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Messages - peter_speckhard

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16
Your Turn / Re: Inauguration Day
« on: Yesterday at 08:37:24 AM »
Many devout Catholic leaders have also questioned Biden’s standing in the church in terms of whether his lack of repentance for actions contrary to church teaching should preclude him taking communion. It is not beyond the pale to agree with them.

In the end, most complaints amount to the planting of flags. They are symbolic, with all the irrelevance and critical importance of things that merely signal a direction, make a show of support, or otherwise identify enemies and allies. For example, within 24 hours of the inauguration, the White House website was asking inquirers for their preferred pronouns. On one hand that is comically irrelevant. In a different way it is deliberate and important signal. I think this explains to certain degree why people will tolerate things in one politician that they wouldn’t tolerate in another. It is an “only Nixon could go to China” kind of thing. 

17
Your Turn / Re: Inauguration Day
« on: January 21, 2021, 04:12:32 PM »
Pastor Fienen:
I won't say that Pres. Biden is the only politician whose adherence to the teachings of the church he claims is selective and who likes to wrap himself in the robes of his religion only when it seems advantageous. Neither is that a trait peculiar to the political or religious left. It is also much easier to detect and call out hypocrisy in those you oppose than in your friends, allies, or yourself.

Me:
I’m guessing you have no idea how judgmental and mean those words sound.
And Pastor Engebretson, We are on very shaky ground when we start trying to discern how “solid” a person’s commitment (credentials? A legal term?) is to their faith. Why do we want to do that?
Judgmental and mean words about the president? Questioning his sincerity? What is the forum coming to? Please stay on topic and not let this degenerate into another locked thread.

18
Your Turn / Re: Inauguration Day
« on: January 21, 2021, 02:12:56 PM »
So President Biden, who regularly attends church, who speaks openly of his faith, who uses the scripture references in his speeches, is an object of ridicule because he touches a Bible?
I have never found the Babylon bee particularly humorous, but this is just stupid and insulting.
There are ways to poke fun at him which could be humorous, Saturday night live does it, but this is just stupid.
I think you're missing the point on whom exactly the Bee is mocking here.

19
If you preach on an occasion, you select the text to fit the occasion. It isn’t as though Christmas is in December because that’s when Luke 2 comes around in the immutable lectionary. The readings are chosen to fit the topic, not vice versa. If you ever deviate from the lectionary, you choose texts to fit a theme- New Year, Thanksgiving, graduation, marriage, whatever. And if you decide to devote a Sunday to the sanctity of life, you pick texts that speak to that topic. I wouldn’t recommend a steady diet of deviation from the lectionary, but I wouldn’t get so legalistic about never doing so, either. Sheesh.

20
Your Turn / Re: Inauguration Day
« on: January 20, 2021, 06:57:26 PM »
A thought from St. Paul for *every* Inauguration Day:

"First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people,  for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior,  who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." I Tim 2:1-4 ESV

Indeed, a good call to prayer.  I pray that whatever transpires from this point on, the church, under this new leadership in Washington, will be able to enjoy the freedom to express our faith and convictions both in word and in deed.
“...the church, under this new leadership in Washington, will be able to...”
 

There is a sentence in need of a diagram. The church is not under any leadership in Washington, old or new. The nation is under new leadership. The church is the umbrella over family, state, society, etc.. The state is not the umbrella over church, family, society, etc..

Perhaps, theologically speaking, "under" is not quite the right word.  We serve God, not Caesar.  That said, any government will have an impact on the political freedoms within which the church is permitted, legally, to carry out its work.  Therein lie my concerns for the future.  I am guardedly hopeful that given the new government we will be able to continue, such as it is, "to lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way."  My concerns expressed on the now locked thread flesh out my feelings behind this 'guarded hope.'
Agreed. In terms of support for religious freedom it will be a step in the wrong direction, but guardedly hopeful is the right approach.

21
Your Turn / Re: Church and weddings...
« on: January 20, 2021, 06:54:18 PM »
The point is that Jesus said God’s intention from the beginning didn’t include divorce …


Yup. Some have argued that God's intentions from the beginning is that humans would never die. That world doesn't exist anymore.


Repenting doesn't stop hard hearts. It will not stop divorces. It will not stop death.


Quote
There would have been little Jesus could have done about it apart from observe that such obviously hard hearts and hard heads could either repent and accept the basic verses from Genesis as normative or continue glibly and merrily down their deconstructive way into oblivion.


Why not go even further and use Jesus' words about life in the resurrection where there are no marriages (Matthew 22:30; Mark 12:25; Luke 20:34-35)? The humans weren't able to live up to the ideals in Eden. We will live up to God's expectations in the coming age. The normative that is coming is no marriages.
So, glibly and merrily it is. I think I’ll pass. You go on and take it further and further. I’m comfortable with traditional, Christian marriage.

22
Your Turn / Re: Inauguration Day
« on: January 20, 2021, 06:30:27 PM »
A thought from St. Paul for *every* Inauguration Day:

"First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people,  for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior,  who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." I Tim 2:1-4 ESV

Indeed, a good call to prayer.  I pray that whatever transpires from this point on, the church, under this new leadership in Washington, will be able to enjoy the freedom to express our faith and convictions both in word and in deed.
“...the church, under this new leadership in Washington, will be able to...”
 

There is a sentence in need of a diagram. The church is not under any leadership in Washington, old or new. The nation is under new leadership. The church is the umbrella over family, state, society, etc.. The state is not the umbrella over church, family, society, etc..

23
Your Turn / Re: Church and weddings...
« on: January 20, 2021, 06:26:11 PM »
Jesus must have been really confused when He responds to the Scribes and Pharisees about marriage by going back to God’s intent from the beginning, prior to Moses, yet also framing it with “Have you not read...?”


Methinks that you are confused. First of all, it is only the Pharisees. Mark 10:2 says that they "ask" him. Matthew 19:3 says that they "test" him.


Secondly, they do not ask about marriage, but about divorce. Is it permitted? The answer is, "Yes, it is permitted, because people have hard hearts."


It's also clear that God's intentions from the beginning is that there wouldn't be divorce. We can also say that it was God's intentions from the beginning that humans wouldn't have hard hearts; that they wouldn't disobey God; that they wouldn't have eaten from the forbidden tree; that God would take care of them in Eden for ever. We do not live up to God's intentions.


I would also say that there would never again be a connection between a man and a woman like there was between Adam and Eve. She was the only woman who was directly fashioned from some part* of the man's body. Every other human since then has come from a woman (1 Cor 11:12).


* while צֵלָע has traditionally been translated "rib," no where else does it refer to a part of the human body. It is used for the "sides" of the ark of the covenant. It is used for the "sides" of the tabernacle. "Side chambers" of the temple. Perhaps "side" of a tree = a "board" or a "plank".
The point is that Jesus said God’s intention from the beginning didn’t include divorce even though the Pharisees could have been cute and asked for his Biblical scholarship in support of that contention and launched into a bunch of silliness about authors, dates, time bound cultural norms, etc.. There would have been little Jesus could have done about it apart from observe that such obviously hard hearts and hard heads could either repent and accept the basic verses from Genesis as normative or continue glibly and merrily down their deconstructive way into oblivion.

24
Your Turn / Re: Church and weddings...
« on: January 20, 2021, 05:35:12 PM »
The question was about the origin of "marriage." They existed before scriptures were written. They exist in cultures that have no contact with Jews or Christians. One could argue that marriage is part of the nature that God built into humans, but that would also be before scriptures talked about marriages.

Sigh.  There absolute exists a biblical answer that says otherwise, if you were only willing to listen to what others tell you.  It's an odd thing to suggest that the creator of all things could not have acted before "scripture were written", when the first book of the Bible begins with the creation story.  I continue to reject your idiosyncratic definition of marriage which has no foundation beyond your personal scholarship.


Please share your biblical scholarship that supports your understanding.


Yes, the first book of the Bible begins with creation; but that's not when it was written. Writing didn't begin until about 1000 BC. The first 11 chapters of Genesis are usually called "prehistory." They are stories about life before written history began.
Jesus must have been really confused when He responds to the Scribes and Pharisees about marriage by going back to God’s intent from the beginning, prior to Moses, yet also framing it with “Have you not read...?”

25
I think many churches that have “life Sunday” do indeed deviate from the lectionary rather than mangle unrelated texts. How overtly one mentions secular laws, rulings, procedures, social issues, etc. under the general rubric of the sanctity of life becomes a point of discussion.

26
Your Turn / Re: Inauguration Day
« on: January 20, 2021, 01:23:15 PM »
Chapel this morning for grades 1-8 I pointed out that we'd soon be getting a new portrait in our hallway gallery of presidents, and just like four years ago, many people with thrilled and many people were upset. I used Jonah and John the Baptist to make the point that God's Word is all we have that endures. We ought not be like Jonah and resent the fact that God loves people we don't like, say, by only praying for the president when our guy wins. We don't get to selectively apply it according to our likes and dislikes as though it were ours and not God's. But also, like John, we ought also remember that God's Word sometimes puts us at odds with the authorities. We don't get to downplay it or change the truth just to avoid being unpopular or getting into trouble. We stick with God's Word no matter who is in charge, whether we like them or not and whether it is popular or not. Prayers for both the outgoing and incoming presidents.   

27

Materialists have an unBiblical worldview, as do Buddhists and Hindus.


It's comments like this that cause my befuddlement.  I suppose you are referring to those materialists who hold that nothing exists but the physical, material world; and that absolutely everything can be explained solely by reference to the physical, material properties of that world.  There are a few of those people around, but I rarely run into any.  More often, I run into people who are more or less like me -- about certain things, in certain contexts, I'm a pretty serious materialist.  When it came to calling down plagues, Moses certainly seemed to be a "materialist."  When discussing the incarnation and resurrection of Jesus Christ, orthodox Christian theology appears to be thoroughly "materialist."  I don't think these are cheap examples (nor do I think I am merely being coy with words, à la Pr. Stoffregen); I believe that if we want to make sense of the world as we experience it, it is generally the best approach to start with the physical, material manifestations of creation around us.  So does that classify me as having an "unBiblical worldview"?  Lutheran theology has regularly affirmed that God's grace works through physical, material means, as in the sacraments.  Is that an expression of an "unBiblical worldview?"

I think questions like this are important.

Tom Pearson
I was only using materialists as an example. I think they're more common than you seem to think, but certainly less common than Hindus or Buddhists. Certainly atheists have an unBiblical worldview because they do not recognize that they have a Creator to whom they are answerable.

Worldview really just means a set of basic assumptions that underlie our interpretations of reality. It isn't a matter of personal faith or confession so much as unspoken, a apriori tenets that come from somewhere.

St. Paul tells us not to grieve the way others do. How to acknowledge death appropriately is a matter of one's worldview. It isn't random, it stems from assumptions about the meaning of death and the future, if any, of the dead person. St. James makes the point that our brother is made in the likeness of God. Looking at it like that changes how we view differences such as worldly status, the appropriateness of cursing or revenge, the imperative to help those in need, etc. But that the dead are raised, that people are made in the likeness of God, that the rich and poor alike face judgment, that our passions are warped by sin and not to be trusted-- those are all parts of a worldview. People who think their desires are justified simply by existing, or that death is the end, or that smart people have more intrinsic value than dumb people, etc. are not operating within a framework of truth.

Much of the exhortative parts of the NT simply state a way of looking at (i.e. "view") the basic things of the world like people, life, death, sex, marriage, sin, injustice, that flows from divine revelation of the truth behind these things and urges Christians to react to them in ways that reflect that underlying truth rather than like others who don't know that underlying truth. Don't grieve like others. Why? Don't mistreat others. Why not? Etc. I don't see the problem in calling that a Biblical worldview.

 

28
Learned a new one in preschool chapel this morning. We sang Jesus Love the Little Children, but instead of "red and yellow, black and white" our teacher/song leader does it "shades of brown from dark to light." That's probably old news to many of you, but it was new to me. I think the new way does a better job of breaking down false mental categories. 

29
We did Life Sunday a week early. My associate preached world's idea that you are your own vs. the Christian idea that you are not your own. Our principal did a children's message using the set of little models from LFL of what the baby looks like at various stages of development to make the point that God's love for us in no way depends upon our abilities or size.

30
Never mind, Peter, I forgot that you never venture out of your head and its cold, narrow-focus linear world.
Carry on.
So believing we are creatures answerable to a Creator is somehow controversial? That creation is good but fallen? None of these things are cold, narrow, or even that focused. They’re just reality as revealed by God and accepted by everyone with a Biblical worldview. But it is rather telling that you can’t engage with it. I will gladly never mind what passes for comment in the world as you view it.

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