Showing posts from October, 2010

Martin Luther: Here I Stand

A classic clip for your viewing pleasure on Reformation.

Happy Reformation Day!

Battle Hymn of the Reformation

In celebration of the 493rd Commemoration of the Lutheran Reformation of the Church, you will find a video of the Battle Hymn of the Lutheran Reformation – “A Mighty Fortress is Our God.”

Christian Worship: Handbook explains about the hymn: It was a hymn of great comfort to Luther and his followers because when he was discouraged he would often invite his friends to sing it for courage and strength and he apparently sang it regularly while being sheltered at the Coburg castle. Called the “Marseillaise Hymn of the Reformation” by the 19th-century literary figure Heinrich Heine, the hymn spread rapidly throughout Germany. Philipp Melanchthon, Justus Jonas, and Casper Cruciger, during their banishment in 1547, were comforted by hearing a young girl sing it in Weimar. It was sung at the Diet of Augsburg. Gustavus Adolphus caused it to be sung by his army before the battle of Leipzig in 1631. It has been translated into a host of other languages, with over one hundred English translations…

Reformation Polka

The Reformation Polka
by Robert Gebel

When I was just ein junger Mann I studied canon law;
While Erfurt was a challenge, it was just to please my Pa.
Then came the storm, the lightning struck, I called upon Saint Anne,
I shaved my head, I took my vows, an Augustinian! Oh...

Papal bulls, indulgences, and transubstantiation
Speak your mind against them and face excommunication!
Nail your theses to the door, let's start a Reformation!
Papal bulls, indulgences, and transubstantiation!

When Tetzel came near Wittenberg, St. Peter's profits soared,
I wrote a little notice for the All Saints' Bull'tin board:
"You cannot purchase merits, for we're justified by grace!
Here's 95 more reasons, Brother Tetzel, in your face!" Oh...

Papal bulls, indulgences, and transubstantiation
Speak your mind against them and face excommunication!
Nail your theses to the door, let's start a Reformation!
Papal bulls, indulgences, and transubstantiation!

They …

95 Theses Rap

Four hundred and ninety-three years ago, on October 31, the eve of All Saints Day, with roll of parchment, hammer and nails in hand, an Augustinian monk and faithful shepherd named Martin Luther made his way to the door of All Saints Church, in Wittenberg, Germany.

There he posted his 95 theses (statements of debate) against the practice of indulgences (of the Roman Catholic Church selling forgiveness). He went out of pastoral concern for the flock which God had placed under his care. He went as a watchman of the Lord standing high on Zion’s wall and sounding the warning to God’s people, as every shepherd of God’s flock is called to do (Ezekiel 33:7ff). Little did the shepherd realize, but the Lord would reform his Church (using this humble German pastor) and change the world as the Gospel was given free reign once again in the years that followed. For this, we give thanks to the Lord and praise His holy name!

Out of love for the truth and the desire to bring it to light, the followi…

Lutheran Airlines

Emperor Charles, V, suffered unprecedented rage when Martin Luther boldly testified before king, council and world, "My conscience is bound to the Word of God. I neither can nor will recant anything, for to act against my conscience is wrong and dangerous. Here I stand! I cannot do otherwise. God help me."

No one cried, "Revolution." No terrorist group surfaced. Luther stood alone ready to suffer the punishment of church and government rather than God's wrath. He would not compromise his conscience or God's Word. Luther believed that God's Word was the Greater Authority. The church did not die for him. The emperor did not die for him. Only Jesus Christ went to the cross carrying his sins. God was Luther's Fortress and salvation.

He who fears the LORD has "a mighty fortress." If you admit and confess that Jesus Christ is your Lord and Savior, you can be confident that you will be under attack. Be bold in Christ. Heaven is not for cowards.


Prayer changes things

Our passionate prayers move the heart of God. “The prayers of a righteous man are powerful and effective” (James 5:16). I once had a college student ask me why we should pray if God knows everything already. I answered, “God does not change. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. However, prayer can move us closer to God’s will. Prayer changes us.

As we change, our prayers come closer and closer to God's will. As we change, God may ‘change His mind’ to shower His kingdom with blessing.

Since God is the One who knows the future and controls the future, He can then change the future. God has wired His kingdom for power, but He calls on us to pull the switch in prayer.”

God’s Professional Wrestler

Genesis 32:22 That night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two maidservants and his eleven sons and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 23 After he had sent them across the stream, he sent over all his possessions. 24 So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. 25 When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob's hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. 26 Then the man said, "Let me go, for it is daybreak." But Jacob replied, "I will not let you go unless you bless me." 27 The man asked him, "What is your name?" "Jacob," he answered. 28 Then the man said, "Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome." 29 Jacob said, "Please tell me your name." But he replied, "Why do you ask my name?" Then he blessed him there. 30 So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, "I…

“Lord, have mercy!”

Luke 17:11 Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. 12 As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance 13 and called out in a loud voice, "Jesus, Master, have pity on us!" 14 When he saw them, he said, "Go, show yourselves to the priests." And as they went, they were cleansed. 15 One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. 16 He threw himself at Jesus' feet and thanked him-- and he was a Samaritan. 17 Jesus asked, "Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? 18 Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?" 19 Then he said to him, "Rise and go; your faith has made you well."

There has been a news story that has captured America’s attention this week. No, I’m not talking about Courtney Cox’s breakup or Brett Favre’s texting habits. On August 5, 33 miners were buried nearly half a m…

Millstones & Mustard Seeds

Luke 17:1 Jesus said to his disciples: "Things that cause people to sin are bound to come, but woe to that person through whom they come. 2 It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. 3 So watch yourselves. "If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. 4 If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, 'I repent,' forgive him." 5 The apostles said to the Lord, "Increase our faith!" 6 He replied, "If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, 'Be uprooted and planted in the sea,' and it will obey you. 7 "Suppose one of you had a servant plowing or looking after the sheep. Would he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, 'Come along now and sit down to eat'? 8 Would he not rather say, 'Prepare my supper, get yourself …

Taming of the Shrewd

Luke 16:1 Jesus told his disciples: "There was a rich man whose manager was accused of wasting his possessions. 2 So he called him in and asked him, 'What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your management, because you cannot be manager any longer.' 3 "The manager said to himself, 'What shall I do now? My master is taking away my job. I'm not strong enough to dig, and I'm ashamed to beg-- 4 I know what I'll do so that, when I lose my job here, people will welcome me into their houses.' 5 "So he called in each one of his master's debtors. He asked the first, 'How much do you owe my master?' 6 "'Eight hundred gallons of olive oil,' he replied. "The manager told him, 'Take your bill, sit down quickly, and make it four hundred.' 7 "Then he asked the second, 'And how much do you owe?' "'A thousand bushels of wheat,' he replied. "He told him, 'Take your bill and make…

If you could Hie to Kolob

Don't ever believe that the Mormon church and the Christian Church are the same. They are not. Though Mormons may pay lip-service to Christ and sound Christian in public, they are not Christian in their doctrines.

One of the things that we are proud of as Lutherans is how our theology is expressed for all to hear in our liturgy and hymns. I've posted today some of the Mormon theology expressed in their hymns. I would enjoy hearing your comments about your impressions of these hymns and theology.

You can find the lyrics here. If you could hie to Kolob It is from a sight called Times and Seasons: "a place to gather and discuss ideas of interest to faithful Latter-day Saints."

Here are lyrics to another LDS hymn called "O My Father." Note how it illustrates the Mormon theology of Father and Mother gods out in space. How we came from there and will return to them so that we can then be gods as well.

O my Father, thou that dwellest
In the high and glorious pla…

Luther on the Rich Man and Lazarus

The First Sunday after Trinity, Luke 16:19-31

A Sermon by Martin Luther; taken from his Church Postil, 1522-1523.

[The following sermon is taken from volume II:155-165 of The Sermons of Martin Luther, published by Baker Book House (Grand Rapids, MI). It was originally published in 1906 in English by Lutherans in All Lands Press (Minneapolis, MN), as The Precious and Sacred Writings of Martin Luther, vol. 11. The original title of this sermon appears below. This e-text was scanned and edited by Richard Bucher, it is in the public domain and it may be copied and distributed without restriction.]

1. We have hitherto heard in our Gospel lessons of various examples of faith and of love; for as they all teach faith and love, I hope you are abundantly and sufficiently informed that no human being can be pleasing to God unless he believes and loves. Now in this Gospel text the Lord presents to us at the same time an example of faith and of unbelief or of the state of the godless, in order tha…

Two very different worlds

Some years ago, before the death of Mother Theresa, a television special depicted the grim human conditions that were a part of her daily life. It showed all the horror of the slums of Calcutta and her love for these destitute people. The producer interviewed her as she made her rounds in that dreadful place. Throughout the program, commercials interrupted the flow of the discussion. Here is the sequence of the topics and commercials: lepers (bikinis for sale); mass starvation (designer jeans); agonizing poverty (fur coats); abandoned babies (ice cream sundaes); the dying (diamond watches). The irony was so apparent. Two very different worlds were on display – the world of the poor and the world of the affluent. Those who have less than the least and those who crave more.
It's like the mom who is struggling with her two kids in line at the store.You ask her what's wrong and she replies, "The same thing that's wrong with the rest of the world. I have two children and o…

More vs. Love

Luke 16:19 "There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. 20 At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores 21 and longing to eat what fell from the rich man's table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 "The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 In hell, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. 24 So he called to him, 'Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.' 25 "But Abraham replied, 'Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to yo…