The Weekend Word

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134 Responses

  1. Jean says:

    Christ’s prophesy is being fulfilled:

    “And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.” (Matt 24:11-13)

  2. John 20:29 says:

    Interesting quote from Matthew…. “because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many (professing Christians?) will grow cold…”
    Lawlessness destroys agape… good ponder as I’ve overlooked the connection
    Does this refer to legalism? O.T. Law? or is it something else? a dead conscience? or conscious? Or both? 😏
    What kills loving compassion and devotion? Many things, perhaps…. But lawlessness? thinking…. thinking…..

  3. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    What kills in the church is false teaching and those who refuse to stand both the teaching and the teachers.
    The sad part is that many turn a blind eye towards false teaching claiming “many get such a blessing from the teaching.”
    It reigns in our churches today.
    We will see in these letters to the churches that Jesus is pissed about false teaching / teachers.

  4. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Refuse to stand against both false teaching and teachers.

  5. John 20:29 says:

    Is it refusing to stand against false teachers (we probably don’t agree in every aspect of what is false)? Or is it the attitude of the hearer ? Those itching ears

  6. John 20:29 says:

    Well, I wasn’t quite done typing. What happened 😵
    The itching ears referred to 2 Tim. 4:3 & 4.

  7. Jean says:

    In many cases, those are 2 sides of the same coin. In other cases, it could be indifference. But in all cases unbelief.

  8. About the treemof eternal life…isn’t it hidden in the garden of Eden, somewhere west of Nod?

  9. John 20:29 says:

    “Winken, Blinken and Nod one night sailed off in a wooden shoe
    Off on a river of Crystal light and into a sea of dew
    Where are you going and what do you wish?
    The old moon asked the three…..”I
    I spare you the rest …My favorite poem as a child, but I don’t know where the land of Nod is now. 😵

    His name is Diggs, by the way…. sorry, coming off a football moment here

  10. JoelG says:

    “This is not what is often described. We need to be careful not to make this a feeling. This is not that they have lost their zeal that the once had for Jesus.”

    I used to think this and be very discouraged. I simply cannot fake enthusiasm. I cannot make myself a better Christian for Jesus.

    “Those who have ears are the sinners who know themselves to be sinners. Those who want to repent, those who want forgiveness, want to do better.”

    Now this I can do. I need to hear the Gospel for sinners every week. I need to know Jesus has me when I know there’s so much I lack.

    Thank you MLD.

  11. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Richard, that would be a pretty old tree. Do trees live that long?

  12. Michael says:

    “What kills in the church is false teaching and those who refuse to stand both the teaching and the teachers.”

    The problem with that is who determines what is “false” teaching and who is a “false” teacher?

    According to the LCMS all Christian churches other than the LCMS are heterodox and teach false doctrine.

    I think that…wrong.

    The only standard I can come up with is the creeds…what standard do you think we should use?

  13. Duane Arnold says:

    #12 Michael

    I think the following is about us… and most of the others at PhxP…

    “The LCMS recognizes all Trinitarian church bodies as Christian churches (in contrast to “cults,” which typically reject the doctrine of the Trinity and thus cannot be recognized as Christian). In fact, a primary “objective” listed in the Synod’s Constitution (Article III) is to “work through its official structure toward fellowship with other Christian church bodies” — which explicitly assumes that these “other church bodies” are “Christian” in nature. That does not lessen the Synod’s concern for the false doctrine taught and confessed by these churches, but it does highlight the Synod’s recognition that wherever the “marks of the church” (the Gospel and Sacraments) are present—even where “mixed” with error—there the Christian church is present. Such a church is a heterodox church, that is, a church that teaches false doctrine.”

    LCMS Official Position

  14. John 20:29 says:

    yes, i am heterodox! 🙂 non conforming and proud of it LOL

  15. Michael says:

    Duane,

    We would probably find similar statements from our Orthodox and Roman Catholic brethren, but we all agree on the creeds.
    That, to me, has to be our standard.

  16. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Michael – you and Duane miss the point of scripture. Jesus, throughout Rev 2&3 – the letters to his local congregations, is telling them what the problems are – and they are listed almost exclusively as false teaching coming into the church and false teachers not being dealt with.
    Commendations he gives to some of the churches is that they have stood strong against the false teaching and against the false teachers.

    I don’t know what issue you are taking with me – perhaps you should be having this conversation with Jesus – who says he hates the false teachings … unless you don’t believe him.

  17. Michael says:

    MLD,

    Jesus names the teachings he’s concerned with…which we can only theorize as to what they actually were.

    In the comments you decry the lack of calling out false teachers and false teachings.

    What standard are you using to identify what is false?

  18. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Michael – “The only standard I can come up with is the creeds…what standard do you think we should use?”
    How about the plain evaluation so someone’s preaching / teaching?. Currently Paula White is going around telling people they need to plant their first fruit offerings by giving her their first months paycheck. This is not in the creeds (I checked) but unlike you I have absolutely no problem calling this out as false teaching and her personally as a false teacher.

    I would liken her to the woman Jezebel that Jesus speaks of in Rev 2:20.

  19. Michael says:

    MLD,

    I have no issue calling White a false teacher.

    The fact remains that for your tribe anyone outside the tribe is a false teacher of false doctrine.

    I would say that is nonsense.

    There should be a difference between orthodox doctrine one disagrees with and truly false doctrine.

  20. Michael says:

    I see a lot of people calling out obvious aberrant doctrine.

    What I think is careless is to call out doctrine that is orthodox,but that we don’t agree with.

  21. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Michael – “I have no issue calling White a false teacher.”

    Then you are arbitrary in this area – just as you accuse me. She has not “broken” the creeds – so on what basis do you call her a false teacher. Whatever your answer, I am sure it lines up with mine.

    The question in the teaching in Rev 2&3 – and this is where I am trying to hang my hat, would you not say that Jesus thinks it is important to withstand against false teaching? He does not say that it is difficult to recognize.

    “The fact remains that for your tribe anyone outside the tribe is a false teacher of false doctrine.” – this has never been my claim. I have always stood by those who claim correct teaching regardless of tribe. All people who hold to the real BODILY presence in the supper, I agree with – regardless of tribe. All those who hold to baptismal regeneration, I agree with that they are teaching correctly and properly – regardless of tribe. I could name dozens of others. So why would you say that?

  22. Michael says:

    We have more than a little of the Bethel influence creeping into the valley.
    When I talk with these folks they want to know what objective standard I use to judge doctrine.
    What would you say?

  23. Michael says:

    “The fact remains that for your tribe anyone outside the tribe is a false teacher of false doctrine.” – this has never been my claim.”

    It is the claim of your denomination in their printed material.

  24. Michael says:

    ” I have always stood by those who claim correct teaching regardless of tribe. All people who hold to the real BODILY presence in the supper, I agree with – regardless of tribe. All those who hold to baptismal regeneration, I agree with that they are teaching correctly and properly – regardless of tribe. I could name dozens of others. So why would you say that?”

    Because none of those doctrines define orthodoxy historically.
    They are part of orthodox doctrine,but they do not define it.

  25. Michael says:

    Those who believe in a spiritual presence in the Supper or no presence at all are still within orthodoxy and should not be labeled false teachers or preachers of false doctrine.

    The same with the different orthodox interpretations of baptism.

  26. Duane Arnold says:

    #15 Michael

    I agree on the Creeds being the basis….

    As to other bodies, I just went through the RC Catechism. According to the Catechism, those of us “separated brethren” do not enjoy the “fullness” of the RCC, but nowhere is there the imputation of heresy.

    “But in subsequent centuries much more serious dissensions appeared and large communities became separated from full communion with the Catholic Church – for which, often enough, men of both sides were to blame.”

    “However, one cannot charge with the sin of the separation those who at present are born into these communities [that resulted from such separation] and in them are brought up in the faith of Christ, and the Catholic Church accepts them with respect and affection as brothers . . . . All who have been justified by faith in Baptism are incorporated into Christ; they therefore have a right to be called Christians, and with good reason are accepted as brothers in the Lord by the children of the Catholic Church.”

  27. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    So, you are making the claim that Rev 2 & 3 can be ignored today since we cannot identify with certainty false doctrine. It is good for historical reference as to Jesus interactions, but we are basically to stand down?

  28. bob1 says:

    Wow, I’m heterodox?

    How will I get through my day?

    And where’s the T-shirt?

  29. Michael says:

    Duane,

    What do we do with people like Paula White and other purveyors of aberrant doctrine?

    What standard do we use for stuff the early church never imagined?

  30. Michael says:

    “So, you are making the claim that Rev 2 & 3 can be ignored today since we cannot identify with certainty false doctrine.”

    I’m looking in vain for where I said that.

    I’m trying to define what standards we use and being very clear that Jesus wasn’t talking about doctrinal disagreements between orthodox believers.

  31. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Michael – you say those variants are orthodox – some may disagree.
    As I pointed out last week, those who deny the real bodily presence do so based on a variant Christology than what we say is orthodox.
    You cannot deny that difference.

  32. Michael says:

    MLD,

    Your statement is too broad.
    Some Reformed theologians have used a rebuttal that would make a difference in Christology,though I would not say it puts them outside orthodoxy.

    Baptists and others object on biblical and linguistic grounds.

    Again, within orthodoxy .

    Again, I ask what standard you are using…

  33. Duane Arnold says:

    #29 Michael

    Firstly, it is above my pay grade to speak of someone whom I do not know in terms of their salvation.

    When it comes to their teaching, for me it is Scripture, Reason and Tradition – this is inclusive of the Creeds, the experience of the Church through the ages, the teaching of Scripture and the application of these elements in a reasonable manner. If I may, I think that I would disagree that this is “stuff the early church never imagined”. They condemned nepotism, the Didache dealt with those seeking money in ministry, etc. Part of the problem is that we often think that we are the first to encounter these aberrations… Most have been encountered in one form or another in the Church’s journey…

  34. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Well, let’s just leave it at this because my position is in my articles (and we will see in the next several articles on Rev 2&3 – various reactions to false teachings / teachers). Someone asked in the comments what kills churches? – I said false teaching and those who refuse to stand against false teaching.

    You disagree.

  35. Michael says:

    “When it comes to their teaching, for me it is Scripture, Reason and Tradition – this is inclusive of the Creeds, the experience of the Church through the ages, the teaching of Scripture and the application of these elements in a reasonable manner. ”

    I knew you would say it better than I could..I concur.

  36. Michael says:

    Lets be clear…I do not disagree about the dangers of false teachers or false doctrine.

    I disagree on the definition of both.

  37. Duane Arnold says:

    Michael

    In MLD’s definition of false teaching, we need to remember what it encompasses –
    “Such a church is a heterodox church, that is, a church that teaches false doctrine.”

    That includes almost everybody here… just saying…

  38. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Well let’s take an easy one you mentioned – Bethel – false teachers?

  39. Michael says:

    MLD,

    I would say without hesitation that many of their doctrines and practices are aberrant.

    Let’s ask you one… Baptists… false teachers?

  40. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Duane – since I already denied that, you come as one bearing falsehoods.

  41. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Aberrant but not false? or are you playing with the words?
    There were many who would not call that woman Jezebel false – perhaps they thought her just aberrant and could live with it.

  42. Duane Arnold says:

    How about an easier one? I am a Creedal Christian. I believe in baptismal regeneration. I hold to the Real Presence in the Eucharist. I am however in what LCMS calls a heterodox church… and I have taught in that church for decades. Am I, by definition, a “false teacher”?

    It is a very easy question that, if you are honest, you can answer easily.

  43. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Baptist – fine Christians with some wrong teachings that keep us in a place where we cannot be in full communion.

  44. Michael says:

    MLD,

    “False” has come to mean “unsaved” and that’s beyond my pay grade.

  45. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Duane – no, you are in the same category I labeled the Baptists. This isn’t rocket science – you guys are just offended that you cannot crash our table 😉

  46. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Michael – what does that even mean “has come to mean”?
    I am talking the way Jesus talked when he used the term. Try the Jesus meaning and see if you are then able to come over to my side.

  47. Duane Arnold says:

    #MLD

    What “category” is that? I’ve looked above in the thread and may have missed it…

  48. Jean says:

    As Michael said, there are any number of church bodies which teach that other church bodies are heterodox. There are also other churches and theologians who teach that what Lutherans believe is quasi-magic.

    Some churches would deny that Lutherans and other historic Christian bodies are even Christian. The LCMS does not issue such condemnations.

    MLD said nothing in his teaching, except that Jesus hates false doctrine. He did say anything more, although he counted antinomianism as a false teaching then in existence.

    The only comment using the term “heresy” came from Duane. I get the impression that saying anything is “false” really aggravates some folks.

  49. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Duane – my #43

  50. Duane Arnold says:

    #47 MLD

    Or, better yet… Orthodox or Heterodox? Easy question.

  51. Duane Arnold says:

    MLD

    Your #43 does not answer the question…

  52. Jean says:

    Duane,

    You know, because you quoted, what Lutherans believe. MLD and I agree with our Synod. We’re honest and transparent. Can we move on?

  53. Michael says:

    Jean,

    I think we have to take great care when labeling other believers and their doctrines.

    I have no issues with Lutherans…even though I disagree with much of Lutheran doctrine and practice.

    I would never call it false in any way.

    We have a broad cross section of Christendom here…and while I disagree on some point with almost everyone, I respect everyone as well.

  54. Duane Arnold says:

    Jean

    MLD has not answered a very simple question. Does he agree with the LCMS statement whereby I am in a heterodox church and therefore a teacher of false doctrine?

  55. Duane Arnold says:

    #53 Michael

    Agreed…

  56. Michael says:

    “Such a church is a heterodox church, that is, a church that teaches false doctrine.”

    I think that statement is absurd, but it’s important to know where people are coming from.

    I don’t think Jesus was talking about everyone but LCMS members…and hope that isn’t what MLD is saying.

  57. Michael says:

    All this continues to miss the point.
    If Jesus is concerned about false doctrine, what standard do we use to judge it?

    Anglicans use the Bible, tradition, and reason.

    What about the rest of you?

  58. Duane Arnold says:

    Michael

    That article in LCMS is actually built off of an earlier LCMS statement for CFW Walther –

    “Communions still holding God’s Word essentially but erring obstinately in fundamentals, in so far as they do so, are, according to God’s Word, not churches but schisms or sects, i. e., heretical communions.”

    CFW Walther

  59. Jean says:

    Michael,

    You gave clear instructions about interaction here. MLD and I are committed to following your rules. How is it edifying to post synodical statements and then ask us to defend them?

  60. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Duane – you keep pissing in the wind.
    I said earlier that I have not called anyone here a false Christian (except for maybe a few who popped in over the years spewing diseased doctrine who Michael later banned).
    Why would I play your game of orthodox / heterodox? – it serves no purpose for me – and I know it disturbs you greatly, and I must admit I do take pleasure there.

    But I will say that much of the Episcopal / Anglican wings are heterodox if not apostate – just as I do classify some Lutherans such as the ELCA.

  61. Jean says:

    Wow!

    Now we are going to be asked to defend every sermon ever given by a deceased Lutheran preacher. How is that helpful.

    Are we trying to rejoice in common ground or go out of our way to sow division?

  62. Michael says:

    Jean,

    If we’re trying to define false teachers and false doctrines I think it’s fair to be clear that we all define such differently and seek to establish by what standards we judge such.

    The synodical statements of the LCMS classify all churches outside the group as purveyors of false doctrine.

    That is not what I believe Jesus was saying and I hope it’s not what MLD is saying.

    It’s certainly not a position I can endorse.

  63. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Michael – “Anglicans use the Bible, tradition, and reason.”
    No! you said earlier you use the creeds and cannot go further than that – you did not expand beyond that to Bible, tradition and reason.

  64. Jean says:

    MLD said,

    “But I will say that much of the Episcopal / Anglican wings are heterodox if not apostate – just as I do classify some Lutherans such as the ELCA.”

    But even there, we do not deny that there are many individual Christians in those bodies, on account of the Word.

  65. Xenia says:

    Anglicans use the Bible, tradition, and reason.

    What about the rest of you?<<<

    Tradition, which includes the Bible.

    Reason… not so much.

  66. Michael says:

    MLD,

    Do you really think I would exclude Scripture?
    The creeds are part of tradition and we all use reason.

  67. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    Wouldn’t you include the church as the keeper and definer of the tradition?

  68. Xenia says:

    I think you are missing the generosity of the Lutherans’ position. They are happy to say that outside their churches there are fine Christian people, bound for heaven, who happen to believe some false things.

    This is far an away more charitable than anything I ever heard during my time at Calvary Chapel and among the Baptists. Listen to a CC interpretation of the Seven Church of Revelation. Even the Lutherans are lost. Every Sunday my old CC pastor used to tell us that the Catholics (and by extension, the Orthodox) were not Christians. When I converted, my CC pastor said (and I quote) “The Orthodox Church is not a system that leads to salvation.” The Lutherans are not saying this, although some may hold private opinions.

  69. Xenia says:

    Michael, yes.

  70. Jean says:

    Michael,

    Perhaps you are theologically over-freighting the word “false.”

    Either a teaching is correct or incorrect, or a teaching has more than one correct answer.

    I’ve never heard a good Bible scholar in any well known tradition say something like, a sinner’s will is bound and it is also free.

    Or Jesus is the only way to the Father, and there are other ways.

  71. Jean says:

    #68 Xenia,

    Thank you.

  72. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    We went through this before. Lutherans use reason, but unlike some, reason never trumps scripture.

  73. Xenia says:

    I spent a few years among the Calvinists, as an observer. They hardly though anyone but they themselves were saved.

  74. Michael says:

    Xenia, I spent a lot of time with both CC and the Reformed…and it was that arrogance that drove me out of both.

  75. Michael says:

    Have to run…be kind to each other.

  76. Duane Arnold says:

    #60 MLD

    I think you and Jean have answered the question… As Jean says, and I quote rather than paraphrase, “MLD and I agree with our Synod”.

    That is a fine, clear answer and allows us to know where we stand… Guess I’ll need to buy that “heterodox t-shirt”.

  77. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Duane – you are in error just like Michael in that you are defining any ‘false’ teaching – error in teaching of doctrine as a loss of salvation, and no one has been saying that – not once, but you keep bringing the charge..
    What we have said from the beginning and what the synodical teaching is, that these wrong teachings are what keep us from being in full communion with each other.

    What is problematic to me is that some here will fully commune with others regardless of what they believe.

  78. Duane Arnold says:

    I don’t believe I’ve said anything about “loss of salvation”…

  79. Duane Arnold says:

    #61 Jean

    I think we might agree that for LCMS, CFW Walther is considered a bit more than a “deceased Lutheran preacher.” He certainly was in the classes I attended…

  80. Jean says:

    I will share something personal:

    When I go to church with my wife, I cross my arms at the altar.

    When my wife and younger son go to church with me, they cross their arms at the altar.

    On the one hand, every time this happens I feel a deep sorrow in my heart that we are not in Communion fellowship together. While writing this comment, my sorrow wells up. Who do I blame? I blame sin and a fallen world. I don’t blame the churches nor do I blame the individuals.

    On the other hand, I thank God for His grace that each of us who does not receive the Eucharist at a different church nonetheless receives Christ’s blessing upon him or her at the altar. The pastor never withholds a blessing for anyone who comes forward.

    We are all Christians according to the same Gospel of Jesus Christ, who alone saves! We take our faith seriously, and because we are sinners, we often don’t agree on certain things. What do we do? We rejoice in what we share in common and lament what we disagree in. That’s all I can do. I think it works.

  81. Michael says:

    Jean,

    I want to make sure I’m understanding you clearly.
    Your belief is that you are not in spiritual communion with your wife and family?

  82. Josh the Baptist says:

    Lcms has divided your family?

  83. Jean says:

    No Michael, I am not in altar fellowship with my wife and son.

    But we have a beautiful spiritual communion, in that when we worship together, we sing hymns together, confess the same Creed of the week together, pray the Lord’s Prayer together, say the liturgy together. We are in more spiritual communion than we would otherwise be in any evangelical church I’ve ever attended.

    Yet, I lament that we do not partake at the same altar of the body and blood of Christ. But then, at the evangelical church the real absence is proclaimed, so it’s no biggie.

  84. Jean says:

    Josh, my wife was RC long before we married, and I never crossed the Rubicon.

  85. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    It must be mind blowing to evangelicals that Biblical mandates don’t change just to make nice or to smooth things over – even in a family.

  86. Michael says:

    “It must be mind blowing to evangelicals that Biblical mandates don’t change just to make nice or to smooth things over – even in a family.”

    It’s not a biblical mandate, it’s one sects doctrinal interpretation.

    My mind is blown, but I’ll stop there.

  87. Duane Arnold says:

    Jean

    You are very much in my thoughts and prayers. To say anything more would be less than gracious to you in a difficult situation…

  88. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Michael – to say that their is no biblical manner or order for taking communion is odd on your part as a pastor.
    Now I do agree that the majority buy into the free for all rules, but biblical mandates are not determined by the majority.

  89. Michael says:

    MLD,

    Once again, people will search in vain trying to find where I said that.

    There is a biblical order, but it wasn’t written by the LCMS and doesn’t demand fidelity to one set of doctrinal constructs.

    I’ll commune any baptized believer…because we’re all in Christ.

  90. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I will back up a step and correct myself.
    The majority of Christians do hold to the biblical mandate that families may very well be separated by communion standards.
    The RCC and the EO I am sure do not commune non RCC and non EO family members.

    So Michael, have you ever considered that it is your sect that is on the outside of orthodoxy by have an “open” communion?

  91. Michael says:

    “So Michael, have you ever considered that it is your sect that is on the outside of orthodoxy by have an “open” communion?”

    No.

  92. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    You may wish to consider it 🙂

  93. Michael says:

    No…and I’ve never said that ones view on communion determined their orthodoxy.

    Out of respect for Jean, I’ve said enough.

  94. Duane Arnold says:

    I’m sorry, to try and use Jean’s situation to make “points” is simply unseemly and bereft of pastoral concern.

  95. filbertz says:

    I will take communion with anyone who would, knowing and agreeing with what it means and represents. If the circle isn’t big enough to include me, fine. They are the ones missing out, not me. Communion isn’t only about lateral, but vertical relationship. My lack of connection with some laterally doesn’t preclude or exclude mine vertically. I reserve the right to be wrong, and extend the same privilege to others.

  96. Josh the Baptist says:

    That is sad jean. Sorry to hear.

  97. Michael says:

    fil,

    I don’t know what your view is and wouldn’t care if you were in church with us.
    I’d just hand you the bread and the cup and be glad you’re there.

    Then I’d ask your wife if she’d cater a real feast… 🙂

  98. Michael says:

    I’m about to fall over…done for the night.
    Blessings…

  99. filbertz says:

    Michael,
    I’ve taken communion with many different groups and find the fellowship sweet, the savior sacred. Never once has a litmus test been administered in advance.

    My wife would be happy to oblige, though she’d say the real feast was communion.

  100. JoelG says:

    It’s a tough situation when you and your spouse don’t agree on denominations. If it wasn’t for my wife I think I’d be a member of the LCMS. I took all the classes necessary to become a member. She’s evangelical. I’m not sure if I was right to bail on the LCMS Church or not. All I know is you hear the Gospel for sinners every week there and that’s what we need.

    Our family visited the evangelical church I grew up in last weekend. There was definitely a lot of enthusiasm and loud worship. We learned that we need to read our bibles more, which is good. But I didnt hear the Gospel for sinners. There was no communion served. I had trouble with that and my wife and I argued about it. I still hold a grudge against another evangelical church for telling my son he wasn’t “ready” to be baptized. Are any of us “ready”?? I am wrong to hold a grudge and upset my wife, though.

    I am glad Jean and family have found a way to compromise and find a way to respect each other’s churches.

  101. JoelG says:

    Maybe our graceful God allows different denominations because of sin and our different personalities. I know He’s in evangelical Churches as much as anywhere. I don’t think it’s false teaching as much as different emphasis. I don’t know…

  102. John 20:29 says:

    On the subject of communion…. did the apostles at that first supper think that they were injecting real blood? There is no record of them asking the Lord about breaking a tenant of their laws to do so…. Do we, therefore, infer that this was the first instance of grace replacing Mosaic law?
    I dont…. however…
    If one needs to exclude communicants from their table because they hold the literal body and blood, however mysterious, as a sacred truth not to be questioned, if. they’ve considered their position as a holy one, then I for one will pray that God show us all mercy (I suspect He will) because someone is incorrect about a very sacred duty

  103. John 20:29 says:

    Ingesting, stupid tablet – not injecting

  104. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    em,
    Look at Jesus’ words – “And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.” Luke 22

    With the institution of the Lord’s Supper, we are into the new covenant. So the drinking of blood prohibition is out.

  105. JoelG says:

    Something to consider….

    “Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink.”

    I argue with myself about this. One day I think he means figuratively. The next day literally. Then I try to take the middle road: Spiritually. Then I start it all again.

    My prudent side says it’s better take Him at His Word. Then I see all the Christians in my life who don’t necessarily subscribe to a Bodily Presence who confess Christ and are bearing fruit.

    Oi….

  106. John 20:29 says:

    MLD, I think you’ve done a thorough job of asserting.the declaration, like Elijah’s widow’s oil and meal, you serve a never ending supply of Jesus’ blood and body….
    We do agree on the sacrifice, just not on how it is applied… I trust the efficacy to God and it’s location also… If you are correct that it is lieral, I do not see God’s requirement that it takes our assent to make it so
    Will God say, “Your observance of the death of My son, lacked understanding/acceptance of the literal, so your memorial remembrance was unworthy and offensive” ? Everyone in every church, with faith, taking the cup in remembrance will receive from God His intention for those two elements. Are there wasted communion tables of no application, not meeting God’s intent? Whole congregations invested with sickness caused by taking unworthily? Not likely…

  107. Jean says:

    ” ‘Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him, since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled?’ (Thus he declared all foods clean.) And he said, ‘What comes out of a person is what defiles him.’ ” (Mark 7:18b-20)

  108. John 20:29 says:

    Joel’s conundrum is answered for me in the phrase from John 7 “out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water” … but it seems that one Believer’ s figure of speech is. another Believer’s literal, “Jesus is the Word incarnate, so the body and blood we ingest are incarnate.”
    One Believer sees a literal and another Believer sees that literal as an imaginative stretch… God be merciful to His children, one and all of us

  109. John 20:29 says:

    Jean, the Mark 7 reference that you seem to think enforces your view/arguement ..?.
    it does just the opposite for me. 😇.
    I think we all know that theologians separate on this and, I think we can only choose which ones we will trust to have the correct coclusion

  110. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    em,
    ” If you are correct that it is lieral, I do not see God’s requirement that it takes our assent to make it so” – you are not just not “assenting” (if that is a word – you actually deny it)

    ” Everyone in every church, with faith, taking the cup in remembrance will receive from God His intention for those two elements.”
    That is a nice sentiment, but can you back it up with scripture?

  111. Jean says:

    Joel,

    The strange thing about John 6 is that, similar to this generation, Jesus words piss people off:

    “After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. So Jesus said to the twelve, ‘Do you want to go away as well?’ Simon Peter answered him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.’ ”

    When many of his disciples abandoned him, why didn’t Jesus say, “I’m just speaking figuratively, or symbolically, or kidding?” He let them go.

    Imagine if today there was only one church, a sacramental church, and at the Divine Service Christ’s body and blood was served for the forgiveness of our sins. How many people today would say “No, I will not believe. I will only remember?” How many people would turn back and no longer follow Jesus?

    Today the church is a salad bar, so people can go where they please and find almost anything their looking for for doctrine. They think that if their intention is good, Jesus will be happy with them. But, what does MLD’s lesson teach?

  112. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    JoelG – to drive the point home about the literalness of eating the body in John 6 – I like to point out when all the people denounced Jesus’ words and walked away from him – a sign that they left the faith – Jesus did not chase after them and say “Hey guys, comeback here – don’t you recognize a figure of speech when you hear one.”

    No, they understood his words clearly and repeated them back to Jesus. Jesus let them walk away into damnation not because they misunderstood him, because they did understand him and rejected his words. What did Jesus do next? he turned to his disciples and said hey, what do you guys think about this eating my flesh stuff – are you guys out of here too?

  113. JoelG says:

    Jean, MLD,

    All good questions and points we should all think and pray on. His Word raises the dead so why question anything He says?

  114. John 20:29 says:

    On the other hand, maybe those who left did understand Jesus’ words and they were not about to make the sacrifuce, put their lives at risk following Him… Read all of John chapter 6 thoughtfully and you will NOT conclude that the crowds left because.they didn’t want to be cannibals. – at best they they thought Jesus was delusional and probably not a reliable lunch wagon
    They were at best pew sitters, not theologians

  115. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    em, I agree that they understood Jesus’ words and rejected them – no doubt. They walked away from salvation because they did not believe Jesus.
    I may get in trouble but I say the same for the memorialists. They know what Jesus said and think it just fantasy if taken literally. In my view, they walk away and go do their own thing which they see as right in their own eyes as did the people in the time of the judges.

    But then, I’m to nice to say something like that. 🙂

  116. Jean says:

    Em,

    Here is the issue:

    “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.”

    Christ, the cross, the Gospel all are abhorrent to the flesh of man. This is a totally anti-Billy Graham type of theology. The free will of a dead man will never choose God. “[T]he flesh is no help at all.”

    Thus, as long as we seek to rationalize, make logical, fit into our reason, the works of God, we will always pass by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Gospel is spiritually discerned. The Spirit is at work in His Word and when we hear it, the Spirit declares the truth to each of us. But, some people reject the Spirit’s work in favor of their own logic and reason.

    That is the work of the free will. It can never choose Christ, but works freely to reject Him.

  117. John 20:29 says:

    #115…. ahh, MLD, you say what you believe is true and hope to goad those of us who do not see it taught as literal (body and blod) and that is acceptable…
    however, 😐 you do risk being called out for presuming to know why we see differently than you… You say we are doing what seems right in our own eyes… God knows you are not correct in that accusation….
    I will assume you meant to say that it looks to you like we’re doing that and so I will conclude that you. just need glasses as your long distance vision is blurred (too much time spent under unqualified teachers before you saw the Lutheran light, perhaps?)
    Enough of my presumption on your Revelation post and on Michael’s site…

  118. John 20:29 says:

    Jean, so?

  119. Jean says:

    MLD,

    Perhaps, with your background, you can explain something to me”

    Some Christians seem to have no problem with Jesus doing all kinds of “literal” works in the Old Testament, when of course it is just literature to them and doesn’t impact their worship. But these same Christians seem to have a serious problem with Jesus doing anything “literal” in the New Testament (which is the testament we are today living under). Why is that?

    Why are miracles and means of grace in the Old Testament accepted, but miracles and means of grace in the New Testament rejected? Did God change or did man?

  120. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Em, You too are are good at goading – but I will take you up on it.
    Yes, now in retrospect I will admit that teachers who teach the stuff I defend against are unqualified teachers.
    You worded it perfectly.

  121. Michael says:

    I enjoy a good theological debate.

    However…I’m sick to death of the repeated accusations we’ve seen in this thread (and a hundred others) that if you don’t agree with certain viewpoints you are in willful rebellion against God.

    In almost all cases the theological and linguistic arguments mustered in debates about the Supper, baptism, election, and other doctrines have validity on both sides.

    Different people come to different conclusions for many reasons.

    I can respect that without believing others to be spiritually deficient.

  122. Jean says:

    Michael,

    I hear you and am prepared to do my part to end these debates. But what often happens, and what happened today, is someone comes into the conversation with the unsolicited comment, such as:

    “On the subject of communion…. did the apostles at that first supper think that they were injecting real blood? There is no record of them asking the Lord about breaking a tenant of their laws to do so…. Do we, therefore, infer that this was the first instance of grace replacing Mosaic law?”

    That is clear baiting to start a debate and downright insulting. Who says “injecting real blood?”

    Neither MLD nor I asked for it. So, if we’re going to go for more harmony, we need good will on both sides.

  123. Michael says:

    Jean,

    That is a legitimate theological question about the communion.

    I have no problem with that or a reasonable theological answer being given.

    What I keep hearing is that if you weren’t in rebellion against God and the plain words of Scripture you’d agree with us.

    I find that offensive as hell.

  124. Jean says:

    Michael,

    If Jesus meant what he said at the Last Supper to be taken literally, and someone chooses not to interpret the words of Scripture literally, what would you call that person’s error?

    Also,

    to use the phrase “injecting real blood” is about as offensive as saying “quasi-magic.”

  125. Michael says:

    Jean,

    She corrected that spelling error on her tablet and made it clear she meant “ingesting”.

    People have debated with excellent arguments on both sides of what Jesus meant…whether it was metaphorical or literal.

    Whichever side of this debate is in error, they are covered by the grace of God.

    The Supper is a means of grace, not a doctrinal exam.

  126. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Michael, I agree. The charges made by Em about those who taught me and are beyond the pale. 🙂

  127. Michael says:

    ” Everyone in every church, with faith, taking the cup in remembrance will receive from God His intention for those two elements.”

    I agree.

  128. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Michael, That is the issue. The memorialist side denies that the supper is a ‘means of grace.”
    If you don’t believe me ask one what sacramental gift is delivered to them in the supper.

  129. Jean says:

    “The Supper is a means of grace, not a doctrinal exam.”

    On that we agree. 🙂

  130. Michael says:

    MLD,

    I know what memorialists believe.
    By the grace of God I think He feeds them the same way He feeds all the different views of the Real Presence..

  131. Jean says:

    Michael,

    What do you think would be the minimum adherence to the Word of God to make an event the Lord’s Supper? I’ve been in churches with no liturgy. Others with human words mixed with Scripture. Some with wine. Others with juice.

    Is there a bare minimum in your opinion?

  132. Michael says:

    I would have no idea, nor do I care about it much.

    My belief is that God receives worship done sincerely and from the heart.
    My tradition has a beautiful liturgy for the Eucharist that I’m sure the LCMS would find some fault in as well.

    I couldn’t possibly care less.

  133. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I find the minimum standard in Pop American Christianity is to have some event and call it the Lord’s Supper. But even that may be too restrictive.

  134. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Michael, you miss the germination of these conversations that lead up to what I say. You may have missed on a couple of mine I added a smiley face in trying to defuse what some here believe.
    As an example The ideas some here hold that the followers of Jesus who left him in John 6 did so because they had a legitimate reason to not believe Jesus or to not take him literally. Why? Because they were only pew sitter and not theologians — although we know that all pew sitters are theologians to some extent and do have a responsibility to know what they believe even if they do not know why.

    Hence my objection and strong stance.

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