Giving up something for Lent

There is a great piece on Lent in the Federalist by my friend Todd Peperkorn. He makes an excellent case for the helpfulness of giving stuff up during Lent, especially in this day and age.  He does more than that, though, so read it all, linked and excerpted after the jump. [Read more…]

The most romantic things you can do

Go to church together.  Pray together.   According to a new study, couples who do those things have stronger and more satisfying relationships.

Read the whole article by Rachel Lu in The Federalist, linked to an excerpted after the jump.  She also ties this research into that Swiss study that found that when the father goes to church, the children will go to church when they are adults (and vice versa).

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The imposition of ashes and God’s gift of repentance

What an Ash Wednesday service we had:  the Litany AND the imposition of ashes AND the sacrament of Holy Communion.  The grandkids thought it was cool to have ashes put on their heads, but it was hard to see them with the mark of death upon them, but that’s the way it is.  I think Pastor Cwirla’s objection to the imposition of ashes that I blogged about yesterday–that a pastor is to convey forgiveness, not another reminder of sin and death–is answered when the service includes the sacrament, so that the pastor is giving both the law followed by the gospel.

But I want to share with you another take on the imposition of ashes.  Sandra Ostapowich, in a movingly honest and well-written post, writes about her struggles to apply Lenten disciplines, to conquer her sins, and even to repent of them.  But then the imposition of ashes reminds her of how God does everything for her salvation, including giving her the gift of repentance. [Read more…]

Canadian Lutheran schools & LGBTQ laws

The government of Alberta has decreed that all schools must conform to its LGBTQ-affirming guidelines, apparently including private (and thus Christian) schools.  After the jump, a statement from the president of the Alberta district of the Lutheran Church of Canada. [Read more…]

American ISIS supporter tells of his plan to attack a church

A Muslim from Dearborn Heights, Michigan,was arrested for planning to attack a church in the Detroit area.  His remarks about his dreams and motivations are especially telling:

“If I can’t do jihad in the Middle East, I would do my jihad over here.”

“It is my dream to behead someone.”

Is it time for churches to implement security plans?  Or would that show a lack of faith that God would protect them, according to His will?

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Concordia Edmonton repudiates its Christian identity

Concordia University Edmonton, a college of the Lutheran Church Canada (both of which were founded by the LCMS), has removed all references to Lutheranism and to Christianity from its governing documents.  The institution’s board of directors took that action without consulting the Lutheran Church Canada.

The college had gradually been cutting its ties with the church.  Instead of the church body electing the board members, the school moved to a self-selecting board.  Apparently, the LCC does not own the campus, as the LCMS does its network of 10 institutions in the Concordia University System.  Edmonton’s seminary is a separate entity from the college.  But many of Concordia Edmonton’s faculty members are on the clergy roster and have calls to the college, which will apparently end now that the institution has rejected its Christian ties.

I am shocked at this.  I spoke at Concordia Edmonton a couple of years ago, and I met some very solid faculty members.  My understanding is that many of the faculty are against this decision, and that the president of the LCC, Robert Bugbee, is studying what action can be taken.  Church colleges often slowly drift away, but I don’t know that I’ve seen this kind of decisive repudiation of Christian identity.  (Canadian Lutheran readers, can you tell us more about this?)

UPDATE:  Be sure to read Bror Erikson’s comment, below.  He gives some more context, saying that part of the problem is that church, in effect, severed its ties with CUE, cutting off its funding and forcing it into the arms of the state.

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