Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Quote of The Week From A Friend On Facebook

‎Today’s quote of the week is from one of my friends on Facebook commenting on my status where I stated that I believe that "liturgical puppets are a sign of the apocalypse." After watching the embedded video my friend replied: ‎

"That would NEVER happen in our church I know that for certain, mainly because almost everyone is a member of NRA"

It is good to know that whatever differences we might have concerning liturgical settings of the Divine Service, we both agree that puppets belong on Sesame Street and not in church as part of worship.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Time Out Episode 75 Goes Into Overtime!

Dan over at Necessary Roughness has the newest Time Out: Time Out, Episode 75 posted.

The Scripture reading for this episode is from Amos 9 with commentary from the Kretzmann Commentary Series on Amos and Obadiah. The hymn this time is “We All Believe in One True God” found on page 954 in the Lutheran Service Book with a Bonus Bumper: Mozart – Requiem, “Dies Irae”.

The reading from Amos contains both Law and Gospel in that the booth/shelter of David, God’s people will be repaired and raised up, never to be uprooted again.

The hymn for this episode is Martin Luther’s catechism hymn for the Apostles’ Creed and definitely worth your time to replay and commit to memory. There are not many hymns that teach the faith as much as Luther’s catechism hymns and perhaps the Te Deum laudamus

If all that wasn’t enough… Time Out goes into overtime with submissions from listeners celebrating Dan’s birthday and the podcast’s 75th anniversary!

Be sure to stop by, say howdy, and thank Dan for doing such a great job on Time Out, Episode 75 and wish him a happy birthday while you’re at it!

Previous Time Out episodes:

Time Out Episode 74
Time Out Episode 73
Time Out Episode 72

Monday, July 19, 2010

God Hates Comic Book Geeks?

Every year literally thousands upon thousands of people gather in San Diego for the annual San Diego Comic-Con. The San Diego Comic-Con is the largest comic book and pop culture themed convention of it’s kind in the world. While originally showcasing comic books the convention has grown to include exhibits from movie studios, gaming companies, toys and collectibles over the years. If you want to promote a project, San Diego Comic-Con is one of the best places to get noticed.

This weekend, San Diego Comic-Con will have a new guest that is sure to make the news. From

The Topeka, Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church, which is headed by Fred Phelps and which has made headlines over the past few years for a series of protests of events such as the funerals of Meet the Press host Tim Russert (because of his Catholicism and what they termed his "tolerance of homosexuality") and Jerry Falwell (whom they termed a "false prophet') and perhaps most notably the funerals of American servicemen killed overseas, have announced that they plan to picket the upcoming San Diego Comic-Con from 1:15 pm to 2 p.m. on Thursday, July 22.

The reason they're going to protest the con? We think it's best described in their own words, as posted on their website:

"Are you kidding?! If these people would spend even some of the energy that they spend on these comic books, reading the Bible, well no high hopes here. They have turned comic book characters into idols, and worship them they do! Isaiah 2:8 Their land also is full of idols; they worship the work of their own hands, that which their own fingers have made: 9 And the mean man boweth down, and the great man humbleth himself: therefore forgive them not. It is time to put away the silly vanities and turn to God like you mean it. The destruction of this nation is imminent - so start calling on Batman and Superman now, see if they can pull you from the mess that you have created with all your silly idolatry."

Boy howdy! Westboro Baptist Church at the San Diego Comic-Con? Well, this ought to be a hoot. Now, some might wonder why would the folks from Westboro will only protesting for forty-five minutes? That’s an easy question to answer! Once the attendees find out that members of Westboro Baptist Church are protesting comic book heroes outside of the largest convention in America, they will likely go outside and beat the crap out of these misguided folk with their Force FX lightsaber replicas. And, let’s be honest, getting your butt whooped by a bunch of geeks dressed up as Black Lantern Firestorm and Captain America with lightsabers is embarrassing even for the members of Westboro Baptist Church. Also, it doesn’t make for good publicity no matter who or what you’re protesting.

Seriously, while it’s good that the Westboro Baptist Church folks (who gained national recognition for protesting military funerals) have learned another verse besides the two from Leviticus; 18:22 and 20:13 which state the Biblical prohibition of homosexuality it’s sad that they never, ever seem to be able to proclaim anything resembling the Gospel: that Jesus died for all sinners.

A quick look at Westboro’s website shows that today they will be protesting yet another military funeral with signs that read "Thank God for Dead Soldiers", "Thank God for IEDs", "God Hates America", "God Is Your Enemy", and "America Is Doomed". What’s missing? Jesus and everything that He has done for every sinner on the planet is completely absent from their messages. A sign that condemns sin without the Gospel is no Gospel at all. Sorry folks, but a gospeless message is as much a help to poor miserable sinners as Joel Schumacher was to the Batman franchise back in the nineties.

From their track record it is highly unlikely that Westboro will do the work that churches are supposed to do and that is preach repentance and Christ crucified for the forgiveness of sins instead of their normative God hating sinners schtick. It’s sad really as that the forgiveness of sins is what all sinners need to hear about whether they are homosexual, murders, or just like me: chief among sinners.

Does God hate comic book geeks? Nope. In fact He loves them so much that He gave them Jesus, His only Son to die for all the sins of the world. A treasure so great that even Overstreet could not measure the worth.

Now, if ya’ll excuse me I need to start working on my Colonial Marine costume before the weekend gets here so I get a picture next to the Nostromo "Hibernation Chambers".

HT: Jim

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Children’s Hymns Have More Depth Theologically Than Contemporary Worship Songs

Back on June 26, Dr. T. David Gordon, author of Why Johnny Can't Sing Hymns: How Pop Culture Rewrote the Hymnal was on my favorite radio program Issues, Etc. Today’s Issues, Etc. Today's Issues, Etc. soundbite of the day is from that interview and has Dr. Gordon making the case that there are some children's hymns that have more depth theologically than contemporary worship songs.

The entire interview can be heard here.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Controversy, KFUO, And The LCMS? Again? I’m Shocked!

So, the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod sells it’s KFUO radio station to a contemporary Christian music station. Check. Then, oh this just priceless then “The Lutheran Church forced all Classic 99 employees to sign an agreement that is at the least questionable under Missouri and federal labor law. It states that if employees want six months severance pay they can not work for anyone, at any job, anywhere, for those 6 months” according to Fox2 out of St. Louis.

I seem to recall LC-MS, Inc. not acting like a fair and decent employer much less a church on another occasion just a little over two years ago. Hmm, I sense a pattern here somewhere. What a pathetic display of the soulless dominion of corporate orthodoxy.

And people wonder why I hope things get shaken up a bit next week…

Update: I have a source that tells me the KFUO employees are saying that Charles Jaco is misreporting this story and it just isn't true. I’ll keep looking for updates so as to figure out what the heck is going on here.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Dream Work And The Upcoming Synodical Convention

If… LC-MS Southeastern District spiritual directors are correct and what was taught concerning dream work at a recent prayer and spiritual formation workshop was in fact “reclaiming our ancient heritage going way back, right to the New Testament”, “one way of consciously getting in touch with God’s will for us and cooperating with it” and here to stay so if ya’ll don’t like it “you really ought to consider leaving the Lutheran Church, and joining up with the Fundamentalists; they would be more aligned to your way of seeing things” then…

What does it mean when someone like myself has a dream that has Pr. Matt Harrison holding up a copy of the Reporter, the official newspaper of the LC-MS, after votes have been cast for the election of synodical president with the headline reading Kieschnick Defeats Harrison just the picture we’ve all seen of Harry Truman holding up the Chicago Daily Tribune proclaiming that he’d been defeated by Thomas Dewey contrary to the actual results of the election. What does this mean?

I’m simply not sure what to make of this dream. I know that maybe I should look at this as prophecy of sorts because according to one of the LC-MS’s soul winningest congregation’s time and talent surveys I have two spiritual gifts; the first being discernment and the second… wait for it… prophecy! But to be honest I’m always a little bit uneasy with such stuff even if the congregation who allowed me to take the survey does log more critical events than almost any other. I guess part of my problem is that I’m just not feeling the whole “reclaiming our ancient heritage” thingy nor do I feel any “energy” or an “ah-ha feeling” that I was told to seek in the prayer and spiritual formation workshop concerning dream work.

I also know that very, very smart people who have business degrees have stated that what we need in these uncertain economic times is the unchanging structured leadership of the President Kieschnick while the delegates at the convention contemplate completely changing the LC-MS’s structure governance. In addition, with President Kieschnick’s pledging to his supporters that he will in fact serve another 3 (or 4) year term just confounds me that much more when I think back to the dream. Why would I dream that Pr. Harrison won the election when President Kieschnick has assured folks that this simply will not come to pass?

It is just a dream, isn’t it? Maybe I need to make a call to my SED spiritual director and ask him to help me figure it out since it was he who declared, “A dream unexamined is like a letter unopened.”