Sunday, November 30, 2008
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Revelation 22:1 And he showed me a clean river of living water, bright as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb,
The Holy Breath is not inferior to the Father or the Son. The Holy Breath should be worshipped and glorified with the Father and the Son.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
Matthew 7:21-23 " Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. "Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' "And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!"
Sunday, November 23, 2008
And sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.
The glorification of the Lamb for us continues. The Lamb appeared to many after His resurrection but the creed moves right on to the Lamb's ascension. It is not as if the Word had never been in heaven prior to the ascension of the Lamb. The Word of God was always in heaven. But now the Word made flesh ascends to heaven. The Word made flesh now reigns in heaven. It is the mystery of the incarnation that makes all this possible.
The creed does not say that Lamb goes to heaven until it is time for him to establish his earthly millennial reign. The creed says that the Lamb reigns today. He is at the right of God ruling all things.
Acts 2:32-36 "This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses. "Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear. "For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he says himself: 'The LORD said to my Lord, "Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool." ' "Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ."
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Dr. Alveda King is the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. She discusses the issue of abortion in light of her uncle's legacy.
Rev. Jim Roemke is my pastor. He discusses what the Divine Service is and is not.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
I recently joined the Thomas Nelson Book Review Blogger program. From time to time I will be doing book reviews in exchange for free books. Unfortunately I missed out on the NKJV Chronological Bible and the Orthodox Study Bible. The list of available books is actually pretty short and I will probably be doing a number children's book reviews. The reviews can be positive or negative. I'm not afraid to bite the hand that feeds me and I often vote against myself. I don't anticipate being so overtaken by the freeness of the books that I will lose all judgment and start recommending the Voice Bible to everyone but I just wanted to make you all aware that I being given free books. If anybody from Concordia Publishing wants to send me free books, please do so.
Monday, November 17, 2008
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
was crucified dead, and buried
He descended into Hell;
The Creed is concrete. The Creed does not speak of feelings but of objective realities. It doesn't talk about how the Lamb makes you feel but what the Lamb did. In the third article the Creed told us of the Lamb's conception and entrance into the state of humiliation. We continue to learn from the Creed about the humiliation that the Lamb suffered for us.
Injustice is everywhere, but no injustice is so great as what the Lamb suffered for us. When you stand before the court for murder, you may be innocent of physical murder but you are a murderer. The Lamb was spotless and without blemish. The Lamb was not guilty in any sense of the word but He was guiltier than anyone. The Lamb bore no sins of His own but He bore the sins of the world. He was judged guilty by the civil authorities in the person of Pontius Pilate and by the judgment of the civil authorities they themselves were judged and found guilty. The civil authorities murdered God. The politician Pilate did not uphold justice but acted in cowardice. He was willing to kill in order to keep his job. The same happens today when politicians support wars and abortions to get elected. The people are not much different either. The population is willing to sacrifice any number of people if it saves their god--the economy. But this was something far worse than any of that. This was the killing of God Himself.
The Lamb was not killed by lethal injection. The Lamb was crucified for us. The Lamb became a curse by suffering on a tree for us. The Lamb was spat upon, suffered a long and painful death, and eventually suffocated for us. But that wasn't even the worst of it. The Lamb suffered God's wrath and abandonment for us! And the Lamb was buried for us. The Lamb did all of this to conquer death for us. The Lamb conquered death through His own death.
The Creed then begins to tell us of the Lamb's exaltation. The Lamb "descended into hell." What does this mean?
Ephesians 4:8-9 Therefore He says: "When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, And gave gifts to men." 9 (Now this, "He ascended" -- what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.)
1 Peter 3:18-20 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit, 19 by whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison, 20 who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water.
"Whether we comprehend it with or without pictures, is an indifferent matter, as long as we don't become heretics and this article remains intact, that our Lord Jesus Christ did descend into hell, battered hell open, overcame the devil, and delivered those who were held captive by the devil." The House Postils,Vol. 1, p. 480 And again: "Christ has crushed hell, opened up heaven,bound and taken captive the devil, and delivered the prisoners." (Martin Luther, The HousePostils, Vol. 1, p. 482.)
The soul, having obtained union with the Word; descended into hell; but using its divine power and efficacy, it said to the ones in bondage, "Go forth!" (St. Cyril of Alexandria, as cited in Catalog of Testimonies VI)
Recognize this, brothers: be glad, brothers, that after the triumph of Christ the prison of the saints has been broken open, and the netherworld no longer exercises any jurisdiction over the saints, since Christ penetrated all the way to the netherworld in order to free the just, not the unjust. Let us realize, brothers, how great a benefit Christ has provided, or rather, how without Christ no one possessed salvation, since, besides the wretched dissolution of their bodies, the souls, too, of the saints were being held in confinement in the underworld. (St. Peter Chrysologus, Sermon 123, par. 7)
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Born of the Virgin Mary
In the third article the conception of the Lamb is considered.
Luke 1:26-35 Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin's name was Mary. 28 And having come in, the angel said to her, "Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!" 29 But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. 30 Then the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 "And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS. 32 "He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. 33 "And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end." 34 Then Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I do not know a man?" 35 And the angel answered and said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.
The anti-lambs tend to go into two different errors when dealing with the conception of the Lamb and the creed deals with both errors. One doctrine of the anti-lamb is that this was an ordinary birth and that the Holy Spirit played no part in it. The other claims that the Lamb did not receive his humanity or blood from Mary. This is no ordinary conception. This is conception by the Holy Spirit. The Lamb was no mere man. No mere man could accomplish your salvation. The Lamb is fully God. Only God can save you. But this is not some god untouched by humanity either. The Lamb must be fully man in order to save us. Cast all rationality aside and accept the God-man Lamb, not some Lamb of your own devising.
Mary plays an important role that no man could ever play. Chalcedon refers to Mary as the theotokos--the God-bearer or Mother of God. The title Mother of God is appropriate and necessary. It guards against all who would try to get around the idea that the embryo that was within Mary was God and continued and continues to be God. The Biblical text says that all generations will call Mary blessed because she is the Mother of God. Unfortunately, in reaction the errors of Rome, many Protestants no longer call Mary blessed. We should not pray to her or view her as co-redemptrix but we should recognize the position to which God called her and recognize the high-calling of motherhood. No man could be the Mother of God. There are also profound ethical questions that we must consider when we consider the embryo that was in Mary's womb. The embryo was a person and we must not consider any embryo to be anything less than a person. Jesus did not become Jesus after several weeks or after birth. The person of Jesus existed from the time of conception. Many today would be urging this poor unwed pregnant woman to have an abortion but God exalts her motherhood. Many would consider her pregnancy to be a hindrance to her career but God calls it a blessing--and who could imagine a greater blessing?
From the very beginning of the church there was a general consensus in regards to a belief in the perpetual virginity of Mary and a belief that Jesus was able to pass through without destroying her virginity. For an excellent Biblical and theological defense of this position I direct the reader to Rev. Weedon's Study On the Perpetual Virginity of Mary. The doctrine of the Perpetual Virginity was upheld by most of the Reformers including Luther, Zwingli, Calvin, and Turretin where we often read of the "ever-virgin Mary." The doctrine of the perpetual virginity of Mary is not as important for what it tells us about Mary as it is for what it tells us about the Lamb and the communication of the attributes. The Lamb was able to pass through and be born without violating the virginity of His mother because the Lamb was fully God.
Luke 1:46-55 And Mary said: "My soul magnifies the Lord, 47 And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. 48 For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant; For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed. 49 For He who is mighty has done great things for me, And holy is His name. 50 And His mercy is on those who fear Him From generation to generation. 51 He has shown strength with His arm; He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. 52 He has put down the mighty from their thrones, And exalted the lowly. 53 He has filled the hungry with good things, And the rich He has sent away empty. 54 He has helped His servant Israel, In remembrance of His mercy, 55 As He spoke to our fathers, To Abraham and to his seed forever."
Monday, November 10, 2008
At some future period not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace the savage races throughout the world. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes...will no doubt be exterminated. The break between man and his nearest Allies will then be wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilised state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as the baboon, instead of as now between the Negro or Australian and the gorilla. (1874, p. 178)
The quotations above are from Darwin's The Descent of Man. Darwin believed that man was foolish to help the weak in society and believed that certain people groups such as black Africans and their descendants were lower on the evolutionary scale than the white man. Up until very recently, his views were accepted by most evolutionists. Darwin's scientific theory was used to explain the social and technological advancements of various peoples and cultures.
Darwin's theories were influential upon (and he was also influenced by) eugenics. Eugenics is defined by modern proponents as the "self-direction of human evolution." It has been embraced in various forms throughout history but I will focus on the modern era and in America. Woodrow Wilson and Theodore Roosevelt both supported eugenics in the form of forced sterilization of people who were deemed unfit to reproduce. Eugenics has been promoted in greater and lesser degrees by most of our recent presidents from both parties. In recent years, the debate between Republican and Democrat has centered around the controversy of whether or not abortion should be part of the eugenics program--neither of the major parties opposes eugenics entirely (Bush Jr. might).
Nazi Germany gave the world a horrific picture of what full-scale open eugenics looks like. The horror did not stop the eugenics movement as a whole it just changed the language of the conversation. Open and obvious pro-eugenics speech was not accepted in mainstream media but it continued to exist in subtler forms.
Perhaps the single most influential person on the modern eugenics movement in the United States is Margaret Higgins Sanger--the founder of Planned Parenthood. Sanger opened the very first American birth control clinic in 1916. Birth control was illegal based upon the Comstock Act of 1873. Sanger faced numerous legal battles but Planned Parenthood prevailed due to donations by the Rockefeller family. Sanger shared in the Darwinian racism. On page 47 of What Every Girl Should Know Sanger writes:
It is said that a fish as large as a man has a brain no larger than the kernel of an almond. In all fish and reptiles where there is no great brain development, there is also no conscious sexual control. The lower down in the scale of human development we go the less sexual control we find. It is said that the aboriginal Australian, the lowest known species of the human family, just a step higher than the chimpanzee in brain development, has so little sexual control that police authority alone prevents him from obtaining sexual satisfaction on the streets.
On page 106 of A Plan for Peace Sanger writes:
A stern and rigid policy of sterilization and segregation to that grade of population whose progeny is already tainted or whose inheritance is such that objectionable traits may be transmitted to offspring.
In 1939, Sanger created the "Negro Project." On December 10th of that year she wrote a letter to Dr. Clarence Gamble (of Proctor and Gamble) and said:
[We propose to] hire three or four colored ministers, preferably with social-service backgrounds, and with engaging personalities. The most successful educational approach to the Negro is through a religious appeal. And we do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population, and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.
Sanger's ideas were dangerous because she worked closely with the African-American community. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. even praised her work with the black community. There is no way of proving whether or not Dr. King was familiar with Sanger's racist writings but he probably wasn't. Dr. King was certainly shortsighted. He was being exploited by Sanger to accomplish Sanger's own goals. Dr. King saw birth-control as a means for black families to become wealthier--Sanger knew that birth-control would diminish the black population. She specifically targeted African-American communities to set up shop.
The genocidal drive of Planned Parenthood has not gone unnoticed by all in the black community.
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama, August 24, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Dr. Alveda King, the niece of legendary human rights campaigner, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., told a meeting of Priests for Life, that the killing of a quarter of the black population of the US has not been from the lynch mobs of her childhood days, but from abortionists, “who plant their killing centers in minority neighborhoods and prey upon women who think they have no hope. “The great irony,” she said, “is that abortion has done what the Klan only dreamed of.”
The sad fact is that, Alveda King's figures are substantially lower than figures I've seen which state that between 50 to 60% of African-American babies are killed by abortion. When you add to that number all the births that were prevented by Planned Parenthood pushing birth-control on African-Americans, its pretty clear that Planned Parenthood has led to a gigantic decrease in what the African American population would look like if Planned Parenthood did not exist. Sanger's vision continues to be carried out.
Planned Parenthood also finds a friend in those groups that are gravely concerned about overpopulation. I can walk into any grocery store and there doesn't appear to be a shortage of food. We're actually paying farmers to destroy crops to keep food prices from being too low. Most of the world is uninhabited. People simply choose to live close to one another for economic reasons. You could fit everyone in the world side by side in Jacksonville, FL. You could take everyone in the world, divide them up into families of four, and give them a three bedroom house with a 50 x 100 ft lot and fit them all in the state of Texas with room to spare.
The greatest supporter of Sanger's eugenics program ever to run for president has just been elected. My guess is that Obama has been duped just as MLK Jr. was. It's hard for to believe that he is fully aware of the agenda and goals of the Planned Parenthood agency. We need to pray for our President-elect. I don't expect any President that we elect to completely end the government funding of eugenics programs but there is a great danger that the accelerator will be pushed to the floor. Obama does not believe that a baby even outside of the womb has human rights. Obama has promised that the first thing he will do as President is sign the "Freedom of Choice Act" which would remove all state restrictions on abortion and accelerate the genocide of the African-American people. Obama has said "the first thing he will do" about other things too, so we can hope that he won't really do it but he has a pretty consistent record on supporting Planned Parenthood. The advantage of pushing the accelerator down all the way is that people will see the real problems with Planned Parenthood the same way many saw the problems with eugenics after Nazi Germany.
Polls showed that most African-Americans did not agree with Obama's policies--but they voted for him anyway. The same African-Americans who voted for Obama also voted for proposals in their states that promoted so-called conservative ideals. The election of Obama is not the story of racial equality. The election of Obama is the story of a man who is being duped by white men into destroying his own race. It is the story of other African-Americans who were duped into voting for him and so duped into destroying their own race. If Planned Parenthood didn't exist, there would be enough African-Americans to elect an African-American president that actually represented them. Or if the real goal is racial equality then it shouldn't matter what the color of the candidate's skin is at all.
Where does the Lamb on the Altar fit into all this?
The Lamb shed his blood for people of every nation, tribe, and tongue. The Lamb says "Be fruitful and multiply!" The Lamb on the Altar calls children a blessing and a gift from God. The Lamb does not pander to racial groups. The Lamb gives Himself for you.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
The following is from Rev. McCain's blog:
Gracious Heavenly Father, we ask you to bless Barack Obama. According to your good and gracious will, help him be a good president for our nation. Guide President-elect Obama into all truth. Give him wisdom to choose the right, and reject the wrong. Help him bear the sword of justice fairly, defending the innocent and punishing the guilty. Give him strength and courage to defend our nation against all enemies, foreign and domestic. We pray that you will lead President-elect Obama to do all he can to protect human life, from natural conception to natural death. Protect him as he serves our nation and give all who serve with him wisdom and insight. Use this man to provide for the external safety and security of your Holy Christian Church in this land, so that we may preach the Gospel unfettered, for the salvation of many souls. We ask these things in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
Monday, November 3, 2008
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Matthew 6:7 "And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words.
Saturday, November 1, 2008
To the editor:
The Declaration of Independence states that all men are created equal. What constitutes personhood could be debated but it is clear scientifically that the creation of the human being begins at conception. The baby in the womb has the same right to life as the person outside of the womb. Rape of the mother does not negate the rights of the person in the womb and only 1% of abortions are conducted on women who are the victims of rape or incest.
I apologize for the long delay in getting back to this project. Clogged drains, ultrasounds, and other matters have occupied my time. I'm using the old division into twelve articles for this study. So the first Article is:
I believe in God the Father Almighty;
Maker of heaven and earth.
The Nicene Creed adds "and of all things visible and invisible." Other forms of the creed have "Ruler and Creator of all ages and creatures."
So the God of the Apostles Creed is not some generic god. He is Almighty or Omnipotent. He possesses all power and control. He is also the creator. He is the creator of all that exists. He is the creator of all atoms and molecules and dogs and cats and Republicans and Democrats and angels and demons. No, I'm not trying to draw a similarity between Republicans and angels or Democrats and Demons. There's probably more demon than angel in both of them. God says He completed all of His work in six days and you want to argue with God about that, you go right ahead. As long as we acknowledge that there is such a thing as God, I don't see why we would doubt that He could do what He did in six days. Is there some mathematical formula for determining how much power God can exert in a given period of time?
What seems strange to me, is that historically denominations tend to accept some form of theistic evolution for many years prior to the time in which they deny the virgin birth. The virgin birth is far more offensive and perplexing than a six day creation. God can become man, he just can't create the earth in six days?
The fact that God is the creator and owner of all things means that we should be good stewards of the environment. Much of what passes for environmentalism these days including theories about global warming ignores long term history (such as Greenland's warmer climate during the Middle Ages). However, true conservatives should really be concerned with conserving something.