Why I Am A Lutheran: MLD

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  1. Kevin H says:

    FIRST!

  2. Kevin H says:

    Now that I’m first, I will now have to go read it.

  3. papias says:

    First only counts if you read it!

    Good points to ponder MLD.
    I find myself being drawn in to Christ Centered Preaching. Very intriguing stuff this is.
    Also, I gave a talk to my job club on Vocation and wished that I had more knowledge from the Lutheran perspective. there is some book on Luthers thoughts on vocation that I will pick up if I get a chance.

    Represent! 🙂

  4. Fred says:

    ” Primarily she was off the treadmill of “do” and was allowed to rest in “done.””

    Agreed, but one certainly doesn’t have to be Lutheran to rest in this. I could never be a confessing “Lutheran” because of the doctrines of baptism and the communion. These are biggies to me.

    I’m glad you guys found a church home to be a part of.

  5. Another Voice says:

    So waht is the etiquette in responding if we desire??

  6. filbertz says:

    mld,
    thank you for sharing your journey; it is full of encouragement, growth, and joy.

  7. papias says:

    AV – What’s on your mind?

    I would start off by stating the things you agree with and can learn from, and ask questions if you want to talk about the other stuff.

    Am I missing something?

  8. Preston says:

    This was awesome! I definitely want to see more of these.

  9. Lutheran says:

    Papias,

    If I could, let me recommend a couple of books on vocation.

    Gene Veith’s “God At Work: Your Vocation in All of Life.” Very readable and helpful.

    The ‘granddaddy’ is “Luther on Vocation” by Gustaf Wingren. A lot deeper and not nearly
    as accessible as Veith’s.

  10. Lutheran says:

    Nice job, MLD!

    Great series idea, Michael.

  11. papias says:

    Lutheran – Thanks for those!

    My sources referenced both of those works.

    Now to add them to my reading list!

  12. Another Voice says:

    Mainly I am wondering if it is possible to ask MLD pointed questions on some things, without getting the entire forum in an uproar and many assuming I am somehow personally attacking him.

    I know MLD and I could do this face to face (and I would love to meet you one day MLD) and remain loving brothers and have a drink afterwards 😉 (mine being diet soda) 🙂

    I’m not sure I have the talent and skills to word my thoughts in such a way as to not be misunderstodd by at least some – and I don’t want that anymore. I just…don’t.

    Thank you for sharing your story MLD. God bless you and your family!

    anothervoicespeaking – at – hotmail.com if you want to talk further MLD.

    Have a blessed day one and all!

  13. Kevin H says:

    MLD, that’s a good read, thanks for sharing. I certainly appreciate what you have shared just now and over the years at PP. Before I found the PP, I didn’t have a very high opinion of Lutheranism. But having the chance to read what you and Lutheran and others have written here, it has helped me to gain a much greater appreciation of the Lutheran heritage and beliefs.

    My mom came from a Lutheran family, but she did not become saved until she met my dad. Some of her family is still Lutheran, some not. My aunt is a Lutheran pastor. Although I do not know her too well, I don’t think I would see eye-to-eye with her on very much as she is a very strong feminist and is very gung-ho on things like abortion rights, homosexual rights (I believe she has even married some homosexual couples), etc. She does not believe in the inerrancy of Scripture and does not believe in the literalness of Adam & Eve, Noah, etc.

    So I would imagine that all of my family experiences have been with a Lutheranism that is much more liberal theologically (ELCA?). Until I had found the PP I pretty much thought that all Lutheranism was like that. I now have a much broader and better perspective.

  14. Tim says:

    AV has a good idea…it might be good to post some etiquette here in how to respond on the thread series. After all, all of us (at some point) are going to take serious exception to some of the theology presented, yet at the same time we don’t want to denigrate the writer or invalidate the reasons why he/she came to his/her particular position.

    With that out of the way, my favorite of the above is also the idea of “vocation.” I had always had that same point of view myself, but never heard it articulated until I read it from MLD & Lutheran here on the PP. I’ve since mentioned it several times in our own church. I’ve found Evangelicalism tends to hold “ministry” position in very high regard, while forgetting that anyone who is a believer in Christ is in “ministry.” The doctrine of vocation (or at least, what I know of it) deals with that problem in a very Biblical way.

  15. Em says:

    “Adam and Eve’s problem wasn’t just that they ate a piece of fruit or broke one of God’s rules.” as i understand it, they only had the one rule to keep and their desire to be like God was secondary to their disrespect – they met with Him daily and yet, questioned His authority?…

    “the growth of the church may be within the individuals themselves and not the number of fannies in the seats.” your choice of “may” is too kind… can’t we say “must” be?

    The means of grace is a topic that i’ll leave to you theologians, suffice it to take umbrage with the statement explaining the evangelical approach: “The Lord’s Supper is not God coming to us in the supper to bestow his gifts (grace) but us showing God our remembrance (obedience),”… us “showing” God anything? won’t try to interpret how others approach this… but…

    i realize that most of his post is a comparison of places where MLD has walked to get where he has settled today as a Believer … we’d probably agree that our Faith is not about form, it’s about substance – we ‘d agree that the bulk of the community of professed believers in Christ have been living on sweets and short rations

    MLD has studied, is a workman i respect – but no denomination has it nailed down and the danger that lurks for all of us is to settle into a smug contentment – a way that ‘feels’ right is not justification enough is it?

    just a couple reactions and, with all my respect for Martin Luther and his disciple here, i’m not convinced – not even close

  16. papias says:

    Tim,

    Gene Veith has some MP3’s on Monergism on vocation as well as his books.

    I know that my 5-10 talk on vocation went over well in a mixed audience(non-Christians as well as Chrsitians).

  17. Lutheran says:

    Not saying this because I’m a Lutheran and that’s what the topic is on this thread…but I think we should all take the high road and not turn this thread into a pointed debate…as Michael called it, a “celebration” of the different traditions. just as I’m sure when we have the CC thread, I’d like to see it as a way to celebrate the CC POV.

    AV, I’m a big diet soda guy, too, FWIW. 🙂

  18. papias says:

    But like I said before and elsewhere, I am getting alot our of TIm Kellers series on “Preaching Christ to a Postmodern World”. So far, seems like he is mostly talking about Christ Centered Preaching.

    Some of the best points are the Q+A sessions after each talk.

  19. papias says:

    If there’s mexican food or pizza, I will drink other than Diet Coke.
    Otherwise, I am a Diet Coke man.

    And GO PACKERS! 😉

  20. Lutheran says:

    Hi Tim,

    I’m glad you’ve been able to speak about vocation at your church. This is actually something I noticed early onhin my years in evangelicalism that always struck me as kind of weird. Part of that is probably because I was raised in a mainline Protestant/Reformed denom. where there wasn’t a bit of that weirdness, that deferring to church work as somehow more holy or desirable than digging a ditch or whatever.

    Another point about vocation: it’s not just limited to work. Being a father, a friend, a participant in your community, husband, etc., etc. All are legitimate vocations under God.
    Luther said the milkmaid faithfully going about her duties is potentially more God pleasing than all the monastic orders of his day.

    And the other cool thing: God works through us for good in our various vocations. We are a “mask of God.” That’s a concept that gets me going in the morning.

  21. Shaun Sells says:

    Excellent work MLD. Obviously as an evangelical I disagree with some of your conclusions about us, but I love your affection for your church tradition – it blessed me to read it.

  22. Em says:

    PS to my #15 … so much of MLD’s great, well presented information i totally agree with

    what i am not convinced of: to join the Lutheran church – major points that i know are wrong

    or better said: i agree with those who teach otherwise on many key (to me, anyway) points

  23. nancy says:

    This is a great idea! Thanks Michael & MLD.

  24. Em says:

    Lutheran,”Not saying this because I’m a Lutheran and that’s what the topic is on this thread…but I think we should all take the high road and not turn this thread into a pointed debate”

    i respect it when you tell me what you believe – i’ll take umbrage when you tell me what i believe

    my other comments on MLD’s presentation, if out of place, well that’s what old ladies do… 😀

  25. Believe says:

    MLD, “Why I am a Lutheran…”

    …because no one else would have me. 🙂 😆 8)

    Love you man, just kidding (of course).

  26. Michael says:

    Sorry, I’ve had some issues this morning.

    MLD can handle questions…we all know that.

    I do want to keep this on a high road…this is more about finding common ground than high criticism.

  27. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Hi all
    Michael, thanks for publishing my article.
    Everyone, please feel free to say or ask what you want – I will not be offended.

    AV, UGM

    anyone who wants to talk offline, email me at mld1517 at yahoo dot com

    Believe came the closest! 😉

  28. Michael says:

    MLD,

    You did an awesome job…thank you!

  29. TonyP. says:

    MLD,

    It was cuz you got to wear the cool hat, don’t lie. 😀

    Excellent presentation.

  30. Another Voice says:

    One comment about the vocation thing since it is being discussed.

    As for myself, my first exposure to this teaching, as a VERY new Christian, was by one Chuck Smith at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa. I remember it was in comment to the beginning of Romans as to Paul, called to be an apostle.

    Chuck made it quite clear in his teaching that God had a calling for each of us, and that calling was likely NOT in formal ministry. And one example I remember him using was the auto mechanic.

    I do not simply parrot Chuck. Over the years, I have gone a different way on many things I was first exposed to by Chuck, however I have taught the vocation doctrine regularly, because I believe it is true to Scripture. It just so happens Chuck was the first to teach it to me.

    FWIW

  31. ( |o )====::: says:

    this is so cool! MLD & Michael, thanks for this discussion!

  32. Another Voice says:

    Hi MLD,

    Can you fill in a blank or two for me about your journey?

    You mention marriage and the babys’ baptisms, then you jump to Harvest.

    During those married years from 1969-1981 did you:
    a) attend weekly/regularly with your wife at the Lutheran church
    b) did your wife attend regularly while you mostly stayed home
    c) did both you and your wife attend sporadically if at all

    Also, as to Harvest and your conversion
    What/who brought you to Harvest in the first place (and why)?
    Had you been attending for awhile before conversion or did it happen the first visit?
    Was your wife attending with you that day, or during that time?

    I ask to get a better appreciation of your testimony as you are choosing to volunteer it to us. And I know you are talking about you, and not your wife, but she obviously is pretty important to your story – which is why I include her in the questions.

    Thanks.

  33. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    AV,
    Great questions – give me a little time, I need to finish a project and then jump in the shower (I work at home in my PJs, so my showers come late morning – because I can) 🙂

  34. Na'amah says:

    I was raised in a non religious, but culturally observant Jewish family.

    How has your culturally observant Jewish family responded over the years to your acceptance of Yeshua as Messiah?

    and have you included the Jewish observances into your faith?

  35. Tim says:

    MLD –

    Without getting into a debate or going the road of “high criticism”…I’m wondering if you can get a little bit more in depth with how Lutherans (in general) see the distinction between Law & the Gospel.

    The reason I ask is that it sometimes seems (from my perspective) that any exhortation to action is viewed as “Law,” and I just can’t see that from the Scripture. The NT is filled with exhortations to action & obedience (all flowing out of what Jesus has already done for us at the cross, and what the Holy Spirit continues to do for us in sanctification) – yet surely those exhortations cannot be viewed as “Law.”

    To give an example: 1 John 4:11 tells us “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”

    When reading your description of Law/Gospel above, it would seem that Lutherans would view 1 John 4:11 as both Law AND Gospel. The Gospel part would be ‘God so loved us” and the Law part being “we also ought to love one another.” Yet that just doesn’t make sense to me. It seems that it’s ALL Gospel in that we see the work of God already accomplished for us, as well as the work of God that He equips us to do.

    I would think “Law” is better described as any attempt to earn favor in the sight of God outside of Jesus Christ, whereas “Gospel” is anything dependent upon the grace of God through Jesus Christ.

    Am I misunderstanding the Lutheran division of Law/Gospel?

  36. Another Voice says:

    Take your time MLD. I am hit and miss today a lot myself.

    One other thing that might be of interest, not only today but through this next set of denominational discussions, is what one of a particular group would say is the one or two negatives of their group – and yet, why these are not a deal-breaker.

    I know as a CC pastor, I write many a post as to why I remain CC despite XYZ in the movement. If I was the one doing CC for Michael and PP, I would make mention of these.

    So MLD, is there something(s) in the Lutheran tradition that you wish were different and/or nonexistent. These can be doctrinal too – though I recognize most of us are going to be pretty set on the doctrine where we fellowship. So mostly I am thinking of things besides doctrine.

  37. Captain Kevin says:

    First of all, this is a great thread series idea, Michael! Thank you.

    Second, I immediately copied and pasted the Eugene Peterson quote. Fantastic!

    Third, MLD, thank you so much for your well-written article! I have always appreciated the Lutheran emphasis on law and grace, and Christocentricity. However, in my experience with people who call themselves Lutheran (and I have known many) , and faithfully attend church week by week, most do not understand the first thing about salvation, the Bible, the meaning of baptism and communion, the difference between Lutheranism and any other religion, Christian or otherwise, etc. Jesus is the Sunday part of life and nothing more. I realize that this happens in all churches. So again, I’m only speaking from my experience. I’d appreciate your take on this.

    You, my friend, are a rarity to me.

  38. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    AV,
    You asked; During those married years from 1969-1981 did you:
    a) attend weekly/regularly with your wife at the Lutheran church – not at all, in fact she pretty much stopped going to church shortly after we were married. Actually, even before we got married she was not attending very regularly (direct evidence of the bad influence an non believer can have on a believer) but hey, it was the mid 60s. If we went at all it was with her parents at Christmas & Easter.

    b) did your wife attend regularly while you mostly stayed home – she did not attend.

    c) did both you and your wife attend sporadically if at all – as above – some Christmas & Easter.

    So, let me add that our highest rate of attendance at the Lutheran Church during this period was the baptisms.

    Then you asked; Also, as to Harvest and your conversion
    What/who brought you to Harvest in the first place (and why)? – My wife said to me one day “the kids are getting old enough, we need to take them to church.” I guess I figured OK, it is the American way – “get those kids in church so that they can learn some morals!” We had no idea where to go as we had had no contact with churches in several years and were living in a new area (Riverside). My wife asked her sister and she recommended Calvary Chapel – so we went. I actually think that God hood winked me to get me into church.

    Had you been attending for awhile before conversion or did it happen the first visit? – It was on the 3rd visit actually. When we came out after the first visit my wife said, “perhaps we should look into reading the Bible.” I was a bit resistant, but I agreed that I would read it as long as I could believe it – so we bought a couple of Bibles. I am still reading 30 years later. Greg is a great preacher and picked the right message to have the spirit of God move my heart – “The role of women in the Church.” Perhaps when we are younger (I was 32) it sounds simpler – “I was all in”

    Was your wife attending with you that day, or during that time? as above, yes she was with me.

    Let me add again, that was March 1, 1981, we were baptized in Lake Perris on June 6th 1981. My wife was told that her infant baptism was invalid and that she needed to be re baptized. It’s funny, when we moved to an SBC church a couple of years later, they wanted us to be re baptized as they were not too pleased with the alien baptism of CC. We refused and they allowed us to join on a confession of faith.

    As a side note so you will know me better, I can’t seem to get enough Jesus and this Christianity stuff. Over the years I have built up a personal library of over 2,000 books and about 8,000 cassette tapes and CDs – I am an obsessive compulsive Christian. 😉

    AV, I hope that helps. Did you get me earlier email?

  39. Another Voice says:

    MLD, that helps tremendously. Thank you for sharing.

    And I did get your email and will touch base with you on that. I don’t check that email regularly but on a day like today when I post it, I tend to look more often.

    Thanks again for writing.

    By the way – On the SBC wanting you baptized again after CC, I do not ever encourage people to get baptized again if they were baptized at another church..but then again, I do not have to fill out a report each month or quarter to the home office as to how many baptisms we did to “prove” our church’s calling and purpose. 😉

  40. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Tim,
    You do see the difficulty. The question is, can we even as Christian accomplish the laws (commands) of God? In your example of 1 John 4:11 how many do you know who have accomplished” love one another”? The Law makes me look inward at myself and I see how far short I am still from what God wants out of me – still failure (perhaps I can really buckle down and get it right for a day) but as I go along, the law still crushes me and forces me to run right back to Jesus and the forgiveness that He has promised. If the “love one another” had actually been accomplished for us already, we would be doing it since it has been promised.

    You are right when you can find both law and gospel within a single verse. Not only that, but it must be distinguished by how the verse is being used. When Jesus said “you must be born again” is that the law speaking or the gospel? It depends on how it is used. If you are telling someone that they must get themselves born again, it is law. If you are telling someone that Jesus will “born again them” that is gospel.

    I think I would disagree with your assessment “I would think “Law” is better described as any attempt to earn favor in the sight of God outside of Jesus Christ, whereas “Gospel” is anything dependent upon the grace of God through Jesus Christ.” as both statements are still reliant on what the person does.

    I don’t know if it helps, but I like this quote; “When Law and Gospel are improperly distinguished both are undermined. Separated from the Law, the Gospel gets absorbed into an ideology of tolerance in which indiscriminateness is equated with grace. Separated from the Gospel, the Law becomes an insatiable demand hammering away at the conscience until it destroys a person. When Law and Gospel are properly distinguished, however, both are established. The Law can be set forth in full-scale demand, so that it lights the way to order and through the work of the Spirit drives us to Christ. The Gospel can be declared in all of its purity, so that forgiveness of sins and deliverance from the powers of death and the devil are bestowed in the presence of our crucified and risen Lord – Dr. Jim Nestingen

  41. Tim says:

    MLD –
    I can’t say I agree, but thank you very much. That helps me understand the Lutheran point-of-view much better.

  42. Babylon's Dread says:

    Have we discussed baptismal regeneration yet?

  43. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    AV, “So MLD, is there something(s) in the Lutheran tradition that you wish were different and/or nonexistent.”

    Yes, read Captain Kevin’s post right below yours.

    Coming from traditions who place great value on “knowing the Bible” it does bother me that Lutherans are not better acquainted with theirs. In Lutheranism the emphasis of the church service in the liturgy is not necessarily Bible teaching as much as it is to receive the forgiveness of your sins and to feed on the work of Christ for strength to go back out into the world “to love and serve your neighbor.” Now, adult Bible classes are offered on Sunday mornings and during the week, but they are not well attended.

    But as Kevin said in his fine post, this goes on in many churches – people stop learning when they reach high school and think they know all the Bible they need at that point. Even in catechism classes, the faith is well explained, but hey, they kids are 13 and pretty dopey.

  44. Michael says:

    BD,

    Will you write one of these for us on renewal?

  45. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Tim,
    Let me ask you this for clarification. is it your position that God’s commands and Laws can be kept by the Christian?

  46. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Babs,
    Why don’t you start us off?

  47. Another Voice says:

    The question is, can we even as Christian accomplish the laws (commands) of God?
    ——————————————————–
    Where is the role of the Holy Spirit in your (or the Lutheran) view?

    Can I please God in my own strength, even after conversion, of course not.

    But there sure seems to be a lot of Scripture that teaches we can yield to the working of the Holy Spirit, Who is indwelling us and empowering us, and we can have Him do through our lives that which is pleasing to God.

    We can love as Christ loves, by letting Christ love through us. On the one hand, it is not I that is doing it, but God doing it through me – so on the other hand, from one perspective, it still is me doing it (to the observing world)

    Paul says it better in Galatians. “I am crucifed with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I…

    Gal 2:20

  48. papias says:

    Are we gonna have Xenia do one of these for EO? 🙂

  49. TonyP. says:

    I would do one fo rthe Baptists, but what do you say about potlucks??? 😀

  50. Michael says:

    Papias,

    I asked her to and she was going to, but left after the skirmishes with the Catholic poster.

    It would have been really good to have her contribute…she knows her history and theology.

  51. Michael says:

    TonyP,

    If there are Baptist distinctives (besides potlucks) that drew you into the SBC, that would be a great read.

  52. Tim says:

    MLD – AV basically stated my view @47.

    We can do whatever the Spirit of God empowers us to do. Any good that we do comes completely as a result of His good working within us, and thus we can claim no credit. Yet that does not take away any responsibility we have to respond to the prompting of God.

    God is always the initiator; we are always the responder.

    And keep in mind, my definition of “Law” varies from yours. Can we keep the Law & earn (or even keep) our salvation? Absolutely not. Can we obey the commands of Jesus Christ once we are born-again? In our own strength & power, never – yet by the power of the Holy Spirit all things are possible.

    AV probably said it better. I should have stopped after acknowledging that the 1st time. 🙂

  53. Josh Hamrick says:

    I have reasons that I have gone SBC, but mostly comes down to autonomy. Plus, I’m thinking about bailing. I’m probably not the best rep for the SBC right now. 🙂

    I really appreciated MLD’s right up here. Convicting in that I realized how shallow some of my convictions are.

  54. Another Voice says:

    Our responsibility is to sow to the Spirit and to yield to the Spirit. In these two areas, I feel, are found Christian living – and in these two areas are found our human responsibility as Christians.

    And to be clear, I am only talking post-conversion here.

  55. Babylon's Dread says:

    I will be more in the discussion later… my day is full… I was part of the LCA as a kid … I was unconverted and came to feel that baptismal regeneration was probably what drove the lack of interest in real conversion of the heart.

    My church was pretty lifeless and lacking the marks of genuine Christianity thus I departed in spite of the fact that many of the tenants of Lutheranism are compelling…. More to come.

  56. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    AV & Tim, I think that you may be missing the point. Do you preach as the good news that now you can keep God’s commands? So what is the good news when a person fails?

    If you look at Paul in Romans 7 I think that you see what the law not only does but for what purpose it was given “but when the commandment was given, sin sprang to life and I died. I found that the very commandment was intended to bring life actually brought death.” That is the purpose result of the law being preached – and Paul says it is good. But I don’t know how it can be preached as gospel and have it’s intended ‘gospel’ effect.

    So what is the good news to Paul? “Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

    So, the law gets preached in all it’s harshness to bring people (even Christians) to Christ and then the gospel is preached about the forgiveness of sins and salvation FOR YOU.

  57. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Babs,
    I think that is a reaction of most kids growing up in a church. My kids were raised CC and SBC and none of them show any interest in their faith. I pray for them that one day it will make sense to them and then they will take on a new interest when the spirit turns them.

  58. Michael says:

    Robert,

    You’re whacked…and unwelcome.

    Don’t post any of that nonsense here again.

  59. weary of it all says:

    so mld, it’s your wife’s fault! 😉

    good thread, well written.

  60. Another Voice says:

    Do you preach as the good news that now you can keep God’s commands?
    ————————————————————-
    I wouldn’t put it that way. But there are a lot of commands in the epistles (imperative mood) as to how we are to live. I also don’t preach “Ignore these guys, you have no shot – just rest in the blood”

    I encourage people to sow to the Spirit and to yield to the Spirit and when they fail to do so to receive the cleansing blood of forgiveness that He always is providing His own (even before we ask Him).

  61. Another Voice says:

    By the way MLD – my question still stands.

    What is the role of the Holy Spirirt in the life of the believer as he/she lives on this earth, according to your (Lutheran) view?

  62. no name says:

    Thanks MLD —

    in hindsight I see CC and much of the Evangelical world is like a place you walk into and the say we have the joy of the Lord because we are set free by the Sprit. But as you hang around you notice no one is frolicking or enjoying themselves, instead they huddle in the middle of a room… as you hang out longer you come to see their definition of joy and freedom are not what you thought.. as you continue they say we have no rules, but discover they have a rule for everything — it is like a company where a lot of people are always late and get away with it, and the company out of the blue fires someone who was never late, and will not tell anyone why the person was fired..The only way to discover what the rules are is to break one.. then it’s too late – the net effect is everyone is ruled by fear.. if the company fired someone and said they were fired for being late when a lot of people were late who never suffered any consequences you would be outraged, but when they fire someone without explanation it inspires fear… In CC you see people get away with horrible things, then out of the blue someone is ousted who never did anything which = fear

    From the form of Government (behind closed doors) to their Soteriology (once save always saved IF) leave people insecure and ruled by fear of the whims of the local pastor

    I see the appeal of the Lutheran Church and the liberty that the structure provides..

  63. Tim says:

    “So what is the good news when a person fails?”
    1 John 1:9

    I’ve quoted that verse so often with our church that I’m sure they can probably pre-empt me if they sense I’m going there again. 🙂

    From my perspective, the idea that every exhortation in the NT is “Law” is awfully depressing. On the contrary, knowing that God fills us with the Holy Spirit & empowers us to work to His good pleasure is wonderfully freeing.

    Again, I’m not trying to criticize the Lutheran viewpoint; but this is one of the areas we’re going to have to agree to disagree.

  64. Another Voice says:

    I use that verse a lot too Tim. 🙂 Good post.

    One small point though, and it deals directly with our discussion with MLD (since you and I are likely on the same page here).

    You used the word exhortation. Exhortations are different from commands. Exhortations are typically subjunctive mood (hortatory subjunctive) and commands are imperative mood.

    This is my main point with MLD. They are COMMANDS of us, as Christians, in this life, by the Lord Jesus Christ. Not to earn salvation or any such nonsense…but COMMANDS, nonetheless. Hard to get around that if you ask me…

    Is the Lord commanding of us that which we can’t possibly do, even with His Spirit?

    The ramifications of that sort of thing are pretty big, and besides, who then votes on which commands are expected of us and which aren’t (i.e. Husbands, love your wives). Anyone going to say that God isn’t commanding husbands to love their wives when He commands “Husbands, love your wives”

  65. Tim says:

    AV –
    That’s a good point. Eph 5:18 (for example) gives us a command (using the imperative) of being continually filled with the Spirit. It is definitely a command, but there’s surely no way that could be considered “Law.” Nor is it impossible for a born-again believer in Jesus Christ; on the contrary – the very reason we’re commanded to be filled with the Spirit is because God *will* certainly give the Spirit.

  66. Em says:

    why did our Lord say that He was giving us a ‘new’ commandment? He didn’t say that it was a new law? the law condemns us – not sure the ‘commandments’ of the N.T. do (well i think i’m sure that they don’t) … if there’s a majority consensus that the commandments don’t justify us… do they simply make us good and profitable servants of our Lord?

  67. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Tim,
    “On the contrary, knowing that God fills us with the Holy Spirit & empowers us to work to His good pleasure is wonderfully freeing.” So, who do you know that Loves his wife as Christ loved the church?”
    If that ‘command’ comes under the title of gospel, then I am depressed. 🙂

  68. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Em,
    One back to you – John 13:34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”

    Em, are you loving all of the other ‘one anothers’ as Christ loved you?

    So, when you are sitting in the church service and the preacher says that, is that good news? I don’t get the warm fuzzies over it.

    The point of the proper distinction is to make sure that you are using the verse the proper way. NOT whether or not you should follow the command.

  69. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    AV,
    To your question about the role of the Holy Spirit in Lutheranism – he is there? 🙂 The Holy Spirit is doing the work that he wants to do.
    1.) He reveals Christ to humans.
    2.) He works faith in our hearts.
    3.) He gives us life and salvation in the means of grace.
    4.) He equips us for service in his church and in the world.
    5.) He blesses us daily.

    The fruit of the Holy Spirit describe the life of the justified child of God. When our sins have been forgiven, the work of God in our lives is evident.

  70. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    no name,
    I may not have followed your post correctly, but from what I think I understood, I don’t think I agree with you. I had no problems with the churches I was a part of nor any of the structures or ‘politics’. As far a church experience went, I was happy.
    My move was strictly on the doctrinal side of things.

  71. Em says:

    MLD, for brevity i shorted the quote (thot it unnecessary to post it)

    I was enjoying that truth and savoring His definition of his ‘commandment’ even as i typed.

    yes, He said distinctly, “as I have loved you.” His love was forbearing and wise and had very few, if any of those warm “fuzzies.” I’m pretty sure of that. Many times, i have to think of our Lord and how He sees man and did see us when He walked the earth. I have to do that in order to understand the kind of love He was asking of us. And, every once in awhile, i can smile at my own or someone else’s “jerkiness.”

    i think i was germain to the point of command v law, tho. … thank you for reading and correcting

  72. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    This is a difficult topic, but let me say this, and perhaps you can each chime in with your answer.
    I was once asked “if you were to be accused of a heresy, which heresy would you want to be accused of?” My reply was antinomianism.

    Anyone else want to give it a go? 🙂

  73. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Em, hmmm… I didn’t think I was correcting anything.

  74. Michael says:

    MLD,

    That’s a great question…and I’d have the same answer.

  75. Linnea says:

    Dread… missed you at the fundraiser last night 😉

  76. Linnea says:

    MLD..haven’t read through your post or the whole thread, but you have provided some great bedtime reading for later tonight. Thank you for taking the time to express your thoughts and Lutheran theology. Thank you to Michael for giving the platform to do so!

  77. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Linnea,
    Thanks – I hope the bed time reading doesn’t give you nightmares! 😉

  78. Tim says:

    MLD –
    If I didn’t say it earlier, thanks for being so available to present the Lutheran viewpoint. I (and I know others) greatly appreciate it!

  79. JimB says:

    MLD,

    Thanks for sharing your story of how you arrived where you are. Having sparred with you over the past few years and read your comments, I already knew almost all of this. I have learned a lot from you through all of this.

    I have just one question for you, and in asking this I’m not challenging you, but rather just trying to understand how you ended up where you are. You said that you got “saved” at Harvest when Greg Laurie preached, and I believe you are “saved”. Yet, isn’t that expression of coming to salvation different than what the Lutheran church would teach as the way one comes to salvation? Dread asked you about “baptismal regeneration” as a Lutheran doctrine, and your understanding of it, and yet coming to salvation at Harvest I assume didn’t involve baptism at all, correct? Maybe you could comment more on your salvation experience, please?

    Anyway, bless you bro and thank you for sharing your tradition!

  80. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Hi Jim,
    Thanks for the question. No matter where you are sitting, God does the saving. At the time, I thought that I was responding to an offer by God for salvation and by my free will I had accepted. I guess what I have realized through time, is that God did not offer salvation but gave it to me as a free gift and that I received the free gift.

    Salvation comes to us by the gospel in the form of the spoken word (preaching) and also through what is called the visible gospel – the means of grace- baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Let me just say that as an adult in the Lutheran church, baptism comes after faith – faith that has been created in us by the Holy Spirit. This faith drives you to the baptismal waters.

    I assume when you are speaking of baptismal regeneration you are speaking of infant baptism. If you will follow along, you will see that is it not much different than any other baptism. It is not the act of baptism that saves – this is the Roman Catholic position. In the case of an infant, the same process takes place – the Holy Spirit creates faith in the child and he is saved by the word of God. Water baptism is God’s word, preached by the pastor and mixed with the water.
    Jesus commanded the parents to bring the little ones to him (and there are grand penalties to those who would stop a child brought to him as stated in the gospels). Infant baptism is showing that all of the work in salvation is done by God. The child cannot even bring himself to Jesus and must be carried by his parents.
    At confirmation, after instruction, the child then confesses the faith that was given to him at baptism.
    One thing that people must remember is that Lutherans are not “once saved always saved” folks. A person can get themselves in a situation where they move away from the church, move away from the gospel and not feed their faith and it will shrivel and die.
    It’s hard to imagine that in the OT that children were brought at 8 days old to be circumcised and made a part of God’s people and that God would offer anything less in the NT. and not include the children.
    I know you don’t agree (and that’s fine) but does that help?

  81. Em says:

    MLD ‘observed’ 😉
    “The point of the proper distinction is to make sure that you are using the verse the proper way. NOT whether or not you should follow the command.”…..

    MLD pondered, “Em, hmmm… I didn’t think I was correcting anything”

    Em answers….”hmmmm… you probably didn’t 😀 i read your 3:26 as a ‘reminder’ to not use Scripture out of context – i didn’t think i did…

  82. Em says:

    as often happens here, i had to go to the Dictionary again to check one of those words that i avoid at all costs… “antinomianism” – they didn’t put it in the dictionary that came with my Mac – but, since MLD and Michael don’t wanna be one, i guess i don’t either 😆

  83. Em says:

    looked up the word and i don’t know if i’m one or not 🙄

    just messin with the thread here online by myself during the dinner hour….

    i know i’m freed from the law’s condemnation now – but i’m not dumb enough to think that i can sin to my evil heart’s content and get away with it – my training wheels won’t come off of my bicycle until Eternity…

  84. Another Voice says:

    MLD, so you do believe that the Holy Spirit indwells us, right?

    So for someone’s faith to shrivel and die, is it your belief the Holy Spirit departs, and if so, when?

    If you want to join those questions with your understanding of the baptism of the Spirit, that would be great! 🙂 (note – my view there is not Pentecostal, but dispensational)

  85. Captain Kevin says:

    ” my training wheels won’t come off of my bicycle until Eternity…”

    Em, may I quote you on that? If not, I’ll just steal it! 😉

  86. Em says:

    CK – please don’t quote me on anything – i probably heard it somewhere, myself 😆
    if it fits, it’s yours, too

  87. Lutheran says:

    Tim,

    Earlier you’d asked more about Law and Gospel. This topic really can’t be covered in a brief forum like this.

    But if you’re interested, there’s a book called “God’s No and God’s Yes: The Proper Distinction Between Law and Gospel.” It was written for preachers/pastors, and I highly recommend it.

    http://www.amazon.com/Gods-No-Yes-Distinction-Between/dp/0570035155/ref=pd_cp_b_2

  88. Tim says:

    Thanks, Lutheran!

  89. pineapple head says:

    Wow…late to the party, but really appreciated MLD’s post! A blessing to read through.

  90. Nene says:

    MLD, Wonderful as always, thank you.

    Michael, what a great “summer reading series” we are having!
    Looking forward to BD’s thread next. 🙂

  91. Na'amah says:

    “Evangelicalism seems to place the calling to be church related life (you have your job and you have your calling.) In Lutheran life, you life is your calling, and you have several –”

    i am coming to an appreciative awareness that the SBC i came to know Christ in and grew up in from 16 yrs.- 21 yrs. was unusual in that i knew my life (whatever it was or going to be) is my calling, my ministry. With all of the church cultural ‘issues’ present in that church, i did understand and was instructed that my life was my ‘calling’ to serve Him.

  92. Babylon's Dread says:

    I don’t really want to debate at all… I always admired the way MLD defends his faith. I wish I had known his kin when I was with them…

  93. Simple Christian says:

    Can a person be a follower of Christ (saved) who was not baptized as a child? Basically does a person have to be rebaptized as an adult and in agreement with the Lutheran MS doctrine to be saved if they were not baptized in the LMS as a child? In other words are those who disagree with the LMS position saved and received the Holy Spirit?

    If a person is not in agreement with LMS communion and takes communion in an evangelical church are the guilty of the blood of Jesus Christ in an “unworthy manner” per 1 Cor 11:27?

    Important questions I believe.

  94. Na'amah says:

    MLD i am still interested in your family origin as a culturally observant Jewish family and culture. How has your decision to accept Yeshua as the Messiah has impacted your family members and relationships in that community?

  95. Michael says:

    BD,

    I have numerous requests that you write a similar article…you have a large fan base… 🙂

  96. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Simple Christian,
    A person does not need to be baptized as an infant (I wasn’t) and does not need to be baptized later by the Lutherans (I wasn’t). You do need to be instructed in the Lutheran doctrines and confessions so that you know what the church teachings are so that you can make an informed decision about joining. You do need to be confirmed and received into the church.

    Baptism is not the only means to salvation. As I said earlier, the preached and written word will be the instrument that the Holy Spirit will use to create faith in the unbelieving person.

    “If a person is not in agreement with LMS communion and takes communion in an evangelical church are the guilty of the blood of Jesus Christ in an “unworthy manner”
    I think that applies to people who hold Christ in contempt and still join in to the communion. I would also reverse it and say that someone who is not in agreement with the Lutheran view of communion may be in danger of something (not sure what) for saying they are in communion with the group while despising the practice.

    If I am at an evangelical church and they serve communion – I just pass the plate out of respect for what they are doing. I would not want to dishonor there time by participating in something that I am not in communion.

  97. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Na’amah,
    I never played the Messianic Christian thing. To be truthful, I consider them to be insulting and compromisers – but I really don’t have much of an opinion. 😉

  98. Babylon's Dread says:

    I would LOVE to hear more from MLD on the Messianic muddle…
    There is much that I take issue with … about Lutheranism… especially its’ exclusivism as evidenced in the communion… but my respect for MLD makes me pass on debate.

    Michael,
    As for doing an article… .I really am a tribe-less warrior in theology … which is fraught with problems ….”Why I am…What the heck I am” But I figure that what you really want to hear is why I associate with the renewal… and that I could manage for you. It would have a personal credo for a prologue and a brief defense of my association in this movement without a creed. And of course remember we Baptists have no creed but the Bible… and yes I know that does not work either but it is what we do.

    There is nothing more odious than having any hack that comes along read the Bible and then start pontificating to people about what to believe and think… but THAT is what we do.

    So I could do an article about …. Why I am a Pompous Jackass

  99. Na'amah says:

    MLD… uh, i do not know what you’re referring to regarding Messianic Christian thing and it being insulting and compromising/ers? i was curious regarding the sociological/anthropological response/discussions w/in your extended family system.

    The non religious Jewish families in my childhood neighborhood identified themselves as Jewish rather than Christian, uh, i was Buddhist 🙂 anyway, it was never a ‘crisis’ but it was an extended family discussion when one became involved w a Goy.

  100. Believe says:

    Dread said, “So I could do an article about …. Why I am a Pompous Jackass”

    LOL. Now that’s something I believe many of us could author…myself very much included 🙂

  101. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Na’amah,
    Sorry if I misread your comment. When people know that i was Jewish and then call Jesus “Yeshua the Messiah” I get antsy.

    There wasn’t much of a crisis on my side of the family. I am sure that my parents had planned on me marrying a “nice Jewish girl” but that was not to be. When I became a Christian 15 years later, it raised some eyebrows and created some commenting – mostly from extended family on one hand but mostly from the atheistic Jews in my family.

    Now, I think that there was more concern on the part of my wife’s family when she brought home the Jew. To many I was a curiosity. 🙂

  102. Babylon's Dread says:

    MLD

    What do you think about how you would have come to Christ without your journey into the Calvary Chapel …. I always told my mom that the Lutheran church is a wonderful place if you know Jesus but if you do not know him I do not know how you would find him.

    Your theology suggests that you find him in the cultus of the religion if you catch my meaning …but on a practical level…what would have happened to you without the evangelical fervor of the movement you began with.

  103. Simple Christian says:

    I’ll leave the Jewish stuff to others, but I think you avoided the questions about baptism and communion a bit. You gave polite answers avoiding the meat of the questions.

    Can a person be “saved” and not be a Lutheran, particularly of the Missouri Synod doctrine? If one disagrees with the doctrines of baptism and communion particularly.

    Also what do you mean by, “hold Christ in contempt?” Does a “remembrance” communion do such a thing and if so does it bring condemnation upon those who participate?

    Please be a bit more direct and less polite in your answers.

    Thank you and respectfully.

    SC

  104. Na'amah says:

    MLD 😀 i sincerely suspect you are and will continue to be a ‘curiousity’ in the variety of milieus you find/place yourself into throughout your life….being that you are so benignly opinionated and all 😉

  105. Em says:

    BD, re: your #102 – i’m one of those who needed the slap up the side of the head from an evangelist – seems to me … dunno … that there is no “one size fits all” organized institutional Church … that Eunuch riding back to Egypt(?) was saved and on his own, as it were – i think 😕

    while i’m on the subject … i suspect that asking folks to step out and walk the aisle, while not ‘salvific,’ is a wonderful way to get us common anonymous faces in the crowd to publicly declare for Christ … granted the idea has been exploited and abused

    the above has nothing to do with Lutheranism, i guess – sorry

  106. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Babs,
    Interesting question. As I look back now I see that it is God at work in salvation doing the drawing and the Holy Spirit creating the faith through the word.
    I appreciate Calvary Chapel for their emphasis on Bible Study – and I think I mentioned that yesterday when AV asked, what would you change in your movement.

    That aside, I don’t know what you experienced in your LCA church especially from the viewpoint of a child/youth – but I am sure that there were many people who “knew Jesus”. I look at my current church and many of the people are life long Lutherans who transplanted here from the mid west and are powerful Christians (and many who are not.) Somehow these people “got it”.

    But you know, it may be like Israel – I think of Lutheranism as the promised land and my reaction to entering the promised land was wonderful, and like the Israelites who built the altars and set everything up just the way God wanted those of us coming in are excited. Later, those who were born in the promised land, well they weren’t so excited and they weren’t so much interested in the things of God.
    So, as one who was born in the land of Israel, and surrounded by a church that was born in the land – perhaps that was your experience.

    Now, in my wife’s case, I have no doubt that she was a Christian in the Lutheran Church – they didn’t “do church” the same as the CCs and they didn’t express their faith the same way – but I don’t think that she “gained” any salvation by joining an evangelical church.

    A story on the other side – my wife’s sister was a fervent Lutheran Christian as a youth, married a similar Lutheran. The got caught up in CC during the tent days and 15 yrs later, burned out as Christians and have not been to church in 15 years. So what are you going to do?

  107. Em says:

    MLD,”But you know, it may be like Israel – I think of Lutheranism as the promised land and my reaction to entering the promised land was wonderful, and like the Israelites who built the altars and set everything up just the way God wanted those of us coming in are excited. Later, those who were born in the promised land, well they weren’t so excited and they weren’t so much interested in the things of God”

    gotta say: that’s a beautiful thot

  108. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Simple Christian,
    I really do need to thank you. After being on the PP for 4.5 yrs, you are the first to accuse me of giving “polite answers.” I don’t know if I should take that as a compliment or a slap. 🙂

    “Can a person be “saved” and not be a Lutheran, particularly of the Missouri Synod doctrine? If one disagrees with the doctrines of baptism and communion particularly.” Yes, salvation is not the question in that case. But communion is – how can you say that you are in communion with someone if you have major differences – especially about ‘Communion’ . Just look at the difference if you and I come to the Lord’s Supper.
    1.) We disagree about why we are at the table.
    2.) We disagree about what is even happening at the table.
    3.) We disagree about the elements.
    Now that being the case (and I won’t pass judgment who is right or wrong) but are we “in communion”? That is why abstain at an evangelical church. It’s not that i don’t think people are saved or I don’t like the people – I go with very good friends.

    “Also what do you mean by, “hold Christ in contempt?” Does a “remembrance” communion do such a thing and if so does it bring condemnation upon those who participate?”
    I was speaking about systems that either allow unbelievers (those who hold Christ in contempt) to participate, or those who refuse repentance.

    If you have a point to make by asking these questions, why don’t you just ask them?

  109. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Na’amah,
    You are right – in fact I find myself to be a bit of a curiosity.

  110. Xenia says:

    To answer Papias (and to thank Michael for his gracious reply to Papias), I was a little distraught at the reception the our Roman Catholic guest received here on the PP. While there are some serious differences between the EO and the RC I certainly agree with the RC POV more than the Protestant POV and when the Catholic was told s/he “believed a different Gospel” it suddenly dawned on me that most of you probably think I also “believe a different Gospel” despite your kindnesses over the past 8 years. I have, like MLD here, given “polite answers” to many of your questions and objections and am probably a lot more “Catholic” in my beliefs and practices than I have let on here, out of a desire not to break the fellowship I have enjoyed here over the years. Michael did ask me to write an article, which put me on the horns of a dilemma. Should I give my usual polite explanations or should I write a hard-core article, which would offend each and every one of you by its “Catholic-ness.” Better to retire from the blog, is my conclusion. So Papias, thanks once again for remember Xenia and may your garden prosper! And God bless all of you.

    Love,
    Xenia

  111. Captain Kevin says:

    “I was speaking about systems that either allow unbelievers (those who hold Christ in contempt) to participate, or those who refuse repentance.”

    That was exactly my first experience in a Lutheran church. While I was in high school, my piano teacher was the organist/choir director at a LCMS church. She needed some more male voices in the choir and asked me to sing, so I did. When it was time for communion, I got up and went forward right along with the rest of the choir, because that is what everyone was doing. As I went up to the pastor, he dipped the wafer and handed it to me, saying, “Kevin, the body and blood of Christ.” He had no clue whether I was a believer or not, and neither did I.

  112. Lutheran says:

    I’m always amused when people take issue with the LCMS doctrine of closed communion
    and try to paint us like we’re some type of theological oddballs. The facts say the
    opposite.

    1 — The majority of Christendom except low-church Protestants adhere to closed communion. That doesn’t make it right, but it also doesn’t make it wrong. Try going to your local Catholic or Orthodox church and waltzing up to the aisle to take
    communion.

    2 — Closed communion was a fact and a huge, huge, huge deal in the first several centuries of the Church. They would close the doors to the worship service before the taking of Communion. Only baptized catechumens (those who had been taught correct doctrine) could stay. It has much to do with everyone being on the same page doctrinally.

    3 — It has nothing to do with one’s spirituality or lack of — I’ve figuratively beaten my head bloody trying to get this across to my fundamentalist/evangelical friends.

    4 — As in other things doctrinal, belief and practice are intertwined If you don’t believe the Body and Blood of Christ are a tremendous gift and mystery, why not let anyone in?

  113. Captain Kevin says:

    Xenia,
    Sad to see you retire, and would very much like to read your article, but I understand. Blessings to you and yours.

  114. Captain Kevin says:

    Lute: “…the LCMS doctrine of closed communion”

    Please see and respond to my #111 above.

  115. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Captain Kevin,
    I never said that it doesn’t get abused within our own system. 🙂

  116. Believe says:

    X said, “Should I give my usual polite explanations or should I write a hard-core article, which would offend each and every one of you by its “Catholic-ness.””

    Give it to us straight. Don’t sugar-coat it. Share your beliefs. If people on here have a problem with it…it’s their problem. We can hash it out and agree to disagree. That’s my take, FWIW.

    I enjoy the discussions with my Catholic friend SHW (Marie). I disagree with her Catholic Theology…I don’t disagree with her good heart and her online friendship we’ve developed through the PP and our discussions.

    X, do it and let God sort it out…and some people slam you…so be it…defend your position…but, I understand if that’s something you don’t want to do…it is unpleasant at times.

  117. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    There was a big difference…you’ve always pointed to Jesus first while also advocating the place of works.

    What I kept hearing from SHW was that Jesus was incidental…and that’s why I said what I said.

    You still and always have a place at this table.

  118. Captain Kevin says:

    Lute 🙂

  119. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Xenia,
    I don’t think that the reaction to SHW had anything to do with Catholicism, but to her view of us if we did not believe the way she did. We have had other Catholics here who have “shared” and not received such hostility.
    SHW was here last summer, creating a stir. I personally had conversation/debates with her off line.
    You Xenia are nothing like SHW.

    Do I give polite answers? I must really be slipping. 🙂
    Write your article.

  120. Lutheran says:

    CK,

    You slipped through the cracks. In our bulletin each week, we explain the communion policy. In a best case scenario, the pastor should have spoken to you if the church didn’t otherwise publish it or make it known. But this is the real world. 🙂

  121. Lutheran says:

    Xenia,

    I have a similar reaction to MLD. I know you have similarities to the RCC — but you also have big differences, do you not? Such as the papacy? I would have never lumped you and SHW together. I hope you don’t go, but that’s just me.

  122. TonyP. says:

    Lute,

    I do so enjoy being referred to as being in the “low church”. How’s the view from up there, anyway? 😀

  123. Em says:

    Lutheran,”2 — Closed communion was a fact and a huge, huge, huge deal in the first several centuries of the Church. They would close the doors to the worship service before the taking of Communion. Only baptized catechumens (those who had been taught correct doctrine) could stay. It has much to do with everyone being on the same page doctrinally.”

    you have just made a strong case for not partaking of the Eucharist in a public service… gotta think about this…

  124. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    In our bulletin it explains communion and what is happening. It states that the true body and blood of our Lord are present “in, with and under the ‘forms’ of bread and wine.” It also states that through this sacrament, God is delivering his grace and forgiveness of our sins.
    It then goes on to say that if you are in agreement, you are welcome to participate and if not, you are asked to speak to the pastor after the service.

  125. Em says:

    if my memory serves (risky) in the Fatherland “low” was the more intellectual area of the country? 😕 … 😉

  126. Kevin H says:

    Xenia,

    Just wanted to echo what the others have been saying here. You are a well respected person in this community and I believe what you would have to say would be received much better than it was from SHW. Your approach and attitude is much more amiable and I’m sure your words would be esteemed, even if disagreed with. I would love to hear your story, but I do understand if you still decide to decline.

  127. Lutheran says:

    Hi, TonyP,

    I hope you don’t take offense. Seriously. It’s not a perjorative term at all. It refers to how traditional/formal things are.

    For example,, in the Anglican church, it’s generally recognized that there are 3 groups — AngloCatholics (high), broad church (middle), and low. With folks like Stott and Packer in the latter, you’re in doggone good company!

  128. Xenia says:

    Thanks folks, but in truth, I am more like SHW than I have presented myself here. (And I thought she was very amiable.) I would use the same scriptures she used, for the most part. Anyway, this is MLD’s thread and I apologize for hijacking it.

  129. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Well, if Xenia is out, perhaps we can get Perry Noble to write an article. 🙂

  130. TonyP. says:

    Lute,

    Honestly, it pricked my skin for a sec….sniff

    But I’m better now. 😀

  131. Lutheran says:

    Tony,

    I’m relieved.

    🙂

  132. Kevin H says:

    Xenia,

    Even if we disagree about SHW’s “amiableness”, at the very least you have the advantage of being a long time member here who has gained respect by the way you have conducted yourself. There’s a big difference between a respected family member telling you what they believe and where they believe you’re wrong and an unknown outsider doing the same.

    But again, you have to do what you feel is best, so I’ll certainly understand if you pass on writing an article.

  133. TonyP. says:

    Lute,

    I didn’t want you to lose any sleep…. 😆

  134. TonyP. says:

    Xenia,

    You are loved here. Thinking that maybe at some time or another you have prayed for me to see the light of things as you know them to be true makes me glad (if you have that is 🙂 ). As has been stated in a number of ways, you bringing your point of view, while it may offend, would be a good thing.

    But as others have stated, you must do as you see fit. I respect your decision, and will pray for you and yours (maybe you’ll see the big Baptist Light, huh? 😀 )

    Blessings.

  135. Em says:

    i kinda, sorta, mebbe see where Xenia is coming from … as a kibbitzer/commenter, i know that i am cut a little more slack than the pastor-teachers here give each other – but how do you say “i disagree” with doctrines that someone is staking their life upon, even if they are your peers? SHW got jumped on a bit, i think – dunno – for being a bit inclined to cover veiled accusations with, “of course, i don’t know; only God does”
    i suspect MLD thrives on the heat, but a tender hearted person might not… speaking as a less tender hearted, but thin skinned person, there are things nearest and dearest to me that i wouldn’t put in a forum like this… even with the love that does permeate the place

  136. simple Christian says:

    Mld

    The questions are clear but you added another by your answer. If those who do not hold your position on communion are not communing with Christ you appear to be saying they are drinkiing the judgement spoken in 1 Cor 11. Is this true?

    If this is true those who do not hold your position are

  137. Lutheran says:

    SC,

    Why would what Lutherans believe about Communion have any effect on those who don’t hold that position?

    We Lutherans don’t have any ‘say’ about other denominations and what they do. We do in our churches, but that’s it.

  138. Simple Christian says:

    Lutheran:

    In response to your question, “Why would what Lutherans believe about Communion have any effect on those who don’t hold that position?”

    That is a naive position to take. What people and groups hold as truth, not opinions or beliefs, do count, not only in the group but to all who they have contact with outside their group.

    As far as communion goes if you hold the position that others do not communion with God in their position of communion then you are by default saying that they are in violation of 1 Cor. 11 and are drinking judgment on themselves. I would consider that as a big thing since it is clearly mentioned and warned to us by Paul.

    I believe MLD’s non-response says it all, those who disagree with the Lutheran MS doctrines, particularly communion, are putting themselves in jeopardy, not just spiritual lack, but jeopardy.

    We do not live behind closed private doors. You as Lutherans can’t be right and in conflict with others who also claim to be right. These are serious matters and quite frankly “celebrating” what these differences really doesn’t make sense to me at all.

    Let me ask you, since MLD will not answer even politely, do you hold the position that people who receive communion in a way which is not recognized by the Lutheran Church drink judgment on themselves per 1 Cor. 11?

  139. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Simple Christian,
    First let’s talk some blog etiqutte – your statement “since MLD will not answer even politely,” is not acceptable. Some of us have lives outside of the blog and are not on line continually. So, my silence is not to be taken any other way.

    What you seem to have missed in each conversation that we have had is my point – I can’t say “not communing with God” – but I can say that “we are not in communion.”

    The verse you keep quoting seems to condemn your position. Since you deny the real presence of the body and blood of Christ in the elements, how do you properly follow the verse requirement that we discern the Body or we eat and drink to our own judgment.

    But that was not my point – my point was that we would not be in communion.

  140. Lutheran says:

    Who’s the naive one here? Yours is astounding. My goodness. Are you aware of all the many, many doctrinal differences in the various branches of Christendom? Do you think there’s only ONE right answer to every issue? Instead of thinking black and white, consider that there’s plenty of gray.

    ‘We do not live behind closed private doors. You as Lutherans can’t be right and in conflict with others who also claim to be right.’

    Yes, we do. And yes, we can.

    We’d consider churches who don’t hold our view on communion to be heterodox — that is, in variance with orthodoxy. Outside salvation? Of course not. Salvation is not the issue. We would never condemn another believer as being outside the Faith.

    Heterodoxy is common also in the RCC and Orthodoxy and some branches of Protestantism.

    “As with Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic usage, many Protestants such as Lutherans use the term heterodox[citation needed] (Gr. hetero – other, and doxa – teaching) to describe Christian teachings which are not in agreement with their understanding of scripture. No true Christian denomination knowingly embraces a fallacy, but instead truly believes that their interpretation of scriptures is orthodox (Gr. ortho – correct, and doxa – teaching). Thus, other Christian (Catholic, Orthodox or Protestant) denominations with different teachings which are not heretical are considered heterodox.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heterodoxy

    Turn about is fair play.

    Do you believe that God can create faith in an infant through baptism?

    If you’re from a believer’s church, I’d guess your answer is “No.” Yet I’ve had evangelicals telll me I’m headed for hell because of my belief. That’s condemnation. Too bad these people didn’t understand the concept of heterodoxy.

  141. Simple Christian says:

    MLD:

    You are using the tactic of turning the question away from you and becoming hostile. I guess you are right in the area of politeness.

    “The verse you keep quoting seems to condemn your position.”

    It would only condemn the evangelical position if you assume the Lutheran position is the correct position. Which I believe you clearly imply in your answers.

    “Not communing” and “we are not communing” differ only by semantics unless you mean from which direction the communion takes place. For all practical purposes they have the same result.

    My only conclusion from all your statements is if one does not agree with the Lutheran doctrine of communion then they are in great jeopardy with God. If that is not true then just say so and quit avoiding the answer.

    Also quit lecturing on blog etiquette. In going back and reading some of your past posts you are a pot calling the kettle black. I asked a simple and direct question, two of them, several times and in several ways but you turn the question around and avoid answering clearly. Now is that statement poor “etiquette” on my part?

    Thank you.

  142. Lutheran says:

    ‘My only conclusion from all your statements is if one does not agree with the Lutheran doctrine of communion then they are in great jeopardy with God. If that is not true then just say so and quit avoiding the answer.’

    Your only conclusion is a false conclusion. Read my 140 if you haven’t already.

  143. Lutheran says:

    ‘the evangelical position’

    There is no one evangelical position on communion.

  144. Simple Christian says:

    Lutheran:

    Just saw this:

    “Do you believe that God can create faith in an infant through baptism?”

    Answer:

    No, But I do believe in original sin, which is normally the response Lutheran’s make at this point.

    Do I believe you are headed for hell for believing in infant baptism?

    No I don’t believe you are going to hell for such a belief. But I believe such beliefs can give people a false reliance on the work of baptism rather than faith in Christ.

    OOOH I got you riled up! Come on now calm down. You are the one who is place exclusivity on your positions, not me. And as far as awareness of the many doctrines of Christendom you are preaching to the choir.

    Your dogma and others who also claim to hold the only true understanding of scripture is why I have become a “Simple Christian.”

    There’s my simple direct answers and now I have to go. I look forward to reading yours.

    Signing off of this battle.

    SC

  145. Lutheran says:

    SC,

    Sorry. I’m done. I’ve presented my POV clearly.

  146. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Simple,
    I don’t get it. Are you saying that diferent groups don’t differ? What am I to take from the “evangelical’ position on baptism. Wouldn’t you say that a Lutheran on infant baptism puts Lutherans in some type of judgment or perhaps a lack of salvation? Or are you willing to say “no harm no foul” even though we differ our views are of equal value.”

    “It would only condemn the evangelical position if you assume the Lutheran position is the correct position. Which I believe you clearly imply in your answers.” So, are you saying that you don’t think that your position is the correct one?

    Give me a break, you have turned this conversation dopey, just because you won’t come out and say what you want to say – but cloak it in questions. Tell me your view – and is there any view of communion in which you would not participate?

  147. Pardon the Interruption says:

    Xenia,

    I have great respect for the Eastern Orthodox point of view. In years past and in many ways, it felt like I belonged to that Church in all but official membership and name.

    You articulate that segment of the Body of Christ very well. Please write the article, interact, and even debate (as long as you are treated with respect). It would benefit us all if you would be an ambassador of sorts for your church.

  148. Michael says:

    Simple Christian,

    There is much to celebrate if you choose to do so.

    A cursory look at church history will tell you that communion has been a hill that the Lutherans were willing to die on since Luther himself.

    I don’t agree with their position, but I do believe that the importance they place on the sacrament should cause us all to think more deeply about it’s meaning.

    There is no “evangelical” position on communion.

    There is a Zwinglian, a Reformed, A Lutheran, and a Catholic position.

    You obviously are Zwinglian.

    I think you’re wrong too, but I certainly will not divide our common faith over it.

  149. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “Your dogma and others who also claim to hold the only true understanding of scripture is why I have become a “Simple Christian.”

    So, simple christian has decided to believe nothing.

  150. Simple Christian says:

    Lutheran:

    Before I sign off will you simply answer this question without quoting wikipedia;

    Am I, or any one else, drinking and eating judgment, according to Lutheran doctrine, when I observe communion and do not hold your position on the blood and body in the elements?

    Please make it simple. Thank you!

    And I really have to go so I will just check back to see what you post.

    SC

  151. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Simple – I have said in most of my posts that is not the position. I brought up judgment before you did and I said it belonged to those who took communion and despised Christ or were willingly, and purposely unrepentant.
    You have created a whole false scenario in your head and keep beating us with a view we do not hold.

    You are free to hold your view and take communion any way you wish – but… do not come to us and claim ‘communion’ with us.

  152. Xenia says:

    Well, if Michael is still willing, I will try to write an article. It seems that there is an interest so I will give it a go. I am going to run into the same problems MLD is experiencing here but on a much more massive scale. I’ll do my best. Sorry for all the drama.

  153. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    I would be honored if you would do so.

  154. Simple Christian says:

    Michael:

    My question is are they dividing over it and I believe they do. It’s that simple.

    MLD:

    “So, simple christian has decided to believe nothing.”

    I will ignore this personal attack.

    OK MLD here is my answer, and I hope it is simple enough:

    I will not participate in communion in churches that are closed (regardless of their doctrine on the elements), since I am not a member of their body. I will not participate in communion at RCC, EO or Lutheran churches, not because of any fear of judgment in doing so but because I do not agree with these positions on the elements. Should I participate I would be lying to others about my understanding of Jesus and His work.

    However, and it is big, I would never condemn nor say a person who holds Jesus Christ as Lord is subject to 1 Cor 11 by not agreeing with my understanding of what the elements represent or are.

    So MLD and Lutheran according to your understanding do I fall under the 1 Cor 11 Judgment?

    MLD and Michael:

    The issue of communion is not a simple issue. It was a historic issue where churches have divided over and broken fellowship. Michael your knowledge of Zwinglian doctrine should tell you that.

  155. Michael says:

    Simple Christian,

    We all have divisions…the point is that we recognize our commonalities and celebrate our common faith.

    The Lutherans have given us a wealth of contributions and I love them as my brethren.

    They aren’t quite as warm to us Calvinists, we’ll get there… 😉

  156. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Xenia,
    I don’t feel like I am running into a problem. I just answer the questions. It may get a little heated, but I think that those who read can filter through it.

  157. Simple Christian says:

    MLD:

    Our posts are passing in the electronic sphere so there is some repetition and confusion.

    You said:

    “but… do not come to us and claim ‘communion’ with us.”

    What exactly do you mean? This is a confusing statement.

    And I leave with that question.

    Lutheran are you still wound up?

    🙂

  158. Lutheran says:

    Yay, Xenia!

  159. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Simple,
    Which part of this do you not understand when talking about bringing judgment upon yourself – I have now stated this 3 times. “and I said it belonged to those who took communion and despised Christ or were willingly, and purposely unrepentant.”

    Do I hold that evangelicals despise Christ or are willingly or purposely unrepentant? NO!

  160. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Simple,
    “I will not participate in communion in churches that are closed (regardless of their doctrine on the elements), since I am not a member of their body. I will not participate in communion at RCC, EO or Lutheran churches, not because of any fear of judgment in doing so but because I do not agree with these positions on the elements. Should I participate I would be lying to others about my understanding of Jesus and His work.”

    You said the EXACT same thing I said when I described (hours ago) how I just pass the elements if I am at a CC service that serves communion

  161. Pardon the Interruption says:

    Xenia,

    Write the article boldly and if anyone is rude to you then I’ll run interference!

  162. Nonnie says:

    Thanks MLD for this article!

    Xenia, Looking forward to your article, as well.

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