Since the US Supreme Court’s decision Friday, June 26, the world of the LCMS has been awash in prophecies of doom by seminary, district, RSO, and synodical “pastors” with their hair on fire. The language and tone of such prophecies has been incendiary, almost riotous. The only purpose such language has is to spread fear and the passive encouragement of hatred. Continue reading Put the Fire Out
The hunt for the elusive “why” becomes almost epic, perhaps even Homeric. The hunt for the “why” actually becomes a quixotic quest, with the tip of our finger pointed Cervantes like at those windmills failure. We need the “why” to locate the failure, because when failure is found, blame can be assigned. Continue reading Do the Charleston.
“Who is a God like you—pardoning iniquity, passing over transgression[s]”—and sitting down to eat with sinners and tax collectors! Is it any wonder that the Pharisees are in shock? Continue reading On Receiving Sinners, Trinity 3 2015
I’ve often thought that a more accurate measure of an organization is not how many successes that they have, but rather how they deal with failures. Nowhere is this truer than in the church, and nowhere is failure as fatally extreme as when it has to do with sexual transgressions. Aside from anemic absolutions and “forced” resignations, despite our Seelsorger ball hats, as an organization, we simply have no use for failure(s). Continue reading Failures
I know why the three men in the today’s Gospel turned down the invitation, they weren’t really busy, they just had a better offer; the chance to go to a different banquet that promised to be more fun, a bit more indulgent, a bit less preachy. A banquet that was the contemporary equivalent of the famed “Get Way” to Vegas, and we all know that what happens in Vegas…stays in Vegas![ The following sources were used in this sermon: “The Banquet of Wisdom–An Exegetical Study of Proverbs 9.1-12,” by John Kleinig; “’White Trash’ Wisdom: Proverbs 9 Deconstructed,” by Mark Sneed; “The Interpretation of Old Testament Wisdom Literature,” by Roland E. Murphy, O. Carm.; “The Seven Pillars of Wisdom (Prov. 9.1)–A Mistranslation,” by Jonas C. Greenfield; “Gegory’s Sophia: ‘Christ the Wisdom of God,’” by Wendy E. Helleman; “Wisdom and the Spirit: The Loss and Re-making of a Relationship,” by Paul S. Fiddes; and “Wisdom, the ‘Amen’ of the Torah,” by C. Hassell Bullock. ] Continue reading Trinity 2 2015
Joseph had many; both Jacob and the Prodigal Son had one.
I have six.
My two daughters have one.
The rich man in today’s reading had five brothers and given the conversation he had with Abraham, the five that are living-the five he so desperately wants Lazarus to be allowed to visit, almost as a sort of Ghost of Christmas Future, appear to have his very same attitude toward the Lazarus’ of the world, an attitude which landed this rich man in Hades. Continue reading Trinity 1 2015
I’ve been asked, or perhaps “challenged” is a better way to say it, to explain why it is that I believe seminary education should be absolutely free, why health insurance for those attending the seminary should be absolutely free, and why no graduating seminarian should pay one thin dime in interest, especially interest charged by a Lutheran Church organization. Continue reading Seminary Tuition…Again
It really gets to be tiresome, each and every time there is a problem within our Synod-despite the fact that a person possessing even a modicum of common sense could solve it the same day-that we have to put together a committee, a study group, a task force, to tell the vast majority of people, several years later, what they already knew. Continue reading Pastors’ Debt
Help My Unbelief
21 So He asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?”And he said, “From childhood. 22 And often he [the demon] has thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” 23 Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” Continue reading Trinity (Take 2) 2015