Yet Another Sigh.

Not only is this young son totally unacquainted with the Divine Liturgy, or Church history, or the Lutheran confessions, and most probably never heard Chesterton’s wonderful quip about the Church being where the “democracy of the dead” still have a say,” his commenters are worse.

They are the “democracy of the dumb!”

Worst of all – he is “out there” – advertising what he says as being indicative of the Confessional Lutheran Church, and the Church Catholic of all ages.  He most certainly fails on both counts!

Were I diligently looking for “the problem” with Divine Worship in our present day and age, this posting would have to serve as Exhibit A.

He is unsure and uncertain in his own mind.  That is, alone, a personal problem.  When he shifts his problem onto the rest of us – he ends up not only shattering the 8th, but likewise, encouraging us to follow his prescription as if it were some new-found revelation, and those of us poor saps who advocate proper Divine Worship in the catholic, evangelical manner passed down (not made up by!) by our Lutheran forefathers AND the Church of all ages.

Take the issue in its barest form – Acts 2:42:

42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, the breaking of bread and the prayers.

Is there anything from the approved Synodical forms both we in weird collars and our flocks vowed to follow, that deviates from that of the Church of its earliest day?  No.  But now we have the “new and improved” liturgical geniuses who, no matter the degree, substitute what they “feel” for what is good, right and salutary, to do what he says we shouldn’t do – “dress up Jesus,” and then chastises us for dressing up Jesus.

Classic case of not knowing what one does not know he doesn’t know, and eminently ignorable.

Pax – 

 

 

Bucket List

A “Bucket List.”  The things a dying man wishes to do before he “gives up the ghost” – so to speak.

Well, there might be a tumor in the upper lobe right lung underneath the necromizing pneumonia, which seems to be rapidly clearing out with the antibiotics. Never hurt your ribs – they are very vindictive!  I broke the bottom two, left back.  Pain?  Tell no one, but I am taking both the script Tramadol and the 1000mg acetaminophen every 8 hours.  Ribs are not to be messed with.  They will hurt through any medication!  The fractured vertebrae in my back?  Nary a complaint.

Just about played the string out here.  Not going into all of it at all right now, but every cowboy knows when to move on, as does this one.  Finding out there was a settlement on Sweet Mama Lou’s death will not replace her being at my side by any means – I dearly wish she were, I loved being in love like that!

But the Lord guides my path, and while it has many times seemed the worst course, His way has always – every time – proved the best.  And this time – both He and I are on the same page.  And with the settlement on her death, I can finish what would be a long monthly stroke on my for real limited income, get the few needed repairs on the old Explorer that will have had all its guts replaced or overhauled, and is essentially a newer vehicle that looks like sh . . . uh . . . looks like a diamond but definitely in the rough.  Maybe one day I can get the body work done and get the beast painted, but now the AC can be replaced.  So . . . nomad that I have always been . . .

I am pointing north.  I need to go to St. Loo.  There are two angels at my Church’s retirement plan office that need a personal visit with flowers and a gift certificate for them both and their hubbys for a decent dinner.  Then, on to St. Chaz to see and stay with my best Sem bud from 30+ years ago.  That will be fun.

Then north a few clicks to Q-Town, and see my main man and his Bride.  What a loss to Missouri, but that was Missouri’s fault!  He is where I will land when my bucket is full, unless I go back to school and get my Doctorate.

Then – for the town that is a “toast” by its own name.  The big one I should never have left, in retrospect, but yet another of the Lord’s little wrinkles in my journey.  Might get to preach to the flock in the old, familiar pulpit.  Can’t know that just yet.  Hope springs eternal.

Then to the Holy City – The Fort.  To visit the classrooms, to wander the downstairs halls and go to the bookstore and buy books (books, books, books!), and see Da Scaer if possible, meet his son – almost as good a theologian as is his old man, and go hear over 400 male voices sing the Holy Mass in The Chapel, mine being one of them?  Speak of all of the Heavenly Company present at the Eucharist!!!  You can go here if you wish to see why.  Once there, one is captivated!

While there, I’ll check into the Ministry Doctorate program and see if, just maybe, I could swing it and take everything to its zenith, best I am able.  It is a very heady experience just being there.  I have missed it since the day I left.

Then, boogie north to GR.  There, I would like to meet my online Brother – John Venlet, if I can get in touch with him.  Also – if my estranged stepson is willing, see him and his sons.  But most of all, see Katie – my absolute best bud next to Father Patrick.  Take her to a fancy dinner at a high-class joint, us both decked to the nines.  Yet another Bucket List “coolio!”  She is a high-class lady from another age, the one from which I came.  Not many of us left anymore!

Then maybe a slight detour east and visit the campus at CU-A2.  Check out the trophy case for the baseball program, of which I should have a bit of a rank.  See if any of the old profs are still around.   Tour the campus one more time.

And finally – A-Town – where this whole journey began in ’86.  Maybe a chance to mount my very first pulpit one last time, and see the oldest of friends.  Full circle and all.

And all on the pittance of my retirement money.  That would be so, well, “coolio.”  I am an old fart, and I have a chance to re-visit my past, and if it can happen, it will happen.   I have never been in such a position, and at my age, the chance will never come again.

I pray this chance happens.  If I die, I’ve got the earthly part covered, and my hole and the box in the ground is paid for.  My journey from that point was paid here.  I am, for once, at peace. +++

Pax tecum . . .

 

Ah . . . Yes

Giving all credit due – this is a must read for Confessional Lutherans and all seeking the historic and genuine Faith of the Apostles and the Fathers.  This is the original site.

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The Rev’d Dr. Kurt Marquart on “Litugical gestures, practices, customs, and ‘styles’…”

Words of wisdom from Dr. Marquart for all of us Lutherans, especially for those who advocate so-called “contemporary worship” in the LCMS. Frankly, though, they are probably even more piquant for those self-styled “liturgical types” who don’t follow the General Rubrics (often because they don’t know/haven’t studied them) and think that they are free to bedeck the received forms with their personal idiosyncrasies and invented ceremonial flourishes.

Marquart wrote the following in 1994. I wonder what he’d say if he were still with us.

We must think in broad vistas here. It is no good snatching up some piece of detail and saying “No harm in that, is there?” Liturgical gestures, practices, customs, and “styles” are not items in a cupboard full of interchangeable bric-a-brac. They are part and parcel rather of larger complexes of meaning and must be seen in that light. Superficially it might seem, for instance, that folding hands, clapping, kneeling and foot-tapping are all pretty much the same thing. They are all neither commanded nor forbidden in Holy Scripture, and so are indifferent things or “adiaphora.” It’s all just a matter of what people are used to, right?

Wrong! Folding hands and kneeling are really very much unlike clapping and foot-tapping. They and other traditional gestures, like bowing or making the sign of the cross, are deliberate acts, in which the body obediently follows the direction of the mind and spirit. Even if they have become thoughtless and mechanical, they were once adopted quite intentionally. It is otherwise with rhythmic clapping and foot-tapping. Here the body and the senses are in the lead, with the mind and soul in tow, drifting who knows where. Kneeling and folding hands, therefore, are appropriate to the sobriety of the church’s worship, while the more involuntary, instinctual foot-tapping and hand-clapping, typical of atavistic nature-cults, fits the emotionalism of anti-sacramental sects.

It is useless to object that clapping is, after all, “scriptural,” since Ps. 47:1 says: “O clap your hands, all ye people.” This biblicism forgets that we have no “feel” for the ancient Hebrew sacral culture. Clapping today does not convey, as in the Psalm, that “the Lord most high is terrible” (v. 2). On the contrary, in our culture such behavior evokes the folksy self-indulgence of a karaoke singalong, and of a sectarianism which apes such popular pastimes.

(Rev’d Dr. Kurt E. Marquart, Church Growth as Mission Paradigm, Our Savior Lutheran Church, 1994; 104; emphases mine)

Style and substance are completely unrelated, right? We might just as well have an EDM worship service, as long as Law and Gospel are “rightly divided” from the pulpit, I suppose. Take the featured video—nothing they’re doing is explicitly forbidden by Scripture (actually…well…that might not be true); maybe their pastor preached a great sermon after they all finished thrash-dancing. I mean, David danced before the Lord, so what’s the problem? Let’s imagine a hypothetical Lutheran scenario: there’s nothing in Scripture that says that a pastor cannot put a kiddie-pool full of Jell-O on the altar, climb inside of it, and sing “Yellow Submarine.” No verse in Scripture prohibits this! If said pastor were to protest that he did what he did “for the sake of the Gospel,” then he’d no doubt be doubly invincible, “the Gospel” being a thing that is more and more “in the eye of the beholder” these days.

We know that this is ridiculous, absurd, and sacrilegious, yet still there are some who would ask that this be “proven.” I suppose they are the same who would have insisted that Justice Potter Stewart give a definition of “hard-core pornography” in his concurrence (Jacobellis v. Ohio) rather than simply stating, “I know it when I see it.” For some things, if you don’t “know it when you see it,” no amount of “proof” (assuming it could be furnished) would ever convince you. This is not a “proof” thing.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: in the final estimation, the liturgy of the Church (especially the Lutheran liturgy) is all about the commendation of the dying, because we are all, each and every one of us, dying. Pastors are to plant and water again and again the seed of the Resurrection, Christ’s Body and Blood, in the bodies and souls of dying people. This is our faith, our lex credendi: that Jesus, true God and true Man, is our Lord, Who has redeemed us and will raise us from the dead on the Last Day to life everlasting. This is, as Matthias Loy’s hymn puts it, “an awful mystery”; it is a mirandum, that is, “a wonder.” It is not “cool.” It is not “neat.” It is not “fun.” It is not “sweet” or “awesome” in the trite, insipid sense which these words have acquired. Some liturgical styles befit the worship of Christ as our God and Lord; others do not.

So beware those who imagine that all leges orandi are equal when it comes to commending the mystery of the faith to the hearts of the faithful, especially to the young. They are obviously not equal. If your worship service couldn’t be held in the catacombs—without bulletins, without a projector screen, without electricity, even—with a tangible threat of death hanging over the heads of those assembled, then a reassessment might be in order.

JohnMaryAndEucharist

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Done

No more politics here.  I don’t have the stomach for it any longer.

The great American experiment with a representative republic was not kept, as Franklin once warned a woman asking after the Constitutional Convention that formed America.  Lincoln was a harbinger of things to come.  Wilson ran with them and since his day, the entire idea of a representative republic has been compromised so many times that it has been lost.

Mealy-mouthed “conservatives” lacking a spine have tried to retain the form, but with the guts of the matter ripped out and stomped on.  Trump is a brave man, but the weight of the deep state and the entrenched interests of the unholy marriage of corporations and gummint will bring him to heel, in fact, it already has to a degree.  The commie dems announcing today they will impeach him if he fires Mueller and Rosenstein – both of whom NEED to go!

And some group feeding on assholery has filed a civil rights suit against the President.  He is being attacked from every quarter, his wife threatened, a new death threat on his 11 year old son.  And the GOPe sits on its hands.  Faux conservatives, every one of them.  Trump’s grand plans are dead, or severely compromised.  Gramsci proved himself the true prophet of communism, and America is really given over to the commies.

We are just playing out the string, and for my part, writing about the whole political scene is an exercise in total futility.  I am done wasting my time and energies to a totally lost cause.  I shall arm myself for my own personal protection, and let what will happen, happen.  Apolitical.  Two days in the hospital with nothing to do but think on theses things.  I don’t need the grief.

Theology, sermons, apologetics and the Red Sox.  That will keep me plenty busy.  So it shall be.  Pax

 

 

Anniversary

To the day. two years since his announcement he was going to kick ass and take names and beat Hillary and become POTUS.

Two years later, as POTUS – still doing the same!  Had to post.

The Donald.