20 May 2010

Blackbirding a Blackbird on Polity

Another Blackbird, the Rev. Tim May, has an excellent reflective essay on his blog regarding polity in the life of the church, especially in light of the upcoming convention of the LCMS.

So, I hope Fr. Tim doesn't mind his blog being blackbirded by a fellow Blackbird. And lest the grammar police come knocking at my virtual door, according to Messrs. Merriam and Webster the word "blackbird" can indeed be an intransitive verb.

16 May 2010

Thoughts upon editing an Ascension Transferred Sermon

I think I have keyed upon the main difference between American Protestants and Lutherans - how to tell if you are thinking like a Lutheran.

The Protestant will read the Scriptures to see God the Father - what He wants them to do, how He wants to bless them, etc.

The Lutheran will read the Scriptures to see Christ Jesus - that He must die and rise for our forgiveness as we hear in Luke's account of the Ascension.

And here's the test. When you hear "God" - do you think first of Jesus or the Father? When you hear "Lord" - do you think first of Jesus or the Father?

We ought think first of Jesus - He is the Way, the Truth, the Life. No one goes to the Father but by Him. Protestant theology pays this lip service too often - Lutheran theology strives to delight in this.


14 May 2010

Seminex Cinema

If you have 25 minutes to kill, watch the video and see how royally messed up Seminex was. It seems this was a recruitment/fundraising movie. Check it out and notice Tietjen's sermon (also quoted at the end) that they train "community organizers"! They even got the guy from the Waltons to be the narrator. Good night John-Boy - enjoy studying the documentary hypothesis tomorrow and doing the ministry of nursing home ombudsman! Makes me wish I could have gone to school there for sure!

Topic for discussion

Is human nature getting worse as time moves forward, or is it simply the case that things just seem worse with every passing generation? In other words, is the decay of the universe on a descending curve or has human nature been consistently as weak as it is now since the fall?

Tawk amungst yaselves...

10 May 2010

Extraordinary Christians in Russia

There is a video that you simply must see. I know some of our Blackbirds have taught at Novosibirsk.

02 May 2010

Shut-in Communions

Question to my fellow bloggers and responders:

Do you commune with your shut-ins sometimes, all the time, never? Is there any historical or theological argument for against communion with shut-ins?

Some history. In my previous parish, I had very few shut-ins. I communed with them every time. If I saw three shut-ins in one day, I received the Lord's Supper three times. It never really entered my mind not to commune with them. Christ was present, offering His body and blood, and I thought that it would have been strange not to commune when Christ was present with his Church, offering his body and blood for the forgiveness of sins.

I now have several more shut-ins where I currently serve, and the question has come up in my mind several times, "Should I commune with them every time?" I see no law against it, yet my conscience (or something) is telling me, "This is too often, you really should (or could) wait until Sunday." What I have started to do is this: if I have multiple shut-in Communion visits, I commune at the first one of the day, and then not at the others. My fear is not "having too much forgiveness," but treating as common what is holy and sacred.

I'm curious as to what others do, why, and if I need to modify my practice to reflect a more Biblical and Confessional mindset. Does anyone else struggle with this?