Saturday, July 14, 2007

The responsiblity of a preacher and of a congregation

To those false prophets God says:

“You have scattered My flock, driven them away, and not attended to them. Behold, I will attend to you for the evil of your doings,” says the LORD. (Jeremiah 23:2)

To congregations who listen to false prophets, God says:

16 Thus says the LORD of hosts:
“ Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you.
They make you worthless;
They speak a vision of their own heart,
Not from the mouth of the LORD.
17 They continually say to those who despise Me,
‘ The LORD has said, “You shall have peace”’;
And to everyone who walks according to the dictates of his own heart, they say,
‘ No evil shall come upon you.’”
18 For who has stood in the counsel of the LORD,
And has perceived and heard His word?
Who has marked His word and heard it?
19 Behold, a whirlwind of the LORD has gone forth in fury—
A violent whirlwind!
It will fall violently on the head of the wicked.
20 The anger of the LORD will not turn back
Until He has executed and performed the thoughts of His heart.
In the latter days you will understand it perfectly.
21 “ I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran.
I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied.

(Jeremiah 23:16-21)


These words should be heeded by any Christian. I pray that my own synod's men heed these words.

Contemporary worship as idolatry?

On adopting "contemporary" practices in worship...

Contemporary/Alternative/non-liturgical worship is not a new invention. Short-sighted pastors and congregations get all excited about what a tool such non- or anti-liturgical worship could be for outreach and education.

In 1920, Bjug Harstad, then President of the Norwegian Synod wrote:

"The unclarity, lukewarmness and liberalism of the times are dangerous because several harmful things follow from them. Because people do not stress the heart's inner life of faith and heartfelt appropriation of God's undeserved grace and gifts, the forgiveness of sin, life and salvation through faith alone without the deeds of the law, then no particular desire to dwell much with the doctrine of God's essence, attributes, grace and the Means of Grace, is felt, but mostly the need for cooperating in the externals. Meetings and talks revolve then most around practical things, man's own undertakings, often completely ordinary worldly business which sometimes is praised as Christians' deeds of love, while a precise exposition of one or another important doctrine would produce disturbance and disagreement. Must I ask if such church work is anything other than idolatry before God? Read on...