It has been a while since I have published anything on any blog, much less this one. This year I am going to work to at least get a monthly post on the website. Our Facebook page is where we put more information. Feel free to Like us there.
There has been a lot of discussion as of late about the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod and what Scripture teaches about joining in joint worship services with other Christians who do not agree with us in all areas of Christian doctrine as well as with those who don’t even believe in the Triune God. This all first reared its ugly head after 9/11 when a pastor in the LCMS joined in a joint worship service. Mollie Hemingway wrote an article on that here.
Well, after the shootings in Connecticut, there was another service. And another LCMS pastor found himself caught up in controversy and the LCMS is in the middle of it. A few more posts have been made that do a great job of explaining things once again. First is Mark Surburg’s article on The Grief Ritual of American Civic Religion. Then there is an article by Mollie Hemingway on Covering Opposition to Syncretism in a Syncretized World. Give them both a read.
Finally, go to the LCMS President’s posting to read about how Matthew Harrison dealt with the issue in one of the more pastoral ways. Let me know what your thoughts are as well.
This article from The Lutheran Witness has a lot of good information in it. And it comes from the editors of 75 years ago. Give it a read. And start your new year out right.
Previously, I talked about the benefits of using Treasury of Daily Prayer (TDP) as a basis of your devotional life. But it can be difficult to use. Finding the correct day, flipping back and forth between services, readings, and the like can be a bit of a pain as well.
Several months ago I bought the Kindle version of TDP. My intent was to use the Kindle or the Kindle App on my iPad for daily devotions. This was even more awkward to use, since bookmarks are harder to use on those devices. So the Old Adam in me used this to make my daily devotions, well, not weekly, but certainly not daily.
Several weeks ago I purchased PrayNow from the iTunes App store. It cost $8.99, which is a bit steep, but I believe is well worth the money. It is easy to use and has many options that are helpful in using TDP. For example, it can integrate the daily readings with three services Matins, Vespers and Compline. No flipping back and forth between the assigned readings for the day and the service, it’s all integrated. It has a clean type and easy to read, even for these old eyes. Also you can easily find various prayers for most times and situations in life. You can also keep notes on each section of the readings.
So if you have an iPhone or iPad, give PrayNow a go. It takes away one more excuse your Old Adam for daily studying God’s Word.
A friend from work pointed out an article on Fox News that talked of atheists using a hair dryer to “de-baptize” his fellow atheists. You can read the article here.
What I found interesting is this quote from Edwin Kagin, the one brandishing the hair dryer:
“I was baptized Catholic. I don’t remember any of it at all,” said 24-year-old Cambridge Boxterman. “According to my mother, I screamed like a banshee … so you can see that even as a young child I didn’t want to be baptized. It’s not fair. I was born atheist, and they were forcing me to become Catholic.”
What I found interesting is the last sentence. Even though he doesn’t remember any of it at all, Baptism made him a Christian according to his words. And that is in fact what Baptism does. It creates a new man through water and the Word. Kicking and screaming, we are brought into a new life, once dead we are now made alive through the working of the Spirit. It is only as he grew to adulthood that he rejected the grace he once received in Baptism.
Ironically, his son is evidently a pastor who is a protestant pastor who received “a personal revelation in Jesus Christ.”
My dad has always said that he loves it when an infant cries out when they are baptized. “It symbolizes how Satan leaves the child kicking and screaming as the Holy Spirit enters in.”
And studying the Bible is exactly what we are going to be doing. Where does it come from? How did we come up with the 66 books that are in it? We’re going to be using a video series, but I saw this on YouTube to get you ready.
You should see this without making any changes, but I wanted to let you know that we’ve moved to WordPress as hosting for our blog. It gives us more functionality at a lower cost, something we can all use during these times.
Welcome to the official WebLog of Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church in Fayette, Missouri. I am Rev. Andrew (Andy) Etzler and will be posting here various items concerning our congregation, the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod, and theology in general. Feel free to comment and join in on the conversation!