Monday, August 31, 2009

An Army of One

Greetings to you, the Church Militant of Christ!

If you would like to hear, "An Army of One," the sermon preached at Trinity Lutheran Church in Layton, Utah for the 13TH Sunday after Pentecost, click here:
http://lcmssermons.com/images/aut52/CY2009/Pentecost13.AnArmyofOne.mp3

The audio recording begins with the Hymn of the Day, "By Grace I'm Saved," LSB #860. The sermon starts at the 4:`15 mark.

Have a blessed week marching together as the redeemed of Christ's Church militant.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Aborted Legacy of Ted Kennedy



Listening to daytime conservative talk radio this morning for the first time since the election last November, I was reminded both of why I stopped listening and why I used to be a daily listener.

After about 5 minutes I was reminded that my frustration and blood pressure levels were heightened by my listening. But since I was out walking the dog I continued listening and was glad I did. It seems one misses a lot of interesting information that is conveniently omitted in the daily newspaper, radio, and television news reports.

Here is a letter written by Senator Ted Kennedy that I would have missed had I not tuned in this morning. It is in response to a constituent during the nascent years of the abortion rights movement.

Edward M. Kennedy
Massachusetts

United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

August 3, 1971

Mr. Thomas E. Dennelly
34 Baker Hill Road
Great Neck, New York 11023

Dear Mr. Dennelly:

I appreciate your letter containing your views on abortion. There are many moral and legal aspects arising from this complex issue which is gaining the acceptance of large numbers of women faced with unwanted pregnancies, while disturbing the consciences of a great many other Americans.

Opponents maintain that abortion is wrong from every theological, moral and medical aspect. Proponents are firmly convinced that the woman, alone, has the right to decide.

While the deep concern of a woman bearing an unwanted child merits consideration and sympathy, it is my personal feeling that the legalization of abortion on demand is not in accordance with the value which our civilization places on human life. Wanted or unwanted, I believe that human life, even at its earliest stages, has certain right which must be recognized - the right to be born, the right to love, the right to grow old.

On the question of the individual's freedom of choice there are easily available birth control methods and information which women may employ to prevent or postpone pregnancy. But once life has begun, no matter at what stage of growth, it is my belief that termination should not be decided merely by desire.

I share the confidence of those who feel that America is willing to care for its unwanted as well as wanted children, protecting particularly those who cannot protect themselves. I also share the opinions of those who do not accept abortion as a response to our society's problems - an inadequate welfare system, unsatisfactory job training programs, and insufficient financial support for all its citizens.

When history looks back on this era it should recognize this generation as one which cared about human beings enough to halt the practice of war, to provide a decent living for every family, and to fulfill its responsibility to its children from the moment of conception.

Sincerely,
Edward M. Kennedy

Since the generation of which he wrote and who controlled his vote fell a tad short, perhaps we can be the generation to bring this baby full term.

Thy will be done, Lord. Please deliver us from this evil.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Mystery of Marriage

Greetings dear members of the Bride of Christ!

If you would like to hear the sermon, "The Mystery of Marriage," preached at Trinity Lutheran Church in Layton, Utah today, click on the following link:
http://lcmssermons.com/images/aut52/CY2009/PENTECOST12B.2009.TheMysteryofMarriage.mp3

The audio recording includes the last two verses of the Hymn of the Day, "Gracious Savior, Grant Your Blessing," LSB #860. The sermon begins at the 2:05 mark.

Have a blessed week as the beloved bride of Christ.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Holy One of God

Greetings dear holy ones of God!

if you would like to hear the sermon preached at Trinity Lutheran Church in Layton, Utah for the 11TH Sunday after Pentecost, click here. The Holy One of God

The audio recording includes the singing of the Hymn of the Day, "O God, My Faithful God," LSB #696. The sermon begins at the 3:58 mark.

Have a blessed week living as as a holy one of The Holy One of God--Jesus Christ our Lord.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Membership Matters--As Does What We Teach or Don't Teach

The following paragraphs quoted from an article by Paul Proctor should resonate with anyone familiar with what is going on in the LCMS. For our exercise, wherever you read the word, "church," think "synod."


The author may need a little Lutheran education in re the Church, but what he writes is dead on given a proper understanding of Church as not only a gathering of the elect, but the gathering of the elect around Christ and His means of grace for the salvation of souls.

ARE YOU A CHURCH WORSHIPPER?

By Paul Proctor
August 11, 2009
NewsWithViews.com

"Well, another Leadership Summit has come and gone at Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Illinois – a yearly conference led by its senior pastor and Willow Creek Association’s Chairman of the Board, Bill Hybels. . . .

". . . There are a lot of misguided Christians today who have a misplaced faith and hope in their church. This makes them easy targets for church growth consultants who know all too well how to play on the egos, ambitions and insecurities of both laymen and staff wanting their church to be bigger and better than the one across town.

"When we covet the 'success' of others, we make ourselves vulnerable to smooth-talking opportunists who will gladly step in and exploit our weaknesses and shortcomings upon invitation. The result is that we end up depending on them and their programs, techniques, strategies and surveys instead of God and His Word. . . .

". . . The church growth movement, you see, worships a two-headed god called 'Results' and 'Relationships' where nothing gets in the way of either – even God’s Word. It was first encountered in the Garden of Eden. . . .

". . . why should you and I rest our hope in a local church – especially in the compromised, corrupt and declining state that many of them now find themselves? . . .

". . . . What I am saying is that we need to stop putting our hope and faith in people and their self-exalting, self-justifying, self-serving organizations and institutions, local or otherwise. It’s time to start reading, learning, obeying and proclaiming God’s Word – all of it – instead of snappy slogans, corny clich├ęs, vain visions and the silly strategies of men. . . .

". . . Today, many trained facilitators in leadership positions have infiltrated the church and convinced gullible and covetous Christians that if they rely on market principles and surveys, they’ll get the Results they’re after – which may or may not have anything to do with the Word and Will of God."

To read the entire article, click here: http://www.newswithviews.com/PaulProctor/proctor186.htm

Does all of this sound all too sadly familiar? If so, why? When will we have had enough? And why did congregations and pastors who consider themselves to be Lutheran ever buy into this chicanery in the first place?

Oddly enough, a former U.S. president, Herbert Hoover, may give us a clue. He once wrote, "Every collectivist revolution rides in on a Trojan horse of ‘emergency’. It was the tactic of Lenin, Hitler, and Mussolini. . . . And ‘emergency’ became the justification of the subsequent steps. This technique of creating emergency is the greatest achievement that demagoguery attains."

Why have LCMS congregations and pastors taken a dive into Willow Creek? The Trojan horse of souls being lost every time a facilitator snaps his fingers in front of a gathering of guilt -ridden, unsatisfied Lutherans desirous of growing their church like the local "Christian Life Center" packing them in just down the road a piece. That and some sort of ecumenically enlightened disdain for the very confession that makes them Lutheran--like the explanation of the Third Article of the Creed in Luther's Small Catechism.

But here I may be jumping to an unwarranted conclusion based upon an unkind construction. In order to disdain something, you have to have some idea of what it is. How many of those who have jumped into Willow Creek have taken the time to plumb the depths of the Small Catechism and examine the riches of the rest of our Lutheran Confessions? Don’t you think it rather a panic to abandon the ship of things Lutheran to float down some upstart polluted, though popular waterway before even cracking the surface of that which has been keeping believers with Jesus Christ in the one true faith for almost 600 years—indeed even since the time of the apostles?

In the vast landscape of the LC-MS, what is much, if any different than what Luther found previous to his authorship of the Small Catechism? Read Luther’s Preface to his Small Catechism. Then you tell me.

Perhaps if we listen to our namesake, and more importantly to the one true faith he handed down to us, we might find what has really never been missing at all among true Lutherans—our Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit He has sent to baptize, preach, teach, and commune souls in the forgiveness of sins that is the only way we have been given to save the lost.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Will of the Father

Greetings dear Children of God the Father!

If you would like to hear the sermon preached at Trinity Lutheran Church in Layton, Utah for the 10TH Sunday after Pentecost, go to http://lcmssermons.com/images/aut52/CY2009/Pentecost10B.TheWilloftheFather.mp3

The audio recording includes the singing of the Hymn of the Day, "Lord, Enthroned in Heavenly Splendor," LSB #534. The sermon begins at the 3:00 mark.

Thanks and credit to Rev. Jon Bischof, pastor of St. Matthew in Corning, Arkansas for his treatment of the unbelieving hearers, which I adapted and used in implication #2 of the sermon.

God grant that we believe and help us all in our unbelief.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Manna & Forgiveness--What Is It?

Greetings dear Baptized in Christ!

If you would like to hear the sermon preached at Trinity Lutheran Church in Layton, Utah for the 9TH Sunday after Pentecost, "Manna & Forgiveness--What Is It?" click here.

Thanks and credit to Rev. Chad Kendall, pastor of Trinity in Lowell, Indiana for the bulk of this sermon that I adapted and expanded for use here at Trinity, Layton.

God grant that we receive our daily bread from heaven by faith with true thanksgiving.

Rev. Kurt Hering, Pastor
Trinity Lutheran Church
Layton, Utah