Luther was never in and of himself binding and in his later life Luther fades away as others are raised up which precipitated the confessions. This is the difference in author of sect, like Calvin, versus a defender of the faith subservient to the Word of God. For Calvinist think, again impotently, that if they can squeeze a Luther out of the Bondage of the Will that is pretty Calvin agreeing, that they can convince the Orthodox confessions to move their way. Yet, again, Luther disappears into the shadows as God’s called servant as others came forth which produced the confessions. Like Calvin himself falsely accusing the Lutherans of his time for blindly following Luther, in his ignorance he entirely missed the point that they were not, but developing the Confessions based upon the Word of God alone. To put it another way, hypothetically, if tomorrow some slip of paper was found that was authenticated as Luther’s last words “for sure” and it said, “I got the Lord’s Supper wrong”. That Luther would be rejected by the Lutheran confessions. That won’t happen but it makes the point that Calvinist in vain attempt to paint a more “Calvinistic” Martin Luther. For it is not Luther that rejects Calvin, though he does, but the confessions and that will never change. This why fierce defenders of the faith like Westphal, Chemnitz, Sasse, etc… receive no attention and are largely ignored and why Calvinist always, almost always singularly, go after converting Luther into a Calvin-Luther. The one holy catholic and apostolic church in singular unified confession is, yes, larger than Luther. So like many who wish convert Paul over to Rome and Luther over to Calvin, it is pissing in the wind.

    Thus, murders of the faith is precisely what such doctrines are that lead men from assurance in their God, i.e. Christ, into speculative realms. In fact that, speculation, is original sin whereby the devil says, “hath God really said”. That is precisely to murder faith, it happened in the beginning at the fall and the serpent’s words echo today in such false religions as Calvin.

    For Luther saw all temptation to examine predestination as from the devil not God, he even cites the Psalms as full examples of this. When the temptation is “am I elect”, Luther replies, “I don’t care if I’m elect I am baptized”. Luther identified numerous times that true assurance comes not from a lifetime of faith, but from external Word and Sacraments. Assurance in faith is idolatry as Luther points out regarding the rebaptizers who baptize based upon faith that such is in fact idolatry, faith and assurance in faith.

    This is why nothing happens in Calvin’s supper. One does not actually receive the forgiveness of sins actually, really, tangibly, palpably. One does not actually receive Christ’s body and blood. And thus why no assurance is ever had.

    Some Calvinist may indeed fervently hope and pray for the assurance of their salvation as if that is a means of grace and then await some unmediated encounter with the Spirit is pure Wordless fumbling about for God in the nude, original sin, and not one wit different from the more crass versions of pentecostalism. This type of religion is not a bit different from paganism nor Islam. In fact a Muslim friend of mine expressed your precise words five years ago after his family member had died unexpected. Looking at me he said ‘we can only hope and pray’ where he is or we go.

    Thus, what you blasphemously call wisdom to not presume upon the Word of God when it so clearly says, “given for you for the forgiveness of sin”, “this baptism saves”, is merely so much smoke screen for rank unbelief and calling the Word a liar.

    Your religion is a Wordless religion which merely procures for itself on the side the Word of God in hopes that by the mere presence of it and its intrinsic majesty would give some level of legitimacy and authenticity to it.

    Your “wise enough not to presume” is hardly humility but pure arrogance that is in fact unbelief and in the final analysis presumption upon the Word of God – the very thing it says it is not. For it does not believe what the Word says and so it, thus, presumes to be higher than the Word itself (i.e. its own god).

  • Porcell

    Todd and Larry, I should suggest that you take time to read Michael Horton’s recent thousand-page volume The Christian Faith: A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims on the Way.

    Horton’s main theme is that despite some doctrinal differences Luther, Melanchthon, and Calvin and other leading theological lights were fundamentally in agreement. Instead of taking a parochial, moralistic view of doctrinal differences, he emphasizes their agreement on most issues. Horton understands that most doctrinal differences in theology are matter of nuance, not good and evil.

  • Porcell

    Todd and Larry, I should suggest that you take time to read Michael Horton’s recent thousand-page volume The Christian Faith: A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims on the Way.

    Horton’s main theme is that despite some doctrinal differences Luther, Melanchthon, and Calvin and other leading theological lights were fundamentally in agreement. Instead of taking a parochial, moralistic view of doctrinal differences, he emphasizes their agreement on most issues. Horton understands that most doctrinal differences in theology are matter of nuance, not good and evil.

  • Grace

    tODD,

    I have watched you pick at many of the commenters on this blog, as you want desperately, to guide those who don’t agree with you, even though your underswtanding of Scripture is limited. Much of your belief is RCC in the shaddows… its rather easy to spot, as I have spent many years in study.

  • Grace

    tODD,

    I have watched you pick at many of the commenters on this blog, as you want desperately, to guide those who don’t agree with you, even though your underswtanding of Scripture is limited. Much of your belief is RCC in the shaddows… its rather easy to spot, as I have spent many years in study.

  • Grace

    fws 97

    “Have you been baptized Grace?”

    Yes I have been baptized, after I repented, and believed in Christ as the risen Savior. I have answered this question many time.

  • Grace

    fws 97

    “Have you been baptized Grace?”

    Yes I have been baptized, after I repented, and believed in Christ as the risen Savior. I have answered this question many time.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Larry (@106), you make a good point about people always trying to co-opt Luther — and, in so doing, failing to understand what Lutheranism is about. Indeed, such fools make the same mistake that the ones who coined the pejorative term “Lutheranism” make — they think it is about one man.

    Porcell only goes on to immediately prove your point, of course, when he says (@107) “Luther, Melanchthon, and Calvin and other leading theological lights were fundamentally in agreement”. And when Calvinists say things like that, they never mean “…and that’s why I am joining you Lutherans, because we believe the same things.” No, it always means “Hey, your guy and my guy were pretty much the same, so what say you give up all your stupid beliefs and agree with me?” Somehow, the Calvinists think we’re stupid enough to fall for this. Which says less about us than it does about them, I should say.

    After all, how stupid would I have to be to listen to a man tell me that Luther and Calvin “were fundamentally in agreement” and yet also declare adamantly (@104), as to Calvin’s teachings, that “at best true assurance could only come from a lifetime of faith sometimes overcoming doubt and bearing tangible fruit in the perseverance of sanctification, demonstrated, yes, through actual works”?

    Hear the confession of Calvinism: “To say the least, I should hardly presume to be saved. … Calvinists at best may merely hope to be saved. … I’m content to be a faithful though abundantly fallen Christian without any foolish sentiment of being ‘saved.’”

    And then to even entertain the notion that that has anything to do with Lutheranism, much less Christianity!

    You tell me that “at best” your “true assurance” comes from your own works, even as you deny that Christ died for your sins, and you dare to lecture actual Christians, Porcell?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Larry (@106), you make a good point about people always trying to co-opt Luther — and, in so doing, failing to understand what Lutheranism is about. Indeed, such fools make the same mistake that the ones who coined the pejorative term “Lutheranism” make — they think it is about one man.

    Porcell only goes on to immediately prove your point, of course, when he says (@107) “Luther, Melanchthon, and Calvin and other leading theological lights were fundamentally in agreement”. And when Calvinists say things like that, they never mean “…and that’s why I am joining you Lutherans, because we believe the same things.” No, it always means “Hey, your guy and my guy were pretty much the same, so what say you give up all your stupid beliefs and agree with me?” Somehow, the Calvinists think we’re stupid enough to fall for this. Which says less about us than it does about them, I should say.

    After all, how stupid would I have to be to listen to a man tell me that Luther and Calvin “were fundamentally in agreement” and yet also declare adamantly (@104), as to Calvin’s teachings, that “at best true assurance could only come from a lifetime of faith sometimes overcoming doubt and bearing tangible fruit in the perseverance of sanctification, demonstrated, yes, through actual works”?

    Hear the confession of Calvinism: “To say the least, I should hardly presume to be saved. … Calvinists at best may merely hope to be saved. … I’m content to be a faithful though abundantly fallen Christian without any foolish sentiment of being ‘saved.’”

    And then to even entertain the notion that that has anything to do with Lutheranism, much less Christianity!

    You tell me that “at best” your “true assurance” comes from your own works, even as you deny that Christ died for your sins, and you dare to lecture actual Christians, Porcell?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace (@108), I am not interested in your ignorant opinion of what I believe. And it is ignorant, since you don’t know me — as your comment makes clear. I reject many of the teachings of the “RCC” as much as I do yours. I don’t much care if you believe that or not.

    Nor will making wonderful claims about your knowledge impress me. If, as you say, you “have spent many years in study”, then you will have no trouble proving me wrong when I explain to you what the Scriptures plainly say.

    But it would appear that, rather than engage me with arguments from Scripture, you have merely decided to brag about your study time.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace (@108), I am not interested in your ignorant opinion of what I believe. And it is ignorant, since you don’t know me — as your comment makes clear. I reject many of the teachings of the “RCC” as much as I do yours. I don’t much care if you believe that or not.

    Nor will making wonderful claims about your knowledge impress me. If, as you say, you “have spent many years in study”, then you will have no trouble proving me wrong when I explain to you what the Scriptures plainly say.

    But it would appear that, rather than engage me with arguments from Scripture, you have merely decided to brag about your study time.

  • Grace

    tODD – 111

    Don’t flatter yourself, I have no interest in trying to impress you, .. if you think for one moment I have, you’re mistaken.

    Sending me back to read your post 93 (link included) is childish.

  • Grace

    tODD – 111

    Don’t flatter yourself, I have no interest in trying to impress you, .. if you think for one moment I have, you’re mistaken.

    Sending me back to read your post 93 (link included) is childish.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace (@112), all those years spent studying the Bible, and all you’ve got for me are insults? My “underswtanding of Scripture is limited”? And I’m “childish” for referring you to the comment of mine — from Scripture — which you still haven’t replied to? Truly, the counterarguments of a Bible scholar!

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace (@112), all those years spent studying the Bible, and all you’ve got for me are insults? My “underswtanding of Scripture is limited”? And I’m “childish” for referring you to the comment of mine — from Scripture — which you still haven’t replied to? Truly, the counterarguments of a Bible scholar!

  • Porcell

    Todd: Larry (@106), you make a good point about people always trying to co-opt Luther — and, in so doing, failing to understand what Lutheranism is about.

    Actually, Calvin and other Protestant theologians well knew and know that Luther is the primary founder of the Reformation. They studied and understood his views. Rather than “co-opting” him, they had and have great respect for him, though they also being serious theologians differ with him on some issues.

    Those parochial and sectarian Lutherans who regard Luther as the only fount of Christian knowledge and disparage other Reformation and Catholic thinkers are mistaken. Luther himself never made such a claim. He had great respect for some Catholic thinkers especially Augustine and, also, for Calvin and other Reformation thinkers. Every serious Christian theologian well knows that they are fallen men who indeed see through the glass darkly, though they, also, state the truth that they have arrived at in no uncertain terms.

    Those who regard theology and theologians in black and white terms are the bane of religion. Again, a good antidote for this would be Michael Horton who has a profound respect, especially for Luther, Melanchthon, and Calvin, though, also, for many other theologians including Chemnitz, Edwards, Hodge, Turretin, Warfield, and the Niebuhr.

  • Porcell

    Todd: Larry (@106), you make a good point about people always trying to co-opt Luther — and, in so doing, failing to understand what Lutheranism is about.

    Actually, Calvin and other Protestant theologians well knew and know that Luther is the primary founder of the Reformation. They studied and understood his views. Rather than “co-opting” him, they had and have great respect for him, though they also being serious theologians differ with him on some issues.

    Those parochial and sectarian Lutherans who regard Luther as the only fount of Christian knowledge and disparage other Reformation and Catholic thinkers are mistaken. Luther himself never made such a claim. He had great respect for some Catholic thinkers especially Augustine and, also, for Calvin and other Reformation thinkers. Every serious Christian theologian well knows that they are fallen men who indeed see through the glass darkly, though they, also, state the truth that they have arrived at in no uncertain terms.

    Those who regard theology and theologians in black and white terms are the bane of religion. Again, a good antidote for this would be Michael Horton who has a profound respect, especially for Luther, Melanchthon, and Calvin, though, also, for many other theologians including Chemnitz, Edwards, Hodge, Turretin, Warfield, and the Niebuhr.

  • Grace

    Poor tODD!

  • Grace

    Poor tODD!

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace (@115), thank you for sharing from the depths of wisdom you have accumulated over the years of studying Scripture.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Grace (@115), thank you for sharing from the depths of wisdom you have accumulated over the years of studying Scripture.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Porcell (@114), I’m not interested in your guesses as to what other people “well know”. I’ve seen the way you mangle Luther’s ideas (with which I am familiar) until you make them unrecognizable, and I can only imagine what you’ve done to the ideas of people with whom I’m less familiar. If you want to tell me what someone else thought, then quote him. But I grow tired of having to read your less-than-trustworthy interpretations of what people actually thought.

    And I can see that the irony is lost on you as you continue to rail against Lutherans who present their theology from Scripture, yet somehow style yourself an egalitarian ecumenicist somehow vastly morally superior to all those sniveling parochial sectarians you barely deign to interact with.

    You tell us what “every serious Christian theologian well knows”, but as you yourself do not know if you are saved, you exclude yourself from being numbered among serious Christians — or Christians of any stripe, for that matter.

    And then you, who are always labeling things you agree with as “conservative” engage in some of the most blatantly liberal theology to be found on this blog, with squishy, relativist phrases like “the truth that they have arrived at”, while you lament those who “who regard theology and theologians in black and white terms” as “the bane of religion”.

    A theology of legalism and relativism that refuses anyone the assurance of salvation. And that’s what you think Christianity is.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Porcell (@114), I’m not interested in your guesses as to what other people “well know”. I’ve seen the way you mangle Luther’s ideas (with which I am familiar) until you make them unrecognizable, and I can only imagine what you’ve done to the ideas of people with whom I’m less familiar. If you want to tell me what someone else thought, then quote him. But I grow tired of having to read your less-than-trustworthy interpretations of what people actually thought.

    And I can see that the irony is lost on you as you continue to rail against Lutherans who present their theology from Scripture, yet somehow style yourself an egalitarian ecumenicist somehow vastly morally superior to all those sniveling parochial sectarians you barely deign to interact with.

    You tell us what “every serious Christian theologian well knows”, but as you yourself do not know if you are saved, you exclude yourself from being numbered among serious Christians — or Christians of any stripe, for that matter.

    And then you, who are always labeling things you agree with as “conservative” engage in some of the most blatantly liberal theology to be found on this blog, with squishy, relativist phrases like “the truth that they have arrived at”, while you lament those who “who regard theology and theologians in black and white terms” as “the bane of religion”.

    A theology of legalism and relativism that refuses anyone the assurance of salvation. And that’s what you think Christianity is.

  • Porcell

    Todd, one may devoutly believe in the tenets of Lutheranism without disparaging other forms of the Christian religion. Based on good and honest biblical exegesis, virtually all serious Christian theologians differ from one another.

    There is no point in further discussion with you, as you are incorrigibly involved in a rather nasty form of parochial sectarianism that allows you to blithely declare who is and isn’t a serious Christian. This is indeed an intolerant and uncharitable stance that is the bane of religion

  • Porcell

    Todd, one may devoutly believe in the tenets of Lutheranism without disparaging other forms of the Christian religion. Based on good and honest biblical exegesis, virtually all serious Christian theologians differ from one another.

    There is no point in further discussion with you, as you are incorrigibly involved in a rather nasty form of parochial sectarianism that allows you to blithely declare who is and isn’t a serious Christian. This is indeed an intolerant and uncharitable stance that is the bane of religion

  • Larry

    Here, Porcell, you confuse, on purpose I might add, the assessment of established doctrines and articles of faith with “who is a Christian”. Every single Lutheran on here has affirmed other Christians by virtue of their baptisms that they are Christians. The

    Scriptures are CRYSTAL clear on doctrine, the Christian not only has God’s permission bad express command to examine the doctrine and flee that which is not true. You cannot hide behind a false sense of unity. Which is the point.

    Sectarianism comes BY false doctrine and always asserts itself, it has been said well, by first asking for tolerance, then demanding equal time, then demanding sole rule over orthodoxy. The church is that which is formed and gathered up around the true doctrine and not the congregating union of those of like mindedness (which is of course pietism).

    You conflate areas of lack of clarity on issues with clear ones. It’s really simple. When you say, for example, its not the real body and blood of Christ however you would interpret Jesus’ words with “serious exegesis” to be and imply or restate them, “this represents, this is a sign of, symbol of, etc…”, on this clear article of faith, then one is REQUIRED per the command of Christ Himself to go into the Scriptures and read what Jesus said. Lo and behold we find Him say, “This IS My body and blood…” You are then to be rejected for the Scriptures have been referenced and your words are not there. When you say that one cannot have assurance yet Christ says, “Take eat/drink…given and shed FOR YOU for the forgiveness of sin), “…these things were written so that you MAY KNOW you have eternal life”, “he who eats My flesh and drinks My blood HAS eternal life…”, your words are simply not there and are to be rejected and fled from as false.

    I find it also odd that you quote as part of your confession of faith to us the WCF, which you have done several times, but you fail to inform your buddy Grace that according to your own professed confession of faith that by not baptizing infants the WCF says this is a great sin, not just A sin but a GREAT sin and that she cannot even commune with you.

    Similarly Grace being baptisic on that doctrine would not even recognize you or children so baptized as having been baptized at all and according to ALL Baptist confessions of faith not able to commune with them.

    So its very odd that you assert dogmatically your position as dogmatic and doctrinal truth, yet are very malleable with them in reality.

    Thus, relativistic truth assertion is consistent with your relativistic assurance issue. So when you discover what you would like to confess AS immovable TRUTH then you have something to discuss, up until now you should front all your assertions and arguments thus; “I’m not sure at all, but it seems probably, possible, maybe likely, feasibly, but it could possibly not be and the opposite could be true, I don’t know, who can know, and am just guessing but it seems, I hope, wish, possibly think that the Scriptures say ______”, then fill in your assertions.

    Because at the end of the day you are simply expressing epicurean Pilate, “what is truth”.

  • Larry

    Here, Porcell, you confuse, on purpose I might add, the assessment of established doctrines and articles of faith with “who is a Christian”. Every single Lutheran on here has affirmed other Christians by virtue of their baptisms that they are Christians. The

    Scriptures are CRYSTAL clear on doctrine, the Christian not only has God’s permission bad express command to examine the doctrine and flee that which is not true. You cannot hide behind a false sense of unity. Which is the point.

    Sectarianism comes BY false doctrine and always asserts itself, it has been said well, by first asking for tolerance, then demanding equal time, then demanding sole rule over orthodoxy. The church is that which is formed and gathered up around the true doctrine and not the congregating union of those of like mindedness (which is of course pietism).

    You conflate areas of lack of clarity on issues with clear ones. It’s really simple. When you say, for example, its not the real body and blood of Christ however you would interpret Jesus’ words with “serious exegesis” to be and imply or restate them, “this represents, this is a sign of, symbol of, etc…”, on this clear article of faith, then one is REQUIRED per the command of Christ Himself to go into the Scriptures and read what Jesus said. Lo and behold we find Him say, “This IS My body and blood…” You are then to be rejected for the Scriptures have been referenced and your words are not there. When you say that one cannot have assurance yet Christ says, “Take eat/drink…given and shed FOR YOU for the forgiveness of sin), “…these things were written so that you MAY KNOW you have eternal life”, “he who eats My flesh and drinks My blood HAS eternal life…”, your words are simply not there and are to be rejected and fled from as false.

    I find it also odd that you quote as part of your confession of faith to us the WCF, which you have done several times, but you fail to inform your buddy Grace that according to your own professed confession of faith that by not baptizing infants the WCF says this is a great sin, not just A sin but a GREAT sin and that she cannot even commune with you.

    Similarly Grace being baptisic on that doctrine would not even recognize you or children so baptized as having been baptized at all and according to ALL Baptist confessions of faith not able to commune with them.

    So its very odd that you assert dogmatically your position as dogmatic and doctrinal truth, yet are very malleable with them in reality.

    Thus, relativistic truth assertion is consistent with your relativistic assurance issue. So when you discover what you would like to confess AS immovable TRUTH then you have something to discuss, up until now you should front all your assertions and arguments thus; “I’m not sure at all, but it seems probably, possible, maybe likely, feasibly, but it could possibly not be and the opposite could be true, I don’t know, who can know, and am just guessing but it seems, I hope, wish, possibly think that the Scriptures say ______”, then fill in your assertions.

    Because at the end of the day you are simply expressing epicurean Pilate, “what is truth”.

  • Porcell

    Larry, you completely misunderstand my point. I respect devout followers of any religion and would never call anyone a faith murderer as you have done over any doctrinal differences.

    An excellent model would be Michael Horton a member of a Reformed faith who nevertheless shows great respect for Lutheran theology, while recognizing doctrinal differences. Theologians at their best, while firm with their own positions, do not denigrate people of any serious religious faith, nor do they use such an execrable term as “faith murderer”

    Also, you conveniently left out the following from the section V of the Westminster Confession that deals with baptism:… yet grace and salvation are not so inseparably annexed unto it [baptism], as that no person can be regenerated, or saved, without it:[baptism] or, that all that are baptized are undoubtedly regenerated.

  • Porcell

    Larry, you completely misunderstand my point. I respect devout followers of any religion and would never call anyone a faith murderer as you have done over any doctrinal differences.

    An excellent model would be Michael Horton a member of a Reformed faith who nevertheless shows great respect for Lutheran theology, while recognizing doctrinal differences. Theologians at their best, while firm with their own positions, do not denigrate people of any serious religious faith, nor do they use such an execrable term as “faith murderer”

    Also, you conveniently left out the following from the section V of the Westminster Confession that deals with baptism:… yet grace and salvation are not so inseparably annexed unto it [baptism], as that no person can be regenerated, or saved, without it:[baptism] or, that all that are baptized are undoubtedly regenerated.

  • Larry

    Porcell,

    Your response simply makes the point of your doctrine of “maybe, possibly, very malleable doctrinal the truth is relative”. For you excuse one side of the WCF by misapplying even another section of the WCF. Section V does not at all nullify that the WCF calls the not baptizing of infants a GREAT sin. But it does shed some light on the fact that the holistic doctrine of infant baptism is, as I suspected when I was in, that at length the Reformed will over time loose infant baptism. Because in the end their doctrine doesn’t mean anything and they let in any false doctrine they wish. This is why they widely unite today with Baptist. Something Calvin would have NEVER done.

    Thus, you conveniently misapply Section V, for I did not “conveniently” leave anything out at all. I pointed out that to NOT baptize one’s infants is considered by the WCF as a GREAT sin, one that precludes communion fellowship with those that do not. It NOTHING to do with the inefficacious doctrine on baptism that you quote.

    Just as you take part of God’s word to make other parts of God’s Word disappear, which is how the devil himself operates, he rarely just “denies the word”.

    Section V does not in any sense nullify that the WCF states that to not baptize one’s infant is a GREAT sin you are conflating the two sections. You cannot take Section V to nullify the Great sin of not baptizing infants. Otherwise the whole WCF is void.

    And yes, false doctrine no matter who comes from is faith murdering by its very nature. I can have respect for even a Muslim, yet the fact remains his belief murders souls. And so does heterodoxy plain and simple.

    And all false accusation of not respecting other theologians and religions is just that false and hiding your fact that you distinguish between true and false doctrine. For we have the express command and power given us of Christ to do so for such by definition are soul murders as is the devil from the beginning:

    I John 4:1, from the Apostle of love, “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits; whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.”

    Jesus exorts, “”Beware of false prophets.” (Matt. 7:15)

    Thus, F. Pieper concludes, “So, those Christians who do not want to distinguish between true and false prophets, and, consequently, also not between orthodox and heterodox churches, are disobedient to an express command of God.”

    Pieper, “In accordance with God’s Word, we firmly maintain a twofold doctrine: first, that God does not only have His children in the orthodox Church, that is, in the visible fellowship where God’s Word is preached in all its truth and purity; but that children of God are also to be found in heterodox fellowships where God’s Word is not preached in all its purity, but truth is mixed with error. Secondly, however, we also maintain the great difference between orthodox and heterodox churches. What a great difference, according to God’s Word, exists between orthodox and heterodox churches will be more exactly set forth in the following Theses. Even we forget this difference only too easily. Indeed, it also happens in our own midst that people who move to other areas and find no orthodox church there, join heterodox churches. Why is that? One cannot always say that these people have already fallen away from the true doctrine in their hearts. But they have forgotten the difference between orthodox and heterodox churches. By taking up membership in heterodox churches, they commit sin and place their souls in danger”

    And,
    “It is, therefore, not a matter of indifference which church group a Christian joins; but he has God’s earnest command strictly to distinguish between orthodox and heterodox churches, and, avoiding all church fellowship with the heterodox, to adhere only to the orthodox Church.”

    And,

    If you therefore ask on what basis a Christian must distinguish between heterodox and orthodox churches, the answer is: On the basis of beliefs, on the basis of doctrine. Only on that basis can a true judgment be reached; not on the basis that outwardly a Christian life appears to prevail in a congregation or that the minister gives the impression of being a pious man. That can all be sheep’s clothing which conceals the errorist, as Christ the Lord says in Matt. 7:15: “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing.” Moreover, you cannot judge on the basis that a man appeals to Scripture and quotes Scripture; but Christians must examine whether the doctrine of Scripture is really also being taught. The devil, too, in the temptation of Christ, quoted Scripture.
    And

    “Likewise, only in the orthodox Church is God given the honor which He requires; and, only in it are souls rightly cared for. Fellowship with heterodox churches militates against God’s honor, and is a constant danger for the soul.”

    And

    “To preach false doctrine, and to believe false doctrine is the greatest wickedness there is, a sin against the First Commandment. Luther stresses this so frequently. He always repeats: “False doctrine is a sin against the First Commandment.” Whoever sets aside God’s Word, twists God’s Word around, puts his own meaning into God’s Word, he does not permit God to be his God, he acts unrighteously. God often says in His Word: “Thou shalt not steal.” But just as clearly and even much oftener we find it said in Scripture: You shall not believe false doctrine, you shall not preach false doctrine, you shall not listen to false doctrine. Now, just as he is unrighteous who steals, contrary to God’s command, so especially also is he unrighteous who, contrary to the equally clear command of God, preaches, accepts, or promotes false doctrine, and that in any amount whatever. When God says you must not steal, then you should not steal even a little bit. The same holds true in respect to hearing and preaching false doctrine. You already become a partaker of unrighteousness by spreading and advancing only one doctrinal error. The first part of Christian righteousness and Christian life is the trusting acceptance of the whole Word of God.”

    We pretend this will not happen to teachers who WILL BE judged greater as Scripture clearly proclaims. Theirs is not ONE SINGLE Word FROM GOD that this will not happen or that we are to waft aside false teachings. Man is not given excuse to NOT discern but just the opposite. For by definition ALL false doctrine is soul murdering as all false doctrine by definition finds its origins in hell from Satan who was a murder from the beginning who seeks to devour, kill and destroy.

    So your entire argument is over thrown, and I well understand it.

  • Larry

    Porcell,

    Your response simply makes the point of your doctrine of “maybe, possibly, very malleable doctrinal the truth is relative”. For you excuse one side of the WCF by misapplying even another section of the WCF. Section V does not at all nullify that the WCF calls the not baptizing of infants a GREAT sin. But it does shed some light on the fact that the holistic doctrine of infant baptism is, as I suspected when I was in, that at length the Reformed will over time loose infant baptism. Because in the end their doctrine doesn’t mean anything and they let in any false doctrine they wish. This is why they widely unite today with Baptist. Something Calvin would have NEVER done.

    Thus, you conveniently misapply Section V, for I did not “conveniently” leave anything out at all. I pointed out that to NOT baptize one’s infants is considered by the WCF as a GREAT sin, one that precludes communion fellowship with those that do not. It NOTHING to do with the inefficacious doctrine on baptism that you quote.

    Just as you take part of God’s word to make other parts of God’s Word disappear, which is how the devil himself operates, he rarely just “denies the word”.

    Section V does not in any sense nullify that the WCF states that to not baptize one’s infant is a GREAT sin you are conflating the two sections. You cannot take Section V to nullify the Great sin of not baptizing infants. Otherwise the whole WCF is void.

    And yes, false doctrine no matter who comes from is faith murdering by its very nature. I can have respect for even a Muslim, yet the fact remains his belief murders souls. And so does heterodoxy plain and simple.

    And all false accusation of not respecting other theologians and religions is just that false and hiding your fact that you distinguish between true and false doctrine. For we have the express command and power given us of Christ to do so for such by definition are soul murders as is the devil from the beginning:

    I John 4:1, from the Apostle of love, “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits; whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.”

    Jesus exorts, “”Beware of false prophets.” (Matt. 7:15)

    Thus, F. Pieper concludes, “So, those Christians who do not want to distinguish between true and false prophets, and, consequently, also not between orthodox and heterodox churches, are disobedient to an express command of God.”

    Pieper, “In accordance with God’s Word, we firmly maintain a twofold doctrine: first, that God does not only have His children in the orthodox Church, that is, in the visible fellowship where God’s Word is preached in all its truth and purity; but that children of God are also to be found in heterodox fellowships where God’s Word is not preached in all its purity, but truth is mixed with error. Secondly, however, we also maintain the great difference between orthodox and heterodox churches. What a great difference, according to God’s Word, exists between orthodox and heterodox churches will be more exactly set forth in the following Theses. Even we forget this difference only too easily. Indeed, it also happens in our own midst that people who move to other areas and find no orthodox church there, join heterodox churches. Why is that? One cannot always say that these people have already fallen away from the true doctrine in their hearts. But they have forgotten the difference between orthodox and heterodox churches. By taking up membership in heterodox churches, they commit sin and place their souls in danger”

    And,
    “It is, therefore, not a matter of indifference which church group a Christian joins; but he has God’s earnest command strictly to distinguish between orthodox and heterodox churches, and, avoiding all church fellowship with the heterodox, to adhere only to the orthodox Church.”

    And,

    If you therefore ask on what basis a Christian must distinguish between heterodox and orthodox churches, the answer is: On the basis of beliefs, on the basis of doctrine. Only on that basis can a true judgment be reached; not on the basis that outwardly a Christian life appears to prevail in a congregation or that the minister gives the impression of being a pious man. That can all be sheep’s clothing which conceals the errorist, as Christ the Lord says in Matt. 7:15: “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing.” Moreover, you cannot judge on the basis that a man appeals to Scripture and quotes Scripture; but Christians must examine whether the doctrine of Scripture is really also being taught. The devil, too, in the temptation of Christ, quoted Scripture.
    And

    “Likewise, only in the orthodox Church is God given the honor which He requires; and, only in it are souls rightly cared for. Fellowship with heterodox churches militates against God’s honor, and is a constant danger for the soul.”

    And

    “To preach false doctrine, and to believe false doctrine is the greatest wickedness there is, a sin against the First Commandment. Luther stresses this so frequently. He always repeats: “False doctrine is a sin against the First Commandment.” Whoever sets aside God’s Word, twists God’s Word around, puts his own meaning into God’s Word, he does not permit God to be his God, he acts unrighteously. God often says in His Word: “Thou shalt not steal.” But just as clearly and even much oftener we find it said in Scripture: You shall not believe false doctrine, you shall not preach false doctrine, you shall not listen to false doctrine. Now, just as he is unrighteous who steals, contrary to God’s command, so especially also is he unrighteous who, contrary to the equally clear command of God, preaches, accepts, or promotes false doctrine, and that in any amount whatever. When God says you must not steal, then you should not steal even a little bit. The same holds true in respect to hearing and preaching false doctrine. You already become a partaker of unrighteousness by spreading and advancing only one doctrinal error. The first part of Christian righteousness and Christian life is the trusting acceptance of the whole Word of God.”

    We pretend this will not happen to teachers who WILL BE judged greater as Scripture clearly proclaims. Theirs is not ONE SINGLE Word FROM GOD that this will not happen or that we are to waft aside false teachings. Man is not given excuse to NOT discern but just the opposite. For by definition ALL false doctrine is soul murdering as all false doctrine by definition finds its origins in hell from Satan who was a murder from the beginning who seeks to devour, kill and destroy.

    So your entire argument is over thrown, and I well understand it.

  • Porcell

    So, Larry, because you’re a Lutheran you have true doctrine and all the other faiths that differ from Lutheran doctrine are involved in soul murdering false doctrine. How utterly provincial and arrogant.

  • Porcell

    So, Larry, because you’re a Lutheran you have true doctrine and all the other faiths that differ from Lutheran doctrine are involved in soul murdering false doctrine. How utterly provincial and arrogant.

  • Larry

    The short answer is yes. And if you REALLY thought your confession was orthodox you’d say the same thing. But you just admitted by implication you do not, else you’d have to self accuse what you accuse Lutherans of, and therefore by your own admission you hold to heterodoxy and not orthodoxy. Thus, you admit to it but are incredulous when told that’s what YOU YOURSELF JUST admitted.

    Then if it is indeed heterodoxy, as you admit yourself, then by definition, it is from Satan and thus soul murdering due its source. Sincer there is but one orthodoxy, one doctrine all other doctrines contrary to these are by definition heterodoxy and false, and since that from hell and since that from Satan and since that soul murdering.

    You are basically hypocritical and really must be angry at yourself for by your own admission you hold to heterodoxy which is thus false which is thus by definition from the Destroyer of souls and thus soul murdering. Otherwise you must say that you are orthodox in what you hold and what we hold is heterodox and soul murdering and then apologize for your false hypocritical accusation.

    This is what you fail to see with your fairly relativistic doctrine that blows with the wind. E.g. given was your very own WCF that says failure to baptize infants is not just “A” sin but a GREAT sin upon which you could not commune your friend Grace the Baptist. Now Grace does not even recognize you are baptized nor anyone by infant baptism and thus by all Baptist confessions of faith cannot commune you.

    Yet you waive this by with great ease as if the Confessions are written with disappearing ink, as if they mean nothing. You quote them to express for us your doctrine, yet you conveniently erase them when it suites you.

    However, in your defense this is in reality the logical extension of the doctrines. That’s the irony of it all, you and Grace display for all to see every time you say something the great irony of the Reformed doctrine and why it at length falls apart like unraveling ball of twine.

    It starts with some cryptolutherans as we might call them that say there is “some kind of firmness and assurance in the sacraments, lets say baptism”. But not utterly, limited atonement or double predestination prevents this (among other intrinsic doctrines to Calvin). Then one becomes a Porcell Calvinist/Reformed and baptism doesn’t really do anything for certain then at all. The natural progression is to think less and less of the doctrine that requires infant baptism. So you have quasi-reformed saying they hold to the WCF, but not so much that they REALLY hold to such things as failure to baptize your infants/children is REALLY a GREAT sin. Connection and communion begins to take place with the Baptist who don’t do this because in their religion baptism does nothing whatsoever. That then is not too far a step from where the quasi-reformed have gravitated. So they begin to worship with the Baptist, after all Baptism doesn’t really do anything or mean anything THAT ESSENTIAL. Pretty soon you have an amalgamation of Bapto-Reformed worshipping together, some might baptize their infants, some might not, but it doesn’t really matter because it means very little now and it most certainly does nothing.

    The next generation of Reformed children grow up having been baptized as infants, but been taught either explicitly or by associative implication with their fellow communed Baptist who didn’t baptize as infants that its more or less optional, a free will choice, and they then less and less baptize their infants. The extension to adult baptism occurs, if it didn’t really DO anything for infants, then it really doesn’t DO anything for adults. The logic is resistless.

    Reformed over time become baptistic, then full blown baptist. Meanwhile, the Baptist unravel from their point. Baptism having long been understood by them as not doing anything, “how can mere water do anything” (said Charles H. Spurgeon), so at their churches (and I know I’m in Baptist central down here and deeply connected) at length baptism becomes fairly optional, at some, even removed at length entirely. Or it takes such a back seat that its just old residual ceremonial necessity long bereft as of why. So Baptist and baptistic churches begin filling their roles with unbaptized members fully able to commune at their Zwinglian meal. Reformed move from Calvin’s meal in parallel with their move from Calvin baptism to Baptist Baptism to full Zwinglian crackers and grape juice.

    The end product is either the gross reduction of even the husks of the sacraments (changed over to ordinances for a while; OR done away with explicitly; OR done away with implicitly; OR reduce so much to just a residual thing bereft of anything it originally was whatsoever.

    Then Strange Fire begins to be introduced as these ordinances (sacraments) dissipate like so much residual fog in the heat of a summer day. Strange Fire like baby dedications, alter calls, rededications, givin the heart to Jesus again, revivals and a whole host of such.

    So what you have is not the Christian religion but a Boutique Religion and a mélange of confessions. And yes, these murder souls.

  • Larry

    The short answer is yes. And if you REALLY thought your confession was orthodox you’d say the same thing. But you just admitted by implication you do not, else you’d have to self accuse what you accuse Lutherans of, and therefore by your own admission you hold to heterodoxy and not orthodoxy. Thus, you admit to it but are incredulous when told that’s what YOU YOURSELF JUST admitted.

    Then if it is indeed heterodoxy, as you admit yourself, then by definition, it is from Satan and thus soul murdering due its source. Sincer there is but one orthodoxy, one doctrine all other doctrines contrary to these are by definition heterodoxy and false, and since that from hell and since that from Satan and since that soul murdering.

    You are basically hypocritical and really must be angry at yourself for by your own admission you hold to heterodoxy which is thus false which is thus by definition from the Destroyer of souls and thus soul murdering. Otherwise you must say that you are orthodox in what you hold and what we hold is heterodox and soul murdering and then apologize for your false hypocritical accusation.

    This is what you fail to see with your fairly relativistic doctrine that blows with the wind. E.g. given was your very own WCF that says failure to baptize infants is not just “A” sin but a GREAT sin upon which you could not commune your friend Grace the Baptist. Now Grace does not even recognize you are baptized nor anyone by infant baptism and thus by all Baptist confessions of faith cannot commune you.

    Yet you waive this by with great ease as if the Confessions are written with disappearing ink, as if they mean nothing. You quote them to express for us your doctrine, yet you conveniently erase them when it suites you.

    However, in your defense this is in reality the logical extension of the doctrines. That’s the irony of it all, you and Grace display for all to see every time you say something the great irony of the Reformed doctrine and why it at length falls apart like unraveling ball of twine.

    It starts with some cryptolutherans as we might call them that say there is “some kind of firmness and assurance in the sacraments, lets say baptism”. But not utterly, limited atonement or double predestination prevents this (among other intrinsic doctrines to Calvin). Then one becomes a Porcell Calvinist/Reformed and baptism doesn’t really do anything for certain then at all. The natural progression is to think less and less of the doctrine that requires infant baptism. So you have quasi-reformed saying they hold to the WCF, but not so much that they REALLY hold to such things as failure to baptize your infants/children is REALLY a GREAT sin. Connection and communion begins to take place with the Baptist who don’t do this because in their religion baptism does nothing whatsoever. That then is not too far a step from where the quasi-reformed have gravitated. So they begin to worship with the Baptist, after all Baptism doesn’t really do anything or mean anything THAT ESSENTIAL. Pretty soon you have an amalgamation of Bapto-Reformed worshipping together, some might baptize their infants, some might not, but it doesn’t really matter because it means very little now and it most certainly does nothing.

    The next generation of Reformed children grow up having been baptized as infants, but been taught either explicitly or by associative implication with their fellow communed Baptist who didn’t baptize as infants that its more or less optional, a free will choice, and they then less and less baptize their infants. The extension to adult baptism occurs, if it didn’t really DO anything for infants, then it really doesn’t DO anything for adults. The logic is resistless.

    Reformed over time become baptistic, then full blown baptist. Meanwhile, the Baptist unravel from their point. Baptism having long been understood by them as not doing anything, “how can mere water do anything” (said Charles H. Spurgeon), so at their churches (and I know I’m in Baptist central down here and deeply connected) at length baptism becomes fairly optional, at some, even removed at length entirely. Or it takes such a back seat that its just old residual ceremonial necessity long bereft as of why. So Baptist and baptistic churches begin filling their roles with unbaptized members fully able to commune at their Zwinglian meal. Reformed move from Calvin’s meal in parallel with their move from Calvin baptism to Baptist Baptism to full Zwinglian crackers and grape juice.

    The end product is either the gross reduction of even the husks of the sacraments (changed over to ordinances for a while; OR done away with explicitly; OR done away with implicitly; OR reduce so much to just a residual thing bereft of anything it originally was whatsoever.

    Then Strange Fire begins to be introduced as these ordinances (sacraments) dissipate like so much residual fog in the heat of a summer day. Strange Fire like baby dedications, alter calls, rededications, givin the heart to Jesus again, revivals and a whole host of such.

    So what you have is not the Christian religion but a Boutique Religion and a mélange of confessions. And yes, these murder souls.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Porcell (@118), there are not “other forms of the Christian religion”. There is Christianity, and there is falsehood. Falsehood, of course, parades around pretending to be Christianity, but that doesn’t make it so.

    The fact that “serious” Christians “differ from one another” does not mean they are not Christian, but it does indicate that, where they differ, there is falsehood on at least one side. And falsehood is not to be taken lightly, your treatment of it notwithstanding.

    And you can throw as many pejorative labels at me as you want — “a rather nasty form of parochial sectarianism” — but the fact remaains that you are every bit as nasty, parochial, and sectarian as the one you accuse. Time after time, you rail against Lutheran doctrine and uphold Calvinism. To whine about “sectarianism” as you do is nothing but rank hypocrisy, whether you understand that or not.

    And it is not I who declares who is and isn’t a “serious Christian” — your own confession does that for you! And by your own admission, you don’t even know if you’re a Christian. You don’t know if you’re saved. You don’t know if Jesus paid for your sins. You don’t know if God loves you. And yet you want to whine about what I say? Your confession says it all, Porcell! You do not believe that Jesus is your savior!

    But, of course, you retreat into the fundamental tenet of the liberal theology you hold to: tolerance. How fundamentally ironic that someone like you who styles himself as “conservative” and rails against modern liberalism would take refuge in that quintessential bastion of relativism, declaring, “this is indeed an intolerant and uncharitable stance.”

    Tolerate me! Tolerate me and my falsehood! You’re not respecting my untruths! Truly, Porcell, you would fit right in on any modern liberal, PC university campus. You who deny that there is absolute truth, or that we can know it. You who bristle every time a Christian calls a falsehood a falsehood. And you call yourself conservative. Ha.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Porcell (@118), there are not “other forms of the Christian religion”. There is Christianity, and there is falsehood. Falsehood, of course, parades around pretending to be Christianity, but that doesn’t make it so.

    The fact that “serious” Christians “differ from one another” does not mean they are not Christian, but it does indicate that, where they differ, there is falsehood on at least one side. And falsehood is not to be taken lightly, your treatment of it notwithstanding.

    And you can throw as many pejorative labels at me as you want — “a rather nasty form of parochial sectarianism” — but the fact remaains that you are every bit as nasty, parochial, and sectarian as the one you accuse. Time after time, you rail against Lutheran doctrine and uphold Calvinism. To whine about “sectarianism” as you do is nothing but rank hypocrisy, whether you understand that or not.

    And it is not I who declares who is and isn’t a “serious Christian” — your own confession does that for you! And by your own admission, you don’t even know if you’re a Christian. You don’t know if you’re saved. You don’t know if Jesus paid for your sins. You don’t know if God loves you. And yet you want to whine about what I say? Your confession says it all, Porcell! You do not believe that Jesus is your savior!

    But, of course, you retreat into the fundamental tenet of the liberal theology you hold to: tolerance. How fundamentally ironic that someone like you who styles himself as “conservative” and rails against modern liberalism would take refuge in that quintessential bastion of relativism, declaring, “this is indeed an intolerant and uncharitable stance.”

    Tolerate me! Tolerate me and my falsehood! You’re not respecting my untruths! Truly, Porcell, you would fit right in on any modern liberal, PC university campus. You who deny that there is absolute truth, or that we can know it. You who bristle every time a Christian calls a falsehood a falsehood. And you call yourself conservative. Ha.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Porcell said (@120), “I respect devout followers of any religion. … Theologians at their best, while firm with their own positions, do not denigrate people of any serious religious faith.”

    Um, do you even believe your own bull****, Porcell? Because I certainly don’t. On another thread, mere days ago, here’s the “respect” you showed for other Christians, here’s you “not denigrating” other believers:

    “The fellow is an ordinary divisive Lutheran partisan.”

    “Those who claim absolute truth are correctly regarded as fanatics.”

    “You must live in some God forsaken part of the world with rather déclassé ‘Calvinists.’”

    “Some impressionable Calvinists fell for this, though they were and are on the fringe of serious Calvinism.”

    “Anyone who claims absolute [truth] is either mad or fanatic.”

    “I’m content to be a faithful though abundantly fallen Christian without any foolish sentiment of being ‘saved.’”

    “My experience with those Christians who somehow know that they are saved is that they are involved in sentiment and presumption, along with often being rather boorish.”

    “You would be exactly the sort of defensive, righteous Christian, full of the arrogant Christianity that turns off most sensible Americans.”

    “There is little fundamental difference between Calvinism and Lutheranism, notwithstanding the sectarian puffery on this blog.”

    “Larry, as an example, has breathlessly converted from some supposedly bad Calvinistic faith to the sunny uplands of Lutheranism and now distinguishes between these traditions in black and white terms; how utterly foolish.”

    “A pox on sectarian fools.”

    “When you suggest that limited atonement is not a biblically established Christian doctrine you merely reveal a certain theological ignorance.”

    “Calvinists are properly and strictly taught to devoutly hope that they are elect, though at the risk of their souls never to boorishly presume so.”

    “We may fervently hope and pray that we are commended by the Lord, though only the boorish and boastful suffer the illusion of such commendation.”

    So you reveal by your own words that you in no way respect those who disagree with you, that you are inordinately intolerant of others’ faith, and that you routinely denigrate those who disagree with you. And that was all from one just one thread!

    You just can’t bear it when your own tactics are aimed at you, Porcell.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Porcell said (@120), “I respect devout followers of any religion. … Theologians at their best, while firm with their own positions, do not denigrate people of any serious religious faith.”

    Um, do you even believe your own bull****, Porcell? Because I certainly don’t. On another thread, mere days ago, here’s the “respect” you showed for other Christians, here’s you “not denigrating” other believers:

    “The fellow is an ordinary divisive Lutheran partisan.”

    “Those who claim absolute truth are correctly regarded as fanatics.”

    “You must live in some God forsaken part of the world with rather déclassé ‘Calvinists.’”

    “Some impressionable Calvinists fell for this, though they were and are on the fringe of serious Calvinism.”

    “Anyone who claims absolute [truth] is either mad or fanatic.”

    “I’m content to be a faithful though abundantly fallen Christian without any foolish sentiment of being ‘saved.’”

    “My experience with those Christians who somehow know that they are saved is that they are involved in sentiment and presumption, along with often being rather boorish.”

    “You would be exactly the sort of defensive, righteous Christian, full of the arrogant Christianity that turns off most sensible Americans.”

    “There is little fundamental difference between Calvinism and Lutheranism, notwithstanding the sectarian puffery on this blog.”

    “Larry, as an example, has breathlessly converted from some supposedly bad Calvinistic faith to the sunny uplands of Lutheranism and now distinguishes between these traditions in black and white terms; how utterly foolish.”

    “A pox on sectarian fools.”

    “When you suggest that limited atonement is not a biblically established Christian doctrine you merely reveal a certain theological ignorance.”

    “Calvinists are properly and strictly taught to devoutly hope that they are elect, though at the risk of their souls never to boorishly presume so.”

    “We may fervently hope and pray that we are commended by the Lord, though only the boorish and boastful suffer the illusion of such commendation.”

    So you reveal by your own words that you in no way respect those who disagree with you, that you are inordinately intolerant of others’ faith, and that you routinely denigrate those who disagree with you. And that was all from one just one thread!

    You just can’t bear it when your own tactics are aimed at you, Porcell.

  • Stephen

    And so, Porcell, we have yet again proof that you can post almost nothing without calling people names, names you have used to dissuade anyone from believing they can be assured of the promise of salvation. In the process you’ve gone that much further to show that you have nothing to say in defense of your theological relativism, that which you say anyone who is truly “serious” would agree. The implication is obvious there.

    You’ve done nothing to defend truth against error, yours or anyone else’s. Instead, you attack it as “provincial and arrogant” to assert truth over falsehood, advocating for vague similarities and uncertain outcomes. I wonder how that is received by those around you whose faith is new, faltering or wayward? I dare say it isn’t life-giving or sustaining. You’d rather keep them in that place of uncertainty lest they come in for a big disappointment. What is that they say about kicking a man when he’s down? This is exactly the kind of thing that drives people away from the church. The world is already a chaotic mess, why come to church for more layers of metaphysical hogwash on top of it? Meh, to that! Faith murdering. This warning from Jesus comes to mind:

    Matthew 18:6 “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.”

    You mock those who believe and trust in the certainty of their salvation? Really? Well then, you mock the one who died on the cross for your sins and mine and made that salvation certain. How is that not an attempt to weaken the faith of others, to tear away from others the assurance of salvation that they have by calling them names and belittling them?

    Whatever allegiances you treasure so dearly that you would mock the assurance of salvation others have, I suggest you examine them closely. For as Jesus said, where your treasure is, there your heart will also be.

    Your grandfather was wrong about scripture and what it teaches. Cling to the promise in your baptism and the forgiveness of all your sins. If that sounds “provincial” to you, then perhaps this lowly faith is simply not to your ascending tastes. How it is “moralistic” as you continually accuse this simple confession is beyond me. Most of the time you throw stuff like that out, I think, just to be insulting and set yourself above others here. That’s because, as it turns out, you really haven’t got anything to say of your own – no ideas, no theology, and as it turns out, no sense of a sound faith to defend.

    What you do have is a library of high sounding phrases used to put others down for affirming their confidence in the promise of salvation in Jesus Christ – given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins. Those who partake HAVE eternal life. If anyone is in Christ he is a new creation the HAS passed away, the new HAS come.

    There are two murder weapons employed throughout the centuries more powerful than any gun or poison or bomb – the tongue and the pen. Are you quite sure, after all the insulting you’ve aimed at people who are certain they have salvation, people who cherish truth over lies and half-truths, certainty over wavering anxiety and doubt, for looking to scripture rather than the convolutions of a false doctrine that would tear that scripture away from them, calling them boorish, provincial, un-serious, sectarian, moralistic, arrogant, parochial, etc. that you haven’t used one of those weapons yourself?

    For the record, I did not call you a faith murderer, I said that about your Calvinist doctrine which you claimed you represented “straight”. In the same breath you called others “parochial” for defining how Lutheran confessions are vastly different than Calvinism, once again belittling others for separating truth from error. That insult appears for all intents and purposes like the words of one who is intent on weakening the sure and certain conviction of another whose doctrine is defended and drawn directly from the words of Christ himself in Holy Scripture.

    You, on the other hand, would have us all read some book about how there really isn’t that much difference at all between the two, when by you own words, words you claim are straight Calvinism, we can plainly see there most certainly is. That situation I would characterize as bizarre. If we are to trust what you say as representative of Calvinism (and I believe it is in many respects) then to a Lutheran, it is OBVIOUS Calvinists and Lutherans are NOT in agreement on what actually matters. You are beating a dead horse, and in the process, out of some kind of weird agenda to prove that we are not all that different, willing to attack the sure and certain faith of others to make your point.

    Now, is all that just you, or is it the doctrine speaking?

  • Stephen

    And so, Porcell, we have yet again proof that you can post almost nothing without calling people names, names you have used to dissuade anyone from believing they can be assured of the promise of salvation. In the process you’ve gone that much further to show that you have nothing to say in defense of your theological relativism, that which you say anyone who is truly “serious” would agree. The implication is obvious there.

    You’ve done nothing to defend truth against error, yours or anyone else’s. Instead, you attack it as “provincial and arrogant” to assert truth over falsehood, advocating for vague similarities and uncertain outcomes. I wonder how that is received by those around you whose faith is new, faltering or wayward? I dare say it isn’t life-giving or sustaining. You’d rather keep them in that place of uncertainty lest they come in for a big disappointment. What is that they say about kicking a man when he’s down? This is exactly the kind of thing that drives people away from the church. The world is already a chaotic mess, why come to church for more layers of metaphysical hogwash on top of it? Meh, to that! Faith murdering. This warning from Jesus comes to mind:

    Matthew 18:6 “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.”

    You mock those who believe and trust in the certainty of their salvation? Really? Well then, you mock the one who died on the cross for your sins and mine and made that salvation certain. How is that not an attempt to weaken the faith of others, to tear away from others the assurance of salvation that they have by calling them names and belittling them?

    Whatever allegiances you treasure so dearly that you would mock the assurance of salvation others have, I suggest you examine them closely. For as Jesus said, where your treasure is, there your heart will also be.

    Your grandfather was wrong about scripture and what it teaches. Cling to the promise in your baptism and the forgiveness of all your sins. If that sounds “provincial” to you, then perhaps this lowly faith is simply not to your ascending tastes. How it is “moralistic” as you continually accuse this simple confession is beyond me. Most of the time you throw stuff like that out, I think, just to be insulting and set yourself above others here. That’s because, as it turns out, you really haven’t got anything to say of your own – no ideas, no theology, and as it turns out, no sense of a sound faith to defend.

    What you do have is a library of high sounding phrases used to put others down for affirming their confidence in the promise of salvation in Jesus Christ – given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins. Those who partake HAVE eternal life. If anyone is in Christ he is a new creation the HAS passed away, the new HAS come.

    There are two murder weapons employed throughout the centuries more powerful than any gun or poison or bomb – the tongue and the pen. Are you quite sure, after all the insulting you’ve aimed at people who are certain they have salvation, people who cherish truth over lies and half-truths, certainty over wavering anxiety and doubt, for looking to scripture rather than the convolutions of a false doctrine that would tear that scripture away from them, calling them boorish, provincial, un-serious, sectarian, moralistic, arrogant, parochial, etc. that you haven’t used one of those weapons yourself?

    For the record, I did not call you a faith murderer, I said that about your Calvinist doctrine which you claimed you represented “straight”. In the same breath you called others “parochial” for defining how Lutheran confessions are vastly different than Calvinism, once again belittling others for separating truth from error. That insult appears for all intents and purposes like the words of one who is intent on weakening the sure and certain conviction of another whose doctrine is defended and drawn directly from the words of Christ himself in Holy Scripture.

    You, on the other hand, would have us all read some book about how there really isn’t that much difference at all between the two, when by you own words, words you claim are straight Calvinism, we can plainly see there most certainly is. That situation I would characterize as bizarre. If we are to trust what you say as representative of Calvinism (and I believe it is in many respects) then to a Lutheran, it is OBVIOUS Calvinists and Lutherans are NOT in agreement on what actually matters. You are beating a dead horse, and in the process, out of some kind of weird agenda to prove that we are not all that different, willing to attack the sure and certain faith of others to make your point.

    Now, is all that just you, or is it the doctrine speaking?

  • Porcell

    Stephen, It’s mainly the Calvinist doctrine of limited atonement coupled with the traditional Puritan reluctance to claim any presumptuous assurance of salvation along with a certain distaste for some Lutherans on this blog who, not sure enough of their own doctrinal faith, tend to severely moralize against both the Reformed and Catholic faiths.

    Personally, I have much respect for Luther and Melanchthon and have read a fair number of their major works including Luther’s Bondage of the Will and Melanchthon’s Loci Communes. Like Michael Horton, I appreciate the major Lutheran contribution to the Reformation, though not the fanatic defenders of the faith on this blog who regard certain Reformed doctrines as murderous to one’s soul.

  • Porcell

    Stephen, It’s mainly the Calvinist doctrine of limited atonement coupled with the traditional Puritan reluctance to claim any presumptuous assurance of salvation along with a certain distaste for some Lutherans on this blog who, not sure enough of their own doctrinal faith, tend to severely moralize against both the Reformed and Catholic faiths.

    Personally, I have much respect for Luther and Melanchthon and have read a fair number of their major works including Luther’s Bondage of the Will and Melanchthon’s Loci Communes. Like Michael Horton, I appreciate the major Lutheran contribution to the Reformation, though not the fanatic defenders of the faith on this blog who regard certain Reformed doctrines as murderous to one’s soul.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Porcell mentioned (@127) “the traditional Puritan reluctance to claim any presumptuous assurance of salvation”, which is, of course, an attempt to pass off doubting the Word of God as some sort of virtuous humility — “Oh, I’m far too modest to believe what God says. I’m not arrogant like those cretins who actually believe what’s in the Bible! I’m far more humble than they!” Vice masquerading as virtue. As it ever was.

    He went on to mention “some Lutherans on this blog who, not sure enough of their own doctrinal faith, tend to severely moralize against both the Reformed and Catholic faiths”. I’m sure I don’t know to whom you’re referring, Porcell, but you really are projecting now. I’m quite certain in my faith, as you’re certainly well aware — you keep railing against that certainty, after all. I mean, which pathetic insult is it, Porcell? Am I boorishly certain, or am I moralizingly uncertain? Can you at least put a modicum of thought into your name-calling, or must I dissect the inconsistency of that, as well?

    Anyhow, as always, the irony of how your insults very much reflect your own tactics continues to pass you by. Because you are ever the Calvinist who moralizes against Lutheranism on this blog, crass sectarian that you are.

    And, ultimately, it is this that animates my response to you. You’re intellectually dishonest. In a word, you don’t fight fair. I don’t mind if you posit your beliefs here in rather strident terms, but I will, of course, oppose them with Scripture when they are wrong — and they are frequently wrong. I don’t mind a vigorous back-and-forth, not at all. But you’re not up to it, and the moment you’re called on the rug, you whine about “tolerance” and civility — things about which you know nothing yourself, at least as far as your arguments go. And, what’s more, when you make these petulant complaints you conspicuously always fail to address the counterarguments that were made your way.

    And please, enough with the “I have much respect for Luther” foofaraw. No you don’t. At least not when his theology — which is to say, the theology of Scripture — is put in front of you. You can make all sorts of delicate curtsies in front of the man, but your distaste for his beliefs is made clear repeatedly from your own words.

    As to your whining about people refuting “certain Reformed doctrines as murderous to one’s soul”, it’s hard to imagine the cognitive dissonance it takes for you to say such things. After all, by your own admission, you don’t even know if Jesus is your savior. And if anyone claims to know that he is their savior, you and your grandpa tell them they’re likely to go to Hell. How could you dare pretend about anyone’s soul if you believe such things? At least man up and own what you believe!

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Porcell mentioned (@127) “the traditional Puritan reluctance to claim any presumptuous assurance of salvation”, which is, of course, an attempt to pass off doubting the Word of God as some sort of virtuous humility — “Oh, I’m far too modest to believe what God says. I’m not arrogant like those cretins who actually believe what’s in the Bible! I’m far more humble than they!” Vice masquerading as virtue. As it ever was.

    He went on to mention “some Lutherans on this blog who, not sure enough of their own doctrinal faith, tend to severely moralize against both the Reformed and Catholic faiths”. I’m sure I don’t know to whom you’re referring, Porcell, but you really are projecting now. I’m quite certain in my faith, as you’re certainly well aware — you keep railing against that certainty, after all. I mean, which pathetic insult is it, Porcell? Am I boorishly certain, or am I moralizingly uncertain? Can you at least put a modicum of thought into your name-calling, or must I dissect the inconsistency of that, as well?

    Anyhow, as always, the irony of how your insults very much reflect your own tactics continues to pass you by. Because you are ever the Calvinist who moralizes against Lutheranism on this blog, crass sectarian that you are.

    And, ultimately, it is this that animates my response to you. You’re intellectually dishonest. In a word, you don’t fight fair. I don’t mind if you posit your beliefs here in rather strident terms, but I will, of course, oppose them with Scripture when they are wrong — and they are frequently wrong. I don’t mind a vigorous back-and-forth, not at all. But you’re not up to it, and the moment you’re called on the rug, you whine about “tolerance” and civility — things about which you know nothing yourself, at least as far as your arguments go. And, what’s more, when you make these petulant complaints you conspicuously always fail to address the counterarguments that were made your way.

    And please, enough with the “I have much respect for Luther” foofaraw. No you don’t. At least not when his theology — which is to say, the theology of Scripture — is put in front of you. You can make all sorts of delicate curtsies in front of the man, but your distaste for his beliefs is made clear repeatedly from your own words.

    As to your whining about people refuting “certain Reformed doctrines as murderous to one’s soul”, it’s hard to imagine the cognitive dissonance it takes for you to say such things. After all, by your own admission, you don’t even know if Jesus is your savior. And if anyone claims to know that he is their savior, you and your grandpa tell them they’re likely to go to Hell. How could you dare pretend about anyone’s soul if you believe such things? At least man up and own what you believe!

  • Porcell

    Todd, whatever my faults are, the fact remains that you and Larry tend to moralize doctrinal difference among Christian faiths. Larry with your support even claims that doctrinal differences are soul murdering.

  • Porcell

    Todd, whatever my faults are, the fact remains that you and Larry tend to moralize doctrinal difference among Christian faiths. Larry with your support even claims that doctrinal differences are soul murdering.

  • Porcell

    Also, Todd, your claim to go solely by scripture ignores the reality that good and honest men and women for millennia have differed in their biblical exegesis.

  • Porcell

    Also, Todd, your claim to go solely by scripture ignores the reality that good and honest men and women for millennia have differed in their biblical exegesis.

  • Larry

    The mere idea of “doctrinal differences among Christian FAITHS” is utterly foreign to and opposed explicitly in Scripture. This has always been the argument of heretics as if Christ is divided and such hardly believe in “one baptism” as the Creed, i.e. confession of THE faith, states. The whole statement “Christian FAITHS” is sectarian by its nature. Not ONE single Word from God can be brought forth from Scripture to support this, yet numerous, some heretofore mentioned, not only destroy this idea but warn against it in no uncertain terms as from Satan and yes as such soul murdering. There is in reality no such thing as “Christian FAITHS”, this is nothing more than rank paganism procuring for itself the adjective “Christian”, a mere sheep’s cloth over a wolves face.

  • Larry

    The mere idea of “doctrinal differences among Christian FAITHS” is utterly foreign to and opposed explicitly in Scripture. This has always been the argument of heretics as if Christ is divided and such hardly believe in “one baptism” as the Creed, i.e. confession of THE faith, states. The whole statement “Christian FAITHS” is sectarian by its nature. Not ONE single Word from God can be brought forth from Scripture to support this, yet numerous, some heretofore mentioned, not only destroy this idea but warn against it in no uncertain terms as from Satan and yes as such soul murdering. There is in reality no such thing as “Christian FAITHS”, this is nothing more than rank paganism procuring for itself the adjective “Christian”, a mere sheep’s cloth over a wolves face.

  • Larry

    The WCF V from chapter 28 reads, Although it is a great sin to contemn or neglect this ordinance (as proof text of this specific line it cites Luke 7:30 and Exodus 4:24 – below), yet grace and salvation are not so inseparably annexed unto it, as that no person can be regenerated, or saved, without it: or, that all that are baptized are undoubtedly regenerated.

    Exodus 4:24 has to do with Moses failing to circumcise his own son.

    EXO 4:24 And it came to pass by the way in the inn, that the Lord met him, and sought to kill him. 25 Then Zipporah took a sharp stone, and cut off the foreskin of her son, and cast it at his feet, and said, Surely a bloody husband art thou to me. 26 So he let him go: then she said, A bloody husband thou art, because of the circumcision.

    The Uber Father of the Reformed John Calvin comments on Exodus 4:24, “This false dealing was no light offense, since nothing is more intolerable than to defraud God of his due obedience, in order to please men. There was a mixture too of distrust and ingratitude in it; for, if the favour of God had had its due weight, he would have been with holden by no fear from this pious duty. Let us then learn from hence to use reverently the sacraments, which are the seals of God’s grace, lest he should severely avenge our despisal of them; and at the same time we should remember that the external profession of piety, and the worship of God is a sacrifice so pleasant to God, that he will not allow us to omit the care of diligently testifying it as if it were a matter of small importance.”

    From Calvin’s Institutes answering “Why Satan So Rages Assails Paedobaptism”. Calvin seems comfortable calling these precursor Baptist doctrines “of Satan”, hardly an agreeable term, not to mention he specifically states that Satan’s purpose is, “to rob us of the singular blessing of confidence and spiritual joy, which is hence to be derived, and in so far to detract from the glory of the divine goodness. For how sweet is it to pious minds to be assured not only by word, but even by ocular demonstration, that they are so much in favour with their heavenly Father, that he interests himself in their posterity!”

    “No sound man, I presume, can now doubt how rashly the Church is disturbed by those who excite quarrels and disturbances because of paedobaptism. For it is of importance to observe what Satan means by all this craft, viz., to rob us of the singular blessing of confidence and spiritual joy, which is hence to be derived, and in so far to detract from the glory of the divine goodness. For how sweet is it to pious minds to be assured not only by word, but even by ocular demonstration, that they are so much in favour with their heavenly Father, that he interests himself in their posterity! Here we may see how he acts towards us as a most provident parent, not ceasing to care for us even after our death, but consulting and providing for our children. Ought not our whole heart to be stirred up within us, as David’s was, (Ps. 48: 11,) to bless his name for such a manifestation of goodness? Doubtless, the design of Satan in assaulting paedobaptism with all his forces is to keep out of view, and gradually efface, that attestation of divine grace which the promise itself presents to our eyes. In this way, not only would men be impiously ungrateful for the mercy of God, but be less careful in training their children to piety. For it is no slight stimulus to us to bring them up in the fear of God, and the observance of his law, when we reflect, that from their birth they have been considered and acknowledged by him as his children. Wherefore, if we would not maliciously obscure the kindness of God, let us present to him our infants, to whom he has assigned a place among his friends and family that is, the members of the Church.”

    Yet Signature Baptist Superman Charles Haddon Spurgeon blasphemes:

    “Why, there are those who pretend to save souls by curious tricks, intricate manoeuvres, and dexterous posture-making! A basin of water, half-a-dozen drops, certain syllables—heigh, presto—the infant is made a child of God, a member of Christ, and an inheritor of the kingdom of heaven! This aqueous regeneration surpasses my belief; it is a trick which I do not understand: the initiated only can perform the beautiful piece of magic, which excels anything ever attempted by the Wizard of the North. There is a way, too, of winning souls by laying hands upon heads, only the elbows of the aforesaid hands must be encased in lawn, and then the machinery acts, and there is grace conferred by blessed fingers! I must confess I do not understand the occult science, but at this I need not wonder, for the profession of saving souls by such juggling can only be carried out by certain favoured persons who have received apostolical succession direct from Judas Iscariot. This episcopal confirmation, when men pretend that it confers grace, is an infamous piece of juggling. The whole thing is an abomination. Only to think that, in this nineteenth century, there should be men who preach lip salvation by sacraments, and salvation by themselves, forsooth!”

    It seems to me, therefore, that Baptist and Reformed in this day and age have forsaken their roots and confessions ‘forsooth’ and Confessional Woodstock relativism is the rule of the day. Perhaps this is the great delusion of Satan spoken of in the last days which leads many astray. Because what else could it be but a great hypnotic delusion that men in these times would so blur such obvious crystal clear essential doctrinal differences and summarily say, “Eeehh just six one way…half a dozen another”. If a man staring at the clear blue sky says, “Wow that color is hot pink” it must be hallucination that so bewitches his mind.

  • Larry

    The WCF V from chapter 28 reads, Although it is a great sin to contemn or neglect this ordinance (as proof text of this specific line it cites Luke 7:30 and Exodus 4:24 – below), yet grace and salvation are not so inseparably annexed unto it, as that no person can be regenerated, or saved, without it: or, that all that are baptized are undoubtedly regenerated.

    Exodus 4:24 has to do with Moses failing to circumcise his own son.

    EXO 4:24 And it came to pass by the way in the inn, that the Lord met him, and sought to kill him. 25 Then Zipporah took a sharp stone, and cut off the foreskin of her son, and cast it at his feet, and said, Surely a bloody husband art thou to me. 26 So he let him go: then she said, A bloody husband thou art, because of the circumcision.

    The Uber Father of the Reformed John Calvin comments on Exodus 4:24, “This false dealing was no light offense, since nothing is more intolerable than to defraud God of his due obedience, in order to please men. There was a mixture too of distrust and ingratitude in it; for, if the favour of God had had its due weight, he would have been with holden by no fear from this pious duty. Let us then learn from hence to use reverently the sacraments, which are the seals of God’s grace, lest he should severely avenge our despisal of them; and at the same time we should remember that the external profession of piety, and the worship of God is a sacrifice so pleasant to God, that he will not allow us to omit the care of diligently testifying it as if it were a matter of small importance.”

    From Calvin’s Institutes answering “Why Satan So Rages Assails Paedobaptism”. Calvin seems comfortable calling these precursor Baptist doctrines “of Satan”, hardly an agreeable term, not to mention he specifically states that Satan’s purpose is, “to rob us of the singular blessing of confidence and spiritual joy, which is hence to be derived, and in so far to detract from the glory of the divine goodness. For how sweet is it to pious minds to be assured not only by word, but even by ocular demonstration, that they are so much in favour with their heavenly Father, that he interests himself in their posterity!”

    “No sound man, I presume, can now doubt how rashly the Church is disturbed by those who excite quarrels and disturbances because of paedobaptism. For it is of importance to observe what Satan means by all this craft, viz., to rob us of the singular blessing of confidence and spiritual joy, which is hence to be derived, and in so far to detract from the glory of the divine goodness. For how sweet is it to pious minds to be assured not only by word, but even by ocular demonstration, that they are so much in favour with their heavenly Father, that he interests himself in their posterity! Here we may see how he acts towards us as a most provident parent, not ceasing to care for us even after our death, but consulting and providing for our children. Ought not our whole heart to be stirred up within us, as David’s was, (Ps. 48: 11,) to bless his name for such a manifestation of goodness? Doubtless, the design of Satan in assaulting paedobaptism with all his forces is to keep out of view, and gradually efface, that attestation of divine grace which the promise itself presents to our eyes. In this way, not only would men be impiously ungrateful for the mercy of God, but be less careful in training their children to piety. For it is no slight stimulus to us to bring them up in the fear of God, and the observance of his law, when we reflect, that from their birth they have been considered and acknowledged by him as his children. Wherefore, if we would not maliciously obscure the kindness of God, let us present to him our infants, to whom he has assigned a place among his friends and family that is, the members of the Church.”

    Yet Signature Baptist Superman Charles Haddon Spurgeon blasphemes:

    “Why, there are those who pretend to save souls by curious tricks, intricate manoeuvres, and dexterous posture-making! A basin of water, half-a-dozen drops, certain syllables—heigh, presto—the infant is made a child of God, a member of Christ, and an inheritor of the kingdom of heaven! This aqueous regeneration surpasses my belief; it is a trick which I do not understand: the initiated only can perform the beautiful piece of magic, which excels anything ever attempted by the Wizard of the North. There is a way, too, of winning souls by laying hands upon heads, only the elbows of the aforesaid hands must be encased in lawn, and then the machinery acts, and there is grace conferred by blessed fingers! I must confess I do not understand the occult science, but at this I need not wonder, for the profession of saving souls by such juggling can only be carried out by certain favoured persons who have received apostolical succession direct from Judas Iscariot. This episcopal confirmation, when men pretend that it confers grace, is an infamous piece of juggling. The whole thing is an abomination. Only to think that, in this nineteenth century, there should be men who preach lip salvation by sacraments, and salvation by themselves, forsooth!”

    It seems to me, therefore, that Baptist and Reformed in this day and age have forsaken their roots and confessions ‘forsooth’ and Confessional Woodstock relativism is the rule of the day. Perhaps this is the great delusion of Satan spoken of in the last days which leads many astray. Because what else could it be but a great hypnotic delusion that men in these times would so blur such obvious crystal clear essential doctrinal differences and summarily say, “Eeehh just six one way…half a dozen another”. If a man staring at the clear blue sky says, “Wow that color is hot pink” it must be hallucination that so bewitches his mind.

  • Stephen

    Well, let’s see if we can pull some peanuts out of that **** Porcell.

    “Stephen, It’s mainly the Calvinist doctrine (which I have already represented as counter at the core to Confessional Lutheran doctrine) of limited atonement (which is rationalist BS and not biblical, John 3:16, et. al.) coupled with the traditional Puritan reluctance to claim any presumptuous assurance of salvation (again, rationalist BS, opposing the sure and certain promise of scripture, tearing this away from believers and thus murdering faith i.e. false doctrine – a lot of false, works righteousness) along with a certain distaste for some Lutherans on this blog who, not sure enough of their own doctrinal faith (Porcell’s own BS and completely counter to what Lutherans here and in there Confessions assert about the certainty of their orthodoxy, unlike he’s yet done), tend to severely moralize against both the Reformed and Catholic faiths (again, more BS. The only moralizing going on is the false humility of the Puritan who would never presume to be saved by the grace of God that is most certainly promised in scripture. Instead, he thinks his pompous works will gain some kind of favor with God).

    I guess for that paragraph it’s all pure, 100%, certified, American BS.

    “Personally (so these are your trustworthy statements), I have much respect for Luther (after you just ******* on him) and Melanchthon and have read a fair number of their major works including Luther’s Bondage of the Will and Melanchthon’s Loci Communes (so what?). Like Michael Horton, I appreciate the major Lutheran contribution to the Reformation, though not the fanatic defenders of the faith on this blog (anyone who defends truth against error is a fanatic. Anyone then, who approves of relativism is what? Honest? More BS piling up.) who regard certain Reformed doctrines as murderous to one’s soul.

    As to you final statement, I can only conclude it is made because your own faith is found to be lacking as you have admitted. Which doctrines do you have problem with? You have not advocated for any kind of orthodoxy whatsoever, not really, just a lot of vague pronouncements by “serious theologians” and quotes here and there from a variety of sources. You have no witness. I know lots of serious theologians. I’d wager I’ve read quite a few more than you have. I could back a truck up and unload. How about Process Theology? The Universe is the Body of God. Those guys are no slackers. They can run circles around most of the people you cite. Or shall we get some of the feminist apologists going. They say some interesting things worth hearing and they are dead serious. Or look up Thomas Altizer. He’s serious. They are all good and honest people. That doesn’t mean diddly. You don’t know what you are talking about. You like rationalism, read Levinas.

    You just keep the **** coming.

  • Stephen

    Well, let’s see if we can pull some peanuts out of that **** Porcell.

    “Stephen, It’s mainly the Calvinist doctrine (which I have already represented as counter at the core to Confessional Lutheran doctrine) of limited atonement (which is rationalist BS and not biblical, John 3:16, et. al.) coupled with the traditional Puritan reluctance to claim any presumptuous assurance of salvation (again, rationalist BS, opposing the sure and certain promise of scripture, tearing this away from believers and thus murdering faith i.e. false doctrine – a lot of false, works righteousness) along with a certain distaste for some Lutherans on this blog who, not sure enough of their own doctrinal faith (Porcell’s own BS and completely counter to what Lutherans here and in there Confessions assert about the certainty of their orthodoxy, unlike he’s yet done), tend to severely moralize against both the Reformed and Catholic faiths (again, more BS. The only moralizing going on is the false humility of the Puritan who would never presume to be saved by the grace of God that is most certainly promised in scripture. Instead, he thinks his pompous works will gain some kind of favor with God).

    I guess for that paragraph it’s all pure, 100%, certified, American BS.

    “Personally (so these are your trustworthy statements), I have much respect for Luther (after you just ******* on him) and Melanchthon and have read a fair number of their major works including Luther’s Bondage of the Will and Melanchthon’s Loci Communes (so what?). Like Michael Horton, I appreciate the major Lutheran contribution to the Reformation, though not the fanatic defenders of the faith on this blog (anyone who defends truth against error is a fanatic. Anyone then, who approves of relativism is what? Honest? More BS piling up.) who regard certain Reformed doctrines as murderous to one’s soul.

    As to you final statement, I can only conclude it is made because your own faith is found to be lacking as you have admitted. Which doctrines do you have problem with? You have not advocated for any kind of orthodoxy whatsoever, not really, just a lot of vague pronouncements by “serious theologians” and quotes here and there from a variety of sources. You have no witness. I know lots of serious theologians. I’d wager I’ve read quite a few more than you have. I could back a truck up and unload. How about Process Theology? The Universe is the Body of God. Those guys are no slackers. They can run circles around most of the people you cite. Or shall we get some of the feminist apologists going. They say some interesting things worth hearing and they are dead serious. Or look up Thomas Altizer. He’s serious. They are all good and honest people. That doesn’t mean diddly. You don’t know what you are talking about. You like rationalism, read Levinas.

    You just keep the **** coming.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Porcell (@129, 130), it’d feel like I was piling on at this point, except that you called me out by name in your reply, so …

    Anyhow, you accused me and Larry of “tending to moralize doctrinal difference among Christian faiths” — and Larry has already called out your tendency to speak falsely of there being multiple Christian faiths, in keeping with your relativist and liberal tendency to deny any absolute truth.

    But, of course, you only highlight your hypocrisy in bringing this point up repeatedly. Because you consistently “moralize” the Calvinist differences from Lutheranism, proclaiming Lutheranism “boorish” and whatever other name-calling you can come up with, even as you laud Calvinism’s tenets. You remain an arch sectarian yourself, demanding “tolerance” only as a way to get people to respect your ideas, even as you have no tolerance for theirs.

    And you can whine until the bulls and their crap come home, Porcell, about this “soul murdering” business, but still the fact remains that you approvingly quoted your dear grandpa admonishing you for at one point expressing faith — and his going on to tell you such faith would likely lead you to Hell. And now you would inflict this same tactic on it — not that it’s worked. It may have destroyed your faith, Porcell — and, as such, the “soul murdering” shoe fits — but at least be a man about it and admit that is what your theology amounts to.

    Finally, I’d think that they taught you this at Groton or Harvard or wherever, but non sequiturs are logical fallacies. And what a non sequitur you have here: “your claim to go solely by scripture ignores the reality that good and honest men and women for millennia have differed in their biblical exegesis”!

    The fact that people disagree about truth does not mean there is no truth, Porcell — any more than does the fact that people disagree about test answers mean there is no correct test answer. Such liberal, relativist codswallop from a supposedly “conservative” and “serious” man!

    My claim to sola scriptura is not contradicted by people disagreeing with me. It would be contradicted if you could demonstrate from Scripture that I and the other Lutherans here are wrong.

    But, of course, that is well beyond your ability, so insults and references to books you’ve supposedly read it is.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Porcell (@129, 130), it’d feel like I was piling on at this point, except that you called me out by name in your reply, so …

    Anyhow, you accused me and Larry of “tending to moralize doctrinal difference among Christian faiths” — and Larry has already called out your tendency to speak falsely of there being multiple Christian faiths, in keeping with your relativist and liberal tendency to deny any absolute truth.

    But, of course, you only highlight your hypocrisy in bringing this point up repeatedly. Because you consistently “moralize” the Calvinist differences from Lutheranism, proclaiming Lutheranism “boorish” and whatever other name-calling you can come up with, even as you laud Calvinism’s tenets. You remain an arch sectarian yourself, demanding “tolerance” only as a way to get people to respect your ideas, even as you have no tolerance for theirs.

    And you can whine until the bulls and their crap come home, Porcell, about this “soul murdering” business, but still the fact remains that you approvingly quoted your dear grandpa admonishing you for at one point expressing faith — and his going on to tell you such faith would likely lead you to Hell. And now you would inflict this same tactic on it — not that it’s worked. It may have destroyed your faith, Porcell — and, as such, the “soul murdering” shoe fits — but at least be a man about it and admit that is what your theology amounts to.

    Finally, I’d think that they taught you this at Groton or Harvard or wherever, but non sequiturs are logical fallacies. And what a non sequitur you have here: “your claim to go solely by scripture ignores the reality that good and honest men and women for millennia have differed in their biblical exegesis”!

    The fact that people disagree about truth does not mean there is no truth, Porcell — any more than does the fact that people disagree about test answers mean there is no correct test answer. Such liberal, relativist codswallop from a supposedly “conservative” and “serious” man!

    My claim to sola scriptura is not contradicted by people disagreeing with me. It would be contradicted if you could demonstrate from Scripture that I and the other Lutherans here are wrong.

    But, of course, that is well beyond your ability, so insults and references to books you’ve supposedly read it is.

  • Porcell

    Larry, I’m an orthodox Reform Calvinist, adhering to the Nicene and Apostle’s Creed along with the Westminster Confession and Catechisms. I’m as orthodox a Christian as you are, though I would hardly make the claim, as you do about some doctrines of Calvin, that Lutheran doctrines are “soul murdering.” I do regard such remarks as objectively rather boorish.

    Todd, while good and honest people may differ with Christian biblical exegesis, it doesn’t follow that they deny that fundamental truth exists. Calvin and Luther for example differed on their biblical interpretation of passages concerning the sacrament of communion, though both hardly viewed truth as relative.

    While Luther and Calvin were fundamentally agreed on Reformation doctrines, they like most theologians differed mainly in the nuance of biblical interpretation. Unfortunately, some of their lesser rather enthusiastic followers have divided historically and presently into intellectually warring camps.

    Stephen, your remarkably crude scatological remarks are unworthy of comment.

  • Porcell

    Larry, I’m an orthodox Reform Calvinist, adhering to the Nicene and Apostle’s Creed along with the Westminster Confession and Catechisms. I’m as orthodox a Christian as you are, though I would hardly make the claim, as you do about some doctrines of Calvin, that Lutheran doctrines are “soul murdering.” I do regard such remarks as objectively rather boorish.

    Todd, while good and honest people may differ with Christian biblical exegesis, it doesn’t follow that they deny that fundamental truth exists. Calvin and Luther for example differed on their biblical interpretation of passages concerning the sacrament of communion, though both hardly viewed truth as relative.

    While Luther and Calvin were fundamentally agreed on Reformation doctrines, they like most theologians differed mainly in the nuance of biblical interpretation. Unfortunately, some of their lesser rather enthusiastic followers have divided historically and presently into intellectually warring camps.

    Stephen, your remarkably crude scatological remarks are unworthy of comment.

  • Porcell

    Pardon, in the above paragraph one, sentence one it ought to have been …Nicene and Apostle’s creeds

  • Porcell

    Pardon, in the above paragraph one, sentence one it ought to have been …Nicene and Apostle’s creeds

  • Stephen

    “Stephen, your remarkably crude scatological remarks are unworthy of comment.”

    That’s fine. I admit to having some rough edges to file off after years of wading through similar stuff. I’m just trying to wade through yours. Guess I forgot my boots today. Call me one of the “intolerant” ones you mock.

  • Stephen

    “Stephen, your remarkably crude scatological remarks are unworthy of comment.”

    That’s fine. I admit to having some rough edges to file off after years of wading through similar stuff. I’m just trying to wade through yours. Guess I forgot my boots today. Call me one of the “intolerant” ones you mock.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Porcell said (@135), “I’m an orthodox Reform Calvinist, adhering to the Nicene and Apostle’s Creed,” but of course, by your own confession elsewhere, you deny the Nicene Creed.

    After all, orthodox Christians in that creed confess that “For us and for our salvation [Jesus] came down from heaven, was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary and became truly human.” But you, Porcell, who in your own words “should hardly presume to be saved” and who call assurance of being saved “foolish sentiment” cannot say that Jesus came and died “for your salvation”. According to your theology, Porcell, only the Elect can honestly say the Nicene Creed without lying — and you have no idea if you are one of the Elect!

    So many things of faith you grasp at to claim legitimacy: Luther, the Creeds. But when you deny Scripture as you do, well, it doesn’t really matter much.

    And you can continue to whine about semantics — as you have and apparently forever will — when it comes to “soul murdering”, but the evidence remains in your comments here. You deny that Jesus died for your sins, and you point us to your good works. Your soul is in a perilous condition, Peter, but you’d rather lash out and call people “boorish”. Insults are only for you to dish out, I guess. How “tolerant” of you.

    And spare me this little game whereby you pretend you don’t “deny that fundamental truth exists”. You deny that anyone — and by “anyone”, I mean anyone who disagrees with you; you never apply it to yourself, of course — can know what the truth is. And whenever obvious, extant differences are pointed out, you deny them, or at least minimize them (even as, of course, you feel free to play up any differences that are important to you; oh, the boundlessness of hypocrisy). So you effectively deny the existence of any particular fundamental truth. Any word games you want to play beyond that are not worth the spittle they’re flecked with.

    As to your complaints about Stephen’s “remarkably crude scatological remarks”, who knew the same man who prattles on endlessly about “cojones” would, in the end, turn out to be such a priss? The same man who crows about his own manliness, can’t fail to remind you about his time in the Marines, and yet blushes when another man uses such words? One suspects what really irks you is being called on the floor, Porcell.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Porcell said (@135), “I’m an orthodox Reform Calvinist, adhering to the Nicene and Apostle’s Creed,” but of course, by your own confession elsewhere, you deny the Nicene Creed.

    After all, orthodox Christians in that creed confess that “For us and for our salvation [Jesus] came down from heaven, was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary and became truly human.” But you, Porcell, who in your own words “should hardly presume to be saved” and who call assurance of being saved “foolish sentiment” cannot say that Jesus came and died “for your salvation”. According to your theology, Porcell, only the Elect can honestly say the Nicene Creed without lying — and you have no idea if you are one of the Elect!

    So many things of faith you grasp at to claim legitimacy: Luther, the Creeds. But when you deny Scripture as you do, well, it doesn’t really matter much.

    And you can continue to whine about semantics — as you have and apparently forever will — when it comes to “soul murdering”, but the evidence remains in your comments here. You deny that Jesus died for your sins, and you point us to your good works. Your soul is in a perilous condition, Peter, but you’d rather lash out and call people “boorish”. Insults are only for you to dish out, I guess. How “tolerant” of you.

    And spare me this little game whereby you pretend you don’t “deny that fundamental truth exists”. You deny that anyone — and by “anyone”, I mean anyone who disagrees with you; you never apply it to yourself, of course — can know what the truth is. And whenever obvious, extant differences are pointed out, you deny them, or at least minimize them (even as, of course, you feel free to play up any differences that are important to you; oh, the boundlessness of hypocrisy). So you effectively deny the existence of any particular fundamental truth. Any word games you want to play beyond that are not worth the spittle they’re flecked with.

    As to your complaints about Stephen’s “remarkably crude scatological remarks”, who knew the same man who prattles on endlessly about “cojones” would, in the end, turn out to be such a priss? The same man who crows about his own manliness, can’t fail to remind you about his time in the Marines, and yet blushes when another man uses such words? One suspects what really irks you is being called on the floor, Porcell.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    wow. peter behind the woodshed. ouch.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    wow. peter behind the woodshed. ouch.

  • Porcell

    Todd, I fully adhere to both the incarnation and resurrection, though following Augustine, Luther, and Calvin understand that biblically Christ made clear that he was the savior of only those whom God had sent him. Though egalitarians piously protest otherwise, the concept of election and limited atonement is amply supported by the Bible. Luther in Bondage of the Will so thought, notwithstanding that later Lutheran writers soft-pedaled this.

    As to truth, it exists, though even the greatest of human thought, as Paul made clear, is suffused with human error. No human being is capable of absolute truth.

    As to Scripture, I understand that its truth, written principally inspired by the Holy Spirit, is interpreted by fallen human beings. The best expositor of this is, BTW, Arthur Carl Piepkorn, a LCMS, theologian who was tragically assaulted by a bunch of narrow righteous Lutherans, much like you, who profess to see truth in black and white moralistic terms. Melanchthon, also, suffered the same fate during his time from a bunch of German religious fanatics.

    I should, also, suggest that the sort of cojones that courageous men, especially Marines, have, is rather distinct from the crude scatological crudeness that Stephen displayed.

  • Porcell

    Todd, I fully adhere to both the incarnation and resurrection, though following Augustine, Luther, and Calvin understand that biblically Christ made clear that he was the savior of only those whom God had sent him. Though egalitarians piously protest otherwise, the concept of election and limited atonement is amply supported by the Bible. Luther in Bondage of the Will so thought, notwithstanding that later Lutheran writers soft-pedaled this.

    As to truth, it exists, though even the greatest of human thought, as Paul made clear, is suffused with human error. No human being is capable of absolute truth.

    As to Scripture, I understand that its truth, written principally inspired by the Holy Spirit, is interpreted by fallen human beings. The best expositor of this is, BTW, Arthur Carl Piepkorn, a LCMS, theologian who was tragically assaulted by a bunch of narrow righteous Lutherans, much like you, who profess to see truth in black and white moralistic terms. Melanchthon, also, suffered the same fate during his time from a bunch of German religious fanatics.

    I should, also, suggest that the sort of cojones that courageous men, especially Marines, have, is rather distinct from the crude scatological crudeness that Stephen displayed.

  • helen

    What is missed, in opening communion, is that such have in given up on the Word of God at really the most critical point. “This is My body/blood…” is given up on in reality. For in opening communion with the Reformed by implication and act they’ve de facto confessed it not to be the true conviction of their confession of what the Word of God says and made political allegiance otherwise. This is the real heart and cause of everything else. Thus, it’s not surprising that an EFFECT, in this case, of such giving up on the Word via the sacrament, was the ordination issues arising due to the cause of the issue on the sacrament.

    TRUE. However, there was no point in talking about closed communion in the elca last August, (2010)because they had altar&pulpit fellowship in place years before. The —a is no more lutheran than the Union church in Germany was lutheran.
    The lcms should have separated itself from the elca when they started ordaining women.

  • helen

    What is missed, in opening communion, is that such have in given up on the Word of God at really the most critical point. “This is My body/blood…” is given up on in reality. For in opening communion with the Reformed by implication and act they’ve de facto confessed it not to be the true conviction of their confession of what the Word of God says and made political allegiance otherwise. This is the real heart and cause of everything else. Thus, it’s not surprising that an EFFECT, in this case, of such giving up on the Word via the sacrament, was the ordination issues arising due to the cause of the issue on the sacrament.

    TRUE. However, there was no point in talking about closed communion in the elca last August, (2010)because they had altar&pulpit fellowship in place years before. The —a is no more lutheran than the Union church in Germany was lutheran.
    The lcms should have separated itself from the elca when they started ordaining women.

  • helen

    Correction:
    they had altar&pulpit fellowship with a variety of reformed churches and the episcopalians in place years before

  • helen

    Correction:
    they had altar&pulpit fellowship with a variety of reformed churches and the episcopalians in place years before

  • Larry

    In a way I could not ask for better proof of the differences, essential differences of your religion versus ours.

    If we were orthodox together and one separate from the other, then one would be sectarian by definition, and thus any separation that is based on nothing doctrinal, if the doctrines indeed matched, would be not sectarian but racist.

    One cannot have two orthodoxies that are diametrically opposed. This is the most fundamental rule of logic.

    From a neutral point of view for the moment and excluding giving “who is orthodox”, both Calvin and Luther cannot be orthodox on the Lord’s Supper, Baptist, etc…

    My pastor cannot be actually putting the flesh and blood of the Son of God into my mouth and me actually having my sins forgiven and it be the true and truth of the Lord’s Supper, while your pastor just puts mere bread and just wine into your mouth and you are not receiving real time the forgiveness of sins and it be the true and truth of the Lord’s Supper.

    So we see we cannot be both orthodox as to the Christian faith any more than can the quotes from Calvin versus Spurgeon on the issue of baptism.

    The problem is that Porcell just “says” he is Nicene Creed and Apostle’s Creed following, but he is not. For that creed holds no more solid ground with him than does Calvin. Because as a Calvinist one does not believe the Nicene Creed which says, “And I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins”. Yet as a confessing Calvinist and as Porcell has already stated, he does not believe that baptism actually gives the forgiveness of sin. He does not confess with Lutheran confessions on the Nicene Creed in which Luther states in his Large Catechism, “Where the name of God is there is forgiveness of sin and where there is forgiveness of sin there is life and salvation” (in fact and not theory). For he does not believe that man is so assured by their baptism, in fact such assurance by his very own confession is a man who is in danger of just the very opposite of “being in for a big surprise”.

    So we see that his own confessed religion is against the Nicene Creed which states, “I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sin”. Those words don’t mean what they state to you anymore than the Word’s of Christ “this is My body/blood…” mean what they say to you.

  • Larry

    In a way I could not ask for better proof of the differences, essential differences of your religion versus ours.

    If we were orthodox together and one separate from the other, then one would be sectarian by definition, and thus any separation that is based on nothing doctrinal, if the doctrines indeed matched, would be not sectarian but racist.

    One cannot have two orthodoxies that are diametrically opposed. This is the most fundamental rule of logic.

    From a neutral point of view for the moment and excluding giving “who is orthodox”, both Calvin and Luther cannot be orthodox on the Lord’s Supper, Baptist, etc…

    My pastor cannot be actually putting the flesh and blood of the Son of God into my mouth and me actually having my sins forgiven and it be the true and truth of the Lord’s Supper, while your pastor just puts mere bread and just wine into your mouth and you are not receiving real time the forgiveness of sins and it be the true and truth of the Lord’s Supper.

    So we see we cannot be both orthodox as to the Christian faith any more than can the quotes from Calvin versus Spurgeon on the issue of baptism.

    The problem is that Porcell just “says” he is Nicene Creed and Apostle’s Creed following, but he is not. For that creed holds no more solid ground with him than does Calvin. Because as a Calvinist one does not believe the Nicene Creed which says, “And I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins”. Yet as a confessing Calvinist and as Porcell has already stated, he does not believe that baptism actually gives the forgiveness of sin. He does not confess with Lutheran confessions on the Nicene Creed in which Luther states in his Large Catechism, “Where the name of God is there is forgiveness of sin and where there is forgiveness of sin there is life and salvation” (in fact and not theory). For he does not believe that man is so assured by their baptism, in fact such assurance by his very own confession is a man who is in danger of just the very opposite of “being in for a big surprise”.

    So we see that his own confessed religion is against the Nicene Creed which states, “I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sin”. Those words don’t mean what they state to you anymore than the Word’s of Christ “this is My body/blood…” mean what they say to you.

  • Larry

    Helen,

    Agreed, somewhat. But that just makes the point, these doctrines are being thrown under the rug, then and last year. It seems there’s NEVER a time today to fight for them. One day they will be lost, then it will be too late.

    To put it another way, there is NEVER a time when this battle should not be made for the Sacraments which are the Gospel.

    It’s all too easy to tuck one’s tail over the sacraments and then shake hands on more or less moral issues. Lots of friends can be made that way, and little suffered for it. It’s always very easy to make friends with those highly moral religious Pharisees over there and against those heathenish Romans.

    Baptist John Piper wrote a public letter rebuking and calling on ELCA to repent of its error on ordination. But why did not somebody not write John Piper a public letter like he did, calling on him to repent of his blapheme and false teaching concerning the Lord’s Supper and Baptism which is a much greater issue?

  • Larry

    Helen,

    Agreed, somewhat. But that just makes the point, these doctrines are being thrown under the rug, then and last year. It seems there’s NEVER a time today to fight for them. One day they will be lost, then it will be too late.

    To put it another way, there is NEVER a time when this battle should not be made for the Sacraments which are the Gospel.

    It’s all too easy to tuck one’s tail over the sacraments and then shake hands on more or less moral issues. Lots of friends can be made that way, and little suffered for it. It’s always very easy to make friends with those highly moral religious Pharisees over there and against those heathenish Romans.

    Baptist John Piper wrote a public letter rebuking and calling on ELCA to repent of its error on ordination. But why did not somebody not write John Piper a public letter like he did, calling on him to repent of his blapheme and false teaching concerning the Lord’s Supper and Baptism which is a much greater issue?

  • Larry

    How is seeing “this is My body…” as is seeing it in moralistic terms?

    That would be like one insisting on 2 + 5 = 7 to be exactly that and not = 12, as being one of those who profess to see truth in black and white moralistic terms. A curious statement made quite often.

    Either Christ handed His disciples His body and blood or He did not. This is hardly moralistic. If that is moralistic narrow mindedness then what to do with “I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through Me”?

    Yet insisting on seeing it multiple ways and accepting all ways without accepting a singular way is in and of itself narrow minded and singular of itself. It asserts that ITS multiple ways of interpretation or relativism IS now the singular truth and any deviation to another singular way is false (or put in Porcell’s terms “seeing it in moralistic terms”).

    This is the great irony of relativism, it dies on its own epistemological sword. It asserts “the TRUTH IS, there are many truths”. But it cries fowl when its assertion is tried by saying, “the truth is there is one truth”. When it does this it has just destroyed itself and asserted that what it says as a lie.

  • Larry

    How is seeing “this is My body…” as is seeing it in moralistic terms?

    That would be like one insisting on 2 + 5 = 7 to be exactly that and not = 12, as being one of those who profess to see truth in black and white moralistic terms. A curious statement made quite often.

    Either Christ handed His disciples His body and blood or He did not. This is hardly moralistic. If that is moralistic narrow mindedness then what to do with “I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through Me”?

    Yet insisting on seeing it multiple ways and accepting all ways without accepting a singular way is in and of itself narrow minded and singular of itself. It asserts that ITS multiple ways of interpretation or relativism IS now the singular truth and any deviation to another singular way is false (or put in Porcell’s terms “seeing it in moralistic terms”).

    This is the great irony of relativism, it dies on its own epistemological sword. It asserts “the TRUTH IS, there are many truths”. But it cries fowl when its assertion is tried by saying, “the truth is there is one truth”. When it does this it has just destroyed itself and asserted that what it says as a lie.

  • helen

    Larry @ 144
    [When I copied your comment to reply at -+42, and went to the end to answer, I had no idea that 100 posts and so much vitriol had been expended in between!]

    The elca giving up of closed communion, and the concession that a cleric of any of the denominational groups can serve a “lutheran” pulpit is the greater heresy, I agree. Some of them, as has been adequately demonstrated in the intervening posts, simply do not believe the basic truths of Christianity, even those which came from Jesus’ mouth!

    [I am basically of the opinion that a topic which runs past 100 posts has been off topic several times, so I won't add further to these numbers.]

  • helen

    Larry @ 144
    [When I copied your comment to reply at -+42, and went to the end to answer, I had no idea that 100 posts and so much vitriol had been expended in between!]

    The elca giving up of closed communion, and the concession that a cleric of any of the denominational groups can serve a “lutheran” pulpit is the greater heresy, I agree. Some of them, as has been adequately demonstrated in the intervening posts, simply do not believe the basic truths of Christianity, even those which came from Jesus’ mouth!

    [I am basically of the opinion that a topic which runs past 100 posts has been off topic several times, so I won't add further to these numbers.]

  • Stephen

    Here we go again:

    “I fully adhere to both the incarnation and resurrection, though . . .”

    Skreeeeech!!!!

    Warning: Major Porcell-esque equivocation and qualifying statement to follow what he just stated, complete with appeals to authority, insults, false doctrine, books he doesn’t understand, and this time returning to a familiar racial slur.

    You actually do not “fully adhere” to anything that I can see except the things I just listed. Since your dishing out more pejoratives, try this one – your a snob. But I forgive you. You really don’t know what you are saying. You’re also completely blinded by your thick head!

    “As to truth, it exists, though even the greatest of human thought, as Paul made clear, is suffused with human error. No human being is capable of absolute truth.”

    This statement shows you clearly have no idea about the truth revealed in scripture. You ARE like Pilate. He asks “What is truth” and “it” is standing in front of him, in the flesh. “It” has nothing to do with what WE humans are capable of, but what God has accomplished FOR US himself, in himself, as himself. But your false doctrine won’t let you see that. You think “it” all must bow to Reason in order to attain to “truth.” Election = Limited Atonement. Rationalism must dominate. “It” is all about the great thought, the big idea, and in this case of course we are told by you, “it” exists, but no one is really privy to “it” and no one can claim “it” and it’s arrogance to do so.

    Ah yes, no one can know anything for sure! Of course no one can know “it” because there is nothing to finally know. And this is the “truth” you claim that Lutheran “fanatics” claim when they the promise of their baptism. Not even close. Yet you want to take that away from them by presenting a false alternative because you are clueless about the real one. This statement betrays you.

    The fact that you would do this to anyone who claims the very promise God has for them in scripture makes you an idolater. These “pious, egalitarian, moralistic, fanatics” who are “in for a big surprise” are told by you to turn from what the scriptures tell them is sure and certain to your desperate desire to have them agree to nothing at all. Nothing. You are essentially a nihilist. Rather than be the believers that they are, ones who actually believe and trust in what God has promised them in Holy Scripture, Porcell would rather they flounder around as he is doing for a false and illusory “truth” that does not even exist and which neither he nor anyone else can ever have. Trade faith for rationalism that will always come up short, the promise of Christ for the uncertainties he suffers under “good and honest” men. That is incredibly BAD news.

    I doubt Piepkorn in his wildest ecumenical moments would have anything to do with you my friend, other than to take pity on your very low road to some kind of sloppy union over a cold dish of doubt. He was a confessional Lutheran who translated the Formula of Concord, and for whatever “ecu-mania” you see in him that you admire, he would not have traded any of it for the chimera and void you offer instead of the promise of the living and resurrected Christ whose salvation is assured in the waters of baptism.

    You sound like Nietzsche. And just so you know, if you dare call anyone a postmodernist or liberal relativist around here you will get steamrolled from now on.

    If you “adhered” to the incarnation and the resurrection you would cling to this promise:

    2 Corinthians 5:13 If we are “out of our mind,” as some say, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. 16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

    Colossians 2: 8 See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ. 9 For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, 10 and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority. 11 In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead. 13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14 having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. 15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.

    Lutheran doctrine does not deny election. It does deny, however, the rationalist idea of double predestination from whence all that limited atonement heresy spills. The gospel is truly for all men as the scriptures testify (Romans 6:10a “The death he died, he died to sin once for all;). There is no limit to the grace of God. God is revealed to us as the One who is saving the entire creation which he dearly loves (Jn 3:16). God is abounding in steadfast love and mercy for us all. Election and foreknowledge of the same are rightly understood in light of this love. It is the will of a just God who will one day come in righteousness. Both are biblical truths that may not square easily (or at all) with our reason. But that need not inhibit the grace announced in the gospel that is most certainly free for all. We are not given a ministry of condemnation for some and maybe not for others, but of reconciliation for all as Paul says in Romans 10. Therefore, we do not announce that there will be wheat and tares, which is the implication of a doctrine of limited atonement. No. This is a false gospel. We announce the Kingdom of Heaven and His righteousness – Christ and him crucified, foolishness to Greeks and a stumbling block to Jews, but salvation to those who are perishing. Good news, forgiving sins. Christ is and was given to you in your baptism Peter, in the name of the living God, in His name you were baptized. He is available to you in the sacrament to feed your faith. Hear and Believe.

  • Stephen

    Here we go again:

    “I fully adhere to both the incarnation and resurrection, though . . .”

    Skreeeeech!!!!

    Warning: Major Porcell-esque equivocation and qualifying statement to follow what he just stated, complete with appeals to authority, insults, false doctrine, books he doesn’t understand, and this time returning to a familiar racial slur.

    You actually do not “fully adhere” to anything that I can see except the things I just listed. Since your dishing out more pejoratives, try this one – your a snob. But I forgive you. You really don’t know what you are saying. You’re also completely blinded by your thick head!

    “As to truth, it exists, though even the greatest of human thought, as Paul made clear, is suffused with human error. No human being is capable of absolute truth.”

    This statement shows you clearly have no idea about the truth revealed in scripture. You ARE like Pilate. He asks “What is truth” and “it” is standing in front of him, in the flesh. “It” has nothing to do with what WE humans are capable of, but what God has accomplished FOR US himself, in himself, as himself. But your false doctrine won’t let you see that. You think “it” all must bow to Reason in order to attain to “truth.” Election = Limited Atonement. Rationalism must dominate. “It” is all about the great thought, the big idea, and in this case of course we are told by you, “it” exists, but no one is really privy to “it” and no one can claim “it” and it’s arrogance to do so.

    Ah yes, no one can know anything for sure! Of course no one can know “it” because there is nothing to finally know. And this is the “truth” you claim that Lutheran “fanatics” claim when they the promise of their baptism. Not even close. Yet you want to take that away from them by presenting a false alternative because you are clueless about the real one. This statement betrays you.

    The fact that you would do this to anyone who claims the very promise God has for them in scripture makes you an idolater. These “pious, egalitarian, moralistic, fanatics” who are “in for a big surprise” are told by you to turn from what the scriptures tell them is sure and certain to your desperate desire to have them agree to nothing at all. Nothing. You are essentially a nihilist. Rather than be the believers that they are, ones who actually believe and trust in what God has promised them in Holy Scripture, Porcell would rather they flounder around as he is doing for a false and illusory “truth” that does not even exist and which neither he nor anyone else can ever have. Trade faith for rationalism that will always come up short, the promise of Christ for the uncertainties he suffers under “good and honest” men. That is incredibly BAD news.

    I doubt Piepkorn in his wildest ecumenical moments would have anything to do with you my friend, other than to take pity on your very low road to some kind of sloppy union over a cold dish of doubt. He was a confessional Lutheran who translated the Formula of Concord, and for whatever “ecu-mania” you see in him that you admire, he would not have traded any of it for the chimera and void you offer instead of the promise of the living and resurrected Christ whose salvation is assured in the waters of baptism.

    You sound like Nietzsche. And just so you know, if you dare call anyone a postmodernist or liberal relativist around here you will get steamrolled from now on.

    If you “adhered” to the incarnation and the resurrection you would cling to this promise:

    2 Corinthians 5:13 If we are “out of our mind,” as some say, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. 16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

    Colossians 2: 8 See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ. 9 For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, 10 and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority. 11 In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead. 13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14 having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. 15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.

    Lutheran doctrine does not deny election. It does deny, however, the rationalist idea of double predestination from whence all that limited atonement heresy spills. The gospel is truly for all men as the scriptures testify (Romans 6:10a “The death he died, he died to sin once for all;). There is no limit to the grace of God. God is revealed to us as the One who is saving the entire creation which he dearly loves (Jn 3:16). God is abounding in steadfast love and mercy for us all. Election and foreknowledge of the same are rightly understood in light of this love. It is the will of a just God who will one day come in righteousness. Both are biblical truths that may not square easily (or at all) with our reason. But that need not inhibit the grace announced in the gospel that is most certainly free for all. We are not given a ministry of condemnation for some and maybe not for others, but of reconciliation for all as Paul says in Romans 10. Therefore, we do not announce that there will be wheat and tares, which is the implication of a doctrine of limited atonement. No. This is a false gospel. We announce the Kingdom of Heaven and His righteousness – Christ and him crucified, foolishness to Greeks and a stumbling block to Jews, but salvation to those who are perishing. Good news, forgiving sins. Christ is and was given to you in your baptism Peter, in the name of the living God, in His name you were baptized. He is available to you in the sacrament to feed your faith. Hear and Believe.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Porcell (@140), it appears that you’re content to keep recycling the same talking points. As such, to save my time, I will reply likewise.

    You said, “following Augustine, Luther, and Calvin understand that biblically Christ made clear that he was the savior of only those whom God had sent him.” Your reading of Luther, as ever, seems confined to one book of his (and nothing more, as if the man had not written tens of thousands of pages — but you ignore all these), and through your particular Calvinist lens, no less. But I have already provided you a list of Bible passages that show that “limited atonement” is not Biblical. And, of course, you utterly failed to respond to that list. As I suspect you will do now.

    And I have already responded to the ludicrousness of your reading of Paul and making “through a glass darkly” the single most important Bible verse in your theology. I know you don’t believe it, because you never express any doubt whatsoever about your own reading of Scripture — only those you disagree with. Not buying it.

    Anyhow, your comment is little more than name-dropping. I don’t care who you know, who you’ve read, or anything like that. Cite Scripture, Porcell. Make your own case. You hide behind famous names and think I’ll believe that you understand those people’s arguments without your even quoting them. Please.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Porcell (@140), it appears that you’re content to keep recycling the same talking points. As such, to save my time, I will reply likewise.

    You said, “following Augustine, Luther, and Calvin understand that biblically Christ made clear that he was the savior of only those whom God had sent him.” Your reading of Luther, as ever, seems confined to one book of his (and nothing more, as if the man had not written tens of thousands of pages — but you ignore all these), and through your particular Calvinist lens, no less. But I have already provided you a list of Bible passages that show that “limited atonement” is not Biblical. And, of course, you utterly failed to respond to that list. As I suspect you will do now.

    And I have already responded to the ludicrousness of your reading of Paul and making “through a glass darkly” the single most important Bible verse in your theology. I know you don’t believe it, because you never express any doubt whatsoever about your own reading of Scripture — only those you disagree with. Not buying it.

    Anyhow, your comment is little more than name-dropping. I don’t care who you know, who you’ve read, or anything like that. Cite Scripture, Porcell. Make your own case. You hide behind famous names and think I’ll believe that you understand those people’s arguments without your even quoting them. Please.


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