Sunday, June 6, 2010

Sunday Faith Blog

"The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your love, O LORD, endures forever— do not abandon the works of your hands." Psalm 137 verse 8

This verse means a lot to me, especially lately, so I wanted to share it.
Is there a verse or two you'd like to share with us which really reflects how you're feeling about yourself or the world these days? Please share it with us.
God bless, and have a wonderful Sunday contemplating your purpose and how God will never abandon any of us 'works of his hands'......

Z

87 comments:

FrogBurger said...

Love it. That's what I've been telling myself this week. Put your best effort in everything you do and God will help you find the purpose and the right path for you.

MK said...

I remember one that's also similar to that, one that tells us that his word is will never be broken, that he will always endure, even though we will fail.

Craig and Heather said...

The Psalms are a wonderful source of comfort, aren't they?


I recently came across:

As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him.
For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.
Psalm 103:13-14

Ducky's here said...

But reject profane and old wives' myths, and exercise yourself toward godliness.
1 Timothy 4:7

Brooke said...

Have a blessed Sabbath. :)

Always On Watch said...

Lately I've been struggling to understand God's purpose for me: Mr. AOW's illness, some employment issues, etc.

Prayers for my situation needed.

Z said...

FB..good additional advice from you, thanks.

MK...and that our 'failures' are earthly failures but, if we believe in Him, our failures are inconsequential in the grand scheme of things, right?

Heather, they really are a great source of comfort. thanks for posting that one.
And, of course, Biblical translation of 'fear' is something we could talk about for days... but secularists suggest we're supposed to be SCARED of GOD "What kind of God would want THAT?" etc etc!!

Ducky, I love Timothy.
We have to understand Godliness thru the Scriptures, truly, before exercising it, don't we.

Brooke, you, too!

AlwaysONWatch, sometimes the only 'good' thing we feel at really tough times like you're going through is the solace that He's giving us what we need to get through the tough times....even our purpose at those times feels clouded, I know.
Sometimes, it feels like the only good thing happening while we're handling really tough times is someone, or many, are looking at how we're handling a tough situation, that we admit we're leaning on God, and drawing inspiration (and even faith?) from it...

Craig and Heather said...

And, of course, Biblical translation of 'fear' is something we could talk about for days... but secularists suggest we're supposed to be SCARED of GOD "What kind of God would want THAT?" etc etc!!

A large portion of scripture is devoted to the terror that ought to be instilled in those who continue in rebellion against God's claim to be God. Psalm 2 comes to mind.

Secularists have every reason to be afraid of God.

Those who have reconciled with Him through the Son still will have a healthy respect--even severe discomfort when we know we've been disobedient. But, it's more like when children disobey a loving Father. Christian fear of the Lord is not in the sense that we expect that God is a sadistic slave master, hiding around the corner, so He canclobber us whenever we make a mistake.

H

Z said...

Heather, well said...kind of the healthy fear we had of our own fathers who only had to give us "the look", right!?...knowing he loved us mightily!

JINGOIST said...

Happy Sabbath to all of you good Christians out there!

I agree with our 2nd President John Adams. Micah 6-8 is the most beautiful passage:

"He has told you, oh man, what is good, and what the Lord requires of you; Only to do justice, and to love Goodness, and to walk modestly with your G-d.
Then your name will achieve wisdom."

It's hard to improve on that.

Ducky's here said...

It's a difficult matter, AOW, rejecting myth's and "wives tales".

Especially when some come from the source that is supposed to be an ethical guide. The current crisis in the Catholic Church, for example.

Craig and Heather said...

So Ducky,

Do you consider the Bible to be authoritative?

What do you consider to be it's primary objective?

Heather

Z said...

Ducky, I don't see how AOW's comment prompted your last comment...unless you think there is no Divine purpose for us?

The second problem of the Catholic church's pedophilia scandals, the first and worst being how they've hurt so many people over the years, is how people jump to the conclusion that this somehow represents Christianity, therefore all Christianity must be ridiculed and maligned and shut down. There is, obviously, no scripture, nothing in Christianity, encouraging anybody to commit the crimes of these priests....

What would you do NOW, today, in attempting to dispel the reputation some have put on all Catholicism?

Z said...

I have to go lie down again with this stupid bad foot....darn, I'd be so happy to sit hear and read the email exchanges.
See you later, hopefully soon...

sue said...

Proverbs - 3:5 Trust in the Lord
with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.

My husband has put our house up for sale and wants to move to a neighboring state. I don't want to go. But what if it is what God wants us to do. So the above verse applies.

Craig and Heather said...

The second problem of the Catholic church's pedophilia scandals, ... is how people jump to the conclusion that this somehow represents Christianity, therefore all Christianity must be ridiculed and maligned and shut down. There is, obviously, no scripture, nothing in Christianity, encouraging anybody to commit the crimes of these priests....

Sadly, adopting a label such as "Catholic", "Lutheran" or "Calvinist" does nothing to affect the condition of one's soul.

H

Anonymous said...

June 6, 1944. 66 years ago today, the Allied forces stormed the beaches at Normandy and changed the course of World War II.

Over 160,000 men stormed the beaches. Many of them were killed before they even reached the shore. We’ll never know the exact number of brave souls lost that day.

Those men, those heroes, and their valiant efforts on D-Day saved the world. Remember them today, and especially remember those who fell.

Major

FrogBurger said...

Thanks, Major for this important reminder.

I will never thank America enough for liberating Europe from national socialism.

God Bless America.

Elmers Brother said...

that which He has started in you He will finish.

Deborah on the Bayside said...

Phil. 4:6-8 "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true .. noble .. just .. pure .. lovely .. of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things."

And a prayer for AOW - may the God who transformed Jacob, brought Israel safely out of Egypt, remembered Joseph in distress, delivered Daniel from the lions, gave grace to repentant Nineveh, refreshed an exhausted Elijah in his flight from Jezebel, and brought Israel again to their land according to His promise; who opened the eyes of the blind, made the lame to walk, the deaf to hear and the dead to live again -- may He give you peace and blessing this day.

Ducky's here said...

Oh z, there is a divine purpose. Through the example of Christ we learn to use our free will to be stewards of the planet and care for each other.

We also have to realize that the church is a HUMAN institution and therefore flawed. As a result, we cannot reliably rest on dogma but have to develop.

Remeber, I am very much of a sect that believes the primary mission of Christ was to show us how to live.

Ducky's here said...

Just a reminder to Major, because it does bear saying. Never diminish the sacrifice on Normandy, but we suffered the lowest per capita casualties of any major participant in WW II. We were not God's sole agent as you like to promote and we need to understand that.

So much suffering in World War II that history doesn't even know about. Ever hear of the Bengali famine which Britain engineered? Look it up and be thankful that America suffered so little.

Craig and Heather said...

Remeber, I am very much of a sect that believes the primary mission of Christ was to show us how to live.

OOF!

H

Ducky's here said...

It can be a beautiful ideal, Heather. Don't be immediately dismissive.

Craig and Heather said...

Ducky,

I agree that one facet of Jesus' mission was one of instruction.

Where I choke on your statement is the use of the word "primary".

Any atheistic humanist or Jehovah's Witness or adherent of Judaism or Islam can agree that Jesus was a "good moral teacher who paved the path to enlightened living" without acknowledging Jesus as Lord and Savior.

H

Elmers Brother said...

or God

FrogBurger said...

"We were not God's sole agent as you like to promote and we need to understand that."

Technically right but without America, the war wouldn't have been won. Period.

And maybe there was less casualties because the US had a great strategy, a great military and were efficient.

Maybe you're disappointed the fascistic and marxist ideas embodied by Hitler, Mussolini and Laval were defeated.

God you're despicable Ducky.

frogBurger said...

And by the way Ducky the US casualties are less for the mere fact the US only entered the war in 1932.

If you were implying your friend the Soviets, Chinese and the national socialists suffered the most, it's because they started way earlier.

But I'm speaking to somebody who can't analyze stats in a real context and compare apples with apples and oranges with oranges.

Again shallow high-school analytical skills.

frogBurger said...

Oops. I meant 1942.

Craig and Heather said...

or God

In this instance, I suppose I shouldn't have assumed that "Savior" implies that only God can save anyone from the wrath of God.n Thanks for the addition :)

Ducky's here said...

To Craig and Heather

Do I consider the Bible to be authoritative?

If you mean is it literal truth, no.

There are serious philosophic issues with the idea of absolute literal truth, number one.

The idea is a dogmatic edict from Luther and is therefore a construct of man.

Now, we all hold to dogma but the idea of literal truth in the Bible is dicey.

Do I believe in the Annunciation literally? No, but there are paintings of the Annunciation that will get me on my knees in a mystical state. It's a longing to believe.

Ducky's here said...

Froggy, when we entered the war is an interesting issue. We entered late because FDR wanted to assure we'd be the last economy standing after everyone else punched themselves out.

Brilliant man FDR and we seem to have tossed that advantage away, pity.

Again, don't start trying to compare the American experience in WW II with the experience in Poland or Belarus. Don't compare Normandy with Stalingrad or Nanking. You diminish the horrible suffering by not keeping perspective.

Anonymous said...

"but we suffered the lowest per capita casualties of any major participant in WW II."


How revolting. Tell that to the families and the men themselves who survived that and the sacrifices they made.

Anything to diminish the importance of the US, their troops and sacrifices made by millions of Americans over the centuries....right duck?

Krist...I just wish assholes like you would just get on a boat...a plane...just freaking leave...OK? Become a martyr in Somalia of some other shithole...you just don't get it do you?

What was the last sacrifice you made for 'your" country? Living without Cheetos for a week?

You disgust me. And every spoiled rotten smarmy creep like you.

Major

Craig and Heather said...

Do I consider the Bible to be authoritative?

If you mean is it literal truth, no.


If you don't believe it's true, why bother to consult it at all?



Personally, I believe Luther swung a little too hard into literalism,as there is much symbolism concerning Christ in the OT. That does not mean the account is not also historical in nature.
I expect Luther's view was an overreaction to the interpretive license taken by the RCC.

There are serious philosophic issues with the idea of absolute literal truth, number one.

Philosophy is a construct of man.


Absolute truth and wisdom are of God and the two aren't always compatible.

Man's assumption that he could be like God if only he had enough information is the "original sin".

Jesus didn't primarily come to encourage us to work harder at rebelling against God.

Z said...

Sue, is that nearer your children?
I hope this all works out for you...
that's a tough one.

Deborah, those are verses I've put to memory, I'm learning tons more right now, too...it's good to remember those particular ones, thanks.

Ducky, but you seem to disagree with the Scriptures so much, or haven't read much of them?...so I wonder where that Christ knowledge might come from for you? You sometimes sound like you create a Christ in the 'mysticism' you acknowledge.
I believe the Catholic 'sect' is the most flawed in its interpretation, by the way..putting the business of the church ahead of the beauty of the rituals.

Ducky, you said "Just a reminder to Major, because it does bear saying. Never diminish the sacrifice on Normandy, but we suffered the lowest per capita casualties of any major participant in WW II. We were not God's sole agent as you like to promote and we need to understand that."
Others seem to have covered this better than I could (Major, FB, thanks)...but, just remember, Ducky, that you're naive here; our firing power/machinery, our assistance, those are the things which finished WWII. The amount of casualties does not a winner make; or the Jews would have won....ask a Jewish camp survivor how good that ONE AMERICAN FACE who came into the camps and first offered him/her a hand felt...one was enough..
I'm surprised that your thinking is SO anti America that you'd even go this far...and saddened.

Jesus did not come primarily to teach us how to live...he came to save us through belief in Him.

Heather! you say "Personally, I believe Luther swung a little too hard into literalism,as there is much symbolism concerning Christ in the OT. That does not mean the account is not also historical in nature.
I expect Luther's view was an overreaction to the interpretive license taken by the RCC."

What do you mean? ..that Luther ignores the huge amount of symbolism foreseeing Christ in the OT?, that he left things OUT in his NT?!!...I'd love you to explain these sentences....."the account" why? Luther's view an 'overreaction to the interpretive licence of the RCC?"
I love these discussions...
I'm eager to hear what you mean if you have the time..thanks.

Ducky's here said...

Sorry, Major. You have to share the country.

Nobody's going anywhere just because some bagger gets upset when he has to look at the larger scope.

Craig and Heather said...

Z,

I'll try to get back to you on Luther ASAP.

Don't worry, I'm not promoting heresy here :)

Ducky's here said...

z, are you saying that Britiah and Russian troops did not liberate the camps also?

Now I understand that you want to believe in the divine American mission in WW II but to do that you have to have history ignore the incredible suffering of many people that you want to write out of history.

A larger view of WW II sees it in one regard as the depopulation of the Slavic states of Poland, Belarus and Ukraine. The Holocaust was the most barbaric of that liquidation (most of the dead were Poles and Ukrainians in the camps) but it was still only part of te slaughter.

20+ million Russian dead. When myth and fact collide, something has to give and what we have decided will disappear is the Red army. 20+ million extra people. 20+ million of the non chosen people and that's just the Russians. They fought several battles they suffered more dead than we lost in our entire military history.

Yet because they are "communists" and not the chosen people you and Major would have them assigned a footnote in history.

I wonder how Americans manage to hoard all the tragedy of the wars of the 20th century. Two days at the Somme and the British lost more men than we lost in WW I, Korea and Vietnam combined and yet we hold onto this myth that America is the sole fighter for "freedom". It's really perverse.

We were incredibly fortunate this century to suffer as little as we did.

Elmers Brother said...

I've always read the Bible like I would a newspaper. I know when there is symbolism and know when to take it literally. A good concordance and Greek and Hebrew lexicon help.

duhkkky once said he was a pantheist.

Elmers Brother said...

I wonder how Americans manage to hoard all the tragedy of the wars of the 20th century. Two days at the Somme and the British lost more men than we lost in WW I, Korea and Vietnam combined and yet we hold onto this myth that America is the sole fighter for "freedom". It's really perverse.

what's perverse is that you interpret their comments this way

Elmers Brother said...

we'll leave the heresy to duhkkky

beamish said...

Is Ducky really trotting out his historically retarded "higher Russian casualties = Russians fought the most" line of reasoning?

The Nazis were 1,000 miles east of Berlin and kicking Russia's teeth in on their own soil for a good 3 and a half years. Russian troops never significantly stopped cowering behind Stalingrad until American and British air cover bombed them a path of dead Nazis to march over.

This while American and British forces were fighting the Japanese on the other side of the planet and liberating North Africa and Southern Europe / Italy before landing in France.

This with Stalin having 15 years advanced notice from the publication of Hitler's Mein Kampf that the Nazis were coming for the Ukraine.

This with the Americans and British delivering food and medicine to the Red Army through dangerous missions over Nazi controlled airspace and sea lanes.

Ducky wants to lionize the Soviet Union's piss poor performance in World War 2, but history is very persistent in supporting that Ducky's view is laughably mythological.

Stalin's armies couldn't even penetrate Finland's defenses in 1939 when he and Hitler were still swapping dead Jew jokes over materials to bomb Britain with.

One day, Ducky is going to post on a topic he knows something about. And those of us who don't surf gay porn sites are going to miss it.

Elmers Brother said...

I'm reading a book about the atrocities the Red Army inflicted on Eastern Europe as they marched toward Germany. Awful.

beamish said...

Elbro,

Leftists prefer to fight disarmed and unarmed civilians.

The Ukraine would have never fallen if the Ukrainians were allowed the right to keep and bear arms. But that would go against the Marxist wet dream of a world without Jews and Stalin downplaying what the Einsatzgruppen was doing to Jews Russia had deported westward when Stalin and Hitler were still in leftist solidarity.

Jews fleeing Nazism didn't exactly make a bee line for Russia.

Anonymous said...

Fear of The Lord is the beginning of wisdom; and a fool feareth instruction''. Isiah 1:7 I think this would apply to Obama, an arrogant and foolish man. Good evening Madame Z and hello Jingo, how are you both? Johnnymac.

Anonymous said...

Isaiah 1;7 could also apply to Ducky. Johnnymac.

Anonymous said...

"Sorry, Major. You have to share the country.

Maybe not for as long as you think dweeb.
Better stock up on...essential things. The times...they are a changing.

Major

Z said...

Ducky, you're getting scary.
I think Beamish captured your thinking in his response and I don't want to add to it......
Your thinking's so skewed against America, as I'd said, that you're starting to make absolutely zero sense.
Those Communists you admire so much, you like them BECAUSE their ideology brought 20 million deaths? The MORE the BETTER for you?
We're wimps or ineffective or "just another country" because twenty millions american soldiers didn't die? REALLY?

Heather, any time..thanks

sue said...

Thanks, Z. Yes, an hour away from one daughter and still about 7 hours from the other. It is painful for me to make the move but I can do it as long as I have the 'space' I need in the new house.

How is the foot?

frogBurger said...

Again, don't start trying to compare the American experience in WW II with the experience in Poland or Belarus. Don't compare Normandy with Stalingrad or Nanking. You diminish the horrible suffering by not keeping perspective.

This has nothing to do with me diminishing suffering. If the US hadn't be the major power in place, the war would have been lost. Or if it had been won without the US, the Soviets would have won it.

So don't twist what I said to make your point valid, which is invalid from the get go.

Your real motivation is to diminish the key role of the US because you are an anti-American. Your allegiance is to the international socialist, not to your country.

z, are you saying that Britiah and Russian troops did not liberate the camps also?

This question shows your naivete or your ignorance or your intellectual dishonesty. I'll go with the later.

What did Stalin do with the Jews again? Please mention me the number of Jews he killed and sent to his camps?

When you open your mouth on historic matters, all you do is fart, Ducky.

Deborah on the Bayside said...

We are really getting off topic, but this can't stand without correction of the inference Ducky made that throwing more bodies at the war is a marker of your passion for freedom.

Ducky, the French and British lost horrific numbers at the Somme, and again and again in that war - repeating the same unpardonable errors again and again.

The Americans, when they joined, refused to become replacement cannon fodder in Entente ranks which were not -- shall we say -- highly valued by the aristocracies running the war.

So, the US Army coordinated with their allies but remained a separate - and more effective - fighting entity due, in part, to thinking outside the box the European aristocracy had put the war in.

Comparing casualty figures of the Entente powers who disdained the common man (throwaway labor and life was generally cheap in Europe and dear in America) and those of the American army does not support your argument that they had more passion for freedom. It just suggests something terribly wrong with European thinking.

David Wyatt said...

All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me; and him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out. (Jn.6:37)

Z said...

Heather, I'm starting to see the bones in the top of my foot through the swelling, so that's a good thing. The black/blue has become darker but that's normal...
Am contemplating an Xray tomorrow just to make sure all's okay, but I've had almost no pain, thank goodness...altho that makes it harder to STAY OFF MY FEET and did precipitate the stupid thing I did Thursday night which my trainer thinks did the hairline fracture...if it's a fracture, it's minute, I know that...thanks for asking.
It's really been a very nice, people-less, lazy Sunday and I've quite enjoyed it!

Glad you'll be near one daughter, at least........and I hope you do get some room wherever you go!

Deborah, that's not so off topic ...I appreciate the information very much.

FB..thanks.

And David, excellent verses there. God bless, my friend

Johnnymac, I have a terrible feeling I got a short email from you and did not respond, that it might have been deleted accidentally. It was surely unintentional if you didn't get a response? XXX to you and Mrs. JM!

Ducky's here said...

Well Pris, those are some great aphorisms. Completely off the mark.

Authority can always be a problem under any system.

Now if you actually read Marx (of course you haven't and neither has Frog then you know that his analysis and critique of capitalism was very accurate. We pay a serious price for its deficiencies. However, capitalism has been very flexible and has been able to ameliorate some of those deficiencies.
What you and Froggy want to do is continue with the policies that have destroyed that flexibility. If you want to save capitalism you understand that it has to recreate itself but you and Frog want to go back to the state of its abysmal laissez-faire failure.
Start thinking.

Z said...

Ducky, you said "If you want to save capitalism you understand that it has to recreate itself.."

This is exactly why many Conservatives didn't want the TARP or STIMULUS BILLS....do you understand that now?
I believe that's true, that we're off the track and do need to get things down to a difficult situation and then build up again...tho I think liberal indoctrination's ruined the younger generations who used to be ready to step up and work hard and try for success, 'recreate' that capitalism we need...today, why bother? The gov't will take care of them, right? (sarcasm here)

Congrat with the Celtics...they'll probably take it now...3 games at home is a big bonus. Kobe's fourth foul wasn't a foul and I wish he hadn't had to sit out as long as they had him.....

FrogBurger said...

What you and Froggy want to do is continue with the policies that have destroyed that flexibility. If you want to save capitalism you understand that it has to recreate itself but you and Frog want to go back to the state of its abysmal laissez-faire failure.
Start thinking.


Wow. You're keeping digging yourself a grave Kwaky.
Can you mention one time where I advocated policies that destroy market flexibility? Why do you accuse of things you advocate yourself?

I'm a Libertarian. I'm against the Fed injecting money in the stock market to sustain it. I'm against the stimulus. I'm against welfare. I'd love to try to get rid of minimum wage as an experiment.

So shut the hell up and stop accusing me while you're a fascist socialist who would totally destroy the market altogether.

WHEN can you be intellectually honest? Never?

You really can't defend your point of view. Never. This is really getting pathetic, Mr Drone.

FrogBurger said...

And by the way in your paragraph you contradict yourself. You have to explain to me how I can go against market flexibility while being for laissez faire?

Once again it shows the depth of your ignorance.

At this point it's not highschool. It's primary school of economics.

Always On Watch said...

I'm puzzled by Duck's comment to me.

Although I do recall his saying some time back (where?) that my conversion to Christianity was "a conversation with myself."

Craig and Heather said...

Now if you actually read Marx (of course you haven't and neither has Frog then you know that his analysis and critique of capitalism was very accurate.

Mr "champion of the working man" was a God-despising bum who lived in squalor because he refused to work. He mooched off the "filthy capitalistic income" of his friend Friedrich Engels who probably only had a job because the factory he ran belonged to his own hard-working father. What money Marx did get, he mainly spent on travel, alcohol and tobacco. Of Marx's 6 kids, two of the three to survive childhood committed suicide.

At least, Marx never broke into the well-to-do ruling crust with his scheme, so we can't accuse him of being a hypocrite, I guess.

Multiply Marx's experience on a grand scale and you get communist Russia (with the bonus of brutalization of citizens and mass slaughter of "potential dissenters").

Regardless of whether Marx's critique of capitalism was accurate, his solution was/is a miserable failure.

You cannot shove God out of a society and expect it to thrive.

H

Craig and Heather said...

Ducky,

20+ million Russian dead. When myth and fact collide, something has to give and what we have decided will disappear is the Red army. 20+ million extra people. 20+ million of the non chosen people and that's just the Russians. They fought several battles they suffered more dead than we lost in our entire military history.


Exactly.

More than 17 million Russians died as a direct result of Lenin's and Stalin's implementation of communistic ideology. They murdered and starved and tortured and forcibly "relocated for re-education" an enormous cross-section of their own people.

Who said this was not a tragedy?

But, apparently you are the only one who does not understand it to be a direct result of the enforcement of Communism within Russia.

The verse you quoted from 1 Timothy is excellent advice.

But refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness.

Johnnymac already quoted Proverbs 1:7, so I'll add to the pot Proverbs 1:29-30

For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD:
They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof.


You cannot exercise yourself unto godliness if you don't even know Who He is!!!

Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Matthew 7:22-23



H

Craig and Heather said...

Z

Concerning Luther:



First I need to clarify my comment. I did not intend to appear to say that Martin Luther rejected Christological symbolism in the OT. Two thoughts were running together there.

The statement concerning the OT should have read:

There is much symbolism concerning Christ in the OT, but that does not mean the account is not also historical in nature. and was not intended to be a reference to Luther.

The Lord did some phenomenal things through Martin Luther. The man had a lot of things right and I don't want to seem as though I'm criticizing him.

Luther believed literal interpretation of scripture is important (this is true)and called allegorical interpretation "monkey tricks" (this can also be true, depending on the source of the interpretation).

The difficulty I see in Luther's literalism is in baptism and communion. Because he refused "allegory", he unified the act of water baptism with baptism of the Spirit. He taught that baptism involving water is necessary to salvation and that it produces a regeneration within a person.

And, he explained "consubstantiation" of the elements as Christ being literally "in, with and under" them.

Ironically, because of this failure to recognize the symbolic nature of these ordinances, Luther actually retained a very Roman Catholic view of them.

This can be a problem when someone grows up Lutheran and thinks he's saved because he was baptized as a baby and has taken communion all his life.

M. Luther trivia:

He loved the NT books of Romans, Galatians and Ephesians and considered them to be "pure gospel". Didn't so much like James and called it a "strawy" epistle. He did believe that the book of Esther should not be included in the OT canon. And, he had an anti-Semitic streak.

I believe Martin Luther was brought to a point of true faith in Christ and was used mightily by God. But he was a man and even very godly men are still imperfect.

How much more, then ought we to avoid becoming followers of men like Karl Marx, who completely rejected the notion he was accountable to his Maker.

H

Z said...

Here's a response from someone FAR better at this than I am:

As Christians (and especially as Lutherans) we have certainty of salvation. We have salvation because Christ died on the cross for the sins of the world and certainty because this is a historical fact, objective and true. We have come to faith through hearing the Word and receiving the Spirit in Baptism, and it is through this faith that we receive the Lord's promise of salvation. Our faith is strengthened and supported in the Lord's Supper. We believe that we receive faith and that our faith is strengthened in these ways because our Lord has promised to be present now in precisely these ways, that is, in the two Sacraments and in His Word.

I'm very bothered by this woman's phrasing " thinks he's saved because..." Does she believe that she has certainty of salvation? If so, why? If not, why not? What does she look to if she is in doubt? Did not Jesus die for her sins?

Also, one should be careful in claiming that these things are "necessary" for salvation. Certainly under ordinary circumstances all Christians should desire to be Baptized and to regularly receive the Communion. But was the thief dying on the cross Baptized? Yet He received the Lord's promise. I do not think that it would be right to say that without exception these Sacraments are necessary for salvation. At the same time, these are the means by which God has promised to work, and it would be wrong to look for any others.

I believe that doubting the physical aspect of the Sacraments is tantamount to doubting God's promises. The Sacraments when understood rightly are supposed to be a source of great comfort, that is, Gospel rather than Law. Those who allegorize the Sacraments end up perceiving them as laws to be fulfilled in obedience to our Lord. Why? Because the Lord said so. We Lutherans who affirm the mystery of the Sacraments believe that all is done through God's Word and promise, that is, there is nothing magical about water or bread and wine in and of themselves, but rather that it is through the Word of God that the mysteries and promises are effected. Knowing then that God's objective Word is at work, we can take comfort in the fact that God keep His promises to us even if we don't fully understand them.

There are many ways in which God joins the spiritual and physical. The greatest way of all is in the Incarnation of Jesus Christ. We do not understand how He was both God and man and yet affirm that He indeed was both. What about those passages in Isaiah about opening the eyes of the blind and unstopping the ears of the deaf? We would affirm that Jesus indeed literally opened the eyes of the blind and unstopped the ears of the deaf, and yet we would say that the fulfillment of these words spoken by the prophet Isaiah goes far beyond those physical miracles.

I'm curious to know how H would respond to John 6:55 and 1 Corinthians 11:27.

The Luther trivia is entirely irrelevant and the fact that this woman includes it makes me question exactly what she is trying to accomplish through this post. As Lutherans we don't hold ourselves to every single teaching or belief of Luther, but rather those confessed in the Book of Concord, which is all about what the Bible teaches. Our faith rests on Jesus Christ and His Word.

Z said...

Obviously, we can't (and won't) get into whether or not any Christian rite is scriptural or not...we could go on forever, but these Baptism ref. to check- Acts 2 38-39, John 3:5-6, Matt.18:6, Acts 22:16, Gal. 3:26-27,
I Pet. 3:21, Titus 3:5, Eph. 5:26

Holy Communion- John 8:48-59, I Corinth. 10:16, I Corinth. 11: 26 ff, Matt. 26:26-27

I'm going to add this from another friend to really stir the pot!:

"Also Jesus was being literal when he spoke of eating His body and drinking his blood, those who go about the sacrament symbolically are not observing Holy Communion as Christ intended, they are just merely reenacting an event, it is not Communion."

I personally find great comfort in that...

Craig and Heather said...

Z



I certainly don't want to get into a debate over this. If you or any other believer have received the Holy Spirit by faith upon being baptized, I'm not going to try to say you are not one of God's family.


It is not my intention to stir up trouble with other professing believers.

If, because of my difference in understanding on this subject, I am now unwelcome here, please just say so and I'll go away.


I'm curious to know how H would respond to John 6:55 and 1 Corinthians 11:27.



As both fully God and fully (although sinless) flesh and blood human being, He reconciled within Himself imperfect humanity with a righteous and holy God.

Jesus Christ is the true Bread of Life. Physically feeding on "Bread" has throughout Scripture symbolized feeding spiritually on the Life that Christ is.

In Matthew 15:11, Jesus said to the Pharisees that it is not what people put into their mouths which defiles them. Conversely speaking, it is not what we physically eat that purifies us. I hold communion and baptism in the highest of regard, do not consider them to be dead ritual, and believe that those who partake are indeed spiritually fed if they are a new creature in Christ.

Concerning the partaking unworthily of the bread and cup, I would point to the overall context of the 1 Corinthians letter, specifically, the preceding verses which include

1 Corinthians 11:20-21
Therefore when you come together into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's supper.
For in eating each one takes his own supper first; and one is hungry, and another drunken.


The whole letter was a reprimand to those people for being selfish and worldly-minded instead of being focused on Christ and serving His family out of the love for Him. Partaking unworthily is publicly proclaiming "I'm being faithful to Jesus who died for me" while generalized attitude and actions say otherwise.

Again, if I am to be viewed as a heretic or troll, I'm okay with being told to leave.


H

Z said...

H, absolutely NOT....nothing you have said here would ever prompt me to ask you to leave...I've never asked anyone to leave my blog...and it surely won't be you.

There's too much in what you wrote that I could address but I'm going to leave it as we all have such subtle differences in interpretation, etc. We are all on the same page with the most important things and I look forward to more discussions regarding faith.

Lutherans, as you know, believe it's ALL GOD...our belief, our faith, that He chooses US..he's in TOTAL control.....but, it's so complicated and difficult to get too much into this on a blog.

Thanks for the meaty conversation!!

Craig and Heather said...



Lutherans, as you know, believe it's ALL GOD...our belief, our faith, that He chooses US..he's in TOTAL control.....but, it's so complicated and difficult to get too much into this on a blog.


I totally agree with you on this statement. There is no "my effort" involved in the salvation equation.

He matures each of us in His own time.

I do apologize if my comments came off as being condescending or judgmental of Lutherans. That was not my intention.







Heather

Z said...

Heather, I don't know you well but I know you enough from your comments on various subjects, and the faith writings on your blog, to know better than to think you were in any way slamming LUtherans ...

You're a super guest here and I'm so glad to have you.

Elmers Brother said...

I Corinthians addressed schisms in the churcha and one of them was concerning communion and Paul even said some of you sleep because you eat and drink unworthily

it is my understanding it was because during the feast in which they celebrated communion (love feasts) the poorer of the group would often go hungry, while the rich had more than they needed and the poor were also not able to partake of communion

Craig and Heather said...

it is my understanding it was because during the feast in which they celebrated communion (love feasts) the poorer of the group would often go hungry, while the rich had more than they needed and the poor were also not able to partake of communion

Has anyone else ever thought that perhaps communion was meant to be a family meal rather than a sip of wine and bite of bread?

I've wondered a lot about that, particularly in light of

Luke 14:12-15
And He also said to him who invited Him, When you make a dinner or a supper, do not call your friends or your brothers, or your kinsmen, or your rich neighbors; lest they also invite you again, and a recompense be made to you.
But when you make a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind,
and you shall be blessed, for they cannot repay you; for you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the just.
And one of those who reclined with Him heard these things, and he said to Him, Blessed are those eating bread in the kingdom of God.


It is fascinating to me the parallel between the above teaching, the concept of the love feast, and the fact that Jesus came to selflessly give Himself up in order to bring life to and feed us beggars who have no way to repay Him.

Heather

sue said...

'It's really been a very nice, people-less lazy Sunday and I've quite enjoyed it.'

Z - Although I am a people person, I've just returned from a week with my daughter and her 4 children, including two flights crammed with people, not to mention the world's busiest airport, so I am enjoying my people-less evening!

Elmers Brother said...

It is fascinating to me the parallel between the above teaching, the concept of the love feast, and the fact that Jesus came to selflessly give Himself up in order to bring life to and feed us beggars who have no way to repay Him.

H,

I've never thought of it that way. I do know that in some of the churches I've attended we've been encouraged as a family to celebrate communion together as a special time. The churches I've attended (because of Paul's admonition) take communion very seriously and there have been times when I knew that I needed to make things right with someone before I partook, so I passed. Not sure if that is the 'correct' interpretation of I Cor. 11 but it is an 'awe' some time and a time to make a short account horizontally and vertically.

Z said...

Sue, glad you had a quiet evening after so many PEOPLE! I hope you had a nice time with the family.

H, no, I've never considered that, either......a nice big dinner of great friends or family can feel blessed, I know that...
But, to me, Communion is so holy and special and, as said before, communing with God, and it seems fitting to do it at church with Pastor, music, the beautiful ritual, etc.

An interesting thing that touched me, but nothing really to do with the aspects of communion we're talking about now, is that my Pastor had a great grandfather who was a pastor in the Civil War...he has the communion set that this grandfather used with our soldiers and it felt almost hallowed to me just to get to touch it, thinking of all our American boys who fought and died with faith.

Elmers Brother said...

although my family has on occasion had communion during a family event...

my brother who is leaving for the Army tomorrow...had a farewell party AND he renewed his vows

we had communion as part of that celebration in his mother in laws back yard

Craig and Heather said...

Elmers Brother and Z,



my brother who is leaving for the Army tomorrow...had a farewell party AND he renewed his vows

we had communion as part of that celebration in his mother in laws back yard


That sounds as though it was a special time to remember for quite a while.

to me, Communion is so holy and special and, as said before, communing with God, and it seems fitting to do it at church with Pastor, music, the beautiful ritual, etc.


Our fellowship also takes a formalized form of communion quite seriously. And there have been times when it was appropriate to participate as an individual family.

I'll admit to having a bit of a weird way of thinking, but I've been amazed by the family element concerning the Christian faith.

In Scripture, two references for God are Father and Son. Believers call each other "brother" or "sister". Marriage is a picture of Christ and His bride. Jesus talked about not interfering with the children coming to Him. In Matthew 12:50, He said that His mother, sister and brother are those who do the will of His Father. In John 13:33 and 21:5, He addressed His disciples as "children". That's off the top of my head...but there are lots of other references like that.

If I understand the Exodus account properly, Passover was a meal that was reverently eaten with one's own family. Jesus ate this meal with His disciples just before He was arrested.

Just curious as to whether anyone else had noticed these things.

Heather

Z said...

Maybe I'm being obtuse, but my family always took communion at church together...and my church family is very important to me (kind of representing that 'family' of Christ and his disciples) and so Communion is always a special thing to all of us.

Are you saying communion at home when you imply FAMILY COMMUNION, somehow, H?

There's an AMAZING DVD series by a guy, I'd rather not give the info here...who kind of compares the Trinity and the family like this: Father, Son, Holy Spirit...Husband, Wife, Children...he even takes it further to a church:...Pastor, Elders, Flock...
Something about that made sense to me...that God is in these things in the order (no chaos) He is about...

Yes, Passover's still eaten with family, and friends, oftentimes...at home...and I believe we should celebrate that, too, as it's a huge part of OUR story....I've had a Jew from LA's JEWS FOR JESUS do a Passover Presentation to our church and other places...
it's absolutely amazing to see the correlations between the Passover and Christianity.....I should do a blog on it sometime.....it's really quite something. They even break the matzo and drink it with wine; voila, the first communion!! :-)

Craig and Heather said...

Are you saying communion at home when you imply FAMILY COMMUNION, somehow, H?

Not necessarily. Although I'm not totally against the type of family communion Elmers Brother described. I recall having done this at Christmas and Easter a couple times.

But, mainly, I was thinking in terms of God's family. Believers whom Jesus calls "brother" and "sister" partaking of a meal together in communion with Him.

Does that make more sense?

Craig and Heather said...

Haven't seen the video you mentioned, but I have considered the leadership structure in family terms.

For instance, we respect elders in the same way a younger sibling would respect an elder one. He is more mature...

Elmers Brother said...

Just curious as to whether anyone else had noticed these things.

There are beautiful types, a foreshadowing of Christ in the Passover and many other events in the OT.

Have you ever heard of the afikomen Z?

It's a piece of matza (sp?) that is broken in three and hidden during the Jewish Passover.

The word afikomen is a Greek word, it means I have already come. A game is played with the children in which they try to find the hidden piece of matzah (sp?)

Some belive this spilled over from the early Jewish believers.

Elmers Brother said...

I also baptized two of my children. In my tradition this isn't unusual, though I know in others this would be unheard of.

Z said...

Elbro, (Archie Bunker baptized his grandson, too.."Lord, this here's my grandson, Joey", it's a lovely moment on the show!)
I'm glad you went ahead and described that part of the passover...as my Jewish friend Tuvya says "if you ask a thousand rabbis "why three pockets in the Matze tasch?" they'll give a thousand answers (anything BUT give in to the TRINITY implications!) and yes, the children go to find the matza WRAPPED IN LINEN!!!
Also, if you watch someone put blood on the door jambs, up, side, then the other side, the gestures are like making the sign of the cross.
There are MANY more Christian allusions in the passover dinner...love that!

H...I'm not sure which communion Elmer's Brother described; I looked above and don't find it.

"But, mainly, I was thinking in terms of God's family. Believers whom Jesus calls "brother" and "sister" partaking of a meal together in communion with Him."

How's that different than church communion with our brothers and sisters??

Elmers Brother said...

Elbro, (Archie Bunker baptized his grandson, too.."Lord, this here's my grandson, Joey", it's a lovely moment on the show!)

It was touching for me also. Both of them asked me to baptize them.

The pastor we had at the time my oldest wanted to be baptized didn't think it would be right, so I didn't get to baptize her.

Z said...

I'm an 'infant baptism' follower, so the whole thing where people can ask for it is very 'different' to me...

Elmers Brother said...

although I was baptized as a child and when I was confirmed when I became a Christian in high school I wanted to be baptized so I was in the local river

In my tradition, baptism is undertaken as an outward sign of an inward change, it's our identification with Christ, we don't believe it's necessary for salvation but do believe it's part of obeying Christ so its done when we make our own personal commitment to the Lord

Craig and Heather said...

There are beautiful types, a foreshadowing of Christ in the Passover and many other events in the OT

That's what He said:

You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life. And they are the ones witnessing of Me

Contrary to what some leftist Catholic sorts might believe, the Bible isn't about "us" at all.

:)





In my tradition, baptism is undertaken as an outward sign of an inward change, it's our identification with Christ, we don't believe it's necessary for salvation but do believe it's part of obeying Christ so its done when we make our own personal commitment to the Lord

We are of the believers baptism, also.

Although I was baptized Catholic as an infant.

It was touching for me also. Both of them asked me to baptize them.

It's beautiful to be able to be involved in the baptism of your own children. My husband was able to participate when our two oldest made profession of faith.

Z said...

A friend sent me this from Lutheran Gene Veith's though provoking and excellent blog. I'm sharing it with you because I find it such a beautiful way of describing the Lutheran sense of communion...none of us will believe another way for reading this or all your excellent comments and thoughts, but I thought I deserved to have my three cents in this discussion and Gene, as usual, puts it WAY better than I could This made my day when I opened the email this morning, with comforting confidence ...i can't wait to take communion next time in church now even more than usual! I hope it helps see what Lutherans believe...it's ALL GOD, ALL THE TIME :-)


"A common notion in studies of Christianity and the arts is “the sacramental imagination.” It goes like this: Christians with a high view of the sacraments believe that spiritual realities are mediated by means of physical things. Christian artists with those beliefs, therefore, can easily employ images derived from the material world in order to communicate their faith. This is also why so many Christian artists are Roman Catholics, a church whose sacramental theology encourages this kind of imagination.

That may be. But it occurred to me–while contemplating that “Luther and the Body” article I blogged about earlier in the course of this road trip that I’m still on (driving long hours giving time for just thinking)–that Lutheran sacramental theology offers a basis for this sacramental imagination more than Roman Catholicism does.

The Roman Catholic view of Holy Communion teaches that the physical bread and wine is no longer present. We receive Christ’s Body and Blood only. We perceive the “accidents” of bread and wine, their appearance, but the only “substance” is that of Christ. This take on the physical material reality seems to be more that of Eastern monism–that the physical realm is an illusion–than an actual affirmation of the physical as a vehicle for the spiritual.

The Lutheran doctrine of the Real Presence, though, teaches that the bread and the wine, in their physicality, are still present, as is the actual Body and Blood of Christ. (Again, don’t call this “consubstantiation,” which is the Roman Catholic attempt to explain this teaching in terms of their own “substance” and “accidents” distinction that Lutheranism rejects.)

The mode of Christ’s presence is explained not in terms of different “substances” but in terms of “the ubiquity of Christ.” That is, just as God is omnipresent without displacing the existence of other objects, Christ, because of His personal union of the divine and human natures, can be, in His body, present in bread and wine. Not that He is in the Sacrament only in the sense of God being everywhere, but in a unique sacramental union in which He is present specifically through the Word of the Gospel, his body and blood being given and shed “for you.”

Now, this kind of teaching first of all is going to encourage those who believe it to think of God in Christ as being not far above the universe, looking down, as the imagination of many Christians has Him, but, rather, as being very close. God, of course, is both transcendent and immanent, but the latter often gets minimized, which it can’t in Lutheran spirituality.

Furthermore, Lutheran theology also teaches the presence of God in vocation. (It is God who gives us this day our daily bread through the vocation of the farmer and the baker; God milks the cows through the work of the milkmaid; God creates new life by working through mothers and fathers; vocation is a mask of God, etc., etc.) This again encourages people to see the spiritual dimensions of the physical world.

For artists, it means that not only physical images can manifest the spiritual realm, the very act of creating–whether by paint, words, film, or whatever medium one’s vocation involves–manifests not just the presence of God but His activity, that He creates by means of human creation.

Craig and Heather said...

Thanks for sharing that, Z

I appreciate the opportunity to become more educated about other branches of the Christian faith.

So, might the Lutheran view be summed up to resemble

Colossians 1:16-17
For all things were created in Him, the things in the heavens, and the things on the earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers, all things were created through Him and for Him.
And He is before all things, and by Him all things consist.


?

One thought.

I was of the understanding that Catholics believe in "transubstantiation" (bread and wine supposedly actually transforming into Christ's body and blood even though everyone can see that it didn't) while Luther's view would be "consubstantiation" (Christ's presence "in" the elements but no physical transformation is claimed)

But the article you shared says consubstantiation is the RCC view.
Guess I didn't follow that.

Anyway, good read and some things to chew on.

Heather

Faith said...

I too have been taught that the RC version of communion is that the ACTUAL flesh and blood take the place of the bread and wine, and although I've always appreciated the writings of Gene Veith I didn't really get what he was saying about that.

I do think that Luther retained more of Catholicism than he should have, but I also think that some of Protestantism that went further than Luther did OVERdid it and we lost something mightily spiritual in the meaning of communion when we turned it into a mere symbol.

I believe that there IS something real of Christ that is imparted through it to us when we partake of it, though I'm not going to stick my neck out to try to define what that is.

I simply think something like Your body and Your blood which were sacrificed for me are here in a very present and real way in this cracker and in this juice that You gave to us, though I don't really understand how that is so, but please make me aware of Your real presence here because I want You.