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How to be distinctly and unapologetically Lutheran in a post-denominational world. You can’t tone down Lutheran theology and practice without making it something else!
This is a fantastic article that lays the whole issue on the line and, in all likelihood, the real reason behind the cancellation.
Radio SilenceBy MOLLIE ZIEGLER HEMINGWAY
March 28, 2008
Usually radio hosts have to offend sacred moral sensibilities to be thrown off the air. Opie and Anthony were fired after they encouraged a couple to have sex in St. Patrick's Cathedral. Don Imus lost his job after using racist and sexist epithets against the Rutgers University women's basketball team.
What would Martin Luther do?
But when the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod canceled its popular, nationally syndicated radio program "Issues, Etc.," listeners were baffled. Billed as "talk radio for the thinking Christian," the show was known for its lively discussions analyzing cultural influences on the American church. It seemed like precisely the thing that the Missouri Synod, a 2.4-million-member denomination whose system of belief is firmly grounded in Scripture and an intellectually rigorous theology, would enthusiastically support.
Broadcast from the nation's oldest continuously run religious radio station, KFUO-AM in St. Louis, and syndicated throughout the country, "Issues, Etc." had an even larger audience world-wide, thanks to its podcast's devoted following. With 14 hours of fresh programming each week, the show was on the leading edge of what's happening in culture, politics and broader church life. The Rev. Todd Wilken interviewed the brightest lights from across the theological spectrum on news of the day. Guests included Oxford University's Dr. Alister McGrath, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary's Albert Mohler and more postmodern types, like Tony Jones, national coordinator for a church network called Emergent Village.
Sort of reminds me of the Jehovah's Witness twist on Jesus' promise to the thief on the cross, "I tell you today, you will be with me in Paradise."
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1).
Today's Word from Joel and Victoria
What are you hoping for in your life today? The Bible says that faith gives substance to the things you hope for. Notice this verse starts by saying, “Now faith…” It’s not “later” faith or “one day” faith.
Labels: Joel Osteen
Do you want to cast Satan out of your life?
Are you tired of the bondage, harassment, and oppression of demonic forces that threaten to destroy you or someone you love? Overcoming these attacks lies in knowing what to confess and how to confess it.
You need to know how to:
- Confess your destiny in Christ
- Confess your purpose for living
- Confess your calling for service
- Confess your anointing for power
- Confess words that defeat the devil
- Confess your financial prosperity so your needs are met
- Confess your leadership abilities to stop what Satan steals from you
- Confess a warrior's oath to wage war against the demons attacking you
I am ready to enter into spiritual agreement with you to declare these dynamic, soul-freeing confessions. I'll say the words right along with you and teach you how to believe what you are confessing. The results will change your life forever.These declarations of victory are found on four DVDs (eight hours of teaching) entitled:
CONFESSIONS TO CAST OUT SATAN!
Because you are a special friend and trusted us enough to give us your email address, I want to do something very special for you!
Our new prime-time reality TV show "The Real Exorcist" is due to premiere on Wednesday, March 19th. We desperately need your help financially. Because of our urgent situation, here is how I want to sow into your life:1) If you are one of 1,000 Freedom Friends to share a gift of $100 or more, I'll send you all eight hours of the CONFESSIONS teaching.2) If your gift is $50 or more I'll send you the first four hours of CONFESSIONS.3) If you'll give at least $20, and pray about supporting us monthly, I'll send the first of the CONFESSIONS, "How to Confess Your Destiny."
I want to bless you and covenant with you in prayer to stop every attack of Satan on your life. I can only do that if you have these DVDs in your hands to watch. That's why I'm practically giving away these DVDs, praying that when you watch them and God does a miracle in your life, you'll abundantly bless our ministry in return. Thank you for remembering us when you have your victory because of these CONFESSIONS.
I tell you, if you saw Jesus and brother Bob Larson side by side you could hardly tell them apart! He's so concerned about getting the demons out of your life that he's practically giving away those DVDs - assuming you have a spare $100!
Labels: Bob Larson
Here is all sorts of contact information to tell people what you think about this, let them know how important Issues, Etc. was to us, and ask why the show was cancelled:
Rev. David L. Strand
Board for Communication
Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod
1333 S. Kirkwood Road
St. Louis, MO 63122-7295
FAX: (314) 996-1016
KFUO Radio Station
Rev. Dr. Gerald Kieschnick
LC-MS Board of Directors
Meanwhile, an online petition has been started up about Issues, Etc. being ended. Here's the link:
For anyone who comes across this and has Facebook, the most discussion it seems is going on at the "Bring back Issues ETC!!!" Facebook group.
Finally, financial help for the Schwarz and Wilken families can be sent to the following address. Just put in the memo line that it’s for the “Schwarz/Wilken Fund”. The Schwarzes especially need the help as Jeff Schwarz's wife Beth has been recently diagnosed with small fiber neuropathy and they need to go to Mayo Clinic to try figuring out what can be done.
Saint Paul Lutheran Church
P.O. Box 247
Hamel, IL 62046
All help and all prayers are appreciated.
I will be continuing to post information and resources relating to the cancellation of Issues, Etc. and firing of Rev. Wilken and Mr. Schwarz. So, if you could please help me draw people to the resource of my blog, I would really appreciate it.
For programmatic and business reasons, the decision was made this week to discontinue the "Issues, Etc." program on KFUO-AM. We look forward to bringing you new programming in this time slot in the near future. Also, we thank "Issues" host Rev. Todd Wilken and producer Mr. Jeff Schwarz for their years of service on behalf of the station. Those interested may still download past "Issues, Etc." programs from the "Issues" archive on this website. Thank you sincerely for your continued support of KFUO's radio ministry.
Today the LCMS ordered the cancellation of the popular radio show Issues, Etc. without stating a reason why, and terminated the employment of Pastor Todd Wilken, the show's host, and Mr. Jeff Schwarz, the show's producer.Speaking as an occasional guest on the show, I find this to be an extremely sad day for the LCMS. Check out the Wittenberg Trail for more information as it becomes available. A fund has also been set up to help Todd and Jeff on Wittenberg Trail. Additionally, to support the Schwarzes and the Wilkens donate to Saint Paul Lutheran Church, P.O. Box 247, Hamel, IL 62046 Make your gifts - Wilken/Schwarz Fund..
In his last will and testament Paul Gerhardt reminds his only son, still living after all his other children had died: "Do good to people, even if they cannot pay you back because...." The reader expects that the sentence will continue with: "God will repay you." However, Paul Gerhardt frustrates that expectation by continuing: "...because for what human beings cannot repay, the Creator of heaven and earth has already repaid long ago when he created you, when he gave you his only Son, and when he accepted and received you in holy baptism as his child and heir." (Oswald Bayer, "Justification as Basis and Boundary for Theology," Lutheran Quarterly 15 (Autumn 2001): 276, as quoted in "Handling the Word of Truth," John T. Pless)
Labels: Word Faith
For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. (2 Tim. 4:3-4)
Click here for the rest of the article.
When we come across these words from the apostle Paul to Timothy, we tend to see this verse as a description of our day and age. How else do we explain the elegant churches whose liberalism has overtaken their once-glorious heritage? Or the masses that fill stadiums to hear prosperity teachers tell us how good we are and how much God wants to bless us financially?
Preaching that tickles the ears. We nod our heads in agreement and pray …
Lord, deliver us from the liberals who don't believe anything and don't preach the truth.
Lord, deliver us from those who give good advice and moral platitudes without the Good News of individual salvation.
Lord, deliver us from the stand-up comics who fill stadiums with ear-tickling, side-splitting sermons that are all about us and not about God.
Then, we sit back on Sunday mornings with a smile, satisfied in our assurance that our ears don't itch.
But are we deceiving ourselves? Do we truly believe we have escaped the temptation to listen to pastors who tickle our ears? Is it possible to preach harshly against certain sins and yet still be an ear-tickling preacher?
Just in case you need a laugh to start off your weekend.
Well Joel, if you believe what you feel is true, and since feelings are notoriously unreliable and are no measure of truth, then your beliefs about the Deity of Christ, salvation, etc. may change in the future, correct?
Patricia Sheridan: Historically, religion has been used as a tool for war. You know, "My God is better than your God" sort of thing. How is your church different?
Joel Osteen: We try to focus on what we have in common rather than what we disagree on. We don't claim to know it all. We believe what we feel in the Bible is the truth. We're not about arguing and debating doctrine.
Labels: Joel Osteen
“According to Your faith, be it unto you” (Matthew 9:29).
Today's Word from Joel and Victoria
A lot of time people think that when they have a need, that if God wanted to, He could just automatically meet it. But Jesus didn’t say, according to your need be it unto you; He said, according to your faith.
Really? You mean God is limited in what He can do? He can't provide us with our needs unless we believe He can?
Jesus says nothing here about having to have enough faith before God can supply your needs, although He does ask us to have faith and not to worry. He tells us to seek His kingdom and God will supply your needs. However, even the pagans would have nothing unless God permitted them to have food, clothing and housing.
25 Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
28 "And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
32 While they were going out, a man who was demon-possessed and could not talk was brought to Jesus. 33 And when the demon was driven out, the man who had been mute spoke. The crowd was amazed and said, "Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel."There is no indication here that the demon-possessed man had any faith at all. Jesus acted out of pure grace in this case. So it is apparent that God can act independent of whether we have faith or not.
Labels: Joel Osteen
Labels: Bob Larson
I went to Wendy’s and I saw one of my school mates and he said “Boy, didn’t we have a good 40th year reunion?” I said I certainly did. I said I can’t wait for the 50th. And he looked at me and he said “Do you think we’re going to make it?” I said I’m gonna make it. I don’t know about you. I’m gonna make it. “How can you say such a thing?” Let me shock you. Let me shock you now with the Word of God. Death and life are in the power of who? The tongue. It’s not in the power of cancer. It’s not in the power of diabetes. It’s not in the power of high blood pressure. It’s not in the power of anything or viruses. It’s in the power of your mouth.Back in June of 2001 he made it clear that we control when we die:
Jesus was His own Man and He controlled His destiny and He reached His destination. Well, when I read that I said "Well, can I control my destiny and reach my destination?" The Lord said "Be ye therefore imitators of God as dear children." Whatever Jesus can do, you can do. In fact, you can do greater works. Now when you say that you're going to get letters. People say "Who do you think you are?" "Everything Jesus said I was." Now, whether you got a problem with that, that's your problem. Ain't my problem, you see. But He made me an offer I couldn't refuse. So I took it. And I just decided - bless God - that I would live the way the Lord said I could live. He said if I'd be blessed in the city, blessed in the field, blessed going in, then I never expected not to be blessed. He said if I could - more people freak out on divine health. They don't mind you getting healed, but if you start saying you'll never get sick, get ready, because somebody will write a book against you and call you a heretic! Well, He said I could walk like that. I mean Abraham was 140 years old having babies. That's good. Moses was 120 years old climbing mountains. Climbing mountains at 120 and he doesn't wear no glasses. That's good. Mary had a baby, an immaculate conception, at 15. That's real good. Think about that. They couldn't kill the apostle Paul until he was ready. They couldn't kill Peter until he was ready. He determined when. Peter said "I'm [throwing?] the latest tabernacle down and then I'm out of here." They tried to kill him and they just woke the boy up while they was sleeping. Peter - they had to kick him to get him up. He wasn't worried about it. Why? It wasn't his time. Now that's what God said.Bet you didn't know you had that power, did you? As a matter of fact, I don't think God knew either until Jesse taught it!
Labels: Jesse Duplantis
Christians do no favors by passing on these stories - usually without checking them out! - to other Christians, and particularly to non-Christians who may take the time to disprove the claims and conclude that Christians are equally careless when it comes to accepting the claims of Christianity. Christians who pass on these stories would do well to retract them.
The Wyatt/Gray claims are truly astonishing (see Amazing claims). Unfortunately, reputable Bible-believing archaeologists and other experts willing and capable of giving an objective assessment are never able to check out the claimed artifacts. There is generally a plausible-sounding story as to why that is impossible, or why the time is not right. The alleged finding of the Ark of the Covenant (see also The Ark of the Covenant—could it even be found?) is associated with claims of supernatural intervention, photographs mysteriously getting fogged or vanishing, and ‘Men in Black’ style government cover-ups.
Are the claims true? If they are, such a staggeringly impressive list would mean that Ron Wyatt had been almost as miraculously assisted by God as the patriarch Moses.4 If, however, a careful examination of just one or two of these claims reveals them to be false, fanciful or fraudulent, the ‘divine leading’ option evaporates, and it is clear that Christians are being seriously misled.
Back in 1992, Wyatt’s ‘Noah’s Ark’ claim (see This is not the Ark of Noah) was subject to a thorough investigative exposé in this magazine (see online version).5 The 13-page report told of how this ministry had checked the claims, even ringing the lab staff that had done the analyses, for instance. Sadly, though we would have been delighted if this really were the Ark, we found almost all the specific claims to be untrue and/or misleading.....Some unsolicited evidence also came our way concerning the alleged chariot wheels of the Exodus (which have never been made available to any archaeologists, Bible-believing or otherwise). There is a Jonathan Gray video purporting to show these on the bottom of the Red Sea. In one part, Gray claims that a ‘British Admiralty chart’ he is holding shows a ‘sand bridge’ with great depths either side.
The hydrographic office of the UK Ministry of Defense is, by international agreement, the authority for charting the Red Sea. A Mrs M. H. sent them the video; they wrote back to her that:
Gray’s chart could be positively identified on blowups as United States chart no. 62020.
‘Contrary to Mr Gray’s statement, the “sand bridge” is not now, and never has been, a recognizable feature on British Admiralty Charts. Nor is it recognizable on the U.S. chart held by Mr Gray.’
Gray’s comments about the ‘great depths’ also mislead.
The naturally lit video footage of the sea floor could not possibly have been filmed anywhere near the spot claimed by Gray, as insufficient light would penetrate at that depth.
Subsequently, Gray published a second letter from the same office, claiming it vindicated his claims of a ‘sand bridge.’ However, when we checked with them, they wrote that their comments had been ‘seriously edited,’ with ‘selected parts’ shown under their letterhead. The full letter, which they sent us, ‘does not confirm the existence of a “sand bridge.”’
In short, whenever we have had the opportunity to objectively assess any of these claims, the same pattern emerges as from our ‘Ark’ investigation.
Labels: Pharaoh's Chariot Wheels