Dear friends in Christ,
We continue our survey of Church History from the book of Professor E.A.W. Krauss from our St. Louis seminary of a century ago. This month we continue our look at a bane of confessional Lutheranism—Pietism. We are looking at one example of what happened when Pietism was introduced and got a foot hold. Those defending the true and correct doctrine, though, also fell into error and unkindness. We see this in this month’s continued account from the German city of Hamburg. You may want to review last month’s reading to refresh yourself on the names and events.
38. 2. THE PIETISTS IN HAMBURG [Part 2]
The head of the Hamburg Ministerium, was a man named Schultz. He was on Mayer’s side and on 14 March 1690 called all pastors of Hamburg to an assembly. There a Revers (declaration of commitment) was set before them. It stated: For some time private religious gatherings, like those held by Spener, have also been held in Hamburg. It seems that people, who were not qualified—brewer, tailor, tobacconist, sail maker, etc.— had drafted their own confessions of faith. Some of these came into the hands of the most judicious council, and some also came into the hands of the ministerium. When these people were examined the following remarks were made: the Bible is not a means of enlightenment, instead it is a mere testimony; it is not necessary for salvation; it is erroneous in many places, so the letters cannot be trusted; Jews, Turks and heathen can also be saved, even though they know nothing of Christ; Bible reading and Holy Communion were only necessary for a time, which means that the time could come when a person would no longer need Bible or Communion; the sworn obligation to teach according to the Symbolical [the Lutheran Confessions] books, is unjust and those Christians who demand it have to answer for it before God. The neighboring Superintendent, Petersen, was also pointed to as being a Chiliast [one holding to a literal physical 1000 year reign of Christ on earth] and having fellowship with those who lead astray and with those who were led astray. Schultz’s final demand was that every pastor of Hamburg formally commit himself (Revers) not only not to depart in the slightest from the Symbolical books, but also to have nothing to do both with these fanatics and with coarse and fine Chiliasm, but to fight them and not to recognize their followers as brothers. This was directed against the three Pietists that were named, whom Schultz called “the three saints.” This declaration of commitment (Revers) was first set before Winkler. He signed it with the explanation that he is assuming that his private conventicles are not meant to be included among the “innovations” and thus should not be disturbed. After three days he withdrew his signature because he “recognized that there was malice lying hidden behind it.”
Horb immediately refused to sign it claiming it an innovation, Hinkelmann did the same. All three then said: the ministerium has no right, without the command and foreknowledge of the senate, as the “Christian authority,” to impose on its members such a strict oath. Something like this only belonged to “the whole Church.”—This became the point of contention: the ministerium maintained that it had this right all by itself.
The ministerium gathered theological opinions (Gutachten) from the faculties in Kiel (to which Mayer also belonged), Greifswald, Wittenberg, Leipzig and from the ministerium in Luebeck. Mayer formulated three questions for which they sought answers: 1. Does a ministerium, which does not have a consistory, have the authority to draw up a certain formula if foreign teachings not forbidden in the Symbolical books creep in. (The answer sounded from everywhere, “Yes!” with Leipzig being the only exception) 2. Is such a formula, which most willingly subscribe to, an infringement of the rights of the town council? (All, except for Leipzig: no) 3. What is one to think of Boehme’s doctrine and writings? (In the Revers they were labeled as “fanatic” [schwaermerisch])
The Hamburg Ministerium did not consider Leipzig’s answer and immediately had the other opinions published.
Then the three Pietists also gathered theological opinions—from Spener, from the lawyer Samuel Stryck, and the Superintendents in Wolfenbeutel and Riga. Horb’s first question was: “whether a member of a ministerium who had not read Boehme’s writings, nor even heard that he was condemned by the whole Church or by a private synod, and then did not dare to accept his condemnation into his final hour of death, can, for that reason, be suspected of being in agreement with Boehme.” Certainly, one would naturally say: no.
Horb’s second question was: whether a conscientious theologian, who daily recognizes the ignorance and the godless life of many who go to confession, should do nothing to help and improve that person other than what his predecessors did. The answer to this was likewise obvious.
To Horeb’s main question, Spener answered: a ministerium does not have the right, unilaterally, without consulting the town council, to set down a new confession and to obligate the members of a ministerium to it; this matter belongs to the entire Church, not to the ministerium alone; not even one individual congregation has this right. It certainly may make a decision in matters of dispute that arise but it may not put it on the same level as a symbolical book, and by this make a religious oath out of it.
Moreover Spener also answered Horb’s question of whether the doctrine of Chiliasm (a thousand-year kingdom) is fundamental to the faith so that whoever errs in it must be excluded from the Christian brotherhood, and whether it is in the authority of an individual ministerium to decide what the erring doctrine is and what it is not. To this Spener, slyly and evasively, says that he only speaks about the Chiliasm that has many admirers in the old and new church. He denies that it overturns the foundation of faith because if one believes it, all fundamental articles remain in order and correctness: of the grace of God, Christ’s satisfaction, justification, sanctification, new birth, renewal, resurrection, etc. In further error, Spener maintains that the Augsburg Confession does not reject this Chiliasm in Article XVII; it had only the doctrine of the fanatics in mind, namely, that the godly should set up a kingdom with the power of the sword.
Naturally the three Pietists then saw to it that Spener’s theological opinion was made known. As a result, a years long literary battle arose, which was heatedly carried out.
What, then, did the town council do? It seized the responses that came, as “prejudicial to its rights” (hindering); it declared the Revers null and void, but when the ministerium protested, it again thought differently and upheld it “in its dignity,” but under the condition that the three Pietists would not be forced to sign it. In essence, this was a ridiculous contradiction and enabled the three to remain in Hamburg.
On New Year’s Day 1693, Horb renewed the dispute. This time it ended with his expulsion from Hamburg without the city council being able to protect him after that.
In Hamburg the custom—still practiced in many one-time German imperial free cities— was that on New Year’s the penitent would send his preacher a present, cakes, wine and the like. The bearers, the servant or maid, normally received a small tip for that. In light of that, in 1693 Horb chose a pamphlet with the title The Wisdom of the Righteous. It was written by the French mystic, Poiret, and was translated into German in Hamburg. Horb had later himself admitted “that the writing had a lot of faults with, that all the material on the instruction of children was not sufficiently explained, and that the doctrine of justification, and especially on baptism, should have been much more thought out.” This was an all too gentle judgment. The distribution of this little work was certainly not only a “mistake,” rather it was a risky, unpardonable carelessness. Good will could certainly have brought the matter to a proper conclusion had the ministerium occupied itself with speaking to Horb’s conscience and had made him willing to do what was necessary. But this was not Mayer’s thing. At that time he was in Kiel because he combined a professorship in Kiel with his head pastorate in Hamburg. When he returned, and heard of the pamphlet and had one in hand, he then saw, as he put it, “with the very first look, that the Pelagian, Papistic, Socinian, Quaker, Arminian, Weigelian, and Schwenkfeldtian, spirit of heresy prevailed through and through in this little writing.” Thus even before the end of January, he published his Warning, which, to be sure, was hastily written, but is firmly grounded in God’s Word, to the precious city of Hamburg, but particularly to his dear congregation, St. James, against the heretical, astray leading booklet, called ‘The Wisdom of the Righteous,’ now distributed and given away in Hamburg, that one may be well aware of it. Also from the pulpit he warned of this work of Poiret. In the introduction to the printed warning, he tells how he returned home from Kiel, received news that “a Spenerian creature had published a booklet and given it to children and servants at New Year’s.” “It seems to me that the Spenerian method is that they almost always neglect books of pure and upright theologians and excuse books questionable in the faith, and in fact, detrimental to it and then even praise and very enthusiastically deliver them to the people as being extremely useful for the building up of their Christianity. This is how the patriarch, Mr. Spener himself does it and thus his followers do so likewise.” Mayer showed conclusive proof that all kinds of errors were contained in the book.
His criticism greatly stoked the fire. In another writing, a friend of Mayer called the meetings of the Horbians “Quakerish.” Horb attacked from the pulpit and then sought to defend himself from the pulpit. The ministerium, though, proposed to the city council that Horb be barred from the pulpit. The city council did not agree to this but demanded an explanation from Horb. His explanation was that a person should hold to the booklet only so far as it agrees with Scripture and the Symbols. Naturally this explanation did not satisfy the ministerium and it renewed its request. The council agreed but demanded that the other members also no longer mention the matter either from the pulpit or in further writings and that “the inquiry and decision in the matter be left to the Senate.” The ministerium gathered and decided: 1. this decision of the council is an infringement on the rights of the ministerium; and, 2. we will continue to preach against Horb.
The council still did not give up its attempt to referee. Horb was to declare: I regret that I spread the booklet, that I mentioned the matter in the sermon of 26 February. I will completely distance myself from the booklet in question, as well as from the errors that it is accused of, Chiliasm and Enthusiasm; the offense that arose grieves me and I attest that I will never again deviate from the pure Lutheran doctrine. Horb actually signed this on 29 March; but the ministerium declared to the council that it “would not recognize Horb as a brother, and admit him to confession (!) and the Lord’s Supper.” Then the council demanded: the ministerium should hold a colloquy. The ministerium responded: for our sakes, but first Horb must be removed. Then there was a sharp strife between council and ministerium. It ended with the decree: Mayer was to debate Horb. Horb responded to this: with anybody else, just not with my personal enemy, Mayer. The Senate said that it was decided who was to debate with Horb. Neither the ministerium nor Horb were in agreement with it.
Then Mayer gave a sermon in which he said: “If the city council presumes to forbid punishing heretics even by naming the name from the pulpit, it sets itself in opposition to a) the Holy Spirit, b) the Holy Scripture, C) the practice of the Church. Thus we may not in the least give ground, but must continue to preach against it, and even if we should lose coat and cape, head and crown over it. The council may no longer be regarded as government as soon as it wants to set its throne above God’s throne. The preachers are not servants of the council but of God. No government can make a preacher apt, courageous and learned. Only God can and must do that. But if the Horb matter does not resolve already in the next week, I am firmly decided to give my farewell sermon and to leave, as certainly as God helps me!”
Horb’s congregation again declared it would stake goods and life for him. Finally the decision was made in a stormy council meeting (24 November): “Horb must leave the city within eight days.” When Horn showed himself on the street, one would cry out after him; “Quaker! Quaker!” Stones were thrown at him during a funeral. In his final sermon one of those in attendance yelled out to him in the pulpit that he should be quiet, that he was a Quaker. On 27 November he left the city.
But this still did not bring peace. Winkler and Hinkelmann did not agree in the counsel and action of the other members of the ministerium, but rather, while Horb was still there, took up his cause from the pulpit. They also did this after he left and a bitter strife arose between them and Mayer. In all the German, and even in the Dutch newspapers, the affairs of Hamburg were discussed, and in most Mayer’s terrible vehemence was sharply rebuked. Mayer then demanded that the city council state that he was not an agitator and that he did not start the matter with Horb. The city council certainly took care to issue such a statement, and Mayer, who feared the change of sentiment also in the city, gave rousing sermons resulting in street fights between his followers and those of the expelled Horb. Armed force had to be used to intervene against them. Mayer’s followers demanded that “the execution on Horb’s goods be carried out.” They didn’t get this, but on 24 January 1694 the council felt compelled to order Horb’s wife to leave the city with her goods within 24 hours. Peace, however, was again first restored by imperial edict of April 1694. Horb died in 1695 and his congregation demanded in vain that he be allowed to be buried in Hamburg. With this the strife ended.
So far Professor Krauss
Hello one and all! We do not have a lot of news this month but read what we do have! In place of the 5th Sunday dinner on May 31st after church the Sunday School is hosting a Spaghetti dinner. Please support them in that.Earlier this month Ginny and Janet delivered the 55 quilts our dedicated group made this year to the Lutheran World Relief collection point in Syracuse.
Have a Blessed Month. God Bless, Carol, Pres.
CATECHISM REVIEW: Beginning 07 June we will begin the review of Luther’s Small Catechism during the Sunday morning service. The catechism can never be studied enough. It has in simple form the basic teachings of the Christian faith. We target our review of the catechism during the Sundays after Trinity because this is the half of the Church Year we focus in on our Lord’s teaching [the first half of the Church year has as its focus the life of our Lord]. We encourage you to take your bulletin home with you each week and use that portion of the catechism that we reviewed on Sunday as part of your devotions in your home.
REMEMBER: THE CHURCH STILL NEEDS YOUR OFFERINGS EVEN WHEN YOU ARE AWAY
SUNDAY SCHOOL NEWS: The children have done a great job with their Heifer project. The children have been collecting money since the beginning of the Sunday School year. They are planning on hosting a Spaghetti Dinner on 31 May. Please plan on staying after service, enjoying what’s to be a delicious meal and supporting them in this cause as they let their Christian love show mercy to those in need.
May 31st is also our last class before summer break. But we will back in the fall. Have a great summer and see you again in September!
Our adult summer Sunday morning Bible Study begins 07 June at 9.45. This year we will study the books of the Apocrypha. They were widely used by the early Christians for good reason: their Scripture was primarily the Greek Septuagint which included the Apocrypha. “Many of the Early Church Fathers quote from the Septuagint in a manner exactly parallel to their citations from canonical Scripture….Early on, however…churchmen such as Origen of Alexandria noted a difference between the Apocrypha and the Hebrew Scriptures. Cyril of Jerusalem and Jerome also drew a line of separation between the two, using the term Apocrypha for the first time in reference to these writings. To be sure, Jerome included them in his Latin translation of the Bible, the Vulgate, but advised that the Apocrypha should be read for edification, not for supporting church dogma….Why [study the Apocrypha]? No reply could be better than the introduction to the Apocrypha in the German Luther Bible: “Apocrypha, that is, books which are not held equal to the sacred Scriptures, and nevertheless are useful and good to read.” [From The Apocrypha: The Lutheran Edition With Notes]. Plan now to join us.
FATHER’S DAY IS 21 JUNE. HERE IS A DEVOTION FOR FATHER’S DAY:
My son, hear the instruction of your father, and do not forsake the law of your mother; for they will be graceful ornaments on your head, and chains about your neck. Proverbs 1. 8,9
Many know the saying from their parents: As long as you live under my roof, you will do what I say. This verse seems to sound the same: hear the instruction of your father, and do not forsake the law of your mother. Always do what your parents tell you.
The writer of this proverb—and thus God-- does not want to suggest to us a slavish obedience. Cain, who murdered his brother, is an example warning us where such obedience can lead. He offered God a sacrifice, but not to thank Him but only to fulfill God’s demands.
In Solomon’s Proverbs God’s word makes us aware of what blessing arises from a God willed cooperation. When young people recognize their parents as a gift of God, they will be thankful for upbringing. They will gladly conform to their standards and consider their counsel and by this show their parents, “We regard and honor you.” Even when they perhaps sometimes think, “They do not understand me or have forgotten how it was when they were young. Nevertheless they hold their parents in honor. Such “children” will discover their upbringing as a divine blessing. And they will possess a dignity and beauty which goes deeper that the outward appearance.
Precisely in the Son of God can we see how obedience operates from love. Jesus gladly listened to Mary and joseph. And He grew in wisdom. With God and people He found favor. Also this obedience was a part of His saving work for us. By this He fulfilled God’s will.
Lord Jesus Christ, grant me the power to be obedient to You and my parents. Amen.
[By: Pr. Uwe Klaerner, God Is For Us, 23 April 2015]
FOLLOWING UP ON OUR SYNOD’S MAY EMPHASIS ON WORSHIP, we quote from the book Heaven on Earth: The Gifts of Christ in the Divine Service, pg. 279 by Rev. Dr. Arthur Just of our Ft. Wayne seminary:
In worship Christ is summoning us home to be with Him when He invites us to sit and listen to His word with our ears and our eyes and then come forward and receive His flesh with our mouths. Our eyes are opened to His bodily presence where He offers us the best seat at the table and the finest food. We have come home to be with God in the Father’s house, a foretaste of our final homecoming at the Lamb’s banquet in His kingdom that has no end. Worship is our home, our own unique culture, inhabited by Christ Himself, where we know by heart its language and its rhythms for we have immersed ourselves in its life because it is His life. When the Benediction is spoken, the liturgy does not end, our summons home in Christ has only begun. As we depart from the Divine Service, the gifts Christ has given us become the gifts He gives our neighbors through us, gifts of mercy, love, compassion and forgiveness. This is the liturgy of life, nothing more and nothing less than a recapitulation of His life in our lives because we bear His presence in our bodies.
24 JUNE—6 MONTHS BEFORE CHRISTMAS—WE CELEBRATE THE BIRTH OF ST. JOHN THE BAPTIZER: “BEHOLD THE LAMB OF GOD.”[John 1.36]
Other prophets also indeed prophesied of Christ, how He would come and make the world free from sin. But neither Isaiah nor Jeremiah could have said: This is the One whom you should receive. It was John alone whose voice was the first to go out and whose fingers pointed to the Person where the forgiveness of sins is truly to be found. No person either had or had seen such fingers, like those of John, with which he pointed to the Lamb of God. Therefore, let the one whom sin oppresses, devil and hell terrify, look only to the mouth and finger of this preacher. He will rightly teach and direct that person so that he comes to the forgiveness of sins and be at peace with God. This is the joy that all the world—not just Zacharias and Elizabeth—should have in John. [Luther]
IN LIGHT OF THE RECENT BALTIMORE RIOTS AND IN HONOR AND CELEBRATION OF THE 485th ANNIVERSARY OF THE PRESENTATION OF THE AUGSBURG CONFESSION WE PUBLISH A DEVOTION GIVEN BY OUR GREAT SYNODICAL THEOLOGIAN, DR. FRANCIS PIEPER ON 25 JUNE 1930 IN BALTIMORE ON BEHALF OF THE MINISTERIUM OF THE MISSOURI SYNOD IN BALTIMORE. ALTHOUGH GIVEN 85 YEARS AGO, WHAT HE SAYS IS SO FITTING TODAY—
THE ASSEMBLY AT AUGSBURG: THE ASSEMBLY OF THE PEACE WITH GOD AND ETERNAL PEACE IN HEAVEN
[Concordia Theological Monthly, Vol. 1, No. 9, September 1930]
Dear listeners near and far!
In His farewell discourse to His disciples, the Savior of the world says: “Peace I leave with you, MY peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” [John 14.27]
Peace! In our time, too, “Peace” is much discussed. What is meant, is an outward, a peace in and of this world. The violent unrests and terrors of the World War have not yet been overcome. They still reverberate throughout the whole world. And yet there is already talk in word and print of a universal world peace which, sooner or later, will come about as culture and science spread and as humanity morally improves.
There is a deception at the root of all this talk. We know exactly how it will be in this world as long as it stands. Holy Scripture, God’s own and infallible word, reveals to us that there will not be any outward peace in this world as long as it stands. To the contrary, the closer that the end of the world comes, all the more will humanity’s hostility among and against one another increase. There will never fail to be war and bloodshed.
But should we despair because of this? Should we spend our lives lamenting and crying over the “peaceless” life in this world? Certainly not! In the midst of each conflict, in every quarrel and strife, even in the midst of war and bloodshed, there is already peace in this world, a precious peace, a peace which precedes an eternal peace in heaven. It is the peace of conscience with God.
The peace with God—that is the peace upon which everything depends for us. As long as we do not have this peace, nothing in the world can truly make us happy or comfort us. If we have peace with God, then we say with the words of Psalm 73, Lord, “if only I have You, I do not care about heaven and earth; if body and soul fail me, You, O God, are still the comfort of my heart and my portion forever.”
But how do we come to this peace with God? Not by ourselves. Because of our sin, each one of us has a bad conscience before God. Not only has God’s holy Law testified to us that by our sins we have earned God’s wrath and eternal punishment, but so have our own consciences. Add to this the fact that with everything we do—our works—we cannot appease God’s wrath, as holy Scripture testifies, “For by the works of the Law no flesh shall be justified” [Gal. 2.16].
There is rescue from this greatest of all miseries. God had mercy on us God sent us a Peacemaker. He had His eternal Son become man and made Him be the Substitute for all people. He placed upon Him the obligation of His holy Law so that He might fulfill it in place of humankind. On Him God place upon Him the punishment of His holy Law so that He might bear the punishment for humankind’s trespasses. As the holy Scripture of Old and New Testament testify: “The Lord has laid in Him the iniquity of us all” [Isaiah 53.6]; “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” [John 1.29]; “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us” [Gal. 3.13]; “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them” [2 Cor. 5.19]; “Surely He has borne our grief and carried our sorrows…He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Hi, and by His stripes we are healed” [Isaiah 53.4-5]. All people, who by the work of the Holy Spirit receive in faith the word of that peace which has been obtained by Christ, have peace with God in their hearts and conscience and are certain of eternal peace in heaven. As St. Paul rejoices in the name of all Christians, “Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ…and rejoice in hope of the glory of God” [Rom. 5.1-2]
This peace of conscience with God, which was obtained by Christ’s substitutionary atonement and is received by us through faith without the works of the Law and with no worthiness on our part: this peace forms the true content of the Augsburg Confession, the 400th anniversary of which we celebrate today. The explanation and safeguarding of that peace with God not only serves the 21 doctrinal articles of the Augsburg Confession but also the following seven articles which show the abuses which imperil the peace Christ obtained. The confessors at Augsburg, particularly the Lutheran princes, cared greatly about this peace. The princes wanted to confess Christ. They were ready, by God’s grace, to give up peace in this world, their land and people and even their own lives. But they would not let themselves be excluded from confessing the Gospel. It is reported that Elector John of Saxony said, “God made me an elector of the empire, of which I was never worthy. May He continue to make of me whatever pleases Him!”
The confessors at Augsburg, the confessors of the Augsburg Confession on 25 June 1530, cared greatly about the peace of conscience with God and the eternal peace in heaven, which they had recognized through faith in the Gospel. Therefore we can call the assembly at Augsburg “The Assembly of the Peace with God and the Eternal Peace in Heaven through Faith in the Gospel of the Forgiveness of Sins Which Christ Has Obtained For All People.” May God grant grace that each of us, through faith in this Gospel, may have peace of conscience with God here on earth and after this life eternal peace in heaven.
Peace to the conscience,
Peace within the heart
Do Thou impart! Amen. [ELHB #279, 3; see TLH #258; LSB #659]
Faith Lutheran Voters’ Meeting- May 10, 2015
Meeting called to order @ 12:10 after prayer with 11 members present.
THIS YEAR TRINITY SUNDAY IS 31 May: On this Sunday we boldly and proudly proclaim this main doctrine of Christianity—that there is one God but three Persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Please be sure to review this creed this week leading up to Trinity Sunday that you may boldly and with knowledge and feeling confess it.
The Athanasian Creed
Whoever desires to be saved must, above all, hold the catholic faith.
Whoever does not keep it whole and undefiled will without doubt perish eternally.
And the catholic faith is this, that we worship one God in Trinity and Trinity in Unity, neither confusing the persons nor dividing the substance.
For the Father is one person, the Son is another, and the Holy Spirit is another.
But the Godhead of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit is one: the glory equal, the majesty coeternal.
Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Spirit:
the Father uncreated, the Son uncreated, the Holy Spirit uncreated;
the Father infinite, the Son infinite, the Holy Spirit infinite;
the Father eternal, the Son eternal, the Holy Spirit eternal.
And yet there are not three Eternals, but one Eternal,
just as there are not three Uncreated or three
Infinites, but one Uncreated and one Infinite.
In the same way, the Father is almighty, the Son almighty, the Holy Spirit almighty; and yet there are not three Almighties, but one Almighty.
So the Father is God, the Son is God, the Holy Spirit is God;
and yet there are not three Gods, but one God.
So the Father is Lord, the Son is Lord, the Holy Spirit is Lord;
and yet there are not three Lords, but one Lord.
Just as we are compelled by the Christian truth to acknowledge each distinct person as God and Lord, so also are we prohibited by the catholic religion to say that there are three Gods or Lords.
The Father is not made nor created nor begotten by anyone.
The Son is neither made nor created, but begotten of the Father alone.
The Holy Spirit is of the Father and of the Son, neither made nor created nor begotten, but proceeding.
Thus, there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons; one Holy Spirit, not three Holy Spirits.
And in this Trinity none is before or after another; none is greater or less than another;
but the whole three persons are coeternal with each other and coequal, so that in all things, as has been stated above, the Trinity in Unity and Unity in Trinity is to be worshiped.
Therefore, whoever desires to be saved must think thus about the Trinity.
But it is also necessary for everlasting salvation that one faithfully believe the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore, it is the right faith that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is at the same time both God and man.
He is God, begotten from the substance of the Father before all ages; and He is man, born from the substance of His mother in this age: perfect God and perfect man, composed of a rational soul and human flesh;
equal to the Father with respect to His divinity, less than the Father with respect to His humanity.
Although He is God and man, He is not two, but one Christ:
one, however, not by the conversion of the divinity into flesh, but by the assumption of the humanity into God;
one altogether, not by confusion of substance, but by unity of person.
For as the rational soul and flesh is one man, so God and man is one Christ, who suffered for our salvation, descended into hell, rose again the third day from the dead, ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father, God Almighty, from whence He will come to judge the living and the dead.
At His coming all people will rise again with their bodies and give an account concerning their own deeds.
And those who have done good will enter into eternal life, and those who have done evil into eternal fire.
This is the catholic faith; whoever does not believe it faithfully and firmly cannot be saved.
Athanasian Creed: LSB. Copyright © 2006 Concordia Publishing House.
YOUR DAILY LUTHERAN BIBLE CLASS...You can listen to teachings for laypeople on topics like: Eastern Orthodoxy, The Trinity, John's Vision of Heaven, Victims of the Sexual Revolution and more. Issues, Etc. is a radio talk show produced by Lutheran Public Radio in Collinsville, IL and hosted by LCMS Pastor Todd Wilken. You can listen on-demand at www.issuesetc.org.
LEARN ABOUT TWO COMPLETELY DIFFERENT BIBLICAL TEACHINGS --- on your Lutheran Radio Station Worldwide KFUO. The program Law and Gospel uses the theological distinctions between Law and Gospel not only to apply the Bible, but also to understand our relationship to God’s entire plan of salvation in Christ. Join host Tom Baker weekdays at 9:30-10:00am Central Time. Find it at kfuo.org and Facebook.com/KFUOradio.
Why Charitable, Christian Planning Reflects our Faith. . .
The opportunity to include charitable giving in the estate planning of U.S. citizens is largely overlooked by the vast majority of people in our nation. When they pass property from one generation to another, those who take advantage of remembering charitable organizations not only give their families a firsthand example of generosity that makes the world a better place for succeeding heirs, they literally pass on a legacy that extends the Biblical calling to be a blessing.
Statistically, only 8% of U. S. estates that are documented include a charitable gift. <Your ministry> hopes to put the idea of charitable planning in the forefront of the minds of Christian people. It is expected that more people with baptismal faith should include charitable causes that align with their highest values if the idea was ‘top of mind’ or more prevalent when they completed their plans.
We hope that more people will continue to do in their death what they have done during their entire lives; namely share love with family members and support the work of the Lord. But such giving must be planned while one is able to plan. If a person waits until they are no longer able to make their own decisions or until they die, charitable planning is not likely to happen.
Among the benefits of charitable gift planning are conserving taxes, assuring principal and income for family members and providing the joy that comes with fulfilling the Great Commission and living outside of self, even in ones entry into eternal peace.
Charitable gift planning involves the spiritual stewardship process of looking at a person’s economic situation with a trained guide who shares your faith and helps you discern relevant options, and then supports you and your advisors to identify the opportunities and planning options that work best. Contrary to popular myth, a person can witness their faith and support ministries without disinheriting their family.
Christians worship a God who justifies a place of first priority in their lives. The congregations and ministry organizations we support can be considered at the same priority level as our family/heirs. These entities will assure that the future of the Christian faith will be stronger for our children’s children.
In charitable gift planning, you will discover useful options that can bring blessings to your home; including beneficial options to avoid tax traps with qualified retirement account plans.
Learn more from Robert Wirth, Gift Planner and our partner, the LCMS Foundation. We can walk you through the gift planning process confidentially. email@example.com or 716-863-4427.
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