Monday, May 05, 2008

What to do...

Here's some really good, scriptural and common sense advice, from Pastor Joel Brandos, for those who are in a liberal-leaning Lutheran church and you are a layperson:

1) Support your pastor. Encourage him to speak the truth in love. If he complains about how bad things are, urge him to keep commending what is good, right, and salutary;

2) Show up at local and regional meetings and conventions;

3) When you are at these events, don’t get angry. Don’t even look perturbed. Instead, take along with you one or two Bible passages and one or two quotes from Luther and the Confessions, not more than one paragraph long. Find the opportunity to share them with the group, telling people how much these words mean to you. To start out with, don’t speak against things — tell people what you are FOR and why you are for it. Identify people in the group who are interested in your words, even if it is only one or two. Make their acquaintance; get their e-mail; get to know them, but don’t be psychotically overwhelming. You might point them to one or two constructive blogs and The Wittenberg Trail;

4) If you find someone who doesn’t agree with you, first of all, just LISTEN to them and ask clarifying questions. Don’t get into a knock-down drag out argument. Sometimes you will hear them make outlandish statements. Press them hard to give evidence and make them PROVE that what they are saying is true. Don’t let them make generalizations. After you listen, THEN you may explain to them once again what you think is helpful and important based on the Scriptures, Confessions, and Luther’s writings;

5) Buy a copy of “What Luther Says.” This publication is full of excerpts from his writings on many different subjects organized alphabetically by Topic. Read it;

6) Read the PREFACES to Luther’s Large and Small Catechisms. Amazing! Read the Large Catechism if you have never done so. Re-memorize the Small Catechism as part of your daily devotions;

7) Get a copy Bente’s “Historical Introductions to the Book of Concord.” Understand Lutheran theology in its historical context - very important! Note how it was all LAYMEN who signed the Augsburg Confession.