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Topics - RogerMartim

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Your Turn / Communion Practice at Many LCMS Altars
« on: April 20, 2014, 05:55:18 PM »
Not sure if this has been discussed before on this Forum and if so, I apologize.

Where did the practice of the pastor saying/chanting the Verba over the communion elements at the side of the altar rather than in the center come from?

To me it seems a bit strange and somewhat off-putting. While not quite the same analogy, but wouldn't it be akin to a host/hostess at a dinner table sitting off to the side blessing the food to his/her dinner guests? One would assume that Christ at the Last Supper had his disciples gather around him and not off to the side. The pastor does everything else at the center of the altar. Why not with the communion elements?

A Blessed Easter to one and all.

Your Turn / I think this pastor should be defrocked...
« on: January 14, 2014, 04:50:20 PM »
...for making a mockery of our faith.

For some dedicated football fans, Sunday games tend to take precedent over basically everything else in life. And a pastor in Montana is no exception -- especially when kickoff interferes with church services.

This is Pastor Tim Christensen of Goldhill Lutheran Church in Montana. He was sked to lead the 11am service, the same time the 49ers and Panthers were scheduled to kick off on TV.

That's quite the dilemma. So he decided to speed things up a little, cutting his service down to only a minute.

'I was thinking we might have just a little bit of an abbreviated service,' he told the congregation. Then asks, 'Would you all like to be forgiven for your sins? OK, that's great, you are ... There's some bread and some wine up here on the table -- you feel free to help yourself if you'd like to.'

Though Christensen said he doesn't have any vested interest in the game, he proves otherwise false when he goes on to take off his robe displaying a bright red 49ers shirt.

Talk about setting your priorities!

GMA's Josh Elliot chimed in during morning coverage saying he wishes this is something his pastor would have done when he was young and growing up in LA. 'I would say, 'Mom, God wants me to watch this game,' a fight I never won.'

While this far-from typical Sunday morning is making the rounds and even getting some flack, turns out the hurried service is actually prank. The entire congregation knows Christensen is a big 49ers fan, and he held a full service afterwards.

Your Turn / Does LCMS turn the other eye...
« on: December 27, 2013, 08:45:34 PM »
...when it comes to loose affiliations?

There was an obituary in my newspaper the other day of a woman who with her husband were active and faithful members of their LCMS church. Yet they also attended a so-called free-evangelical church and were active in that as well. The funeral took place in the free evangelical church. (I am not sure what a free-evangelical church is, but I am quite certain that it wasn't Lutheran.)

Then a week or two ago there was another obituary of a man who was a member of an LCMS church and whose funeral would take place in his church. Yet it also had quite a write-up that he was a high official in freemasonry.

Both took place at different LCMS churches. I'd have to assume that the pastors in these churches knew of these affiliations all along, but chose to ignore them.

I think I would have a lot of trouble dealing with situations of these types which are so at variance to LCMS policies, but perhaps these were done in the name of Christian charity.

Your Turn / Pope Francis in the news again...
« on: September 20, 2013, 06:24:43 PM »
I am a bit skeptical of the secular media in being able to convey to the world-at-large what Pope Francis really means in his recent statements, but let's say that it got it right. The Church has been too focused on issues that do not impact a huge, huge, huge  segment of society. What to do? Birth Control? Divorce? Homosexuality?

Again, let's just say that the media got it right. Pope Francis doesn't seem to be hung up on these issues.

Is LC-MS is going to be left behind with the fundamentalists, an anachronism in modern Christianity? Europe is dead because of this. America is next?

Your Turn / New French Church
« on: July 08, 2013, 04:21:22 PM »
A friend of mine sent this to me in an e-mail and I verified it in The Lutheran magazine. With the deterioration of faith in many parts of Europe I suppose this was the way to go in France. The article was too sparse to determine what was agreed upon and what was compromised in the theological positions of both the Lutheran Church and the Reformed Church of France. The two church bodies did have great differences at one time. I don't foresee a great revival or renewal of the church though.

From the July issue of The Lutheran:
French Protestants Unite
The Evangelical Lutheran Church of France and the Reformed Church of France officially united May 11 to form the 400,000-member United Protestant Church of France. That's in a country where more than half of the population now claims to be agnostic or atheist, said Laurent Schlumberger, national council president of the new church. Schlumberger told Ecumenical News that "for five centuries, being Protestant in France meant not being Catholic. ... But that world has changed. ... French Protestantism can no longer exist by defining itself over against another religious group."

Your Turn / ALPB
« on: April 20, 2013, 07:42:07 PM »
When I typed in tonight I got a completely different site. Something to do with real estate and a smiling woman. I did it over and over again. I had to BING my way into here. Are any of you having this problem?

Your Turn / Prayers for the Families in Newtown, CT
« on: December 14, 2012, 11:11:50 PM »
Why do we allow assault and semi-automatic weapons to go into the hands of the general population in the first place? What use are they? Do you want to have a semi-automatic? Do you want your neighbor to have one?

My heart breaks for those families in this season when we sing, "Glory to God in the highest and peace on earth to all of goodwill." It's going to ring hollow for a lot of folks this Christmas 2012.

I hope that the ELCA, LCMS, WELC and all the other Lutheran churches speak out strongly that there needs to be some control of certain kinds of weaponry getting into the wrong hands. We do it at the international level that atomic/nuclear weaponry do not get into the hands of irresponsible countries/people. Why not in our neighborhoods?

The adage that "Guns don't kill people, people kill people" is getting old and trite.

Your Turn / Advent in a Fight for Its Life against Christmas
« on: December 02, 2012, 10:53:44 PM »
I love the Advent season. The hymnody of the four weeks cannot be surpassed; the lessons and Gospel texts are rich in meaning.

Yet today I attended church and the trees were up with its baubles and the nativity scene was in the church yard. Thank goodness the paraments were kind of a bluish-purple in color.

It gets worse.

The entire Liturgy of the Word was scratched even though its layout was in the bulletin. The service started with a two-three minute homily. Then there was the procession of a massed choir to the front and the service became a concert of some 35-40 minutes - a Christmas cantata (mind you, not of the Bach caliber). The music and its texts were so insipid. I can't remember the full name of the cantata now but it had the words 'a-comin' in its title. It might be a fun cantata for a Sunday School to perform in its due time which would be anytime after the celebration of the Fourth Sunday in Advent.

Normally there is always an applause and I expected it at the end of the performance this morning but there was none. I think that's how bad it was.

Why don't pastors take the bull by the horn and whip the worship and music committee into line? Or do the pastors blur the line between the two seasons?

Instead of the 12 days of Christmas, we now celebrate 35-36 days of Christmas until January 6 -- not far behind the shopping centers.

Your Turn / Yesterday...
« on: November 23, 2012, 08:03:28 PM » sister and I were traveling through Southeastern Minnesota. We had our Tom Turkey dinner at my sister-in-law's. Then we went to my brother's farm for pumpkin and minced meat pies. Of a distance of some 30-35 miles and through small towns, we passed by a lot of Lutheran churches and we tried to note whether they are ELCA or LCMS. In many small towns both are across the street from one another. Passing by St. John's, I noted that it was ELCA and and she said, "No, it's LCMC." I guess my eyes weren't quick enough. My sister asked me what was LCMC. I couldn't tell her.

What a sad state of affairs that the Lutheran Church is dividing into so many acronyms that can't be kept track of. I am assuming much of it is the divide that has mostly to do with one's political and even progressive sexual views, especially those views that have to do with homosexuality. Rather than discussion, we wallow in an alphabet soup of maddening acronyms.

Your Turn / Abortion and Politics
« on: August 27, 2012, 07:49:24 PM »
I know that it is impossible to separate the issue of abortion from politics but I dearly wish it could be.

I am as pro-life as I can be, but I simply can't abide by the ignorance that is displayed by some politicians on this issue.

Of course, I am referring to the recent remarks made by Congressman Todd Akin from Missouri in which he said that a woman's body shuts down during a "legitimate" rape and her chances of becoming pregnant is minimized. (For the record, the pregnancy rate among women who are raped is the same as that of consensual coitus.)

Some might say that this is a deluded remark by one person, but unfortunately there are many who have expressed themselves in very uncharitable ways and these are used to garner votes.

I would not want Todd Akin to speak for me if he were running for senator in my state. If he can say something as stupid as that, in what other areas of life might he say or do that would impact on me and others which could be subversive? (A judge in Texas suggested that there will be a civil war if Obama is re-elected again. While perhaps not connected to the issue that I am talking about here, it is this same over-heated rhetoric by politicians that is further splitting us as a country.)

Of the pro-choicers, their arguments are distressing too but not any less than those of the pro-lifers. Both ends of the spectrum in this divide use emotional arguments and tactics which makes me want to say that it's time to take abortion out of politics. Roe v. Wade is not going to go away and the current SCOTUS will not touch it with a 10-foot pole.

I know I am being naive but the current modus operandi is not working and it is further dividing us as a people of these United States. We need to find areas of agreement rather than passing off anathemas every which way.

Where is faith in action, faith in love?

Your Turn / EWTN
« on: August 08, 2012, 06:10:27 PM »
Occasionally I watch EWTN which I consider a far better option than Trinity Broadcasting Network.

Almost invariably I hear the consecrated bread and wine being referred to as the "Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity" of Christ. It used to be simply "Body and Blood."

I suppose that's OK if the RC Church wants to define the Real Presence in her own way, but somehow it just sounds a little verbose to me.

Does anyone know how this came about?

Your Turn / Sola Scriptura
« on: May 10, 2012, 06:18:30 PM »
As a simple Lutheran layman I don't have the erudition that so many of you have and so I beg your pardon.

I am having trouble with the phrase sola scriptura as one of the few solas that the Lutheran Church subscribes to.

The canon wasn't formalized until a few centuries after the apostles. As it is stated in John 21:25, "Jesus did many other things as well. If everyone of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be writen."

Yet the Lutheran Church insists that our belief system is based on sola scriptura.

It is not a problem in the Roman Catholic Church as Tradition is every bit as doctrinal as the Bible, Oral Tradition, that is. Where is the line drawn when it comes to the Infallibility of the Pope; the Marian Doctrines; etc. Some of Lutheran practices relies on tradition but again, where is the cutoff point where we then come to say that it is sola scriptura.

Sorry that I am such an ignoramus. It can be confusing.

Your Turn / Mitt Romney and Mormonism
« on: April 23, 2012, 08:56:05 PM »
It is well presumed at this point that Mitt Romney is going to be the Republican party’s choice to run against Barack Obama in the General Election in November.

I don’t know if it has been discussed in this Forum about Romney’s Mormon faith, but it is probably worth reviewing again if it has. I am deeply troubled by the possibility that a Mormon could be moving into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Losing two dear friends to the LDS faith in the last few years and the Mormon church’s underhanded, yet blatant involvement in the Proposition 8 amendment in California in 2008, I decided to check up on the Mormon religion and its teachings. With Google as our information friend, I perused both friendly and non-friendly sites. A particularly poignant and passionate site against Mormonism is exmormon . org. It tells sad stories, horror stories, disgusting stories and so on forth. As would be obvious, there has been lots of Romney stories and they aren’t good. (The one sad thing about the above-mentioned site is that most Mormons who drop away do not seek out other Christian churches, but that they become ardent agnostics and atheists.)

A particularly perturbing story is that Mitt Romney is one of the very few Mormons who ever got the so-called “Second Endowment” in the Mormon temple. This is usually reserved for the very few upper-crust of those in Mormonism. The Second Endowment guarantees that a person’s place in the Celestial Kingdom (the upper tier of the three heavens in Mormonism) has been guaranteed, no matter what follows, sort of the same dynamic that is subscribed by Born Again Evangelicals and Fundamentalists when they “accept” Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. (By the way, heavenly polygamy is still a doctrine in the Mormon church although it is no longer practiced here in the earthly life and so Ann Romney will have to share her husband in the after-life. Actual physical sexual intercourse is employed to produce “spirit” babies who will become future earthlings as Mormons believe in the pre-existence of all human beings.)

In the last several years, the Mormon church has down-played many of its unique doctrines to make them appear more mainstream with Christians. Mike Wallace and Larry King’s interviews with the then President of the Mormon church, Gordon Hinckley on the question of God the Father was Adam, he changed course and said that it was more of a “couplet” than doctrine. According to many Mormon old-timers that was a shocking statement as they believed it was something that was always taught. Many Mormons left the church after those interviews.

Since Mormonism is such a “family-oriented” religion, if one leaves the faith they are shunned to the extreme. They are called apostates which is the worst that one can be called.

The underwear that Mormons wear called “garments” is a badge of faith. God cares about your underwear? Recently a dictum came out from the Utah headquarters that the Mormon faithful is to continue to wear the garments at all times. Apparently there has been a spate of Mormons who have been mowing their lawns in the hot Mormon Corridor summers without their garments and the church is reminding them that they should not.

Mitt Romney said that he cried when he heard on the radio in his car in 1978 when the President of the Mormon church lifted its ban on Black males in attaining the priesthood which all Mormon males are when they reach 18. Blacks were always considered the “Mark of Cain” for his sin. What is little known that around that time was that the NCAA threatened to throw out Brigham Young University out of the conference for its refusal to be more racially inclusive both academically and in intermural events. To be accepted the Mormon church had to change a major doctrinal point of their religion. Still the Mormon church is so homogenous that one would be pressed to find any person of color belonging to a church that only gives lip service to them.

One of the most hurtful and shunning things is in a mixed marriage or if one of the couple is an apostate and no longer has a temple “Recommend.” (The Recommend is a bar-coded ticket that allows one into a Mormon temple. No Non-Mormon can enter it.) So if this couple has a son or daughter who is going to get married in the temple and one of the parent is not a temple Recommend, that person has to sit it out. You only get to smile for the wedding photographs outside of the temple.

Can a Lutheran Christian honestly vote for someone who is so at variance with the Christian faith? Yes, there is the separation of Church and State and that Romney’s faith shouldn’t be the criterium. But to me there is a catch. A candidate shouldn’t be running for the presidency whose religion is entirely built on ever-changing doctrinally which bottom line are built on lies. Again, Romney has been taught to be a chameleon all his life. I am not sure I would want a flaky candidate like that. The moniker that he is a Flip-Flopper is not off the mark.

I could go on and on and on, but yet this is the strongly-held faith of Mitt Romney. I am sure he is an intelligent man but he has been taught all his life to be a liar in the promotion of his religion. Is this someone that we want in the White House no matter one’s party affiliation? This goes to show that in his primary and caucus successes how little people really know about him and his “peculiar” faith as the Mormon folks like to label themselves as a “peculiar people,” except that they don’t like to consider themselves peculiar anymore as it doesn’t look good for one of their own to be running for the presidency.

By the way, Ann Romney’s father who was a die-hard atheist was posthumously baptized as a Mormon and so now he is in the Celestial Kingdom. Anne Frank and Daniel Pearl was recently baptized too which really caused a stink with those of the Jewish faith. Mitt Romney hasn’t said a word about it.

Enough said.

Your Turn / What's in a Name?
« on: February 03, 2012, 08:38:18 PM »
In this midwestern city we have some interesting names for parishes.

Among the older LC-MS churches there are Trinity, Grace, Redeemer, Christ, Holy Cross.

Among the older Wisconsin Synod churches there are Resurrection and Ascension.

The ELCA churches have Bethel, Mount Olive, Our Savior, Gloria Dei, Good Shepherd, etc.

The older Catholic parishes are St. Francis, St. John the Evangelist, St. Pius XII, St. Bridget.

The newer Catholic parishes are Pax Christi, Resurrection, Holy Spirit.

The newer ELCA churches are Hosanna!, People of Hope.

The newer LC-MS churches are Life, Family of Christ.

The newest Wisconsin Synod church is Christ Our Rock.

It is interesting that the Catholic Church are choosing more traditional and Gospel-centered names for their new parishes while the Lutheran churches are flying all over the board to be anything but traditional. Not that they are any less so in proclaiming the Gospel, but why all this new-fangled name playing? Incidentally, one of the LC-MS churches named above is nothing but short of trying to be a mega-church, pastor in a suit, a disproportionately long sermon, a choir that seems to be focused on entertaining, and the Eucharist regulated to "something we must do once in a while" kind of thing.

Your Turn / Changes in the Roman Liturgy II
« on: November 13, 2011, 08:39:55 PM »
I had to smile that the thread on "Changes in the Roman Liturgy" changed focus so quickly. So, I am starting another thread to get it back in focus.

The simplest example of language change in the Mass that will start on the First Sunday of Advent is:
"The Lord be with you."


"And also with your spirit."

This of course is instead of:
"And also with you."

The Roman Church says that it is trying to use an English translation that is as close to the original Latin of the Mass. We Lutherans used to do this too with "And with Thy spirit."

There are other changes in the wording of the Mass that Lutherans will not be familiar with such as "Lord, I am not worthy..."  at the communion.

What say you all?

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