XXIII. Of Ministering in the Congregation

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240 Responses

  1. Lutheran says:

    I, too, like the idea of a minister’s calling to the pulpit coming out of a local congregation.where said person is active and known by others. I’ve heard that the LCMS has a program in place that does just that. I don’t know much about it.

    A big advantage is that the individual is a ‘known quantity.’ He or she is not a wild hair or loose cannon, but knows and is known by the congregation. It’s unlikely that a group of elders of a church are going to recommend someone like that. Let’s hope not, at least.

    But does this preclude a ministerial candidate going off to seminary and then relocating to a different congregation? Does he or she have to come back to that congregation? That’s not how it works, at least in the larger mainline denoms that I’m aware of. I think most of the established denoms. have guidelines, etc. for placing a ministerial candidate.

  2. from this corner says:

    “Now this one is interesting. I am not sure where I land on the notion that nobody can publicly preach unless elected by the congregation. But I have grown very fond of the idea that the congregation elects people into authority.

    What think ye?”

    i think anyone can preach publicly, but not within the four walls of the churches unless elected … i think Reuben thinks quite clearly on this matter

    since he asked 😀

    but, “lawfully called?” we seem to have some strange interpretations of that within some corporate church bodies … hence the discussion going on here on the other thread, eh?

  3. Lutheran says:

    FTC,

    I agree. “Lawfully called.” Hmmm.

    I like it when this is explicitly spelled out. Otherwise you run the risk of “The Lord Told Me” types taking over. That only works in certain settings. It DOESN’T fly in well-run denominations and synods, of which there are many.

  4. Reuben says:

    FTC, perfect thing to discuss here. Yup.

  5. Papias says:

    Love the concept of an outward and inward call to the ministry. For example, its one thing for me to think that God may be calling me to minister/teach, but to also have church congregation and leadership see the same thing… that’s the deal. The two calls working in conjunction with one another.

    Also by implication us the idea that I am known and know the ones who call me.

    Good stuff.

  6. I disagree with this one as a “rule”. I don’t hate the idea behind it, but I also don’t like the idea of some snobby nominating body deciding who is anointed and who is not. This is what caused John Wesley to break from the Church of England, right?

  7. Article 23 strikes me as one of those things that only makes sense in the context. The Church of England is articulating a self-protecting edict. Remember the King was the acting in a self-authenticating way to establish the CoE and those who seize authority like to see measures enacted that protect that status. Even if I am wrong as to the underlying motivations the church itself seems to be rather self-protecting by this article.

    Bottom line is always the same BY WHAT AUTHORITY… or who do you think you are. All I can say is that a man with the unction of the Holy Spirit is never helpless in the face of an institution with a vested interest. Thus John the Baptist can arise despite Herod despite the Pharisees, despite the Temple vested Saducees.

    The call of God on a servant is never powerless.

    So I say that this article is not without merit to commend it as the call is ratified by those hear the Gospel. The church indeed ratifies the call of God upon a man(woman) but sometimes the church rises up around a person of anointing against the wishes of the magisterium.

  8. Well said Dread.

    “The call of God on a servant is never powerless.”

    Amen.

  9. Steve Wright says:

    So question for you all, in light of this article.

    Say a guy is born again and eagerly starts to study the Scriptures. Eventually starts a home Bible study. People begin to come and it grows. Guy continues to grow in grace and the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. Study not only grows but the people begin to see themselves as a church with this guy as their pastor. The people ask him to start a church and be their pastor.

    Any problem with that? If so, why? Is that a calling from the congregation.

    (And for the sake of discussion, let’s not immediately talk about some dangerous cult leader who systematically kicks out of the study all the people over the years who do not bow to him)

  10. Nonnie says:

    First if all they need to update this to , ” it is not lawful for any man AND WOMAN…..” The CofE has women ministers these days. We have one who helps at our JOY Place ministry and she is indeed, called, anointed and has a humble heart for serving. She is an answer to prayer in helping us in this ministry. I’m assuming that “man” us a generic term for human. Just as Ut was Jesus’ humanity, not his maleness, that was in the incarnation.

    Now I’m not fighting for women “pastors”, I’m just telling you what I have observed.

  11. Nonnie says:

    Dang! I hate it when a U shows up instead of an I. Sorry for the typos.

  12. Xenia says:

    A bishop, who is in the line of Apostolic succession and therefore has Apostolic authority, ordains properly prepared men to the priesthood and then assigns them to a parish.

  13. Xenia says:

    Any problem with that? If so, why? Is that a calling from the congregation.<<<

    Yes. This is the origin of the cult of personality.

    He won them by his personality and will have to keep them by his personality. If his teachings grow dull, his flock will wander off to someone more exciting.

    Also, there is no control over doctrine. He can teach what he likes with no one from above keeping an eye on him to see if he drifts into heresy.

    If he is really called of God, nothing can prevent him from fulfilling that call by (A) going to seminary (B) submitting to an ecclesiastic authority and (C) going where he is sent, not just "doing what he wants." I like surfing, ergo God is calling me to [charming beach resort town] ….. Etc.

    Plus, there are plenty of struggling churches that could use his help, if he is such a cracker-jack Bible teacher. In my small town there are dozens of churches (9 Baptists, last count) yet somebody I know just started up another one, inviting all to come, drawing people from the other churches. If this pastor is so terrific, why can't he go help some other church in town? But no, he wants his own Popsicle stand.

  14. Nonnie says:

    I too, have wondered why people don’t instead start a church in an area where there is no gospel being preached.

  15. Steve Wright says:

    He won them by his personality and will have to keep them by his personality. If his teachings grow dull, his flock will wander off to someone more exciting.
    ———————————————–
    Not much room there, Xenia, for the possibility of God’s Spirit on his life or for that matter within the lives of those believers attending. And if correct, then it looks like as they leave this cult of personality guy won’t have a church anymore anyway.

    So let’s say that he studies in a formal seminary/ministry training setting – during this time of leading the Bible study. Let’s say he’s effectively ministering to people who either A) don’t have a home church for whatever reason or B) are people he himself has led to the Lord

    Does your answer change?

  16. Xenia says:

    Steve, let me be frank here. I believe a pastor (priest) is someone ordained by a bishop in Apostolic succession. This pastor/ priest has the charism to serve the Liturgy, pray that the bread and wine become the Body and Blood, hear confessions, baptize, and so on. If some group raises up a Bible teacher for themselves, that activity lies outside my current realm of interest.

  17. Xenia says:

    In other words, who am I to tell Protestants how to order themselves?

    All I can do is report what I have seen.

  18. Steve Wright says:

    That is fine, Xenia. I do have one more question. Unlike the Baptist example you cite from your hometown, this guy did not start out trying to be the next big popsicle. Just a guy in love with the Lord and His Word enjoying fellowship with others that evolves over time to a recognition by both the man and the congregation of God’s call on his life (Papias’ two calls in conjuntion comment).

    He also is a guy who takes the pastorate serious enough to go get formal ministry training, and that call is likewise confirmed by his professors.

    So my final question is if you see the only path for ministry for this guy to be ending the relationship he has with these who consider them his pastor in order to be shipped off to strangers who will be told ‘This is your new pastor’

  19. Lutheran says:

    I don’t believe in apostolic succession. But having said that…

    The Early Church didn’t do things in our American, individualistic way. You didn’t “accept Jesus as your personal Savior” and then start a Bible study later, on your own. You were seen as part of the Church, not a Christian cowboy.

    If you wanted to follow Jesus, you’d talk to the Bishop. The Bishop would start you off with at least a year of teaching (catechism). You could attend the Divine Service but couldn’t receive the Mystery of the Eucharist until you finished catechized and formally joined the Church. At that point,.you would be baptized. That usually took place on Easter Sunday.

  20. Xenia says:

    Steve, I think you are talking about you yourself in # 18. You have followed the path that is traditional in Calvary Chapels and in many non-denoms. You are well within your Tradition.

  21. I would have no problem with anyone who feels led preaching the Gospel. Obviously, I hope that he would take his call seriously and seek education, etc. But yeah, I don’t see a New Testament precedent for Apostolic Succession, etc…or even seminary. Doesn’t mean that any of that is wrong, but it makes it more difficult to be dogmatic about it.

  22. Xenia says:

    And being shipped off to strangers w/ “Here is your new pastor” is a very good way to stop personality cults. We are brothers and sisters in Christ with ALL Christians, not just our comfortable little group that has been together for decades. Maybe it’s time some of those churches that have had the same (possibly founding) pastor for decades to get someone new. (It would break up a few good ol’ boy clubs as well.)

    This is only an issue in churches where the sermon is the main feature of the church services. If you have to listen to a guy talk for an hour several times a week his personality does matter. You hear a lot of stuff that is nothing more than his personal opinion and if your own personal opinions conflict with his, you have a “bad” pastor. Or if he’s dull, which is the cardinal pastoral sin in some places.

    Yes to Lutheran’s post.

  23. Steve Wright says:

    Xenia, I was asked (called) by the leadership of the CC I presently pastor by unanimous vote, confirmed by the congregation (most of them, we probably lost a few) while I was preparing for another ministry.

    So I’m not trying a sneak attack. I’m really focusing on the idea of whether a congregation can call a pastor in the way I am describing.

    (Lutheran, as to your point – although I did not say so directly, I assumed the guy leading the Bible Study was also part of a local church)

  24. Xenia says:

    So I’m not trying a sneak attack. I’m really focusing on the idea of whether a congregation can call a pastor in the way I am describing<<<

    Evangelical churches, sure. They can do whatever they want.

  25. Steve Wright says:

    Xenia, how do the Orthodox plant a new church?

  26. Xenia says:

    Here are several ways:

    1. A community has several Orthodox families but no parish within reasonable driving distance. They ask the bishop if they can start a mission parish. If he sees there’s a need, the group is blessed to start holding services, either in someone’s house, in a store front, a community center, etc. The diocese will send a priest to them. If the mission is a “go,” then it will be graduated to a “parish church.”

    2. If there’s a place with no Christian witness, a group of monastics will permanently move to the location, build a small church, and start holding services.

    3. Sometimes a parish grows to be too large for the building and will split into two parishes.

    4. Sometimes people will be sent to a town that has no EO presence and will try to get something started.

    All of these, from 1 to 4, are done with the blessing of the presiding bishop.

  27. Papias says:

    Steve,
    From the cheapseats, this guy in your examples is missing:

    1) Accountability within (his) the church. Does he allow elders and others to voice their opinions about his ministry?

    2) Accountability from outside (his) the church. Does he have relationships with other church pastors in the area, perhaps from outside his tribe? What do these people think of his church and ministry?

    While he may have started this church on his own, he will have to fight the tendency to call it “my church”, if you know what I mean.

  28. Steve Wright says:

    Xenia – #4 fascinates me. “Try to get something started?” I would appreciate more details on that one. Is one of the people thought to be the potential priest someday? Are they sent without a priest (which would make me ask how they could have anything like an Orthodox service)

    Papias – I suppose we could enlarge my example to have the Bible Study approved by the local home church. As far as pastors from other churches in the area…not sure what you mean there. What do the local pastors think of another new church possibly showing up in their “territory”?

  29. Xenia says:

    That there are decent men who become pastors this way, no one doubts.

    Consider a fictitious guy we will call Brother Joe. He gets saved, he’s on fire, he’s smart and he can talk. He parleys his initial convert enthusiasm (and brains) into an exciting Bible study, a real “be there or be square” kind of meeting. Naturally, everyone who attends thinks he’s terrific or else they wouldn’t come. They tell him he’s great. He believes them. They tell him he should move his evening study to Sunday morning and it will be Church. His newness in the faith + convert zeal + flattery = Hip new church. It will have a cool name like “River of Life” or “The Happening” or “The Church You’ve Been Looking For.**”

    Since he has no formal education (he’s only been saved from drugs,sex and rock and roll for about a year now) he doesn’t really know what he’s talking about. He reads a book by Popular Pastor Fred and that’s what he teaches next Sunday. He reads a book by Popular Pastor Phil and that’s what he teaches next Sunday. He has a dream, he hears from God, he’s got a vision…. He’s in prelest.*

    I have seen this happen and I am pretty sure you all have seen it, too. This is America and there’s nothing to stop it. Folks can do what they want here. A proper bishop would have nipped it all in the bud. As St. Paul said to St. Timothy, don’t lay hands on newbies to the faith.

    * Prelest: Russian word for spiritual delusion.
    ** We actually had a church in town w/ that name for a few years.

  30. Xenia says:

    Xenia – #4 fascinates me. “Try to get something started?” I would appreciate more details on that one. Is one of the people thought to be the potential priest someday? Are they sent without a priest (which would make me ask how they could have anything like an Orthodox service)

    I had in mind a few examples I know of priests who set up shop in a town w/ no Orthodox church in the area. Now that I think about it, they probably fell into the “mission church” category, that is, they were requested to come by Orthodox folks in the area.

  31. Nonnie says:

    Xenia, your 29….excellent comment. We all know that has happened. And yet there are the “exceptions” as well. I am loathe to put God in a box, but I do tend to agree with you.

  32. Papias says:

    “I suppose we could enlarge my example to have the Bible Study approved by the local home church. As far as pastors from other churches in the area…not sure what you mean there. What do the local pastors think of another new church possibly showing up in their “territory”?”

    If this guy is sent by another church to start another work of that church, then your original example of a guy who just starts up a Bible study is different. If he’s sent by another church, then that by default would imply some sort of accountability. But your original example had none of that.

    I am talking about a pastor who has no one… inside or outside the church…who can question him as a brother without him basically showing that person the doors behind them. Does the church have elders elected by the congregation that have the power to ask the pastor to leave if he starts going looney.

    For meeting with others pastors in the area, its more the sense of fellowship, prayer and mutual accountability, than for “territorial disputes”.

  33. Steve Wright says:

    Xenia, do you see any difference between the “no Orthodox presence” example you cite, and a couple families that move from Southern California to a place with “no CC presence” and ask the School of Ministry to send a graduate out their way to start a Bible Study (they hope will one day be a new CC church).

  34. Here’s the easy litmus test –

    Say there are no other local churches. You find yourself in a remote village with no prior contact with the gospel. Can the guy pastor a church in that village?

  35. Steve Wright says:

    Papias, as you likely know, at least many years ago, one could have an affiliated Bible Study if approved by the appropriate pastor and if one agreed to monthly meetings for accountability.

    That is not the same as being sent out to plant a church by the home church.

    In the process of the Bible Study, let’s say that congregational call came (obviously it would be coming from those not attached to the home church).

    I know it is getting complicated. Just still focusing on the issue of God’s people being responsible for calling a pastor. (With Xenia’s concerns about personality cults duly noted)

    As an aside, sometimes a new guy might have the best intentions of getting together with other pastors for prayer and fellowship, and find the others unwilling.

  36. Xenia says:

    Can the guy pastor a church in that village?<<<

    I would say he can and should talk to all the people he can about Jesus Christ. They can sing hymns, pray, and he can teach them all he knows. He can even do it on Sunday mornings. He should lead the group to pray that God will send them a priest so they can start a church and begin to receive life-giving sacraments. I believe God will do this. If He chooses not to, He knows their hearts and they will not be lost. (He can do emergency baptisms, if he sees the need, like someone is on the point of death. He can't do Communion, though.)

    But the fellow in question cannot self-ordain. He can teach, love, lead by example, etc. and great will be his reward in heaven.

  37. Xenia says:

    The impasse we are having is the impossibility of comparing (in this context) sacramental vs non-sacramental groups. If you really believe the bread and wine become the Body and Blood of the Lord you will do things differently than if you think it’s a memorial. That’s what underlies this entire conversation.

    I gotta go out for a few hours. See you when I get back.

  38. Steve Wright says:

    I appreciate Xenia’s honesty and faithfulness to her beliefs, and willingness to share them. But just as she has strong words about evangelicalism I have some very strong feelings about the answer @36.

    The idea that there would be a new group of believers, in a village, studying the Scriptures and then being told that this communion thing they study, they are not eligible to have. These local churches they read about, they are not qualified.

    As they are taught the importance of baptism (infant or otherwise) they are also told they and their children can’t be baptized – unless of course on a death bed. Of course, not everyone in the village has a ‘death bed’ since sometimes death comes suddenly and so then he must tell them that baptism really is not that big a deal because God understands, though if someone is dying, it is a big deal and make sure to call on him for an emergency baptism.

    And that somehow this man must entrust the souls he has labored over to a complete stranger, one who maybe has never lived in this foreign land, one to whom there is no certainty how he will be after a few months there in the village (that is not a slight on Orthodox priests in general – I’m sure they are fine men but the fact remains as humans there are some things we have a hard time living with – and if this priest thought he was getting another assignment only to pull this one…)

    The bottom line is the man in question is not “self-ordaining” but is accepting the call of the congregation he has ministered to all those years. The fruit and ‘children’ of his ministry, just as we read the Apostle Paul describe.

    And not telling those people “Here is your new spiritual father, Priest X, he is now taking over and you must submit to his authority no matter what type of guy he turns out to be while living here. It’s what God wants. Don’t come to me anymore. Go to him.”

    I have a serious problem with such a view. Just my opinion and in my opinion that is just as serious as personality cult in America brother Joe we talked about earlier.

  39. Nonnie says:

    Thank you, Xenia for your input. We really appreciate you here.

  40. Papias says:

    “..a couple families that move from Southern California to a place with “no CC presence” and ask the School of Ministry to send a graduate out their way to start a Bible Study (they hope will one day be a new CC church)”.

    As a SOM graduate, I was never told about any opening like this, nor do I know of anyone that was asked to go out like this.

    Or maybe I needed to hang out with “the cool kids club”….

  41. Xenia presents the difference accurately in her # 37. Always appreciate her clarity.

    I am much more a “priesthood of believers” kind of guy.

  42. Steve Wright says:

    Papias, there were at least a dozen or so postcards in the library with contact information from people around the country that had moved to areas without a CC and were wanting to start one.

    Don’t know if that is still the case…but it was like that my second year.

  43. The Lutheran Church prepares men to be Lutheran pastors from an early age beginning with the acolyte program, a whole Lutheran school systems whose number one purpose is to prepare and train pastors, Lutheran school teachers and Lutheran workers. It is through this process that “calls” are confirmed.

    I think I told this story once before about our former associate pastor. His church in Arizona was so sure that he was called to be a pastor, that they subsidized much of his college education at Concordia University and all of his seminary expenses – that’s 8 years of training, knowing all along that they would never see him again.

    He was assigned to my church for his vicarage (3rd yr seminary internship) and when he graduated, we called him to be our associate pastor – which is highly irregular that we were allowed to make a specific call.

    He stayed with us for 3 yrs and took a call to be a senior pastor in Idaho a couple of years ago.

  44. Rob Murphy says:

    A bit of not tongue all the way in cheek curiosity – having been a part of 2 different congregational lead churches, and my Dad serving as a district superintendent over a dozen, my experience begs a question: I wonder if the approval for affirming the call of a pastor should come before or after the church splits over the color of carpet or repaving the parking lot . . . ?

    Inasmuch as there must be careful qualifications met for the one called and sent, should there be as rigorous – if not more rigorous – qualifications met for those in the congregation ‘membership’ who would be sending and / or affirming the call of the one being sent?

  45. Lutheran says:

    MLD,

    I’m not a lifelong Lutheran. So one cool thing I’ve noticed is that because we teach infant baptism, young ‘uns are exposed to the church and its practices, etc. often, and at an early age,. I believe as a result, it leads to many becoming pastors.

    Our congregation is a great example. We have a guy who’s probably in his early 30s who was baptized, etc. in our church. Now he’s an LCMS pastor in another state. I know that his familarity with the church along the way was an important factor in his becoming an undershepherd of a flock of Jesus.

  46. Lutheran says:

    Rob,

    I don’t know your background. With me when it comes to church structures, I think I’ve seem ’em all along the way. I’ve been a Lutheran (2 kinds), Ev. Covenant, Baptist, Free Methodist, AG, charismatic and CC along the way.

    I think the ideal in a church is 1) a balance of power, and 2) close and alongside that, accountability along all, at all levels. Details like carpet color, etc. can be worked out if there is goodwill and a lack of ego and a desire to be the Church, together.

    In our church, we have lots of procedures spelled out. Everything’s done step by step, so there are few or no surprises. We also have voting by members. I’m probably restating what I’ve said previously.

  47. Xenia says:

    The idea that there would be a new group of believers, in a village, studying the Scriptures and then being told that this communion thing they study, they are not eligible to have. <<<

    Have faith in God. He will send what is required.

    After all, Christianity is about faith and about God's miraculous provision. It's not Walmart where only human ideas of logistics apply.

    There are little native villages in Alaska that only sees an Orthodox priest occasionally. In the meantime, they hold (what we call) Reader's Services, which more or less correspond to what the guy in the mythical village does. When the priest comes, he baptizes, hears confession, and serves the Liturgy with the Eucharist. God loves these people just as much as the member who attends a big cathedral in the city. God knows where His people are located and He supplies what is needed for their salvation.

  48. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    JTB Said”

    “I am much more a “priesthood of believers” kind of guy.”

    My view as well. Seminary is not required. We have a home fellowship where we study the word and break bread together. We don’t need anyones apporval for that other than being led by the Lord. We will fellowship with other believers but we will not let someone come in and dictate to us. Correction? yes, Rebuke? yes but Control? NO! I go out in Downtown L.A. every Thursday and open air preach, don’t need approval from that other than God leading me to do it. We are the Church -“called out ones”, once you get that Idea so much freedom comes. My idea of Church is no longer limited to the 501 c 3 corporations. Many of these seminaries try to ingrain their hand me doctrine to you. It’s the Holy Spirit that guides us into all truth.

  49. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    1 John 2;26-27

    “These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you. But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.

  50. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    Jeremiah 17:5

    “Thus says the LORD: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man And makes flesh his strength, Whose heart departs from the LORD.”

  51. Alex says:

    “What think ye?”

    I think it sounds a lot better than Moses Model “I’m specially anointed!”…kiss the Chuck ring and shazam! You’re an under-prophet.

  52. Let’s talk about apostolic succession.

    It assumes that there is a supernatural protection upon the ministry vested by God because of an unbroken human custody of the gift of God which can be bestowed (imparted) upon succeeding generations.

    It assumes that being in that succession is the sure and sacred way to trust the work and word of the minister.

    It assumes that the institution of the church is at minimal, infallible if not inerrant in its transmission of the Gospel and the sacraments of the church.

    Of course the problem is that it is empirically flawed and obviously not a guarantee. The ordained ones themselves prove the humanity and frailty of the system and everyone can see it.

    Next, the argument assumes that the Gospel actually ‘belongs’ to this group and all others are fraudulent.

    The non-orthodox church(s) teach something more akin to the apostolic succession of the Gospel whether or not the line is unbroken to the Apostles. It assumes that the Holy Spirit is able to raise up STONES if necessary to perpetuate the Gospel of Jesus the king and his kingdom.

    Apostolic succession if essential … but it is not assured by an unbroken priesthood. I claim an unbroken lineage of the Gospel via the scriptures enlightened by the Holy Spirit. God has IN FACT seen to the spread of the Gospel of Jesus with or without the magisterium of the competing entities of East and Western churches.

  53. Steve Wright says:

    I know the example is not significant for Xenia, but for some of us I do think the example of William Carey – sometimes called the father of modern missions, is somewhat of interest.

    I’ve been a special fan to Carey’s story because of the India connection, but his life (no matter which country he went to) is somewhat interesting in light of this conversation.

    Of course, that assumes people don’t have a problem with Carey as a cult of personality type 😉

  54. Am I the only one that sees liturgical worship services and wonders if precise ceremonies is really what God was interested in as a means of branding the faithful or was it just a pre-literary manner of indoctrinating souls.

    Of course those of us who offer rock bands to God with spontaneous expressions of devotion have our own little oddities to muse over and defend.

  55. Babs – it seems as though God dictated the form of worship from the very beginning. Cain broke from the traditional liturgy in his worship and look what happened. 😉

  56. I think it was Aaron’s sons who also broke from the liturgy also – better watch what you do in those wild pentecostal services.

  57. Chile says:

    MLD, I’m still waiting for your response to my last post on “Hell Freezes Over.”

  58. Reuben says:

    I am a bit shocked at the allegations of congregational rule being carpet color arguments, but then again, I have precisely one experience with congregational rule, and I have experienced nothing of the sort.

    There are apparently problems in every system. However, I simply do not trust the notion that a self appointed pastor gets together with his buddies, and appoints other pastors. I have seen it happen far too long in CC.

    My very old CC would have had me pastor the church there at some point, because they believed in raising up within, rather than bringing on some hot head from CCBC with visions of 25,000 people and radio stations. It was pointed out to me numerous times that I would be the second generation pastor there. Sure am glad that blew by, because I would have had to drop the affiliation in my first week.

    Babs,

    I have found Liturgy to be the most worshipful expression there is, for me, and my wife agrees. Different strokes for different folks. Worship style will forever be debated. Nobody is right. I have been through the hyper-worship of Vineyard, and now I recite lines from a book. There was value in all of it.

  59. Babylon's Dread says:

    I was 18 years a Lutheran. Finally went and experienced the God that Luther met that Got him booted from Rome. I got no beef against liturgy. Just got no interest in it. Got no beef with the different strokes my beef is with those who say THIS IS GODS WAY.

    MLD you stretch an analogy to breaking.

    Stone Crying Out Dread

  60. Babs, I gave you a winky.

    Jews today still follow the old liturgies – even the liberal reformed. I was talking to an old family friend a couple of months ago who went to a synagogue in Mississippi and he was agast because they had changed the liturgy.

  61. Alex says:

    I still think if it’s all true and to be taken more literally and simply, that the Qualifications are more important than we seem to see in many church constructs in terms of making someone a pastor/priest/leader.

    I wonder what Jesus would care more about:

    A woman being a pastor who was Qualified in all other areas…or a man who was qualified in one area (by having male genitals) but was disqualified in all the other areas laid out in First Timothy Three and Titus One?

  62. Alex says:

    Seems to me we may be straining out a lot gnats while swallowing a lot of camels.

  63. Reuben says:

    Yes, Alex. Yes.

  64. Alex,
    Because men fail in their position or were never qualified for those positions still doesn’t put women in a position in which they are not called.

    That seems to be your set point. If you can find fault in an area, that makes all other options acceptable and anything goes..

  65. RP says:

    The idea that only a man, and a clerical man at that, is the only person who can “administer” the “sacrament”, i.e.: The Lord’s Supper or “the Elements” (Communion), is such a strange interpretation of Scripture that it borders on the ridiculous.

  66. Lutheran says:

    ‘The idea that only a man, and a clerical man at that, is the only person who can “administer” the “sacrament”, i.e.: The Lord’s Supper or “the Elements” (Communion), is such a strange interpretation of Scripture that it borders on the ridiculous.’

    Tell that to the Lutherans, Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, and Anglicans, among others (I’m not famiiar with Methodists and others). It’s also been the common practice of the Church throughout the ages, including the early church.

    Your assertion is what’s really ridiculous. You’re showing your own ignorance.

  67. women…

    “…never qualified for those positions still doesn’t put women in a position in which they are not called.”

    funny, Jesus called women to follow Him, Paul decided it wasn’t a good idea and kept them away from ministry leadership.

    Here in the 2013’s it seems we might have evolved back to where Jesus started us.

  68. Steve Wright says:

    Lutheran, in fairness to RP – there is a context to those remarks. Xenia said under no circumstances (in our isolated village newly hearing the gospel) could anyone administer communion until some official priest made it out there. Meaning that for possibly YEARS, God’s people would study communion in Scripture and then be told they were not able to partake.

    Now, if a regular, non-pastor Lutheran was the missionary there, is the rule the same if there were no official pastors around? No communion?

  69. Steve Wright says:

    Here’s a question that maybe Michael can give input – since he is presently studying the book in question – though this is not his battle per se.

    Michael, you made a large point about there being no particular leader addressed in the Corinthian church when Paul wrote the letter. No official pastor (or priest).

    Who administered the communion we know they were partaking of?

    Maybe someone else has an explanation from their tradition?

  70. Steve,
    You seem to be agreeing here with many others that there is no role of pastor in today;s church. Anyone can teach themselves, commune themselves and dunk their own heads in a toilet to baptize themselves.

    Do you see any actual role in the church for a pastor?

  71. Also, I said at the time that Michael made the big deal over the letter not being addressed to any one pastor, that I am sure that when the letter carrier showed up, he had instruction to hand the letter to a particular person.

    And i am sure that when Timothy or Titus (I forget which one) was told to go check up on the churches, that they knew who the pastors were and went and spoke to them first.

  72. Lutheran says:

    ‘Now, if a regular, non-pastor Lutheran was the missionary there, is the rule the same if there were no official pastors around? No communion?’

    Steve,

    First of all, if someone is making a point on here, the indiividual making the point is the one responsible for explaining the context. Since “RP” hasn’t appeared, I guess I’m stuck with your explanation, though I don’t understand how you can speak for someone else authoritatively without their permission.

    I don’t know the answer to your question above. I do know that in emergency situations, a nonpastor can administer the elements.

    You should understand some context. We Lutherans believe that the Eucharist is the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. That’s why we are very careful as to who administers it. There’s a lot of theology here in the Lutheran backstory, with regard to the pastor and the Office of the Holy Ministry. Take my word for it. That’s why in a situation like with Xenia, that would not be an ideal situation, to have someone else administer the Sacrament.

    I guess if you just think it’s a memorial, then anyone can administer said.

  73. from this corner says:

    interesting thread to read – to tell the truth, i think all traditions gloss over their failures and short-comings to prop up their standard – but, that said, God really is a God of order and not confusion – logic doesn’t fly out the window when faith comes in …

    the hypothetical isolated village is an interesting example … it seems logical to me that weddings, christenings, baptisms etc waiting for the pastor/priest to make his scheduled visit is a lovely thing … but, perhaps, not always expedient?

    or – if a woman has devoted her life and her love to the service of the Church and the situation at hand calls for a person to lead and she is far the best qualified, why would one arbitrarily say, “nope, wrong gender; she can’t serve?” or why would one say that a devout, disciplined in the faith or a devotedly spirit controlled man or woman in isolated geographical locations could not officiate over the gatherings of the Believers there?

    if you have a tradition that keeps you “between the rails” – a centuries long, unbroken thread of solid devotion to Christ – i say, if it’s not broke, don’t “fix” it … the tools of the craftsman of yesterday were good tools and produced a beautiful product … yet, no matter what the discipline or lack of it a church follows, there are always lurking human frailties: prideful, exploitive, mindless, lazy old sin natures

  74. Steve Wright says:

    Now MLD, let’s not be silly. I ask with all seriousness because I do not know the answer. Does the Lutheran church have missionaries that are not seminary trained pastors?

    If so, and if these missionaries bear fruit for the Lord in some unreached area – are they allowed to administer communion to the new converts?

    I am not arguing that you can pass out communion at the 7th inning stretch when you have a few Christians over for BBQ.

  75. Lutheran says:

    I should mention that when posting on the Internet, holy things get digitized. And that’s too bad. The Eucharist, liturgy, the body and blood of Jesus.

    But actually, there’s a strong thread that connects them all, at least from the Lutheran POV and I’m sure in other liturgical traditions.
    .
    Example: Here’s an intro to a Lutheran book titled “Heaven on Earth: The Gifts of Christ in the Divine Service”

    “The liturgy is not a style of worship. The liturgy is the substance of justification as it is brought through means. This book is an introduction to the liturgy and its importance. It takes the liturgy and makes it easy for the layperson to understand that the New Testament church service brings God’s presence, in Jesus the Christ, to the people of God who have been cleansed from their sins.

    “This is a holy meeting made possible by the blood of Christ that cleanses the believer. This understanding of the church service helps one to understand that the church service is more than a meeting place; it is the manifestation of the New Testament church on earth as Christ calls His bride around Word and Sacraments. Heaven on Earth will deepen your understanding of the Divine Service and why it remains the Church’s chief worship service.”

    http://www.amazon.com/Heaven-Earth-Christ-Divine-Service/dp/0758606710/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1362721311&sr=8-1&keywords=arthur+just

  76. LCMS missionaries are called, trained and sent by the church with authorities given by the church.

    But I would like to hear an evangelical’s rational as to why a bunch of Christian guys can’t commune each other at the backyard BBQ? I know that G thinks this is the most appropriate time.

  77. Lutheran, great book-I have 2 copies.

  78. Steve Wright says:

    Emergency situations? That is what Xenia said about baptism (though never communion)

    Am I the only one thinking in terms of missionary activity? And how hard it would be to teach people about the importance of baptism and communion and then tell them God is not pleased if Mr. Missionary administers. ESPECIALLY if teaching these are sacraments imparting a special (presumably needed) grace to the believer. Baptism saves, but you can’t be baptized! Communion assures of the forgiveness of sin, but you can’t partake.

    And at least this is the internet age, where maybe an official priest or pastor could be called relatively soon, but imagine a couple centuries ago when someone would have to get word back to Europe by boat!

  79. Steve Wright says:

    But I would like to hear an evangelical’s rational as to why a bunch of Christian guys can’t commune each other at the backyard BBQ? I know that G thinks this is the most appropriate time.
    ——————————————————
    I didn’t say they couldn’t. I said you (a Lutheran) administering during a commercial break.

    I know this may strike you as hard to believe, but even us memorialists take communion seriously as a special, holy time.

  80. I think in centuries past Lutherans sent out pastors who were sent out as missionaries. You end up by doing what Alex does – find the exception and then try to make rhe exception the norm.

    If baptism and communion can be administered incorrectly, perhaps they are not really baptism or communion.

    In the Iraq war I remember stories of Lutheran soldiers not communing for their whole tour because they would not take it from non Lutheran chaplains who would not properly distribute the elements.In other words, doing it wrong is worse than not doing it.

  81. Steve Wright says:

    LCMS missionaries are called, trained and sent by the church with authorities given by the church.
    —————————————————–
    OK, that is interesting. Is this much different that the same for pastors? Same amount of training?

    If they plant a church, do they ‘become’ pastors? Would they still be a pastor if they came back to their home country?

    All legitimate questions arising from my curiosity.

  82. “but even us memorialists take communion seriously as a special, holy time.”

    I am sure you yourself do, but i do remember the time I went to either the CC Good Friday or Easter morning service at the Verizon and they passed around the communion packs in KFC buckets.

    I also remember the time when it was time for communion that Skip announced “if you will reach under your chairs you will find the communion elements.”

  83. Perhaps I missed something that Xenia said earlier that got under your skin. I don’t know what the amount of training has to do with it – someone will always have more training or authority than another so they become the only qualified.

    The important thing is that missionaries are called and sent by the church for a specific purpose IN THE CHURCH WORK and the care and training of new Christians fall under that.That doesn’t make the missionary a pastor, but it doesn’t make the missionary less than a pastor.

  84. Steve Wright says:

    4. Sometimes people will be sent to a town that has no EO presence and will try to get something started.
    ——————————————————-
    The above words from Xenia got me on the subject of missionary activity and church planting where the gospel has not had a presence. The Great Commission is hardly “the exception” MLD.

    And it is all tied into the point of this particular Article of Faith – involving the calling of a pastor by a congregation of God’s people.

    There is a HUGE difference between a Lutheran voluntarily abstaining while away during the Gulf War and new believers in their homeland being refused baptism and communion, even as the missionary teaches on their value

  85. Lutheran says:

    ‘Then tell them God is not pleased if Mr. Missionary administers. ESPECIALLY if teaching these are sacraments imparting a special (presumably needed) grace to the believer. Baptism saves, but you can’t be baptized! Communion assures of the forgiveness of sin, but you can’t partake.’

    Steve,

    First, you’re making a bad caricature. No one is going to tell them “God is not pleased” if a missionary has to administer the sacraments. That’s kinda silly.

    Plus, this is a pretty ridiculous hypothetical — and that’s all it is — a hypothetical. Normally, as MLD mentioned, in a situation where there was no Lutheran presence or church, a pastor would be the one doing the ‘trailblazing.’ Missionaries normally work alongside pastors, in the Lutheran scheme of things. We take the pastorate very seriously. It’s called the Office of Holy Ministry. If you’re interested in the Lutheran rationale, just Google it.

    ‘I know this may strike you as hard to believe, but even us memorialists take communion seriously as a special, holy time.’

    Steve, no need to be so defensive. I’ve been active in ‘memorialist’ churches. I know some take it seriously.

    There’s a danger with not taking it seriously. I know a Lutheran guy who used to be on staff with Campus Crusade. To his horror, he found his kids one day after a service at a low Protestant church, gulping down the crackers and juice like there was no tomorrow. Not good. The church’s attitude about it was pretty cavalier, according to what I heard him say.

    That can happen if a church doesn’t treat communion as the Holy Gift that it is. It wasn’t long after that this guy started checking out Lutheran and Anglican churches, where they treat the Holy Supper with great reverence.

  86. Steve, I still go back to my earlier question, if anyone can teach / preach, baptize and commune each other – what is the role of a pastor?

    When Jesus told the disciples to administer the office of the keys, the binding and loosing of sin, was he giving all people this authority or was this for the future pastors. When he said to go out and make disciples was he addressing all people or the future pastors.

    Was Jesus’ teachings for everyone or was some reserved for those who would lead the church?

  87. Steve Wright says:

    Maybe “God is not pleased” is a little much. 🙂 But bottom line is to say “No” when asked by the new believer. To say it is against God’s will we do so at this time.

    And as I said above, I don’t think missionary activity is a ridiculous hypothetical. I ask because these are questions that don’t even cross my radar. The idea that missionaries could go into some Hindu village in India, some sparse desert town in Africa, as I know personally so many who have, and bring the gospel but then not baptize or offer communion is something that would never happen in evangelical circles (Baptist, CC or whatever).

    If the reason is because “we don’t take the pastorate seriously” I guess it will have to be one of those things we find about in glory.

    I’m pretty sure that the Lord’s grace will be sufficient to forgive us evangelicals for our role in administering and encouraging the same, if we’re wrong.

  88. Steve Wright says:

    The role of the pastor?

    for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, ill we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;

    (That’s where I would start my answer).

    Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly,* not for dishonest gain but eagerly;Neither as being lords over [God’s] heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.

    (That’s where I would finish my answer)

    You got something else? From Scripture of course. 😉

  89. I’m the one making the case for the specific role of pastor. You are the one who was making the claim that anyone can do the work of the pastor.

    Let’s put it this way, and I cannot speak for ll LCMS churches, but mine and I am sure most – no non ordained person fills our pulpit.

  90. Steve Wright says:

    You are the one who was making the claim that anyone can do the work of the pastor.
    ——————————————————-
    I made no such claim.

  91. Fly on a Wall says:

    MLD says: Steve, I still go back to my earlier question, if anyone can teach / preach, baptize and commune each other – what is the role of a pastor?

    To be the leader?

    Well, could this blog be considered church? Then Michael is the leader. What does he do? He writes posts, promotes discussion, and disciplines. He sets the course for where this blog is to go. We joined (well, at least I did) because we believe in his vision.

    I would add Pastors are to set an example (although I don’t want to put pressure on Michael, as he never said he was our pastor) but we set examples for each other.

    I’m probably going to offend the other half I didn’t offend last night but here goes nothing… I think Lutherans are putting “Pastor” in a dangerous position by elevating it to something it’s not.

    To think Pastors are special is dangerous. Do they have to be called? Yes, of course, and usually the qualifications set out in Timothy do the weeding out. They have to be tested, men without reproach. And for the sake of peace and order in the church, I’m going to say they have to be men.

    If they’re not special, can anyone do it? No. They are unique, not special. And each has a vision (I hope) that God has placed in their heart. There’s only one Michael Newnham and only he could’ve created this blog. Is he better than the rest of us for it? I don’t think so, if I may be so bold, what makes this blog so special is that each of us contributes and brings something and Michael is keenly atuned to that (imho, of course).

  92. Fly on a Wall says:

    I don’t have a problem with the Moses’ model of leadership. I have a problem with the ABUSE of the Moses’ model.

    If Jesus is the example, the Moses’ model makes sense. He never answered to the disciples, yet he washed their feet.

    Why don’t we have a Jesus model of leadership? Who would’ve thought? No sending people to the center of the earth, but feet washers.

    Too much to ask, I know.

  93. Steve Wright says:

    MLD – It’s late so let me close with this.

    I am a big ‘priesthood of all believers’ guy, and so I at least in part owe a debt to Martin Luther.

    Now, I know Luther was not saying the priesthood of all believers means anything goes in the Body of Christ and there are no leaders of any sort.

    However, can you at least in part grasp that your description of the pastor’s role within Lutheranism is very similar to how one would view the priest within Catholicism – if the one viewing is me or someone else outside of Lutheranism.

    Only the priest can…(fill in the blank)
    Only the pastor can…(fill in the same blanks)

  94. Steve, don’t blame you misunderstanding of “the priesthood of all believers” on Luther. In other words, I don’t think it means what you think it means. The priesthood of all believers means that each individual can now approach God directly and does not have to go through a priest.

    It does not give the layman any “rights” to do what the pastors & elders were specifically called by God to do.

    Do you allow laymen in your church to carry out church acts on their own? If some guy thought communion should be served weekly in your church, would you allow him to announce, publicly or privately “to all who want weekly communion meet me in the parking lot and I will serve out of the truck of my car.”

    Or if the same person on baptism – “If you need to be baptized come to my house any day and I will baptize you in my pool.”

  95. In your 93 – I never said the pastor only… in fact I don’t know if anyone said “pastors only”

    I think we were saying “under the authority of the church.” people are called to a church and sent from a church. Our hesitation is, do people just go out on their own.

    I serve communion in my church. By the call of my church to the role as elder, I place the body of Christ into the hand or the mouth of the recipient and distribute the blood of Christ. I do the same when I am on rotation to make visitation to the home bound.

    But I can’t just go out knocking on doors saying “I am starting a new church, would you like some communion today?”

  96. “The priesthood of all believers means that each individual can now approach God directly and does not have to go through a priest.”

    That’s it, and that’s exactly it. Nothing else even remotely matters. Who controls the carpet color or the bread doesn’t matter one bit. I can commune with God directly.

  97. PP Vet says:

    “Priesthood of all believers.” Zakly.

    The insufferable pomposity of this term “called by a church” is nauseating. It was a vote!! It’s not like angels appeared. Enough religion, myth, and superstition.

  98. Has a church really ever split over carpet color – I doubt it, but it get thrown out there to dismiss that pastors have been called to some duties that the layman has not.

    Even to the point Josh makes (which I think is ridiculous) “Nothing else even remotely matters.”

    I would love to go to that church – 1st Church of Nothing Matters – and see how things are working.

    PP Vet – sorry to hear that the Holy Spirit does not show up at your church when decisions are made.

  99. One small change MLD – 1st Church of Nothing ELSE Matters. The only thing that does matter is “each individual can now approach God directly”.

    Yep. I’d join that church today.

  100. Josh, you didn’t address the point – Are pastor / elders and lay person called to do the same things – are they completely interchangeable Are there things that the lay person does not do because they are not called in that area?. The guy serving communion out of the trunk of his car is OK with you?

  101. No. Yes. Yes.

  102. PP Vet says:

    Yes, as long as he was “called” to serve communion out of the trunk of his car.

  103. Well, as you may know, today being Friday is my “go to Costco and get free lunch day” as I wander the aisle gobbling the free samples.

    So, if I run into a sample table of Welches Grape Juice and a sample table of some Rye bread, is that a legitimate communion at the Lord’s Table?

  104. PP Vet says:

    Yes, if the Costco employee is wearing a chasuble.

  105. Are you doing it with other believers in remembrance of Christ?

  106. Papias says:

    Josh – thats missing the point of communion to a Lutheran – its not just a remembrance.

    As Lute said above – its the Holy Supper and treated in their triibe with reverance.

  107. I understand that. He asked me if I had a problem with it. and I answered.

    Part 2 is that I don’t see why it would bother either tribe. In my system, believers are gathered, do it in remembrance of Christ, and all is good. In their system, no priest is there to bless it, so they are just eating bread and drinking wine. I don’t seethe issue.

  108. Steve Wright says:

    . The priesthood of all believers means that each individual can now approach God directly and does not have to go through a priest.
    ——————————————————————–
    I do know this, MLD.

    But you are also the ones who see communion as a special impartation of grace from God – the assurance of forgiveness of sins – which the believer of course can only receive by going through the Lutheran ‘priest’ (i.e. pastor)

  109. “which the believer of course can only receive by going through the Lutheran ‘priest’ (i.e. pastor)”

    Where do you get that? There are other means of Grace that assure the forgiveness of sin. The word of God, both written and preached do the same.

    But you were using “priesthood of all believers” to mean that there is is no difference in who does what – hence my question about the guy in your parking lot – is he doing the work or your church in that instance or do you tell him he cannot do that in your parking lot?

    I gotta go to work – otherwise I haven’t earned the right to scarf up Costco samples later. 🙂

  110. Steve Wright says:

    and treated in their triibe with reverance.
    ————————————–
    Papias, I said above that the memorialists take it seriously as a holy time and was told by Lutheran I was being too sensitive. Maybe you didn’t read those posts? 😉

    Just because a group has a lot of rules attached, does not make them more reverent to God. Who gets served. Who serves. That’s not any more ‘reverent’ than a memorialist service where all who are believers are offered and served.

  111. Steve Wright says:

    But you were using “priesthood of all believers” to mean that there is is no difference in who does what
    —————————————
    I specifically did NOT do that, if you reread my post.

    There are other means of Grace that assure the forgiveness of sin
    ——————————————
    Here I could have been clearer. Not saying communion is the only way, but it is fundamental for you and my point stands. Communion and the grace it imparts can’t be given to the believer except through the “priest”

    Sure the Word preached does the job. Hey, we’re big on that at our place but in many past conversation you seem to diminish the pastor’s preaching and teaching the Word, especially in comparison to the Table’s importance at the worship service.

  112. Steve Wright says:

    MLD, I’m off too. Enjoyed the civil conversation amidst disagreements with you, Lutheran, Xenia (and anyone else).

    Blessings.

  113. Alex says:

    MLD said, “That seems to be your set point. If you can find fault in an area, that makes all other options acceptable and anything goes..”

    Incorrect, you have misunderstood.

  114. Paul A. Lytton says:

    I am sure I am making a comment to late to probably be read, and as in everything else said here, what I say can be agreed with by some of you and not agreed with by others.

    However, regarding communion, I personally will listen to Christ Himself on the matter, “Do this in remembrance of me”.

    Christ was talking specifically to his closest followers who were not yet pastors/priests. Correct me if I am wrong but I know of nowhere in the Bible where Christ tells them to “Later in the future when you become Pastors/Priests, lead this to others as I lead it to you”. In fact at its original setting, when Jesus performed it, I know of nowhere in the Bible where it says for anyone in particular to perform/lead the act, or make conditions in order for others to participate. He only says to take this action (while He explained the meaning of the action they will take), and do it to remember Me.

    Therefore, IMHO I personally think that how and where the performance is transpired is strictly a human development. Christ’s main concern was not the leader of the performance but to be a participant of the action (Whether there is a leader or not; even if you are alone).
    My point is that I in particular would not, and do not, hold myself to any particular denomination/sect without reading the entire Bible myself at least three times. Even then, people will choose different religious groups to become members of; and don’t be surprised (including me) if someday you hear, “Go away, I never knew you”.

    I personally chose to take that chance depending totally on what I read in the Bible, instead of a flag planted denomination.

  115. Lutheran says:

    Gee, gotta love the way some of you misquote the Bible. (Makes a good argument for the need for extensive and thorough handling of God’s Word as part of pastoral preparation, BTW. 🙂 )

    If I believed you, then all Jesus said about Communion was a part of a verse. Very convenient.

    Golly. The “do this in remembrance of me” is just a piece of what our Lord said. Hmmm.

    Luke 22:19-20
    And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.”

    Not to mention John 6:53-58. Let’s see all you “literal” types when it comes to Scripture, scramble to spiritualize this one away.

    John 6:53-58 ESV /

    So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me.

    Oh, and let’s not forget Paul, who repeats Jesus. And again, only about a dozen out of 80 words here are the “do this in remembrance of me” part.

    And when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord.

    The next verse sounds like Paul takes Communion with the utmost seriousness. Else, why would he tell folks to examine themselves first so they don’t reign destruction on themselves?

    Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup….

    I won’t even include Matthew 26:26-28,, where the “do this part” isn’t even there.

    Let’s see all you utiiize your “human development” to “reason” these away.

    🙂

  116. Lutheran says:

    Gee, gotta love the way some of you misquote the Bible. (Makes a good argument for the need for extensive and thorough handling of God’s Word as part of pastoral preparation, BTW. )

    If I believed you, then all Jesus said about Communion was a part of a verse. Very convenient.

    Golly. The “do this in remembrance of me” is just a piece of what our Lord said. Hmmm.

    Luke 22:19-20
    And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.”

    Not to mention John 6:53-58. Let’s see all you “literal” types when it comes to Scripture, scramble to spiritualize this one away.

    John 6:53-58 ESV /

    So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me.

    Oh, and let’s not forget Paul, who repeats Jesus. And again, only about a dozen out of 80 words here are the “do this in remembrance of me” part.

    And when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord.

    The next verse sounds like Paul takes Communion with the utmost seriousness. Else, why would he tell folks to examine themselves first so they don’t reign destruction on themselves?

    Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup….

    I won’t even include Matthew 26:26-28,, where the “do this part” isn’t even there.

    Let’s see all you utiiize your “human development” to “reason” these away.

  117. PAL,
    We all agree “do THIS…” The question I have for you… Do what?

    We argue for “this IS my body” – not this represents my body or this is a symbol of my body.

    Paul, when you take the elements are you consuming the actual body and blood of Christ as He presented? If not, you are not doing THIS that will be “in remembrance of me.” – you are doing something else.

  118. Paul A. Lytton says:

    Lutheran,

    I am not sure if you are agreeing with my #114 in your #115 or not, I can read it either way.

    Are you referring to me when you started by saying, “Gee, gotta love the way some of you misquote the Bible…”?

    Allow me to explain my interpretation of your rest of the verses to agree with me if it is actually contrary too.

    When Christ stated to eat His flesh, and drink his blood, His flesh was His human physical self life. The bread represents His flesh which represents His manner/method of living humanly, righteously, which of course no-one can accomplish. It can only be accomplished by His Blood, (His life giving source) (which was His coming to this Earth in this manner in order to save sinners.) If we want to be saved, we must first WANT to live like He did, then accept His salvation. This is what we as already Christians are to remember when taking communion.

    By taking the bread and wine/grape-juice, we are supposed to be remembering what they stand for with pure intention. When we do not do it for this reason, we are doing it in an unworthy manner as stated, “Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord.”

    Satan could take communion but would not do it in the WORTHY MANNER of wanting to be like the life of Christ (bread/flesh) nor wanting His salvation (wine/blood) and therefore not doing it truly in remembrance of Him.

  119. from this corner says:

    there seems to be a great misunderstanding of purpose of the body and blood terminology IMHO … but … all seem to agree here that it is a serious matter to come to “The Lord’s Table”

    God sees the heart of the participant – it is dangerous ground to partake, unworthily, and even though we can’t agree on what constitutes the ingredients – without reverence, no matter what you think is in that cup … no matter what you are convinced comprises the cracker’s ingredients – it is secondary to coming to The Table with a proper heart

  120. Lutheran says:

    When Christ stated to eat His flesh, and drink his blood, His flesh was His human physical self life. The bread represents His flesh which represents His manner/method of living humanly, righteously, which of course no-one can accomplish. It can only be accomplished by His Blood, (His life giving source) (which was His coming to this Earth in this manner in order to save sinners.) I

    Paul,

    Are you aware that you’re making all kinds of assumptions here in this paragraph? Unless you’re Jesus, how do you know that flesh only refers to Jesus’s “human physical self life”? I certainly don’t see that in the text.

    Your second sentence — how do you know that the bread represents His flesh, which represents His manner/method of living etc.? You’re reading all kinds of assumptions into the text.

    ‘If we want to be saved, we must first WANT to live like He did, then accept His salvation. This is what we as already Christians are to remember when taking communion.’

    And where did you pull this human idea from? I see nothing in these texts about Jesus telling us we need to want to live like Jesus,

    This is just your interpretation, Paul. I don’t accept any of it.

  121. Jesus had perfectly good words to use to say “represent” or to say “is a symbol” – but he chose not to use them.

    In John 6 when he spoke of eating his body, the hearers understood exactly what he meant – and they ran like hell.There is no doubt what he meant.

  122. Paul A. Lytton says:

    MLD, Regarding your 116

    Q. “We all agree “do THIS…” The question I have for you… Do what?
    A. Do the Communion. In remembrance of Me.

    MLD statement: We argue for “this IS my body” – not this represents my body or this is a symbol of my body.
    My reply: If I take the bread and wine in remembrance of His flesh and blood, I am doing so in the manner of what I described it to represent, when He said THIS (the bread) is my body. He handed them bread and wine, not a chunk of His flesh and a pint of His blood. Which means that it REPRESENTS, not that it IS.

    MLD states: Paul, when you take the elements are you consuming the actual body and blood of Christ as He presented? If not, you are not doing THIS that will be “in remembrance of me.” – you are doing something else
    My reply: Obviously you and I have two different views. Christ did not give flesh and blood, He gave bread and wine and said what they represent by saying this is flesh, and this is blood. If He would have given actual flesh and blood He would not have to say This Is.

  123. Steve Wright says:

    No time to discuss tonight. Just speaking for myself, I do not know why those verses as quoted do not mean what the Catholics, Orthodox, and Anglicans hold to in ‘substantial agreement’ – if the memorial position is rejected. I don’t see how the Lutheran view could ever be determined unless from a Lutheran scholar.

    There are certainly a lot of verses and so all the more I would expect some clear teaching about the administration of it along the lines discussed yesterday, since indeed there is instruction on other aspects of administration. At least one verse to prohibit communion among the brethren unless a proper apostle or elder was present? Nope.

    I especially think Paul would have rebuked whoever the pastor was responsible for serving drunk Corinthians, rather than keeping the blame upon the congregation in general.

    Everyone have a nice night.

  124. Steve Wright says:

    Jesus had perfectly good words to use to say “represent” or to say “is a symbol” – but he chose not to use them.
    —————————————————–
    Likewise, “I AM the door…I AM the good shepherd..I AM the vine”

  125. We all know that we can’t take all scripture literally. Sometimes, wording is used to represent things or ideas. After all, Jesus isn’t literally the door John 10:9. This is why memorialists see it in the way we do. And I have great reverence for the Lord’s Supper and examine myself and think on the meaning before partaking.

  126. Steve beat me to it. 🙂

  127. Just like “IS” is the turning point in the body & blood issue, so is the word “the” in the door statement.

    Jesus said that he is THE door – he did not say I am A door. I chuckle when people ask – “so is Jesus wood and metal hinges?” Think about it, if Jesus said “I represent the door” or I am a symbol of the door” (the evangelical choice of words) he would actually being saying that “I am not the real door – but I only represent this real door… but there is a real door out there and it is not me.”

    Again, I point out that the people in John 6 understood exactly what Jesus meant and that is why they left him. I think that if someone had come up to Jesus and bit him, he would have used that person in one of his stories as a man of great faith.

  128. One last thing and then I have to go to my son’s house for dinner – John 6 must be read carefully to see what Jesus is saying in comparison to the bread given by Moses.

    When the peopley tell Jesus, look Moses gave us bread 6 days a week and fulfilled our every earthly need – what are you going to do to top that? And he told them who he was…

  129. A Believer says:

    And all that from a guy who says “A thousand years” really just means a long time! lol. 🙂

    Everyone’s hermeneutics allow for figurative or symbolic language. It’s always interesting to me to try and understand the rules by which they distinguish between literal and figurative and how consistently they apply them.

    -Cheers!

  130. As literal as the cattle on a 1,000 hills.

    One thing I learned in the Lutheran Church is to not read apocalyptic literature as literal.

    Gotta run – this would be a much beter discussion than the one on the other thread. 🙂

  131. from this corner says:

    “When the peopley tell Jesus, look Moses gave us bread 6 days a week and fulfilled our every earthly need – what are you going to do to top that? And he told them who he was…”
    exactly, He is the bread of life – John 1 for starters … the Word became flesh – visible – what we feed on is not his flesh … sigh … but God is a merciful God and He knows whether we have rebel, implacable hearts or just confused ones, so i think that whoever best understands the bread and the wine – IMHO – is no more blessed than the one who only understands the cost of it

  132. What FTC said in #118!!!

  133. Steve Wright says:

    When the people tell Jesus, look Moses gave us bread 6 days a week and fulfilled our every earthly need – what are you going to do to top that? And he told them who he was…
    —————————————————
    Story begins a LOT earlier than that, MLD. Like verse one of the chapter for the whole context – starting with the miraculous feeding and why it is they were seeking Him for another free meal the next day..

    Now, here is a serious question for you. Jesus said we have no life in us unless we eat of His flesh (v.53) – which you interpret as communion. I think Jesus gives the interpretation in v.56 ‘abiding in Him’ And as He says in v.63 His words are spirit and life, Just like Nicodemus misunderstood ‘born again’ to be of the flesh, so the same issue is at stake here. Because I abide in Christ, and He in me, then He sees me as eating His flesh and drinking His blood. (And keep in mind this was all taught well before the Last Supper)

    But let’s assume you are correct. Doesn’t that mean that as a memorialist I do not have life in me? No eternal life (v.54) I don’t believe I am eating His flesh and drinking His blood in communnion. I deny that idea completely. So how can I have eternal life? How can any of us memorialists on the PP be saved?

    Now, if the argument is that the bread and cup actually impart Christ and us memorialists just don’t realize it – then how can I, a memorialist pastor, make that translation take place in such unbelief?

    And if God’s grace somehow allows me to make it take place “by accident” so to speak – then how come you would also insist only a Lutheran pastor can administer? If a memorialist pastor can do so in unbelief, can’t Lutherans who believe do so even without pastoral credentials?

    Or do you rest in that we really have no life in us? Taking Jesus literally of course…

  134. Lutheran says:

    ‘all seem to agree here that it is a serious matter to come to “The Lord’s Table”’

    I’m glad that we all, agree, no matter our church and whether we think Communion is something we do versus a gift from God, that the Lord’s Supper should not be taken lightly. We will, of course, continue to disagree on the meaning of the Lord’s Supper.

    Why do Lutherans believe in the importance of the Sacraments, one of which is the Lord’s Supper? We believe they are an objective, sure and God-ordained way to receive the blessings of Christ’s salvation. They are a primary way that God uses to increase our faith in Christ Jesus and to give us comfort and strength. It’s another way we secure the blessings of Christ’s life, death and resurrection for us.

    Here are two of the Lutheran Church’s Chief Articles of Faith from the Augsburg Confession of 1530 that discuss what the Sacraments do.

    “Our churches teach that people cannot be justified before God by their own strength, merit or works. People are freely justified for Christ’s sake, through faith, when they believe that they are received into favor and that their sins are forgiven for Christ’s sake.

    “By his death, Christ made satisfaction for our sins. God counts this faith for righteousness in His sight (Rom. 3:21-26; 4:5),

    “So that we may obtain this faith, the ministry of teaching the Gospel and administering the Sacraments was instituted. Through the Word and Sacraments, as through instruments, the Holy Spirit is given (John 20:22). He works faith, when and where it pleases God (John 3:8)., in those who hear the good news that God justifies those who believe that they are received into grace for Christ’s sake. This happens not through our own merit, but for Christ’s sake.”

  135. Steve Wright says:

    I’m guessing we all agree the apostle John knew exactly what Jesus meant. And since he wrote the Gospel with the event in chapter six we are discussing, we might get his take on it.

    John wrote a pretty important general epistle too.

    “Now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.” 3:24

    “Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.” 4:15

    That’s just a couple examples since John speaks of abiding almost 20 times or so in his first epistle. In the context of love, helping a brother, not sinning, doing the will of God, and of course the presence of the Holy Spirit.

    Not ONCE is John anywhere in the ballpark of discussing communion as connected to abiding.

  136. Lutheran says:

    Steve,

    You’re overthinking things.

    You seem to have a zero-sum mindset here. No Lutheran would say that just because you believe that in the Lord’s Supper nothing happens or on the other end of the spectrum, if you believe it bestows forgiveness of sins (which is what Lutherans believe and confess), that you’re somehow less of a Christian.

    We Lutherans believe that salvation is “multi modal.” It comes to us in several ways — through the preaching and hearing of God’s Word, in baptism, and in the Lord’s Supper.

    Each of these means that God uses is different. We hear the Word with our ears, we experience touch in baptism, and in the Lord’s Supper, the very forgiveness of sins comes to us in our mouths.

    This may seem unbiblical and even foreign to you. It did to me at first. But there’s a very well-developed theological backstory behind it.

    http://www.amazon.com/Theology-Live-Practical-Practicing-Christian/dp/0758608357/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1362804678&sr=8-1&keywords=a+theology+to+live+by

  137. I find it interesting that John 6 is used to support the RC and Lutheran position on communion, but The Gospel of John is the only gospel to not describe the Lord’s Supper even though John lays out a lot of detail from the Upper Room discussion….hmmm interesting. No idea what it might mean, but interesting.

  138. Lutheran says:

    Derek,

    It’s not just Lutherans and RCC. Add Eastern Orthodox and Anglicans and many Methodists to your list. In fact, it’s a majority of Christendom.

    To answer your pondering — that’s an easy one.

    It means in all the Gospels, Jesus says His body and blood are given as a gift to us, in the Holy Supper.

    🙂

    PS — Something interesting that I note: in Matthew, nothing from Jesus saying, “Do this in remembrance of me.”

  139. Steve Wright says:

    Lutheran,

    I totally believe that you and MLD think of the many here who hold the memorialist view as brothers and sisters. I even get the argument why you can say we are brothers and yet deny us the Table because of our different views of what takes place (though I disagree – I do ‘get’ the argument)

    So what I was trying to tackle is looking at that 6th chapter in John in the literal fashion that is being promoted (especially since, it is quite true, I seek to take the Scriptures in as literal a manner as historical and grammatical concerns would allow)

    That’s why I was going back to specific verses from Jesus, that frankly should be quite troubling to me (and all other memorialists) if you guys are correct about the Supper.

    And yet, apparently since Lutherans would still call us fellow believers in Christ, there must be within those words something that is NOT being taken literally by the Lutherans – about the having eternal life. But again, v.53 is pretty clear – if Jesus is speaking of the Table, the rest of us are in a lot of trouble.

    I most certainly feel that in God’s sight I am eating Christ’s flesh and drinking His blood today, and every day since I was saved as His Spirit abides in me, and I in Him via The Body of Christ. As are all Christians – no matter their view on the Supper.

  140. Lutheran says:

    Steve,

    I was an evangelical for almost two and a half decades before I became a Lutheran. Anyone who confesses Christ Jesus as Lord is my brother or sister! Despite our differences, we’re all brothers and sisters in Christ.

    I’ve had evangelicals tell me that I”M not a Christian because I’m a Lutheran. That doesn’t feel very good. In fact, it sucks.

    Anyway, I’ve been toyin’ with ya a little. Luther did not believe that John 6 was referring to the Eucharist. I don’t know his theological arguments, but if you’re interested, it’s out there. After all, there have been more books written on Luther than anyone else in history, save Our Lord. Which is as it should be!

    Of course we all belong to Christ Jesus. That’s what’s most important!

    God bless you and yours.

  141. At least we can take the other Gospel accounts and see what happened at the Last Supper itself, but why does John omit it altogether.
    “Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” Strong statement that I would think if the Lord’s Supper was all that was in mind here then he would supplement it with a Last Supper account. That just tends to make me think that John had other priorities in mind for John 6.
    But hey, I am a memorialist. I can at least know to take “Do this in remembrance of me: literally. 🙂

  142. Steve Wright says:

    Amen Lutheran. Thanks, and God bless.

  143. That last line was not a jab, I was trying at self deprecating humor and it didn’t turn out well. That tells me I should go to sleep soon.
    My anniversary is tomorrow, hope it doesn’t snow. The wife and I are going to see “Oz, the Great and Powerful” and go to the Olive Garden.
    Night all!

  144. I am still wondering why no one gave any kind of rebuttal to my claim that the listeners of John 6 knew what Jesus was talking about? They had no doubt he meant “eat my flesh and drink my blood” – otherwise they would have stayed and said “I think Jesus is going to be serving up more grub!”

    Also note that they all left in a huff and Jesus did not run after them apologizing saying “hey guys, you misunderstood what I was saying. I didn’t really mean you had to eat my flesh and drink my blood – I was just using colorful language to make a point – please come back.”

  145. Alex says:

    Lutheran, I hear you. My CC pastors step-dad told me my best friend in High School (a guy who is a Dr. and head of a very large ER in SoCal btw, a great man) was not a Christian and went to “a dead church” and that I shouldn’t spend so much time with him and his family…because he was/is Lutheran.

    It was pretty confusing, b/c when I spent time with my Lutheran friend and his family at their home, there was love and normalcy and “good fruit”…not the chaos and abuse like in our home.

    But, who was I to question God’s specially anointed…

  146. MLD, in response to your claim. It is obvious from any reading of the gospels that those who listened to Jesus rarely if at all understood what he was talking about. Which makes it more likely that if they did think it was what he was talking about then they were probably wrong.

  147. Steve Wright says:

    MLD – Jesus deliberately taught parables to confuse the multitude but teach the disciples. So it’s not like Jesus EVER went “running after them to apologize”

    These guys were only there because they wanted a free meal. Like you said, the context of the story is important.

    But of course this was not a parable either. And Jesus in fact DID explain what He was talking about in verses 53-65 before they left in 66. The whole abiding explanation…

    Now, having answered your objection – how about tackling the one I brought up. The person who does not eat the flesh and drink the blood has no eternal life. There is no debate Jesus is saying that.

    So how can all of us memorialists be saved?

  148. Steve,
    “So how can all of us memorialists be saved?”

    That part is simple or can be simple – you are consuming the flesh and blood of Jesus at that point in communion, but through your confusion you deny that is what is happening.

    I think Jesus answers a direct question and makes it very,clear.The Jews ask a question in verse 52 and Jesus not only answers the question but does so emphatically saying “unless you eat…” and “For my flesh is TRUE food and my blood is TRUE drink.” and then he goers on to the “Abide in each other part.”

    I don’t know about you but when I leave the Table, I have Jesus physically abiding in me.

  149. Steve Wright says:

    you are consuming the flesh and blood of Jesus at that point in communion, but through your confusion you deny that is what is happening.
    ——————————————————————
    Thanks for the answer. Considering Paul told the Corinthians communion was so serious that God even brings judgement when done in an unworthy manner – seems kind of strange to me that He just winks at my denial.

    Normally to deny the words of Jesus is serious stuff.

    (I think you should have gone with Lutheran’s answer that Martin Luther didn’t even use that chapter for his argument. As I said earlier, the Catholics et all have a far stronger argument from chapter 6 for their view than you do for yours)

  150. Derek, Happy Anniversary,

    To your #140 from last night. Many of the things that were in the 3 other Gospels are not covered by John. He wrote quite a bit later than the other 3 and knew that much had been covered and he did not want to just re state the same thing – and you are right, he did have a different agenda and concentrated more on the miracles of Christ … out of which this story comes.

    Now, taking your thought, you must be saying that since he did not include the upper room Lord’s Supper story, then John does not think communion is valid?

    When John wrote the churches were already “doing” communion – the right way or the wrong way – Paul was already correcting the church long before John wrote.

    I see no conflict with John.

  151. Steve Wright says:

    I don’t know about you but when I leave the Table, I have Jesus physically abiding in me.
    ——————————————————
    I have Him Spiritually abiding in me – at all times. It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit and they are life. (also from John 6..vs 63 BEFORE they walk away)

  152. “(I think you should have gone with Lutheran’s answer that Martin Luther didn’t even use that chapter for his argument. ”

    I have never claimed John 6 as a communion verse – but I do see it as a precursor to what Jesus taught in the upper room. What the disciples learned on that day described in John 6, was what allowed them to know what Jesus meant in the upper room.

    I think you gloss over what Jesus did with the loaves and the fishes and don’t realize the similarity in what Jesus did with the bread and wine.

  153. this went to moderation for the links

    “(I think you should have gone with Lutheran’s answer that Martin Luther didn’t even use that chapter for his argument. ”

    I have never claimed John six as a communion verse – but I do see it as a precursor to what Jesus taught in the upper room. What the disciples learned on that day described in John six, was what allowed them to know what Jesus meant in the upper room.

    I think you gloss over what Jesus did with the loaves and the fishes and don’t realize the similarity in what Jesus did with the bread and wine.

  154. Alex,
    “…when I spent time with my Lutheran friend and his family at their home, there was love and normalcy and “good fruit’…”

    Yep, that’s what happens when you dare to ignore the elitist sell job of any person or group who demands blind allegiance or refuses to ever believe that anyone other than them could be blessed by God.

    Destroy the premise by proving observing it to be untrue, that’s the scientific method that Jesus Himself endorsed!

    Glad you had those good experiences that could reveal the utter ridiculousness of the elitism.

  155. “I have Him Spiritually abiding in me – at all times.”

    That’s a good trick – can I ask how you separated Jesus’ spirit from his physical body?

  156. No, not saying that John thinks communion isn’t valid.
    Only snowed a light dusting, so about to head to town and catch that movie and meal. My wife wants to do more, her idea of fun is about the same as mine, so it will probably include going to BAM! and finding some books.

  157. Steve Wright says:

    MLD – I’ve tried to correct your faulty Christological views on the Hypostatic Union before. No time to try again now.

  158. Really – so today Jesus is fully God and fully man, but just not at the same time???
    So when Jesus is present with you spiritually down here – “in you” – but he left his body up at the right hand of God?

    Come on, there is a big heresy in there somewhere.

    Personally, I have the Holy spirit in me. But me and the Holy spirit need to hop in my car and go to work for a couple of hours.

  159. Steve Wright says:

    Stop digging, MLD. You’re going dangerously close to heresy territory yourself.

    God is in you (and me).

    What’s the point in talking about the creeds like you do if you don’t follow what they teach? 😉

  160. from this corner says:

    no way i can engage in theological debate at any time, let alone this morning, but … 😀
    for me it is so logical to see the life that is in me as a result of the new birth is Christ (God the Son, Himself is at the right hand of our Faother now) – i am alive in Christ – Spirit born – now body (flesh), soul and spirit – aaand now God the Holy Spirit has something to work on: His Spirit bears witness to my spirit and the war for my soul is played out with Satan tugging on my flesh and all its lovely inclinations that he has distorted and corrupted and the Holy Spirit giving conviction, understanding, affection and strength to my spirit … the carnage of the war isn’t pretty, but in a way the struggle is – is it not?

  161. Alex says:

    Sounds like MLD and Steve Wright have a major Disagreement about who “the correct Jesus” is, no?

    One of them (or both of them) has a misunderstanding of the “correct” version of Jesus…and some think that a “correct understanding” of the “correct Jesus” in all aspects is essential to salvation, no?

  162. Alex says:

    G, thanks, and big AMEN

  163. Steve Wright says:

    Actually, I see our disagreements as trying to wrap our puny minds around understanding and seeking to explain the two mysteries that are a) The Trinity and b) The Hypostatic Union of Jesus

    MLD and I both profess, loudly

    a) The Trinity
    b) The Virgin Birth of Jesus
    c) The Deity of Jesus – the ONLY begotten Son
    d) His literal death for our sins, as the basis for God’s forgiveness and our salvation
    e) His bodily resurrection and ascension to heaven
    f) His Second Coming to judge the earth
    g) God’s grace saves

    As is often stated here, it’s not necessarily what one knows and fully understands that speaks to salvation – however, much can be said by what a person specifically denies.

  164. Alex says:

    Steve Wright said, “Actually, I see our disagreements as trying to wrap our puny minds around understanding and seeking to explain the two mysteries that are a) The Trinity and b) The Hypostatic Union of Jesus”

    Well, yes. Yet you would say a Mormon has entirely the “wrong” Jesus and therefore cannot be saved, no?

  165. Alex says:

    Can one completely understand a “mystery” with perfect 100% correct understanding? Is there Grace for disagreement on the Hypostatic Union and the Trinity? It seems there is as evidenced by your discussion with MLD….

  166. Steve Wright says:

    Alex, I see a huge difference between two people who profess both The Trinity and the Deity of Jesus, even as we stumble along trying to explain either.

    Versus the person who specifically denies The Trinity and denies the Deity of Jesus.

    If I met a Mormon that actually professed all that I wrote in #162, my next comment would not be to argue about salvation but to encourage him/her to find another church.

    Or at least go and evangelize his elders 😉

  167. A quality human interaction begins with dealing with the actual specifics coming from the person you are listening to. That’s when “serving” or “ministering” to someone is what true ministry is about.

  168. I want to give a loud amen to Steve’s #162. In fact if we were to make a list of all things doctrine and theology I am sure that we would agree on 99% with absolutely no hesitation. But the conversation would be boring to just list the amens – so we discuss the differences.

    I think what most folks don’t realize is that on many issues where we agree on the doctrine itself, we may disagree about how that should be carried out either in our church services or our individual lives.

    We both agree that we are to be baptized and that we are to baptize others.- we may disagree on who or how.
    We both agree that Jesus left us with His Table and we are to participate in it – we may disagree on who or how.

    But I will say this – I have absolutely nothing in common with the Mormon Church and it’s teachings anymore than I have something in common with a Hindu or Muslim – absolutely nothing.

    And I will add for Alex – it is about having the right Jesus. If a Mormon person wants to say that he believes in the Jesus of the Bible, that is wonderful… but at the same time he is declaring that he does NOT believe in the Jesus of Mormonism who is a completely fabricated person who they have labeled with the name Jesus.

  169. Lutheran says:

    Alex.

    I’m so sorry for what you’ve been through.

    Thanks for your observations about your Lutheran friends. There’s an old phrase, “Still waters run deep.” That’s what I’ve found in Lutheranism — the beliefs and the people.

    It doesn’t bother me much when I’m judged. I get it. Mostly I just smile inwardly or find some humor in it.

  170. Alex says:

    Steve, MLD, good discussion, and I’m happy we’re discussing the issue and not duking it out.

    I think both of you make some valid points.

    What do you make of Mormons who profess a fairy orthodox take on God and Jesus, but still participate in the Mormon church?

    What do you make of “you will know them by their fruit” and the folks seem to be really good people…better than many in Evangelicalism I grew up with (way better)…there seems to be the Fruit of the Spirit all over the place in their lives?

    Do you really think they are likely to go to hell?

  171. Alex says:

    fairly orthodox, not “fairy orthodox” above, LOL.

  172. Being a good people (if that were even remotely possible) is not what keeps you from going to hell.

    Trusting in the promise of Jesus is the only thing that saves. Look at the Mormon claims – do they trust solely in Jesus or do they look to him to cover the gap “after all that they can do to save themselves.”

    Like I said above, if a person who is in a Mormon church is, as you said “fairly orthodox” then by default they have to be denying the teachings of the Mormon Church – it cannot be both ways.

    This is no different than a Christian who claims to also believe in Allah, the god of Islam.

    May I suggest you read up on Mormonism a little?

  173. Alex says:

    MLD, I have read up on Mormonism. I have many Mormon friends. Like with Evangelicalism, it isn’t monolithic and there is a ton of nuance. I just don’t presume to cast all my Momon friends in hell, I’ll let God handle that sort of judging.

  174. Jim Jr. says:

    Does the name “Jesus” as spoken by an orthodox mormon contain the same, less, or more information than the name “Jesus” as spoken by a (let’s say) CC pastor?
    If the answer is anything other than “the terms are coextensive” then the orthodox position is in contradiction with YOUR Big 5.
    It would be nice if you addressed that issue, already…

  175. Alex,
    I have not cast anyone into hell. Perhaps your friends are Christians who go to a Mormon church. All I have said is tha Mormons are not Christians – perhaps yo are right that non Christians have a place in God’s kingdom, or as you propose, being god is enough.

  176. Alex says:

    MLD said, “All I have said is tha Mormons are not Christians”

    All Mormons are not Christians? I think you said that there are some Mormons that can be Christians, no?

  177. Alex says:

    MLD, do you think all Lutherans are Christians?

  178. Alex,
    To be a Mormon means you believe what the Mormons believe. It’s the same reason I do not call myself a Jew – I don’t believe what the Jews believe.

    Now, what i said, and I will repeat it for the 10th time, If your friends believe what you say they believe, they are not Mormons- they are probably Christians who go to a Mormon church – but they are denying Mormon teaching.

  179. To be a Lutheran, you have to believe what Lutherans believe. Are all people who go to a Lutheran church, Lutherans? Hell no – but for some reason they have a comfort level there – who knows why, perhaps they like the nip of wine on a Sunday morning.

  180. Alex says:

    MLD, are all Lutherans “Christians”?

  181. Alex says:

    Our posts crossed in cyber-space, disregard last question.

  182. Alex says:

    MLD said, “To be a Lutheran, you have to believe what Lutherans believe.”

    No, you don’t. I know folks who are Lutheran who don’t believe in infant baptism.

  183. Then they don’t believe what Lutherans believe – they believe what THEY believe.

  184. Alex says:

    Actually, you didn’t answer the “are all Lutherans Christians” question, now that I re-read your reply. I assumed that you meant “Christians” when you used the word “Lutherans” just ahead of the “hell no”

  185. PP Vet says:

    Where is this “Mormon teaching” that they are denying?

    Anything that would make an evangelical uncomfortable is being rinsed away from the Mormon bookshelves.

    Mormon doctrine is aligning with American evangelicalism.

    It is irresponsible to talk about “Mormon doctrine” when it does not exist.

  186. Of course I don’t… but I don’t think any Mormons are Christians.

  187. “It is irresponsible to talk about “Mormon doctrine” when it does not exist”

    Yes it does and a bunch of it is on my bookshelf..

  188. PP Vet says:

    Yes but none of that is official Mormon doctrine.

  189. Let’s test this no Mormon Doctrine theory. The next temple Mormon you meet, ask him why he wears his temple underwear – believe it or not, there is a tremendous amount of Mormon doctrine tied to those underwear.

  190. I guess that’s another thing of Mormon doctrine – why are only some allowed in the temple?

  191. What about the pre existence of souls? Come on PP, where are you getting your information? From the back of a Wheaties box?

  192. PP Vet says:

    Simple question: where is the official Mormon doctrine? If you want me to agree that over the years “Mormon theologians” (that is a bit of an oxymoron) and Mormon leaders have said heretical things, then yes, I agree. But if you are accusing the Mormon church of officially embracing heresy, I would like to see the evidence.

  193. That is a sorry comeback – it’s in the same book as the underwear regulations.

    But seriously, are you saying that the Mormon Church teaches nothing?

  194. Steve Wright says:

    Where is the official Mormon doctrine? Start here, at the official Mormon church website and look at the ‘beliefs’ but more significantly look at the FAQs.

    The answers are ‘official’ and if you find any official Mormon leader (elder, priest or whatever) that believes differently and says so, then please link to it PP Vet.

    http://mormon.org/

  195. Try this – click on the book and scroll down to Adam and then to Adam – God theory. You don’t even need to get past the “A”s

    http://www.amazon.com/Mormon-Doctrine-Bruce-R-McConkie/dp/0884940624

  196. PP Vet says:

    The official doctrine of the Mormon Church is the Standard Works. Period. Go there and find your heresy.

  197. David says:

    PP Vet,
    Just read the BOM, or the D&C and Pearl of Great Price.

    But here’s just a sampling:

    “I wish to declare I have always and in all congregations when I have preached on the subject of the Deity, it has been the plurality of Gods” (History of the Church 6:474).

    “How many Gods there are, I do not know. But there never was a time when there were not Gods…” (Journal of Discourses 7:333).

    “God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens!” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pg. 345).

    “God and man are of the same race, differing only in their degrees of advancement” (Gospel Through the Ages, pg. 107).

    “God, angels, and men are all of the same species, one race, one great family…” (Key to the Science of Theology, 1978 ed., pg. 21).

    “We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea, and take away the veil, so that you may see” (Teachings, pg. 345).

    “Through modern revelation we learn that the universe is filled with vast numbers of intelligences, and we further learn that Elohim is God simply because all of these intelligences honor and sustain Him as such…since God ‘acquired’ the honor and sustaining influence of ‘all things’ it follows as a corollary that if He should ever do anything to violate the confidence or ‘sense of justice’ of these intelligences, they would promptly withdraw their support, and the ‘power’ of God would disintegrate…’He would cease to be God'” (The First 2,000 Years, pp. 355-356).

    [all quotes from http://www.mrm.org/god-of-mormonism%5D

    And here’s a link to their own words: http://www.lightplanet.com/mormons/basic/godhead/index.htm

  198. Steve Wright says:

    The official website of the Mormon church is http://www.lds.org

    Go there (on the left) and you will find the link to mormon.org which is described as “Basic beliefs of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”

  199. PP Vet says:

    The book you reference is being “rinsed away”, a term I may have used.

    http://tinyurl.com/bqb7mz8

  200. The thought s of PP Vet;

    1.) “It is irresponsible to talk about “Mormon doctrine” when it does not exist.”

    2.) “The official doctrine of the Mormon Church is the Standard Works”

    Which is it buddy – do they not exist or are they in the Standard Works?

  201. PP Vet says:

    Thank you, Steve, for your constructive response, really. I took your advice. Here is the page it led to on the person of Christ. Where is the heresy?

    http://mormon.org/jesus-christ

  202. PP Vet says:

    David #196, in my opinion you are on the right track. Based on my limited investigation to this point, the way to hold Mormons’ feet to the fire may be to highlight clearly absurd statements in the Standard Works themselves.

    However they may reply that the Bible itself could be construed to contain heresy when individual verses are pulled out.

    Ultimately it is like nailing Jello to the wall, at least it is for me so far. That is why I am wondering: If they want to be evangelicals, should we just let them?

    Dunno. But I do believe that we need to first know where the battle is if we are going to fight it.

  203. Steve Wright says:

    On first hearing, the doctrine that Lucifer and our Lord, Jesus Christ, are brothers may seem surprising to some—especially to those unacquainted with latter-day revelations. But both the scriptures and the prophets affirm that Jesus Christ and Lucifer are indeed offspring of our Heavenly Father and, therefore, spirit brothers. Jesus Christ was with the Father from the beginning. Lucifer, too, was an angel “who was in authority in the presence of God,” a “son of the morning.” (See Isa. 14:12; D&C 76:25–27.) Both Jesus and Lucifer were strong leaders with great knowledge and influence. But as the Firstborn of the Father, Jesus was Lucifer’s older brother. (See Col. 1:15; D&C 93:21.)

    How could two such great spirits become so totally opposite? The answer lies in the principle of agency, which has existed from all eternity. (See D&C 93:30–31.) Of Lucifer, the scripture says that because of rebellion “he became Satan, yea, even the devil, the father of all lies.” (Moses 4:4.) Note that he was not created evil, but became Satan by his own choice.

    When our Father in Heaven presented his plan of salvation, Jesus sustained the plan and his part in it, giving the glory to God, to whom it properly belonged. Lucifer, on the other hand, sought power, honor, and glory only for himself. (See Isa. 14:13–14; Moses 4:1–2.) When his modification of the Father’s plan was rejected, he rebelled against God and was subsequently cast out of heaven with those who had sided with him. (See Rev. 12:7–9; D&C 29:36–37.)
    ——————————————————–
    The above is taken from the official lds.org site. “I have a question” feature.

    Scroll down here https://www.lds.org/ensign/1986/06/i-have-a-question?lang=eng

  204. Steve Wright says:

    I am in moderation, but I rejoice that the only links are true Scripture references and all the Mormon texts did not link. 🙂

  205. PP Vet says:

    Steve #202, well said.

    My comments to David would apply to you as well.

    I think your references give the Mormons some ‘splainin’ to do.

    Which, however, they will try very hard to do, and in a way that achieves alignment with evangelicalism.

    And that is the point at which I am struggling to find the right way to respond.

  206. Fly on a Wall says:

    Here’s a great article by an ex-Mormon
    http://www.christianpost.com/news/what-do-mormons-believe-ex-mormon-speaks-out-part-two-58494/

    I love how she goes article by article and she explains how the words are they same but they have different meaning in the Mormon faith.

    When they believe in “God” it’s not the God of Abraham, who was never made flesh.

    They believe in “atonement” but it’s by works not by Jesus’ death on the cross. Very tricky. They use the same word, but it’s not the same meaning.

    They believe in Jesus, but it’s not our Jesus, who was God who became flesh. It was Lucifer’s brother.

    Not only that, they believe the falsest (is that a word?) heresy of all, that man can become God.

    So, I encourage Alex and PP Vet the next time they meet with the Mormon friends if they could explain God, Jesus, salvation, atonement and heaven. You may be surprised that the words sound the same but their definition is completely different.

  207. Fly on a Wall says:

    My last comment may have been confusing, let me reword it.

    When they say they believe in God, Yahweh, the Godhead, it is not the same God of Jacob.

    God, or the Trinity, did become flesh, as Jesus came to earth in the form of a man. But God, the Godhead, Yahweh, never did.

  208. Fly on a Wall says:

    From PP Vet: “Thank you, Steve, for your constructive response, really. I took your advice. Here is the page it led to on the person of Christ. Where is the heresy?

    http://mormon.org/jesus-christ

    Wow, I just got through reading the site. Bleech, Yuck. I’d advise people stay away.

    See, this is a prime example why devout Christians are lured in Mormonism. They are so sneaky.

    Here is a quote from what they believe:
    Faith in Jesus Christ leads us to do good works. The Holy Bible teaches, “Faith without works is dead” (James 2:20). This does not mean that we can be saved by good works, for no amount of good works can cleanse our souls of even a trace of sin without the power of Christ’s sacrifice.

    Sounds good, right? Sounds like the believe in atonement, the forgiveness of sins through Christ’s death, right?

    NO. That’s not what they believe. They left out a major detail of their belief on their website.

    If you read the link I posted, this is what she says:

    “I was challenged by my Christian friends about a scripture in the Bible such as Ephesians 2:8. I would be confused – but when I would bring it up to my parents or church leaders they would show me something like 2 Nephi 25:23 where it says we are saved by grace ‘AFTER ALL WE CAN DO.'” Johnston said.”

  209. Fly on a Wall says:

    Can a mod take my #207 out of moderation? It’s good stuff about how the mormon (dot) org website is very misleading.

  210. The way Alex and PP Vet have bought into the Mormon Church just being another expression of Christianity is no different than the way many Christians have been riding the wave of homosexuality – not just saying that it’s “just another sin” but touting it to be blessed by God just like normal marriage.

    The deceiver has won in these cases.

  211. Over time, I have heard the most absurd claims from christians just because they “don’t want to believe” that anyone could be in danger of hell.

  212. PP Vet says:

    The deliberate effort by Mormon leadership to sidle up to evangelicalism theologically comes across as trying to be flypaper to catch Christians. Or maybe a Venus fly trap. Hard to imagine any other motive.

    So it may be wise for us all to continue to grow in our awareness as well as the sophistication, clarity, and accuracy of our arguments.

  213. Alex says:

    MLD, is Anders Brevik, the dude who shot all those kids in Norway “Christian”? He says he is.

    What is it that makes a person “Christian”? Is it like a political affiliation, you check a box?

    In reverse, what makes a person a “Mormon”? A “Lutheran”…vs. a “Christian”?

    …trying to help you think through it here and see where I’m coming from.

  214. Alex says:

    With the CC stuff, those guys should know better (and so should their followers) which translates into a different approach.

    With Mormons, most just don’t see that they are outside of Christian orthodoxy on many issues. They read the same bible (in addition to the Book of Mormon and other writings).

    They believe in the God of the Old Testament and the Jesus of the New Testament. They try to follow the teachings of Jesus the best they can (often better than most Evangelicals and CC-ites I know).

    Is it wise to declare them a Cult and children of the devil and hell-fodder (which I don’t necessarily believe and I cannot make that judgment, especially on an individual basis)…or is it wise to seek common ground, enter relationships, have meaningful discussions and point out where there is agreement and where there is disagreement and why.???

    I don’t presume to know the individual salvational position of each of my Mormon friends.

    I would suggest that you telling them they are going to hell (with all your certainty) will not do much to foster a productive discussion.

  215. Alex says:

    With CC, it is not a sincere misunderstanding of things…it is intentional. They know better, they do the garbage anyways. They are the Pharisees of Matthew 23. They are the Money-Changers that Jesus dealt with in the NT.

  216. If you want to find abusive authority, dig into the Mormon hierarchy. That is of course, what you can find, because their leadership is the opposite of transparent.

  217. I was going to say something, but it was better off deleted.

  218. Alex says:

    PP Vet, I won’t be joining the Mormon Church, at the same time, I am not their enemy, nor are they mine. I live with many who call themselves Mormons, who are part of the Mormon Church. What I’ve observed for many years now tells me that the stereotypical Evangelical mantra about them isn’t all true.

    I can also tell you that the Mormon Church and its members are not monolithic, nor are they un-moving. They have reformed in many areas and are making more and more changes that I see as “good”…unlike some other churches I know well.

  219. Alex says:

    Josh said, “If you want to find abusive authority, dig into the Mormon hierarchy”

    Yes, no doubt, and what is encouraging to me is that Mormons are speaking against their own in these areas and trying to clean up their own house. I don’t see that in Calvary Chapel…I see a bunch of franchisees toting the Brand who don’t speak directly against their own Camp when it is way wrong.

  220. Jim Jr. says:

    “They believe in the God of the Old Testament and the Jesus of the New Testament”
    Alex, this is simply false, and you are simply ignoring the wonderful points raised by many here that directly contradict your position.
    Does the NT teach that Jesus and satan are brothers? Scripture references, please.
    If not, then simply they do not believe in the Jesus of the New Testament.
    You ignoring a fact does not make the fact go away.
    Your exercise in mormon apologetics is potentially damaging to the Body of Christ.
    But you’ve never let that stop you, so why am I wasting my breath?
    Because I believe this specific argument of yours is spawned by satan.

  221. Alex says:

    Now, I see a bunch of CC guys railing against those “outside the church” rather than those inside the church (and Paul the Apostle says 1 Corinthians 5:12 ) vs. speaking to their own house and calling their own to repentance etc.

    One example is very biblical (cleaning up your own church group)…the other isn’t biblical (ignoring the sin in your church group leadership while attacking homosexuals, the world, other churches etc).

    It’s clear as glass…which is why I think CC is intentional about what they do and don’t do.

  222. “Mormons are speaking against their own in these areas”

    Good. That will be the quickest route to get them out of the Mormon church. Excommunication.

    I hope they will be able to put their lives back together, and find faith in the one true God.

  223. Jim Jr. says:

    “mormons are speaking against their own in these areas and trying to clean up their own house. ”
    Earth to Alex, Earth to Alex, come in, Alex. When a council against abuse is convened in Salt Lake City, let me know, because it certainly hasn’t happened yet.

  224. Jim Jr. says:

    It’s nice to see people refuse to let facts get in their way. It leads to major credibility issues.

  225. Amen, Josh. May more people who come in contact with them be willing to share the real Jesus with them also.

  226. Quit stalking JJWho.

  227. Steve Wright says:

    Steve, MLD, good discussion, and I’m happy we’re discussing the issue and not duking it out.
    —————————————————–
    That did not last long. Somehow even a discussion of Mormon Christology turns into a CC discussion.

  228. Jim Jr. says:

    “Quit stalking JJWho”
    Derek, if you were trying to shoehorn mormonism into Christianity, I’d say the same thing to you.
    Disagreeing isn’t stalking, it’s just that the things that most need to be challenged always end up coming out of Alex’ mouth. Why do you think that it?
    Also, Please refer to me as JIm Jr. Who is this “Who” character you keep referring to?

  229. Alex says:

    Steve, why are you so adverse to anything being discussed about the Church System you are a pastor in?

    Would you agree there are valid criticisms of your Group and would you agree with 1 Corinthians 5:12 ?

  230. Alex says:

    Derek, don’t let the person play you for a fool.

  231. Look James Jr.,
    Everyone here knows you are a stalker. You seem to be the only one who thinks you are engaging in any kind of meaningful discussion. I myself wonder if your fixation on Alex isn’t some kind of a man crush that you really need to look into and soul search about. 😀

  232. And that’s all I have to say about that….

  233. PP Vet says:

    In my experience in that great movement known as Calvary Chapel, I have greatly esteemed it as a wonderful move of God.

    However, perhaps the most embarrassing aspect has been its anti-Mormon apologetic. Maybe there is a good reason it is the way it is, dunno.

    One of the lessons we have learned over the years at PP is that we need to show integrity in how we portray those with whom we disagree. In my opinion, CC does not do that in its portrayal of Mormons.

    Are Mormons fiends who want to take my children out of the Kingdom and into hell with them? Maybe.

    However as MLD has pointed out, those roped into Mormonism in a saved state may be the ones within Mormonism who could still be considered Christian.

    This is a tough issue, folks.

  234. Alex says:

    Derek, LOL! I think it’s a chick masquerading as a dude. I should never have posted those shirtless pics. It’s my fault 🙂

  235. PP Vet says:

    It may not be good theology, but the one thing I do not see in Mormons is a certain brightness, a certain joy.

    When I see joy in a Christian, it resonates with me. It is a certain excitement that comes from having actually touched God.

    For all their good works, I do not see that generally in Mormons (other than perhaps in formerly Christian Mormons, where I feel like I do see it some).

  236. Ahh yes, the mormon sparkle.

    Oi vey.

  237. Chile says:

    JimWho said, “Disagreeing isn’t stalking,”

    If one is merely disagreeing with someone, then it should be done in a civil manner and backed with facts. Because you have not done so, but rather have attacked his personhood without any facts to back up your accusations against Alex, then you are not just “disagreeing.”

    JimWho said, “… the things that most need to be challenged always end up coming out of Alex’ mouth.”

    This may be your opinion, but it looks like you have been influenced by a very one-sided argument against Alex that isn’t backed up with facts. Again, if you have facts, evidence, witnesses to show that Alex, his two brothers, and all the rest of the many who corroborate their testimony against Bob (in court documents, signed, under the penalty of perjury if found false,) then please present them. But I think our asking you over and over and over again, without your presenting anything is very telling. At that point, it looks like you are stalking.

    I’m curious, JimWho, where did you learn to twist words, twist conversations, and attack relentlessly another human being who has caused you no personal harm? I’m wondering why you have accepted Bob’s version of events so wholly without any evidence to show his sons and the many testifying against Bob are wrong?

    If you truly think that Alex has done wrong, then why are you not equally upset with the others who say the same things about Bob? And if you truly think Alex is guilty and Bob is innocent, then why are you not approaching Alex in a biblical manner, yourself? Did you start the Mt 18 process? Did you go to him personally and try to speak with him? Did you ever try to find out the other side of the story after you heard Bob’s?

    If you call yourself a Christian, I implore you to do your part properly. Hear the other side. Consider the amount of evidence and witnesses. Speak in a non-abusive manner.

  238. Chile says:

    Man-crush or woman chasing shirtless Alex? Whatever it is, JimWho certainly has a fascination and a fixation on Alex. He’s gotta get his fix!

    Okay, I won’t feed the troll now.

  239. Jim Jr. says:

    I thought we were discussing mormonism and how trying to include them in Christendom is a corrupting influence? I have not mentioned Alex’ false allegations against his family. You are the one that is bringing that up, not me.

  240. Lutheran says:

    However, perhaps the most embarrassing aspect has been its anti-Mormon apologetic. Maybe there is a good reason it is the way it is, dunno.

    This is a tough issue, folks.

    PPVet,

    It’s only a ‘tough issue’ if you’ve shut off your critical faculties and refuse to look at the truth. You apparently, for whatever reasons, desperately want to give the orthodox OK to Mormonism. But the facts are not in your favor. There are so many things in Mormonism that run counter to the Faith once delivered to the saints.

    And to say one of CC’s embarrassments is their anti-Mormonism? Really?? That’s a crock.
    I admire them for doing so. My own LCMS takes a similar stand. I heard an LCMS pastor give a presentation to a couple hundred Lutheran teens a couple of years ago detailing the antiChristian nature of Mormonism. He should know — he pastors a church in the middle of Mormon country.

    Of course, if you’re admirer of theological cretins like Benny Hinn, they maybe your theological faculties are suspect. Of course, it’s possible that Benny is a secret Mormon — he once said there are 9 members of the Trinity. 🙂

    In the famous words of Daffy Duck, “What a maroon.”

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