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Diego

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Diego last won the day on August 11

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About Diego

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    Chess, Writing, reading, time with the wife and family...

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    Historian and writer.

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    Iowa

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    Sioux City

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    Lutheran

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  1. Diego

    Prayers for my medical condition.

    Thank you so much for your prayers. I am certain that God hears prayers. Yours are much appreciated.
  2. One must keep in mind, the Catholics are not the only ones to believe in the real objective presence. Orthodox Christians also believe in it, and Lutherans certainly do. Lutherans define it by the sacramental union. It is not consubstantiation although non-Lutherans incorrectly say that it is. But the real presence is there none the less. some Anglicans also believe in the real presence.
  3. Diego

    Any Lutherans here?

    Dear Christine: I reread your post several times to confirm exactly what I wanted to say before replying. So now I shall "take a stab at" responding to your rather complex post. It is my theological position (and my Calvinist friends, and perhaps even some of my Lutheran friends, might disagree with me on this) that there IS a visible Church upon Earth of which Christians should be a member. That is certainly what Luther believed, at any rate, although many Lutheran church bodies (particularly those in the United States) disagree. First, let me make clear an accident of history that simply exists. Lutheranism in Europe is more "Catholic" (and by that I mean High Church in both structure and belief) in Europe than it is in the USA. It is a simple a fact of life Lutherans in the USA "made their beds" with the Protestants long ago. What do I mean by that? I hope the following makes that clear. And please let me make clear that by the following, I mean no disrespect to my Calvinist brethren here. The Soteriology of the Lutheran Church is fundamentally different than that of the Calvinist tradition. Historically, Luther had no intention of severing himself (or those who agreed with him) from the Ancient Church. His goal was to get the Ancient Church (by which he understood the Church of his time, namely, the Catholic Church) to look at some serious abuses that were going on, and put an end to them. It was when the Roman Church refused to listen to what he had to say, and excommunicated him, that things started to take a different turn. Calvin, on the other hand, did intend to set up something new, something different than what previously existed. Now, one can either agree with that or disagree with it, but it IS necessary to recognize the difference. In Europe, Luther took what existed and reformed it. Calvin took what existed and changed it at a fundamental level to something different. Now, going to England, wherein the United States got its first heritage: the Church of England separated from Rome without an intent to change ANYTHING except for who was politically at the top, the King instead of the Pope. later in Henry VIII's reign, there was some influence for Lutheranism based on the fact that Archbishop Cranmer was related by marriage to Osiander, who worked on the Northern German Reformation with Martin Luther, Martin Bucer, and Philip Melanchthon. After Luther's death, Bucer would become more influenced by Calvinism in Southern Germany and Switzerland, as would Osiander. Melanchthon doesn't really come into this story much. Bucer would, if I recall correctly, finish his days in England, actually. The point is that, after, the death of Henry VIII and in the reign of his son Edward VI, the Church of England, which originally had retained a very Catholic (and perhaps slightly Lutheran-influenced) structure and belief system, would be HEAVILY influenced by Calvinism, although the basic structure would not be altered (that of Bishops, Priests, and Deacons). English religious history would take some different twists and turns than history would in Germany. In Germany, in Northern Germany, most people would be Lutheran. In Southern Germany and Austria, most would be Catholic. In parts of Southern Germany, people would be Calvinist. In Switzerland, people would be either Calvinist or Catholic. In the Low Countries, people would be either Catholic or Calvinist. In France, most people would be Catholic, with a small number of Calvinists. In Scotland, most people would be Calvinist. In Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, and Finland, most people would be Lutheran. Now, England was a bit different than other countries in Western Europe (Eastern Europe, which was and is solidly Eastern Orthodox, does not come into the story much). Unlike Scotland, which was solidly Calvinist, or France, which was nearly all Catholic, or Germany, which was mostly Catholic and Lutheran (except for a certain part that was Calvinist, but that does not come into the story much), England could never decide what it wanted. Although officially Anglican, what did that mean? The Church of England herself was structured like a Catholic Church, but the belief structure was officially Calvinistic. The 39 Articles are a Calvinist document. The C of E was a signer, along with other Reformed Churches, of the Synod of Dordt. And yet it had a rather Catholic Liturgy. Anglo-Catholics could take comfort in that, and in the structure of the Church. My point is that, Lutherans had, and have, a church service very similar to the Catholic service. Calvinists do not. But the C of E does. And yet, her theological position is Calvinist, not Lutheran or Catholic. Go figure. Now, in America, the first settlers were (a), Church of England in Virginia, and (b), Calvinist in Massachusetts. Why? Because the Calvinist position within the Church of England was always very strong. And it wanted to "purify" the Church of England of her remaining Catholic practices and organization. The Puritans were persecuted under King James I of England, who, although he had been raised a Calvinist in Scotland, was always a devout Anglican after he became King of England (he was also a flaming homosexual, but that is beside the point). In the United States, most of the first colonies were either Anglican, Calvinist, or (in Maryland) Catholic and (in Rhode Island) free. But later, in England, the Church of England was never able to maintain the loyalty of all Englishmen, although she tried. Eventually however, Methodists, Baptists, and many other would come to exist, and they would all make their way over to the 13 Colonies that would one day become the USA. The USA started her history in 1776 as a Protestant Republic, and by Protestant, I mean mostly Calvinist, Baptist, Methodist, etc. NOT Anglican, although they were always an important minority. When the Lutherans came to this country later, mostly from Germany and Scandinavia, they encountered the majority of Americans being Protestant. Their choice was to either (a), remain uniquely Lutheran, and possibly be misunderstood the Catholics were and are, or (b) become more like American Protestants. They mostly chose the latter option. So today in America, the average Lutheran thinks a lot more like his Protestant neighbor than he does his European Lutheran equivalent. Now, that having all been said, the Lutheran Church, in its traditional European formulation, does indeed regard itself as The Church. The Roman Catholic Church deems itself to be the Ancient Church in Modern Times. Calvinism, historically at least, set up something new. Lutherans deemed themselves, and still do, as the Ancient Church, Reformed and Purified of her Medieval errors and ways. THAT, right there, is the difference. In America, Lutherans think more like Calvinists, in some ways, than they do like Lutherans in Europe. But historically, Lutherans and Calvinists share a different Soteriology. You are correct in that the Evangelical Lutheran Church IS the True Church. Although my Calvinist brothers may disagree with me, and that is their right, this is what it comes down to: Is the Visible Church important or not? I submit to that it is.
  4. Diego

    Prayers for my medical condition.

    Thank you, Mike. I do not have a problem paying for medications. I do get assistance for them based on low income. It is the hospital and other visits to the doctor that caused considerable amount of money. So far, everyone has been willing to take payments. I may have to ask for assistance at some point. Theophilus and Mike I appreciate both of you praying for me. Please continue to do so. Thank you very much. May God bless you both.
  5. Diego

    Any Lutherans here?

    Confessional Lutheran, your Prayers are welcome. Thank you. And your humour re: my admission of being wrong is appreciated!😀
  6. Diego

    Prayers for my medical condition.

    Thank you most kindly to all.
  7. Hello, ladies and gentlemen. I am here to ask for your prayers. We have discovered that I have small fiber neuropathy of the lower legs, ankles, and feet. We do not yet know the cause. My neurologist can no longer do any more for me. We are sending me to the University of Nebraska at Lincoln for further assistance, but that appointment is not until March of next year. Until then, all I can do is treat the symptoms. Although I am on medication for the pain, Lyrica to be precise, it doesn't always work. I have flare-ups that leave me in a condition that is so bad I am unable to walk. Today is one of those days. When that happens, I have to take hydrocodone. I do not like taking that, because it is addictive. However, on bad days, I have no choice. Anyhow, pray for me, that they may find a cause and treat it to reduce the problem. And also pray for me, that I will be able to pay the huge medical bills that are coming. Medicare only pays 80%, and I get the rest. That is not going to be pleasant when I live on Social Security as my income. In any case, to God be the glory as always. Whatever may happen, will happen for the greater glory of God and his son Jesus Christ.
  8. Diego

    Any Lutherans here?

    unfortunately, William, life is anything but well. I have developed a neuropathy of the lower legs, ankles, and feet. to be precise, it is called small fiber neuropathy. It is extremely painful, and we do not yet know the cause. However, today, it is preventing me from walking. I am having to do nothing but lay on the couch. Fortunately, I can respond to posts on this system, as I am able to talk directly into the phone and have it capture my voice for printing into the device. Voice to text is an excellent Method. Anyhow, keep me in your prayers. I have never experienced this kind of pain in my entire life.
  9. Diego

    Any Lutherans here?

    BROTHER WILLIAM, for once, I concede the argument. You have clearly demonstrated, in my opinion, a mastery of the scholarly and theological, and moral perspective on the matter. I now submit to Christine that the ordination of women IS a moral question, based on the convincing argument you have just presented. Thank you for laying the matter out so clearly. POST EDIT: You might want to mark the time and place that I concede an argument for posterity to observe. For me to ever concede a logical argument takes a considerable amount of convincing!
  10. Diego

    Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has been compromised.

    Confessional Lutheran, I avoid the term "cult" except for groups along the lines of Jim Jones and the like. But, that having been said, the ELCA is a disaster. It, like the Episcopal Church, has basically forgone the Christian Faith of our fathers in favour of relativism, liberalism, and borderline Communism. I shan't disagree with you. Although I think that there are pockets of Christianity left IN the ELCA, the ELCA as a whole is no longer a Christian Church, let alone a Lutheran Church. It really is that simple, and that sad.
  11. Diego

    Any Lutherans here?

    CHRISTINE, it should be noted that ordaining women, whilst I disagree with it wholeheartedly, is NOT a moral issue, but rather, one of Church Order. Is it orderly to ordain women in the Church. The Church of Finland, despite being a Quia Church, does ordain them. The LCMC (Lutheran Congregations for Missions in Christ) does as well. Most Quia Churches do not, because Jesus' Apostles were all men, and because Paul speaks about women being silent in the Churches. However, a few Quia Churches believe that those issues were functions of the time, and that it is okay to ordain them. As much as I disagree with it, the Book of Concord itself says nothing about it. I am a strict interpreter of the Bible, but I suppose I see how one might open things up enough to agree with the idea. But please note that the very fact that a woman is a clergyman, in and of itself is not immoral, though it I do think it is improper. But ordaining practicing homosexuals of either sex is a problem morally that cannot be excused in ANY way. I shall be honest. I don't really think it is justifiable to ordain women. The Bible forbids it, and that is where it ends, as far as I am concerned. But I at least recognize that it is not a moral issue as such.
  12. Diego

    Any Lutherans here?

    ATPOLLARD, And this Evangelical Lutheran salutes you, one Christian Brother to another, in spite of your errors theologically speaking.
  13. Diego

    Any Lutherans here?

    CHRISTINE, please keep in mind that with the exception of Finland, the Nordic Churches long ago left the Book of Concord behind as a doctrinal statement of Faith. The ELCA also has long ago left the Book of Concord behind. Perhaps I should explain the difference between Quia and Quatenus Churches. A Quia Church holds to the Book of Concord BECAUSE (Quia in Latin) it agrees with Scripture. A Quatenus Church holds to the Book of Concord INSOFAR AS (Quatenus in Latin) it agrees with Scripture. ELCA is a Quatenus Churches, as are the Nordic Churches, except for Finland. Confessional Churches hold to the Book of Concord BECAUSE it agrees with Scripture. Once you become a Quatenus Church, pretty much anything can happen, because you no longer have a guide interpret Scripture, and you can do any wacky thing with it that you like. Hence, ordaining women and homosexuals is quite within the realm of possibility. If you hold to the Book of Concord, which itself makes clear what the Evangelical Lutheran Church does and does not do (it holds to the Three formulae of the Ancient Church, the Apostolic, the Nicene, and the Athanasian Creed), it holds to the Seven Ecumenical Councils of the Church, and it clarifies the confusion of the Sixteenth Century), then you have little problem at that point. With the history of the Three Formulae and the Seven Ecumenical Councils, and the clear-ups of the Sixteenth Century, and the clarity that the Book of Concord insists that Scripture is the ultimate basis of it all, you are held in check as to where your theology can go. Without the Book of Concord, you can even question the last statement, that Scripture is the ultimate basis of it all. Forgive me, as I must run at the moment. I look forward to hearing from you. Until then, God be with you.
  14. Diego

    Any Lutherans here?

    Hello, Christine. First, let me say how glad I am that you are returning to the LCMS, and studying the Small Catechism. Congratulations, and God bless you on your journeys. Now, that having been said, I wish to get to the meat of my message. As members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, we claim, in a very real way, that we ARE the true Church of Christ. This is NOT to say that there are not true Christians outside the Evangelical Lutheran Church. There are. But the Church itself subsides in the Evangelical Lutheran Church. Now first, what IS the "Evangelical Lutheran Church"? First, let me be perfectly clear that it is NOT the ELCA, in spite of the similarity of names! The Evangelical Lutheran Church is that collection of church bodies that are Confessional Lutherans, which means that they take the Book of Concord as a true and faithful explanation of Scripture. This would include such Churches as LCMS, ELS, WELS, the Church of Finland, the Church of Australia, and many others. Although we are not all in communion with each other, that is more a function of human stubbornness than it is a function of any real disagreement in doctrine. Now, what exactly does all that mean? Why is the Evangelical Lutheran Church the Church of Christ? Before I answer that question, I want to make it clear that I am NOT questioning a Calvinist's right to call himself a Christian, nor am I calling into question his very real relationship with Christ. I in no way mean any insult to my friend Brother William, or to any other Calvinist, who reads these words. That being said, I shall continue. First off, a further explication of terms is in order. Luther always called those who agreed with him "Evangelicals". It was the Roman Catholic Church that invented the term "Lutheran". They did so because they considered Luther a heretic, and it was there practice to name the followers after the "heretic" that started it. Luther always hated the term "Lutheran" and never used it. It was first used by Johann Eck, a Priest of the Roman Catholic Church who often disputed publicly with Luther (and whom Luther called "Father Drech", which is a rude word in German for feces). Later, Calvinists also began to use the term "Evangelical" to refer to themselves. Good Germans therefore developed the habit of referring to Evangelical Lutherans and Evangelical Reformed persons, just so they could keep straight in their minds which was which. Eventually, the term "Evangelical" was dropped, and we were simply called Lutherans, as Calvinists were simply called Reformed. We eventually accepted this, but the proper name for us is the Evangelical Lutheran Church. Now, how is the Evangelical Lutheran Church the true Body of Christ? Well, if you look at what Martin Luther was trying to do, you can see that he was NOT trying to split the Church in any way. In fact, what he wanted with his 95 Theses was to debate some issues, get some talking going on, and get some abuses corrected. If the Roman Church had called a Church Council when Luther asked them to in about 1523, and truly considered his points, it is likely that the Reformation would have occurred within the Church structure then existing. As it was, the Roman Church did not call a Council (Trent) until 1546, the year of Luther's death. By then, things were too far gone. But what makes the Evangelical Lutheran Church more the Body of Christ than any other denomination per se? Well, if you look at Christianity in the 1500s, and consider it carefully, you must acknowledge a few obvious points. First, Roman Catholicism and Orthodoxy come very close to being Pelagian (too close for my comfort). Second, Luther wanted to preserve as much of the Ancient Church as possible. The last fact can be proved by observing Evangelical Lutheran doctrine. One, belief in the Real Presence is maintained. Two, the Mass is maintained (yes, it is called that in the Augsburg Confession, and still in the Scandinavian Lutheran Churches). Three, Auricular Confession is maintained. Four, the physical structure of churches was preserved, and no iconoclasm was encouraged or permitted. Five, Bishops, Priests, and Deacons are maintained in the Scandinavian Churches, although they acknowledge that the practice of the German Church of having Pastors and Deacons, and superintendents in charge of them was also permissible. Luther himself was ok with either practice. Now, if you look at the Calvinist/Reformed/Presbyterian position, it is obvious that, far from preserving the Ancient Church, they wanted to completely break with the past. Their Communion Service does not include belief in an Objective Real Presence, nor is it called the Mass. They do not uphold Auricular Confession, and the structure of Church government is no longer that of Bishops, Priests, and Deacons, or even Pastors and Deacons with superintendents, but something wholly different, and in fact very democratic. It should be noted that the Church of England for the sake of argument can be classed as Calvinist, since the 39 Articles are basically a Calvinist document (in spite of Anglo-Catholic attempts to prove otherwise), and they were signers of the Synod of Dordt, and as far as I know, never disavowed their signature thereto. The church buildings in Calvinist lands endured vicious whitewashing of walls, and iconoclasm to a degree comparable to what went on during the Iconoclastic Heresy of 785 in the Orthodox Church of the East. Calvinism also clings to a belief in Double Predestination that would even make Luther blush. Now, I know my Calvinist friends are going to bring up "On the Bondage of the Will". However, I would remind my brothers that that document, though Luther was quite proud of it, is NOT in the Book of Concord, and so is NOT required belief for Evangelical Lutherans. Luther was by no means perfect, and he did not get everything right. It should be noted that he only wrote some of the documents of the Book of Concord. Some of the others are written by others. It should also be noted that "On the Bondage of the Will" does not go as far as Calvin does. What it does is say that God predestines some people to Life Everlasting and passes by the rest, and takes joy in his predestination of those people to Life Everlasting. Calvin, on the other hand, suggests that God divinely predestines some to Everlasting Life, and the rest to Everlasting Damnation, and takes joy in doing it! This, to me, makes God into a Divine Monster. I am not even comfortable with Luther saying that God predestines some to Everlasting Life and passes by the rest, who, it seems, at least, would be damned by default. But at least Luther is not suggesting that God takes joy in the damned. That is a crazy thought to me. Now, why is "On the Bondage of the Will" NOT in the Confessions? Good question. In fact, why were those ten documents accepted, and not 12 or 15, or some other ten? Also a good question. But it comes down to the following: If one believes that Catholicism/Orthodoxy are too close to Pelagian for comfort, and Calvinism/Zwinglianism tried to destroy too much (and largely succeeded, if one can observe the Protestant Cantons of Switzerland and the Churches therein), then one is left with the Evangelical Lutheran Church. Now, Christ said that His Church would prevail, and that Hell would never prevail against it. So, if neither Catholicism/Orthodoxy or Calvinism and/or Zwinglianism is firm on the Faith once delivered to the Saints, then either the Evangelical Lutheran Church is, or NO ONE is. The last is not possible, which leaves the Evangelical Lutheran Church. But there is a further argument. One of the things one looks for when one looks for the True Church is authority, and where it comes from. Traditionally, the High Churches (Orthodoxy, Catholicism, and some elements of Anglicanism) teach that a sign of Church Authority is a continuous connection with the Apostles. Those Churches argue that that can be found in Bishops. However, Luther argues that the position of Episkopos and Presbyteros were differentiated as a matter of degree rather than kind, and he was probably right. Now, that having been said, by the third century, the Church had in fact developed the Three-fold ministry of Bishops, Priests, and Deacons. But either that ministry or that of Pastors and Deacons, with superintendents exercising administrative authority, is acceptable. In other words, one can truly say, "Every Pastor a Bishop". It should be noted that in the German Church, and Churches descended from it, like the LCMS, the Pastor confirms, not the District President (superintendent). But, even in Scandinavia, where they have retained the offices of Bishop, Priest, and Deacon, it is the Priest who confirms, unlike in the Roman Church, where that is the prerogative of the Bishop. So, when it comes down to it, the Evangelical Lutheran Church kept as much of the Ancient Church as it could and purified it from error, whereas Catholicism/Orthodoxy retained their errors, and Calvinism and Zwinglianism rejected Catholic errors, only to develop errors of their own. And since the gates of Hell will not prevail against the Church, there MUST be a True Church. I submit to you that that is the Evangelical Lutheran Church. Of course, Catholics will argue about the verse which states, "you are Peter, and on this rock I shall build my Church." If that were true, the Church in Antioch was founded by Peter before he went to Rome to found the Church there. So which Church is the Successor of St. Peter? And what WAS Jesus talking about exactly? I have heard the argument made that he was referring to the Rock of Peter's Faith. Simon was named Peter BECAUSE of his Rocklike Faith, rather than anything unique to himself. And it should be noted that Paul argued with Peter, and stated that Peter was wrong. It should further be noted that Peter denied Jesus three times. Can we truly say that Peter, or any of his successors, in either Antioch or Rome, would never commit error? So, as to why only certain documents were included in the Book of Concord, what it comes down to is that you either accept that the Lutheran theologians of Tubingen knew what they were doing, and were guided by God, or you accept that there is NO true Church on the Earth, in which case, we are all ROYALLY screwed, to put it bluntly. This is NOT to say that any one church body is perfect. The fact that the Evangelical Lutheran Church currently exists in about 100 or more different church bodies is proof positive of that! But it IS to say that the Evangelical Lutheran Church has uniquely preserved unto itself more of the Faith once delivered to the Saints that any other particular Christian body of believers. To anyone considering becoming a believer and follower of Christ, I encourage a deep reading of the Bible and the Book of Concord, which explicates Scripture. Such an activity will reveal that the Evangelical Lutheran Church is indeed where the Body of Christ subsists. Amen.
  15. Diego

    Is it proper to worship the Holy Spirit?

    And it is good to be back. Thank you.
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