Lutheran pastor rejects Baptism, Lord’s Supper

I don’t expect non-Lutherans to believe what Lutherans do.  I do expect Lutherans to believe what Lutherans do.  Especially Lutheran pastors.  Rev. Dan Delzell, the pastor of Wellspring Lutheran Church in Papillion, Nebraska,is a regular writer for ChristianPost.com.  As we blogged earlier, last year he wrote a piece denying what Lutherans believe about the Lord’s Supper.  Now he has written another piece denying what Lutherans believe about baptism.So how can he call himself a Lutheran?

His congregation is a member of the Lutheran Churches in Mission for Christ (LCMC).  That’s the conservative breakaway group from the ELCA.  I’m curious too in what sense that denomination is conservative.  Do they not have any doctrinal supervision?  How is it conservative if they allow their pastors to reject what the Lutheran confessions say about the Sacraments?  Is opposing homosexual pastors the only sense in which it’s “conservative”?

I’m also curious about Rev. Delzell’s congregation.  I couldn’t find anything particularly Lutheran about it on its  website.  So why doesn’t it just become another generic evangelical non-denominational church like all the others?  Wouldn’t everyone be happier?

 

HT: Nollie

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.

  • SKPeterson

    First, a bit about the LCMC. The congregation in which I was baptized is now LCMC, but the how’s and why’s and wherefore’s are outside my ken. LCMC is not hierarchical in any sense of the term, being very congregational in orientation. Also, they are effectively split into two wings (don’t ask me how or why this is so). The first wing is a more conservative one, that is comprised largely of congregations leaving the ELCA over the last 5 years or so. The second grouping, and where Delzell’s congregation probably falls into the mix, is made up largely of congregations and pastors that were influenced by the charismatic movement that hit some parts of upper mid-west Lutheranism in the late 60′s and 70′s. The ELCA may be apostate, but they’re still mostly a bunch of liturgical apostates.

    Now, as to why the conservatives in the LCMC did not join the LCMS or the TAALC or the ELS or the AFLC is probably due to a few factors having to deal with some combination of a) the history and ethnicity of the congregation, b) preconceived notions of other Lutherans derived from the prejudices introduced by a) – (see here, LCMS, ELS, WELS, TAALC, AFLC) and the natural desire to not have to live with a “I told you so” by your cousins, and c) perceived or real difficulties in pastoral colloquialization, lack of outreach by other Lutheran bodies to congregations, and a desire to just get out of the burning house first then take stock.

    I think the LCMC will be a transitional body for several congregations. They will either join up with the NALC, or drift into more congregationalist (note this a relative term in Lutheranism, or should be) structure like the AFLC or TAALC. Most of the difficulties will arise when it is time to find a new pastor – something that lets the apostasy of Pr. Delzell go unchecked at this time in my opinion. Who does the congregation turn to?

    Anyhow, I challenge readers to read closely Pr. Delzell’s article and see where he goes wrong. It is subtle, but it ties into conversations we’ve had here on Cranach. I’m not as condemnatory as Dr. Veith of Pr. Delzell’s points here. I think he too casually dismisses the effectiveness of Baptism, but he does have what I would consider to be a right regard for the Lutheran belief that even the baptized can fall away from the faith. Even adults who are baptized at the “age of accountability” can fall away. How? Jesus says that nothing in this world can snatch us out of his saving grip, but we can still let go. We still have the power to deny Christ and to try and save ourselves and reject him. Again, Delzell’s error is subtle, and he might retract his statements or clarify them further if pressed. We do sometimes fall off the donkey on the left side in our eagerness to point out the problems with the ideas found on the right.

  • Tom Hering

    Rev. Delzell is bothered by the fact that many people who were baptized as infants are clearly not Christians when they’re older. So we shouldn’t value infant baptism. But he forgets that another historic belief of the Church is that people can fall away from the faith and be lost. This doesn’t mean their faith, including the faith they received as pure gift from God when they were infants, wasn’t true faith. So maybe the question isn’t “should infants be baptized” but rather “should the baptized remain infants – in their understanding of spiritual things.”

  • SKPeterson

    I said I’m not condemnatory, but I labeled Pr. Delzell as an apostate. I should say that his comment is apostatic or in error or misstated, but that he may not be. Perhaps a closer reading of his post is in order. Someone like Bror or Pr. Spomer or Pr. McCain would be of immense value here.

  • Tom Hering

    Lots of true Christians deny what we Lutherans teach about Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, but they’re still true Christians, holding to the Trinity and a proper Christology. I think that’s the case with Rev. Delzell. He’s just not a Lutheran, anymore, by any confessional measure of two doctrines that are central to Lutheranism.

  • http://www.brandywinebooks.net Lars Walker

    This is sad. It’s a problem that does tend to appear, as the great fault lines in our culture shift from denominational differences to radical/conservative differences. We must cooperate with Christians from other faith traditions, but we need to preserve out distinctives too. We in the AFLC do try to do that, at least here at the Bible School and seminary.

  • Carl Vehse

    SKPeterson @1: “congregationalist (note this a relative term in Lutheranism, or should be)”

    The word, “congregationalist,” when used as an adjective in Lutheran conversations dealing with a church body’s congregational polity, tends to have a pejorative connotation. The word carries images of independent, non-denominational, Hoeflingite, Protestant, or charismatic congregations. In the case of some Lufauxran church bodies, however, it may be an appropriate descriptive.

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

    This doesn’t surprise me. When I first came to Utah I found out that the LCMC was big with a number of ELCA churches in the area. I spaoke to some of the local leaders and was informed that they accepting students as candidtates from the Salt Latke Theological Seminary. In fact the local ELCA congregation tthat was going LCMC had a pastor from there. When I toured there wasn’t one Lutheran on the faculty. When I asked about this I was told, “well, we only teach doctrine we leave polity up to the individual churches to which our students are ordained.” The guy couldn’t seem to grasp that the last thing we as Lutherans would allow to separate the body of Christ was polity, that we find that a rather foolish thing to split over when we are in agreement in doctrine, but that it is actually doctrine that separates us from Presbyterians. Oh well, they guys I have known from that school were all nice. Just seem a bit mislead.

  • Larry

    First of all TEACHERS are held to a different standard than laity, explicitly in scripture and explicitly concerning doctrine and this explicitly concerns doctrine and the very heart and soul of doctrine. While one cannot “read a person’s heart” scripture does say such teachers are false teachers and wolves in sheep’s clothing without sugar on top of the language and further it says that we should “mark them”.

    Second, Luther and many of the Lutheran church fathers such as Sasse, Pieper, et. al. make a nice distinction regarding heterodox laity, there is a difference between knowing and rejecting a doctrine (not a Christian) and simply ignorant of a doctrine due to lack of teaching and knowing (this would be the category of the plethora of laity in false churches and such). Though the later are in danger remaining in such.

    I find increasingly that the short catechism answers all such questions. It’s worth memorizing and repeating every day until it begins to mesh increasingly as the unit it is.

    Third, conservative versus orthodox: This is the danger conservative moralism, political or otherwise, identifying itself with or implied as being “Christian”. Yes one can be ENTIRELY conservative and deny not just critical doctrines but the faith altogether. I know plenty of very moral conservative atheist and agnostic and even muslems. Thus conservative does not equal orthodox and even if this group is “conservative” relative to ELCA or some other measure does not = orthodoxy. E.g. John MacArthur, John Piper all Baptist are excruciatingly conservative, the same with others such as RC Sproul…but they are heterodox teachers teaching heterodox doctrines, i.e. false. Heterodoxy, no matter how fine the person is otherwise is in and of itself false and deadly. Even on the personal level those in orthodox confessions, our personal thinking, wrestles with our own internal heterodoxies. And its no less dangerous at the personal level but if in an orthodox confession that expresses that orthodoxy and does not change it – you have that ‘safety net’ to pull you out of yourself as opposed to heterodoxy that reinforces the false teaching leading you slowly away from Christ and closer toward damnation. That’s why we pray the Lord’s prayer at least daily if not more times a day and particularly the 6th petition “lead us not into temptation”, because that is real and how? “God indeed tempts no one but we pray in this petition so that He may GUARD and KEEP us so that the devil, the world and OUR flesh will not deceive us nor seduce us into FALSE BELIEF, despair or other great shame and vice”. It’s thus an ever present danger, the temptation from the unholy trinity of the devil, world and flesh to steer us away from the truth going all the way back up to the 1st petition, “hallowed by thy name”. And what does this say, “The name of God is holy in itself but we pray in this petition so that the name of God may become and kept holy to us”. How we ask? “When the Word of God is taught in truth and purity (including the sacraments lest we forget) and when we live holy lives in accordance with it, help us to do this heavenly father, but anyone who TEACHES or lives contrary to this profanes the name of God among us, keep us from this father in heaven.” And we pray in it that the will of God be done and that is to break and hinder EVERY will and council from the devil, world and flesh that will not let us hallow God’s name (pure doctrine) nor let his kingdom come (the holy Spirit and connected with the Word for as Luther points out that which is boasted in without the Word is of the devil period and not the spirit).

    So rather than attempt to excuse such a false teacher and reaffirm to him his false teachings by saying, “but your still a Christian”, no love demands he be called to repent of these false spirits he is developing using nothing more than his experience and reasoning based on what he sees in baptized walking away. Baptism is an article of faith, to be believed based on the Word, it does not “prove” itself by people not falling away. If the later were true, which is really baptistic and reformed doctrine on the matter, then there would be no need for faith in it…you’d have it by sight which is the trap he has fallen in using his reason in service to the devil. He’s letting the devil whisper to him too much on that issue. Look at it another way, people reject Jesus ALL THE TIMIE, that doesn’t make Jesus untrue or ineffectual. Of course not, neither do those denying baptism or the Lord’s Supper or its true effectiveness. In fact Luther points out that the denial of such is really a proof of such. Furthermore, scripture predicts this will happen and this tries faith. This pastor, reformed, Baptist, roman and all other heterodoxies along with all the world’s false religions do nothing but try faith ALL THE TIME constantly with their various “hath God really saids”. Particularly this tries faith which is trust in the Worded water IN SPITE of all who either fall away from it or deny it with false heterodox doctrines. These are doctrines developed out of sight and reason, experience and emotion that measure some metric for God and deny the Word of God which alone is not seen by the eyes or experienced, but “seen” and grasped alone by faith (faith eyes if you will – the faith ears that hears the WORD say, this baptism saves you, this is My body for the forgiveness of your sin).

    So if anyone love such a person as this pastor or another AS a Christian, then the loving call is to repent of these false teachings. Anything else is reaffirming him and others in a Satanic delusion and not love at all.

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

    The LCMC is a total hodge-podge of congregations that may not necessarily share much in common, other than a deep antipathy for the homosexuality decisions of the ELCA. When, or, if that is the “tie the binds” they have very little ground to stand on.

    There is a large collection of charismatic, Evangelical, non-Denom styles and types of theological concerns in the LCMC.

    Ironically, the pastor is simply espousing the same kind of assertions made here in the USA back in the mid to late 1800s by S.S. Schmucker who actually prepared a “recension” of the Augsburg Confession, the core Lutheran confessional statement, in which…yup, he ditched the Biblical doctrine of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.

    What goes around, comes around.

  • Larry

    Another thing when we speak about these things, think how someone on the outside of Lutheranism is hearing it. When we say, “Well he’s a Christian but just not Lutheran”. The outside person says, “Whew”. Because it creates a false dicotomy that doesn’t really exist. That there is Christian and then there is Lutheran and then there is this box of doctrines that are Lutheran and then there is this other box of mixed doctrines that is Christian so that one can say, “Whew he’s still a Christian just not a Lutheran”. Someone on the outside then says, “Then what’s the big deal, Christian is all that matters not “being a Lutheran””. Thus, it affirms as Christian antichristian doctrines and simultaneously says that the Lutheran box of doctrines labeled “Lutheran” that “makes a Lutheran” is just traditions of men or some such, neither here nor there…and so this guys denial of baptism and the Lord’s Supper…I don’t see the big deal.

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

    “Keeping it real”?!!!! this guy is a walking parody of early 90s gibberish.
    Second. There is nothing complicated about Luther’s doctrine of the Lord’s Supper. It is fairly simple. Jesus as the God man gives us the body and blood we sacrificed on the cross for our sins as the Paschal lamb, because, well the Paschal lamb must be eaten, that was the whole point of the sacrifice, to eat what was sacrificed. Otherwise it does you no good. Jesus gives us his sacrifice to be eaten so that its benefits might be applied to us. He is God, he can make bread and wine be his body and blood, St is called a miracle. Just as it is miraculous that he forgives our sins.
    Third, Luther was very “Stubborn” about this because he knows that the church does not live, does not exist apart from the means of grace, to which the Lord’s Supper belongs. But if it becomes a mere meal of remembrance on our part, where we are the operators the gospel is lost, and the forgiveness of sins attached to the Lord’s Supper is no longer forgiveness of sins. No, It is simple, either Christ is doing something for us in the supper, giving us his body and blood for the forgiveness of sins, or we are trying to earn the forgiveness of sins by something we do in the supper. And if the Lord’s Supper is distorted in such a manner than it is not long that that the whole gospel of Christ is distorted, and you have the mess you have in reformed churches where no one knows if they are actually saved or not, and the sovereignty of God becomes the gospel rather than the Cross of Christ.
    I know six year olds that understand the Lord’s supper. It is not complicated. God does what God wants. Deny that, and I don’t care to hear you talk about the sovereignty of God, you have no idea. You deny his sovereignty, you deny the gospel with your works.

  • Patrick Kyle

    This seems to me to be another sad example of someone using the Lutheran Church as a convenient place of employment. These individuals don’t particularly care about the Confessions or Lutheranism, but use our polity, seminaries, and churches to procure a paycheck. Some of these guys adhered to Lutheran doctrine at one time, but over time changed their minds about it. But because they didn’t have the guts or finances, they stay ensconced in our churches spouting some form of watered down Evangelicalism, or as is sometimes the case in the LCMS , Eastern Orthodoxy. Others found us convenient, close by, or landed a scholarship and decided to ‘just go with it’ .

  • Jon

    Pr. Dellsel asks “What if Martin Luther had continued to assume that just because he had been baptized as an infant, he was already a Christian?”

    Um, didn’t Luther say pretty much just exactly that–well, maybe not the infant part–but precisely because “I am baptized,” that I know that I am a Christian?

    What elese are you supposed to trust in, your “feelings”?

    Sheesh, he might as well be a Mormon.

  • SKPeterson

    Carl @ 6 – Quite right. Hopefully my post is not taken as a pejorative directed toward the AFLC or TAALC which are faithful bodies that have a more congregational structure. It was more of an attempt to recognize the varying degrees and scope of hierarchical form found within Lutheranism in America. The LCMC is a very loose confederation of churches, with little or no active hierarchy to determine doctrinal bonafides or adherence to confessional norms. Ironically, the LCMC is just the congregationalist (in the pejorative) analog to the ELCA’s historic episcopate; while faithful and true Christians are to be found in both denominations, at the level of pastoral and episcopal leadership they are effectively dismissive of either the BOC or the concept of doctrinal unity or both.

  • Grace

    Dr. Veith gave the site above – which I quote a portion of what Detzell had to say. I find it refreshing, giving the truth regarding “baptism” – I have often stated that one must repent, believe the Gospel and then be Baptized. Infant Baptism will save no one, without repentance of sins, and Belief in Jesus Christ.

    By Dan Delzell
    What if Martin Luther had continued to assume that just because he had been baptized as an infant, he was already a Christian? What if Luther never applied the Gospel message personally to his own soul….through faith….by trusting in what Jesus did for him on the cross? Look at all his teen and adult years where Martin Luther was spiritually dead….even after he had been baptized as an infant. Many teens and adults are in the same condition today.

    So just be cautious if infant baptism is something your church practices. It doesn’t guarantee that your child will grow up knowing the Lord….or will die one day knowing the Lord. Every person who desires to know Christ must repent and believe the good news, whether he was baptized as an infant or not. (see John 3:7) If he does repent and believe, he will then begin to follow Jesus. That’s what Christians do.”

    Read the rest: http://www.christianpost.com/news/infant-baptism-and-5-point-calvinism-are-limited-88498/

    Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
    John 3:7

  • SKPeterson

    Grace @ 15 – Thanks for clearing that up! I guess everyone else has been wrong for 2000 years. How embarrassing. Oh well, your clarification of Pr. Delzell’s remarks has now convinced me and, I’m sure, millions of other paedo-baptists of the errors of our ways. No, we’ll just have to repent and get baptized for real and then start bearing some of that true fruit of the Holy Spirit. I’m sure LCMS headquarters in St. Louis will be issuing a retraction of this clearly mistaken tenet of Christian faith in the next few hours. I also fully expect that the Vatican and the See of Constantinople will soon be revising their liturgies and doctrines to conform to the clear exposition of Scripture laid out by Pr. Delzell and quickly confirmed by your judicious exposition of Scriptural bolding. Hallelujah! Amen, amen.

  • Grace

    SKP @ 16

    ” I also fully expect that the Vatican and the See of Constantinople will soon be revising their liturgies and doctrines to conform to the clear exposition of Scripture laid out by Pr. Delzell and quickly confirmed by your judicious exposition of Scriptural bolding. Hallelujah! Amen, amen.”

    Yes, I can see why you would next look to the Pope of Rome to revising their beliefs, after all, Luther brought with him many of the beliefs of the Roman church, injecting his beliefs on Baptism – with not one passage of Scripture to substantiate such a belief.

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

    Grace,
    Could you please show me a verse that says one must first repent, then believe then be baptized?
    I can show you a few like say, Acts chapter 2:38-39 that support Luther, especially the idea that Baptism is for your children. Also that is saves 1 peter 3. Mark 16:16. I Cor. 6, Ephesians 5:26, Colossians 2. titus 3:5-8. Plenty of scripture for Luther. He translated the Bible you know. He kind of knew what it said.

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

    At the very least, I would think that he would have the honesty to deny his affiliation with Lutheranism if he’s not willing to assert Lutheran doctrine.

    See, this is what I don’t get. If I were in leadership in the LCMC, I’d be calling for this guy to be excommunicated; he’s denying something core to Lutheranism. That’s like a Baptist condemning immersion, or a pentecostal condemning speaking in tongues: it is an attack upon a root doctrinal stance, and it undermines the very truths espoused by the church in question.

    I brought this up on the Steadfast Lutheran website, but I’m really puzzled as to why there isn’t a stronger emphasis on modern church discipline in the church (Lutheran and otherwise). Seems like the church is too eager to be “big tent” on too many things that shouldn’t be sanctioned.

  • Grace

    SKP @ 16

    YOU WROTE: “Thanks for clearing that up! I guess everyone else has been wrong for 2000 years. How embarrassing. Oh well, your clarification of Pr. Delzell’s remarks has now convinced me and, I’m sure, millions of other paedo-baptists of the errors of our ways”

    The Bible is over 2,000 years old. The problem is, those who decided to make rulings, including the RCC, made up and added to their own, not relying on the Bible completely as their source – Luther leaving the RCC, did so, but then brought with him many of their beliefs and traditions, which are not Scriptural.

    I don’t hold any man, be it Calvin, Luther, or anyone else above what the Bible states. Their views are often skewed, not taken from CLEAR readings of the Word of God.

  • Jeff

    Grace @ 2o

    Clear reading of the word of God, eh?

    “Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ” 1 Peter 3:21

  • Grace

    Bror @18

    YOU WROTE: “Could you please show me a verse that says one must first repent, then believe then be baptized?”

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

    15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

    16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
    Mark 16:16

  • SKPeterson

    Grace @ 20 – Following up on what Jeff @ 21 notes. So you’re saying that Polycarp, one of the first martyrs of the Church and personally acquainted with John blew it. Just totally bagged the teachings imparted to him by one of the apostles. Maybe it was John who got it wrong. That’s it! We need to immediately strip his Gospel, the Revelation and those little letters right on out of the Bible. Or maybe it’s Ignatius’s fault. Maybe he totally screwed up what John had told him. Then again it could have been Barnabas that really botched the Baptism thing. He did say that Christian baptism offers remission of sins and life in the living fountain that is Jesus Christ. Oh, no! He also said this most heretical of things: that the Israelites would reject “that baptism which leads to the remission of sins.” Doubly damned is he! Or maybe it was Irenaeus who did it. I mean that Irenaeus character was a mean old cuss, saying things like denial of baptismal regeneration is to deny all of Christianity! He got the whole thing wrong! You and Pr. Delzell have to be right. I mean who are these guys who heard directly from the apostles, corresponded with the likes of Timothy and Titus, collected the books that became the New Testament and taught the early members of the faith from Rome to Antioch to Jerusalem to Alexandria. They were all obviously heretics! Minions of darkness. Benighted souls enslaved to Satan to lead man astray until the miraculous insights of Pr. Delzell could be confirmed by St. Grace the Enlightened. Thanks be to God!

  • Grace

    SKP

    SKP @ 23 Below a taste of your RANT.

    “So you’re saying that Polycarp, one of the first martyrs of the Church and personally acquainted with John blew it. Just totally bagged the teachings imparted to him by one of the apostles. Maybe it was John who got it wrong. That’s it!”

    The Gospel was taught FIRST HAND by the LORD Jesus Christ to HIS Apostles. They are the ones who penned to paper what they witnessed FIRST HAND. All others who followed were not FIRST HAND WITNESSES, they were not at the Cross when Christ died, nor were they given instruction as Acts 1 tells us – 40 days the LORD Jesus Christ spent with them, giving them instructions.

    The Apostles had power that was not given to those today. Nor was it given to those who were taught by the Apostles. Rome, and the Pope believe they have the same importance today, and so do other groups like the Lutheran Church. Luther wasn’t there, nor was John Calvin, or a host of others. The Bible needs to be followed, the writings of others are not a substitute.

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

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

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

  • SKPeterson

    Neither do I Grace, but that is why in the interpretative balance regarding what the Apostles wrote and a good interpretation of those texts, I’m willing to take a flyer on the students of the apostles themselves who were the ones who put the Bible together and issued the first commentaries on the content and meaning of those texts. You say you believe the Bible, but you apparently don’t put much trust in the men who put it together. That starts to smack of a quasi-Marcionism and Biblical dilettantism.

    Therefore on the subject of Baptism, I can put up the views of Irenaeus against those of Dan Delzell, or the views of Ignatius against those of Grace. Guess who gets the prize? The guys who, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, began to put the New Testament together. I’ll take their understandings of basic tenets of the Christian faith over that of any pastor posting on Christianity Today when that pastor begins to directly contradict the clear teachings of Scripture and the body of interpretive commentary put forth by the guys who were taught by the apostles directly. Pr. Delzell has subtly, but dangerously, questioned the efficacy and power of Baptism in a manner that is in direct contravention of Scripture and the interpretations of the early Fathers. His argument is found desperately wanting and sorely lacking in merit, unless and until he clarifies his argument with reference to Scripture, historical exegetical commentary, and the clear exposition of Scripture found in the Book of Concord. If he does not, then he should no longer consider himself to be a pastor in the Lutheran Church.

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

    Grace,
    But don’t you find it odd, that Polycarp, who was instructed in theology and trained for the Pastoral office under John, who was faithful unto death to the faith, would have screwed up on baptism or the Lord’s Supper, when it was the very same person that contributed to the New Testament Corpus and instructed him in it?
    Any way, I’m still waiting for a verse that says you need to first repent, then believe, and then be baptized.
    For one thing, faith and repentance are one in the same thing, at least where you are repenting for the first commandment, and then it would follow that baptism is an essential component to faith and repentance. There is no faith, there is no repentance where there is no baptism. And a refusal to baptize your children in accordance with Acts 2 is in fact, an act of unrepentance.

  • George A. Marquart

    There are several questions raised here. The first is whether Scripture teaches Infant Baptism. The section on Infant Baptism in Luther’s Large Catechism gives what I believe is the Christian, Scriptural, and Lutheran position on the matter, affirming Infant Baptism without the shadow of a doubt.

    The second question is whether if we cannot see any evidence in life for what we believe, does that mean our beliefs or even the clear teaching of Scripture are wrong. More than once I have posed the question about the fact that 90% of those German who committed atrocities during WWII were baptized – as infants, may I add. Unfortunately, here the Confessions leave us only with David, who supposedly lost both faith and the Holy Spirit when he had Bathsheba’s husband killed and slept with her. But that is a position which Scripture does not support. Even as David repented, something he could not do without faith and the Holy Spirit, so any of those 90% could have. That is why Scripture tells us the terrible story about David, so that we would know that no sin is beyond God’s forgiveness.

    My first concern is that no one has given any individual the right to decide who is and who is not a child of God. Our Lord, when He comes to the final judgment, will decide that. But there is also no question that it is the duty of parents, relatives, teachers, pastors, and friends to nourish the seedling of faith which God has planted in every baptized infant. Scripture abounds with passages about this, and I think that we can attribute the huge number of people who do not appear to be living out their faith, to our failure to do this. I am reasonably certain that this was the case with those 90%.

    Nevertheless, we should not think that our Savior, Who paid so high a price for the lives of His people, will abandon them even if they live contrary to the faith of the Church. After all, He is the Good Shepherd Who searches for His lost sheep. He may not find them on our schedule, but He will find them on His. The mercy of God is infinitely greater than the mercy of even the best man.

    But Scripture indeed teaches that a true child of God can deny the faith and reject the Holy Spirit and inherit eternal death. We do not know if and when that happens to a person. But we should not jump to the conclusion that even one who has committed a terrible sin has committed “the sin against the Holy Spirit.” God only gives up on them at the moment of death, and He has saved many an instant before that.

    Peace and Joy!
    George A. Marquart

  • Grace

    Bror @ 26

    “And a refusal to baptize your children in accordance with Acts 2 is in fact, an act of unrepentance.”

    There is nowhere in Scripture that tells us to Baptize our children.

  • Phil

    Grace @ 24

    “The Gospel was taught FIRST HAND by the LORD Jesus Christ to HIS Apostles. They are the ones who penned to paper what they witnessed FIRST HAND. All others who followed were not FIRST HAND WITNESSES, they were not at the Cross when Christ died, nor were they given instruction as Acts 1 tells us – 40 days the LORD Jesus Christ spent with them, giving them instructions.”

    So does that mean we throw out the books written by Paul? He did not receive instruction from Jesus during those 40 days. And if we are to ignore everything done by the people who came after the Apostles, then we should get rid of the New Testament because they put together by these people.

  • Grace

    George @ 27

    George writes: “The second question is whether if we cannot see any evidence in life for what we believe, does that mean our beliefs or even the clear teaching of Scripture are wrong. More than once I have posed the question about the fact that 90% of those German who committed atrocities during WWII were baptized – as infants, may I add.”

    Many of the Germans stood trial, denying the atrocities which they were accused of. Most all Germans I know who are now very old, still deny the holocaust, the ovens, gas, experiments on children and adults. Where is the repentance of such crimes?

    George writes “But Scripture indeed teaches that a true child of God can deny the faith and reject the Holy Spirit and inherit eternal death”

    That is false:

    But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.
    Matthew 10:33

    If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:
    2 Timothy 2:12

    Using David, as you did is not applicable, David cried out to God for forgivness. His little son was also taken from him, he died.

    Below is the Psalm from which we read the repentance of King David’s heart. This was after David had done such a wicked deed unto Uriah. This is both beautiful and sad, David’s repentant heart.

    1 Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.
    2 Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
    3 For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.
    4 Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.
    5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.
    6 Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.
    7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
    8 Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.
    9 Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.
    10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
    11 Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.
    12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.
    13 Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.
    14 Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.
    15 O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.
    16 For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering.
    17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
    18 Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem.
    19 Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering: then shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar.
    Psalms 51

  • Grace

    Phil @ 29

    YOU WROTE: “So does that mean we throw out the books written by Paul? He did not receive instruction from Jesus during those 40 days. And if we are to ignore everything done by the people who came after the Apostles, then we should get rid of the New Testament because they put together by these people.”

    Paul was chosen by God, he was thrown down on the Damascus road -

    Paul makes it crystal clear, that he did not receive his education from ANYONE except, but by revelation from Jesus Christ, to say otherwise is to contradict Scripture. No man is mentioned, God didn’t use man in this case, Jesus revealed it, it was His revelation to Paul.

    For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. Galatians 1:12

    It then becomes obvious, that Paul was very different from other men. Christ’s Apostles accepted Paul as such.

    God has different ways to do what he wishes, his ways are not ours, nor are we expected to make excuses and change what the Word says. Clearly Jesus revealed to Paul what he was to know and preach. Paul was a dynamic evangelist.

    The Damascus road was God’s plan, and to instill in Paul the ability instantly to know the Word of God, Acts 9:15-20

    I liken this to the 144,000 Jewish men, all virgins, who will be let loose as we read in Revelation – I would imagine, these men will be endowed with ‘INSTANT KNOWLEDGE’ of the LORD JESUS CHRIST, and the Gospel, which will be breathtaking to anyone who witnesses these men, all Jews, from the 12 tribes of Israel, and being VERY MUCH like Paul the Apostle.

  • SKPeterson

    Grace – George @ 27 said they could inherit eternal death (and damnation) not eternal life.

  • Phil

    Grace @ 31

    So did Luke and the authors of Jude and Hebrews receive the same revelation from God? They were also not Apostles.

  • Grace

     ‏

    George you wrote this @ 27:“But Scripture indeed teaches that a true child of God can deny the faith and reject the Holy Spirit and inherit eternal death. We do not know if and when that happens to a person.”

    Grace copied George @ 27
    @ 30 ———————:“But Scripture indeed teaches that a true child of God can deny the faith and reject the Holy Spirit and inherit eternal death”

     ‏

    SKPeterson @ 32 writes: “Grace – George @ 27 said they could inherit eternal death (and damnation) not eternal life.

     ‏

    No SKP – that is not what George wrote. GO BACK and check it out :lol: George didn’t even use the word  ‏
    “damnation”  ‏ in his post.

  • Grace

    Phil @ 33

    No one is sure who penned Hebrews – most believe it was Saint John the Apostle

    As for Jude:

    Is not this the carpenter’s son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?
    Matthew 13:55

    Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?
    John 14:22

    He is identified NOT as “Iscariot” – I believe the writer of Jude is the half brother of Jesus.

  • George A. Marquart

    I have to come to the defense of SKPeterson @32. Indeed, although I did not use the words “and damnation” there is no problem adding them to what I wrote, inasmuch as eternal death and damnation are one and the same thing. My question to Grace is, “Did you think I was writing something other than “eternal death”?

    I have to confess that when I wrote the sentence, “But Scripture indeed teaches that a true child of God can deny the faith and reject the Holy Spirit and inherit eternal death,” the characterization of a “true child of God” in this case made me a little squeamish. I was trying to express what the writer of Hebrews writes in 6:4: “For it is impossible to restore again to repentance those who have once been enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God, and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, since on their own they are crucifying again the Son of God and are holding him up to contempt.” Inasmuch as the writer uses the expression “and have shared in the Holy Spirit” I have no choice but to regard these people as true Christians at some point.

    Peace and Joy!
    George A. Marquart

  • Grace

    George @ 36

    “I have to come to the defense of SKPeterson @32. Indeed, although I did not use the words “and damnation” there is no problem adding them to what I wrote, inasmuch as eternal death and damnation are one and the same thing. My question to Grace is, “Did you think I was writing something other than “eternal death”?”

    Trying to rescue SKP from misquoting you, in order to save whatever, wasn’t clever. Then to make it more laughable, you play ‘rescue.

    Then you go on to state: “I have no choice but to regard these people as true Christians at some point.”

    George, anyone who denies Christ will be “denied” by Christ. That doesn’t equate to heaven or eternal life with the LORD.

    But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.
    Matthew 10:33

    If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:

    2 Timothy 2:12

    deny

    arneomai – ar-neh’-om-ahee

    disavow, reject, abnegate:–deny, refuse.

    I don’t believe for a moment, that those who helped slaughter the Jews and others during WW2 are going to Heaven. That is unless they were truly sorry. Most denied their participation. Romans 13 doesn’t work here, but there are thousands who would love to apply it to the holocaust.

  • Christopher Martin

    This guy is down the street from our LCMS congregation (quia confessional). Love to see our Pastor debate this denier some day.

  • Grace

    Christopher @ 38

    “This guy is down the street from our LCMS congregation (quia confessional). Love to see our Pastor debate this denier some day.”

    What do you think the results would be?

  • fws

    Here is one of the very best sermons I have ever heard on the topic of Holy Baptism. It is really THAT good!
    And the pastor is not someone who would be in any way welcome in confessional Lutheran circles….

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/nadiabolzweber/2013/01/sermon-on-baptism-and-the-devil/

  • Grace

    fws @ 40

    fws,

    Do you mean this Nadia Bolz-Weber?

    ttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kM9Y5S3UYi8

  • Grace

    ttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kM9Y5S3UYi8

  • Grace

    Go to YouTube
    Play video
    Rev. Nadia is the founding pastor of House for All Sinners and Saints in Denver, Colorado. She is the author of “Salvation on the Small Screen? 24 Hours of Christian Television” (Seabury 2008) and…
    00:20:48
    Added on 7/20/12

  • Grace

    Maybe you can get it here:

  • Grace

  • Grace

    If you copy paste the URL from my post @ 42 you can watch the VIDEO

    ttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kM9Y5S3UYi8

  • Grace

    You need to go to GOOGLE to make the LINK work.

  • Tom Hering

    YouTube videos have a “Share” button below them. Click it, then copy and paste.

  • SKPeterson

    Grace @ 37 – Yes we know. You have your conclusions and you’re willing to quote the Bible selectively to make your point. You’ll misread what people say and then insist that your interpretation of their words is correct despite the clear reading of their comments (I suspect your reading of the Bible may be much like that of your reading of people’s comments here). Much like the Cheshire Cat, the Bible means exactly what you want it to mean, at a time and place convenient for you. And if it doesn’t suit your argument it is ipso facto irrelevant. So, in any instance of theological discussion on these pages you regularly misquote, misapply, or misinterpret the Bible, and usually some mixture of all three to the point where you begin to deny central tenets of what defines orthodox Christianity (i.e., your packing your bags for the heresy cruise).

    Now, as to Ms. Bolz-Weber. You will not find much agreement with her by many of us who are regulars on this page about many different topics within Lutheran Christianity. However, beyond your ever so subtle ad hominem what precisely in the link Frank provided is especially offensive to you? Apparently, she could not ever say anything right because she is wrong or questionable about other things. Is she wrong about several things? Yes. Does that make her wrong about everything? No. You just don’t like what she’s saying, don’t have a good argument against it, and want to discredit her statements through a personal attack.

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

    -Acts 2:38-39
    Grace, read that verse. Peter there says that baptism is for your children. If it is for your children, then on what basis do you deny your children baptism? The only real question here is, When do your children become children?

  • fws

    here is the link grace was looking for I think….. it is actually not too bad….

  • TE Schroeder

    Psalm 51:1 states, “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.” If children already bear a sinful nature, then they need forgiveness. From infancy, they need to be born again. If you deny children baptism, how do you propose they receive this forgiveness?

  • Abby

    SKP @ 49 Boy is that a good analysis! Sounds like the problem we Christians have everywhere — even among ourselves (LCMS) too.

    Regarding, Nadia. When she first stepped onto the stage and announced she was a “pastor,” I was very sad. However, I liked the way she “sounded.” She gave a good testimony. But as regarding Scripture she does not belong as a “pastor.” I like her emphasis of that of reaching to really really lost people. She would be one that would seek after the Prodigal Son. (But really, the Father was the wiser in letting the Prodigal sink to his lowest so that at that point he could really come home.) Her point of Grace is right — to all who are undeserving, which includes all of us. I do wish, in the LCMS, we would be coming to a stronger realization of Justification and Grace as Luther and St. Paul found it. I hear too many pastors beating around the bush with all kinds of other things like they themselves have lost the message. I believe Nadia discovered that deep Grace for herself. I just wish she wasn’t disregarding Scripture (as well as the whole ELCA) with regards to calling herself, and setting herself up, as a pastor. She could certainly have a ministry some other way. Never in the Bible do I see a “softening” or a “disregarding” of sin. All you have to do is look at the cross. It is both penalty and love. Never in the Bible do I see, from beginning to end, that God ever opened a provision to a woman to be a shepherd/pastor. In a very narrow sense, I will stand on the fact alone that Jesus only chose men to be his disciples/apostles. That is enough description for me. Nadia could teach. She sounds very good in that way. And in some ways we need her to give messages such as she does. I just pray it doesn’t lead to softening or disregarding sin.

  • Grace

    Bror @ 50

    “-Acts 2:38-39 Grace, read that verse. Peter there says that baptism is for your children. If it is for your children, then on what basis do you deny your children baptism? The only real question here is, When do your children become children?

    We have had this discussion before. “Repent” is always left out. The reason for this, infants cannot repent, they are but babes. Yes, I know all the arguments the Lutherans and others use, but they don’t stand up.

    I believe that children can believe, and repent of their sins. I did when I was but only seven years old. I remember kneeling with my mother beside my bed, and praying. Children know when they have sinned, when they have lied, or disobeyed their parents.

    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 you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

    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

  • Grace

    SKP @ 49

    SKP WRITES:

    “Grace @ 37 – Yes we know. You have your conclusions and you’re willing to quote the Bible selectively to make your point. You’ll misread what people say and then insist that your interpretation of their words is correct despite the clear reading of their comments (I suspect your reading of the Bible may be much like that of your reading of people’s comments here). Much like the Cheshire Cat, the Bible means exactly what you want it to mean, at a time and place convenient for you. And if it doesn’t suit your argument it is ipso facto irrelevant. So, in any instance of theological discussion on these pages you regularly misquote, misapply, or misinterpret the Bible, and usually some mixture of all three to the point where you begin to deny central tenets of what defines orthodox Christianity (i.e., your packing your bags for the heresy cruise).”

    SKP, I didn’t misread your quotes at all, you misquoted George, and then George came to rescue your skewed, misquote, @ 36 – and now you don’t like it, so you choose to accuse me of misquoting others, when I don’t. You don’t like the fact that no one can deny Christ, if they do, Christ will deny them (Scripture used in my post @ 37) All the gibberish you’ve concocted is an excuse for your misquoting George.

  • Grace

    Sorry for all the BOLD TYPE. I copied it, then applied it here, again, to check my post, to see if I had bolded it, but I hadn’t. I have no idea why its bolded above.

  • Grace

    fws

    No that isn’t the video – when I use the correct LINK, it comes up wrong. I’ve used it before so I know that it once worked.

  • Grace

    When trying to view the video I’ve been trying to post – it now reads that it is RESTRICTED. You can watch it on YOUTUBE –

    Wednesday Night Dome Speaker: Nadia Bolz-Weber
    ELCA Youth Gathering 2012

    St. Johns Lutheran Church

    http://www.stjohnslc.org/video/wednesday-night-dome-speaker-nadia-bolz-weber-0

  • helen

    Dr. Veith says that he does not expect non Lutherans to believe like Lutherans.
    He does expect those men who call themselves Lutheran pastors to subscribe to Lutheran doctrine.
    Good, I’m all for that.

    Now, if we could agree that Grace 1. is not Lutheran; 2. does not believe Lutheran doctrine
    and, if Grace could do Lutherans the favor of accepting the difference rather than telling us
    what Lutherans should believe, (by her lights) we would surely save a lot of space here!
    [Of course, if Patheos pays by the linear inch I withdraw the suggestion!] :)

    When someone gets into the “who misquoted who” mode, I just skip those posts.
    Sorry about that! (If I want to know what George really said, I’ll go back and read George).

  • Grace

    Helen writes @ 59:

    “Now, if we could agree that Grace 1. is not Lutheran; 2. does not believe Lutheran doctrine
    and, if Grace could do Lutherans the favor of accepting the difference rather than telling us
    what Lutherans should believe, (by her lights) we would surely save a lot of space here!”

    Let’s not get silly. First of all there is no agreement to be made. I have stated countless times I am not a Lutheran, nor do I agree with all Lutheran doctrine.

    If people are going to have a discussion, then there will be disagreements, blogs are a place where people discuss doctrine – most of the time there is disagreement If anyone, no matter what denomination they come from, is not able to handle another persons differences, without stating “and, if Grace could do Lutherans the favor of accepting the difference rather than telling us what Lutherans should believe, (by her lights) we would surely save a lot of space here!”

    I don’t tell Lutherans what they should believe – what I do is: I post Scripture which often times repudiates the doctrine others believe. I use the Bible, I don’t rely on books. Commentaries are a good source, if one wants to know what a church leader believes, but they don’t stand up to the Word of God as total truth, they aren’t inerrant.

  • sg

    The LCMC is a total hodge-podge of congregations that may not necessarily share much in common, other than a deep antipathy for the homosexuality decisions of the ELCA. When, or, if that is the “tie the binds” they have very little ground to stand on.

    This is really key. Just being against homosexuals, because… well, why? They are just sinners like the rest of us. If some denomination opposes affirming homosexuality because the Bible teaches against it but then has women pastors even though the Bible teaches against it, well then, you betcha, they are just plain confused. Just glad I escaped the ELCA and all their little spin offs. It just would be so incoherent and inconsistent and just not a good place to bring up your kids.

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

    Grace,
    What do you think repentance is?
    Repentance like faith is just as much a gift of God as baptism is. In fact, it is a package deal.
    Repentance is certainly not a once in a life time thing. It is part and parcel of living out your life of faith given in baptism. A believer is constantly repenting, just as he is constantly believing, you can’t do one without the other. And yet, we can’t do either of them because they are the work of the Holy Spirit in us, that same Holy Spirit that Peter says is given to you and your children in baptism.
    So again, when do your children become your children? When they are able to repent of knocking up the neighbor girl? or when they are born? Because they are able to repent of sin, the chief being unbelief the moment they are born, in fact as David says when they are conceived, because they are conceived in sin.
    Furthermore, if repentance is something we have to be able to do consciously in order to be saved, several problems arise. First, it would require that you first do something to repent of. How would it be that you would first have to actively sin in order to be saved?
    Second it would be that then, repentance is your work, and by your reading something you do to be saved. If this is true then we have a problem of works righteousness, being saved by a work of the law, being saved by something we do, and not being saved by something Christ has done for us.
    However, baptism is Christ’s work done to us, it is his death and resurrection applied to us, Romans 6:4. this is why it is always in the passive. We are baptized. We are not told to baptize ourselves. And in this baptism, the Holy Spirit is given to us, and the Holy Spirit then works both faith and repentance in us through baptism. Even in those little monsters that are born to us, as they are born from above, and regenerated, reborn, in the waters of holy Baptism where the Holy Spirit is poured out upon us. Titus 3:5-8

  • Abby

    “Word of God as total truth, they aren’t inerrant (commentaries)” Grace @60
    Grace, with all due respect — you wouldn’t even be Calvary Chapel if it werent’ for Martin Luther. HE was ALL ABOUT Scripture ALONE — Grace ALONE — Christ ALONE — and Faith ALONE. His message of justification and grace and imputation and propitiation — came from Scripture ALONE. That’s why he translated the Bible so all the common people could have it. He at one point wanted his words to be burned so that there was only Scripture ALONE. I don’t fault Martin Luther for all the misinterpretations of him. That is common human sin. GOD used him at the right time to do what HE wanted Martin Luther to do. I don’t think Martin Luther even wanted the job much like Moses. But he did it nevertheless. If it werent’ for him you would still be Roman Catholic or Eastern Orthodox. (In that case, I would choose the Orthodox.)

  • Abby

    “Just glad I escaped the ELCA and all their little spin offs. It just would be so incoherent and inconsistent and just not a good place to bring up your kids.” sg@61

    Glad to have you. Amen to that. Pray for the LCMS that we always hold firm. Otherwise, I don’t know where to go.

  • http://www.redeemedrambling.blogspot.com John

    So why doesn’t it just become another generic evangelical non-denominational church like all the others? I suspect they are. Their church sign just hasn’t caught up with their theology yet.

  • Grace

    Bror @ 62

    YOU WROTE –  ‏ What do you think repentance is?
    Repentance like faith is just as much a gift of God as baptism is. In fact, it is a package deal.

     ‏ Repentance is asking the LORD to forgive me of the sins I have committed. It’s a choice, I am either sorry, or I’m not. And YES, I do believe that a Christian should, and want to ask forgiveness of sins.

    YOU WROTE: –  ‏ So again, when do your children become your children? When they are able to repent of knocking up the neighbor girl? or when they are born? Because they are able to repent of sin, the chief being unbelief the moment they are born, in fact as David says when they are conceived, because they are conceived in sin.

     ‏ Bror, when you begin to speak in crass, trashy tones, as if you can’t make a point without it, you’ve lost credibility, at least with me. As you should know, there are many sins, using your illustration is uncalled for.

     ‏ When I pray, I ask the LORD to forgive all my sins – I may have forgotten many of them.

     ‏ People do turn from Christ Bror. You might believe in Eternal Security, I DO NOT. I don’t agree with Luther’s statement below, it doesn’t line up with Scripture. Luther made quite a point of saying:

    13.“If you are a preacher of Grace, then preach a true, not a fictitious grace; if grace is true, you must bear a true and not a fictitious sin. God does not save people who are only fictitious sinners. Be a sinner and sin boldly, but believe and rejoice in Christ even more boldly. For he is victorious over sin, death, and the world. As long as we are here we have to sin. This life in not the dwelling place of righteousness but, as Peter says, we look for a new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. . . . Pray boldly-you too are a mighty sinner.”

    If you are a preacher of mercy, do not preach an imaginary but the true mercy. If the mercy is true, you must therefore bear the true, not an imaginary sin. God does not save those who are only imaginary sinners. Be a sinner, and let your sins be strong, but let your trust in Christ be stronger, and rejoice in Christ who is the victor over sin, death, and the world. We will commit sins while we are here, for this life is not a place where justice resides. We, however, says Peter (2. Peter 3:13) are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth where justice will reign. It suffices that through God’s glory we have recognized the Lamb who takes away the sin of the world. No sin can separate us from Him, even if we were to kill or commit adultery thousands of times each day. Do you think such an exalted Lamb paid merely a small price with a meager sacrifice for our sins? Pray hard for you are quite a sinner.”
    (Weimar ed. vol. 2, p. 371; Letters I, “Luther’s Works,” American Ed., Vol 48. p. 281- 282)

    On the day of the Feast of St. Peter the Apostle, 1521

  • Abby

    “let your trust in Christ be stronger, and rejoice in Christ who is the victor over sin, death, and the world”

    That is the point. Luther was not encouraging people to sin. He was speaking to sinners. Of whom I am one. My sin account is huge. Probably even bigger than that what is stated above. So am I to say because I have so many sins in my account therefore Christ rejects me? No. The ONLY unforgiveable sin is the sin against the Holy Spirit. The sin of rejecting Jesus Christ and His atonement.

  • Abby

    And that is the golden nugget of the Reformation. We do not add to our salvation by any addition of works or any effort to sanctify ourselves.

  • Grace

    Abby,

    Your rendition of Luther’s remarks is not correct, there is no way one can cover up what he stated. It’s not in the Word of God.

    “No sin can separate us from Him, even if we were to kill or commit adultery thousands of times each day.”
    Martin Luther
    (Weimar ed. vol. 2, p. 371; Letters I, “Luther’s Works,” American Ed., Vol 48. p. 281- 282)
    On the day of the Feast of St. Peter the Apostle, 1521

  • Grace

     ‏

    Jesus Christ never mentioned “Baptism” in the passages of Scripture which speak of “Suffer little children” – This has been distorted for a very long time, by many who wish to make infant “Baptism” Scriptural.

    13 Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them.
    14 But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.
    15 And
    he laid his hands on them, and departed thence.
    Matthew 19

    Verse 13 makes clear the children had been brought so that Jesus could put HIS hands on them and pray. That doesn’t mean Baptism, it means touching them and praying. The Scripture is crystal clear. It is man who chooses to change the clear meaning of God’s Word.

    Jesus Christ’s silence regarding Baptism of infants and children in this passage of Scripture is obvious, it didn’t happen “he laid his hands on them” he didn’t baptize them, nor did HE suggest that they receive Baptism. No where is it mentioned that Jesus suggested baptizing children.

    It’s imperative that people read and understand the Scriptures, as to what Christ actually did, not what someone else uses as a directive which doesn’t exist in the Bible, namely Baptizing infants.

     ‏

  • Abby

    @69 Is King Solomon in heaven? He had a thousand wives and concubines. How many people did King David kill/murder in war which he loved so much that God would not him build the temple?

  • Abby

    From Psalm 32:1,2 quoted by Paul in Romans 4:7,8: “Blessed are those whose LAWLESS DEEDS are forgiven, and WHOSE SINS ARE COVERED; blessed is the man against whom the Lord WILL NOT COUNT HIS SIN.” Faith: Romans 4.

  • Abby

    Forgot to say, these were David’s words.

  • Larry

    Abby, yes, Luther is quite correct. I’ll put it another way: Sin no longer makes the difference as to whether or not you go to heaven or hell. Sinners populate both. This is why Christ said the tax collectors and prostitutes would see the kingdom of heaven before the moral Pharisees and the later He called twice the sons of hell.

    “and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ”
    “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
    ”one Lord, one faith, one baptism”
    “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”
    “arise and be baptized washing away your sins”
    “by the washing of regeneration in the Holy Spirit”
    “Don’t you know that “Take eat this is My body given into death for you”
    “Take drink this cup is the New Testament in My blood shed for the forgiveness of your sins”

    These words are very sweet and comforting indeed just as they are AND it is no wonder that the Cross of Christ is such a stumbling block to the religious.

    Fundamentally, and not many see this, but all the denials of the efficacy of baptism and the Lord’s Supper are also a denial of both the incarnation of Christ and the Holy Trinity. Thus, the denominations that deny these do not really affirm the incarnation or the Holy Trinity but in fact deny them.

  • Larry

    Just in the sense of categorizing, there really are only two “spirit” buckets here. It’s interesting to note those two; the only group that actually trusts in and are assured by, to the individual, their baptism, especially in time of trial is Lutheran/Lutheran doctrine. None of the other groups trust in their baptism: Rome does not, Baptist do not, Reformed do not, Methodist do not, nor do any of the cults etc…etc… The same with the Lord’s Supper. I.e. Lutherans go to sleep at night fully assured (or they should at least) that if they die to night because they are baptized, they know they’ll wake up in heaven. Not so with the other groups. Now there’s a reason for that.

    Home runs all Pastor Bror, Paul and Pat and Jon. It IS that simple, it IS that issue, loose that and you loose everything eventually and the Gospel becomes a distant echo never touching the ground. It’s kind of like Chesterton once wrote about the empirical evidence of sin is so without denial that one wonders why we refuse to see it. Same thing here, my three year old and four year old understand the Lord’s Supper (and baptism) more than most adults. It’s not as if the words in Scripture are not crystal clear. It’s not an intellectual issue. I’m mean in general one can even say, even an atheist hypothetically who doesn’t believe in God can say, “Well if God is indeed GOD, then He can do whatever He wills and miraculously and well above our grasp and understanding…a ‘Zeus’ as a “god” battling another “god” both who came into being by something else, neither is really a god.” So if God says, “this is” and “that saves”, it does not really matter one single wit if one understands “how” or even if ALL the world baptized turns away, it takes nothing away from the sacrament. It’s like this, God told Noah this boat would save. Not because of its unique engineering design, but because God spoke it into being and said “build this it will save”. All the rest of the world said, “Hath God really said Noah?” And well their observations and reasoning and laughter did really matter in the end, the ark saved anyway and they perished anyway.

    So while I care in that I don’t want to see people turn from their baptism and perish, I really don’t care on the other hand a single micron that they don’t trust their baptism, I do, “I am baptized”. Their falling away does nothing whatsoever to the salvific nature of baptism or the Lord’s Supper any more than those that scoffed at the Ark, and neither do other (false) doctrines that say it does not. One can clearly defend the sacraments without leaving a single word of Scripture, one cannot defend the counter doctrines without leaving the scriptures.

    Bror’s right on the money, where the Lord’s Supper (and I would add baptism) is disconnected and taught what it is not and does nothing and is symbol/sign for the most part, you loose the Gospel eventually. Oh it may not happen immediately and you’ll find a few within trying to sustain a decent Gospel against the rising tide, but it disappears eventually.

    The devil’s done a very crafty trick here. He’s managed to label, via doctrines of Rome, Reformed and Baptist and all in between, what is Gospel as “law” and works, and what is really law and works as “gospel”. So that when we hear “be baptized for the forgiveness of your sins”, “so to baptism saves you”, “rise up and be baptized washing away your sins” and so forth (all very clear Gospel = YOU>>>BE>>>Baptized>>>receiving forgiveness, the holy Spirit, salvation = Good News that YOU in particular received this in fact!). All that the devil Jedi mind tricks into, “Well Baptism does not do anything and trusting in that is trusting in works”. That’s a head scratcher, let me get this straight, to actually receive forgiveness from God is my works? And to assess that God’s will is for me and I’m saved/elect/reborn is done by observing my changed life of better/good works or the work of my believing, that I DO, that’s “gospel”? Thus, the devil has weaved a massive delusion and turned RECEIVING passively from God into law and works, and DOING actively works into “gospel”.

    And this gets into all sorts of psychotic doctrinal twist like poor Calvinistic/Reformed leaning Baptist children who sing “Jesus loves me” and at Christmas time all those wonderful Christmas hymns with those “for me” pro nouns in them, who are unbaptized and later ask mom and dad at home at pillow time, “am I elect”, “I’m don’t want to go to hell” (actual quotes by the way). You have to wonder in their poor minds and hearts if they wonder how much Jesus loves them or not.

    Salvation is always in the abstract for an abstract group of hypothetical elected John 3:16s, and the sacraments become abstract sacraments with signage that is not the reality (pure abstraction) with no concreteness at all. This is the way spiritualizing works and its pure Gnosticism. So, one has an abstract baptism pointing to an abstract Christ and an abstract forgiveness that is “for” an abstract person, but no concrete baptism giving a concrete Christ and a concrete forgiveness that is FOR a concrete “for you” in particular person. Then it is no wonder that the laity and pastors of such confessions eventually have construct a concrete touch stone to get away from the abstraction so they can have a “for me”. It’s not accidental that Arminianism and Wesleyanism comes out of Reformed thought. Nor is it accidental that charismatic things of all sorts developed out of reformed and baptistic thought. One as a concrete individual person cannot survive in abstraction of “for” me abstract salvation. Nor can amalgamations of said like individuals. So movement begins that says, “here is Christ, there is Christ (concretely) or here is the Spirit and there is the Spirit (concretely)”. From intellectual Calvinism’s “if you believe” to high end charismatics barking like dogs…or even finding God on the golf course every Sunday, its concrete. All are seeking that lost concrete “for me” thing that says in essence: “Here is God’s disposition and will in particular expressed to you”. But not the water, bread and wine, those are only signs of a reality in abstraction.

    Another interesting exercise to go through is take ALLLLL those words of men from ALLLLL those denominations on the sacraments, especially the Baptist and see if the Scripture Words match them. For example Baptist and Reformed saying baptism doesn’t do anything or similar, versus Peter who says, “baptism saves you”. You can do that all day long with the scriptures, because they are quite plainly spoken and one not need even explain them, “this is My body”, another word does not need to be said, not another single word from a man, “this is My body” very simple very plain. Noun verb adjective noun, “This is My body”…very, very, very simple. So intellect is not the problem. Same thing “for the forgiveness of your sin”, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very simple and plain. All mostly single syllable words with maybe a simple multi-syllable word. Two very, very, very simple prepositional phrases.

    The test question really is no more complicated than this in any given confessional/denominational construction, “how do you know Jesus died FOR YOU?” And the answer HAS to pass the mustered of your confession otherwise (e.g. one cannot appeal to John 3:16 for yourself, then turn around and say, “John meant only the elect”).

  • Grace

    Ephesians 5 is one of the most obvious WARNINGS to BELIEVERS……….this book was written by Paul, and he is making it clear to BELIEVERS

    . . . “let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;” verse 3. . .

    Paul names all the sins in verses 3 and 4. Then in verse 5, Paul makes it CRYSTAL CLEAR . . . “For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. . . .

    In verse FIVE (5) it is clear that going back into sin will result in those who do, will not have an inheritance in the kingdom of CHRIST and of GOD.

    1 Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;

    2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.

    3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;

    4 Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.

    5 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.

    6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.

    7 Be not ye therefore partakers with them.

    8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:

  • passing throgh

    So good to know that Gracie is right. And millions and millions of Lutherans, Methodists, Anglicans and others who espouse infant baptism are lost, lost, lost.

    What a comfort.

  • Abby

    “Your rendition of Luther’s remarks is not correct, there is no way one can cover up what he stated.” Grace @69

    You have read very little of Luther — minuscule.

  • Grace

    Abby,

    Don’t underestimate what I’ve read, JUST BECAUSE I DON’T AGREE with you or others on a variety of subjects. :lol: that one won’t work

  • Abby

    @79 If you have read more — you don’t understand.

  • Grace

    Abby @ 80 YOU WROTE: “If you have read more — you don’t understand.”

    That’s a silly excuse to use when someone doesn’t agree with you. ‘If they don’t agree, they don’t understand. It’s used by kids who believe their ideas/beliefs supersede that of others, including parents.

  • Abby

    @81 Sometimes a child is smarter and more discerning and listening to the Holy Spirit better than his/her parents. I’ve seen that happen.

  • Abby

    “Suffer the little children to come to me and forbid them not. For of such is the Kingdom of Heaven.” Jesus

  • Grace

    Abby “Sometimes a child is smarter and more discerning and listening to the Holy Spirit better than his/her parents. I’ve seen that happen.”

    In this case Abby you’re off base. If someone doesn’t agree with you, they haven’t studied. I think it is you who has not studied the Bible, but is dependent upon whatever Luther has stated, believing he could never be wrong.

    The sample I gave @ 66 is nothing but ‘cheap grace, which is bellowed from many a pulpit. Calvinists have a similar belief, with their “tulip” plan.

  • Grace

    Abby @ 83

    That is the exact portion of Scripture I posted @ 70, it’s from Matthew 19:14 – you might want to scroll up and read the passage and what I wrote: :)

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

    Grace,
    I am not asking you to agree with Luther on his point about sinning boldly, which you do not understand.
    It is not germane to this conversation.
    I have not used crass or trashy tones. I used an illustration of one sin. I find all sins to be despicable. But if you don’t please tell me which sin you find better for the use of an illustration. On the other hand, don’t. The fact that you find this sin more objectionable than the sin a child is born with, the sin from which this sin and all others stem from, well it shows you know nothing of sin. Quite frankly, I find your refusal to have infants baptized, your talk here that would cause the little ones who believe in him to lose faith in the promises that Christ made to these children in baptism to be more crass and rude than any sin of sexual indiscretion. You have been here for years, and you aren’t even polite enough to answer a question. In fact you are the rudest person I have encountered anywhere on the internet. So stick to the issues, and don’t lecture me on etiquette.
    How does one repent of breaking the first commandment? They believe, anything short of that is un-repentence because the first commandment, the most important being first, demands faith, demands that we believe he is our God. And it is precisely the sin against this commandment with which we are born, and struggle with for the rest of our lives, with the result that we break all the rest. What is more, faith is something we cannot produce of ourselves, but it is a gift of God worked by the Holy Spirit. you might remember that from the second chapter of Ephesians, as elsewhere. But what is faith without baptism? Can one believe and refuse baptism? How? No, faith and baptism, because faith believes the promises Christ makes in baptism. If nothing else, then that in baptism God gives us the Holy Spirit.

  • Grace

    Bror,

    The word you used “knocked up” is offensive.

    As for infant Baptism – it isn’t in the Word of God. That’s it!

  • Grace

    Bror,

    I believe that every single individual who has repented, having faith in Jesus Christ as Savior, needs to be Baptized. No argument from me.

    A parent cannot wipe away sin with Baptism for an infant. All too many people grow up, become adults, never learning or growing in Christ, HOWEVER, they believe that because their parents had them Baptized as infants, they are free and clear to live their lives without a thought in the world about Christ, or what HIS Word says. It’s very sad, they don’t know Christ, it’s very apparent.

  • Abby

    @88 Are you speaking about “decision theology?”

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

    Never thought of knocked up as being offensive. Still don’t. Quite frankly Grace, I’m not going to let you determine what words I can and can’t use. I find that to be about the most despicable aspect of baptist theology. Show me in scripture where it says I can’t say knocked up?
    But by all means, lets go around making up morality in our own image, according to our own desires.

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

    Parents are just as helpless in wiping out their own sins as they are in wiping out a child’s sin. I’ll agree with you on that. Thing is if you think the parents are trying to wash away a child’s sin in baptism, well then I’m inclined to think you believe you wipe away your own sins in baptism. You have a few things confused here.
    The only person washing away anyone’s sin in baptism is Jesus. And Jesus is not helpless to wash away sin. He does it. He does it to anyone he wants regardless of age. But he does it in baptism, and he wants to do it to everyone. He tells you it is for your children.

  • Grace

    Bror,

    Of course you can use whatever words you like – but that doesn’t mean it’s a nice thing to do. Maybe where you live, or those you know speak that way to women, but not where I live, or the way I was raised. Bror, you added:     ” I find that to be about the most despicable aspect of baptist theology.”     it doesn’t have anything to do with Baptist theology. I am not a Baptist.

    You’re getting carried away with your last paragraph.

  • jb

    If one does not understand justification, one understands nothing.

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

    Grace,
    I didn’t capitalize the b, I didn’t do that for a reason. I wasn’t identifying you with any particular Baptist Church. And yes, you are a baptist, you don’t believe in infant baptism, hence baptist. And yes this has everything to do with baptist theology, which ignores the word of God, except where it wants, and makes up new laws daily in place of the law God has given us.

  • Grace

    Bror @ 91

    I gave you these passages yesterday.

    YOU WROTE: “Could you please show me a verse that says one must first repent, then believe then be baptized?”

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

    15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

    16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
    Mark 16:16
    There you have repentance, Salvation and baptized!

    You brought the subject up @ 26, and I answered you regarding Act 2:38 and 39

    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 you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

    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

    REPENT and BAPTIZED –

    Infants cannot repent, they don’t have the ability. When parents brought their children to Christ, it was to pray and bless them, not Baptize them. Christ never mentioned once, Baptizing children, not once.

  • Grace

    Bror @ 94 YOU WROTE: “. And yes, you are a baptist, you don’t believe in infant baptism, hence baptist.”

    Some Baptists often believe that Baptism is voluntary – I don’t agree, we are told to be Baptized.

    You can shout all you like Bror, I do not allign myself with Baptists, anymore than you stand with the RCC – or maybe you do :lol:

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

    Grace,
    Adults can’t repent! They don’t have the ability! What part of this are you not getting. If it is something we do we are saved by our works, by what we do. Adults are no more able to repent then children. God works repentance in us 2 Timothy 2:25, God is the one who grants repentance, gives repentance. And he does this in baptism just as much as he gives faith in baptism.

  • Grace

    Bror @ 97

    YOU WROTE:

    Adults can’t repent! They don’t have the ability! What part of this are you not getting.

    Jesus told them to REPENT!

    From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
    Matthew 4:17

    Peter told them to “REPENT”

    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 you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
    Acts 2:38

    Adults can repent, both Jesus and Peter stated clearly that one REPENT. Jesus and Peter would not have stated it, if “adults” were unable to repent.

    It’s you Bror, who is unable to understand the clear words of the Bible.

  • jb

    Bror -

    Let her be. If she understood justification, this would all be a moot point. If she understood verb tense and mood in Greek, the “repent” issue would be a moot point.

    She does not. And no one will get the concept across to her in a few cross-postings.

  • SKPeterson

    Who says infants can’t repent? You’re intellectualizing the actions of God and telling Him what He cannot do despite his clear word to the contrary. It is quite simply a statement made out of sheer unbelief. If infants cannot repent, they cannot sin. In fact they are then without original sin. Jesus has died for what exactly then? So, when precisely do children lose their innocence and become accountable for their sin before God? Five, ten, twenty? At what age are they then irredeemable? What makes someone so? What about the mentally retarded who know that Jesus loves them, but don’t really understand the full implications of repentance. What about the person who descends into the depths of Alzheimers? Has God abandoned them because they no longer can repent or are somehow beyond sinning? Grace literally spits all over these people a venomous bile of works righteousness clothed in moral superiority.

    Tell me this: what is the proper and necessary intellectual assent required to be saved? Grace appears to know. I’ll ask her then to explain the Trinity. If she cannot do so adequately she is obviously not saved; her profession of faith is, by her own admission, false. Or will she just simply say that she believes the Trinity to be so because God has said it is so? And let’s face it, there is far more direct Scriptural clarity and support for infant baptism than there is for the Trinity found in the Bible, even though the Trinity can be easily discerned in the text. But, if that be the case, why does Grace believe the Trinity but not Baptism or the Eucharist or that Jesus died for the whole world (including infants and murderers and adulterers). For Grace it is “Hey God, I believe in you therefore I’m saved by my belief” when Jesus says “Grace, I’ve saved you. Believe it.” Her directionality is wrong; she goes from man to God, when it is always, always, God to man.

  • Grace

    jb @ 99 YOU WRITE: “Let her be. If she understood justification, this would all be a moot point. If she understood verb tense and mood in Greek, the “repent” issue would be a moot point.”

    Don’t flatter yourself, I understand far better than you imagine.

    18 But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled.

    19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.
    Acts 3

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

    So you don’t think the baptism was part and parcel of the repentance? That God was not working the repentance in the baptism?
    Grace, do you take a minute to read my posts and hear what is being said? God’s word does what it says, it works what it tells by the Holy Spirit. Repentance is given, and granted by God, did you not read 2 Timothy 2:25? I could give others, but just type repentance into your program and read what all it has to say about repentance. And if Repentance like Faith, which again, he tells us to believe, we still find that is impossible of ourselves, but is a gift from God, Ephesians 2, so then also is repentance which is an act of faith. And all of it given in baptism with the gift of the Holy Spirit.

  • Grace

     ‏

    It’s very difficult for many individuals to repent, it goes against the grain. However Jesus stated the following:

    20 Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not:

    21 Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.

    22 But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you.
    Matthew 11

  • jb

    Grace -
    I have no intention of entering into one of your usuals. You are obviously clueless of the entire biblical concept of justification, and I have no need to flatter myself – it is you who is busy writing missives all over this thread – so if anyone is “flattering” themselves – it ain’t me, Baby! (Sorry if that offends you – women in Texas like the term)

    And yes – tense and mood are critical – a criticality you simply bypass. You are firmly rooted in the Law, by your own choice, and that is your call. You simply cannot give up some role, however small, in your conversion. Ok – I hear you.

    God is greater. He will forgive even that! :-)

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

    you don’t really get it do you Grace. It isn’t that it is difficult, it is impossible. It is as impossible as believing itself, because it is one and the same thing. It is either gifted by God or it is impossible.

  • Grace

    We have FREE WILL Bror, we can either accept or reject Salvation. We can either repent, or refuse to repent –

    Most on this blog don’t believe they have FREE WILL -

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

    Free Will? Where does the Bible speak of such a thing? Why did Jesus have to die on the cross? if we were perfectly free to earn our own salvation? What on earth are you talking about?

  • Abby

    @106 Is this Erasmus or what?

  • jb

    Then, Grace, you need only to freely choose not to sin, and you have no need of Jesus. Gee, that was quick and easy!

    As I said, you have no concept of justification, so you must necessarily somehow credit yourself in your salvation. And that is, by the way, precisely what the RCC teaches, and baptists (Capital B or not), and half a gazillion other Reformed faiths teach. The Pharisees taught that – against which Jesus most vociferously argued. Muslims are huge into work-righteousness.

    Wait . . . this was about free will, right? Heh. Amazing. Most amazing!

  • Grace

    Bror “Why did Jesus have to die on the cross? if we were perfectly free to earn our own salvation? What on earth are you talking about?”

    We don’t “earn our own salvation” – I have never suggested that.

    We do have free will, if we didn’t we couldn’t “fall away” or go back into sin “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 10:14

    Escaping temptation or declining would be a ‘free will’ act. If you are tempted to do evil, and you choose not to, is that not ‘free will’? – if instead you go ahead, knowing it is wrong, is that not your ‘free will’ to sin, when God has given you a way to “escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” ? If you don’t believe the passage above is a choice to escape, then you are denying God’s promise.

    12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

    13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:

    14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.

    15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

    16 Do not err, my beloved brethren.
    James 1

    This passage is proof that man can be tempted, drawn away of his own lust, it is a ‘choice to do good or evil, ie; FREE WILL. that is precisely why it says     Do not err, my beloved brethren.

    In James 1 it is clear that we do have a choice to “err” or refrain – that is a choice, “FREE WILL”

  • jb

    Outta here. Clueless is clueless.

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

    Grace,
    That says nothing of freewill.
    But then if you have freewill then you do earn your salvation. No other choice, but to earn your salvation.
    And then again, I wonder when does one attain free will? I mean in your system. When is it that you go from not being able to do anything to being able? Children in your understandig are not able to use their “free will ” to repent. So when is it that they attain this free will? After they sin? Is that what the apples was about? Freeing our will?

  • Grace

    Bror,

    “Apples”

    That is not a brilliant comment Bror. The Bible doesn’t tell us what fruit Eve and Adam ate – but your Sunday school approach has been made by many an unlearned so callled teacher.

  • Grace

    Below – it is obvious that one can return to their own ways (SINS) ending up in the pig pen again.

    It’s a choice! A free choice, one can call it ‘free will.

    17 These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.
    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

  • Grace

    If anyone believes they don’t have FREE WILL, then they can claim, and do whatever they decide, and it is not their fault. That encompasses anything –

    Do you turn left when you should have turned right (at the right hand curb) at a stop light with four lanes to your left? If you do, you won’t have a license very long with such behavior, and your insurance company will most certainly TAKE NOTICE.

    Do you decide to go to a porn film, when you know it’s wrong, and cheats your spouse? If you do, you’re doing so out of your own choice, ie: FREE WILL

    I think you all get the idea. We do have FREE WILL. There are all too many denominations who want to blame their sin, not on themselves but the excuse they don’t have FREE WILL, to do what is right, rather than what is wrong, or anything that happens – never upon their choice. It’s a snarly subject for the most stubborn of souls.

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

    Grace,
    I don’t care what fruit. Answer the question. You are a rude, very rude woman. I just hope you realize that. Now apples, oranges, or tomatoes, answer the question. And I will give you etymology lessons on the word apple at some other time.
    Free will? Do you even understand what concept you are talking about? No. Because the concept has nothing to do with whether I’m free or not to have an apple or a banana for breakfast. Or if I choose to be sinful by going to a porn movie, or sinful by trying to divert a conversation and brow beat another Christian on the internet for using the word the phrase “knocked up” in an illustration.
    No, the real question is, am I free or not free in regards to sin and my relationship to God. Am I free to initiate the relationship with God, or is this something God has to do because I am sinful by nature? Am I free to be without sin? Jesus was fairly convinced non of us are free in this matter, he looked at the pharisees and said, “he who is without sin, cast the first stone.” He knew none of them were. He found no none sinners, just sinners that were too deluded to recognize their sin, and so beyond his help. Where are you? Can you choose God? Or is it as Jesus says, “You think you have chosen me, but it was I who chose you.”? And think hard here Grace. Think very hard. Because unless you find a verse that says “you have free will.” There isn’t a passage of scripture you put up that is going to refute the fact that none of us are righteous, which righteousness we would need in and of ourselves to be able to say we have free will. And then we would know better even then. Because the problem is even deeper than that.
    Even positing that we have free will is to posit that we are equal with God. Even in the Righteousness that Adam and Eve had in the Garden, before they ate of the “tomato” there righteousness was not of their own free will, it was what they were created with. God determined that they were righteous. Then they sinned. Now the children of Adam are born in the image of Adam, that is sinful, no free will about it. So Paul says, because his will was bound to sin, “The good that I would I do not.” Why doesn’t he do the good that he would? Why not? if Paul, had free will? And what is more why is it there that Paul seems to think he is not describing a phenomena unique to himself, but one that is common for all Christians?
    If we are totally free, why do we need the Holy Spirit in order to Confess Jesus? 1 Corinthians 12:

  • Tom Hering

    Ladies and gentlemen. If we’ve learned anything in the years that Grace has been commenting here, it’s that she has a serious problem with reading comprehension. She never fails to misread the Scriptures, or Church history, or Luther, or the comments of the people participating here. She never fails to take great pride in her misreadings. She never fails to attack the biblical faithfulness of anyone who tries to correct her. She never fails to suspect the motives of anyone who so much as asks her a question. No one has ever made the least bit of headway with her, and no one ever will.

  • mikeb

    Bror,

    It’s as if you are saying we suffer from a bondage of the will or something. Or, as St. Paul says, are slaves to either sin or Christ.

    Now I seem to recall from history class that slaves weren’t free but had been bought with a price. Its too simple, that’s why Grace doesn’t get it. I’m tempted to say move on, that Proverbs 24:4 applies but, then, right there next to it we see Proverbs 24:5.

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

    yeah, I might be trying to say something like that Mikeb.
    Tom, Yep! I know. trust me I know. but the last couple days, I have been suffering from this. The good that I would I do not, and the bad that I would not, that I do.
    I guess I think I should just continue to ignore Grace, the most ironically named person in the history of the world. I have done so for years and years now. Infact, I even have cut back my participation on this blog, due to her belligerence. But the last couple days, I have not been able to keep myself from feeding the troll. Please forgive me.

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

    and Grace,
    Do you really think you are putting Calvary Chapel in the best light when you carry on the way you do here with this trollish behavior? Your refusal to participate in the discussion in any sort of coherent respectable manner, while trying to correct others for supposedly impolite language? Redirecting questions, changing the topic when you don’t want to have to give an honest answer to the question put forth.
    Let me ask once again. When do your children become your children? For it is precisely at the moment that they become your children that the promise is for them.

  • Hanni

    Greetings, all! A fascinating conversation and kudos to all who keep their cool and respond to each other without too much anger. I know how Grace feels (about the Gospel), and I can see how her opponents thinkk. Altho I come from a Lutheran background and was baptized in an early LC at 6 mos (I just turned 81), and don’t remember my baptism, I still feel that it was a defining moment in my life. I was raised for 18 years in a Methodist church (very fundamental and Wesleyan holiness) under Arminian teaching. Many yeaars later I began to realize what the reformed tradition was about and it definitely changed my Christian life, but I had many agonizing doubts. A book called FULL CIRCLE, by Roz Rinker helped (a Free Methodist missionlary). I enjoy reading these posts, for some reason, due to my grandmother’s insistence that there are 2 sides to most stories , they are very edifying.

  • TE Schroeder

    Okay, I can’t resist.
    Grace, what is the point of being baptized? Why should someone do it?

  • Grace

     ‏

    TE Schroeder @ 22

    “Okay, “I can’t resist.
    Grace, what is the point of being baptized? Why should someone do it?”

    Post 98 will answer your question very nicely. Perhaps you should read this thread, then you wouldn’t have had to ask. ;)

     ‏

     ‏

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

    Grace, why do you assume he did not read post 98.
    Why should you be so rude and condescending?

  • mikeb

    Grace,

    I read post 98 and have to ash, can you better explain it? I think you could do a better job of explaining why one should be baptized, what baptism does, and what it means.

  • Grace

     ‏

    The tree which God warned not to eat, had a “fruit” growing from it, no one knows what kind it was.

    But of the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, You shall not eat of it, neither shall you touch it, lest you die. Genesis 3:3

    The majority of pastors and those who have studied Scripture, know the book of Genesis does not refer to the forbidden fruit which God forbade them to eat, as anything other than “fruit” – those who refer to “an apple” or a “tomato” are mistaken, and most likely have not read the account in Genesis with care.

     ‏

  • Grace

     ‏

    “Sin wilfully” equals “Free Will

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • mikeb

    @ 125

    Or, Grace, maybe a yes or no question?

    Does Baptism save us–not simply by washing away of the filth of the flesh, but by the answer of a clean conscience toward God by the resurrection of Jesus Christ?

  • Grace

    mikeb and all the rest who would like to argue this Sunday –

    I have posted Scripture, which defines my belief. It is Scripture, God’s Word, not the words of others who have chosen to re-define the Bible.

    Try enjoying the big football game today, it’s only a short time away. ;)

  • mikeb

    Grace @ 126

    No one has argued here that the fruit was specifically an apple. I believe Bror used the term “apple” as a slang term for fruit–though I’ll let him chime in on that if he wants. Folks in the South use the term “Coke” as slang to refer to all carbonated beverages and not necessarily a product of the Coca-Cola Company. It’s fairly common for one to be asked “What kind of Coke do you want” to which one can rightfully reply “I’ll have an Orange Slice”. Oh, you would have a field day!

    Just think how much easier it would be to avoid answering questions when you can stop to correct someone–the Language Police have arrived!, perhaps even reminding them that Coca-Cola has the term “Coke” trademarked and it’s probably illegal to refer to an Orange Slice as a “Coke”. You wouldn’t have to wait for someone to say apple… Apples and Orange(s) I guess, no?

  • mikeb

    Grace @ 129

    Argue? I just asked a yes or no question… I thought you were to be ready always to give an answer to everyone that asks you a reason of the hope that is in you? Or does your bible not include Peter’s first epistle?

  • http://pinterest.com/lornemarr Lorne Marr

    I’ve often wondered why it is that on the Internet, everyone knows everything. I mean – how can you even start trying to argue semantics from a 2000 years old book that has been rewritten again and again?

    It’s about believing, not about facts from some book.

  • dust

    Grace at 98…not to be argumentative, but to try and explain my understanding of one way to look at the verses where Jesus (or anyone) says to “repent”…..just because he asks (commands?) it, does not mean we can do it, it’s that simple. Sometimes maybe he asks us to do things we can’t because he wants to emphasize our total dependence on Him?

    He also ask us simply to “believe” and to “be born again” (as per Nicodemus..spelling?) but as he told Nicodemus, we cannot accomplish this “being born again” command…how it happens cannot be explained, it is like the wind, a holy wind, the Holy Spirit!

    So don’t want to speak for anyone here, and perhaps am wrong, but do remember reading some things that point out, just because we are commanded to do something, it does not mean we can do it, at least on our own, but surely with God’s help!

    Same similar thing with “free will” in a sense. As it has been explained to me, we do have “free will” with respect to sinning…it’s kind of our nature to do that, if you will (no pun intended!), but with regard to doing the will of God, and most importantly, being born again and believing in His Son as our Savior, we do not have free will, but it’s all a work of the Holy Spirit and all from Grace, if you will :)

    cheers!

  • dust

    ps. just thought of one more “command” from Jesus….didn’t he also tell us “to be perfect” even as His Heavenly Father is perfect?

    My understanding is perhaps the purpose is to get us to go ahead and try, but in trying we realize we can’t do it.

    That’s ok and that’s the point…we can turn to Him for help and he will pour out His spirit and help us, where and when we cannot do it on our own!

    Just like St. Paul and all the Saints before us….same as it ever was, until the last trumpet, when we too are born incorruptible and will be more than conquerors, forever and ever, amen :)

    cheers!

  • Larry

    Such free willers as Grace are the exemplar example of the bondage of the will. For she refuses to freely receive the grace of God as it is given in the sacraments. Infants show this forth and are, if one might speak this way, the least resistant. Yet, lovers of free will are the perfect examples that they WILL NOT and in fact refuse that which is the true and actual grace of God.

    In short when in the sacraments the Lord of the Church and the Holy Spirit says “I forgive you” and you despise that, you are showing forth the very bondage of the will. One is like a fish that cannot grasp he’s wet. Worse yet, to continue to do this is to despise the grace of God and at length in danger of committing the unforgivable sin through such hardness of heart. Such need to repent. Or one then will be damned, not because God would have it that way, but because one themselves will have nothing to do with such a gracious God. For God’s grace is gracious enough, but to reject THAT grace that is THAT gracious leaves one no where to go but hell. Hell is, after all, a door first locked from the inside, then at last and finally by God from the outside.

  • mikeb

    dust @ 133-134

    Good points.

    My 7-year-old daughter messed up this week. Nothing major (what can a second-grader do?) and it gave me the opportunity to teach her, to correct her, to forgive her and to remind her that Jesus paid the price for her sin of disobeying. I know she’s forgiven, she knows she’s forgiven, and not by the worthiness of her confession and repentance but on account of God’s declaration. For, given that Jesus–God the Son–said “It is finished”, it must be finished. End of story. Why? Because He said so and, as we learned again in today’s Gospel reading, His words have Authority. It’s true not because of what she does or deserves but because of what He said and does.

    He said Baptism saves, so it does. As Peter taught, not by washing filth from our bodies but by washing filth from our souls and offering the pledge of His righteousness in place of our own. Jesus says He is present in His Supper so He must be there. Why? Not because Paul says it but because Christ says so. His words have authority. He calls us a royal priesthood, the light of the world. Are we? Certainly not of our own accord! But because He says it it is so. Faith trusts, faith receives, faith accepts these blessings–these declarations.

    But Satan asked in the Garden “did God really say you must not eat of any tree?” — And now “does baptism really save?” — “is He really present in His supper?” — “is it really finished?”. Faith says yes, says I am forgiven, says get behind me Satan. Faith accepts what it doesn’t understand because our words are weak but His words have Authority. For, as the children’s song goes, we are weak but He is strong!

  • Tom Hering

    Very good, mikeb @ 136. Nicely summed up.

  • SKPeterson

    I wonder when Peter gave his intellectual assent and heart to Jesus. Before he called Jesus the Christ, or after he is rebuked by Jesus with the “Get behind me Satan”? Or was it after he denied Jesus three times? Or was it at the lake shore after the Resurrection where he is admonished to feed the sheep, but when he is asked by Jesus if he loved (agapao) him, he can only respond with (phileo)?

  • dust

    Mikeb….re: Tom, yes, very, very good, thank you!

    SKP…well, hmmm, didn’t Paul still need to get Peter in line with the pure gospel, even after all his personal experiences with Christ in the flesh?

    In any case, thanks be to God, a broken and contrite spirit he will not despise :)

    cheers!

  • Bob

    ‘putting Calvary Chapel in the best light ‘

    hahahahahahahahaha

    Good luck with that one.

    Calvary Chapel provides minimal training to its “pastors.” In many, you’ll be treated to spiritually abusive pastors.

    You know your church is in sad shape when it gets the attention of a secular site like this:

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/01/26/calvary-chapel-s-tangled-web.html

  • dust

    Larry….excellent points also, as usual :)

    It’s enlightening that you (via scripture) seem to differentiate between someone who accepts the forgiveness from God on face value just because he says so, versus those who claim forgiveness on account of their faith in that forgiveness, that is, their belief in that forgiveness…unless am misunderstanding your comment? But nonetheless, do not want to belabor the point!

    In that same context, you seem to say that that difference differentiates those who do not believe in free will (those who accept God’s forgiveness, as an act accomplished thru the works of God, thru Christ, without any effort on their part, even their “acceptance” of that grace) versus those who seem to believe in free will, who see their salvation as tied to their acceptance of the salvation offered thru the atoning works of his son? wow, that is something am going to need time to absorb, and separate the wheat from the chafe, God willing!

    But, myy guess is both accept Christ and his redeeming work, but don’t express it with the same logical clarity as others, yet, as with other doctrines, such as the sacraments, it does not mean they are not any more accepted by their Savior as believers and children of God? My understanding of the Lutheran tradition, is that we understand, there can be differences on some doctrinal points, without damning anyone, or bringing us to label them outside the Christian faith? sure hope so!

    In any case, once again, a broken and contrite spirit thou wilt not despise…even if not expressed in the most clear and precise terms as concerning orthodox Lutherans, but nonetheless, make sense to our Savior, who’s much more gracious and forgiving thus us…..PTL :)

    cheers!

  • kerner

    You guys who get frustrated with these debates need to relax a little. Sure it must be irritating to not get a straight answer. But think of all the people who are just reading this echange. I, personally, have learned a lot about the Biblical doctrine about baptism and the Lord’s supper and election and other things by reading all this and studying the Bible and other books in response. Don’t let some of this stuff bother you.

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

    Bob @140,
    Interesting article. I haven’t been watching the news enough to know of these events which it reports. And I guess I would with hold comment or judgment in all that, and let it go to the authorities. But I do like how the author calls Calvary Chapel a denomination. Finally someone in the media seeing through this “we’re not a denomination” mantra. It is sad that this denomination has very little lay oversight. When I see these churches and look at how they are set up, it is hard for me to imagine there isn’t any embezzlement of funds. Quite frankly the whole set up looks like a nightmare.

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

    Kerner,
    Not to mention that you also learned it might not have been an apple or a tomato that eve ate, the text only says fruit! I bet you never knew that before! I sure didn’t, I said it was an apple, and later referred to it as a tomato. The only other fruit I know of is a banana, which I think it must have been, because everything has gone bananas since.

  • Mary

    @ Bror
    Not to belabor the fruit bit, but….
    We have awesome peach orchards where we live. While peach picking for the first time with my 3 year old daughter she took a bite and proclaimed that “this must be the fruit Eve ate”!

  • TE Schroeder

    Grace, forgive my tardiness in getting back to you. Sometimes I have other things to do.

    I had read post #98. Then at your direction, I re-read it. Sorry. I have no idea how your post answers the question: What benefit is there in being baptized? In reading post #98, I see a lot of referenses to REPENT! Okay. Then how does baptism fit into it? Baptize in order to repent? Baptize to prove you have repented? Baptism merely as an act of obedience to make your repentance stick? Which is it?

    Post #98 doesn’t answer that at all.

  • SKPeterson

    dust @ 141 – Yes, larry was making a fairly clear differentiation between faith and fideism. Fideism is the name for the system in which people have not faith in Christ, but faith in their own faith about Christ. It is a subtle and pernicious works righteousness.

  • sg

    Due to disagreements with Grace, we may see Calvary Chapel set in a worse light than it deserves. I recall a couple of episodes I have heard from Chris Roseborough and Bryan Wolfmueller that were more favorable. One was a lengthy description of some crazy prosperity preacher chick in a tent across the road from a Calvary Chapel. The pastor from the Calvary Chapel came over and listen to the program for like a couple of days and finally asked the preacher woman to let him address the gathering at which point he boldly called the teachings there utterly false and not of God. That man had some stones. Also, Wolfmueller related that some Denver area clergy were gathered for some sort of little get together at the Aurora police dept. after the shooting. He said it was a mish mash of all different clergy epousing every false teaching. Anyway, Wolfmueller noted that the Calvary Chapel pastor was so disgusted, he just got up and left. So, I would gather that despite a long standing tradition of a weak method of translation inherited among the Calvary Chapel leaders, they likely are the sort mit dem kann man reden, our example of Grace here notwithstanding.

  • Dr Luther in the 21st Century

    Let us get one thing straight, slaves do not have free will and we are all slaves. Rm 6:17-18
    The doctrine of Free will is an illusion created by Satan to trick us into believing we can save ourselves and keep us away from the one who can save us.

  • fws

    Kerner! What a nice reminder of what we all need to do in subduing our Old Adam so we can be useful to others. We need to remember that many read our exchanges without commenting.

    So we need to be loving and patient with our dear sister Grace here.

  • Nicholas

    Membership with Calvary Chapel explains Grace’s lack of Scriptural knowledge, all the while she thinks she goes by the “Bible alone.”

    Here is some more info about this denomination: http://www.calvarychapelabuse.com/wordpress/

  • dust

    Grace has a great knowledge of scripture in my opinion, she just does not share our view of Lutheran theology, which is no big surprise given the small size of our denomination compared with the rest of Christendom, eh?

    It’s also a “cheap shot” at Calvary and hitting them while they are down, in my opinion and very similar to those who try and slander the rcc because of the scandals involving their priests gone wild. Not an ad hominum (spelling?) but similar and not fair play, in my opinion.

    And it’s not going to win any points with Grace….thought you all were going to try and be more nicer as per fws and kerner’s comments?

    Why not start now? Am sure she would not mind if you drop the “dear sister Grace” act too :)

    cheers!

  • fws

    “our dear sister Grace”

    Grace IS our sister by means of Holy Baptism
    Grace IS dear, regardless of anything besides the blood of God which was shed for her.

    It would be nice dear sister (or brother) Dust, if you would read the words of others with the same charity you ask of us in Reading the words of Grace. It is wrong to talk about such words as “acting”.
    You cannot read hearts.

  • dust

    well, yes, cannot read hearts, but can read comments and just thought could recall that Grace had asked you several times, and politely too, to not use that term when you refer to her?

    Perhaps she changed her mind…it is a gentlewoman’s prerogative :)

    cheers!

  • Dan Delzell

    This blog is a curious attempt in proclaiming that a Lutheran pastor has rejected Lutheran doctrine….and yet does not give even one example from either of the articles to support his premise. The reason….there are no examples of his claim in either article he references. In fact, the article on baptism deals with a topic which Gene addressed in part in his blog on Sept. 14, 2012, when he stated that “someone can have been baptized as an infant but then reject the faith and become an unbeliever in need of conversion.” Very true….as my article also affirms.

    It was a year ago that I responded on his blog comments concerning his criticism of my article about the Lord’s Supper. I am going to post here the comments which followed on his blog comments between myself and George A. Marquart. I will be happy to walk Gene through the baptism issue once we address the Lord’s Supper issue….if indeed he is interested in understanding and discussing John 6.

    At any rate, I find Gene’s approach to “Lutheran” theology to be very curious, to say the least.
    FROM A YEAR AGO
    111
    Dan Delzell says:
    February 2, 2012 at 7:58 pm
    Hello all,

    I don’t think my first post went through and so I am writing again. I had a good visit with Eric Swensson a short time ago. He encouraged me to send you a few thoughts.

    I appreciate the ministry of Dr. Veith and his role serving as a council member on the Council of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals. We have a member of our church who just began his studies a month ago at Patrick Henry College. I will encourage him to check out this blog and to get involved in this dialogue at some point. There is a lot that Dr. Veith’s fellow council members could also add to this critical discussion about the Sacrament of the Altar. We can learn from one another in the body of Christ as Dr. Veith has seen as part of this alliance.

    There is nothing in Lutheran doctrine that goes against Scripture. If any of the Lutheran doctrines contradicted Scripture, you and I would choose not to identify with anything “Lutheran.”

    Jesus spoke the words of John 6 before He ever said, “This is my body…This is my blood…” All of it is to be interpreted literally. Believers in Christ are literally eating Christ’s flesh and drinking His blood through faith 24/7. It never stops.

    The real presence of Christ is just as real in that eating as in the eating that also happens during the brief moment of communion. The real presence of Christ does not leave the believer….nor is it a different body than the body of our Lord. There is only one body of Christ.

    The Bible does not teach that the body of Christ is enclosed in the bread, and hence, the Lutheran Confessions reject this teaching also. It is a mystery that believers are eating Christ’s flesh and drinking His blood through faith, just like the sacramental union is a mystery.
    The union of Christ’s flesh and blood to faith is something that the Holy Spirit produced through the Gospel. Spiritual conversion is not a human decision, as you know.

    The words “in, with, and under” do not carry the weight of Scripture. The Lord’s words carry that weight….”This is my body…this is my blood…” Those are the words of Scripture. That doesn’t mean we can understand it with our weak human reason.

    If someone tries to explain it according to human reason, he is behaving very much like a Calvinist who uses his human reason to convince himself that Christ died only for those who will believe. That is not a teaching of Scripture…..nor is it a teaching of Scripture to say that our Lord’s words are to be interpreted symbolically….either in John 6 or in the Words of Institution……both are literal…both are real….neither refer to an oral eating or a chewing or a swallowing or a body that is enclosed in the bread…..it is a mystery…..This is my body…..you can use your human reason to add to our Lord’s words, or you can accept what He said at face value.

    The Lutheran Confessions are correct because they faithfully present the teaching of Scripture. The real presence of Christ is not limited to a few brief moments in a believer’s life every couple weeks or so. Just as Luther became obsessed with certain things, so do you and I. We are still in these fallen bodies. We are all as guilty as Luther of being tempted to add to the Lord’s words and assume that our additions carry the weight of Scripture. They do not. Luther knew that his words didn’t either.

    We all must continue to evaluate doctrine according to Scripture. I am thankful that Dr. Veith and each of you are so serious about taking the Word of God literally. My article approached the topic from all of Scripture, including our Lord’s many words in John 6. Once we understand John 6 in a literal way, we will be able to see why it is just as important to accept “This is my body” as literal too. If we jump past John 6, we are trying to add an apple to a branch that has not yet grown on the tree. Eating our Lord’s flesh and drinking His blood was emphasized in John 6 for a reason. It goes on all day for the believer according to the very words of Christ.

    I thank the Lord for faithful servants of Christ such as yourselves. As a fellow sinner and one who is committed to always stick 100% to Scripture, I am grateful for my visit with Eric and for this opportunity to share with you.

    God’s blessings,

    Pastor Dan Delzell

    121
    George A. Marquart says:
    February 3, 2012 at 7:38 pm
    First, I was unable to discover where Rev. Denzell denied the real presence. He is talking about emphasis; the idea that the point of the Lord’s Supper is not how the elements are constituted, but what our Lord’s purpose was in instituting the sacrament.

    The question, “Did Paul scold them for failing to believe that the body and blood of Christ are located within the bread and wine?” shows that he believes that the “official” MCLS interpretation of “the body” in 1 Cor. 11:29 is not accepted by everyone. And rightly so, since there are no records of any controversy over “The Real Presence” until the fifth century.

    I was somewhat amused by the reference to John 6. As most of you know, Martin Luther insisted that “not one syllable” of this text has anything to do with the Lord’s Supper. I know that most Lutherans feel differently today, but it is a source of dispute.

    It also struck me as being expressive of modern theological thought, when the author asked, “I have often asked people: “What about the real presence of Christ in the heart of every believer 24 hours a day?” Scripture clearly teaches the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in every member of the Kingdom of God. Does it also teach the indwelling of Christ? I am reminded of what Sasse wrote in 1960, “If indeed the true doctrine of the Holy Spirit has lost its place (Heimatrecht) in church and congregation, then it cannot be long before the reality of the Holy Spirit is also lost to us, jus as Christ ceases to be present when He is not truly taught, when His Gospel and sacraments are falsified. Here may lie the explanation of the decline of those means in the church which are to be the specific locations of the activity the Holy Spirit.”

    Peace and Joy!
    George A. Marquart

    125
    Dan Delzell says:
    February 4, 2012 at 8:09 am
    Here are some more thoughts building on my previous post above. When discussing the literal nature of Christ’s flesh and blood in John 6, we of course must not slip into a wrong view of justification. “Christ for us” is outside of us. “Christ in us” in not. The former concerns our justification by grace through faith in the finished work of Christ. The latter has moved into the realm of sanctification. Christ does not come to live within us before we are justified. His indwelling presence, as with the Holy Spirit, comes as a result of our justification. We must always stand guard against those who seek to deny forensic justification. As Christians, we do not rely upon a subjective “infusion of grace” as the basis of our righteous standing before God. The subjective reality of “Christ in us” is something we know about because of the objective Word which speaks of His indwelling presence. The Scriptures are clear on this matter. At the moment of conversion, Christ comes to live within the believer. The means of grace deliver the “Man of grace” to us. Once He is on the scene, a person is living in a state of grace. It is a good thing for us that this state of grace does not depend upon our efforts or our holy living to keep it going. The Man of grace delivers the needed grace 24/7 through faith. Even faith is a gift. We cannot take an ounce of credit for our belief in Christ or for eating His flesh and drinking His blood 24/7. How it happens is a mystery. God simply tells us in John 6 that it does happen for every believer. Here is a link to some good information from F. Bente regarding Osiander. It is relevant to this discussion as we bask in the joy of our salvation which Christ won for us on the cross.
    http://bookofconcord.org/historical-16.php

    127
    Dan Delzell says:
    February 4, 2012 at 12:48 pm
    George has raised a critical question for us.
    “Does Scripture teach the indwelling of Christ?”

    Here is what we find in Scripture:

    “But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness.” Romans 8:10

    (Just as “This is my body” is meant to not to be taken symbolically, but literally, so also, “Christ is in you” is a very clear biblical teaching. We dare not replace “is” with “represents” or “might be.”)

    “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.” Galatians 2:20

    (“In” means “In,” just like “is” means “is.”)

    “….so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.” (Ephesians 3:17)

    (Notice Who it is that dwells in the heart of the believer, through faith.)

    “To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Col. 1:27)

    (The literal Christ literally lives inside the believer…..if “in” means “in” and “is” means “is”)

    “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?” (2 Cor. 13:5)

    (Am I in the faith? Is Christ living inside of me? Well….am I relying upon the Law to save me, or Christ alone? Do I trust in my works to save me, or the blood and righteousness of Christ?)

    Natural man seeks to change the meaning of the words “is” and “in” when Scripture challenges our human reason.

    “This is my body” is hard to get wrong unless you rely upon human reason to guide you.
    “Christ is in you” is also hard to get wrong unless you rely upon human reason to guide you.
    The sacramental union is a mystery, but taught in Scripture. The indwelling of Christ within the believer is a mystery, but taught in Scripture. Will I base my doctrinal beliefs upon human reason, or the Word of God?

    And yes my friends, there are some theological implications for us as a result of this clear teaching of Scripture. It will only strengthen us in our witness for Christ and His kingdom.

    That was a great question George!

    129
    Dan Delzell says:
    February 4, 2012 at 2:57 pm
    Martin Luther gave this helpful answer to George’s question regarding the indwelling of Christ. This real presence of Christ within the believer would be absent apart from faith.

    Lectures on Galatians (1535; WA 40:228-29). Speaking about “true faith,” Luther says, “it takes hold of Christ in such a way that Christ is the object of faith, or rather not the object, but so to speak, the One who is present in the faith itself…. Therefore faith justifies because it takes hold of and possesses this treasure, the present Christ.”

    133
    George A. Marquart says:
    February 4, 2012 at 8:44 pm
    Dan Delzell @64 & 65. When you look at the context, the Romans 8 quote is clearly about the Holy Spirit, Who works faith in Christ in us. In all of the other verses, “Christ in us” is metaphoric, not literal. This is not just my opinion, every commentary I looked at says that. They refer to the faith we have in Christ as “Christ in us.”

    I think part of our problem is that we do not listen carefully to what our Lord says. When He said, Matthew 18:20, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them,” this would make no sense if He were already living in each of them. In Matthew 18:20, He clearly said, “Lo, I am with you always,” not “in you.”

    Don’t think I am splitting hairs here, because even on the night He was betrayed, He was careful to distinguish between the words, “with” and “in” to tell us about the fact that the Holy Spirit will dwell in us – not metaphorically but in the meaning of “real presence”, John 14: 16, “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. 17 This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you.”

    As to the Luther quote, there is obviously no intention to make a case for a “real presence” of Christ in us. It is all metaphoric. The “so to speak” gives you the clue.

    Peace and Joy!
    George A. Marquart

    135
    Dan Delzell says:
    February 5, 2012 at 4:09 pm
    I appreciate those insights and thoughts George. Commentaries aside and Luther’s quote aside, here is what we find in Scripture. Jesus told us He would be in the midst of believers as you noted in Matthew 18:20. That is an additional blessing to the passages I quoted above which show that Christ also dwells within us. They compliment one another, but do not contradict one another.

    Here is an example of what I mean. The Calvinists point to those passages of Scripture which tell us Christ gave His life for His sheep. They do this as a way of supporting their doctrine of limited atonement. They set aside the passages which tell us Christ died for both the world and for His sheep. (such as 1 John 2:2 among others) We find three types of passages in Scripture: (1) Some stated Christ died for the sins of the world; (2) others state Christ died for His sheep; (3) still others state He died for both His sheep and for the sins of the world. But there is not even ONE passage stating He died ONLY for His sheep. We must use all of Scripture and not only certain passages which support our preferred point of view. Calvinists rely upon their human reason to support their erroneous belief that God predestines some people to hell.

    Likewise, there are passages which state Christ dwells “with” us. There are other passages stating Christ dwells “in” us. One does not disprove the other since both are clearly taught in Scripture. Regardless of what particular commentaries may say, it is clear that Scripture uses both “with” and “in” regarding Christ and the believer. Just as in the passages which prove unlimited atonement, we will not find even ONE passage of Scripture stating that Christ dwells ONLY “with” believers and not “in” the believer. As always, Scripture interprets Scripture.

    We see in the Scriptures that “This is my body” is not metaphoric and “Christ is in you” (2 Cor. 13:5) is not metaphoric.

    I am curious what you think about John 6. Do you view “flesh” and “blood” as being metaphoric or literal in that chapter? Is the eating of flesh and drinking of blood by believers in John 6 something that happens “within” the believer, or does the eating and drinking happen somewhere “outside” of the believer’s heart, soul, and body?

    Thank you again George for this excellent exchange of thoughts.

    God’s peace,
    Dan

    138
    George A. Marquart says:
    February 5, 2012 at 5:11 pm
    Dan Denzell @68. Dan, thank your for your most gracious response. Please do not get me wrong, I in no way deny the concrete, real presence of the Body and Blood of our Lord in the Sacrament of the Altar. What I deny is that our Lord dwells in His people in the same concrete manner in which He is present in the Sacrament. It is clear, from His own words (John 14, 15, 16), that this is the role of the Holy Spirit, even as St. Peter proclaimed at Pentecost, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

    With regard to John 6, I know that Luther believed it to be metaphorical. I personally believe that our Lord was, in fact, referring to the Sacrament of the Altar, that is, His real body and blood.

    2 Cor. 13:5 is just as metaphoric as Paul saying a few sentences before, “Christ is speaking in me.”

    Peace and Joy!
    George A. Marquart

    139
    George A. Marquart says:
    February 5, 2012 at 5:13 pm
    Dan, sorry for misspelling your name. I just had a procedure on one eye and my vision is not totally cleear – I mean my concrete vision, not my metaphoric one.

    George

    141
    Dan Delzell says:
    February 5, 2012 at 5:36 pm
    Thanks George.

    Here is some relevant info regarding John 6. The entire paper can be found online.

    A Close Reading of John 6:
    Is it Sacramental and Why Does it Matter?
    Nebraska Lutherans for Confessional Study – June 23, 2011 Rev. Philip Hale – St. Paul Lutheran, Bancroft, NE – halepw@gmail.com

    The latter part of the sixth chapter of John has been a lightening-rod for theologians. The aim of this paper is to elucidate some of the reasons there are varied and conflicting interpretations of this section of Scripture. After the theological background is laid, the sixth chapter of John will be explained carefully in context. Only a close, sequential reading of Scripture will ultimately validate a particular interpretation. Any interpretation, no matter how creative or desirable, is not of God if it does not agree with the words He has given.
    Historical Interpretations of John 6
    For the interpretation of John 6, Luther has been a dominant force until the nineteenth century. A Lutheran should hear and consider his words, as the “foremost teacher,” though not accept them without comparison to God’s Word.1 He is still just a teacher, and not an authority, no matter how insightful his work.
    Luther did not mince words when describing John 6 and whether it talked about the Lord’s Supper: “In the first place the sixth chapter of John must be entirely excluded from this discussion [of the Supper], since it does not refer to the sacrament in a single syllable. Not
    1FC SD VII, 41; Kolb-Wengert, 600.
    only because the sacrament was not yet instituted, but even more because this passage itself and the sentences following plainly show, as I have already stated, that Christ is speaking of faith in the incarnate Word.”2 He did not waver on his position. In His thorough “Great Confession on the Lord’s Supper,” he refused to examine John 6, because “the sixth chapter of John does not refer at all to the Supper.”3 This chapter of John came up frequently in discussions about the Lord’s Supper. Most of the theologians who denied that Christ’s body was orally received went first to John 6:63a,4 rather than to the words of institution.5 But Luther’s position, was not just a polemical tactic.6 We have 21 continuous sermons on John 6:26-71, which cover 192 pages in the American Edition of his works.7 Here he instructs God’s flock on the benefits of faith.
    Virtually all Lutherans until the nineteenth century followed Luther’s position on John 6.8 The exceptions are not known as orthodox Lutherans.9 In Luther’s time, the Roman
    2The Babylonian Captivity of the Church (1520), LW 36:19. 3Confession Concerning Christ’s Supper (1528), LW 37:360. 4“It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing.” All passages NKJV unless otherwise noted. 5Hermann Sasse, This is My Body: Luther’s Contention for the Real Presence in the Sacrament of the
    Altar, Revised Ed. (Adelaide, Australia: Openbook, 1977), 191. 6In over 200 references to John 6:53-63 in the American Edition of his works, “Luther never, however,
    uses John 6 to specifically refer to the Sacrament of the Altar.” Mark P. Braden, unpublished paper, 2003 (given to me by the author), 33.
    7Martin Luther, Sermons on the Gospel of St. John: Chapters 6-8 (1530-31), trans. Martin Bertram, vol. 23 of Luther’s Works (LW) (St. Louis: CPH, 1959), 5-197.
    8John Gerhard (1582-1637) is cited on both sides of this issue. His view on a doctrinal level is clear. In answering whether John 6 sanctions communion in one kind, he says: “John 6 does not refer to the consecrated bread in the holy supper, but rather to the bread of life, which comes down from heaven. Also, it is not characterized as a sacramental, but rather as a spiritual nourishment from the body and blood of Christ.” Yet, in a more nuanced view he could include the words of John 6:53, without explanation, in a chapter entitled “Concerning the Sayings and Types of the Old Testament Which in Advance Foretell This Sacrament.” In poetic style Gerhard compares Christ to the tree of life in Eden and says His flesh is food indeed. Many verses in this chapter are qualified in their application to the Supper. For instance on Isaiah 25:6, he comments: “In all this the prophet is actually speaking of the spiritual meal which God the Lord has prepared in the holy Gospel for grace-hungry souls. But since the holy Supper is a seal which is attached to the Gospel promise, one can rightly apply this text to it.” Here we have a more sophisticated position: homiletically there is more leeway in using the words of Scripture, whereas the church’s doctrine must have a reliable foundation on clear Scripture. A Comprehensive Explanation of Holy Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, 1610, trans. Elmer Hohle, eds. David Berger and James D. Heiser (Malone, TX: Repristination Press, 2000), 214, 341-344; 214.
    9The syncretist George Calixtus, and the pietists John Ardnt (1555-1621) and Johann Albrecht Bengel 2
    church was by no means unified on the issue. There was much tradition both for and against a sacramental interpretation. Augustine’s exegesis on John 6 proved influential for Luther and many in the Roman church. Luther’s opponent Cardinal Cajetan held the same basic position as Luther, just as did Calvin.10 The Council of Trent came to no conclusion on the matter.11 Chemnitz summarizes the catholicity of Luther’s interpretation, which Luther claimed was simply Augustine’s: “For when Christ in this sermon speaks concerning his flesh and blood, all interpreters, ancients and those more recent, as many Lutherans and Calvinists, and also the papists, understand by these words the very person of Christ, with all his benefits and merits.”12
    Besides a few isolated theologians, this teaching is consistent among Lutherans until the modern era. In the nineteenth century, Wilhelm Loehe advocated a more sacramental interpretation.13 Both Warner Elert and Herman Sasse followed suit.14 Why do many modern Lutherans no longer follow Luther in this matter?

    143
    Dan Delzell says:
    February 5, 2012 at 7:28 pm
    George,

    Even though we know that Luther’s opinion about John 6 does not have the same authority as the words of our Lord, I cannot seem to locate where Luther stated a belief that “flesh” is metaphoric and “blood” is metaphoric in John 6.

    If indeed our Lord intended His words about His flesh and blood here to be understood as metaphoric, what do you think he intended these words to represent? What does “flesh” represent? What does “blood” represent?

    Since we are convinced that Christ did not intend “body” to be understood as metaphoric in the Words of Institution, what might convince a person that “flesh” and “blood” in John 6 are not meant to be interpreted just as literally? Does our human reason suggest this to us, or does Scripture teach us to interpret one literally and the other as merely representing something else? If so, we should have some idea of what it represents. Do we get to pick and choose when to interpret our Lord’s words about His body and blood literally and when to interpret them as metaphoric?

    Thanks for your insights George and for the opportunity to share these thoughts.

    God’s peace,
    Dan

    145
    Dan Delzell says:
    February 5, 2012 at 8:33 pm
    I just came across this beautiful statement of faith on the website for “The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland.” Notice that these Christians in the Lutheran church believe that “Jesus Himself comes to dwell in our hearts.”

    Jesus Christ
    Jesus was a historic person. He called twelve men to be His disciples, who followed Him. He paid attention to those who were held in contempt by others. He spoke for the oppressed. He healed the sick, cast out demons, and even raised the dead.

    His signs and wonders were connected to proclaiming the Gospel of the coming of God’s Kingdom. His deeds attracted much attention. Contemporary historians also mentioned Him.

    After Jesus’ resurrection, the disciples realized that His death on the cross was the atoning sacrifice once and for all. The salvation promised to the people of Israel was also for all nations. This realization became the starting point of the Christian faith.

    The salvation is a gift of God
    We can receive the salvation that Jesus prepared by believing that He suffered the punishment for our sins. The faith by which the salvation is obtained is a gift of God. When we are convinced of God’s grace and love, Jesus Himself comes to dwell in our hearts. Martin Luther taught that Christ is present in faith itself. So faith provides us with the salvation God has prepared.

    Jesus Christ is the core of the Christian faith. He is God’s special revelation. Jesus lived the life of an ordinary man, yet without sin. The Gospels tell us that he ate and drank, rejoiced and wept. He felt pain and agonies of life like each one of us.

    But He was not only an ordinary man. Jesus was God’s envoy, God’s Son. Jesus was God’s incarnation, becoming flesh (John 1:14). God showed His love towards people by living a man’s life. Christ was both man and God. God’s becoming a human being is a secret of faith.

    Christ is hope in the world
    Jesus’ disciples regarded Him as the Messiah, the Savior of the people of Israel. After Jesus’death and resurrection they understood that the Messiah wanted to free all nations from sin and guilt. Christ is a sign of hope in the world. God raised Him from the dead and showed that death is not the end of everything.

    After the resurrection, Jesus returned to His Heavenly Father. Now He has all power in heaven and on earth. On the Last Day, Christ will gather all nations before Him to be judged. Then those who believe in Him go to heaven and those who have abandoned Him will be separated eternally from God.

    147
    George A. Marquart says:
    February 6, 2012 at 1:31 pm
    Dan, re. “I cannot seem to locate where Luther stated a belief that “flesh” is metaphoric and “blood” is metaphoric in John 6”, please go to posting #71, yes, your own, the one just before you asked this question, and about 23 or so lines down you will come to this Luther quote, “In the first place the sixth chapter of John must be entirely excluded from this discussion [of the Supper], since it does not refer to the sacrament in a single syllable. Not
    1FC SD VII, 41; Kolb-Wengert, 600.
    only because the sacrament was not yet instituted, but even more because this passage itself and the sentences following plainly show, as I have already stated, that Christ is speaking of faith in the incarnate Word.” When “flesh” is used to mean “faith”, this, as I understand it, is a metaphor. met•a•phor – noun. A figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object or action to which it is not literally applicable. A thing regarded as representative or symbolic of something else, esp. something abstract. OK?

    Peace and Joy!
    George A. Marquart

    148
    George A. Marquart says:
    February 6, 2012 at 1:31 pm
    Dan, re. “I cannot seem to locate where Luther stated a belief that “flesh” is metaphoric and “blood” is metaphoric in John 6”, please go to posting #71, yes, your own, the one just before you asked this question, and about 23 or so lines down you will come to this Luther quote, “In the first place the sixth chapter of John must be entirely excluded from this discussion [of the Supper], since it does not refer to the sacrament in a single syllable. Not
    1FC SD VII, 41; Kolb-Wengert, 600.
    only because the sacrament was not yet instituted, but even more because this passage itself and the sentences following plainly show, as I have already stated, that Christ is speaking of faith in the incarnate Word.” When “flesh” is used to mean “faith”, this, as I understand it, is a metaphor. met•a•phor – noun. A figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object or action to which it is not literally applicable. A thing regarded as representative or symbolic of something else, esp. something abstract. OK?

    Peace and Joy!
    George A. Marquart

    149
    Dan Delzell says:
    February 6, 2012 at 4:27 pm
    Thank you George. Your insights are very helpful. I sure appreciate it.

    Blessings,
    Dan

  • fws

    dust @ 154

    How is NOT calling Grace dear and sister NOT the same as not recognizing her as a fellow christian?

  • Grace

    Dust @ 154 “well, yes, cannot read hearts, but can read comments and just thought could recall that Grace had asked you several times, and politely too, to not use that term when you refer to her?
    Perhaps she changed her mind…it is a gentlewoman’s prerogative”

    Dust, you’re right I have not changed my mind. Thank you for remembering :)

  • fws

    grace @ 157

    so you do not want to be acknowledged as a fellow believer in Christ by other christianx you are saying.
    That is what “dear sister” exactly means when it is referring to you Grace when you are addressed by anyone who professes Christ.

  • Grace

    fws 2 158

    You believe homosexuality is not a sin – you’ve argued it many times on this blog – sexual immorality, preached and supported is against what the Bible teaches. I am trying to be thoughtful, but at the same time, I doubt the reasons for my request have flown over your head.

    I

  • Dan Delzell

    I just e-mailed this to Dr. Veith. We will get on this….and hopefully get back to all of you with the results of our dialogue. There is much ground to cover on both topics….but it is more than worth the time for the sake of Christ’s church.

    Greetings Dr. Veith,

    I was contacted by a pastor in the LCMC from New York (Garry Seefeldt) concerning your recent blog about my article which addressed infant baptism. I guess Garry has some Missouri Synod professors he works with who brought the concern to him after seeing your blog. I am sending you, my brother in the Lord, what I posted on the comments section of your blog earlier this evening. I am copying this e-mail to Rev. Seefeldt since he and I had such a wonderful discussion about it on the phone yesterday for over an hour and a half. He and I stand united in our belief in Christ, His inerrant Word, and the Lutheran Confessions which are a true explanation of biblical doctrine.

    I would be very happy to have a discussion with you about both of the articles you have criticized, and I would be thrilled to discuss the doctrines of baptism and the Lord’s Supper with you.

    May the Lord bless you in your ministry.

    In Christ,

    Rev. Dan Delzell
    Wellspring Lutheran Church
    Papillion, Nebraska

  • fws

    Pastor Delzell,
    May the Lord bless your discussions with Dr Veith!

    The main test question used to see if someone believes in the Real Presence in the Lutheran sense of that term is to ask this question:
    “What is it that unbelievers receive with their hand and mouth in the Sacrament of the Altar. Calvinists believe that only believers receive the body and blood of Christ, since it is faith that makes it so.

    Lutherans believe that also unbelievers receive the body and blood of Christ. This might explain why Luther rejected a sacramental understanding of John 6, even though he also sees it as an allusion to the Blessed Sacrament. It is helpful to note that the Gospels were written after Pauls Epistles. So it could be expected that the hearers of the Gospels would be hearing them through the lens of those Epistles.

  • George A. Marquart

    Dan and others: Dan, I appreciate seeing our exchange of about a year ago, which dealt with the Real Presence. I believed then, and I do believe now that your understanding of this question is well within orthodoxy. But now we are looking at an article on Baptism where you clearly state that you do not believe in infant Baptism.

    At #27 of this post, I mentioned that the section on Infant Baptism in Luther’s Large Catechism explains what Scripture, our Confession, and all orthodox Christians teach and believe on the subject. I was sorry to see that in the more than 100 postings that followed, none of those who opposed Infant Baptism made any effort to counter the arguments presented there.

    The focal point of Luther’s argument has to be that if salvation is by grace through faith, then infants are saved by grace through faith, and then infants must be capable of having faith. Inasmuch as faith, whether in an adult or an infant, is a gift from God, who is to say that God may not give this gift to infants?

    The argument that we cannot see the faith in many who have been baptized as infants after they grow up proves nothing. Can we always see the faith in those who have been baptized as adults? If we cannot see what God tells us in His Word is true, then there is something wrong with our vision, not the Word of God.

    In the same #27 I wrote that 90% of all Germans who committed atrocities during the time of the Nazi regime were baptized – most likely as infants. Even as the early Church believed, by their refusal to baptize infants who were not from Christian homes, so we should realize that the faith of any person needs nurturing, and for that purpose God has provided believing parents, family members, pastors, teachers, friends, and His Word and the Eucharist. When these are not present, as they largely were not in Germany during the 19th and 20th centuries, you will find people acting in total disregard of God’s Law. The same thing, only going further back, can be said about Russia. But this is not proof that Baptism is ineffective; it is proof that we have not met our obligations in caring for one another as God’s people.

    And finally, I am convinced that God does not let one of His baptized children go easily into eternal damnation. The good Shepherd continually searches for His lost sheep and finds them. He does so in His own time, sometimes at the last moments of a person’s life. I have seen it happen. Salvation is from God – only He knows whose name is written in the book of life. It is not ours to judge.

    Peace and Joy!
    George A. Marquart

  • Abby

    fws @161
    From the article by Pastor Delzell on Holy Communion:
    “Amidst the many chains which fell off Martin Luther when he placed his faith in Christ alone, he couldn’t seem to shake loose of his Catholic obsession with the communion elements. You won’t find this obsession in the teaching of our Lord or His apostles.

    Even though the Lutheran church does not teach that believers chew Christ’s flesh or swallow His blood at the Lord’s Supper, there nevertheless tends to be an enormous emphasis upon “the real presence” of Christ in the bread and wine.

    Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/the-lords-supper-helps-christians-keep-it-real-68318/#m7ZCdVHPu2wybK57.99

    Didn’t you address the issue stated in the second paragraph somewhere else recently? I couldn’t find your comment, but according to what you stated we Lutherans do believe actually believe that Christ’s body and blood is what we are taking. Usually your comments are quotes from the BOC.

  • Abby

    These quotes seem to me to be denying (in a fuzzy way) the Real Presence: ”

    Before Jesus ever instituted the Lord’s Supper, He taught what it means to “eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood.” (John 6:53) The words of our Lord in the sixth chapter of the Gospel of John clearly lay out the biblical teaching on this matter. Jesus said, “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him.” (John 6:54-56) This eating and drinking of Christ’s flesh and blood is a spiritual eating and drinking.
    Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/the-lords-supper-helps-christians-keep-it-real-68318/#MhqzMC6hgwuSEVwT.99

    “A preoccupation with “Christ’s body and blood” being located in the bread and wine of the Lord’s Supper misses the point of the meal. It is a misguided fixation held by many today.
    Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/the-lords-supper-helps-christians-keep-it-real-68318/#MhqzMC6hgwuSEVwT.99

    “Did Paul scold them for failing to believe that the body and blood of Christ are located within the bread and wine? Not at all. That did not become a major source of contention for another 1500 years. Martin Luther and Ulrich Zwingli got into it over whether the bread and wine are merely symbolic, or actually contain Christ’s body and blood. Interestingly, both men ended up signing the Marburg Articles of 1529 which stated their agreement on 14 out of 15 basic Christian doctrines. The only exception was the doctrine describing the communion elements.
    Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/the-lords-supper-helps-christians-keep-it-real-68318/#MhqzMC6hgwuSEVwT.99

    “Was their sin the failure to believe something technical about Christ’s body being located in the bread and His blood being located in the wine? No.
    Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/the-lords-supper-helps-christians-keep-it-real-68318/#MhqzMC6hgwuSEVwT.99

    “What do you call the fact that Christians are spiritually eating Christ’s flesh and spiritually drinking His blood 24 hours a day through faith?
    Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/the-lords-supper-helps-christians-keep-it-real-68318/#MhqzMC6hgwuSEVwT.99

    “We see in Scripture why it is so critical to keep it real at the Lord’s Supper.
    Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/the-lords-supper-helps-christians-keep-it-real-68318/#MhqzMC6hgwuSEVwT.99

    It seems to me that he is alluding that the body/flesh and blood and not really necessarily “real.” The realness he seems to be talking about is only a “spiritual realness.”

  • Abby

    These quotes from the “Lord’s Supper” article by Pastor Delzell seem to me to be denying (in a fuzzy way) the Real Presence: ”

    “Before Jesus ever instituted the Lord’s Supper, He taught what it means to “eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood.” (John 6:53) The words of our Lord in the sixth chapter of the Gospel of John clearly lay out the biblical teaching on this matter. Jesus said, “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him.” (John 6:54-56) This eating and drinking of Christ’s flesh and blood is a spiritual eating and drinking.”

    “A preoccupation with “Christ’s body and blood” being located in the bread and wine of the Lord’s Supper misses the point of the meal. It is a misguided fixation held by many today.”

    “Did Paul scold them for failing to believe that the body and blood of Christ are located within the bread and wine? Not at all. That did not become a major source of contention for another 1500 years. Martin Luther and Ulrich Zwingli got into it over whether the bread and wine are merely symbolic, or actually contain Christ’s body and blood. Interestingly, both men ended up signing the Marburg Articles of 1529 which stated their agreement on 14 out of 15 basic Christian doctrines. The only exception was the doctrine describing the communion elements.”

    “Was their sin the failure to believe something technical about Christ’s body being located in the bread and His blood being located in the wine? No.”

    “What do you call the fact that Christians are spiritually eating Christ’s flesh and spiritually drinking His blood 24 hours a day through faith?”

    “We see in Scripture why it is so critical to keep it real at the Lord’s Supper.”

    It seems to me that he is alluding that the body/flesh and blood and not really necessarily “real.” The realness he seems to be talking about is only a “spiritual realness.”

  • Abby

    “Even though the Lutheran church does not teach that believers chew Christ’s flesh or swallow His blood at the Lord’s Supper, there nevertheless tends to be an enormous emphasis upon “the real presence” of Christ in the bread and wine.”

    Isn’t this casting doubt?

  • SKPeterson

    Abby @ 165 – The Lutheran view of the Real Presence is not that of Rome, but it is more akin to the view held by the Eastern Orthodox. It is a mystery. We believe it because Jesus says it is his body and his blood and we leave it at that. We don’t try to figure out how or when there is some sort of transformation, i.e., we don’t hold to the human intellectualizing of transubstantiation and simply let God be God.

  • Helen K.

    following this conversation….apparently in order to receive email notifications a comment must be made. Thanks for understanding.

  • Abby

    @155 “At the moment of conversion, Christ comes to live within the believer. The means of grace deliver the “Man of grace” to us. Once He is on the scene, a person is living in a state of grace. ”

    “At the moment of conversion. . .” — would this not be baptism?

    Please delete my comment in moderation, it is a duplicate. Thank you.

  • fws

    Yes Abby.

    the Lutheran diagnostic question is this: “what is it that unbelievers receive with their hand and mouth?”
    Lutherans would say that they receive the body and blood of Christ!

    the real presence then is the object of faith. It is the thing upon which faith depends. The reality of the real presence does not depend, not in any way, upon our faith. “Given and shed for YOU!” is the Promise made by God who cannot lie. We are right to confess our utter and abject lack of faith and repentence and confess that we are liars in our very nature and essence (formula of concord article I).

    And then we simply hold God to his Promise, because we know that that same Promise was applied to us, by name, in our Baptism, and, if that Baptism was done to us as infants, we know, with certaintly, that the Promise was given to us before we could do anything at all to receive it. Ditto for what we receive on the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar.

    what you quote from the pastor saddens me. It suggests he is a Calvinist on the nature of Christ, his Christology, and so also the real presence. I hope that he merely mispoken, or, if not, repents.

  • fws

    Skp,

    I disagree. We Lutherans are closer to Rome than the Orthodox on the teachings of the Blessed Sacrament. This is especially true as to the underlying Christological issues that are so intimately intertwined with all that. Not to mention soteriological considerations. Transubstantiational theory is really a very minor and disconnected aide point. And many roman Catholics now explain even transubstantiation in a way that Confessional Lutherans would not have much of a problem with. The errors and mysticism of the eastern is , in contrast, of profound concern.

  • SKPeterson

    Frank @ 169 hits upon a key item. For us Lutherans the crucial emphasis is on what I always refer to as directionality. It is always God to man, especially in the Sacraments. This makes them objective; they are done to us and for us as Frank notes. So, we do not recapitulate the sacrifice as the Romans do, we do not concern ourselves with an ethereal God is everywhere spiritual presence a la the Calvinists, or simply do it as a crass remembrance as the Baptists do, but we simply trust in the words of Jesus that they are true. Our faith is in the promised Word which is united in the bread and the wine and the water such that these common elements become the means of grace and the forgiveness of sins.

  • fws

    George m!

    +1 on your comments on Holy Baptism.

    Abby has produced quotes from this Same pastor that seem problematic. He seems to hold to a spiritual eating that would have the real presence depend upon faith. His wording is such that it would appear that his belief is that an unbeliever would not receive the body and blood in the Blessed. Sacramwnt. At best, his wording is very unfortunate.

  • fws

    The apology says that 3 things must always occur in justification:
    God places the Promise in some thing.
    Faith lays hold of the Promise in the thing where it is placed.
    Faith receives the Promised Mercy right there.

    Note that this faith is not a “historical faith”. That is, it is not an intellectual assent that the Promise is true, or mastery of the doctrinal details intellectually. Satan has that faith!
    The Promise is what both creates faith and is the Object of that faith.
    Faith is a “heart-knowing” (apology III) that natural man with his God Implanted natural Law is powerless to know and is, even as an infant, utterly opposed to, and the vicious enemy of.

    infants are not blocks of wood or atone that God acts upon. They are born enemies of God in their mind, will, emotions, soul, nature, and very essence (formula of concord, art I & II). So they urgently needed need that water in which the Promise is placed.

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

    Yes, Abby has hit on the problem with Dan’s statements concerning the supper. Martin Chemnitz does a great job distinguishing this spiritual eating of Christ’s Body and Blood by faith, with the sacramental eating of Christ’s Body and Blood blood in the supper. Furthermore, Lutherans just don’t have a complicated teaching on this. Our teaching is, is means is. It is actually quite simple. Our Lord said it, we believe it.

  • Abby

    More quotes from the “Lord’s Supper” article by Pastor Delzell. . .

    “I am very familiar with Martin Luther’s complex teaching regarding the Lord’s Supper. I have seen plenty of people over the years struggle to grasp his puzzling perspective that Christ’s literal body and blood are located “in, with and under” the bread and wine. Luther’s highly nuanced description of communion 500 years ago was a curious twist on the Roman Catholic position.

    This controversial dissection of the elements seems to distort the true meaning of the meal our Lord instituted. It is an unfortunate distraction which takes attention away from the cross where Christ died for sinners. The real purpose of communion as stated in Scripture is to “proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.” (1 Cor. 11:26) Amidst the many chains which fell off Martin Luther when he placed his faith in Christ alone, he couldn’t seem to shake loose of his Catholic obsession with the communion elements. You won’t find this obsession in the teaching of our Lord or His apostles.

    St. Paul, Martin Luther, John Calvin and other reformers over the centuries have promoted doctrines and practices which place Scripture as the highest authority. These men rejected church traditions which were not supported by Scripture. Can we afford to evaluate established church traditions with any less commitment to do whatever it takes to be faithful to Scripture?

    The opinions of the Pope, Martin Luther, and Ulrich Zwingli regarding the communion elements fall far below the authority of Scripture. The Bible says virtually nothing regarding the exact technical nature of the bread and the wine in communion. That would seem to be our best approach as well. Let the elements remain somewhat of a mystery, just the way God designed it. Jesus simply told us, “Do this in remembrance of me.” (Luke 22:19) He never said, “Get overly analytical about the bread and wine.”

    He uses parts of this section of Scripture in the article, but not the whole context:
    http://biblia.com/bible/esv/1%20Corinthians%2011.23-29

    fws@169 I read the whole article again and I do not read/hear a humble misspeaking, but rather a very intentional outline of stripping the body/blood from the bread and wine. I am wondering if he is actually trying to “mix” us together with Calvinists.

  • Abby

    Nowhere in the article does he say that with Communion Christ actually gives forgiveness of sins. The article never includes “given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins” in conjunction with Communion.

    This institution of the Supper seems to be very plain and simple–body/bread, cup/blood, forgiveness of sins, like Bror said.

    Institution of the Lord’s Supper : Matthew 26:26-29
    26 Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” 27 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, 28 for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29 I tell you I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”

  • SKPeterson

    Frank @ 170 – Regarding the Eucharist, our differences with Rome are not great, ’tis true. From what I have read, in both Lutheran and Orthodox commentaries, our ideas are quite similar as well. The most glaring example of difference with Rome is the notion of sacrificial recapitulation. I do not know where Orthodoxy stands in that regard. However, I was confining my comments to the practice of refraining from explaining what is happening in the Eucharist vis-a-vis the Real Presence. Now, as to the soteriological aspects of the Eucharist, you may very well be right. There are still substantial differences and talking past each other between our two communions. So, in many respects (I would argue in every respect, though we may be a bit weak in ecclesiology), we do still stand solidly within the Western Catholic tradition.

  • Abby

    fws@172 “He seems to hold to a spiritual eating that would have the real presence depend upon faith. His wording is such that it would appear that his belief is that an unbeliever would not receive the body and blood in the Blessed. Sacramwnt.”

    He does say that:
    “Religious people who have not been born again through repentance and faith in Christ are not spiritually eating His flesh and drinking His blood. In those instances, their participation in the Lord’s Supper provides no spiritual benefits. A preoccupation with “Christ’s body and blood” being located in the bread and wine of the Lord’s Supper misses the point of the meal. It is a misguided fixation held by many today.”

  • SKPeterson

    Abby @ 178 – That belief is directly contrary to Paul in 1 Corinthians 11:29: “because a person who eats and drinks without recognizing the body is eating and drinking his own condemnation.”

  • fws

    Abby:

    I agree with you and Dr Veith.
    This man appears to be a calvinist in the most classic sense.
    Then there is this: The pastor wishes to identify himself as a Confessional Lutheran.
    Dr Veith is na UberConfessional Lutheran.
    Let´s pray that Dr Veith will walk this Pastor through that section of the Formula of Concord that delas with the Real Presence, and then also…

    that part of the Formula that deals with the Two Natures of Christ.

    Always, Always: a John 6 spiritualization of the Blessed Sacrament directly betrays a Christology that denies the communication of Attributes and other doctrinal articles that have an urgent pertenence to the assurance that what Christ did is truly “for YOU!”

    George Marquart discussed the Real Presence with this pastor earlier, but I don´t think that that conversation managed to get to the heart of the matter. “what is it that unbelievers receive with their hand and mouth in the Blessed Sacrament.

    For sinners like me, weak in Faith, repentence and anything worthy, this question is really, really important.
    I go to the Blessed Sacrament holding God to his Promise he offers me therein, in view of my Baptism.
    If any of this depended upon my Faith as to quality or quantity, I would really need to despair!

  • tODD

    SK (@179), why do you rely so much on the traditions of men?

  • fws

    abby @ 178

    This quote , without any doubt at all, identifies this pastor as a Calvinist as regards the Real Presence in the Sacrament of the Altar.
    The Pastor claims to adhere to that Lutheran Confessions. He has stated that he wishes to be truly Lutheran.
    That is a very , very hopeful and promising !
    The pastor will be dialoging with Dr Veith. Awesome. Dr Veith will , most certainly , not only take him to the Formula of Concord, but also carefully go through the related Scripture passages, and show him how this really , really , really all has to do, centrally so, with that heart trust in the “for YOU!” that is the very essence of the Holy Gospel.

    So let´s pray for this pastor who so desires to be truly Lutheran!

  • SKPeterson

    Todd @ 181 -Dadnabbit! You found me out. I guess I really will have to just jettison the past.

    By the way, this is an interesting piece from Mark Noll, circa 1992.

    http://www.leaderu.com/ftissues/ft9202/articles/noll.html

    There is a section in there that goes directly to this point, and also to why certain others who I won’t necessarily name, think so… oddly.

  • SKPeterson

    Frank @ 180 – You hit on another thing, which I think larry addressed somewhere up above as well. The Calvinist view begins to deny the incarnational aspects of Jesus, and begins pushing straight for Eutychianism. Take those works of man, Stadler! Ha!

  • Grace

    Abby @ 175

    St. Paul, Martin Luther, John Calvin and other reformers over the centuries have promoted doctrines and practices which place Scripture as the highest authority. These men rejected church traditions which were not supported by Scripture. Can we afford to evaluate established church traditions with any less commitment to do whatever it takes to be faithful to Scripture?
    The opinions of the Pope, Martin Luther, and Ulrich Zwingli regarding the communion elements fall far below the authority of Scripture. The Bible says virtually nothing regarding the exact technical nature of the bread and the wine in communion. That would seem to be our best approach as well. Let the elements remain somewhat of a mystery, just the way God designed it. Jesus simply told us, “Do this in remembrance of me.” (Luke 22:19) He never said, “Get overly analytical about the bread and wine.”

    It is false to state that “St. Paul” was a “reformer” – He is not to be confused with men who were not there, but lived 1,500 plus years later. To do so, is to distort Scripture, which never names those who have rewritten, what they want the Bible to say.

    What Paul wrote is Scripture, it is contained within the Word of God – the massive books which Calvin, Luther and others have written are NOT Scripture, they are the opinions of the writers, based in long dissertations within the volumes they have written.

    Paul is very different from all these other men mentioned above:

    Paul was chosen by God, he was thrown down on the Damascus road -

    Paul makes it crystal clear, that he did not receive his education from ANYONE except, but by revelation from Jesus Christ, to say otherwise is to contradict Scripture. No man is mentioned, God didn’t use man in this case, Jesus revealed it, it was His revelation to Paul.

    For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. Galatians 1:12

    It then becomes obvious, that Paul was very different from other men. Christ’s Apostles accepted Paul as such.

    God has different ways to do what he wishes, his ways are not ours, nor are we expected to make excuses and change what the Word says. Clearly Jesus revealed to Paul what he was to know and preach. Paul was a dynamic evangelist.

    The Damascus road was God’s plan, and to instill in Paul the ability instantly, to know the Word of God, Acts 9

  • Abby

    fws@182 The additional sad thing is, not only has he done this with Communion, he also did it with Baptism which is the focus of this post. I wonder why he kind of fell of the wagon like this? As you said, he wants to retain the name of Lutheran, but denigrate the Sacraments. It is a puzzle. Unless it could be a way, he thinks, of making “Lutheranism” more appealing to outsiders who denounce these things already. But what he presents is not Lutheran anymore.

  • SKPeterson

    Grace @ 185 – Regarding Paul, Abby is quoting Pr. Delzell; those are not her words. But, as you say, we take what Paul has to say about the Eucharist to be true. See 1 Corinthians 11: 23-29 for example. In fact the words “the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes” are used in almost every single Eucharist liturgy with only minor variation.

  • Grace

    SKP,

    I’m more than aware of the Scripture you post. I also understood Abby was quoting Delzell.

    My point is, Paul was not one of the “Reformers” it’s absurd.

    I do believe, after all the study I’ve done, etc. that Lutherans for the most part are a second rung to the Roman Catholic Church. For that reason, including ‘traditions, which are very rarely called as such, are very much alike.

    The RCC looks to the Pope, Lutherans look to Luther – - yes, they both comment on the Bible, but it’s their leaders which they march after.

  • Abby

    @168 “Lutherans look to Luther . . .” That’s because he was right.

  • Grace

     ‏

    ☆ Born Again Christians look to the LORD Jesus Christ, because HE is God the Son – The Word of God is inerrant, the books of any and all the so called “reformers” are not.

     ‏

  • Tom Hering

    Ah yes, leave it to Grace (@ 188) to once again question the biblical faithfulness of Lutherans. Let me make this perfectly clear, Grace. As a Lutheran, I affirm that the Scriptures are above all the writings of men. Martin Luther affirmed the same, “my conscience is captive to the Word of God,” as does the Book of Concord, “We pledge ourselves to the prophetic and apostolic writings of the Old and New Testaments as the pure and clear fountain of Israel, which is the only true norm according to which all teachers and teachings are to be judged.” So stop repeating your slander, will you? At the very least, consider how stupidly evil you make yourself look in the eyes of many, many of your fellow Christians.

  • SKPeterson

    Second rung makes it sound as if there is some sort of ladder to God. That would be something Lutherans emphatically reject. As Lutherans we are Western Catholic, no doubt about it. We reject the errors of Rome where Rome has erred. Where there is no deviation from Scripture we stand in accord with Rome and with any other communion of the Body of Christ. That is not following Luther around like he’s the Pope.

    You seem to think that everything Luther or Rome or Constantinople or anyone born before 1900 has to say about God, Jesus or any other aspect of theology is, by definition, wrong. I think that if that is your view, you’re wrong. If you want to argue that you follow only the Apostles and what was written in the Bible, then you do need to seriously explain why your reading and understanding of the Bible is at such variance with others throughout history. If I must weigh one interpretation of what the Scriptures say and mean, why should your view prevail over that of, to recall previous posts, Polycarp, Irenaeus, Ignatius, Barnabas, Ambrose, Augustine, Tertullian or hundreds of others?

  • Abby

    SKP @184 “Eutychianism”: Maybe the good pastor needs to refresh his studies with:

    http://vimeo.com/10841514

  • Grace

    SKP @ 192 “You seem to think that everything Luther or Rome or Constantinople or anyone born before 1900 has to say about God, Jesus or any other aspect of theology is, by definition, wrong.”

    Don’t assume, or make up such such drivel -

  • tODD

    So glad to hear, Grace, that you’ve abandoned your heretical beliefs, and instead come to believe what the Word of God says, instead of listening to men.

    So you now agree that:

    If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven (John 20:23)

    Baptism saves you (1 Peter 3:21)

    We obtain forgiveness of sins through baptism, and this promise is for us and our children (Acts 2:38 ff)

    The bread and wine of the Lord’s Supper truly are Jesus’ body and blood (1 Cor. 11:23 ff)

    Not all who are descended from Israel are Israel (Romans 9:6)

    Glad to have you on board, Grace. Glad to hear that you gave up the heretical teachings of the church where you attend, where men have led you astray by teaching that God’s Word does not mean what it says.

  • Grace

    195 tODD

    Switch and match won’t work tODD – You don’t comprehend what the Bible states, unless you bait and switch Scripture.

    Find a hobby, this one isn’t working for you.

  • tODD

    See, Grace (@196), you don’t really believe what Scripture says! Look up the verses yourself — in most cases, I only did some minor editing to make succinct sentences. Please stop pretending that you only believe what the Bible says. Your beliefs here reflect your membership in Calvary Chapel. They do not, however, accord with Scripture.

    Find a hobby, this one isn’t working for you.

    Said the woman who has written 57 comments in this thread, and whose hobby is to tell Lutherans that they’re wrong, on a blog written and frequented by Lutherans, and who is generally considered an annoyance who tends to ruin threads. Yes, clearly I need to find a new hobby. Of course.

  • Grace

     ‏

    The Roman Catholic churches make clear that infant Baptism removes sin, Lutherans believe the same thing.

    Belief must precede Baptism, infants are unable to believe, they are but babes.

    Jesus never once commanded that parents Baptize their infants. HE did bless them, and laid hands on them and prayed, but never Baptized or stated they should be Baptized

    Jesus Christ never mentioned “Baptism” in the passages of Scripture which speak of “Suffer little children” – This has been distorted for a very long time.

    13 Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them.
    14 But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.
    15 And he laid his hands on them, and departed thence. Matthew 19

    Verse 13 makes clear the children had been brought so that Jesus could put HIS hands on them and pray. That doesn’t mean Baptism, it means touching them and praying. The Scripture is crystal clear. It is man who chooses to change the clear meaning of God’s Word.

    Usage of this passage of Scripture (Matthew 19) is distorted when you try to change the meaning from “laid his hands on them” to baptism.

  • tODD

    See how you run, Grace (@198)!

    Your man-made theology cannot deal with the plain teachings of Scripture, so instead, you point us to different passages of Scripture, as if Scripture could possibly contradict itself. But it does not.

    The Roman Catholic churches make clear that infant Baptism removes sin, Lutherans believe the same thing.

    Indeed, because that’s what Scripture teaches. You know, like, when it says that we should “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.” And that “baptism … now saves you … by the resurrection of Jesus Christ”. Or “don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” Or “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.”

    But you ignore all that Scripture, and instead try to teach us that “infants are unable to believe, they are but babes.” Which is, quite obviously, nothing but a teaching of man. There is no scriptural basis for it.

    And, frankly, if intellectual ability were a prerequisite for faith, then you would be every bit as damned as you would have us believe infants to be. You may thank God, Grace, that intellectual prowess is not something we need to be saved. You may also thank God, Grace, that even faith-killing heresy such as you repeatedly and intentionally spout here is not enough to separate you from the love of Christ. Yes, even wantonly contradicting Scripture as you so often do, and do with obvious glee, is forgiven by Jesus’ death.

  • Grace

    Children can understand sin at a young age. I was seven when I repented of my sins, and received Salvation. Infants are not able to understand. There is not ONE SINGLE passage of Scripture, where we are told to Baptize infants – but alas, the Roman Catholic Churches, and Lutherans do so, and believe that it removes sin from the infant.

  • tODD

    Grace (@200), until you actually start using Scripture to back up your assertions, you do know it’s obvious you’re just spouting the opinions of man, don’t you?

    Infants are not able to understand.

    And, again, it’s clear that you aren’t, either. And yet I will not deny that you have faith. That faith is a work of God, not of your intellect. It was given to you, through God’s great mercy — it was not something you reasoned and earned with your a brain that was sufficiently developed to merit salvation.

    There is not ONE SINGLE passage of Scripture, where we are told to Baptize infants

    Nor is there one single passage where we are told to baptize women. So where’s that leave your logic, Grace? The onus is on you to explain why “all nations” specifically precludes people of certain ages. And if “all nations” doesn’t really mean what it literally says, who else should be prohibited from baptism? People with learning disorders? Those with Alzheimer’s? People who are just stupid?

    You think salvation is merited by intellectual ability. Scripture teaches that it’s a gift from God. Guess which one is a teaching of man. (Hint: It’s the one your salvation kind of depends on, frankly.)

    but alas, the Roman Catholic Churches, and Lutherans do so, and believe that it removes sin from the infant.

    Yeah, probably because of all those Bible verses I just quoted, which you continue to ignore.

    But hey, let’s get back to that thing you were saying about how Lutherans listen to men and not the Bible, and how we should all just listen to the Bible like Grace does.

  • tODD

    Sorry (@201), that was supposed to read: “Guess which one is a teaching of God. (Hint: It’s the one your salvation kind of depends on, frankly.)”

  • mikeb

    Grace:

    Infants can’t believe? Infants can’t speak words or articulate their faith, but they do believe. From the moment we held them both, our children even as infants, trusted their mother an I for every need. They believed that when they cried out we would feed them, change them, or love them. Yes, infants can believe.

    You seem to want to put God’s power in a box, such that it is dependent upon what we allow or accept, so that God is powerless and we are in control. I’m sure you’d agree that the Law of Gravity applies to all equally, regardless of belief or ability to articulate it’s nuance: One does not float into space simply because you can’t explain it. Similarly, God’s power to act is not diminished simply because one can’t explain or articulate it. To think, that we, in our finite condition can understand the infinite majesty of God is foolishness. But, as the Word says, the wisdom of God is the foolishness of man…

    I’ll leave you with a question: How many people did Jesus baptize?

  • fws

    The problem with Grace and others who deny the waters of Life to infants is this:

    They do not believe that infants are by nature, children of wrath. They don’t believe that infants are enemies of God. Instead, they believe that the natural man, flesh born of flesh, can desire to seek God and decide for him by the natural, inborn power of natural law (rom 2:15) that is the Divine Law God has placed in all natural men.

    So they ignore what scripture says about the natural man, which all start out as babies…flesh born of flesh, nor born by their own will or chiding, bound and enslaved to sin… And who must be reborn from above, with a power that is also not of their own will or choosing.

    Grace and such others deny what the bible says about the natural man and his free will, which is really that natural law of Romans 2:15 that is indeed of God. But this free will and natural Law is veiled by the veil of Moses, just as saint Paul says! It is blind to the Law of the Spirit and of Christ. It is blind to spiritual things. And so Holy Baptism foe infants is …foolishness for the free will and reason of Grace.

  • mikeb

    2nd paragraph should have included: God’s powers and natural laws are true independent of our ability to reason them.

  • fws

    Grace:

    flesh gives birth to flesh. Natural man gives birth to natural man. And st Paul says that natural man, with his free will is able to know spiritual things how?

    spirit gives birth to spirit. You , and babies. MUST be born again. How? By water and the Spirit! By Gods promise and word placed in the waters of baptism.

    naaman the leper in II kings was cured by what Grace? Was it the water that cuts him? Was it Elisha? Was it his beat logical thinking? What was it that cured Elisha of his leprosy? Where did God place his Promise Grace?

    Grace: you are reasoning just like naaman in that story!

  • fws

    Grace:

    the story of naaman in II kings.
    what was it that cured Naaman?

    was it…
    a) ANY water he could wash in?
    b) elisha
    c) his reasonable thinking?
    d) his obedience?
    e) the water of the Jordan River?
    f) or?

  • SKPeterson

    Grace, your drivel cup overfloweth.

    Jesus said “Go and baptize all nations”. Later in Acts we have “And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.”

    What part of “all nations” excludes children? What part of “all his” does not include children or infants?

    Moreover, where does Jesus say “Baptize in my name, except for the children. They have to come to a mature understanding of faith before they can do so”?

    Also, we don’t argue necessarily that “suffer the little children to come unto me” is the be all and end all of Baptismal theology. You keep setting up a strawman in your own image, a canard, that obscures the fact that you can’t come up with any other verses to provide support for your position. In fact, if we take all the passages where “baptism” is explicitly mentioned there isn’t any mention of anyone’s age except where we can infer that some were adults. But then we have the “and all his household” which leaves the age question entirely open. Your argument is weak at best, false and damaging to the truth at worst.

    You’re wrong Grace. Your drivel cup does overfloweth. This is most certainly true.

  • Grace

    An infant trusting mommy to feed them and pick them up, is not the same as Salvation, that my friend is not in Scripture, it’s an excuse to preach infant Baptism. That’s one of the defects of using your reasoning, rather than admitting that infant Baptism cannot be found in Scripture.

     ‏

    The reason Lutherans have problems with infant Baptism, and so do Calvinists – they don’t want to contradict their leaders, but rather contradict the Word of God.

    REPENT first, then Baptism –

    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 you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
    Acts 2:38

    Adults can repent, Peter stated clearly that one REPENT. Jesus and Peter would not have stated it, if “adults” were unable to repent.

  • Grace

    The last paragraph was a mistake – sorry.

  • Tom Hering

    “Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.” (Mark 10:15)

    “Child” = Greek paidion = young child, an infant. Any way you look at it, Jesus is saying you must receive the kingdom of God the way an infant receives it – which isn’t possible unless an infant can, indeed, receive it.

  • Grace

    Tom,

    The passage you have given does not apply to Infant Baptism.

  • tODD

    Tom (@212), see? You’re just depending on the traditions of men! If only you could depend on Scripture alone, like Grace does!

  • fws

    Grace:

    God also demands of us this: be perfect just like I am perfect.
    and he also demands that we love him with All our heart, soul and mind.

    Does that imply that we are able to do those things?
    Yet you say that God’s demanding repentence and faith must, logically. Mean we can do those things.
    Really?

  • fws

    Mikeb and Tom:

    Grace is right. Babies cannot believe. Babies are flesh born of flesh. Natural man.

  • Grace

    This is a beautiful passage of Scripture.

    13 And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them.

    14 But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.

    15
    Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.

    16 And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them. Mark 10

    Jesus Christ touched them, and blessed them – that is not Baptism.

  • Tom Hering

    The passage you have given does not apply to Infant Baptism. (Grace @ 213)

    Ah, but it applies to receiving the kingdom of God, and Jesus says we must receive it as a paidion does, so Jesus plainly says infants are able to receive the kingdom of God. Now the question is simply whether or not the kingdom can be given in baptism. And the answer is, “Baptism now saves you” (1st Peter 3:21).

  • Tom Hering

    And why are infants able to receive the kingdom? Because God makes them able. Same with adults.

  • Grace

    We can depend on Scripture – it’s inerrant –

    Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
    2 Timothy 2:15

    The Bible doesn’t tell us to “study” the leaders of your denomination – NO, we are study HIS Word, put our “trust” in HIM!

    It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.
    Psalm 118:8

  • tODD

    The teachings of (wo)man (@201):

    Infants are not able to understand.

    The teachings of God:

    But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”

    So, contrary to Grace’s heretical teaching, Jesus tells us that not only can a little child have faith, but they are, in fact, the exemplars — not adults like Grace, who pollute their teachings with justifications not found in Scripture.

    And, as Tom noted, the Greek word that Jesus uses there is παιδίον — the same word using in Luke 1:59 to describe an eight-day-old infant!

    Grace will teach you that God cannot give faith to a child, because God is not able. Grace will tell you that God is not able because man is not able to understand at such a young age.

    Again, Grace, if ignorance were a hindrance to salvation, you too would be eternally condemned.

    Also, if your understanding of Greek word order importance were correct (it’s not, but thank God your ignorance is not enough to separate you from your Savior), then Matthew 28:19 would require us to baptize first, and only afterwards teach. But, again, yours is an argument made from ignorance of Greek.

    Anyone with faith can repent. Infants can have faith, because God promises it to them through baptism. Which he said in Scripture.

  • Larry

    Yes indeed, His word like “this is My body given for you…this cup is the new testament in My blood shed for the forgiveness of sin” (quote Jesus Christ, the Lord of the church). But I digress.

    I think too many in modern American society get into the emotions of this, it’s not about reading a heart but a confession of the lips. And by the later we mean not even a “perfectly worded confession” so as to get the “test question correct”. Doctrine, in general and specifically Christian doctrine, is about a principle that may be expressed many ways. I.e. true doctrine may be said differing ways such that the principle is the same. Similarly false doctrine may use the exact same terms of true doctrine and merely invert it to create a completely opposing religion to Christ, all along using the name Christ, grace, faith, even grace alone, faith alone, etc…as the confessions of the various protestant sects on one hand show and Rome on the other hand.

    So the issue is not “reading a heart” or even “are they saying it exactly the way I want”, but what ARE they meaning to say? This is why the issue being for example “infant baptism” is REALLY not the issue. But what is the very grace of God and Who has God revealed Himself to be. Thus, the issue lay in the fact that we preach, teach and confess that God ACTUALLY, TRULY and REALLY forgives one in (water) baptism, gives the holy Spirit in (water) baptism, regenerates in (water) baptism, “works forgiveness of sins”, delivers from death, the devil and gives eternal salvation in, yes, (water) baptism. THAT is the issue rejected by the Grace and those like her. There is no confusion over this, its not a lacking of knowledge or ignorance but a rejection of PRECISELY THAT. Infant baptism is merely a side issue. Because if ALL that is true in (water) baptism, then infant’s being baptized takes care of itself.

    You will note that in the debates between the Reformed, who baptize infants, and Baptist, who do not, the debate is always surrounding finding if infants can be baptized and proofs for that. Yet, Luther points out a much different way, that baptism DOES all the above and if it DOES all the above, then infant baptism is a given – otherwise one would be completely evil incarnate to know all that to be true and withhold it from them. In fact Luther says as much when he says that if baptism does not do these things, he’s quite blunt about it and this shows the difference in the Reformed on the argument of pro-infant baptism, there would be no point in baptizing them at all.

    Thus, when folks like Grace reject all the above about (water) baptism, she falls under what Luther clearly points out that such who actually despise the sacraments – what they REALLY are and they understand that is what we are saying, not what they define them as ordinances to be like believers baptism which they REALLY are NOT – when the reject that, that is despising them (not trusting them, not an ignorance of), then they can no longer be consider Christian. And they NEED to be told that, not because “we don’t want them”, to the contrary, SO they will see and repent. The desire for such a excommunication if you will is not to “throw them out” and be happy, but that they would see their need and come home. It’s an operation of the Law.

    The biggest problem I see in modern Lutheranism, and probably the reason grace is so “assumed” and often “just yawningly walked away from by the youth and later adults”, is not that we don’t preach 200 proof Gospel, but we don’t really preach 200 proof Law. It’s hard to do that because it will always sound harsh. It’s ‘harsh sounding’ to hand someone like Grace the Law and say, “you despise the grace of God and if you do not repent, you really will perish”. Again, not because God desires this but because you are rejecting Him and in danger, you are hardening your own heart.

    Let me put it personal. We ALL have that special sin/person we’d rather not see in heaven. And that is more dangerous than anything. THAT is the elder brother at the eschaton in danger of eternal damnation (that’s where Jesus leaves the parable, in the tension of what will the older brother do, join the party, or stay in hell). And when we see that sin or person that depends on the grace of God and baptism, it could be the ever picked only sin in American religious circles homosexuality, or all the “negative sin list”, or that hypocrite over there, when we see the grace of God THAT gracious that they “DARE to say, I’m baptized and thus saved”, and we just simply cannot STAND the thought of that. THAT is the very stumbling stone of the Cross to our secret hidden religious works agenda. And that deadly danger puts us in the elder brother position and in deep danger of eternal damnation, refusing to join the (for now) open door party of forgiveness.

    The tension Christ leaves that parable in, at the eschaton, is a tremendous thing, for it is saying, you still have time and can join the party, but if you continue in this way, despising the very grace of God…you are committing the unforgivable sin as you do not YOURSELF want the VERY grace of God. And if you continue to do this you are blaspheming the very Holy Spirit Himself, and WILL be damned of your desire to be damned – but in your sickness will even think it is God, grace, Jesus, Bible that you are seeking. The “fear of God” is the beginning of wisdom is when one realizes this, without His words, I will think I’m thus seeking Him and it will be the devil and hell that I’m running after…yet I won’t know this. The fear of God that is the beginning of wisdom is the fear that runs without knowing how or why, but to the Words’ of God in the Word and the sacraments and says, “here IS the forgiveness of sin”…I dare not step a foot out of His Word. Thus says Luther, “Keep us steadfast in Thy Word”. This was more than a quant little saying.

    Thus, the issue is really, really, really not about infant baptism, but the very grace of God itself (which infant baptism does picture well). What Grace and those like her reject, ultimately and really, IS the very grace of God. It matters not how much they say the words “Christ, Jesus and blood” otherwise. Because they reject that Christ, Jesus and blood that actually actualizes and gives that grace they garnered when it is simply GIVEN in water, bread and wine and verbal absolution and put in place of that hidden and secret works. That is the danger they are in.

    It’s much worse than they realize or don’t like being called “brother/sister” because of a sinner they don’t like, they’ve never actually communed in the body of Christ, with archangels and heavenly hosts as we have, and as we have with said sinners. They so deny the grace of God they withhold themselves from actually even touching Christ Himself quite literally.

    It’s not really about “infant baptism” when all is said and done but about THE ACTUAL grace of God and Christ Himself and the Holy Spirit Whom such reject. Because there is no other Father, Son or Holy Spirit than this One that gives in this way. “He who boasts in the spirit apart from the Word and Sacraments, boasts (in reality) the devil (himself)” (Luther).

  • Grace

    tOOD @ 221 – - “The teachings of (wo)man (@201):

    That is not what I wrote – you scramble and scrape to change what I state. :lol:

  • Tom Hering

    The Bible doesn’t tell us to “study” the leaders of your denomination … (Grace @ 220)

    “And in the church God has appointed … teachers” (1st Corinthians 12:28). “You need someone to
    teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again” (Hebrews 5:12). “After three days they found [Jesus] in the temple courts, sitting among the
    teachers, listening to them” (Luke 2:45).

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

    Grace,
    What do you think is cute about the vile idiocy you spout here?

  • Grace

    Tom, a good pastor or teacher loves his neighbor, if not do you still follow him?

  • Tom Hering

    Bror, I still follow his teachings, if they’re biblically sound. But not his example in loving my own neighbors. :-D

  • tODD

    Grace (@223), please don’t lie. I quoted (@221) you saying that “Infants are not able to understand.” Which you most certainly did say (@201).

    Aren’t you thankful that you are saved despite your inability to understand even a simple conversation, Grace?

  • Abby

    @189 “The RCC looks to the Pope, Lutherans look to Luther – – yes, they both comment on the Bible, but it’s their leaders which they march after.”

    This is who the Calvary Chapel follows:

    “While Chuck Smith was still a member of a denominational church, he claimed that a prophecy came to him in which the Lord said to him that He was changing his name. His new name would mean “Shepherd” because the Lord was going to make him the shepherd of many flocks and the church would not be large enough to hold all of the people who would be flocking to hear the Word of God.[11] In December 1965, Smith became the pastor of a 25-person congregation and in 1968 broke away from the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel in Santa Ana, California. Before Smith became their pastor, twelve of the 25 members attended a prayer meeting about whether or not to close their church: they reported that “the Holy Spirit spoke to them through prophecy” and told them that Smith would become their pastor, that he would want to elevate the platform area, that God would bless the church, that it would go on the radio, that the church would become overcrowded, and that he would become known throughout the world.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calvary_Chapel

  • Grace

    Abby,

    Yes Pastor Chuck made an error, no one has ever claimed that he didn’t.

    Today there are over 1,000 Calvary Chapel Churches in the United States – there are over 300 abroad.

  • Grace

    Many people have come to know Jesus Christ as their Savior through Calvary Chapel. That doesn’t mean it’s a perfect church.

    There are people from every ethnic group who attend Calvary Chapels. There is no ethnic group that stands out among the rest, or dominates the church.

  • Grace

    Abby, those who attend all the Calvary Chapel Churches do not “follow” the leader, which it appears you mean, Pastor Chuck Smith. Christ is the leader, the Bible is the book that is taught from. There is no book of Smith, or anything like it!

  • mikeb

    Grace has been asked many important questions, asked to defend her understanding of scripture yet apparently she wants to talk ethnic demographics…

  • mikeb

    Grace at 232

    So Calvary Chapel bibles don’t contain Hebrews 13:17?

    “Obey your leaders and be submissive for they watch over your souls.”

    Sounds like an exhortation to follow to me…

  • Tom Hering

    There is no book of Smith, or anything like it! (Grace @ 232)

    And there is no “Book of Luther,” or anything like it, in Lutheran churches. If you think there is, or the Book of Concord is such a book, you’re ignorant of Lutheran churches and the role the BoC plays (which is pretty much zip in a lot Lutheran churches).

  • Nicholas

    It’s interesting that Grace cannot address or respond to 1 Peter 3:21. She is a typical American evangelical who is blind to her traditions because she does not acknowledge that she has any.

    Interesting also that Grace has not responded to the epidemic sex abuse and coverup in Calvary Chapel, or the cultic “Moses model” leadership.

    Grace is little more than a troll. A sincere person would have sought to understand others’ arguments and not have kept repeating her own once refuted. In fact, she exhibits near cultic thinking, like you get from Jehovah’s Witnesses.

  • Abby

    @230 “Today there are over 1,000 Calvary Chapel Churches in the United States – there are over 300 abroad.”

    Grace, in the world — there are 73,995,576 Lutherans; 300,000,000 Eastern Orthodox; and 1 billion Roman Catholics. All who believe in the Sacraments of Holy Baptism (for infants) for the forgiveness of sins and the Sacrament of Holy Communion (Real Presence of Christ’s body and blood) for the forgiveness of sins.

    The Eastern Orthodox extends back to apostolic days 2000 years ago. The Roman Catholic church goes back nearly or as far, claiming it’s founder as St. Peter.

    Martin Luther: “Martin Luther was born in Germany. He is well known as the founder of the Lutheran branch of Christianity. He studied theology at the University of Erfurt. As a young man he became a monk but he realized that he obsessed with the actions and lost touch with Christ. So he then decided to become a priest and later taught theology at the University of Wittenberg. He became a Doctor of theology in 1512. . . Some of the most famous works of Luther include his book Table Talk which is a devotional book still used today. His translation of the Bible, Luther German Bible, which was later used for reference to create the well known King James Version.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_scholarship#Martin_Luther_.28c.1483-1546.29

    Martin Luther was picked by God to expose and stand up to abuses from the Roman Catholic church. He needed to do what he did at the very time that he did. He did not set himself up to do any such thing. It was absolutely essential for him to correct Rome’s theology at the time. And even today, we Lutherans are still standing up against their wrong teachings. And we need to be.

  • Nicholas
  • Helen K.

    @236 Nicholas….I rarely get into conversations on Dr. Veith’s blog but I will say that Grace is hardly a “troll”. She comes from a background similiar from mine until I became a member of the LCMS church. I understand what she is saying. And she is sincere. May the Lord keep all our hearts tender and receptive to His Words and teachings.

  • Grace

    Abby @ 237

    God may well have chosen Luther, but as Luther has stated openly in his book against the Jews, he had forgotten what the Bible had stated. Hatred of that kind is not forgotten. God stated we were to love HIM, and our neighbors, that included the Jews. You and many others may believe it is forgotten, it isn’t – it’s something that staggers the imagination. Think what you will, perhaps you and millions others have no idea what the church at large witnessed, and still remember, but I guarantee you, it’s still there!

    The Christian Church goes back to the earliest time, during Christ’s time on earth. There was no denomination – that’s the problem that exists today. It’s all about what wants it to be, including “traditions of men” and all other traditions from the Roman Catholic Church.

    There are millions of people who belong to a variety of churches. IF the Bible isn’t the center of one’s beliefs, then all else amounts to nothing. All the books written by whomever, mean nothing!

    Martin Luther POUNDED his thesis on the door – but it did not include praying to Mary, or the saint’s, the Pope’s UNRELENTING GOVERNORSHIP over the church, – Luther didn’t understand it, and I doubt after all the study I’ve done, he ever understood!

  • Abby

    Genesis 12, “the LORD said to Abram, ‘Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great. . .”

    Genesis 15: “And he (the LORD) brought him (Abram) outside and said, ‘Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.’ Then he said to him, ‘So shall your offspring be.’ And he believed the LORD, and he counted it to him as righteousness.”

    Genesis 17: “This is my (the LORD) covenant, which you shall keep, between me and you and your offspring after you: Every male among you shall be circumcised. You shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and you. He who is eight days old among you shall be circumcised. Every male throughout your generations, whether born in your house or bought with your money from any foreigner who is not of your offspring . . . So shall my covenant be in your flesh an everlasting covenant.”

    Thank you to Todd and Tom @212, 218, 221:
    “Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.” (Mark 10:15)

    “Child” = Greek paidion = young child, an infant. Any way you look at it, Jesus is saying you must receive the kingdom of God the way an infant receives it – which isn’t possible unless an infant can, indeed, receive it.

    And, as Tom noted, the Greek word that Jesus uses there is παιδίον — the same word using in Luke 1:59 to describe an eight-day-old infant!

    Luke 1:59: “Now the time came for Elizabeth to give birth, and she bore a son. . . And on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child.” (John the Baptist)

    Luke 2:21: “And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.” (This was the first blood Jesus shed.)

    Acts 7:8: “And he gave him the covenant of circumcision. And so Abraham became the father of Isaac, and circumcised him on the eighth day, and Isaac became the father of Jacob, and Jacob of thee twelve patriarchs.”

    Colossians 2:8-15: “In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead . . .”

    Galatians 3:27-29: “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ . . . you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.”

    Romans 9:8: “This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring.”

    1 Peter 3:18-22: “ . . . when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.”

    Acts 2:38,39: “And Peter said to them, ‘Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.”

    Acts 16:13-15: “One who heard us was a woman named Lydia, . . .After she was baptized, and her household as well . . .”

    Acts 16:29-33: “ . . . the jailer . . . said, ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’ And they said, ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus, you will be saved, you and your household. . . And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their wounds, and he ‘was baptized at once, he and all his family.”

    Just as Abram was commanded to circumcise all offspring belonging to his house as well as anyone who belonged to him by purchase making them a part of the old covenant of promise, so also we are commanded to baptize as part of the new covenant of promise. Circumcision was done at 8 days old. Baptism is also given to babies to make them part of the promise. “. . . the promise is for you and your children. . .” Acts 2. Baptism saves, 1 Peter 3.

  • tODD

    Abby, sorry, but Grace really is quite troll-ish. She isn’t hear to learn. She isn’t hear to discuss. She’s here to continually accuse Lutherans, but she won’t do so fairly or logically.

    She is, quite frankly, incapable of holding a logical discussion. She’ll troll you along for a while, acting as if she’s listening, and then she’ll change the topic. The number of questions she’s left unanswered on this blog could fill a blog to themselves. She isn’t here to participate in any community — she has set herself up against the community. Yet she won’t actually address the points made from that community. She is, in short, little more than a repetitive nag. There is nothing she has said here that she hasn’t said before. There is nothing being said to her that she hasn’t heard before.

    As such, she is entirely dependent on the good graces of Dr. Veith, who, for whatever reason, has decided that letting her continue to interrupt useful discussions with her mindless, copy-and-paste lectures from Calvary Chapel 101 is somehow edifying. Though even he has always drawn the line at Grace’s continual (yet inevitable) stooping to resorting to mentioning Luther’s take on the Jews, which she knows (and, if she were capable of understanding, she would know that no Lutherans defend it). She knows that he has no tolerance for such cheap shots against Lutheranism, but such is her rudeness (as well as her paltry understanding) that she cannot help but going there, ultimately, repeatedly. But then, he is dependent on our pointing it out to him, since he doesn’t read every comment.

    So here we are. Grace cannot make any rational response to quotes made straight from Scripture. So she lashes out and accuses Lutherans of this and that, because she lacks understanding and cannot carry on an intelligent conversation on any topic. Ultimately, she resorts to what she thinks is her trump card, even though that has been explained to her many times over. It’s all been explained to her many times over. Yet she cannot, or at least will not, understand.

    Which makes her insistence on intellectual assent all the more ironic. She makes it clear that she is every bit as dependent on the grace of God — in spite of one’s ability to intellectually comprehend things — as is an infant. In fact, I’m quite sure that my three-year-old could better explain the key points of the Bible than could Grace, no matter how much she’ll tell you that she’s studied it on her own.

    Grace is, in short, intellectually incapable of having the discussions she wishes to have. And yet, by God’s grace, this does not disqualify her from being saved. You’d think she’d be more appreciative about that, but instead, she seems hell-bent on denying salvation to infants that are similarly intellectually challenged. Jealousy, I guess.

  • Grace

    tODD @ 242

    YOU WRITE:

    “As such, she is entirely dependent on the good graces of Dr. Veith, who, for whatever reason, has decided that letting her continue to interrupt useful discussions with her mindless, copy-and-paste lectures from Calvary Chapel 101 is somehow edifying. “

    I have never “copy pasted” any lectures from Calvary Chapel – I may have given a news article, regarding Calvary Chapel,….. however, I don’t need to copy a “lecture” to post on this blog. Your excuses regarding my backing Scripture against doctrine which doesn’t hold up under Scripture is appalling.

    Dr. Veith, has read tombs of your posts, which are miss-matched and mixed, to make whatever point you don’t have. Needless to say, he has been patient with you, perhaps myself included. But if you bring me into the mix, – count yourself one as well.

  • Nicholas

    Grace, you have avoided addressing Scripture when it proves your CC beliefs false. How about addressing 1 Peter 3:21?

  • Abby

    Todd @242 I understand. I don’t think Grace’s church has cleaned up all the ages old church dysfunction either. I will listen to the church fathers — even those still claimed by the RC and the Orthodox and the Dr. Luther before I would give up 2000 years of lineage all the way back to the apostles. I’m sure the Holy Spirit has been capable of keeping His truth intact just as He has been able to keep the Bible inspired and inerrant. Until He returns again and we won’t need any of this anymore.

    This is an aside: What is a troll? Sometimes I think I am one. I hear that word but have never heard what it means :)

  • Nicholas
  • tODD

    Grace (@243) managed to type:

    Your excuses regarding my backing Scripture against doctrine which doesn’t hold up under Scripture is appalling.

    That doesn’t even make sense as an English sentence, but I’ve already provided you several examples of Scripture (@196) that you simply deny or refuse to acknowledge. You, of course, decided instead to start your own discussion about ethnic groups (@231). Anything rather than discuss the Scripture you claim to have read, I guess.

    Dr. Veith, has read tombs of your posts, which are miss-matched and mixed, to make whatever point you don’t have.

    Seriously, maybe it would help for you to post your comments in whatever language is your native one — it’s clearly not English. (So much for your vaunted intellectual capacity by which you have supposedly merited salvation, eh?)

    Anyhow, do say more about Luther and the Jews. Tell us all about how many centuries you spent studying the topic. Do go on.

  • tODD

    Abby (@245), I don’t mind having a discussion with someone I disagree with. As you know, we don’t exactly see eye to eye on a lot of (non-Lutheran) topics, ourselves.

    I think the article Nicholas posted (@246) is generally useful, but ultimately, a troll is what the community says it is.

    Grace isn’t here to have an actual discussion. She despises the community she’s engaging, and she refuses to learn anything from them. Nor does she have anything new or interesting to say. She isn’t even intellectually capable of engaging in the discussions she starts — which is why she so readily abandons her own lines of reasoning, such as they are.

    She’s just here to get a response. And she’s very good at that. Listening, engaging, reasoning — these are not her strengths. But she knows how to get a rise out of people. So she keeps up with it. Maybe she’s lonely? Maybe there are no places where mbmers of the Calvary Chapel denomination get together to discuss things? I don’t know. But she’s decided to be the house nag of this blog. And Veith tolerates her behavior, at least until she she mentions Luther and the Jews (which she always does, because it’s the best way to get a rise out of people; it doesn’t matter how many times others have tried to educate her, she’s quite proud of her inability to learn).

    To the degree that you listen to what people who disagree with you have to say, you’re not a troll. To the degree that you’re open to learning, you’re not a troll. Grace is none of these things.

  • Abby

    Todd @248 “Abby (@245), I don’t mind having a discussion with someone I disagree with. As you know, we don’t exactly see eye to eye on a lot of (non-Lutheran) topics, ourselves.”

    I can’t remember disagreeing with you! It must have a long time ago. I think I like you very much! Especially as a Lutheran. I think you discuss very well. Even with your oppositions. I always enjoy reading your comments, along with several others. Keep it up. I bet you are a great husband and daddy.

  • Abby

    Todd @248 You are also very funny!

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

    I’m not sure that Grace is intellectually incapable of having this conversation. I am beginning to think it is an emotional issue with her. I think she i too emotionally invested in CC, being the right church, the only church. So she can’t have the discussion. I would grant that she seems to be somewhat intellectually impaired in our conversations, and perhaps she won’t be applying for Harvard next year, probably not even a community college, but I think this is exacerbated by her emotional hangups.

  • SKPeterson

    Abby in response to Grace – We “engage” Grace repeatedly over the same topic because we have been asked to do so on behalf of the many lurkers (another internet demographic) who might be swayed or influenced by Grace’s theological poison. It is tiresome and repetitive, I must admit; the same argumentative structure (or lack thereof) presents itself time and time again. We Lutherans know when we have effectively and essentially won the argument when Grace pulls out her biggest hammer and swings away on Luther and the Jews, an obviously crass appeal to the ad hominem, though the use of that logical fallacy is truly one of her most treasured, the others being the inevitable straw man, followed by the out of context quotation and the questionable use of etymology ancient and modern. Invariably it goes something like this:

    Lutheran 1: God comes to us in the sacraments.
    Grace: The Bible does not say that. Insert random Bible verse or verses.
    Lutheran 2: Grace, what about verses x, y and z that directly address what Lutheran 1 has said?
    Grace: I don’t follow the doctrines of men. I follow the Bible.
    Lutheran 1: Then what do you think the Bible says about the sacraments?
    Lutheran: Yes, please explain your conclusion(s).
    Grace: Poor Todd.
    Lutheran 3: What?
    Grace: If you can’t follow a simple explanation from
    the Bible I can’t explain anything to you.
    Lutheran 4: But you haven’t explained anything.
    Grace: I don’t follow the doctrines of men. I follow the Bible.
    Lutheran 2: The Book of Concord directly addresses the matter here in x, y and z in regards to these passages in Scripture.
    Grace: Luther hated the Jews.
    Lather, rinse, repeat.

  • SKPeterson

    I forgot random bolding, underlining, and italicizing are added for effect.

  • larry

    One good thing about graces blather, quite unintended by her: its been a faith strengthening FEAST in all the things and defenses ive been reading from my fellow brother and sister Lutherans. Bror, Todd, Tom, Abby, Nicolas, Frank and a bunch of others ive not mentioned. Just reading throughthe baptismal scripture quotes given has been wonderful…one just cannot hear it enough! As Luther well said one of the things false teaching does do…it gives faith something to do, ie defending and expressing itself. Not the devils intention but in spite of.

  • Abby

    You guys are funny!

    Larry @254: “As Luther well said one of the things false teaching does do…it gives faith something to do, ie defending and expressing itself.” I love that! If you can’t sit and take it anymore, you just have to jump on the bandwagon.

    I felt the emotional reaction too, that Bror talked about with Grace. It reminded me of this: “Now when they heard these things, the were enraged and they ground their teeth at him . . . And they cast him out of the city and stoned him.” I have to say, I don’t do as well in rebuttal as you guys do so I don’t try most times.

  • Abby

    Larry, to your Luther quote again @254 — I heard Dr. Adam Francisco say that Luther used to read the Koran and (I think I remember this) he even did a translation of it into common language. That would really fit with his work to not only bring Holy Scripture to the people, but to bring to the discussion the beliefs of the Muslims. I’ve got to get the book by Uwe Siemen Netto (spelling is probably off) where he defends Luther in the “Luther and the Jews” controversy. Luther was also attempting to make Christ plain to the Jews also so that they would see and believe. He just got very upset with their non-reaction and unbelief after all. And when Luther got upset, he wasn’t nice.

  • Abby

    Here is the beginning of Dr Franciso’s lectures: http://vimeo.com/19197212 and http://vimeo.com/27720097

    I used to do the “Apple of His Eye” type “witnessing” to the Jews on the streets of New York. You can still see some of their extreme adverse reactions to Jesus.

  • Abby
  • Abby

    Grace @240 “God . . . may well have . . . chosen Luther, — BUT . . .”

    Do you know more than God?!!

  • Abby

    Well, close to a concession.

  • Tom Hering

    I don’t agree that arguing with Grace gives faith something to do (and I can’t find a source for the supposed Luther quote). Faith is directed toward God, its object; it doesn’t need anything to do that isn’t also directed toward God. Rather, false teaching gives love something to do. (And love can be very tough!) Somewhere behind all our frustrations is the hope that Grace can be freed from falsehoods. We had that hope in the beginning, years ago, and I don’t think it’s dead yet (though I wrongly pronounced it dead back @ 117).

  • SKPeterson

    Tom Hering is a slave to the doctrines of men.

  • tODD
  • Abby

    @242 “As such, she is entirely dependent on the good graces of Dr. Veith, who, for whatever reason, has decided that letting her continue. . .”

    He’s like a good dad.

  • Abby

    Another brief discussion regarding the distinction between infant/believers baptism: http://vimeo.com/45999188

    Lutherans believe in the “invisible church.” At the bottom line, only God knows who we are and will judge acccordingly. I love it that our big 3 are Word, Baptism, Holy Communion. All securing us in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

  • mikeb

    As they say, not only do I believe in infant baptism… I’ve seen it done.

  • kerner

    Abby:

    tODD and Larry…a laugh a minute…yep, a regular barrel of monkeys, that’s them. :D

  • tODD

    Kerner (@267), … ?

  • mikeb

    @ 267 & 268

    It seems the and HTML tags are not working.

  • mikeb

    and tags

  • mikeb

    agh!

    sarcasm tags!

  • kerner

    tODD @ 268

    See Abby @250 and 255.

    And I’m not sure what my point is. I guess I just think it’s pretty cool that she enjoys you guys so much. ;)

  • Abby

    Kerner @272 I’ll include you too! I am known to have a strange sense of humor. I love irony.

  • Larry

    Luther indicates the indirect benefits of heresies in a sermon on Matthew 18:8-9:

    “Error and heresy must come into the world so that the elect may become approved and manifest. Their coming is in the best interests of Christians if they take the proper attitude toward it. St. Augustine, who certainly was sufficiently annoyed by wretched sectaries, says that when heresy and offense come, they produce much benefit in Christendom; for they cause Christians industriously to read Holy Scripture and with diligence to pursue it and persevere in its study. Otherwise they might let it lie on the shelf, become very secure, and say: Why, God’s Word and the text of Scripture are current in our midst; it is not necessary for us to read Holy Scripture. But now we are made vigilant and watchful by the heretics and their offense, and because of the conflicts and controversies we understand God’s Word better than we did before.” (Martin Luther)

    In a comforting reason based on Romans 8:28 and the antichrist in 2 Thess. 2:9 Luther comforts, “Oh, how truly these are perilous times, worthy of the last days-when all things, even those that are good, work together for evil to the reprobates, just as all things, even the evil, work together for good to the elect (Rom. 8:28)! And the latter is brought about by the Spirit of God, the former which happens to be reprobates by the spirit of Satan, as the apostle foretold.” (Martin Luther)

    Yet Luther rightly laments how terrible is heresy and little heeded, “Ah, woe is me, poor creature, that I must see and hear that because of the unspeakable wrath of God such abuse and mockery of the devil is preached to the poor, miserable Christians as sober, salutary doctrine! Who sheds tears because of this sad state of affairs? Who are the people who in these days of God’s wrath stand as a wall of defense for the people of Israel?” (Martin Luther)

    Luther on how heresy is smuggled covertly in writes, “He Peter calls them damnable sects, or estates and orders, because whoever becomes enmeshed in them is already lost. These heresies they will bring in on the sly, says he, and not by preaching that the Gospel and Holy Scripture are false; for that would be a flat contradiction. Rather they will keep these terms – God, Christ, faith, church, baptism, the sacrament – and let them remain. But under the cover of these terms they will proceed to introduce something that differs from them in kind. There is consequently a great difference between my saying: This man preaches against this, and saying: This man preaches additional doctrines.” (Martin Luther)

    Luther identified that heresy is worse than an evil life speaking of Paul’s exhortation in Col. 3:12, “But this tender mercy is to be exercised only toward Christians and among Christians, for toward those who reject and persecute the Gospel we must act differently; here I am not permitted to let my love be merciful so as to tolerate and endure false doctrine. When faith and doctrine are concerned and endangered, neither love nor patience are in order. Then it is my duty to contend in earnest and not to yield a hairbreadth. Otherwise, when people let the faith stand and confess it even though their lives are imperfect, I must forever go on being cordial and merciful to them, not punish, oppress, or hound them but invite, beseech, implore, bear and endure them. For a defective life does not destroy Christendom but exercises it. However defective doctrine and false faith ruin everything. Therefore, when these are concerned, neither toleration nor mercy are in order but only anger, dispute and destruction – to be sure, only with the Word of God as our weapon.” (Martin Luther)

    On some of the methods of heretics Luther writes in remarks on Micah 6, “The manner of all the prophets is first to attack ungodliness as the fountainhead and spring of all evil works and thereafter to prescribe godliness. After this has been taught and inculcated, good works follow in proper sequence. This I the right order-the order employed by the prophets and the apostles, as may be very clearly seen from the epistles of Paul. But false prophets do not do this. They merely prescribe morals, criticize vices, and promise rewards, while the doctrine of godliness pertaining to the justification of the heart is omitted.” (Martin Luther)

    Of the intensity of the temptation to listen to false teachings Luther writes based on Hos. 2:6-7, “The parable of the adulteress shows the ardent desire Satan kindles in the hearts of idolaters. For truly no harlot so burns with sexual lust as those who have departed from the true worship burn with desire to increase and promote their idolatry.”

    A sad reality Luther writes of the shaming zeal of heretics, “A Christian never clings so firmly to his Christ as a Jew or an enthusiast clings to his doctrine; for although a Christian does remain faithful till death, he nonetheless often wavers and begins to doubt. But none of this if found among the enthusiasts. They stand fast.” (Martin Luther)

  • Larry

    @273 I agree and Kerner’s comment is well taken, cracked me up!

  • Abby

    @274 Thanks for the Luther quotes! I love the way he “talks!”

    “For a defective life does not destroy Christendom but exercises it. However defective doctrine and false faith ruin everything. Therefore, when these are concerned, neither toleration nor mercy are in order but only anger, dispute and destruction – to be sure, only with the Word of God as our weapon.”

  • Abby

    @272, 273 — That included SKP too!

  • Melody

    Wow. A bit of background on Mr. Delzell: His last posting as an LCMS pastor was in my home church. He harassed employees out of the church, harangued anyone who offered him advice or assistance, and fomented deep emotional divisions designed to make anyone who disagreed with him appear heretical. Synod leaders gave him multiple opportunities to get some assistance for his irrational behavior and damaging actions, which he loudly and frequently refused. This culminated in his being fired from his job and losing his LCMS credentials.
    There are those of us who still pray for him, and for his children. I found him to be very interesting, since I had written my Master’s thesis on the rhetorical structure of heresy in the LCMS. I must confess that I am very shocked to find that his point of view is taken seriously by anyone who calls themselves Lutheran in any context. It took our church years to recover from his “pastoring”.
    Interesting heresy versus orthodoxy discussions here.

  • Gene Veith

    Thanks, Melody. This is very helpful information and good context. So he was an LCMS pastor. And of a certain type. This explains a lot.

  • Abby

    @278,279

    That explains this:

    @55 “This blog is a curious attempt in proclaiming that a Lutheran pastor has rejected Lutheran doctrine….and yet does not give even one example from either of the articles to support his premise. The reason….there are no examples of his claim in either article he references. In fact, the article on baptism deals with a topic which Gene addressed in part in his blog on Sept. 14, 2012, when he stated that “someone can have been baptized as an infant but then reject the faith and become an unbeliever in need of conversion.” Very true….as my article also affirms.

    It was a year ago that I responded on his blog comments concerning his criticism of my article about the Lord’s Supper. I am going to post here the comments which followed on his blog comments between myself and George A. Marquart. I will be happy to walk Gene through the baptism issue once we address the Lord’s Supper issue….if indeed he is interested in understanding and discussing John 6.

    At any rate, I find Gene’s approach to “Lutheran” theology to be very curious, to say the least.”

  • Larry

    Abby,

    Yes the “gospel” coalition is anything but that. There is hardly a greater misnamed, both words “gospel” and “coalition” than that. Also note how such a “union” is steering away from the idea of church as the point of unity and steering toward the “coalition”. They cannot build their churches on the Word alone because they’ve tossed the sacraments away which UNIT the church and form the body, so they form a coalition based on “like mindedness”. It’s the logical extension of the sacramentarian (Baptist, reformed, et. al.) grasp of the congregation of believers. Rather than “called out ones” by the Word and sacraments, they are the “like minded ones” on pretty much everything but the Word and sacraments. Hence Luther saying that the enthusiast cannot agree on what the sacrament is but they only agree on what it is not, which is it is not what Jesus says it is.
    An ironic discussion over at the “gospel” coalition. But its always telling. Lynda Ms question is not unlike my own in such and tons of others I’ve talked too. They always theologically punt to maintain their false doctrine. And it needs to be called that plainly false, deceptive, antichristic doctrine.

    What will happen is that one becomes deluded about how one is actually saved and assured in one’s works OR one will silently and increasingly despair. I suspect if the truth does not come in this young lady will go towards the later based on her question.
    They never really answer the real questions do they. This quote from the opening:
    “In a nutshell, I’d say yes, you do need to be baptized—for the first time! That’s because baptism is for believers, and you seem to be telling me that you were definitely not a Christian when you were “baptized” at 13.”

    Let’s just peel that apart a bit shall we:

    First, an obvious question to Baptist lay and pastor’s alike because this poor soul is asking a question about her baptism.

    What then was the service when Lynda M was 13? Was it a baptism?
    Did the congregation witness a baptism when Lynda M was 13 and the even was being implemented?

    If they say it was a baptism, then what is the sine quo non of baptism? Because note that he replies “for the first time” and with an exclamation point “!”
    If they say it was not a baptism, then what is the sine quo non of baptism? Because note that he replies “for the first time” and with an exclamation point “!”
    Thus, if it was not a baptism, then what was the “vain” worship service being offered?
    What then, and the answer is obvious, is the for this poor soul asking, is the basis for Lynda M’s (re) baptism “for the first time!” That Lynda M has faith, that’s what the so called pastor replies, “That’s because baptism is for believers”. I.e. those possessing faith. Thus, Lynda M. must base the assurance of the fact that she would ACTUALLY be baptized in the finding and fact of her faith and NOT the Word of God itself. This is faith in faith and antichristic to the core for it foist faith, and as a work, and not the Word or even name of God for baptism.

    The questions continue:

    Since as this Lynda M’s example expresses a real thing struggled with under those doctrines, the all baptistic pastors and lay a like cannot say for sure that they have ever really seen a baptism in particular. They can in general say due to the likelihood of the shear weight of statics say that given all the people baptized through time and space, then surely we’ve seen a baptism, we just cannot be for sure which one actually was a baptism and which was a vain rite our pastor performed. So how do they know at a given baptism they’ve witnessed a baptism?

    Lynda M was baptized in particular at 13 by a particular pastor with a particular congregation at that location and time some years ago, so I’m sure they thought “I’ve just seen a baptism” and even cheered and being a good Baptist church called the congregation up to huge/shake hands with 13 year old Lynda M over her baptism. How utterly SHOCKING it must be to those still alive to find out in the writing of this question and answer from this “pastor” that they saw nothing more than a dip in some water and no baptism at all, and their pastor did nothing but dunk a person in water and they hugged and shook hands just because she ‘got all wet’ in public.

    How does this said pastor know HE has faith and HE was actually baptized? Because that’s the question at hand he offers her. Then SURELY he can give a testament of how HE knows?
    Furthermore, since baptism is for “believers” only, i.e. possessors of faith, and only possessors of faith are really saved, and only possessors of faith will not be damned eternally, then how does HE know HE possesses faith? How does HE know that HE is forgiven and HE is saved and HE is baptized and HE is assured and HE possesses eternal life and HE is Christ’s and HE will be in the Kingdom of God and HE will not be damned in hell and HE is not fooling himself?

    What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander, and what he instructs of her he must instruct of him self, otherwise he’s an overt hypocrite on his own doctrine. But he’ll never answer that, not really. He’ll wiggle around with some scriptures in hand but he’ll never really answer that.

  • Abby

    Larry @281 “Since as this Lynda M’s example expresses a real thing struggled with under those doctrines, the all baptistic pastors and lay a like cannot say for sure that they have ever really seen a baptism in particular. They can in general say due to the likelihood of the shear weight of statics say that given all the people baptized through time and space, then surely we’ve seen a baptism, we just cannot be for sure which one actually was a baptism and which was a vain rite our pastor performed. So how do they know at a given baptism they’ve witnessed a baptism?”

    There a few things that always make me cry. Baptism is one. Now that you describe that, I know it is because I’ve “seen” a baptism. Last year I was so happy I was finally able to get my niece and nephew to bring both of their sons to be baptized. The hard part now is to try to get them to bring the boys to church and Sunday School. I knew this would either be difficult or impossible before the baptisms and I asked 3 pastors about the situation before we did it. All three encouraged me that the boys should be brought to baptism. So now I keep praying and inviting.

    Do the non-sacramental people believe at all that these Sacraments give the forgiveness of sins? Pr. Delzell never includes forgiveness given in these Sacraments in both of his articles on Holy Communion and Baptism. In his article on Baptism, he takes apart the “election” and “predestination” aspects of Calvinism. But then still says, “Let’s start with the historic practice of infant baptism. Why should parents who practice infant baptism be careful with this approach? Well….a big reason is because there are so many teenagers and adults who were baptized as infants….but are not spiritually reborn through faith in Christ. Some ministers and parents seem to assume that a baptized person is definitely a Christian. That is not always the case. Quite a few teenagers who were baptized as infants want little to do with Christ. Other teens appear outwardly moral, but not all of them are spiritually alive and connected to Christ through faith.

    One should be cautious about allowing infant baptism to give you a false sense of security for your loved one. Christianity is much larger than that particular practice. It involves a relationship with Christ through faith. (see Romans 3:21-24) Also, there is good fruit in the life of a born again person. (see Matthew 7:16,17) Does your loved one in question have saving faith in Christ, and good fruit….or just baptism?” He never mentions if he accepts “one baptism for the remission of sins” but seems to tie into it faith and fruit for its validity. Maybe that is correct?

    He says parents should be “careful” with the approach to infant baptism. How could you do that? You would be questioning it forever! No one should ever bring an infant/child to be baptized because how can we ever “know?”

    He goes on to say, “What if Martin Luther had continued to assume that just because he had been baptized as an infant, he was already a Christian? What if Luther never applied the Gospel message personally to his own soul….through faith….by trusting in what Jesus did for him on the cross? Look at all his teen and adult years where Martin Luther was spiritually dead….even after he had been baptized as an infant. Many teens and adults are in the same condition today.

    So just be cautious if infant baptism is something your church practices. It doesn’t guarantee that your child will grow up knowing the Lord….or will die one day knowing the Lord. Every person who desires to know Christ must repent and believe the good news, whether he was baptized as an infant or not. (see John 3:7) If he does repent and believe, he will then begin to follow Jesus. That’s what Christians do.”

    When he says “what if Martin Luther because he was baptized already assumed he was a Christian?” I think Martin Luther did believe that, didn’t he?! That’s not what Luther’s struggles were all about. The validity of his baptism.

    Now he sounds like the article you just talked about!

  • Grace

    Dr. Veith,

    You posted articles and LINKS, regarding Rev. Delzell “Lutheran pastor rejects Baptism, Lord’s Supper on February 1, 2013, from a variety of sources.

    Rev. Delzell wrote a post to you (below) five days ago. He was very polite and humble, asking you to engage him, regarding the subject at hand. I have wondered why there has been SILENCE on the request? I’m sure everyone would like to know what the outcome has been. Would you please let us know.

    Sincerely, Grace

    160
    – Dan Delzell says:
    February 4, 2013 at 11:34 pm
    “I just e-mailed this to Dr. Veith. We will get on this….and hopefully get back to all of you with the results of our dialogue. There is much ground to cover on both topics….but it is more than worth the time for the sake of Christ’s church.”

     ‏

    Greetings Dr. Veith,

    I was contacted by a pastor in the LCMC from New York (Garry Seefeldt) concerning your recent blog about my article which addressed infant baptism. I guess Garry has some Missouri Synod professors he works with who brought the concern to him after seeing your blog. I am sending you, my brother in the Lord, what I posted on the comments section of your blog earlier this evening. I am copying this e-mail to Rev. Seefeldt since he and I had such a wonderful discussion about it on the phone yesterday for over an hour and a half. He and I stand united in our belief in Christ, His inerrant Word, and the Lutheran Confessions which are a true explanation of biblical doctrine.

    I would be very happy to have a discussion with you about both of the articles you have criticized, and I would be thrilled to discuss the doctrines of baptism and the Lord’s Supper with you.

    May the Lord bless you in your ministry.

    In Christ,

    Rev. Dan Delzell
    Wellspring Lutheran Church
    Papillion, Nebraska

  • Abby

    @160 “There is much ground to cover on both topics….but it is more than worth the time for the sake of Christ’s church.”

    Could take quite some time.

  • dust

    Grace….hmmm, perhaps one should not equate “politeness” and “humility” with sincerity?

    On the other hand, why the hail not :)

    cheers!

  • Grace

    Dust @ 285

    What exactly do you mean?

  • dust

    Grace…re: 283. Just my impression that one should not overlook the substance of the Pastor’s comments, just because one may perceive them as “Polite” or humble” for in the final analysis they may not pass the test of “sincerity”…like my comments :)

    Cheers!

  • Grace

    Dust @ 287 “Just my impression that one should not overlook the substance of the Pastor’s comments, just because one may perceive them as “Polite” or humble” for in the final analysis they may not pass the test of “sincerity”…like my comments”

    Rev. Dan Delzell, was “humble and “polite” – as for “sincerity” are you questioning his “sincerity” ? – I certainly am not, reading his comment and request – what test should he take to pass the “sincerity” test.

    P.S. I hadn’t thought of “like my comments” as you posted. SHOULD I?

  • Grace

    Dust,

    When someone takes a subject, such as “Lutheran pastor rejects Baptism, Lord’s Supper” on their blog, posts many articles and LINKS, – - many people make comments regarding the content – and then the individual in question, ie; Rev. Dan Delzell, comes forward, on this blog and makes a request – is it not only thoughtful, kind and proper to engage them in their beliefs, answering questions, and conversing with them on the subject?

    If it’s important enough to blog about, why is it not important to answer a request? And why would you or anyone else question their sincerity?

  • Nicholas

    Poor Grace is still commenting, but never engaged with Scripture (1 Peter 3:21), never acknowledged her own CC presuppositions, and never responded to the problems with CC that I gave the relevant links to.

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

    Nicholas,
    Fairly common occurrence, I don’t think any of us expected her to.

  • Grace

    Nicholas @ 290

    “Poor Grace is still commenting, but never engaged with Scripture (1 Peter 3:21), never acknowledged her own CC presuppositions, and never responded to the problems with CC that I gave the relevant links to.”

    Nicholas, I’ve read a number of pot shots taken against Calvary Chapel. I have commented on them, but when it becomes a ‘habit, with some posters, I ignore the same mantra-shriller and move on.

    There have been claims made, that people have been abused, but when researching the accusations, that’s all they are, accusations. IF, people have been abused, they should seek the proper authorities, and go from there – but all too often they spew their story, and that’s all it is, a “story” –

    Links are fine Nicholas, you can march through GOOGLE, but that doesn’t make it true. Stating your LINKS over and over again will accomplish nothing.

    Every denomination has problems, there are always those who are not of God, who hurt others, that can be found in EVERY denomination, excluding none, but INCLUDING YOURS!

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

    By researching the allegations, did you mean asking your pastor about them?

  • Grace

    Bror @ 293

    “By researching the allegations, did you mean asking your pastor about them?”

    That’s a foolish question – however, I will answer it. No I didn’t have to ask, almost all of the allegations, accusations, etc., have been false. Abuse of any kind is serious, it must be met with caution, and a DEEP DESIRE to reach the truth.

    There are over 1,000 Calvary Chapel Churches in the U.S. – there are over 300 abroad. How much gossip is spread throughout any and all churches and denominations, that would include YOURS Bror.

    IF, abuse of any kind has been made, it is up to those who are abused to go straight to the authorities, if they FAIL to do so, the question is: WHY? Because it wasn’t true? – because they wanted to talk about it rather than take action, using the proper authorities?

  • tODD

    Grace typed (@294):

    How much gossip is spread throughout any and all churches and denominations, that would include YOURS Bror.

    Oh, we Lutherans don’t need to spread gossip about our own denominations, Grace — we let you do that for us! Of course, you seem to do so without any “DEEP DESIRE to reach the truth”, which I guess is kind of ironic (but, let’s be honest, it’s also kind of hypocritical).

    I think it’s fascinating — if not outright telling — that you would rather spend time here discussing abuse allegations than Scripture, Grace. Frankly, I don’t blame you. I think your denomination is more easily defended with regard to the abuse allegations than it is with regard to Scripture.

    Oh, but I guess you’re too busy to respond to Bible verses. You usually are. I guess because you’re so busy studying the Bible?

  • fws

    here is one of the best sermons on holy baptism I have ever heard….
    and before someone here mis hears that pastor weber is denying the doctrine of the devil, they should read her own self condemnation immediately following that line…..

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/nadiabolzweber/2013/01/sermon-on-baptism-and-the-devil/

  • Grace

    If abuse allegations were not brought up on this blog, there would be no reason for me to respond.

    Nicholas has a hobby!

    Below are two (2) attemps by Nicholas to accuse Calvary Chapel. The last one @238 has two LINKS. And then there are the typical ‘several who chime in, with nonsensical attemps to make it tangible evidence.

    __ 236__ Nicholas says:
    February 6, 2013 at 9:24 pm
    Interesting also that Grace has not responded to the epidemic sex abuse and coverup in Calvary Chapel, or the cultic “Moses model” leadership.

    __ 238 __ Nicholas says:
    February 6, 2013 at 10:47 pm
    Calvary Chapel info:

    TWO LINKS ABOVE @ 238. The accusations are made, but the results of such investigations are rarely mentioned, giving viable NEWSPAPER REPORTS – only blogs serve as the news media. Going from site to site, with no LINK to a viable NEWS report.

     ‏

  • Grace

    There are several sites on the internet, run by those who state they are Christians. What they do is report every single negative item they hear. And they hear and listen to all of them. A ‘few are true, but for the vast majority, it’s nothing but a tedious array of reports, crammed together, to lure most everyone who will read it, to take seriously.

    When I first came across these sites, I was surprised at all the allegations made, which I knew most likely were false against others. I researched, made phone calls, took notes, and found that what was being sent out, was false.

    I would caution many of you, who are inclined to believe most everything on the internet, to PAUSE before you copy paste the material you believe is the gold mine of truth.

  • mikeb

    Hey folks, time out for a moment so we can make sure the record reflects that at 8:10 pm on February 10, 2013 Grace made us all aware that some things you read on the Internet are not true. Wow!–What an insight. I suggest you all pay attention and take heed.

    You may resume your discussion now.

    I’ll be hoping Grace will return to the subject of infant baptism and once-and-for all admit that 1 Peter 3:21 means what it says when it declares that baptism save us–not simply by washing away of the filth of the flesh, but by the answer of a clean conscience toward God by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

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

    I haven’t spread any rumors about your denomination or anyone else’s that I know of. I did read a newspaper article that was posted here.But all that aside, because I really don’t care about any of it. Would you, Grace, tell us how it is you do not believe Baptism does not save, in face of the passage of 1 Peter 3? And then would you tell me when your children become your children, therefore having the promises in baptism being applicable to your children in light of Acts 2?

  • Tom Hering

    I would caution many of you, who are inclined to believe most everything on the internet, to PAUSE before you copy paste the material you believe is the gold mine of truth.

    Grace, remember when you used to copy and paste things here that you found on anti-Lutheran sites? I’ve never, between then and now, heard you admit you were wrong to do so.

  • tODD

    Ha ha. Now Grace (@298) is lecturing us on believing random things one finds on the Internet. Even though, um, that’s how Grace does all her “research”.

    Seriously, your hypocritical gall bladder must be working overtime, Grace. Do you know how many quotes you’ve pasted from incredibly shoddy anti-Lutheran sites (not a few of them false, surprise, surprise)? You are, in fact, the person on this blog most likely to find something on the Internet and paste it here in a comment as if it were fact.

    I mean, we have to rewind the tape all the way to less than two weeks ago to find touting a fake Tocqueville quote on this site. And when Tom pointed out the quote was bogus, you literally responded with “NO it isn’t” (ah, playground debate style!). However, when pressed, you revealed that the source of your (fake) quote was … wait for it … DoctorSenator.com. Yes, the infamous DoctorSenator.com, incredibly poor campaign site for a political also-ran from 2004. That’s sure where I get my Tocqueville quotes!

    So, to summarize, by all means, please lecture the rest of us on proper research techniques. We have so much to learn from you.

  • tODD

    Also, surely by now you all must have noticed that Grace’s Bible doesn’t contain 1 Peter 3. Or Acts 2. Or else she surely would have come across those passages in her near-infinite time of studying the Bible without being influenced by anyone in her denomination.

    In fact, I think I read on IHateMartinLutherSoVeryVeryMuch.ResurchSite.Biz.JP that Luther actually wrote 1 Peter 3 and Acts 2. Which is why people who don’t rely on the words of men will never read those chapters.

  • Nicholas

    Here are the viable NEWS reports that Grace requests, which I already posted above: http://www.rickross.com/groups/calvary.html

  • Grace

     ‏
    Nicholas you’ve done it again – :lol:

     ‏
    YEP, YEP you’ve posted these LINKS – What else can you do but post the same stuff over and over again? :razs:

  • Grace

    I missed the :razzed: moment – LOL

  • Grace

     ‏

     ‏ :razz:
     ‏

  • tODD

    What else can you do but post the same stuff over and over again?

    Said Grace, who, like clockwork, will post something about Luther and the Jews in a comment thread every few weeks or so.

    (Those looking for the latest installment of Grace Hypocritically Repeats the Same Stuff OVer and Over Again need only look to comment #240 in this thread, by the way.)

    Honestly, you are the least self-aware person I’ve ever encountered, Grace. Everything you complain about here is something you do, to the great annoyance of all the reasonable, informed commenters on this blog.

  • SKPeterson

    Sometimes I’m unreasonably informed and sometimes reasonably uninformed. And other times? Well, this is a family program.

    As to Grace, she is equal parts frustrating and a laugh riot. Predictable as the rising and setting of the sun.

  • Nicholas

    I didn’t realize that child rape and sex abuse committed by Calvary Chapel ministers (and the denominational coverup) was supposed to be humorous.

  • Nicholas

    The above comment was in response to Grace, not you SKPeterson.

  • Grace

    Nicholas @ 311 “I didn’t realize that child rape and sex abuse committed by Calvary Chapel ministers (and the denominational coverup) was supposed to be humorous.”

    It isn’t Nicholas. However it appears you’re in the mood to turn things around. I will add this, unless someone is convicted of a crime, it is WRONG to accuse.

    There is cheap gossip in all churches and denominations. If there has been a crime, GO straight to the authorities. “Child rape and sex abuse” SHOULD BE REPORTED right away to authorities, the child or adult, taken to an ER to be cared for.

    Every denomination and church group has problems with those who hurt others, that’s no secret, I doubt anyone would deny such a thing. It’s also true of Lutherans, Roman Catholics, Baptists, etc., it’s not just one group.

  • tODD

    Just so we’re all on the same page, it’s a day later, and Grace would still rather discuss her denomination’s alleged cover-up of child rape and sex abuse than Scripture.

    I mean, just ponder that. She’s that afraid to discuss the plain meaning of 1 Peter 3 and Acts 2.

    “So, what does your denomination teach about baptizing infants?” “Well, we probably haven’t abused any of them, if that’s what you’re asking! You’re asking a foolish question you don’t have! Besides, every church has a few child abusers!” “I, er, no … what?”

  • Abby

    Please forgive me all. This is exceedingly long.

    From Pr. Delzell’s article on Baptism: “Let’s start with the historic practice of infant baptism. Why should parents who practice infant baptism be careful with this approach? Well….a big reason is because there are so many teenagers and adults who were baptized as infants….but are not spiritually reborn through faith in Christ. . .

    One should be cautious about allowing infant baptism to give you a false sense of security for your loved one. . .

    So just be cautious if infant baptism is something your church practices. . .

    What if Luther never applied the Gospel message personally to his own soul….through faith….by trusting in what Jesus did for him on the cross? Look at all his teen and adult years where Martin Luther was spiritually dead….even after he had been baptized as an infant. . .

    If you assume that everyone who has been baptized is saved, you are as misguided as the person who assumes that everyone who has ever gone forward during an “altar call” is saved.”

    “BAPTISM is the way in which a person is actually united to Christ. The experience of salvation is initi¬ated in the waters of baptism. The Apostle Paul teaches in Romans 6:1-6 that in baptism we experience Christ’s death and Resurrection. In it our sins are truly forgiven and we are energized by our union with Christ to live, a holy life.

    Nowadays, some consider baptism to be only an “outward sign” of belief in Christ. This innovation has no historical or biblical precedent. Others reduce it to a mere perfunctory obedience to Christ’s command (cf. Matthew 28:19, 20). Still others, ignoring the Bible completely, reject baptism as a vital factor in salvation. Orthodoxy maintains that these contempo¬rary innovations rob sincere people of the important assurance that baptism provides-namely that they have been united to Christ and are part of His Church.” Antiochian Orthodox Church (approx. 2000 years old) http://www.antiochian.org/1123705581

    “In the Catholic Church today, baptism is most commonly administered to infants. While some other Christians strenuously object to infant baptism, believing that baptism requires assent on the part of the person being baptized, the Eastern Orthodox, Anglicans, Lutherans, and other mainline Protestants also practice infant baptism, and there is evidence that it was practiced from the earliest days of the Church.
    Since baptism removes both the guilt and the punishment due to Original Sin, delaying baptism until a child can understand the sacrament may put the child’s salvation in danger, should he die unbaptized.” (approx. 2000 years old)
    http://catholicism.about.com/od/beliefsteachings/p/Sac_Baptism.htm

    Lutheran: “Christ our Lord says in the last chapter of Matthew: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” (Matt. 28:19)

    What benefits does Baptism give?
    It works forgiveness of sins, rescues from death and the devil, and gives eternal salvation to all who believe this, as the words and promises of God declare.” (approx. 500 years old)
    http://www.cph.org/t-topic-catechism-baptism.aspx

    This reminds me of a little grandmother who lives in Italy. As a baby, her parents brought her to church to be baptized. They continued taking her to church. When she was old enough she was confirmed. Every week she walks to church and continues to hear the Word of God, pray, recite the Creed and the Lord’s Prayer and take Holy Communion. She marries at a very young age. When she bears children she brings them to be baptized. She brings her children to church and they are confirmed. They marry and begin to have children. And the process continues. Meanwhile, she takes care of her family. She cooks, makes bread, washes clothes, cleans her home, etc, etc. She never reads the Bible. She has never studied theology. She would not be able to answer many questions about her faith. She makes her “profession of faith” every week as she listens and partakes of the body and blood of her Savior, Jesus Christ.

    This is how God’s New Covenant of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper works. These are what Jesus Christ commanded, (He did not make a plea or a suggestion) that we do until the Day that He returns to judge the earth. He says that both of these sacraments gives the forgiveness of sins. I’m sure you know that this Baptism is a continuance of the Abrahamic Covenant and that the Lord’s Supper is a continuance, and the New Covenant of the rescue of the children of Israel from the last plague of death upon Egypt by means of the institution of the Passover of the lamb.

    I know this grandmother. This was also my grandmother who came from Germany. This was my husband’s grandmother who came from Damascus, Syria.

    Pr. Delzell, please don’t tell me these grandmothers are not in heaven. They loved and believed in Christ and did exactly as He directed them to do. The church may not be very impressed with their lives or offerings, but Jesus Himself commends them as he did the widow who gave her mite. She gave all she had. She was nondescript. But exceedingly acceptable to Jesus her Lord. Since God gave the Old Covenants and for 2000 years since He gave the New Covenants, this is His way.

    We cannot determine who are the wheat and the chaff. That is absolutely not in our jurisdiction.

    “So just be cautious if infant baptism is something your church practices. . .” It is not up to us to try to predict the spiritual outcome for any individual. It is only ours to do as Christ has instituted and commanded. Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are real and actually do something.

    How can you question God’s Word and practice for how many thousand years? “Let’s start with the historic practice of infant baptism . . . “ You are correct. It is historic.

    Jesus to Nicodemus http://www.esvbible.org/search/John+3%3A5/ (John 3:5)

  • Grace

    Abby @314

    You note one passage of Scripture from John 3 In your last paragraph.

    A man, which is noted below in verses 3 and 5, is not an infant, it’s an adult. There is no mention of infants. In fact there is no mention of infants anywhere in Scripture to be Baptized. Much of what you’re trying to rectify regarding Baptism is “traditions of men” the Roman Catholics have always been steepd in “tradition” ignoring what the Bible states. Now there are other denominations, which follow the same path as the Roman Catholics, that doesn’t make it Bilical.

    1 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:
    2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said to him, Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that you do, except God be with him.
    3 Jesus answered and said to him, Truly, truly, I say to you, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
    4 Nicodemus said to him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?
    5 Jesus answered, Truly, truly, I say to you, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
    6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
    7 Marvel not that I said to you, You must be born again.
    8 The wind blows where it wants, and you hear the sound thereof, but can not tell from where it comes, and where it goes: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
    John 3

  • Grace

    Abby @ 314

    You cite three paragraphs in short, – - of Pastor Delzell’s article. The first of which is:

    “Let’s start with the historic practice of infant baptism. Why should parents who practice infant baptism be careful with this approach? Well..a big reason is because there are so many teenagers and adults who were baptized as infants..but are not spiritually reborn through faith in Christ”

    This is the problem Abby, many are baptized as infants, but are not reborn through faith, and repentance. You go into detail about Baptism, but you never, not once speak of “repentance” which is key. Jesus told everyone to “repent” as HE preached throughout his time before the Cross. You, and many others, side-step repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. You put Baptism first, as though it’s some sort of spiritual insurance towards eternal life with Christ, for infants,….. it is not, but what it does accomplish is a false sense of security among many an individual – leaving them with the idea they are saved, when in fact they have not taken steps to repent of their sins.

    You also make mention of one not reading their Bible – WHY is that, why would one ignore the Bible and never read it, but find time to do a multitude of other things?

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

    Before taking Communion one must “examine” themselves. When we “examine” ourselves, we look within, at the sins we have committed.

    6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:

    7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

    8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

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

    10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. 1 John 1

    23 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:

    24 And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.

    25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.

    26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.

    27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.

    28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.

    29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.

    30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.

    31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.

    32 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.

    1 Corinthians 11

  • Abby

    My presenting is amateurish, I know. The historial references I gave for the big 3 churches in the world are NOT based on the traditions of men. But from Scripture and the teachings of Christ Himself to his prophets and apostles. Sacramental Baptism and Holy Communion are defined Scripturally — and I might add, simply. We take Jesus at His word. We know what meaning of the word “is” is.

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/geneveith/2013/02/lutheran-pastor-rejects-baptism-lords-supper/#comment-255759

  • Abby

    As far as repentance goes: one hardly need to remind a Lutheran of that. Our teachings are immersed with it. Our services all include a time of Confession/Absolution. Pr. Delzell knows all this.

  • Grace

    Abby @ 317 and 241

    You gave a great deal of Scripture in post 241, but it did not include infants. It doesn’t because there are no passages that do.

    I disagree with you regarding “traditions of men” – it’s practice began some years after Christ died on the Cross, arose, and the Apostles penned, through the leading of the HOLY Spirit, what we now have as the Bible (God’s Word) which is inerrant. The “traditions of men” is not valid, it never measures up to God’s Word. Just because it’s been done for centuries doesn’t make it right, Scriptural, or of the LORD Jesus Christ

    Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
    Colossians 2:8

  • Abby

    Here’s a good Lutheran message of repentance for you:

    http://cyberbrethren.com/2013/02/12/true-repentance-a-sermon-for-ash-wednesday/

  • Grace

    Abby @ 320

    Repentance, is asking forgiveness for ones sins. I repent all the time. I don’t need to wait until I attend church to hear a pastor forgive me of my sins – the reason being, he cannot forgive me, only God can forgive sins. There is no mediator between myself and God for forgiveness, I can go straight to the LORD, immediately, when I have sinned, either in thought or deed.

  • tODD

    Grace, as always, you remain an incredibly rude woman — and coming from me, that’s saying something, because I’m not the most polite man. Your sole purpose here is to endlessly repeat your damnable heresies, to kill the faith that people have in God’s promises. To that end, your purpose is the same as Satan’s.

    You don’t belong here, Grace. You’re not trying to engage in a conversation. You just want to repeat the same things over and over. You know what replies will come next — or, at least, if you possessed the mental faculties, you would. You should know the verses we will quote back to you. But you never reply to them. You cannot. So you add disingenuity to your heresy and rudeness. You’re simply not here to engage in intelligent conversation.

    I will say this to you, Grace: please go away. Now. If you are capable of understanding anything, then surely you can see that almost nobody here on this blog appreciates what you have to say. You are, at best, an unthinking gadfly. A gadfly that not only buzzes incessantly, but whose stinger is full of poison. And not just social poison, but spiritual poison, as well. So, please, go away. Find a blog where people want to hear what you have to say. That is not this blog.

    And what I say now, I don’t say to you, Grace — because I truly don’t believe that you are capable of understanding it. Whether your ignorance is intentional or just a flaw in your brain, I can’t say. But I say these things for those who are reading but not engaging the discussion.

    A man, which is noted below in verses 3 and 5, is not an infant, it’s an adult. There is no mention of infants. In fact there is no mention of infants anywhere in Scripture to be Baptized.

    This is, quite frankly, stupid. Even you, Grace, have acknowledged that people who are not adult males get baptized in your church. According to this exceptionally stupid logic of yours, women (you know, like you) should not be baptized. Nor should boys, even those who otherwise meet your man-made standards for baptism. So please. This line of argument is disingenuous, even by your standards.

    Oh, and, I know you know this verse, because it gets quoted to you every time you trot out this tired argument. I also know that are incapable of grappling with what this verse says:

    Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.

    Oh, and guess what? Nothing in “born of water and of the Spirit” precludes infants from being baptized. They can be in the presence of water — are you going to argue, Grace, that they are not able to be in the presence of the Spirit? Is He not able to do what He says He will?

    Trusting in baptism is the same as trusting God to fulfill his promises — including his promises regarding baptism. You try to separate trusting in God’s promises from faith, but that is sheer nonsense. They are the same. One cannot trust in God’s promise to save you through baptism without recognizing one’s sins that are the reason you need saving.

    You also make mention of one not reading their Bible…

    Please, woman! On this very same thread, you have studiously avoided discussing Bible passages that we have pointed out to you time and time again. You would literally rather talk about child rape than the verses we have shown you.

    Go away, Grace.

  • tODD

    And here’s another one for the Whack-a-Mole of Heresy that Grace is playing (@321). Grace says:

    I don’t need to wait until I attend church to hear a pastor forgive me of my sins – the reason being, he cannot forgive me, only God can forgive sins.

    Now here’s what the Bible says:

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

    Now, let’s all sit back and watch the woman who thinks she’s all about the Bible only and not the traditions of man explain how the Bible doesn’t mean what it plainly says, and how we should listen to what her denominational leaders teach.

  • Abby

    Todd @323 I believe that IS a checkmate!

  • tODD

    Abby (@324), it’s not — not to Grace, at least. We’ve been over this (specifically, John 20:23) many times before. And because we’ve been over it many times, Grace will somehow use that fact to ignore what has been pointed out to her repeatedly, even though she of course continues hypocritically to repeat her man-made heresies here. Grace, rude as she is, feels free to continue to spew her spiritual poison over and over, but she likewise refuses to listen to Biblical correction. Repetition is for her, not the rest of us, you see.

  • Abby

    Todd, bless you my friend. Our “seeing” is dependent on the Holy Spirit, after all.

  • Grace

    The Disciples who were assembled together, it is to them Christ Jesus spoke; the statement in verses 21 and 22 was to them, not to the future popes of Rome, or pastors, then or fifteen hundred years later, but to His Disciples.


    19 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.
    20 And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the LORD.
    21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.
    22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:
    23 Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.
    John 20

    ☆ The Apostles had power that was not given to those today. – - Rome, and the Pope believe they have the same importance today, and so do other groups and denominations, the directives in John 20 were to the Apostles.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    The Roman Catholic Church, and others believe they have that power to extend absolution, but misunderstand that only Christ can forgive sins.

  • Abby

    Pastor Fisk and Pastor Matt Richard discuss the journey to Lutheranism FROM evangelicalism.

  • tODD

    Abby, just as a bit of background, you should realize how very, very repetitive Grace is being here. When I say that she’s simply not thinking, I mean it literally — she’s quite literally repeating herself verbatim from past discussions.

    For instance, do you see where Grace says (@327), “Do you know anyone today who has that kind of power? I don’t.” If you’ve read enough of Grace’s repetitious nonsense, you really should recognize that phrase. Here’s a sample of her repeating that exact phrase, over and over, in chronological order:

    patheos.com/blogs/geneveith/2010/09/the-rich-man-lazarus/#comment-90727

    patheos.com/blogs/geneveith/2010/09/the-rich-man-lazarus/#comment-90752

    patheos.com/blogs/geneveith/2010/09/the-rich-man-lazarus/#comment-90807

    patheos.com/blogs/geneveith/2011/02/the-2nd-biggest-denomination-nondenominationalism/#comment-156492

    patheos.com/blogs/geneveith/2011/04/lutheranism-as-the-emergent-church/#comment-71455

    patheos.com/blogs/geneveith/2011/05/if-you-forgive-the-sins-of-any-they-are-forgiven-2/#comment-66561

    patheos.com/blogs/geneveith/2011/05/if-you-forgive-the-sins-of-any-they-are-forgiven-2/#comment-66565

    patheos.com/blogs/geneveith/2013/02/lutheran-pastor-rejects-baptism-lords-supper/#comment-255086

    patheos.com/blogs/geneveith/2013/02/lutheran-pastor-rejects-baptism-lords-supper/#comment-256466

    So if you troll through those comments, you’ll see that Grace quite literally has written nothing new here. She’s not responding to you. She’s just copying and pasting old arguments. She’s not listening, much less understanding, anything you say.

    Doesn’t mean others aren’t listening here, of course, which is why I’ll reply to her silliness in a bit.

  • Abby

    Todd, I was beginning to think that she indeed has “talking points” much like the Mormons or JWs who come to my door. I let some Mormons into my home once, we talked quite a bit and I noticed that no matter what I said they would always respond with canned “talking points.” Like circular reasoning. They came back a week later and we did the same thing. I expressed my faith to them. And thanked them and told them we couldn’t really talk anymore. My memory is not nearly as sharp as yours to remember all the detail that you do. When I read some of your comments, I really do laugh out loud!

    Well, keep us straight like you do. I appreciate your rescue. I really do. I’m not normally a confrontive person. But I tend to get a little heated up over Scriptural dissent. Depending on who the person is. If they are antagonizing, I might spar for awhile. But when I see it is futile, I will finally cave. Maybe I have a teeny bit of Luther in me :) Although, he Never caved! That’s why I love him! When he said, “Here I stand,” he became my superhero! Thank you for seeing him for what he was and defending him too!

  • tODD

    So, again, Grace has said (@321):

    I don’t need to wait until I attend church to hear a pastor forgive me of my sins – the reason being, he cannot forgive me, only God can forgive sins.

    Which is a mixture of truth and deception — this is how the Devil plays his game, of course.

    Can only God forgive sins? Of course! And yet, here Grace is quoting her spiritual forebears when she asks “Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” (Luke 5) In that case, they were upset that Jesus was forgiving people. They thought they were being holy in acting offended, and they were right that only God can forgive sins. But, in their unbelief, they denied that Jesus was God. Yet Scripture tells us that “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to [Jesus]” (Matt. 28), so we know that he had authority to forgive others.

    And Scripture also tells us that Jesus gave the authority to forgive to his disciples. He did so in John 20 (to most of the disciples), as well as in Matthew 16 (spoken just to Peter) and Matthew 18 (spoken to all the disciples). But Grace, in her zeal to appear righteous, acts offended like the Pharisees, denying that Jesus has given this authority to his disciples (that is, those who follow Jesus). It’s not clear if she is simply denying the plain words of Scripture, or if perhaps she is denying that Jesus had the right or ability to give that authority to his disciples. Either way, not a safe place for a Christian to stand.

    Still, there is much ignorance in Grace’s argument. For one thing, she insists (as she has in the past, over and over) on making attacks on the papacy, even though there are no Catholics arguing here that I know of. Grace, however, is especially ignorant on the relationship between Catholicism and Lutheranism, so she insists on decrying the papcy. To that extent, we agree, even if she doesn’t understand that.

    She also doesn’t understand the phrase “means of grace” (I know, I know — oh, the irony). She thinks that there is a difference between the forgiveness that a pastor pronounces and the forgiveness God pronounces. Just as her theological forebears thought there was a difference between the forgiveness of Jesus and that from God. Both groups, of course, are sorely mistaken, because they ignore what Scripture teaches (and think that their zeal is worthy).

    Furthermore, Grace creates a straw-man as to the nature of this passage: “I don’t need to…” she says. Now, is any Lutheran arguing that one “needs to” go to a pastor to be forgiven? Of course not. Here Grace is tilting at Catholic windmills again, because she can’t tell the difference between various groups (oh, she’ll tell you she’s studied them for years upon years, but the proof is in the repetitively nonsensical pudding). Anyhow, of course Lutherans confess their sins directly to God, and we know that he has forgiven them in Christ. Yet we also know the comfort of being told we are forgiven by someone other than us. We know how that can be a blessing that removes doubt — as God surely intended it. So Lutherans don’t talk about “needing to” have a pastor forgive us. We talk of “getting to”, even “wanting to”. But here Grace plays the old “Did God really say…” game.

    So Grace clearly has issues with God’s chosen means of Grace. She believes Scripture when it says that she is forgiven, but she denies Scripture when God tells us in it that we have forgiveness through the bread and wine, the water and the Word, or the Word and speaker. She is, in effect, telling God that he cannot use these things. If you ponder it long enough, you’ll see gnosticism lurking in her thinking. She wants to place God in a “spiritual only” box, and deny him the ability to use things of the material world.

  • Abby

    Also, I’m not a bright commentator here I know. But it is fun to read and discuss these things with others! Even if when we don’t agree. Makes one keep thinking. :)

  • Grace

    There are most likely more then have been cited above. The answer to the same questions, when they are asked OVER, and OVER AGAIN.

    The problem is; when the subject of repent, repentance, forgiveness, forgive or absolution, are brought up on this blog, it’s always the same questions, which I answer with the same answer. The next hurdle is; the question: “you didn’t answer my question” but I did answer – the individual asking wants a different answer – until I give the answer they want to HEAR, they persist in stating their grievance, of my not answering their question.

    It goes in CIRCLES, as if my answer will change.

  • Abby

    Todd, Circular Reasoning: “Plato And A Platypus Walk Into A Bar, by Thomas Cathcart and David Klein. In the story, the people of the reservation ask the chief how harsh the winter was going to be. He had no clue, so he told them to go gather fire wood, just in case, while he called the National Weather Service, and the meteorologist who answered told him it was going to be moderately cold, so he tells the people to gather more wood. Shortly later, he calls to confirm what the meteorologist had told him, and the meteorologist then told him it was going to be even colder. So he tells the people to collect even more firewood. This occurs once more, and when the meteorologist tells him it will be a remarkably cold winter, the chief asks him how he came upon this conclusion. The meteorologist then explained that the Indians on the reservation were collecting a lot of firewood.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circular_reasoning

    Let me know if it doesn’t apply.

  • Abby

    Grace @333: “. . . on this blog . . .” are the key words. “The problem is; when the subject of repent, repentance, forgiveness, forgive or absolution, are brought up on this blog, it’s always the same questions, which I answer with the same answer.”

    If you know where you are, and what our answers are going to be — why does that surprise you? I used to work with a Jewish woman — who worked with Lutheran pastors for many years. (She was from Venezuela and she translated Hispanic for them for Hispanic ministries.) Even though she never converted to Christianity she had absorbed way more than she herself even realized. I knew this from talking with her. She was more cognizant of Lutheranism than you can understand, especially since you’ve been here so long as Todd has said. So, I am really puzzled. For as long as you’ve been discussing these things with us you have not absorbed any understanding at all.

  • Abby

    “It goes in CIRCLES, as if my answer will change.” And you think ours are going to change?!!

  • Grace

    Abby @ 35 “For as long as you’ve been discussing these things with us you have not absorbed any understanding at all.”

    I do understand Abby, the “absorbed” part, doesn’t mean I agree with it – what I understand is, that most of the people on this blog who are Lutheran, are ‘cradle Lutheran’s – They were raised, like Roman Catholics to believe exactly what they are told. Both Roman Catholics, Calvinists, and Lutherans learn a great deal of their doctrine from books, such as the B of C, The Institutes, and other books which were either written by John Calvin or Martin Luther, or written by those who agreed with them.

    I was raised in a Christian home, my father was a pastor. However, being taught from childhood, certain doctrine, through study, I changed. That’s because I studied the Bible on my own, taking the time to evaluate what I believed, and why. Having said that, I realized that some things, through endless study of the Bible I could not agree with. I also found that it is more than possible to study the Bible without outside influence.

    I understand much of Lutheran doctrine, but that does not mean I agree with it. This thread is interesting to me, because of the pastor who made the statements about “infant Baptism” – that caught my eye. As you know I don’t agree with infants being Baptized.

    It’s important for you to understand, there are people who don’t take every doctrine, and believe it completely. That would include Calvinism, Luther, and a host of others. That doesn’t mean I disagree with everything.

    My source is the Word of God.

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

    Grace, Just go away. Go away or tell me when your children become your children. On second though go away.

  • tODD

    Oops, wasn’t quite done replying to Grace’s “argument”, but family duties called for a while. You’ll understand if playing with my children (who, frankly, frequently display a better understanding of biblical principles than does Grace) takes up some of my time.

    Anyhow, Grace’s argument is still self-refuting. Remember, she claimed (@321) that a pastor “cannot forgive me, only God can forgive sins”. I’ve already shown the many, many Scriptural problems with that statement.

    But, even from the standpoint of reason, it’s still crap. Why? Because of the way Grace tries to ignore John 20:23. She says:

    The Apostles had power that was not given to those today.

    Get that? She concedes, in her own argument, that the Apostles (John says “disciples”, but whatever) actually had the authority to forgive sins. Which means that, no matter how much she tries to limit her argument temporally, she has proven her thesis to be false! She has explicitly admitted that God can work through men to forgive sins! She denies her own base claim.

    But don’t get me wrong — her argument is stupid for other reasons, too. “The Apostles were chosen of the LORD, they are different than you and me.” Which, in her mind, means that anything they did is something we can’t do today. Like, you know, teach others what Jesus taught. Or baptize people. … Whoops! Yeah, obviously Grace doesn’t believe that. (She was baptized, wasn’t she? But wasn’t that something only the Apostles could do?!?!) So instead, we see this: Grace asserts herself (or, more honestly, her denominational leaders’ teachings) as the sole arbiter of which of the apostles’/disciples’ actions can be done today. Grace says it’s okay to teach and baptize, because Grace thinks that’s okay. Grace says it’s not okay to forgive, because Grace doesn’t like that. And so Grace claims to be the ultimate interpreter of Scripture. … Just like the Pope! (Except, frankly, that most Popes generally seem like pretty smart guys.)

  • tODD

    Anyhow, Grace, it’s obvious to everyone but you (that’s a bit of a refrain, isn’t it?) that you’re incapable of engaging the discussions you’re apparently trying to have. The reason you keep hearing complaints of “you didn’t answer my question” is because … um, you didn’t. You apparently can’t. As in, literally, you are intellectually incapable of doing so. Or whatever. But your words here are pretty much worthless. You’re not making your case well. You refuse to engage in dialogue. And you’re, quite simply, annoying — and nothing more.

    The only question, which you will not answer (though I’m sure that somewhere in your mind, you have convinced yourself that you have, it’s just the rest of the world who has issues) is why you bother posting your poorly argued comments that both ignore large swaths of Scripture and are frequently semi-literate. Seriously. Why? Do you just enjoy making an ass of yourself? I mean, obviously, the answer to that is yes, so I’m still left wondering: why?

    You so very clearly don’t understand a fraction of what you claim to understand. You are, in fact, a poster child for self-delusion, for the arrogance of ignorance: you know so little about things that you have fooled yourself into thinking that everyone else must therefore know even less than you. But people who do know something can see through this facade, Grace. I mean, you’ve very recently confused the Book of Concord with a concordance. I expect that sort of fundamental mistake from your average, ignorant person, but you actually claim to know something about Lutherans. You know next to nothing. And typing out that you’ve studied X for Y years doesn’t really convince us otherwise.

    I’m sorry to have to be so blunt, Grace, but you’re incredibly thick. Mind-bogglingly, stultifyingly thick. You’re so thick I worry that I’m still not being explicit enough in this paragraph. I’m less worried about hurting your feelings than I am about making sure I’m being as clear as possible in getting my point across to you.

    Your comments — at the very least, those about Lutheranism and most likely those about Christianity in general — are of no value here. You are terrible at discussing things, at least in an online setting. Please stop.

    In summary (lest I be unclear): please go away. Please.

  • Grace

    tODD @ 339

    “She concedes, in her own argument, that the Apostles (John says “disciples”, but whatever) actually had the authority to forgive sins. Which means that, no matter how much she tries to limit her argument temporally, she has proven her thesis to be false! She has explicitly admitted that God can work through men to forgive sins! She denies her own base claim.

    The twelve are referred to as “disciples” and, or “Apostles” – I thought everyone knew this. It’s right in the Bible. It isn’t “whatever” –

    1 And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.

    2 Now the names of the twelve apostles are these; The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Matthew 1

    This should clear it up for you tODD – there are many other FACTS, which you have twisted about, but this is a good start.

  • Grace

    That should be Matthew 10:1-2 @ post 341

  • Abby

    @331 “So Grace clearly has issues with God’s chosen means of Grace. She believes Scripture when it says that she is forgiven, but she denies Scripture when God tells us in it that we have forgiveness through the bread and wine, the water and the Word, or the Word and speaker. She is, in effect, telling God that he cannot use these things. If you ponder it long enough, you’ll see gnosticism lurking in her thinking. She wants to place God in a “spiritual only” box, and deny him the ability to use things of the material world.”

  • Abby

  • tODD

    See, Grace (@341)? This is such a perfect response from you! (Perfect as to its Grace-ness; the quality of the argument is, of course, far from perfect.)

    You ignore almost the entirety of what is said to you, choosing instead to focus on one tiny thing that was in no way a major point at all. You then blow that one thing into a comment that is incoherent, and then you feel like you’ve made some sort of a general response.

    And, of course, you will complain if I make any follow-up questions (noting that you didn’t actually reply to the actual argument) by claiming that you’ve already replied. Even though — and here I belabor the point for your sake — you in no way rebutted anything I said.

    Also, hate to break it to you, Bible Scholar, but John does not use the word “disciples” to refer exclusively to the Apostles (aka the Twelve). Read John 6:60ff. Note how John contrasts “the disciples” (many of whom left Jesus at that point) with “the Twelve” (who did not). Also, the intelligent person may note that I said “John says ‘disciples’”, but your rebuttal quoted to me from Matthew.

    Honestly, go away, Grace. You’re terrible at this. Seriously.

    If you really think that your teachings need to be represented on this blog (only you could hazard a guess as to why, though you’d be unable to communicate the reason to us, of that I’m sure), please find someone at your church who can craft a coherent argument and actually reply to things said to him.

    Maybe you could hire a ghost-writer. You would talk to them at length about all the vast stores of knowledge you’ve amassed, and he would try to boil them down into something that makes sense. Only, he wouldn’t have to actually tell the rest of us here about them. You could just talk to him, and he could keep it to himself. Because, honestly, that would be just as edifying as your typing things here. Because you’re terrible at discussions. Have I made that clear?

    Also, please go away.

  • Abby

  • Abby

    oops, @346 wrong video

  • Abby

  • Abby

    I give up — wrong video.

  • Abby

    I think I finally got it:

  • Helen K.

    Was thinking of a verse that sticks in my mind in light of some of the discussions. Today is Ash Wednesday. I think that John 13:35 is good to remember. Wishing one and all peace, joy and thankfulness to our great God. Lord Jesus, come quickly.

  • Grace

    Helen K @351

    By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
    John 13:35

    Excellent passage of Scripture Helen – Thank you

  • Helen K.

    You’re welcome, Grace. …..and the greatest of these (commandments) is love. I’ve fallen behind in my memory of scripture. I guess I’m thinking of the bottom line.

  • Abby

    Helen, Yes, Grace is part of the Body of Christ. Maybe you haven’t read all the posts. The conflict that is being presented has to do with the meaning of the Sacraments that we Lutherans believe. That has nothing to do with love for her. No matter what anyone says, she refutes it, which is her perogative. As if we are going to change our minds by listening to her unceasing diatribe. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/geneveith/2013/02/lutheran-pastor-rejects-baptism-lords-supper/#comment-256453

    Please forgive me, but this applies to Grace if it also applies to us. Doctrine matters. http://www.esvbible.org/search/Titus+3%3A1-11/

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

    No, Grace does not refute anything, that is a very wrong choice of words. Refuting would mean that she actually engaged in argument in an intelligent way managing to show the other person’s position false. No, Grace ignores the argument re-posts hers and belligerently refuses to accept the a point or understand the conversation she has joined in.
    Yes, Grace, Please leave. Just go away. I do not bid you Godspeed.
    ” Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, 11 for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works.” 2 John 9-11

  • Abby

    @355 “No, Grace does not refute anything, that is a very wrong choice of words.”

    Sorry. I should have looked up the meaning of the word before I used it. You are right.

  • mikeb

    For all the folks asking Grace to just leave, I want you to put your Luther caps on and put the best construction on things:

    No one is completely worthless. They can at least serve as a bad example.

  • fws

    Grace, my dear sister in Christ,

    Please stay.
    We need you here, and I welcome you to be here.
    You are my sister in Christ. I have no other option. I must welcome you.

  • fws

    I am certain that I can speak also for the good Dr Veith in saying what must be said to make you feel welcome here and valued.

  • tODD

    FWS (@359), on a different thread, Veith just banned someone after one comment for failing to ” engage the scholarship, the historical evidence, and the arguments presented here”. I’m not sure you are able to speak for Veith on this matter.

    MikeB (@357), I am not addressing Grace’s “worthiness”. I am addressing her place in the conversations on this blog.

    A commenter who repeatedly spoke only in a language we did not recognize or understand could, conceivably, also serve as a useful example. “Well, once again, I guess we’ve all learned that it’s important to speak the same language so we can understand each other.” So would a man who pasted in the same reply on every thread, regardless of its topic. However, those scenarios would not in any way constitute actual conversation.

    Everyone is welcome at my church, but they are not welcome to scream the entire time they are there.

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

    No, I think there comes a time to say goodbye. To ask a person to leave, because they have shown that they are not interested in having conversation. As Todd says.

  • Abby

    “I am addressing her place in the conversations on this blog.”

    I think she would be happier to be with more “like-minded” people. Instead of ridiculing those here, and doing it over and over and over and over. It gets very irritating after awhile. Because it does not strike me as honest dialogue at all. It is always attack mode with Bible verses. In which case do not always apply. It is a cherry-picking and proof-texting method (someone correct me if I am wrong).

  • fws

    Todd & Bror
    http://wp.patheos.com.s3.amazonaws.com/blogs/nadiabolzweber/files/2012/09/JesusHealstheDeafMute.jpg

    This pastor says it all way better than I possibly could.
    Faith comes by hearing. Hearing comes, alone, by the Word of God.

    We need to simply focus on the doing of our work here.
    We need to leave the business of results to God.

  • fws

    Abby @ 362
    I would beg you to pray for all of us (especially me!) for the patience that St Paul calls us to in I cor 13:4-7

    Instead of putting the focus on our baptized sister Grace in the way that it Always happens with her comments,….
    let´s strive to keep our eyes fixed on what , alone, will remain forever.
    Against love there is no law.

  • mikeb

    tODD @ 360

    I think my comment didn’t come across as I intended. I am certainly not questioning Grace’s “worthiness” as a person. She is, as far as I can tell, our sister in Christ. The very same Christ died on the cross as much for her as for you and I.

    However, as a scholar, even an arm-chair scholar, she serves a bad example, one that we should not emulate. And her worth–perhaps contribution is more apt?–on this site is as a guide to show us how not to engage. She’s a bomb thrower, yells fire in a crowded theatre, abuses her freedom–whatever “bad” conduct you can say she’s probably done it on this blog but in so doing she points so many of us to search the Word so that we may give an answer for the reason for the hope that we have. She’s a bad example when we’re talking decent and scholarly discusson, but like so many “bad” things she can still serve God’s purposes.

  • Abby

    fws@364 “Against love there is no law.” I agree. Believe me, I do give grace, but could do a lot more. I swallow a lot. But, do you think, love does not necessarily mean being a doormat?

    You have my prayers. But, I have to warn you, they are not special. :) You have a dear heart. Thank you for your compassion.

  • mikeb

    few @364

    “Against love there is no law.”

    Sometimes love is the stinging hand of rebuke. St. Paul shows just that in the same chapter of Galations that I believe you are referencing. Read ch. 5 v. 12 closely and tell me it’s not.

    However, I think you’re saying that we should keep our discussion on the merits and not on one’s antics. I would whole-heartedly agree, at least if that’s what you are saying. But, sometimes, its hard to separate behavior from argument. Love isn’t all warm and fuzzy, hand-holding and singing Koombya. Sometimes love is actually the Law, condemning us and prompting us to amend our actions. Yes, love is patient and kind. Love shows compassion and mercy. But love is not afraid to take a stand, for “love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” (1 Cor. 13:6-7)

  • Helen K.

    FWS @ 358. 363, 364 Have to say I agree with Frank here. Hope that doesn’t make me heretical. (: There is usually more than one side to some disagreements. I’m not speaking of true doctrine here. I’m not a life long Lutheran. I understand where Grace is coming from. It’s not so much as disagreement with her postings and ideas – its the tone that I hear here at times. It makes me sad.

  • SKPeterson

    I will ask that Grace stay. She is useful in her role as bad exegete (eisegete) and theological foil. True, she frustrates, but like iron, she also sharpens.

  • Gene Veith

    tODD, the reason I banned him was his name-calling. He said people who believe in Lent are “crybabies,” “cultural Christian liars,” and “stupid.”

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

    SKPeterson,
    How is she, Grace, a foil? I mean I can’t stand baptist theology, which is what she espouses whether she cares to admit it or not. She belongs to a baptist, if not Baptist, church but she can’t distinguish that. She thinks she is nondenominational… In any case, I can’t stand the theology. But we have had others here who have espoused the same theology and we were able to get along with them. I think of DonS, and even BikeBubba who could be belligerent in his own right, but would finally concede a point, or at least engage it in conversation. Grace, has over these last years, not engaged intelligently once to my knowledge. In fact it has become the running joke that when she shows up and comments the discussion has ceased to be intelligent, has gone off the tracks. A foil, would be one who is intelligent and can actually read an argument and understand it enough to engage it and try refute it. Grace poses no challenge, does not make one pursue scripture, or dig deeper into their own theology. She just quotes gibberish, over and over again, making you respond with the same scripture over and over again. It gets tiresome. In fact it makes one want to leave board altogether, as it even derails the intelligent conversation that otherwise goes on.

  • SKPeterson

    Bror – I too have gotten extremely frustrated with Grace in the past, and true, the arguments seem to follow the same tired, downward spiral from the opening theological non sequitur to final anti-Lutheran denouement. Grace is a baptist, a sacramentarian, and an Arminian by the evidence. That cannot be denied. Much of my argument (such as it is, and I admit it isn’t much) is that there are others out there, like Abby maybe, who are confronted by Grace types and desperately need to be shored up in the faith for their own sake. It is also instructive for them to see that they will meet obstinate and stubborn people (perhaps in their own families) who will “argue” in the same manner. This is like my brother-in-law who was caught up in some sort of baptistic dispensationalism such that every family gathering was an occasion for him to spout off on some crackpot assertions put forward by his pastor or some guy on tv. These people are out there Bror – you see them everyday – and they must be engaged and thwarted at every turn for the sake of the truth of the Gospel (wow- that sounds all high and mighty and self-justifying doesn’t it?). I probably am off base. Anyhow, I approach it like this: if I don’t want to engage Grace, I simply don’t.

  • fws

    Bror @ 371

    Bror! I LOVE pastors like you. You tirelessly seek to defend and preserve and proclaim the forgiveness of sins for sinners like me.

    You really do have a shepherd´s heart, and you see the damage that junk theology has in both the christian and temporal lives of men and women. And so you call a thing for what it is.

    Your voice, as a called and ordained “sent one” needs to be heard here. The situation is pretty desperate. This forum is a place where voices like yours would be heard by those who normally would not hear such a voice. So don´t stop. Please.

    SKP @372
    Don´t stop SKP. You have the right impulses. We have been given such incredible mercy for our own failures to hear what God´s Word says. Often we willfully fail to hear what God´s Word says don´t we? And so we , sadly, fail to receive God´s will for us, which is Always for goodness and mercy to be done.

    Instead we reach for doing some form of sacrifice , precisely aimed at calming our restless consciences.
    So we can understand right where Grace is at can´t we?

    So God calls us, through men and women like Grace, to be living sacrifices, unconcerned with the fact that our task is to die (we are already dead to all that in Christ) so Old Adam can get outta the way and so we can return , 70 times 7, to repeat the same Word of God to the same circular arguments of Grace.

    Rinse and repeat. And… rinse and repeat some more. Dying to self looks like that. There is no Life there.
    It´s not supposed to feel good.

    And we just do that. again and again.
    And we let God´s Word do it´s work.
    And we learn the discipline that is necessary for the fruits of kindness and mercy and love to be done in our Old Adams.
    We focus on doing it a little better each time. Killing ourselves that is.

    It looks like this: we focus on doing what us for us to do, and we leave the business of results to God.
    God´s Word WILL work on Grace, and … at the same time… it will work even more on us , each and every time we repeat, over and over and over, the same stuff
    And the end of that “stuff” is, alone, alone, alone, to have us and others trust , alone in that “for YOU!” for the forgiveness of sins.

    Luther: “True christianity is use-less on Earth, except to God and a troubled conscience.”
    So what is it we want for Grace? for her to become more logical? to acquire better Reading comprehension skills? to be a more enjoyable debate partner? to be more polite?
    Those would be good for her to decide to do… but that is not what we Lutherans pray for her to have really is it?

    And it is , alone, God´s Word that can work that heart-trust in her. Just as it is, alone, our repeating that same God´s Word of Promise , over and over and over and….. will work that one thing needful in each of us and preserve us in the same.

    Bless you two good men!

  • mikeb

    Our men’s bible study is working through Joshua and just came to the part where the Israelites cross the Jordan. I wanted to share because I think it’s particularly applicable to this thread. We reviewed the crossing of the Red Sea and Jesus’ Baptism in the Jordan and discussed how “coming through the waters” for the Israelites was a picture, a precursor, of Holy Baptism which was yet to come. We noted that God saved Israel and set them apart through these waters. But how many remained faithful? You’ll recall that the Children of God were forced to wander the desert for a time, that Moses was not allowed to cross into the Promised Land, and that many if the Tribes that Joshua eventually led to Jerhico soon turned away. I guess what I’m getting at is this: Pastor Delzell seems to have “rediscovered” a problem that has plagued the Church since the time of Moses: It’s filled with sinners. And while some of them want nothing to do with God, there remains the remnant, the Faithful, the Royal Priesthood, the peculiar people of God. But just because the Church is filled with sinners doesn’t mean God isn’t still God or that His Word can’t do what He says it does. It means we need His Word of Grace all the more.

  • Abby

    mikeb@374 I like the way you state that. Pastor’s might be relieved of some “conversion” stress if they would remember the passage of John 6:44 http://www.esvbible.org/search/John+6%3A43-47/

  • kerner

    I agree with SKP and fws:

    Grace should stay. If for no other reason than this blog has put up with me for so long.

  • fws

    mikeb @ 374

    Wow Mike.
    That is one of the most awesome posts I have ever read,
    We read in Genesis the prophecy of all that.
    So the men and women who were lead outta Egypt were told that all would happen beforehand.
    Amazing that they STILL just refused to get it.

    Just like ME most of the time.
    Lord have mercy! +

  • fws

    abby @ 375

    very nice !

  • fws

    kerner @ 376

    What a cogent and compelling argument.
    I would expect nothing less from our very own Legal Eagle.

    So I think that settles the matter.
    Who could argue with this?

  • fws

    Kerner @ 376

    I love you brother Kerner.
    Don´t worrry…no… not in THAT way…. ha!

  • fws

    To All:

    I am going through one of the most challenging times of my life.
    I am being made to work through some personal issues that I have , apparently , either refused to deal with before or wasn´t ready to deal with before.
    Apparently God thinks I am ready now.
    It´s been … um… interesting.

    I need your prayers. as in really , really need them.
    Pray for me for constancy and faithfulness in my vocations regardless of how I feel at any moment.
    Pray for me that I remain focussed on the needs of others rather than my own,
    and at the same time that I do what is necessary to be a faithful steward of what God has given me as to my own health and financial wellbeing.
    And pray that I seek out God´s Word and prayer. That most of all,
    That I cling to those two words “for YOU!” that is about hiding all my own Works inside the Works of Another so that I can get some rest from my conscience which is constantly accusing me.

    Thank you!

  • fws

    Bror @ 371

    You make me feel like a sheep for whom God has given the gift of good and faithful shepherds who fearlessly watch over me, to protect me from anything that would do me spiritual harm.

    Bless you pastor Erickson!

  • Abby

    fws@381 “. . . get some rest from my conscience which is constantly accusing me.”

    I also. Isn’t this the problem Luther had? And he discovered the answer. But that didn’t eradicate his problem forever. It was the devil he battled with. (“Luther: Man Between God and the Devil”) Luther said he had to preach the Gospel to himself everyday because he forgot it everyday. Because we are Christians, we are targets of the Devil — mili-second by mili-second.

    I can only trust, bottom line, that He will bring me home. I can’t do it.

    I meant it when I said I will pray for you. I did already today.

  • fws

    abby @ 383

    Indeed.

    21] Likewise the faith of which we speak exists in
    repentance, i.e., it is conceived in the terrors of conscience, which feels the wrath of God against our sins,
    and seeks the remission of sins, and to be freed from sin. And in such terrors and other afflictions this
    faith ought to grow and be strengthened. The Lutheran Confessions, Apology to the Augsburg Confessions, Art III “Love and the Fulfilling of the Law” http://www.bookofconcord.com pdf download on site.

    I am finding that this describes, exactly, my own “daily exercise .of repentence”.
    It requires total dedication, effort and concentration on my own part.
    At the same time, it is utterly impossible without God´s Word and prayer powering it.

    42] These testimonies state that ..God must give us His Holy Ghost, by whom, alone, we are … sanctified…and kept with Him; and no mention is made either of our will or cooperation….59] …and is…much worse than a stone and block; for he resists the Word and will of God, until God awakens him from the death of sin, enlightens and renews him.
    http://bookofconcord.org/sd-freewill.php#para42

    88] But how God in conversion changes stubborn and unwilling into willing men through the drawing of the Holy Ghost, and that after such conversion, in the daily EXERCISE of repentance , the regenerate will of man is not idle, but also cooperates in all the works of the Holy Ghost which He does through us, has already been sufficiently explained above. (bolding and ALL CAPS added)
    http://bookofconcord.org/sd-freewill.php#para88

  • fws

    abby @ 383

    God has promised to bring it all home if we cling to God´s Word and gladly seek to hear and apply both the Law and the Promises contained there.
    So we must not despise God´s Word and prayer!

    This is what we can do of our own natural powers and will:
    We can show up in church and hear a sermon!
    So we need to do ALL we can to encourage and welcome to church , especially those who are on the fringes of society and seem trapped in some “lifestyle” issue that they seem reprobated to.

    With man it is impossible. But with God, all things are possible.
    And he directs us, alone, to his Word, to make that possible.
    Even for Grace. Even for gay men like me. Even for (fill in YOUR name here).

    “For the Promise IS for you! and for your children!”

    “Nothing in our hands we bring. Simply to the Cross we cling. “

  • fws

    No man, church or pastor ever has the right to remove that “for YOU!” that is alone the Holy Gospel.

    “The preaching of Christ Crucified is the most terrifying Law” (Formula of Concord , art V, Solid Declaration).
    “we come to the holy supper to learn to be horrified at our sins” (Small Catechism, Questions and Answers)

    These things are purê and terrifying Law.
    The same Bible passage can be both Law AND Gospel at the SAME time!
    What , alone, turns the same words that are potent Law into sweetest Gospel?

    What , alone, has the Power , alone, to do such great things?

    It is,
    alone,
    when the Holy Spirit
    plants that heart-trust that clings,
    alone,
    to those two glorious and joyous words
    “for YOU!”
    for the forgiveness of sins.

    The Lutheran Confessions (Apology III ” Love and the Fulfilling of the Law”):

    (paraphrase) Justification Always happens in this way: 1) God makes a Promise and places it in ordinary carnal things of the flesh that will perish. 2) Faith lays hold of and clings to the Promise for dear life 3) Faith receives the Promised Mercy right there where the Promise is placed.

    No mention is made of our cooperation or of our Works of repentence here.

    It is a great sin, error, and the pinnacle of heresy to ever, ever, ever, withhold those Two Words from anyone. Ever.

    May the Lord of Life preserve our Holy Catholic Church from such a heinous error.

  • Abby

    I agonize over doubting quite a bit. When it comes I know it shouldn’t be there. As you said, I go to the Word, I go to church to hear, I go to Holy Communion as much as I can get it. (I now found a little LCMS church way out in the country from me that offers a weekly Wednesday evening Confession/Absolution service with a devotion and with Communion. Only about 30 minutes long. I love it! I may sound to RC in saying this, but if I could find a daily one I would go.

    When I wrote what I did about the grandmothers, I forgot to finish a thought which was to say that “they were at rest.” http://www.patheos.com/blogs/geneveith/2013/02/lutheran-pastor-rejects-baptism-lords-supper/#comment-256308

    I observed this in my two grandmothers all the way to their deaths. Their faith was simple. Maybe even tiny, like mine. They were untrained but they knew the basics. They were faithful.

    I love to study doctrine and theology. But I know that that does not save me. The only thing that can is the simple faith of a child. In my mind I go back to the faith I had as a child to teach me how my faith should be now. It was uncluttered and simple. And joyful.

    There has never been a time that I have not loved being at church. I love all our pastors for the faithful work they do for us. And I grieve when people give them so much trouble.

    Anyway, God bless you. Our struggles cannot seperate us from God. Because we do have faith.

  • Abby

    -Literal Translation

    “In the shadow of his right hand, the whole world shall prosper quickly on the day of God. Believe in his gift, have faith on behalf of the singing masses, believe his words. In the shadow of his right hand, in the shadow of the cross, in the shadow of God, there is his light. Hail! He lives, the king has promised. Hail! He lives, The king is true. All of the world, have faith in him and Christ the Lord… Believe In God.”

    http://youtu.be/nlnkahNbHm8 Diem Ex Dei Globus

  • fws

    abby @ 387

    “Our struggles cannot seperate us from God. Because we do have faith.”

    Amen. And even when we don´t: God is faithful.

  • dust

    fws….am praying for you too! remember, all things work together for good :)

    cheers!

  • fws

    dust @ 390

    God, at least for today, is granting me the grace to trust in that and have a calm heart and mind.
    Thank you so much for your prayers.

  • Helen K.

    Frank-of course I will pray for you, a brother in Christ. I’m glad you asked. May our Lord give you strength, comfort and wisdom for whatever your need is. And don’t we all need the same???
    God Bless You.

  • Abby

    fws: Sorry, just because a thought enters my mind doesn’t mean I should speak it! :)

  • kerner

    fws:

    Amazing how those “challenging times” just keep on coming, isn’t it. You are of course in my prayers.

  • Abby

    fws: I know you know these: Matthew 12:15-21 “. . . a bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not quench, until he brings justice to victory and in his name the Gentiles will hope.”

    Matthew 11:25-30 ” . . . Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

    Just keep coming.

  • Pingback: Prayer request(s)

  • Abby

    Dear Frank, I don’t know if you are struggling with a faith issue, but in case you may be I received this today and thought I would share it with you. God bless you.

    http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?llr=gxf7b9bab&v=0018RV34s7Da5182pp_QAD3b34fGIhy1_eNu_vHO8PiV9KkgVwWRGcCSH4HXpF8ZgWlYUJyBrYjWnBgUsHxuExCqV86MnvhtDoV-KxzEYfhPQ8%3D

  • dust

    fws at 381…

    “and at the same time that I do what is necessary to be a faithful steward of what God has given me as to my own health and financial wellbeing.”

    Am praying for you and your issues with those “imposters” in this world…have been down that road too brother, and know God will provide a “way out” FOR YOU!

    You know: In all these things, we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us :)

    cheers!

  • Grace

     ‏
     ‏  ‏  ‏  ‏ fws,

    Please let us know how you are. We are concerned for you, and pray for you, whatever the situation is.

    Dr. Veith started a thread yesterday as a “Prayer request(s)” for you and other who want prayer. Please check it out.

    Praying for you Frank,

    Prayer request(s)
    February 18, 2013 By Gene Veith
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/geneveith/2013/02/prayer-requests/#comment-257168

  • Abby

    Maybe a good end to this thread, from Pr. Bryan Wolfmueller. A video, approx. 1 hr, 9 min. : “Becoming Lutheran from Evangelicalism” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3kwGL2liaFY

  • Pingback: URL


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X