10 February 2013

One Sinner Repents!

Jesus said:
"I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance" (Luke 15:7).

"I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents" (Luke 15:10).

In case you've learned via the secular media about latest controversy brewing in the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod (LCMS)--over reactions to an interfaith service held after the tragedy at Newtown, Connecticut--you really should read the statements put out by the LCMS itself.

You can find Pastor Rob Morris' letter here,
President Matthew Harrison's first letter here, and
"Pastoral Letters on the Newtown Tragedy" here (includes "A Statement of Unity," "Pastoral Letter and Apology from President Harrison," and "Pastoral Letter from District President Tim Yeadon").

When things such as this happen, the secular, mainstream media just cannot appreciate, let alone accurately report, the issues of doctrine and soul-care that are involved. Matters such as this need to be dealt with in the church, not in the mainstream, secular media, and certainly not in social media, where vile vindictiveness and disinformation rule the day in the "Comments" sections.

And in case you are at all interested in how Christians go about settling problems and "putting out fires," let's learn from one of the best. The key is repentance. Here's President Matthew Harrison's video on the Newtown matter:

Prayer for the Synod:
Almighty God, merciful Father, keep and preserve our whole Synod, its teachers and officers, true to Your Word. Cause the work of our Synod to grow and flourish. Guard and protect all members of our Synod against the danger of sinful ambitions, the love of dissension, and the spirit of indifference in doctrine and practice. Preserve us from all heresy and false belief. Bless and defend the seminaries, colleges, and universities of our Synod. Give us faithful pastors and teachers of Your Word. Accompany all missionaries on their perilous ways, and help them to perform their work faithfully. Gather the elect from every nation into Your holy Christian Church, and bring them at last into Your Church triumphant; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Prayer for brother pastors and all fellow servants in the Church:
O Lord, to Your grace and mercy I commend all my fellow pastors and every brother and sister who hold office in Your Church. Remove any discord and dissension from among us. Give me a brotherly heart toward all in true humility, and help me to bear with compassion the burdens of others. Grant that we may act as true brothers and sisters in all circumstances; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

(Prayers from Pastoral Care Companion, pp. xxviii, xxvii, respectively)

08 February 2013

Eating Sprinkles Shows Original Sin

For those who deny Original Sin - and claim that children are innocent until some dreamed up "age of accountability" - get a load of this. A young lad denies his obvious eating of sprinkles even though the evidence is clearly "sprinkled" all over his face. Don't tell me these little guys (and gals) are innocent until proven sinful!

But there is hope. Check out Acts 2:38-39:
“Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.”