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Why use the name ‘Lutheran’?

Some Lutherans denounce the name Lutheran as somehow schismatic, separatistic, or downright unchristian. But is this really the case? Read on to learn more about the name Lutheran.

ConcerningTheNameLutheran-Walther.pdf

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The SWD and Rev. Jeske

For the past several years in the South Wisconsin District (SWD) of the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS), I’ve noticed a growing number of conferences and retreats where Rev. Mark Jeske of Time of Grace ministries located in Milwaukee (which airs on the net (http://www.timeofgrace.org/index.php), on the radio, and on TV) is one of the speakers.  The SWD endorses him, as his ‘ministry’ is also now a Recognized Service Organization (RSO) of the LCMS

(http://www.lcms.org/pages/internal.asp?NavID=15614).  The program even airs on the LCMS’ radio station from St. Louis, KFUO.

What’s interesting, as others have noted (i.e. http://steadfastlutherans.org/?p=6919), is that Jeske is:

1)      of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS)

2)      not an LCMS pastor

3)      Promotes the unscriptural ‘principles’ and doctrine of the ‘church growth movement’ (CGM) (For further study on these, see http://www.ctsfw.net/media/pdfs/huebelcgm.pdf as a starter)

LCMS and WELS are not in fellowship.  Joint ministries here are in the least confusing to members and nonmembers of both church bodies.  Joint ministries here are also conflicting, esp. because the Church Growth Movement so advocated by Jeske is in conflict with our doctrine, and also the official teaching of WELS.

A genuine concern for doctrine asks the question ‘why’?  Since CGM teaches what is contrary to Scripture, why is such teaching given air on the LCMS station KFUO, advocated by at least one district (the SWD), and even now an RSO of the LCMS?

Perhaps the LCMS as a whole has forgotten the concern of God’s people, that of faithfulness to His Word, rather than seeking after acceptance by the world and its ways.  Faithfulness calls for obedience to the Lord’s Word and avoidance of those who teach otherwise:

Note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple (Romans 16:17-18)

May the Lord keep the LCMS and her members watchful, observant, and bold in the face of false doctrine and opposition, even with those within her own body!

Dove World Outreach and the Koran

It’s in the news that a group in Florida, Dove World Outreach, (But try to look at their site, http://www.doveworld.org.  When I just tried to access their page, it came up blank) is planning to burn the Koran on Sept 11.  A firestorm is ensuing.  Many are saying that this will create greater problems for our military in Iraq, Afghanistan and various other places.  This is a very real concern, and one that Dove World Outreach should strongly consider, for the sake of those who are serving this country.

In the midst of all this, at least in the media and among various ‘Christian’ groups (http://www.elca.org/Who-We-Are/Our-Three-Expressions/Churchwide-Organization/Communication-Services/News/Releases.aspx?a=4628), a louder call for “tolerance” and “understanding” resounds all the more.  ‘Christians,’ Jews, and Muslims are ‘praying together’ about the conflict.  What’s lacking, however, is the truth of Islam (and the truth of Christianity).  Is Islam a peaceful religion, as so many presume?  Just observe the reaction of Muslims around the world to the planned burning of the Koran.  Reason will tell you if Islam is truly  peaceful or not (See http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/245877/burning-koran-nina-shea for some information about Law in Islamic countries).  One also notes that the Christians (and the Muslims and others) who join together in prayer and worship are truly demonstrating dishonesty with reference to the tenets of their respective faiths.  Of course, this further demonstrates how unchristian many ‘Christians’ and church bodies have become and how deceptive Satan is in destroying true unity among His people, basing that unity on tolerance and diversity rather than on the teachings/doctrine of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The people at Dove World Outreach may have a constitutional right to burn the Koran, but it is not in the best interest of our American neighbors who are on active duty, nor for our country.  Should the Koran be burned, this would demonstrates not only a lovelessness  and disrespect to the people which are Muslims, but also to our own people, and putting them in greater danger.  Respect is to be given to others, to be sure.  But for the Christian, respect does not imply acceptance.

The publicity is getting worldly attention, to be sure.  Rev. Jones believes that God is calling him to burn the Koran.  But what does Scripture say?  Nothing of the sort.  Rev. Jones, like so many who call themselves Christian today (including televangelists, preachers, etc.), claim a calling to do this or to do that, or to say this or to say that.  But they do so without Scriptural support.  They do so without God’s backing.  They truly are acting outside of Christianity without God’s authority, as are others who compromise the faith for acceptance in the world and a place among the nonbelievers.

Sadly, Rev. Jones’ action (even if he doesn’t burn the Koran) only feeds the flames against genuine Christianity (of which Jones is not), extremists as some call them, simply because they hold to the Bible and proclaim Jesus to be the only Savior.  Therefore does genuine (and not false) Christianity also teach that all other religious are rightly false, based on Holy Scripture and not because of ‘the voice of God in my head,’ majority, or any other rule.

This would be a good time for Christians to reflect on what God truly does say about Jesus in the Word and about other ‘religions,’ and to compare the Bible with the Koran, and how the Christian is to live in such a hostile world–by faith, holding to God’s promises and loving ALL people (which also means speaking the truth).

It’s also a time to reflect on the state of Christendom in America and the world.  Few are being true and honest to the Lord Christ, compromising the Lord’s teaching and forsaking His Word.  Repentance is in order.

Greater antagonism against the true Christian faith are we seeing, and greater acceptance of that which is not true.  Lord, have mercy.

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