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    #46
    Greetings and salutations to one and all on here--I know it's been awhile since I first brought up the subject I needed clarification on, which was what the Lutheran Church taught concerning the end times, and specifically the idea of a rapture of the Church by Christ before God's wrath was poured out onto those 'who hate Him' who are here on the earth. I left because at the time I'd desperately needed Christian fellowship, but was upset at the way my questions were 'answered', and the remarks made to me about myself. Being a grieving mother who's son had been killed in Afghanistan in July of 2006, and who had not been able to acquire grief counseling no matter how hard I'd tried, and had no family that stood by my husband and myself in our hour of desperate need, I was having to handle my grief mostly by myself, and I was still in a bad state of mind when I first came here and was seeking some Christian fellowship and comfort.

    As to what I asked concerning my small misunderstanding with the LCMS people at the local Lutheran Church near here, my head was still so clouded back then that I had a hard time understanding their teachings on the subject of the end times, so was hoping to find some of that understanding from those on here. Since then, the 'fog' of grief has cleared up quite a bit, so now what I was being told by those at the Church has begun making some sense to me. I had been baptized into the Lutheran Church when I was only 18[in 1968], never having ever attended Church regularly with my family while growing up, so everything about Church was new to me. Once I married a Catholic only 2 years later the distance between myself and the Lutheran Church grew because I began attending Catholic Mass--it was easier doing things that way, due to my family situation. I honestly was not aware of the conflict between what Catholics believe and what protestants believe, since I thought we were all Christians, but simply worshiped differently.

    That's what a lack of a Christian education does to someone, though--it can cause such great harm in the long run. I was thankfully never able to convert, nor was I ever able to learn as much as I wanted to, concerning the Catholic Church and it's doctrines, and looking back on things I have come to believe it might have been due to Divine Providence. The very last time I tried signing up to take adult classes to learn about the Catholic Church, I was formally barred by the local Catholic Deacon from taking those classes, due to my being a "trouble maker!"--his words not mine--thanks to my asking questions concerning the 'seat of Peter'--the Pope--and, whether it had been vacant since Vatican II, as two priests claimed, and whose videos I'd stumbled across on YouTube--they proclaimed the 'seat' to have been vacant, and all I wanted to know was what in the world were they talking about?! For that, the Deacon proclaimed me 'null and void' so to speak, and told me I would not be allowed to take the RCIA classes--as he was telling me off, I just said to him that I thought I'd stay a Lutheran! and I left as quickly as I could, because the man frightened me!!

    I think that's about when I began to realize that the Lord Jesus just may not wish me to convert after all, since, of all the 'road blocks' to my converting over the years, this one was the 'last straw!' I decided I'd remain a Lutheran Protestant, and be done with any idea of becoming Catholic. And, all of what I've gone through stems from my never having had a proper Christian education while I was growing up,I'm convinced of that now. So, as an adult I was way ignorant of so very many things in the Christian world that I continually ran into problems like the one with that Deacon. However, it's all helped me to cling more and more to Christ, and His commandments to us to love and forgive even our enemies, and to do good things for them and to pray for them, so we would be more like our Father in heaven--I think once the Lord drew my attention to Matthew 5, and helped me to realize that He meant for us to take His words in all seriousness, then He meant for us to actually put them into practice no matter what, that's when I finally began to grow up as a member of the Body of Christ.

    I think,too, that it's the Lord's leading that's now brought me back here--I hope I have a better time of things this time around. God bless. :)
    Comment>

      #47
      Sorry for your loss Christine. I am without words in expressing any consolation because they feel so shallow for such a great sacrifice. As former military, I can only say that I appreciate the great sacrifice not only your son has demonstrated but loved ones. Much honor and respect to you and yours.

      Just tagging some Lutherans to come discuss these things with you Christine: ConfessionalLutheran Diego RevT

      God bless,
      William
      Comment>

        #48
        Hello, Christine:

        At the moment, I am engaged in a project. But tomorrow, I shall endeavour a more in depth reply. Until then, may God be with you.
        Comment>

          #49
          Thanks to you both, William and Diego, for your very kind words to me about my late son. It's been very hard to bear up under, but my husband and I are making it work out, with the help of the Lord, for which there are no words good enough to help express my love and gratitude to Him for all that I believe and know that He's done for us over the years, not the least of which was to become my Lord and my Savior, just as He said He would do in God's word. Wow, it's been so wonderful to be one of His own! Without His love and support through all that I've gone through since Bobby's death I doubt seriously I'd be sitting here right now typing this note to you, and that's no exaggeration, believe me. God's blessings to you both. :)
          Comment>

            #50
            Originally posted by Christine View Post
            Greetings and salutations to one and all on here--I know it's been awhile since I first brought up the subject I needed clarification on, which was what the Lutheran Church taught concerning the end times, and specifically the idea of a rapture of the Church by Christ before God's wrath was poured out onto those 'who hate Him' who are here on the earth. I left because at the time I'd desperately needed Christian fellowship, but was upset at the way my questions were 'answered', and the remarks made to me about myself. Being a grieving mother who's son had been killed in Afghanistan in July of 2006, and who had not been able to acquire grief counseling no matter how hard I'd tried, and had no family that stood by my husband and myself in our hour of desperate need, I was having to handle my grief mostly by myself, and I was still in a bad state of mind when I first came here and was seeking some Christian fellowship and comfort.

            As to what I asked concerning my small misunderstanding with the LCMS people at the local Lutheran Church near here, my head was still so clouded back then that I had a hard time understanding their teachings on the subject of the end times, so was hoping to find some of that understanding from those on here. Since then, the 'fog' of grief has cleared up quite a bit, so now what I was being told by those at the Church has begun making some sense to me. I had been baptized into the Lutheran Church when I was only 18[in 1968], never having ever attended Church regularly with my family while growing up, so everything about Church was new to me. Once I married a Catholic only 2 years later the distance between myself and the Lutheran Church grew because I began attending Catholic Mass--it was easier doing things that way, due to my family situation. I honestly was not aware of the conflict between what Catholics believe and what protestants believe, since I thought we were all Christians, but simply worshiped differently.

            That's what a lack of a Christian education does to someone, though--it can cause such great harm in the long run. I was thankfully never able to convert, nor was I ever able to learn as much as I wanted to, concerning the Catholic Church and it's doctrines, and looking back on things I have come to believe it might have been due to Divine Providence. The very last time I tried signing up to take adult classes to learn about the Catholic Church, I was formally barred by the local Catholic Deacon from taking those classes, due to my being a "trouble maker!"--his words not mine--thanks to my asking questions concerning the 'seat of Peter'--the Pope--and, whether it had been vacant since Vatican II, as two priests claimed, and whose videos I'd stumbled across on YouTube--they proclaimed the 'seat' to have been vacant, and all I wanted to know was what in the world were they talking about?! For that, the Deacon proclaimed me 'null and void' so to speak, and told me I would not be allowed to take the RCIA classes--as he was telling me off, I just said to him that I thought I'd stay a Lutheran! and I left as quickly as I could, because the man frightened me!!

            I think that's about when I began to realize that the Lord Jesus just may not wish me to convert after all, since, of all the 'road blocks' to my converting over the years, this one was the 'last straw!' I decided I'd remain a Lutheran Protestant, and be done with any idea of becoming Catholic. And, all of what I've gone through stems from my never having had a proper Christian education while I was growing up,I'm convinced of that now. So, as an adult I was way ignorant of so very many things in the Christian world that I continually ran into problems like the one with that Deacon. However, it's all helped me to cling more and more to Christ, and His commandments to us to love and forgive even our enemies, and to do good things for them and to pray for them, so we would be more like our Father in heaven--I think once the Lord drew my attention to Matthew 5, and helped me to realize that He meant for us to take His words in all seriousness, then He meant for us to actually put them into practice no matter what, that's when I finally began to grow up as a member of the Body of Christ.

            I think,too, that it's the Lord's leading that's now brought me back here--I hope I have a better time of things this time around. God bless. :)
            I'm so very sorry for your loss, Christine. Thank you so much for sharing your story and I pray to God that He will provide you with what you need for your Christian walk. I was a Roman Catholic myself for several years ( having been raised a moderate Baptist.. this was well before the 1990s, when the Fundamentalists took power in the Southern Baptist Convention), with me reaching a breaking point in 2012, when I attended a parish run by a priest who seemed to be more interested in fundraising than in teaching RC doctrine ( which seems to shift in emphasis every Pope or so). I prayed to God to send me to a church where I could do the most good and flourish as a Christian.. so I wound up investigating and attending my first Lutheran Church- Missouri Synod church. I was received into membership by a Reaffirmation of faith in February of 2013. I found the doctrine remarkably sound and the same thing that they taught in Florida, they teach in Virginia. It's all based on the Bible, on which are based the Lutheran Confessions.

            You've had the misfortune of encountering somebody who apparently expected to live in a bubble, where everyone would agree with him and those who challenged him would be promptly shot down. Unfortunately, you find people like that everywhere and people will abuse the kind of power that authority bestows. I agree that the Lord led you here and kept you in the Lutheran faith. May our Lord keep you and preserve you steadfast in the true faith!

            Peace be with you.
            Andrew
            Comment>

              #51
              Any other Lutherans here?
              Comment>

                #52
                Originally posted by ConfessionalLutheran View Post
                Any other Lutherans here?
                Haven't heard from RevT for a while. Last I talked with Diego he was quite busy. And other Lutherans as you know are not seemingly active on this board. Hopefully, your activity will eventually draw in other Lutherans. When people visit and see that you're from the same denomination. Of course, word of mouth goes far. If you know anybody feel free to invite them. I enjoy reading from the Lutheran (conservative) denominations and learning what they believe.

                God bless,
                William
                Comment>

                  #53
                  Originally posted by William View Post

                  Haven't heard from RevT for a while. Last I talked with Diego he was quite busy. And other Lutherans as you know are not seemingly active on this board. Hopefully, your activity will eventually draw in other Lutherans. When people visit and see that you're from the same denomination. Of course, word of mouth goes far. If you know anybody feel free to invite them. I enjoy reading from the Lutheran (conservative) denominations and learning what they believe.

                  God bless,
                  William
                  Thank you, William! I do frequent some Confessional Lutheran groups on Facebook. I'll be sure to get the word out.
                  Comment>

                    #54
                    I truly apologise for my currently insanely busy situation. The worst part is I don't know when it will let up. I am now teaching classes of English to Spanish speakers through my church, writing my book, raising a child, and otherwise trying to exist without going completely nuts. My book is a book on the history of the Holy Roman Empire, intended for graduate students to use as a textbook. It requires an excessive amount of research and time, as well as forcing me to learn the German language. I hope I can get back here at some point in the future. If it helps I am Lutheran Church Missouri synod.
                    Comment>

                      #55
                      Originally posted by William View Post

                      Or worse, they convey doubt to those that were baptized as children and teach that Covenant children should be rebaptized as the Ana-Baptist had.



                      It doesn't take rocket science to understand that Covenant and Credo-Baptism are not the same thing. Often I come across debates where neither side even acknowledges the opposing argument whatsoever, because they keep talking past one another. They can't even agree upon the definition let alone the mode(s) of baptism.

                      God bless,
                      William
                      This is because the church is lost in confusion. For one they have so many confirmations leaves your head to spin. What is a Lutheran anyway. With all the denominations and each one with different creeds and beliefs codes of conduct who then is the bride? Who is Christ coming back for. You see all this does not make the church the church. It's like everyone has their favorite pizza parlor. Which one should go to be saved. This is why I call Christianity the valley of confusion. The institutional church is bondage. On top of that if one is offended its off to another pizza parlor. Tradition has blinded the church. You see none of this brings anyone closer to Christ. Its not where I go but who I am. Jesus said those who love me keep my commandments.. The problem is church pride. Jesus said my sheep know me and I call my sheep by name. I address these things because I am compelled to. Jeremiah said it like a fire shut up in my bones.
                      Last edited by mitchel; 08-31-2017, 07:14 PM.
                      Comment>

                        #56
                        Originally posted by mitchel View Post
                        You see none of this brings anyone closer to Christ.

                        I agree, not one thing you said brought anybody closer to Christ. And if others are like me you succeeded in irritating me enough where I had to pray for tolerance and patience in order to approach you.

                        Your behavior and rants is what deters people of a denomination from joining the board which seek to have theological conversations with like minded peoples. That is what the Faith groups are for. People belonging to a particular Christian body can congregate and talk about the church, or a place where people can seek answers from them.

                        Having said that, this sub-forum is for Lutherans, and Lutheran curious members of this board. Not a place for you to rant against the Lutherans.

                        If you do not wish to learn about Lutheran doctrine, then please stay in the non-denominational sub-forum or open parts of the board.

                        God bless,
                        William
                        Comment>

                          #57
                          Thank you, William. As for Mitchel, I shall deal with his rather disastrous post in the morning.
                          Comment>

                            #58
                            Originally posted by Diego View Post
                            Thank you, William. As for Mitchel, I shall deal with his rather disastrous post in the morning.
                            Please do. I'm absolutely speechless!
                            Comment>

                              #59
                              Originally posted by mitchel View Post

                              This is because the church is lost in confusion. For one they have so many confirmations leaves your head to spin. What is a Lutheran anyway.
                              In simple terms, a Lutheran is any person who lives by Sola Scriptura, Sola Gratia, Sola Fide. Martin Luther was the man who in many ways renewed the Church.

                              A true Lutheran is one who follows the Bible, explained by the Book of Concord. We have retained as much as we can from the pre-Reformation Church, and we have cast off the dross

                              With all the denominations and each one with different creeds and beliefs codes of conduct who then is the bride? Who is Christ coming back for. You see all this does not make the church the church. It's like everyone has their favorite pizza parlor. Which one should go to be saved. This is why I call Christianity the valley of confusion. The institutional church is bondage. On top of that if one is offended its off to another pizza parlor. Tradition has blinded the church. You see none of this brings anyone closer to Christ. Its not where I go but who I am. Jesus said those who love me keep my commandments.. The problem is church pride. Jesus said my sheep know me and I call my sheep by name. I address these things because I am compelled to. Jeremiah said it like a fire shut up in my bones.
                              The simplest answer is that the Church exists wherever the Word of God is rightly preached and the Sacrments duly administered.

                              Comment>

                                #60
                                A Confessional Lutheran, in short, is a Christian who derives his beliefs from the Bible and is aided in understanding that Bible by the Lutheran Confessions. In fact, we subscribe to the Confessions because they are Biblically based. We retain the teachings and practices of the One, Holy, Christian and Apostolic Church that had not been corrupted by medieval and papal innovation. If the question " what is a Lutheran?" is an honest one, here is an honest answer:
                                What is a Lutheran?


                                While there are a variety of ways one could answer this question, one very important answer is simply this, "A Lutheran is a person who believes, teaches and confesses the truths of God's Word as they are summarized and confessed in the Book of Concord." The Book of Concord contains the Lutheran confessions of faith.

                                Perhaps you have attended an ordination of a pastor and heard him promise that he will perform the duties of his office in accord with the Lutheran Confessions. When people are received into membership into a Lutheran congregation through confirmation they are asked if they confess the doctrine of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, as they have learned to know it from the Small Catechism, to be faithful and true.

                                These solemn promises indicate to us just how important the Lutheran Confessions are for our church. Let's take a look at the various items contained in the Book of Concord and then we will talk about why the Lutheran Confessions are so important for being a Lutheran.

                                What are the Ecumenical Creeds?

                                The three ecumenical creeds in the Book of Concord are the Apostles' Creed, the Nicene Creed and the Athanasian Creed. They are described as "ecumenical" [universal] because they are accepted by Christians worldwide as correct expressions of what God's Word teaches.

                                What is the Augsburg Confession and Apology of the Augsburg Confession?

                                In the year 1530, the Lutherans were required to present their confession of faith before the emperor in Augsburg, Germany. Philip Melanchthon wrote the Augsburg Confession and it was read before the imperial court on June 30, 1530. One year later, the Lutherans presented their defense of the Augsburg Confession, which is what "apology" here means. It too was written by Philip Melanchthon. The largest document in the Book of Concord, its longest chapter, is devoted to the most important truth of the Christian faith: the doctrine of justification by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.

                                What are theSmall and Large Catechisms?

                                Martin Luther realized early on how desperately ignorant the laity and clergy of his day were when it came to even the most basic truths of the Christian faith. Around 1530, he produced two small handbooks to help pastors and the heads of families teach the faith.

                                The Small Catechism and the Large Catechism are organized around six topics: the Ten Commandments, the Apostles' Creed, the Lord's Prayer, Holy Baptism, Confession, and the Sacrament of the Altar. So universally accepted were these magnificent doctrinal summaries by Luther, that they were included as part of the Book of Concord.

                                What are the Smalcald Articles and the Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope?

                                In 1537, Martin Luther was asked to prepare a statement of Lutheran belief for use at a church council, if it was called. Luther's bold and vigorous confession of faith was later incorporated into the Book of Concord. It was presented to a group of Lutheran rulers meeting in the town of Smalcald. Philip Melanchthon was asked to expand on the subject of the Roman pope and did so in his treatise, which also was included in the Book of Concord.

                                What is the Formula of Concord

                                After Luther's death in 1546, significant controversies broke out in the Lutheran Church. After much debate and struggle, the Formula of Concord in 1577 put an end to these doctrinal controversies and the Lutheran Church was able to move ahead united in what it believed, taught and confessed. In 1580, all the confessional writings mentioned here were gathered into a single volume, the Book of Concord. Concord is a word that means, "harmony." The Formula of Concord was summarized in a version known as the "[COLOR=#7e1800]Epitome[/COLOR]" of the Formula of Concord. This document too is included in the Book of Concord.

                                What is the connection between the Bible and the Confessions?

                                We confess that, "The Word of God is and should remain the sole rule and norm of all doctrine" (FC SD, Rule and Norm, 9). What the Bible asserts, God asserts. What the Bible commands, God commands. The authority of the Scriptures is complete, certain and final. The Scriptures are accepted by the Lutheran Confessions as the actual Word of God. The Lutheran Confessions urge us to believe the Scriptures for "they will not lie to you" (LC, V, 76) and cannot be "false and deceitful" (FC SD, VII, 96). The Bible is God's "pure, infallible, and unalterable Word" (Preface to the BOC).

                                The Lutheran Confessions are the "basis, rule, and norm indicating how all doctrines should be judged in conformity with the Word of God" (FC SD RN). Because the Confessions are in complete doctrinal agreement with the written Word of God, they serve as the standard in the Lutheran Church to determine what is faithful Biblical teaching, insofar as that teaching is addressed in the Confessions.

                                What is the main point of the Lutheran Confessions?

                                The Lutheran Reformation was not a "revolt," but rather began as a sincere expression of concern with the false and misleading teachings, which, unfortunately, even to this very day, obscure the glory and merit of Jesus Christ. What motivated Luther was a zealous concern about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Here is how the Lutheran Confessions explain what the Gospel is all about:
                                Human beings have not kept the law of God but have transgressed it. Their corrupted human nature, thoughts, words, and deeds battle against the law. For this reason they are subject to God's wrath, to death and all temporal afflictions, and to the punishment of the fires of hell. As a result, the Gospel, in its strict sense, teaches what people should believe, namely, that they receive from God the forgiveness of sins; that is, that the Son of God, our Lord Christ, has taken upon Himself the curse of the law and borne it, atoned and paid for all our sins; that through Him alone we are restored to God's grace, obtain the forgiveness of sins through faith and are delivered from death and all the punishments of our sins and are saved eternally. . . . It is good news, joyous news, that God does not want to punish sin but to forgive it for Christ's sake (FC SD, V, 20).

                                What is a "confessional" Lutheran?

                                The word "confession" is used in a variety of ways, but when we speak of a "confessional" Lutheran we mean a Lutheran who declares to the world his faith and most deeply held belief and conviction, in harmony with the documents contained in the Book of Concord. You will catch the spirit of confessional Lutheranism in these, the last words written in the Book of Concord:
                                Therefore, it is our intent to give witness before God and all Christendom, among those who are alive today and those who will come after us, that the explanation here set forth regarding all the controversial articles of faith which we have addressed and explained--and no other explanation--is our teaching, faith, and confession. In it we shall appear before the judgment throne of Jesus Christ, by God's grace, with fearless hearts and thus give account of our faith, and we will neither secretly nor publicly speak or write anything contrary to it. Instead, on the strength of God's grace, we intend to abide by this confession (FC SD, XII, 40).

                                What is an "unconditional subscription" to the Confessions?

                                Confessional Lutheran pastors are required to "subscribe" unconditionally to the Lutheran Confessions because they are a pure exposition of the Word of God. This is the way our pastors, and every layman who confesses his belief in the Small Catechism, is able with great joy and without reservation or qualification to say what it is that he believes to be the truth of God's Word.

                                Dr. C. F. W. Walther, the Missouri Synod's first president, explained the meaning of an unconditional confessional subscription in words as clear and poignant today as they were then:
                                An unconditional subscription is the solemn declaration which the individual who wants to serve the church makes under oath that he accepts the doctrinal content of our Lutheran Confessions, because he recognizes the fact that they are in full agreement with Scripture and do not militate against Scripture in any point, whether the point be of major or minor importance; and that he therefore heartily believes in this divine truth and is determined to preach this doctrine.

                                So what is it to be a Lutheran?

                                Being a Lutheran is being a person who believes the truths of God's Word, the Holy Bible, as they are correctly explained and taught in the Book of Concord. To do so is to confess the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Genuine Lutherans, confessional Lutherans, dare to insist that "All doctrines should conform to the standards [the Lutheran Confessions] set forth above. Whatever is contrary to them should be rejected and condemned as opposed to the unanimous declaration of our faith" (FC Ep. RN, 6).

                                Such a statement may strike some as boastful. But it is not; rather, it is an expression of the Spirit-led confidence that moves us to speak of our faith before the world.

                                To be a confessional Lutheran is to be one who honors the Word of God. That word makes it clear that it is God's desire for His church to be in agreement about doctrine, and to be of one mind, living at peace with one another (1 Cor. 1:10; 2 Cor. 13:11). It is for that reason that we so treasure the precious confession of Christian truth that we have in the Book of Concord. For Confessional Lutherans, there is no other collection of documents, or statements or books that so clearly, accurately and comfortingly presents the teachings of God's Word and reveals the Biblical Gospel as does our Book of Concord.

                                Hand-in-hand with our commitment to pure teaching and confession of the faith, is, and always must be, our equally strong commitment to reaching out boldly with the Gospel and speaking God's truth to the world. That is what "confession" of the faith is all about, in the final analysis. Indeed, "It is written: I believed; therefore I have spoken.' With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak" (2 Cor. 4:13. This is what it means to be a Lutheran.



                                For Further Study:

                                Robert Preus, Getting into the Theology of Concord: A Study of the Book of Concord (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1977).

                                David Scaer, Getting into the Story of Concord: A History of the Book of Concord (St. Louis, Concordia Publishing House, 1977).


                                What is a Lutheran?
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