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Messages - RDPreus

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How can we persuade women to want her baby?  For what it's worth, here's a paper I gave some years ago on the topic: "The Fruit of the Womb is a Reward."

http://christforus.org/NewSite/index.php/2013/04/13/the-fruit-of-the-womb-is-a-reward-vine-and-branches-conference/



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Your Turn / Re: Guns? Why?
« on: May 16, 2022, 12:49:18 PM »
Gun control is the litmus test political issue that divides Americans into right and left.  As someone on the right, I see this as a matter of defending personal freedom and responsibility in the face of unwanted and unwarranted government control.  Whenever the left sees a problem, it assumes that the government can solve it.  This leads to irrational solutions.  Gun control is irrational because the government can't ban guns in America.  There are too many of them and too many people own them.  Second, it is irrational to take away from millions of law-abiding citizens their constitutionally guaranteed right to protect themselves in order to protect us from lunatics who get their jollies by murdering innocent people.  It reminds me of Bush's invasion of Iraq to fight terrorism.  Do something!  Anything!  Will it actually work?  Who cares!  Do it!  Show you care!  That gun control will not achieve the results imagined by its proponents doesn't really matter because it's not about saving lives anyway.  It's about empowering the government.  Recalcitrant conservatives need to be reined in.  It's all about control.  If you cared -- really cared! -- you would want to be reined in by the left.  Cast your cares on the government because he careth for you!

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The Athanasian Creed says "those who have done good will enter eternal life."  It does not say that their eternal life is based on their doing good.  The Creed is just saying what Jesus said.


Yes, it does say that.


It also says that all of us will have to give an account for our own deeds. What do you make of that?


What about those who have done evil. Do they enter eternal fire because of their evil deeds?

Todays' Gospel Lesson answers your question.  The Holy Spirit will convict the world of sin "because they do not believe in me [Jesus]." (John 16:9) Apart from faith in Jesus, all works are evil.

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“Hanging judge”? I’ve condemned no one other than quoting and paraphrasing the theologian with whom you are in fellowship that, if we accept Brian’s confession of the incarnation, which is in direct opposition to the Athanasian Creed, we all are condemned.


We are not in fellowship with theologians, but with church bodies.


Do you also quote this section of the Athanasian Creed (boldface added):
At his coming all people shall rise bodily
to give an account of their own deeds.
Those who have done good will enter eternal life,
those who have done evil will enter eternal fire.


Do you tell people that their eternal life is based on have "done good"? That's what the Creed says.


If you want to check out the original language, here is the Latin for that section.

Ad cuius adventum
omnes homines resurgere habent cum corporibus suis:
et reddituri sunt de factis propriis rationem.
Et qui bona egerunt, ibunt in vitam aeternam:
qui vero mala, in ignem aeternum.
Quote
You defend the indefensible. I wonder why. Because God will save whomever He wishes, so it's no big deal?


So, what's your belief? God will save only those who deserve to be saved? Only those who exhibit the proper faith? Only those who "have done good"?


As I see it, you are the one trying to defend the indefensible. You are the one who denies salvation by God's grace by requiring some sort of human work for salvation, e.g., the proper faith, agreeing with the proper dogma, etc.

The Athanasian Creed says "those who have done good will enter eternal life."  It does not say that their eternal life is based on their doing good.  The Creed is just saying what Jesus said.

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Your Turn / Re: Rev. Richard Johnson "St. John and the Jews"
« on: May 12, 2022, 02:37:50 PM »
To assign even partial blame to Luther for Hitler's mass murder of Jews is unfair for a number of reasons.  First, Luther's polemic was written when the civil authorities were responsible for the religious life of the country.  A 21st century American has a hard time understanding this.  Second, Luther's attack on the Jews was not racially driven.  His argument was theological.  Hitler and the Nazis, on the other hand, were thoroughgoing racists.  Third, Luther was a Christian.  Hitler was a pagan.  We Lutherans should not defend everything Luther said and should treat Jews with kindness and respect.  Jesus is a Jew.  On the other hand, as a Lutheran who grew up in Clayton, Missouri, and had many Jewish friends and acquaintances, I can testify from personal experience to blasphemies against our Lord Jesus and filthy insults of his mother Mary on the part of Jewish people who were taught, as Jews, to do so.  It goes both ways.

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Your Turn / Re: Gender Non-Conformity - Your Responses
« on: May 03, 2022, 04:48:32 PM »
In another topic, I posted a response that is similar to this issue and was by and large dismissed.  I will simply say, again, that this issue is more complicated than it may seem, and though gender non conformity may seem that way, there is more going on than simple choice.  I would HOPE that the pastoral care offered would reflect that complexity.  I have walked this road with several and it is not easy, nor is it as simple as saying "Well God created Male and Female so that's the end of it."

Do you think the pastor should not direct them to what God's Word says in Genesis 1:27?  Does the complexity of this issue render unclear what Moses wrote in Genesis 1:27?

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Your Turn / Re: Gender Non-Conformity - Your Responses
« on: May 03, 2022, 01:03:33 PM »
Clearly, this woman and her daughter are confused and misled.  They need pastoral care.  Their pastor should visit with them and take them through the first chapter of Genesis, focusing in on verse 27.  The pastor should explain that what God did and said in creation cannot be overturned by what we feel.  Feelings are fickle and misleading, but God's Word is true.

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Your Turn / Re: Old Testament Question
« on: April 20, 2022, 11:43:32 AM »
Worshipping Satan entails serving and loving oneself instead of the neighbor.  Satan's temptations of Christ were appeals to Christ's self-interest.  But Jesus did not come to be served, but to serve.  His vicarious obedience all the way to the death of the cross was loving God above all things and his neighbor as himself.  Rape, murder, robbery, and other kinds of violence are antithetical to love for neighbor.  They are works of Satan.  Worshipping Satan is not just a formal allegiance to him.  It may not even acknowledge his existence.  It is embracing hatred over love and diminishing our neighbor to benefit ourselves.   

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Well, I love alliteration, and I sincerely care about creeping Calvinism!  Based on my experience of ELCA theology in Minnesota and North Dakota, however, I would be more attuned to advancing Arminianism.

10

We do question the certainty that some people have about unbelievers spending eternity being punished in hell.

I think this shows how so much of the criticism is projection. It isn't that people feel threatened by your questioning of the things they are certain of and attack you for asking questions. It is that you feel threatened by their certainty and so constantly seek to undermine it. And you aren't threatened by it because you are uncertain; you are threatened by it because you are certain they are wrong. You couldn't be so glib about what is sin, the importance of repentance, and the danger of false doctrine if you honestly thought false teaching might have eternal consequences. It is critical to your whole approach that nothing in this life and world can have eternal consequences, so when people assert that the things we preach and believe do have eternal consequences, you are shaken to the foundation and have to insist that they do not.   

I've heard that old committal services used to end with "Whoever believes and baptized will be saved. Whoever does not believe shall be condemned." I can see where that would be a somewhat startling conclusion in the context of the graveside mourning. I prefer the Easter proclamation. But I've never heard of anyone saying with certainty that anyone in particular is damned. When speaking of an actual individual, I've heard people take comfort that seeds were planted, that faith can be small as a mustard seed, that outward appearances can deceive, etc. or else simply say that we can take comfort that judgment is in the hands of a God who knows best.   


You haven't been around long enough. I had to deal with a woman 40+ years ago whose Lutheran pastor told her that her infant was in hell because he hadn't been baptized before he died. She hadn't had a good thing to say about the church since then.

Do you think that she might have misunderstood her Lutheran pastor?  Over the years, I have heard people say many things about what pastors have allegedly said that just don't ring true.  I have been accused of saying that only Lutherans are Christians when I have never hinted at such a thing.  A pastor says something, somebody extrapolates incorrectly from what he said, and then that incorrect extrapolation becomes what he said even though he didn't say it.

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Brian, you write above:  "I'm stating that when a group requires particular doctrines to be believed (or agreed to) in order to be saved, that's a work about which one can boast."  In the last paragraph of the Athanasian Creed we confess, "This is the catholic faith; whoever does not faithfully and firmly believe this cannot be saved."  How does your statement jibe with the Athanasian Creed?


Our statements about whom God save or doesn't doesn't change what God will do (or not do). Should God save someone who doesn't believe in the Trinity, I'm not going to tell God, "You made a mistake."
Can you say definitely that God will save someone who doesn't believe in the Trinity? On what basis would you make the assertion that He does? Should God not save someone who doesn't believe in the Trinity, would you tell God, "You made a mistake"?


I can definitely say that God wants all people to be saved (1 Timothy 2:4). I can definitely say that at the name of Jesus everyone will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (Philippians 2:10-11). I can definitely say that Jesus will draw all people to himself (John 12:32). There is nothing about the Trinity in these promises; but should God decide that an orthodox belief in the Trinity is necessary for salvation, God can decide that.


On what biblical basis would you make that God would not save someone who doesn't believe in the Trinity?

 I would appeal to Matthew 28:19 and Mark 16:16. To deny the God in whose name we are baptized is to reject the salvation he gives.

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Brian, you write above:  "I'm stating that when a group requires particular doctrines to be believed (or agreed to) in order to be saved, that's a work about which one can boast."  In the last paragraph of the Athanasian Creed we confess, "This is the catholic faith; whoever does not faithfully and firmly believe this cannot be saved."  How does your statement jibe with the Athanasian Creed?

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What a beautiful prayer!

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Your Turn / Re: Climate, gender, and immigration
« on: March 28, 2022, 05:56:18 PM »
What is the "Center for Climate Justice and Faith"?  What is climate justice?  Does justice entail morality?  I think so.  So then, is an ice storm immoral?  We're under a winter storm watch up here, while most of you are basking in spring-like weather.  Is that just?  And what does faith have to do with it?  Perhaps if I believe, really beliiieeeve that spring will spring, it will!  Why is there a "center" to deal with such things?  How about talking about this stuff over a beer on a Sunday afternoon?  If I laugh at this, thinking that it is utterly absurd, does this make me a misogynistic, racist, sexist, homophobic, climate-denying, Islamophobic, white supremacist, (gasp!) Republican?

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Your Turn / Re: Public Religion
« on: March 25, 2022, 01:11:50 PM »
I have no problem with "God-talk" in the civil arena that is not explicitly Christian, but with public, corporate, prayer, I believe that doctrinal agreement is a prerequisite.  I think this is probably a minority opinion on this forum.

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