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In 1518, about 6 months after Luther posted the 95 Theses, Martin Luther presented his Heidelberg Theses. These theses utterly strip man of any kind of boasting before God. There is not one speck of spiritual life in the Old Adam and Luther makes that quite clear. We had nothing to bring to God but our sin.
There was no goodness in us according to the flesh. There was no free will to choose God. There was nothing upon which God could smile. Check out the sermon, but beware. If there is any spiritual pride in you, this sermon and Luther's theses will be hard to handle. There is Goodnews however. When we are stripped of every cause for boasting before God we can simply rest in His unmerited grace --- grace alone.
Heidelberg Disputation Thesis 28 - "The love of God does not find, but creates, that which is pleasing to it. The love of man comes into being through that which is pleasing to it."
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Saturday, February 25, 2012
This Ash Wednesday sermon meditates on the passion of Christ via the 1873 painting by William Hunt. The painting is called the "Shadow of Death." Click here for the MP3 sermon
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Thursday, February 16, 2012
The federal government is trampling on the free exercise of religion by mandating religious instutions supply methods of contraception and abortion in their health care plans. The federal government, and President Obama in particular, has shown its intolerance of religious freedom. This mandate puts religion under the thumb of the government.
The Catholic church has offered up strong criticism of the President's plan. Former Governor Mike Huckabee stood in solidarity with the Catholic church saying, "We are all Catholics now." While the Governor's words are commendable, the issue goes well beyond the Catholic church. The Lutheran Church- Missouri Synod (LC-MS) stands against this intrusion as do other Christian and non-Christian groups.
President Obama responded to this strong criticism by offering up a farce -- the so-called "accommodation" whereby religious institutions would not have to pay for contraceptive and abortive coverage.
The "accommodation" places the cost of coverage not upon religious organizations but upon their insurance companies. Why is this a farce? First, the insurance companies will never pay for this. They just pass along the cost by raising health premiums. Second, many denominations self-insure. While the LC-MS currently falls under a grandfather clause we strongly voice our opposition to the trampling of the 1st Amendment.
Please check out the response of the Matthew Harrison, President of the LC-MS.