Tag Archives: Love

Law of the Land

Today is a day that no doubt frustrates many Christians. On this day, homosexual marriage became law of the land. I have my own personal views on what constitutes as an actual marriage and the government is not part of it. My opinion, however, is neither hear nor there. What’s is here and there are the new battles we face as Christians. Hopefully, everyone is prepared. I cannot imagine that people didn’t see this coming. As Christians, we shall face persecution of which most of us have never seen in America and we must be able to stand strong in the faith as we will be increasingly labeled as hateful and bigots for having a differing view.

Sin has flaunted herself in public for as long as time can remember and it has always been the parents job to do what is right so that their children may not fall into sin. But sin is a foul temptress who lures us all with precious little sweets and blinds us to the consequences. So we give sin a pass. And then we give her another pass. And suddenly, sin doesn’t seem so bad. In fact,  she’s quite nice to you. She invites you over to dinner, helps you out when you’re in trouble, and brings you up when you feel down. But that’s the thing with sin. She may be very giving, but she’s also very needy. As soon as you do not give her what she wants, she lashes out against you, calls you vile, reminds you of all the “nice things” she did for you. And this is how you repay her?

Sounds an awful lot like an abuse relationship, doesn’t it? Well, like so many people in an abusive relationship, we stay with them for their sake. Because we care for them. Because we love them. Because Christ loved them. We’ll get kicked, stepped on, slapped around, insulted, etc., and we won’t file for divorce. Instead, we’ll stand up and tell them the truth. We won’t lie to placate them. We won’t bury our heads in the sand. We’ll tell them the truth with love and compassion because we care for them. Just like Jesus Christ who is in the most abusive relationship of all: with us.

Sin doesn’t always wear nice leggings and a corset. Sometime she bakes cookies. When she invites you over for cookies and games, go and have fun. But if she asks you to support her ideals, call her out for what she is. For yourself. For your children. For your neighbor. She may hate you for it. But then again, she may thank you.

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The problem of God: part one

For the foreseeable future, I will also be reblogging some posts Greg Eilers. Greg Eilers is a retired LCMS Pastor who suffers from gender dysphoria, a condition that makes him feel as though he should be a woman. Greg has done incredible work in keeping with sound doctrine and has even been helpful to me in my theology. In light of his condition and the fact that this is one of the big issues in society today AND his excellent sound doctrine, I would like to present you with posts of his as they pertain to both. My hope is that through scripture, we as a church appropriately deal with such issues and not be bumbling idiots about it all. Thank you.

Eilers Pizza

More than anything in the world, I want all people to understand God as I do. Thanks to the Holy Spirit, and an excellent seminary education, I have been blessed with excellent theology.

Just as a poor foundation dooms a building, poor theology dooms a person. Faulty premises result in faulty answers, result in false faith, and loss of faith, and no faith.

Since I believe the Holy Bible is the true Word of God, and since I am confident in my understanding of it, I do not speak in waffling language. A math teacher does not apologize for the difficult equations he writes on the board; he knows they are correct. Substitute religion for math and my point is made.

All that said, I long for everyone to keep reading. There is equal value for those who share my Lutheran faith, for those with different beliefs, and for those…

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Delicate ears

The ears of our generation have been made so delicate by the senseless multitude of flatterers that, as soon as we perceive that anything of ours is not approved of, we cry out that we are being bitterly assailed; and when we can repel the truth by no other pretense, we escape by attributing bitterness, impatience, intemperance, to our adversaries.

It seems to me that not much has changed since the 16th century when Martin Luther wrote these words. The only difference between then and now is we have new words with which to ascribe. Today that which makes our ears delicate we give such happy words like self-esteem and tolerance. And that which hurts our delicate sensibilities we give names such as bigotry and hate-speech. We like to think that such things are new and perhaps to many of us, they are. I for one can recall growing up in the ’80s and early ’90s that when your feelings were hurt or your sensibilities where offended, you accepted it like an adult and moved on. Then came the wave of political correctness that has gotten so large, that upsetting someone in some cases is considered a punishable crime.

In the opinion of those delicate-eared persons, nothing could be more bitter or intemperate than Paul’s language.

Martin Luther nailed it on the head with this. And so did scripture. Those with delicate ears would make the Christian out to be the devil himself. A deceiver full of hate and loathing. But it is not just the rest of the world with delicate ears; it is Christians too! For some Christians when you speak of doctrine or Gospel, their ears curl and their hearts lurch because what you say is antithetical to how they view a particular part of Christianity. They deem you full of hate and not of Jesus’ love. Yet to those whose ears are not fragile, they would see, even if they disagree with you, that you come not in hatred but in love! In charity! And they would accept your words as good and kind, even if they themselves disagree with what you have to say.

If there is a light in all of this it is that delicate ears can be broken. When a glass is broken, it must be replaced with a stronger one so that it is not broken again. So when a delicate ear is broken, say by the law, then it must be replaced with an ear that is strengthened by the Gospel. And that is because faith comes through hearing, whether we want to hear it or not.

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The greatest comfort

From Lutheranism 101: Holy Baptism.

It is in hearing that Christ has suffered and died for the forgiveness of sins that a Christian receives comfort.

Isn’t that great? Is this not one of the sweetest things to fall upon one’s ears? That, my friends, is Gospel. Not making a decisions for Jesus. Not accepting Jesus into your heart. Not doing anything at all to be saved. Just that Jesus suffered and died for the forgiveness of sins. Who’s sins? Your sins. My sins. Everyone’s sins. Let me just say it for you. Christ suffered and died for the forgiveness of your sins. Now go in peace and joy knowing that he did this for you and that your price has been paid. Amen.

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Jesus loves me. So what?

Jesus loves you. Now if that isn’t a Christian phrase that’s slung around like a dusty old back pack. You know, I’ve heard that phrase many times in my life and I can count only once where it held any effect to me. It was a sweet black lady. She was in my check out line when I worked at Wal-Mart with her two children. As I gave her receipt, she smiled and said, “Jesus loves you.” That was the only time I’ve ever heard it where it felt honest. Every single other time I have heard it, it felt like nothing more than a throwaway phrase, like something say to end a conversation. “Nice talking to you, Mark. Jesus loves you.” “Jesus loves you too, Bob.” It seems ridiculous and absurd in that context but honestly, that what it sounds like most of the time.

Who cares if Jesus loves me? So what? What good does that do for me?

What’s more important is not so much that he loves me, but what he did because he loves me. What is infinitely more powerful than “Jesus loves you,” is “Jesus died for you.” That opens up so many more doors. “Wait! Jesus died for me? Why? What of this is which you speak?” If you talk to most non-Christians and you tell them “Jesus loves you,” I can almost guarantee they’ll be thinking, “Yeah, whatever.” But if you tell them “Jesus died for you,” even if they don’t reciprocate, the gears in their head have now been oiled.

In conclusion, if Jesus loves me but he didn’t show his love, then his love wouldn’t mean jack. But by dying on the cross for my sins, I don’t need to be told he loves me because his love his shown to me. Yes, Jesus loves you and it’s shown through his death and resurrection. Proclaim that and you proclaim his love.

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Merry Christmas

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. A time after that, he created man and man sinned against God. When man sinned against God, he separated himself from the holiness that is God. Death entered the world and condemned all who dwelled in it. Man, in his pride, tried every way to achieve salvation. He toiled in false idols and works, yet not could save him for all were perceived as filthy menstrual rags in the eyes of a just and holy God. Through his actions, man condemned himself to the eternal fires of Hell. God, being just and holy and having no desire to see any of the man who He created burn with the devil and his angels offered a ways of Salvation. He needed a sacrifice.

So God in his wisdom sacrificed a man to for the sins of all. This man would be a perfectly innocent man whose blood would atone for the sins of everyone who has ever lived and ever will lived. But where in the world did such a man exist? Nowhere. So God came down as a man, birthed from a virgin. Having been born from a virgin, He did not know sin. Not knowing sin, sin did not exist within him. Being God and of God, He could not sin. Therefore His sacrifice was perfect. His perfect sacrifice, His perfect atonement. Praise be to Christ who was born for my sin, for your sin.

Merry Christmas

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Putting holidays in their place

What would you say if I told you that there was a Christian holiday in December that is celebrated by the giving of gifts? And what if I told you that it’s not Christmas? You’d probably give me a mildly confused look, but I’d be telling you the truth. Christmas, contrary to the culture, is not a holiday celebrated with the act of gift giving.  In fact, it’s not even a single day.  It’s twelve days.  And despite what The Twelve Days of Christmas may say, it’s more like twelve days of feasting rather than twelve days of gifts. So if that is the case, than what is the Christian holiday in December that is celebrated with the giving of gifts?

Why, that’d be St. Nicholas Day on December 6th named after none other than St. Nicholas.  He was a third century Christian who has become synonymous with generosity.  In fact, is what our tales of Santa Clause come from.  He’s also where we get the Christmas tradition of hanging stockings to be filled with presents from as well.  I’m not going to go into his story, many other sites have done that far better than I ever could.  While I doubt this will sway many Christians, I want to say that I really enjoy the thought of having St. Nicholas Day as the day of gift giving.  You can still have all of the fun family events that you would do on Christmas every year and a few weeks sooner to boot.  But then, something more magical happens because of this.  On the twelve days of Christmas, you’re not distracted by all the gifts and what have you because that happened a few weeks ago.  So Christmas becomes a more special time.  A time for Jesus Christ.  I appreciate Christmas a lot more than I used to and it’s wonderful.

So this Saturday, I want you all to have a very happy St. Nicholas Day.  My wife and I celebrate with our daughter by exchanging our gifts and watching a Nicholas Cage movie with homemade eggnog.  I’m thinking this year she may need to finally see Con-Air.  😉

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“But God shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

This is a great thing to read. In light of everything going on in Iraq, this is extremely comforting.

The Old Adam Lives!

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– Romans 5:8

Years ago I sat with a couple who were preparing for marriage. The young woman ran through a lengthy list of all the reasons she could think of as to why she loved her fiance’. He was generous, hard-working, handsome, thoughtful, funny, and so forth. When it was time for the young man to speak he said,” I don’t need a reason to love her. I just love her.” He was not far from the Kingdom!

When we examine the Bible it does not provide us with God’s reasons for loving. Nowhere is there an assessment of humanity from God’s vantage point where He lists our numerous virtues as reason for loving us. If anything, the Bible is a collection of evidence that suggests there is not much lovable about us. Our generous self-assessments are not reflected in the mirror of heaven. This is…

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