Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Hegelian Dialectic at Work in the Church

In a revealing article at, Paul Proctor warns of how certain leaders within a variety of Christian church bodies and movements employ the Hegelian Dialectic to silence those who take exception to their false teaching and practice of the Faith.

By Paul Proctor
November 28, 2007

Once again, leaders from the so-called "church growth movement" are demonstrating for us the Hegelian Dialectic - that transformational Marxist process of compromise and consensus made famous by Georg William Friedreich Hegel which seeks to rid the world of its divisive absolutes in the interest of global peace and unity.

Here's the formula: Thesis + Antithesis = Synthesis

. . . Among other things, the dialectic process redefines "love" to mean tolerance instead of obedience, and calls Christianity and Islam "Abrahamic faiths" as if the two groups have some moral obligation to unite under a god of common ground.

"Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God." - James 4:4

The Bible is uncompromisingly clear on this issue both in 2nd Corinthians 6:14-17, where we are specifically commanded to not yoke ourselves with unbelievers, and again in Ephesians 5:11, where we are instructed to "have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness."

Jesus Himself said: "He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth." (Matthew 12:30, Luke 11:23)

How then can Christians join Muslims to love God together and not be an abomination before Him? We're talking about two entirely different "Gods" here - not the same God with differing names. And that's the big lie hidden in this global agenda. By swapping love letters with Muslims, these "Christian leaders" endeavor to legitimize the illegitimate by setting aside the whole counsel of God for Results & Relationships. Jesus Christ is not the Son of Allah; and to even imply that He is by claiming to love the same "God" as Muslims is not only being dangerously deceitful - it's blasphemy!

But that's what the Hegelian Dialectic does to the Christian faith - it unites opposites and enemies under a guise of goodness - all at the Lord's expense; and that is and always has been the modus operandi of the "church growth movement" - to mingle the sheep with the goats until they are indistinguishable.

Christianity (thesis) + Islam (antithesis) = One World Religion (synthesis)

It should come as no surprise to the readers of my column that two of the reported signers of this letter who "share the sentiments" of Muslim leaders are none other than pastors Rick Warren of Purpose Driven Life fame, and the seeker-sensitive Bill Hybels from Willow Creek Community Church.

In other words, false teachers and those who employ heterodox practices in the Church will turn the conversation from their own false teaching or practice into accusations against those who are pointing out their errors. They shame the orthodox into silence with the claim that "Christian"

  • love
  • and/or peace
  • and/or trusting each other
  • and/or good intentions
  • and/or the best construction clause of Luther's explanation to the 8th Commandment, etc.

all take precedence over faithfulness to teaching everything and only those things commanded by Christ and His Word -- not to mention conforming the practice of the church to those teachings.

No less than Luther himself warned us of such chicanery:
"They have so plagued us with love in their books and writings saying 'You people at Wittenberg have no Charity', when we then ask 'What is Charity'? they reply, 'It means that we agree in Doctrine and stop these quarrels about religion'. We reply 'Indeed'. Have you heard that there are two tables of the law, the first and the second? Charity or love belongs in the second
table and there it extends its way over all works, but in the first table it is said 'Fear God, hear his word", about this they are not concerned.'" -Quoted by Ewald Plass in, "Luther Speaks"

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. (Galatians 6:7)

Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you. (1 Timothy 4:16)

Given that there are a number of Willow Creek Association congregations in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, and even more LC-MS congregations who employ many of their programs and resources without formal association, we ought take note and beware of this temptation to water down the Faith once delivered to us.

How could/should we fill in the Hegelian Dialectic blank as a synod?

Lutheran (thesis) + __________ (antithesis) = synchretism/unionism/heterodoxy (synthesis)

And what does this mean in the context of Article VI of our Constitution? --
Conditions of [LCMS] Membership
Conditions for acquiring and holding membership in the Synod [include] the following:
2. Renunciation of unionism and syncretism of every description, . . .
4. Exclusive use of doctrinally pure agenda, hymnbooks, and catechisms in church and school.

Certainly this does not mean that a congregation and/or pastor can use doctrinally impure material and programs as long as they are not technically an "agenda," "hymnbook," or "catechism" -- does it?

One more question -- does not "unionism . . . of every description include association with Willow Creek and its members that deny Baptismal regeneration and the bodily presence of Christ in the bread and wine of The Lord's Supper?

Your comments are not only welcome, but heartily solicited.

Can we talk?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Rejoice & Give Thanks in ALL Things

Rejoice & Give Thanks in ALL Things
(ca. 2002)

Rejoice in the Lord always.
I will say it again: Rejoice!
Let your gentleness be evi-
dent to all. The Lord is near.
Do not be anxious about any-
thing, but in everything, by
prayer and petition, with
thanksgiving, present your
requests to God.

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. -- Philippians 4:4-7

To all the saints,

As Thanksgiving approaches there are many things that would tempt us to be less than thankful and perhaps cause us to question our faith or even our loving and merciful God.

How can we be thankful when we live in a world in which snipers pick people off the street, indiscriminately wreaking their havoc; when terrorism threatens our security; when nuclear war is a very real possibility?

How can we be thankful when perhaps millions go to bed hungry every day and plagues of deadly diseases threaten even our technologically advanced nation?

How can we be thankful when so many people are without work and all the benefits gainful employment brings?

How can we be thankful when evil men prosper and the moral among us suffer?

How can we be thankful when the world insults us, mocks us and threatens us because of our belief in a God Who claims there are none beside Him?

How can the Lord tell us to rejoice in Him always, to not be anxious and to be thankful when all this evil surrounds us every day?

The answer is that God’s kingdom is not of this world. Our creature comforts or discomforts, our corporate security or insecurity, our worldly success or failure are not measures of the depth of our faith or of the love and mercy of the One True God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

We rejoice and are thankful because in all these circumstances – in good times and bad, for better and for worse, for richer and for poorer, in sickness and in health – "the Lord IS near."

As the prophet Jeremiah assures us, "the Lord has plans to prosper and not to harm us;" and as the apostle Paul concurs, "nothing can come between us and the love that God has for us in Christ Jesus."

No matter what happens in this world, the believer in Christ as the Son of One True God – the Word made flesh Who gave His life for us on the cross for the forgiveness of our sin, Who has risen from the dead and now sits at the right hand of the Father in heaven – will always have a tomorrow. And that tomorrow is one in which he will be in the presence of God.

Now what more could you ask?

Rejoice! Give thanks!

And the peace of the LORD be with you all.

Ya Just Gotta Laugh!

Thanksgiving Humor

A lady was picking through the frozen turkeys at the grocery store, but couldn't find one big enough for her family. She asked the stock boy, "Do these turkeys get any bigger?"

The stock boy answered, "No ma'am, they're dead."

A man in Phoenix calls his son in New York the day before Thanksgiving and says,"I hate to ruin your day, but I have to tell you that your mother and I are divorcing; forty-five years of misery is enough."

Pop, what are you talking about?" the son screams.

"We can't stand the sight of each other any longer," the father says. "We're sick of each other, and I'm sick of talking about this, so you call your sister in Chicago and tell her."

Frantic, the son calls his sister, who explodes on the phone. "Like heck they're getting divorced," she shouts, "I'll take care of this!"

She calls Phoenix immediately, and screams at her father, "You are NOT getting divorced! Don't do a single thing until I get there. I'm calling my brother back, and we'll both be there tomorrow. Until then, don't do a thing, DO YOU HEAR ME?" and hangs up.

The old man hangs up his phone and turns to his wife. "Okay," he says, "they're coming for Thanksgiving and paying their own way."

A Blessed Thanksgiving to You and Yours!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Outrageous Fortune of Soldiers [Updated]

While Martin was not laughing at the original posting of this item, he is now glad to pass on the good news that the reports of ABC et al have prompted the Pentagon to investigate and correct the error with Tyson, and hopefully any other soldiers who have suffered the same outrageous fortune.

[Laughing Martin's original post follows]

Thanks for your service, soldier.

I have good news and bad news for you.

You'll be happy to know Pres. Bush has pardoned two turkeys named May and Flower from becoming Thanksgiving dinner and is sending them to Disneyland.

However, since you are now unable to fulfill your duties, we want a rebate of your enlistment bonus.

Brian Ross reports for ABC news:

Hundreds of soldiers wounded in battle in Iraq have found themselves fighting off bill collectors on the home front, according to a report to be released tomorrow. The draft report by the Government Accountability Office, which ABC News obtained, said that hundreds of wounded soldiers had military debts incurred through no fault of their own turned over to collection agencies.

. . . Army specialist Tyson Johnson of Mobile, Ala., had just been promoted in a field ceremony in Iraq when a mortar round exploded outside his tent, almost killing him.
"It took my kidney, my left kidney, shrapnel came in through my head, back of my head," he recounted.
His injuries forced him out of the military, and the Army demanded he repay an enlistment bonus of $2,700 because he'd only served two-thirds of his three-year tour.
When he couldn't pay, Johnson's account was turned over to bill collectors. He ended up living out of his car when the Army reported him to credit agencies as having bad debts, making it impossible for him to rent an apartment.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

“A Blaze for the Stubble, the Sun of Righteousness for the Redeemed

SERMON for the 25th Sunday after PENTECOST: November 18, 2007

A blaze is a consuming fire -- just ask anyone who was in So Cal 4 weeks

ago when a series of wildfires consumed 780 square miles, killed 10, injured more than 100 firefighters, destroyed more than 2000 homes and displaced upwards of 1 million people – including no few of the very rich including star athletes and entertainers.

A blaze is a consuming fire -- just ask another rich man, the one from our Gospel lesson some 3 weeks earlier than the fires, who asked Lazarus for but a drop of water to relieve his torment.

A blaze is a consuming fire -- just ask the prophet of our Lord, Malachi:
"For behold, the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble. The day that is coming shall set them ablaze, says the LORD of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch. But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings." Malachi 4:1-2a

A blaze, though it be a consuming fire to the stubble of this sinful world and those who do not believe in Christ and abide in His Word, it cannot touch those who are kept with the Son of God, or separate them from Him:
[Because they would not worship nor even recognize his god] Nebuchadnezzar was filled with wrath, and his facial expression was altered toward Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego. He answered by giving orders to heat the furnace seven times more than it was usually heated. And he commanded certain valiant warriors who {were} in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, in order to cast {them} into the furnace of blazing fire. Then these men were tied up in their trousers, their coats, their caps and their {other} clothes, and were cast into the midst of the furnace of blazing fire. For this reason, because the king's command {was} urgent and the furnace had been made extremely hot, the flame of the fire slew those men who carried up Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego. But these three men, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, fell into the midst of the furnace of blazing fire {still} tied up.
Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astounded and stood up in haste; he responded and said to his high officials, "Was it not three men we cast bound into the midst of the fire?"
They answered and said to the king, "Certainly, O king."
He answered and said, "Look! I see four men loosed {and} walking
{about} in the midst of the fire without harm, and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of {the} gods!"
Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the door of the furnace of blazing fire; he responded and said, "Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, come out, you servants of the Most High God, and come here!" Then Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego came out of the midst of the fire.
And the satraps, the prefects, the governors and the king's high officials gathered around {and} saw in regard to these men that the fire had no effect on the bodies of these men nor was the hair of their head singed, nor were their trousers damaged, nor had the smell of fire {even} come upon them. Nebuchadnezzar responded and said, "Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, who has sent His angel and delivered His servants who put their trust in Him, violating the king's command, and yielded up their bodies so as not to serve or worship any god except their own God. Therefore, I make a decree that any people, nation or tongue that speaks anything offensive against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego shall be torn limb from limb and their houses reduced to a rubbish heap, inasmuch as there is no other god who is able to deliver in this way." (Daniel 3:19-29, NAS)

Like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, we should have nothing to do with those who worship other gods, no matter what peer pressure or political correctness is brought to bear upon us. No matter how much we love our neighbors, countrymen, and even our own families – it is better to be hated by them than to worship and pray with them and pretend as if invoking the precious name of Jesus alongside their Christless worship and prayers cold possibly unite the Son of God with those who despise Him and His baptism and separate themselves from His salvation and church.

Like He did with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, our Lord sends His angel to deliver you -- His chosen people who abide in His Word alone -- from the blaze that would destroy you: the blaze of the devil’s jealousy, the blaze of the world’s lust, the blaze of your own passion, the blaze of the end times.

Like He did with the three men in the blazing inferno of the furnace, our Lord keeps you with His Son in the midst of the fire without harm. As we confess in the Third Article of the Creed: "the Holy Spirit has called me by the Gospel, enlightened me with His gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith. In the same way he calls gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian church on earth, and keeps it with Jesus Christ in the one true faith. In this Christian church He daily and richly forgives all my sins and the sins of all believers. On the Last Day He will raise me and all the dead, and give eternal life to me and all believers in Christ. This is most certainly true.

Dear people of God, fear not the blaze of earthly flames, nor the blazing jealousy and anger of the evil one. May the Lord give you peace even as we see the end times fast approaching, for "... when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near." Luke 21:28

So we pray, "Come Lord Jesus," "Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven," and "deliver us from evil."

And to those who ask it is given, to those who seek His kingdom and His righteousness, the blazing flames of hell cannot prevail.

A blaze is for the unbelieving stubble of this world, but for you that blaze is the sun of righteousness risen with healing in his wings. So rejoice dear people of God, because your redemption draws near – here and now in the waters of baptism, the preaching of His Word and, the Holy Supper of the very body and blood of the Son of God-- to forgive you all of your sins, to shelter you from the blaze to come, and to give you eternal life – in the name of the Father and of the + Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Friday, November 2, 2007

What a Child and a Bird Can Tell Us about Worship

A little 5-year-old Lutheran girl, who went to a Baptist "church" service recently, told her mother the music made her want to dance -- but she really didn't want to dance in church. Interestingly, this little one also observed, "They don't talk about God much."

"Thank God, today, a seven-year-old child knows what the Church is, namely, the holy believers and lambs who hear the voice of their Shepherd (John 10:11-16). For the children pray, "I believe in one holy Christian Church." -- Smalcald Articles, Part 3, Art. XII.2-3

Check out this link:

I think it is revealing as to why "Contemporary Christian" music that makes us want to dance is, in fact, inappropriate for worship. Sacred music is about the Word of God. It should not appeal to man's base instincts as if he were an animal to manipulate into action. Rather, it should serve to deliver and help the human memory retain the Gospel message that is for the salvation for all human beings who believe.

Perhaps we can learn from the wisdom of a 5-year-old Lutheran girl who is being catechized by her mother and the liturgy -- as well as the animal instinct of a cockatoo.