Saturday, April 14, 2018


We always think of Moses as the Law-giver.  It's true.  The law did come to us from God through Moses.  But what else did Moses do?

He was a savior to the people.
He was a deliverer.
He interceded for them when the Lord said He should wipe 'em out because of their rebellion.

That's not law.
That's mercy.
That's rescue.

And all of that (the law and the rescue) is why Jesus is the prophet greater than Moses (Acts 3:22).

Friday, April 13, 2018

Healing the Lame Man

Peter and John got themselves arrested when they healed the paralytic (Acts 3) and preached to the people about the forgiveness of sins.  It seems the religious establishment was not fond of this message.

Funny.  Same thing happened to Jesus when He healed a lame man and preached the forgiveness of sins (Matthew 9). 

Christian "Culture" in Different Lands

Sometimes we look at the way Christians worship in other lands and think, "That's African Christian culture" or "That's Indian Christian culture" or "That's middle-Eastern Christian culture."  We think it's different from "American Christian culture."


Christianity is counter-cultural.  It doesn't fit in American society or African society or European society or any other society.  The Church is its own oddball thing.  There was a reason St Peter called us a "peculiar people."  The Church forgives people who don't deserve forgiveness.  The Church calls people to repent of their selfish desires, and not just the crass selfishness but even the selfishness which is extolled by the world.  Using His words and His rites, the Church worships a God who humiliated Himself.  What kind of weirdness is all this? 

This isn't popular in any culture.

When Pentecostal ideas infiltrate the Church, (even though part of the message is still about Christ's mercy toward sinners) too much of the teaching is about us and how we make decisions for God and how we follow Him.  The worship becomes more about our feelings for God than about His action for us.   It doesn't matter whether the congregation is in American suburbia or African villages, Pentecostal doctrine (even in Lutheran churches) manifests itself with certain worship styles. 

Why do Missouri-Synod Lutherans think that the doctrine and worship they hold dear is "American"?  Or "German"?  Why do we not recognize it simply as Christian?

Is it because we did pollute the Church's doctrine in past decades with viewpoints that were uniquely American?

Is it because we did, in our mission work in the past century, export lousy doctrine to other lands?

Is it because of "white guilt" and arrogance, thinking that whatever we have known is thus "ours," ... and not wanting to impose our culture on another people?  That would be a good attitude IF our worship and doctrine were "ours."  But it's not.  It belongs to the Lord.  And He wants us and people in other lands to be blessed by His word, His doctrine, His worship.

Stodgy old Lutherans do not want to make other people to be "like ourselves."  We want for others (and for ourselves!) to be made like Christ, to know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His suffering.