Bondage vs. Freedom

Our pastor said that each one of us is a “filthy, rotten, putrid, maggot-infested cesspool of a sinner.”  But he meant it in a nice way.   See his Reformation Sunday sermon, drawn from John 8:31-36, on the bondage of sin and the freedom that Christ gives.  Excerpt after the jump. [Read more...]

Blood transfusion

The nurse who recovered from Ebola had received a blood transfusion from Dr. Kent Brantly, that first American missionary doctor who contracted the disease but survived.  So far, he has given about a gallon of his blood to others with the disease, and it seems to be helping.  The recipients and the donor must have compatible blood types, but the antibodies that successfully killed the virus in the survivor can be transferred into another person’s body.

I can’t resist the comparison to the blood of Christ.  He bore the disease of sin in His body and went so far as to die from it, though that particular virus was ours, not His.  But He rose from the dead.  Now His blood is our cure.  He gives us a blood transfusion:

And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” (Matthew 26:27-28) [Read more...]

Must wedding chapel ministers perform gay weddings?

A wedding chapel is not a church, though ordained ministers often preside at the marriages.  Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, is insisting that two ministers who work for a wedding chapel must perform gay marriages.  If they don’t, they will be in violation of the city’s non-discrimination ordinance, which means a penalty of up to 180 days in jail and fines of $1,000 per day.

So should a church exemption apply to a minister without a congregation?  Or should religious exemptions apply to individuals regardless of affiliation? [Read more...]

Why a millennial Christian loves the liturgy

Rev. Erik Parker, who blogs at The Millennial Pastor, has written a thoughtful piece on why he and others of this millennial generation prizes liturgical worship.  He does not attack contemporary worship, and he writes in an irenic tone, summarizing the various attempts the church has made over the years to attract “the younger generation” and citing his own experience in and out of the church.  He then explains how and why “Liturgy can engage the young people.” [Read more...]

Standing with the Houston Five

Rev. Dr. Scott Murray is the 4th Vice President of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod and the pastor of Memorial Lutheran Church in Houston, a good guy whom I know personally.  You’ve got to read his statement on the mayor’s law firm that is subpoening the sermons of  five pastors who criticized a gay rights ordinance, thus threatening their church’s tax exempt status for allegedly meddling in politics.  Pastor Murray says he would gladly share his sermons with the mayor and her legal team.  And yet, in the Kingdom of Caesar, he stills stands with the Houston Five.  See what he says after the jump. [Read more...]

Family synod’s final statement is more conservative

The initial statement from the Roman Catholic synod on the family was hailed for its welcoming language for divorced Catholics and same-sex partners, but the final version emphasized more traditional moral teachings.  But votes on the sections show a very divided group of bishops.  The deliberations will continue next year with a broader selection of participants. [Read more...]


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