May 24, 2018

Christine received the Holy Mystery of Baptism on May 22, 2018.

"In Your Name, O Lord God of Truth, and in the Name of Your Only-Begotten Son, and of Your Holy Spirit, I lay my hand upon Your servant Christine, who has been accounted worthy to flee unto Your Holy Name and to be sheltered under the shadow of Your wings."

"God, the Holy, the Fearful, and the Glorious, Who concerning all His works and strength is incomprehensible and unsearchable, Who Himself has ordained for you O devil, the retribution of eternal torment, through us His unworthy servants, commands you and all your cooperating might to go forth from her that is newly sealed in the Name of our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ."

"Have you joined Christ?"

"I have joined Him."

"And do you believe in him?"

"I believe in Him as king and as God."

"Sovereign Master, Lord our God, call this Your servant Christine to your Holy Illumination, and account her worthy of this great Grace and Your Holy Baptism."

"You sanctified the streams of t...

March 29, 2018

This is part of our No Longer Sola Series.

"The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ?  Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread."

– 1 Corinthians 10:16-17

Imagine you're a pastor.  It is your job to be a steward of the Mysteries of Christ.  Knowing that you hold in your hands God Himself, and that this gift is so powerful that an unworthy guest to the Table might harm himself by partaking of God without faith… how would you handle that responsibility? 

Would you assume that anyone coming to you is a heretic or an unbeliever so that no one would benefit from abiding in Christ through the Eucharist?  No.  What about coming up with a formula, if a person is this young or this old or this disabled, we can assume they might be heretics so we will refuse them the Supper?  Should we assume that any of our baptized membe...

March 21, 2018

This is a post in our ongoing No Longer Sola Series.

Questions surrounding the Eucharist were an issue in my investigation of Orthodoxy.  While communion of the baptized was not the issue that ultimately compelled me to leave Lutheranism, it was an issue that persistently caused me to investigate Orthodoxy after I would try to set it aside in order to remain Lutheran. 

This issue alone is not, I think, sufficient to cause one to leave Lutheranism for Orthodoxy. One can hold to this position and quite faithfully hold to the Lutheran Confessions in good conscience.  For me the issue that finally meant I needed to leave Lutheranism was the Church, but more on that another time.

The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS) has a catechism that is used for youth and adult catechesis in preparation for membership and first communion.  Question 305 was partially problematic for me.  It reads:

"Question: Who must not be given the Sacrament?
The Sacrament must not be given to the follow...

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