TGIF

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155 Responses

  1. Nonnie says:

    But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Mat. 19:26

  2. Michael says:

    Amen, Nonnie…

  3. Thank you, Michael! I love this! “…nothing but nothing and our God…”

    “…he grew strong in his faith [AS] he gave glory to God…” This phrase intrigues me. Usually, circular reasoning is seen as a negative thing, but in this case, I see it as a very powerful concept. Abraham had faith, so he glorified God, which strengthened his faith, so no doubt he further glorified God, and so on.

    At the moment, I don’t have the time to dig into the syntax, grammar, etc. to see if I’m on the right track or just seeing something that isn’t there. In fact, I shouldn’t even be on here right now, or for several days to come, so if some of our resident scholars want to chime in, I’ll try to pop in and out briefly.

  4. And with this, you have offended all Millennials 🙂

    But you told the truth, and I appreciate it. Very comforting.

  5. Jean says:

    Thank you Michael. I love this story.

    And there are two other parts of the story that give me great comfort and joy:

    First, Abraham stands in that great tradition of ordinary men and women who God was able to call and do great things through in furtherance of his plan. He uses the ordinary, sometimes the weak and often the flawed, so that His power shines through. Maybe that’s the flaw in the celebrity pastor model. Maybe if we rested in God’s model, we would not feel the need to conceal our ordinariness, weaknesses and flaws.

    And Second, God is faithful and true to his promises, even when we’re unfaithful. There was that moment when Abram and Saria doubted whether God was going to come through with a child for them, so they tried their own “plan B” through Hagar (not a great move, but very human). God was merciful, though, in that situation to everyone involved and still kept His promise to given them a son through Sarah. God will forgive our screw ups and continue to use us. Any, we can’t thwart God’s plans.

  6. OK, I will be the contrary one – surprise!! 🙂

    I don’t think God has created “ex nihilo” after the 6th day.

  7. It’s that time of year again. Time for Issues etc. 24 – 24 hours of straight programing

    This year’s theme is Myths About Lutheranism. You can listen LIVE at http://www.issuesetc.org. All times are Central.
    I would guess that they will be available in podcast form within the week

    FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 14

    10 – 11 am, Pr. Jonathan Fisk – The Lutheran Confessions Don’t Apply Today
    11 am – 1 pm, Pr. Steven Parks – Lutherans Believe in Consubstantiation
    1 – 3 pm, Pr. Paul McCain – Luther Didn’t Go Far Enough in Reforming the Church
    3 – 5 pm, Pr. Will Weedon – Lutheran Worship Is Adiaphora
    5 – 6 pm, Dr. Uwe Siemon-Netto – Martin Luther Was Antisemitic
    6 – 8 pm, Dr. Lane Burgland – Lutherans Overemphasize Pauline Theology
    8 – 10 pm, Dr. Martin Noland – Luther Intended to Start a New Church
    9 – 10 pm, Dr. Martin Noland – Lutherans Are Liberal
    10 – 11 pm, Craig Parton – Evangelical Style, Lutheran Substance
    11 pm – Midnight, Pr. Jeremy Rhode – Lutherans Teach Everyone is a Minister

    SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 15

    Midnight – 2 am, Pr. Bryan Wolfmueller – Lutherans Don’t Have an End Times Teaching
    2 – 3 am, Pr. Tom Baker – Lutherans Believe in Once Baptized, Always Saved
    3 – 4 am, Pr. Matt Harrison – Lutherans Don’t Care About Missions
    4 – 6 am, Dr. John Kleinig – Lutherans Don’t Teach About the Holy Spirit
    6 – 8 am, Pr. Chris Rosebrough – Luther Invented the Teaching of Law & Gospel
    8 – 10 am, Pr. Peter Bender – Lutheran’s Don’t Believe in Good Works

  8. Paige says:

    Amen. A very good Word. I believe it……stake my life on it.

    I also understand that His ways are not at all the same as our ways. Certainly, sometimes, He does indeed have deprivation, suffering, loss and death for the faith-filled in this life (Hebrews 11:32-40)(example, the family in Pakistan beaten and burned alive for Faith in Christ just last week) .

    While I absolutely cling to conviction that HE IS ABLE to do exceedingly, abundantly beyond all we could ask or imagine in Jesus Christ….. I have lived long enough to not be living in a realm of fantasy than can lead to the shocking disappointments of real life, even though our God who is Able, He, at times, chooses to not do the logical or apparently ‘caring’ things.
    WAY over my pay scale… I can only trust and have hope, and cling in some form to a child like Faith and the Hope of better things.

  9. Bob Sweat says:

    Thanks MLD, now I have something to do this weekend!

  10. papiaslogia says:

    “There is a God who is able to create what you need out of nothing.”

    I know that God is able. My question is always, “Is He willing?”

    Help my unbelief.

  11. Babylon's Dread says:

    MLD

    I would love to have some of those teachings. Lutherans are really Jr Catholics.. maybe they could add that. Hey none of us wanted to leave the church we just all wanted the church to see what we see.

    As for Abraham and Sarah … they were rejuvenated. Their youth was restored…
    Sarah was restored to her beauty and desired by Abimelech
    Abraham was restored and later remarried and had more children
    The eagle’s youth was restored.

  12. fme2 says:

    Thank you, Michael…very encouraging this cold November day 🙂

  13. God also makes corners round when we are backed into a corner.

    He is the way maker, he makes a way where there is no way.

    Moses got on his knees and started to pray because he had lead the Jews into a corner between that sea and Pharaoh’s army.

    Things looked so bleak.

    It is the only time we see God halting a man’s prayer.

    “Moses what are you doing?! Get up and lead the people through the sea the Egyptians are coming, get going quick!”

    God turned that corner round and made a way where there was no way.

    No matter what we face, our God is able.

    One of Hid names is “The Deliverer” (Romans 11:26 ).

    Jesus is our Deliverer, so to neglect Christ as Savior is to neglect our only means of deliverance,

    Sadly, many neglect their only hope of liberation, thereby distancing themselves from deliverance.

    Praise God we have this Deliverer!

  14. Babs,
    “Lutherans are really Jr Catholics.”

    I like to think of it as Lutherans are really Catholics who have their doctrine correct. 😉

  15. Q says:

    “Moses got on his knees”

    When? How do you know?

  16. Q says:

    “Babs,
    Lutherans are really Jr Catholics.”

    MLD,
    “I like to think of it as Lutherans are really Catholics who have their doctrine correct. 😉 ”

    Both are mystics, if they weren’t any believer could baptize and, or, give communion.

  17. Hey Q it is assumed by me that he took the standard devout position as a good catholic boy…lol

  18. Q says:

    surter51,

    I think that came along later (Catholicism), along with Friday fish.

  19. Q says:

    davidsurfer51,

    Still no knee….

    What is your opinion on only the priesthood/clergyman being able to perform baptism and communion?

    What about a disciple, that makes more disciples, does he need some other anointing?

  20. We are all the priesthood in this age and did not
    Jesus say to go ye into all the world making disciples..
    Mark 16:15-16.

  21. I was Catholic until I was seventeen and became a Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa evangelical fundamentalist.

    Now I am evangelical with a sprinkling of Calvinism and Armininianism depending how the wind is blowing.

    Kind of evangelistic in that sense.

  22. Bob says:

    David:

    This age?

    OK Peter was quoting a mix of OT Torah and Prophets when he said this:
    “But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;” (1 Peter 2:9)

    “and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ (Exodus 19:6) Speaking to the whole nation of Israel.

    So nothing different from OT to NT except the promised Messiah, Jesus, is now revealed.

    But the question is; Who in Christendom has the ordained job of baptism, anointing, and serving/receiving of the elements of communion? If one excepts tradition and makes the leap that like Israel, who are called a “kingdom of priests and a holy nation,” had a separately called tribe of priests to administer the Temple duties, the Christian church also has a separate tribe of people, called priests, bishops, elders, pastors or however one translates the Greek words into English, who do the same.

    Personally I can’t make the leap and don’t see in Christendom (or scripture), other than the traditions of men, there is a separate class of men whom God limits the administration of what are known as the “sacraments.” Do I see a responsibility and standard of life, conduct and understanding for those who do so? Yes. But that’s another thread.

  23. Jean says:

    I agree with Bob.

    The union movement started early.

  24. The priesthood of all believers does not make every person a minister. The priesthood part applies only to your own access to God. Read the NT and see if you see any difference in who Jesus speaks to at certain times giving certain instructions. Is there a difference in what he instructs his disciples vs what he teaches the masses?

    Who did the baptizing in Jesus day – did Jesus have everyone jump in the water and baptize themselves and each other or did he have select people do it?

    At the feeding of the 5,000, why didn’t Jesus use that as a communion moment? Why didn’t he have all 5,000 people feed each other as a mass communion service … why did he institute it with his disciples only.

    This is why I left evangelicalism for something with a little Biblical order. Everyman for himself Christianity, where anyone can get up and teach or anyone could branch of into his own organic church was just getting out of hand and has since thumbed it’s nose at any scriptural order.

    But hey, that’ just me.

  25. Steve Wright says:

    The flip side of MLD’s argument, as has already been stated on this blog…is God would force His people to do without baptism and communion, than to have someone who has not gone through the official seminary Lutheran training administer them…..which does not even make sense for the memorial/identification views on communion/baptism…how much more the Lutheran views on the necessity of both.

    But hey, that’s just me.

  26. But no one has ever said that. Because there may be exceptions does not mean that you toss the biblical norm.

    Remember, this is how you end up with communion being distributed in Kentucky Fried Chicken barrels on Good Friday or all events, passed to anyone with no regard to their Christian status or taped to the bottom of chairs for later consumption – it’s only me, but I say ‘no order – no validity.’ 😉

  27. Andrew says:

    This is why I left evangelicalism for something with a little Biblical order. Everyman for himself Christianity, where anyone can get up and teach or anyone could branch of into his own organic church was just getting out of hand and has since thumbed it’s nose at any scriptural order.
    ____________________________________________________________________

    MLD, I agree with you and it is one of many reasons I am thinking of converting; however I see this predominantly as an American phenomenon. However in countries with heavy persecution of the church such as China, house churches are sometimes the only option for church and bath bucket baptisms at home are the only way.

  28. Andrew – church is church – it doesn’t matter the building – it doesn’t matter the mode or utensil for baptism. Church even happens on the battlefield.

  29. Andrew says:

    MLD, I agree. I am partly responding to Steve who is making the assertion that the only people who can baptize or distribute communion are those that have gone to the official Lutheran seminary. I wasn’t sure if you agreed with that premise Steve was making.

  30. The norm is yes – that a pastor baptizes and institutes the elements. I serve communion – I don’t do the institution.

    If no pastor is around, it is better to wait and do without until one comes along. In emergencies, you institute emergency measures.

    But there is a reason that to most evangelicals it doesn’t matter … because it doesn’t matter.

    Gotta run and take 2 grandkids to school – back later.

  31. “If no pastor is around, it is better to wait and do without until one comes along.”

    You’ll never see a New Testament chapter and verse given for that one.

  32. Andrew says:

    MLD, The issue seems to be in defining what a pastor is. To me house church leaders in persecuted countries are indeed pastors. Maybe they are not Concordia seminary graduates but they were probably ordained by another house church pastor with the laying on of hands. And if you look at the sheer number of these Christians it appears they may out number the Christians in America which would make this the norm.

  33. Andrew – “MLD, The issue seems to be in defining what a pastor is.”

    I didn’t say they weren’t pastors – in fact I am making the case that a pastor is special, separate and distinct by his office. This conversation began with the call that all people are equal in function – because they were priests (as in the priesthood of all believers ) that they were all ministers and could perform all functions.

  34. Josh,
    “You’ll never see a New Testament chapter and verse given for that one.”

    Do you take communion from a Roman Catholic Priest? Do you take baptism unto salvation from a RCC priest or do you wait for a pastor to come along?

  35. Stuff Jesus Never Said – “Hey, find another person to mediate be you and me.”
    “The vail of the temple has just been moved to another place.”

  36. Xenia says:

    I remember the exact moment when my belief in the memorialist view began to seriously falter. I was a leader in the woman’s ministry and we were planning our yearly retreat. A lady came up to me and asked me if we should use oyster crackers or matzoh for the communion service. Something came over me and I found myself saying to the lady (and the group of women surrounding us) “What difference does it make? You’ve already decided to disobey the Bible by using grape juice in stead of wine so why should it matter what kind of cracker you use?” I did not plan to say that, it just got said. I was just as surprised as everyone.

    It was at this moment I began to seriously question the whole thing: Women in jeans serving juice and crackers….. What if this was all wrong? What if the Catholics and the rest were right and we were wrong? (I wasn’t thinking Orthodoxy at that time… yet.)

  37. Steve Wright says:

    Once more, the argument is deflected. Nobody was talking about using KFC for communion until it was necessary to offer a dodge from the real issue I brought up.

  38. “Do you take communion from a Roman Catholic Priest?”

    Why, do you have a chapter and verse for that one?

  39. Josh – I apologize for having a high view of people in pastoral ministry – that they are not the common Joe.

    So, by your number 37, you are saying baptize yourself and commune yourself?

  40. “Why, do you have a chapter and verse for that one?”

    Yes or No would have been the appropriate answer. 🙂

  41. I ask you for chapter and verse…you ask me a totally unrelated question…I respond by re-upping my original request for chapter and verse…

    You accuse me of dodging your question.

    Look, you wanted a new law with a new list of rules and qualifications. You got it.

  42. Steve – it’s no dodge at all. If over the years you have not picked up from me that what we do for communion and baptism (and several other things) is completely different than what you do for communion and baptism, then you have not been paying attention.

    So why would I recommend to a person wanting to take communion for the grace given and the forgiveness of sin promised from a person who is offering communion as a memorial? No, I would say wait.

    Why would I suggest to someone who is looking to be baptized unto salvation, to be baptized by someone who baptizes as an act of obedience.

    The only reason we say the clergy matters here is to keep it straight.

  43. Josh – no law at all – all grace.

    You have the same problem as Steve – you think we are doing the same thing as you.

    You can put crackers and grape juice in a KFC bucket all day long … we cannot put the body and blood of our Lord in such a bucket.

  44. Steve Wright says:

    We see a clear distinction in the separation of “the seven” from the Jerusalem leadership, yet Philip, one of the seven, is baptizing a new convert when asked, and not saying “Wait, I need to make a call to Jerusalem and get someone out here”

    Again, Philip was in leadership, he was not some random guy, but he did not hesitate and God clearly used him for that work.

  45. It’s funny – anyone can baptize anyone can serve the supper – but let someone just pop out of the pew some Sunday morning and say – “hey, it’s my turn in the pulpit and watch the pastor flip.

  46. Andrew says:

    I never have seen communion given from a KFC bucket but I have seen the offering taken that way. It may have been movie theater popcorn buckets but same difference. I personally didn’t have a problem with it but doing communion that way does seem a bit disrespectful and strange.

  47. “Josh – no law at all – all grace”

    Wait, it’s either one way or the other. Does grace also cover my doing baptism and communion the wrong way? Or is grace only for those who get the steps right?

  48. Steve Wright says:

    OK MLD, you have made it now clear the issue is not the person at all, but what is taking place and in order for God to make it happen he needs his own priest to work through….even if you Lutherans have jettisoned that title…got it.

    A goof faithful Lutheran in North Dakota hasn’t learned the tricks of the trade for the Holy Ghost action to occur, and thus, need to wait for that Concordia graduate and be willing to serve up there…otherwise, the Lutheran infants and the congregation go without.

    Which of course is the point I made to start this discussion.

    Done now. Work to do..

  49. Andrew says:

    I think they used the popcorn buckets because it held more dollar bills.

  50. Steve Wright says:

    It’s funny – anyone can baptize anyone can serve the supper
    ————————————-
    Nobody said that.

  51. Steve Wright says:

    but let someone just pop out of the pew some Sunday morning and say – “hey, it’s my turn in the pulpit and watch the pastor flip.
    ———————————————–
    If someone did that, my reaction would be the same as if someone popped up and said it was their turn to administer communion or baptism. They would be told to sit down.

    Again, not the point at all. But one you insist on making.

    The real issue here, is you insist on the assumption that baptism and communion mean very little to guys like me and Josh, and disrespect is no big deal.

  52. Steve Wright says:

    disrespect to the act of baptism/communion

  53. Steve, go back and read my initial comment that you balked at – #26.

    My point to whoever said it was that just because we each held the priesthood, we were not all ministers. I gave the examples of when Jesus instructed the masses and when he instructed his disciples. Different for each.

    You objected to that and in a round about way made the case that anybody could do anything.

    So why doesn’t the pulpit belong to the guy in the pew?

    I didn’t say you and Josh disrespect the baptism or the supper – my point was that it is easier to disrespect it when it is you act and action and not God’s.

    We have been there before. Did you serve communion yesterday? Are you serving it again next week?

  54. Andrew – they were unused chicken buckets. It’s the way communion is served at the CC Good Friday service at the Verizon. Which is OK I guess – i used to receive it that way when I would go.

  55. Michael says:

    One of my elders and his wife prepare the Supper and distribute it every week.
    We take it very seriously.
    We believe we are spiritually partaking of the Body and Blood of the Lord.
    It doesn’t matter who serves it…it is God that feeds us.
    Trey served it one week and I was moved to tears…and I could care less what anyone else thinks about it.

  56. Andrew says:

    You can put crackers and grape juice in a KFC bucket all day long … we cannot put the body and blood of our Lord in such a bucket.
    ___________________________________________________________________
    MLD, I see your point but the bucket is just a (mode or utensil, see your #30) but I hope you realize that the real dirty vessel is our sinful flesh where we ingest the elements. Wouldn’t you agree?

  57. “and I could care less what anyone else thinks about it.”
    The American Evangelical anthem … and it would fit on a bumper sticker. 😉

  58. We don’t use a bucket at my church…but what is the difference between a bucket and any other utensil made by human hands. You are not espousing that your physical cup was handed down from heaven are you?

  59. Michael says:

    MLD,

    I don’t believe there is a biblical case for Christian shamans that have powers the rest of the body doesn’t.
    Whatever happens at the Lord’s Table is the work of the Lord, not any of us.
    You can have your traditions and I’ll respect them, but I won’t be held captive by them.

  60. Em says:

    reading this morning’s discussion brought to my mind the verse in Corinthians that declares that our God is not the author of confusion 🙂
    secularly speaking, but from this Believer’s frame of reference… it seems to me that the bottom line is the nature of the group gathering and the time and place… perhaps, Lutheran folk need their service to be conducted as established in their churches and perhaps, the ancient heritages of the Orthodox suit their culture and, perhaps those, former illiterates who experienced the break away from the dominance of Roman Catholicism and illiteracy needed the simple approach of the Presbyterian bent and so it will go until the Lord comes (and sets us up in ranks)
    dunno – not teaching, just pondering… you all make me do that

    by the way, what about those oyster crackers? if the principle is one of leaven maybe even grape juice is okay… dunno

  61. Michael – don’t fall into that trap – my point was that we are not all ministers / pastors/ called to an office of ministry as was pronounced above.

    But when you say “You can have your traditions and I’ll respect them, but I won’t be held captive by them.” – you must not be hearing people vehemently disagreeing with my views when I state them.

    I said to Steve above that what we do is completely different and for different purposes – I didn’t say better or worse – just very, very different. Why do people take offense at that?

  62. Michael says:

    MLD,

    The unspoken truth is that you and Xenia both would say that I’m not really a pastor and that nothing really happens when I baptize one of our people or when my son serves the church the Eucharist.
    In other words, our churches aren’t churches at all and we’re saved, but barely.

    I’m ok with that…I understand that.
    It does raise the possibility for possible offense, though.

  63. Jean says:

    Isn’t this discussion/disagreement (which has been engaged very civilly by all sides) rooted in whether one believes in the Office of the Keys, by which Christ grants unique spiritual powers to the church, which then delegates the public exercise of the Office of the Keys to the Pastor?

    The spiritual powers included within the Office of the Keys include the conveying of grace to mankind through preaching, administering Baptism and Lord’s Supper, etc.

    So the power is not in the pastor, but in the Office. This then would agree with Michael’s points that (a) it is God that feeds us and (b) that we don’t have shamans. It also agrees with MLD’s points that church order is important and that there are different functions within the church.

    I don’t know if I’ve bridged all the divides, but I would like to know if all the groups represented here believe in the Office of the Keys?

  64. “The unspoken truth is that you and Xenia both would say that I’m not really a pastor”

    Not at all from a Lutheran standpoint – all we could say is that you are not a Lutheran pastor.

  65. Jean, I said a couple of days ago that I was not sure about anointing of individuals but that the Office of the Ministry was anointed by God and that pastors got their ‘anointing’ or street cred by occupying the office.

  66. Jean says:

    MLD,

    We all know the verses upon which the doctrine of the Office of the Keys is based. We also know that the apostles had extraordinary Holy Spirit powers (e.g., raising the dead). What is not explicit is whether the Office of the Keys was continued post-apostolic period and/or how it is passed on from one generation to the next. That is where tradition comes in. So I’m wondering what different traditions think about the Office of the Keys.

  67. Jean,
    Is the giving of the Office of the Keys any different than the giving of the Great Commission? That too was given to the Apostles – do we today wonder how that has been passed down?

  68. Jean says:

    #69,

    MLD, come now! We see the Great Commission handed down in the NT. Timothy, for example was not an apostle. Yet Paul passed it down to him and told him how to pass it further down.

    Although, Paul is quite explicit about the qualifications for an overseer and deacon, there is nothing explicit about the spiritual powers delegated to those offices.

    So I don’t think we can draw a parallel between the two.

  69. What makes you so sure that it was not the O of the K that was passed on to Timothy and all that it encompasses – including the Great Commission.

    The point is that the masses were not given the Keys nor the Great commission.

  70. Andrew says:

    Jean,

    I am not speaking from any one tradition but I personally believe that the Office of the Keys still exists. I am not bold enough to say that one particular denomination or group holds the keys other than I think its highly unlikely that lets say both a CC pastor and a Lutheran pastor could somehow both be holding the keys simultaneously when they both do radically different things at the Lord’s supper and their understanding of church discipline isn’t even close.

  71. Jean says:

    #71,

    “The point is that the masses were not given the Keys nor the Great commission.”

    MLD,
    I’m not sure I agree with you regarding the Great Commission. I don’t think we’ve fleshed that out here (at least on this thread). I’ve always been taught that every Christian has a part to play in the GC.

  72. Jean says:

    #72,
    Andrew, that’s quite a conundrum isn’t it? Maybe there are different offices with different keys (the Lutheran office, the CC office, etc.). Maybe not. Maybe the Apostles had unique offices.

  73. Steve Wright says:

    Michael’s #61 hints at the issue to me.

    I have asked MLD before, if, when I respectfully, in the worship service, as the duly ordained and called pastor of this church, educated in seminary, not using KFC buckets etc. serve communion, I am serving the body and blood and I just don’t know it. He has said, no I am not. Though I certainly believe in the death and resurrection, my memorialist view equates to a lack of belief so nothing happens akin to what happens in his Lutheran church. (Maybe you have changed your mind on that).

    But if it is still a no, then that means the MAN gives the meaning to the elements. There is no inherent blessing from God in the act itself, or the elements used, until the man brings it.

    But THEN, if that man happens to be an alcoholic, an adulterer or whatever, living an ungodly lifestyle, that does not matter in the least. Because the man’s character does not matter, only his office.

    That is very hard to wrap one’s head around. And why I go back to saying that all that really matters is that paid-for seminary degree from a school where the Lutherans get the tuition money.

    Now, as to the comment about anyone stepping up to preach on Sunday, MLD should be reminded that Calvary Chapel certainly encourages others in the church to preach in other avenues, such as the home Bible study fellowship. And at such times like the home Bible study fellowship, there would be no objection if the leader of that fellowship also administered communion – as I used to back in my Costa Mesa days.

  74. Michael says:

    Jean,

    The Reformed believe that the elders of the church have the office of the keys.

  75. The Keys are given to The Church and are given individually to pastors – regardless of ‘denominations’ – this is why my pastor can stand with the authority of the keys (his office) and pronounce for God, the forgiveness of sin. It is no different than a pastor standing in the pulpit and pronouncing God’s word in his place.

    I am always amazed the number of pastors who refuse to exercise what has been given them to do.

  76. Andrew says:

    Andrew, that’s quite a conundrum isn’t it?
    __________________________________________________________________

    It is to a point, but I have pretty much come to the conclusion that CC probably doesn’t hold the Office of the Keys and the conundrum is partially resolved.

  77. Michael says:

    Andrew,

    Why wouldn’t a good and faithful CC pastor have the office of the Keys?

  78. Jean says:

    #75 Steve,

    So, the issue is: Is the bread and wine consecrated through the spoken word of the pastor (i.e., “this is my body….”) or does the consecration require the correct doctrine and/or belief of the pastor. If it’s the former, then it shouldn’t matter what the pastor personally believes, but if it’s the latter….

  79. Steve, are you saying that anytime someone sits down to dinner and eats bread and drinks wine that it is (1) the Lord’s Supper and / or (2) that it has the possibility to be the body and blood of Jesus?

    If you have no expectation of the presence of the body and blood in your church service, why would it be there (even by accident) anymore than it was in the restaurant.

    So, if you are asking – yes, intent does make a difference.

  80. Andrew says:

    Why wouldn’t a good and faithful CC pastor have the office of the Keys?
    ______________________________________________________________
    Primarily because of CC’s understanding of church discipline. I believe church discipline is a mark of the true church. I see CC pastors more as just a Christian layman and not real pastors guarding the Lord’s table.

  81. Steve Wright says:

    Steve, are you saying that anytime someone sits down to dinner and eats bread and drinks wine that it is (1) the Lord’s Supper and / or (2) that it has the possibility to be the body and blood of Jesus?
    —————————————————-
    How can you possibly ask that question given how I set up my scenario.

    I’ll repeat it for you…when I respectfully, in the worship service, as the duly ordained and called pastor of this church, educated in seminary, not using KFC buckets etc. serve communion

  82. Steve Wright says:

    Primarily because of CC’s understanding of church discipline. I believe church discipline is a mark of the true church. I see CC pastors more as just a Christian layman and not real pastors guarding the Lord’s table.
    —————————————————–
    LOL. If the Christians who attend churches like Calvary Chapel began to be told by the pastor they were forbidden from the Lord’s table by that same pastor, the cries of “spiritual abuse” would ring loud and fall heavy.

  83. #82 – Andrew may have a point there – not just CC but anyone that has no membership. Can’t discipline a non member.

  84. Em says:

    pondering another mortal officiating/declaring, by their vested power to do so, that my sins are forgiven – makes me want to swear – i swear it does… i don’t need a man to declare my sins forgiven… i need my faith in the finished work of Christ Jesus at the cross – few things give me the stunned horror of that cry, “my God why….?” and Jesus knew it was coming? My Lord and my God, You forgive me? that act finished the debt and i see no sense in trying to re-apply it… I must remember it, focus on the wonder – forgive me, Lord, if i worry about what’s in the cracker?

  85. Michael says:

    Steve,

    I disagree with MLD on this point as well…I believe that whatever actually happens during the taking of the Lords Table happens when we receive it in faith…whether we have our theology right or not.
    God’s doing the feeding…

  86. Michael says:

    Em,

    The power is simply to declare what has already taken place in heaven…and my folks love to hear it every week and so do I.

  87. “when I respectfully,” – I don’t get it – what does respect have to do if you are in actuality denying the presence of the body and blood and even teach such?

    Don’t take this wrong, but that is like a JW denying the Trinity and expecting the Trinity to be in his baptism, just in case he is wrong.

    It’s OK, you can call me a crack pot – I don’t get offended. 😉

  88. Michael – then I shoot the JW baptism question to you.Their theology isn’t correct, but God overcomes that in their baptism????

  89. Michael says:

    MLD,

    Why must you always appeal to the absurd?
    The JW denies the fundamental tenets of the Christian faith and is in no way even in the ballpark of orthodoxy.
    For those who worship Christ as He is revealed in scripture, much theological error is forgiven and His graces are given in spite of our ignorance.

  90. Steve Wright says:

    The theology of communion better be about Christ crucified for our sins…and we certainly get that right. This do in remembrance of me. We get that right too.

    Now, if your primary theology is the elements themselves and what you believe happens to them, and debating with the Catholics down the street per Marty…then I would say you may be the one whose theology needs a tune-up.

  91. Andrew says:

    LOL. If the Christians who attend churches like Calvary Chapel began to be told by the pastor they were forbidden from the Lord’s table by that same pastor, the cries of “spiritual abuse” would ring loud and fall heavy.
    _____________________________________________________________________
    Far from it. The abuse comes in when the backslid-en Christian is forbidden from entering the sanctuary to even hear the Word preached.

  92. Steve Wright says:

    what does respect have to do…
    ——————————-
    Because you are the one who always, and I mean always, gives examples of the KFC buckets or the Ritz crackers and Coca Cola or whatever else may happen somewhere once in a blue moon.

    That’s why we are forced to add the “respect” aspect – and if you attend a communion service at our church you would certainly recognize that is the case.

  93. Em says:

    #88… fine tuning or belaboring the point, i don’t know, but IMV the responsibility of the one officiating at the communion table is to teach – not simply declare – to lead the participants (we wander and are inattentive even at such a sober time) to the wonder and the victory of the most significant day in history (the day we ate the apple is perhaps a close second)

  94. “Now, if your primary theology is the elements themselves and what you believe happens to them,”

    Lutherans do not believe anything happens to the elements – odd after all this time you would get that wrong. But if that is what has been holding you back, then now you can come over to the light. 🙂

  95. Michael says:

    Andrew,

    Was Paul being abusive when he demanded that the unrepentant sinner be removed from the assembly?
    No…he was just enforcing church discipline.

  96. Steve Wright says:

    I’m hardly confused…you talk of it all the time. You’re just being obtuse again. But I’ll change “to” to “through” just to humor you…

    The LCMS believes that Scripture teaches that the Lord’s Supper is a precious gift of God in which Christ gives us His true body and blood (in a miraculous way), together with the bread and wine,

  97. “The LCMS believes that Scripture teaches that the Lord’s Supper is a precious gift of God in which Christ gives us His true body and blood (in a miraculous way), together with the bread and wine,”

    Why would anyone deny this?

  98. Steve Wright says:

    But if one does deny it…then it doesn’t happen. And even if one doesn’t deny it, you better have that seminary degree paid for in hand before you attempt it. Only professionals dare attempt…

  99. Anybody think Jesus was trying to create such a puzzle?

  100. Steve, that goes back to the original comment / question. Is there no functional difference between laity and clergy? Are some called and others not or is it just an open audition?
    You quickly denied the pewster access to your pulpit but never explained why other than it’s yours.

  101. Josh – that’s the point. i don’t see it as a puzzle at all. In fact it is absolutely crystal clear.

  102. Andrew says:

    Was Paul being abusive when he demanded that the unrepentant sinner be removed from the assembly?
    No…he was just enforcing church discipline.
    ____________________________________________________________________

    Michael, if you are referring to the incident in 1 Corinthians 5, I read this as to not eat or communion with a brother in unrepentant sexual sin. In other words don’t share in the Lord’s table with such. When I read the Matthew 18 passage, it appears the last stage of church discipline is to treat the unrepentant an unbeliever. And we all know especially in the evangelical world that that means we should witness to unbelievers and to me there is no better way than allowing them to hear the Word of God preached. Anyway, I could be wrong, but this is just my understanding.

  103. Em says:

    “the Lord’s Supper…Christ gives us His true body and blood…” why does He do that? what is the point of the miracle? the acceptance of our redemption is, perhaps, passive… but why the continual, IMV passive, re-application? isn’t the cleansing continuous? we learn and we confess our sins and we thus grow, but why the repetitive ingesting/physical digesting? not pronouncing it a wrong headed teaching, but …. ? …
    will ponder as i drive into town

    God keep

  104. Em,
    Why would you want a God who does not continual give his good gifts as promised. I find it odd that people yearn for a ‘one and done God’
    God id the vine and he keeps on giving to us.

  105. Andrew says:

    And I might add to what I wrote that church discipline is always a communal thing (MAJORITY) with the goal of restoration. It seems to extend into the congregation and not solely an Office of the Keys ministry.

    “For such a one, this punishment by the “majority” is enough, so you should rather turn to forgive and comfort him, or he may be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. So I beg you to reaffirm your love for him. For this is why I wrote, that I might test you and know whether you are obedient in everything. “

  106. Michael says:

    “Let him who has done this be removed from among you.”
    (1 Corinthians 5:2 ESV)
    ““Purge the evil person from among you.””
    (1 Corinthians 5:13 ESV)

  107. Michael says:

    The worship service is for the edification of believers…not an evangelistic meeting.

  108. “Josh – that’s the point. i don’t see it as a puzzle at all. In fact it is absolutely crystal clear.”

    Anytime you start explaining it seems that no one could possibly get it right, except you.

  109. Andrew says:

    When you are assembled bin the name of the Lord Jesus and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus, 5 you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord.

    It would appear the guy would have to be present for this to happen wouldn’t he? But if he is already barred from coming into the sanctuary, how could this ever happen?

  110. Michael says:

    Andrew,

    I believe Paul’s point was that they should have have barred him long before.

  111. Andrew says:

    Michael, I think you are right. And it was the congregation as a whole that should have barred him, not solely the pastor who had some pet peeve with a congregant that he doesn’t like.

  112. “Anytime you start explaining it seems that no one could possibly get it right, except you.”

    Probably a billion Christians agree with me on these issues. How can you say I am the only one getting it right?

  113. Steve Wright says:

    You quickly denied the pewster access to your pulpit but never explained why other than it’s yours.
    —————————————
    We’re going in circles now, with your refusal to face what I keep saying about your paid-for seminary training. Lutheran pastors have it better than a union job.

    I also quickly denied the pewster access to the communion and baptism administration (which you failed to notice) And not because it is “mine” – that is lunacy.

    But when necessary (a key point throughout my argument about North Dakota) I do not hesitate to turn the pulpit over to one of the men in the church who is faithful in his life, service and capability to deliver the word to the people. But since I am a pastor first, I make it a point to be there every Sunday, and by God’s grace I have had the health to not need to miss for medical reasons either.

  114. Steve Wright says:

    Probably a billion Christians agree with me on these issues.
    ——————————————–
    Wait a minute. So now there is no difference between you and the Catholics or the Orthodox? Surely you are not claiming a billion Lutherans.

    Or are you now doing the whole, opponent of my opponent is my ally. That they are “close enough” to make the argument you seek

  115. “Probably a billion Christians agree with me on these issues”

    Must just be the way you explain it that makes it sound like hoop after hoop.

  116. Steve Wright says:

    MLD – You asked Josh about a Catholic communion. Do YOU take communion with the Catholics if given the chance (I know you said you would let it pass at CC).

    I expect a retraction on your “a billion people agree with me” if you say no to that question. 🙂

  117. Andrew says:

    For what its worth, I am not a Lutheran and have never even been to a Lutheran church but I agree with MLD on about 99% of his doctrine. So maybe its not the Lutheran tradition but rather the Lutheran doctrine which is maybe darn close to the Biblical doctrine. This is just the way I am seeing things now but I could be completely messed up.

  118. Jean says:

    Andrew,

    I’m pretty much with you, perhaps 95% in agreement with Lutheran doctrine. It’s that last 5%, however, that’s difficult to embrace.

  119. Andrew says:

    Jean, what part is that?

  120. I’d say you’re about 48% off Andrew, but that’s just me. Give or take 3% .

  121. Steve,
    No I do not – but it’s because they stop me. However, we still agree on what we are talking about here.

    The point is the actual bodily presence of Christ in the supper. Not every detail, but the supper itself delivers what God has promised – his grace and forgiveness of sin. Yes, a billion of us agree.

    And… we believe it for the exact same reason – Jesus said it.

  122. Oh, btw – if I don’t take communion with someone, it is not necessarily because we disagree with what happens in the supper – but because we disagree in other areas. Therefore we are not in communion.

    The ELCA believes what I believe for communion. But because of their wayward theology I abstain.

  123. Andrew says:

    Josh, my views have changed a bit since we corresponded many months ago. Deep inside I am feeling more and more Lutheran but I just haven’t gone to one of these churches yet. Who know maybe I will turn into a Methodist someday which I would find even more remarkable.

  124. In fairness, I’m Baptist and I probably agree with 95% of Lutheran doctrine.

  125. I think that would be great, Andrew. Go to a Lutheran church and be in fellowship with other believers. I think that would be fantastic.

  126. Andrew says:

    Josh, I go to a baptist church currently and love it but I do sometimes think I would fit better in as a Lutheran.

  127. Jean says:

    Andrew,
    I had a feeling you’d ask. But since you did:

    1) I don’t see infant baptism in the NT.
    2) I don’t see the real presence of Christ’s body and blood in Communion taught in the NT.
    3) I believe the Scriptures which are against women’s ordination were situational in the NT.
    4) My Wesleyan heritage gives me a strong ecumenical posture. So, classify doctrines of essential importance more narrowly than Lutherans and would classify secondary doctrines more broadly than Lutherans.

    Aside from these issues, I probably agree with most everything else I’m aware of in the Book of Concord. However, the 4 issues above would be deal killers for the Lutherans, so I’ll keep on pondering.

  128. Andrew, to me, the key to enjoying church was figuring out that it wasn’t about me. That took years. I said it for years, but I still based it all on what it did for me, how much I liked it…I was never satisfied. When I started learning to lay my own desires to rest, it opened up a whole new world of worship.

    That probably is the greatest weakness of evangelicals: We have conditioned sinners that you can have church your own way.

  129. Jean says:

    Andrew,

    I currently self-identify as a Wesleyan. I no longer self-identify as UMC. Until the UMC decides whether or not they are going to retain the traditional view of marriage, I’m no longer flying that flag. However, I still attend a UMC that runs itself under the traditional view.

  130. Andrew says:

    Just wanted to say thanks to all the different voices that have been very civil in this discussion. Its been very valuable to me. Thanks Michael for keeping this forum going to express these various views. There is much grace to cover over our theological blunders. I make no excuses for my own. But I do know love covers over a multitude of sins. Its not that I am embracing ecumenicism but I want to embrace love for all the brethren. I am signing off for the night. God bless.

  131. Jean,
    “1) I don’t see infant baptism in the NT.”

    What is infant baptism? Do we have grandfather baptism? Lutherans do not practice infant baptism – we practice baptism and believe the Bible for what it says. Be baptized and you will receive the Holy Spirit. So we baptize people (last I checked babies were people) so that they too can receive the Holy Spirit.

    We know that God does the work even with the unborn (see John the B in Luke 1) and we see in the Psalms that David says that even while he was at his mother’s breast – get this – God made him believe, trust in him.

    So, Wesleyans have a bunch of Holy Spiritless kids running around? 😉

  132. Jean says:

    MLD,
    John Wesley defended infant baptism. UMC baptizes infants. I am the one out of step.

  133. I know that UMC baptizes properly 😉

    But I just showed you biblical examples of 1.) God doing the saving and 2.) the promise to receive the HS when baptized.

    What I do not see is any age restriction on baptism.

    That is why I say evangelicals follow 2 forms of salvation
    1.) accept Jesus into your heart
    2.) die before the age of accountability.

  134. Xenia says:

    “The unspoken truth is that you and Xenia both would say that I’m not really a pastor”

    I would say that you are the pastor to the group of people you pastor.

  135. Steve Wright says:

    To think of the battles fought over communion between the Lutherans and the Catholics and all they needed was MLD to say they were in agreement…problem solved.

    Amazing.

  136. Xenia says:

    Wasn’t the big communion argument between Luther and Zwingli, not Luther and the RC?

  137. Jean says:

    MLD,
    I’m a little hard headed, but not stone hearted. Keep on talking and I’ll keep on listening, to you, Xenia, Steve, Michael and others.

    Heck, the guys on CFL have got me thinking seriously about semper virgo. Who would have thought?

  138. Steve Wright says:

    Xenia, the bigGER argument with Zwingli, yes. But MLD is whitewashing here.

    I don’t know this Catholic site, but one thing for sure, he did not get the memo that Martin Luther is in agreement with the Catholics.

    http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?recnum=3013

  139. Q says:

    Only the mystics can preform magic!

    http://youtu.be/96kwILL35ig

  140. Jean says:

    #140,

    Steve and MLD,
    I received this insight from the link you provided. If I’m understanding the author accurately, one of the Lutheran arguments for the real presence in the elements is that Christ is omnipresent in nature anyway. Thus from the article:

    “The omnipresence of Christ becomes the basic argument against the “Enthusiasts,” and likewise the crowning argument against transubstantiation. Christ is in the elements long before they were put on the altar, for the Son has imparted the attribute of omnipresence to his human nature.”

    The Scriptural basis for this claim may be from the first chapter of Colossians:

    “For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”

    This may be something we could all get our head around. However, when does Christ’s omnipresence morph into pantheism?

  141. Jean – Steve,
    I didn’t read the article but Christ’s presence in the supper is simple. He is there because he puts himself there. Why look any further?

    Jean, if you properly represented what the guy said, well that is pure pantheism.

    There is a time that the bread is bread only and a time the wine is wine only. At the institution of the supper, the elements do not change, but Christ becomes actually bodily present in the supper.

    When a Catholic eats the elements he is eating body and blood only – the elements transubstantiated from bread and wine to body and blood.

    When a Lutheran eats the elements he is eating bread & body and wine & blood (this is why consubstantiation is a false claim against Lutherans as there is no substantiation going on – nothing is changing.)

    When a memorialist eats the elements he is eating only bread and wine.

  142. Em says:

    #106 – the question of God continuing to give good gifts… seems an odd question to me …
    why would you assume that i believe that He doesn’t do so? rhetorical – no answer required, MLD

  143. Steve, a little history is in order. The Lutherans had to make an accounting of what they believed and present it to the emperor who was a Catholic to see if they were in line. Many articles were boldly against Roman teaching. However, not so with the Lord’s Supper

    The Lutheran statement from the Augsburg Confession was simple and to the point. One of the shorter articles.

    Article X: Of the Lord’s Supper.

    Of the Supper of the Lord they teach that the Body and Blood of Christ are truly present, and are distributed to those who eat the Supper of the Lord; and they reject those that teach otherwise.

    The Catholics responded bac in the Confutation which was their response article by article to the Augusburg Confession – you will note the almost total agreement and the praise in the next to last line.

    To Article X.

    The tenth article gives no offense in its words, because they confess that in the Eucharist, after the consecration lawfully made, the Body and Blood of Christ are substantially and truly present, if only they believe that the entire Christ is present under each form, so that the Blood of Christ is no less present under the form of bread by concomitance than it is under the form of the wine, and the reverse. Otherwise, in the Eucharist the Body of Christ is dead and bloodless, contrary to St. Paul, because “Christ, being raised from the dead, dieth no more,” Rom. 6:9. One matter is added as very necessary to the article of the Confession – viz. that they believe the Church, rather than some teaching otherwise and incorrectly, that by the almighty Word of God in the consecration of the Eucharist the substance of the bread is changed into the Body of Christ. For thus in a general council it has been determined, canon Firmiter, concerning the exalted Trinity, and the Catholic faith. They are praised therefor, for condemning the Capernaites, who deny the truth of the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ in the Eucharist.

    Not bad eh?

  144. Bob says:

    “When a memorialist eats the elements he is eating only bread and wine.”

    What a demeaning, insensitive and insulting statement!

    Why did God instruct the Nation of Israel to continue practicing Passover every year? If God is consistent, would not the same reason apply to Jesus, who was following God’s instructions during that last Passover (not supper, although it was last meal of a man who is about to die)?

    It’s and endless battle over this subject.

  145. So Bob, whatcha eatin during communion?
    If you want to add body and blood, that’s fine with me.

    But I don’t get your point – what else is being served at your church?

    Every other memorialist I speak with proudly defends their position by stating that it is only bread and wine. But I am open to here your view.

  146. Bob says:

    MLD:

    As Michael said previously, you reduce your arguments often to the absurd and in the process insult those who hold a position that is different to yours. The fact that others may hold communion, not as a spiritual, mystical or possibly physical connection/fellowship with Jesus, but as a remembrance does not in any way leave them with nothing more than wine (juice) and bread. It is not an empty practice in any way!

    To the people of Israel about Passover God said this:

    “so that you may remember all the days of your life the day when you came out of the land of Egypt.”

    Many of us non RCC, Lutheran, Orthodox and the many others who do not see or experience communion in a manner similar to you, take the elements in a serious manner!

    Like the Israel of old (and today) we remember where we came from and into whose kingdom we now live. We also look forward to the day in which we will see Him face to face as He is.

    So please show respect for those whom have valid biblical exposition and tradition that differs from the one you have chosen. More importantly, never forget the difference between the tradition you have chosen and the RCC also happened after over a millennia and a half!

    What do we remembers have?

    A God who loves His creation so much He sent Jesus to save us from ourselves! And on that fateful Passover meal He establish a new covenant with His followers! I remember and cherish that moment every time I lift the cup and bite down on the bread.

  147. Bob, you may be the master at making a mountain out of a mole hill. All I described above is what each group takes in their mouth at the time of the communion … as described by each group themselves.

    I said nothing about sincerity, although one of your companion memorialists above did say I believe in magic (which doesn’t bother me in the least)

    Are you offended that I point out that we do the supper differently and that we do it for different reasons? That would seem odd as I am sure you are aware of the difference.

  148. Bob says:

    MLD:

    I’m a big boy and well experienced and aware of the differences between our dogmas and traditions. Surely you see at your mature age that my point is in the mockery and absurdity of your statements about those who differ from yours. Additionally you must also see and read this isn’t just about sincerity, because it would also be naive and absurd to assume that sincerity make things right although they may be wrong.

    If I am offended by anything it isn’t that you hold a different view it is the offensive manner in which you mock others who hold an equal, if not possibly superior, biblical exposition of their traditions.

    So please don’t reduce the argument to there just being left with bread and juice or what ever.

    Thank you!

    BTW; Did you get that iPad yet? Great present purchase for “Black Friday.”

  149. Bob, you still have not explained how I mocked anyone by describing what they say they consume at the table?

    Apple Products are of Satan and Black Friday is the devil’s holiday

  150. Bob,
    I see the issue – you need to increase the font size on your Ipad.
    You accuse me of saying “…just being left with bread and juice or what ever.”

    When in fact I stated, in the context of what the RCC and Lutherans consume, “When a memorialist eats the elements he is eating only bread and wine.”

    That’s OK, my eyes fade also.

  151. Bob says:

    “Apple Products are of Satan and Black Friday is the devil’s holiday”

    I might agree with that at times. For years I have been know to say, “until computers came around I thought only living things could be “demon possessed.” But I became convinced both Jobs and Gates sold their souls to the devil and now Satan lives in my computer (or at least a demon does).”

    “left with, eating only, bread and wine, bread and juice???” picky picky!!!

    The meaning that I read and understand is the same, font size of not; we remembrance folk don’t have Jesus in our communion. I believe that is what you are saying, but correct me if I read your words wrong? If I’m right about then you truly don’t know what it means to remember.

    Now if I cast either Satan or a demon out of my computer and iPad does that mean no more internet, PP, sparing with MLD and now the world will be right and true again?

    It could work!

    BTW MLD, I do appreciate the non-serious part of this conversation.
    Night!

  152. Em says:

    well, i spent 20+ years in the general area that Driscoll has been pastoring in… never had a helicopter threaten me… but rocks and life threatening dirty tricks? there are folk over there – some that go to church on Sunday – that you don’t want to get on the bad side of… ’nuff said

    I find what Jtk related of Driscoll’s self-serving whine just that… a whine and a far cry from the cheap talk from the days of his ‘bully’ pulpit stand

    oh, we did have an ultra light circle the house regularly about the time of day that my beautiful daughter was sunbathing by the pool … hmmm … maybe it wasn’t what we thot it was 🙂

    ah well… Saints are being beheaded for the Faith and God sees

    God keep

  153. Em says:

    okay, what happened was… i was reading the linkathon thread and my computer – or this darn dial up system spit me out – i hit refresh and ended up here… shoulda noticed where i was, but i didn’t… sorry… guess i’ll just let this comment die over here – won’t repost it

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