A Primer on the Use of Incense in the Divine Service

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By Pr. Rich Futrell Introduction The Lutheran Church deliberately chooses to worship in a historical, liturgical way. Part of this practice is simply claiming our mantle of being part of the historic, catholic Church.[1] But it is more than that. Our Augsburg Confession, Article 14, “Concerning the Mass,” states: “For ceremonies are especially needed in […]

The Books of the Old Testament

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This is an article our pastor wrote as an appendix to the Sunday bulletin.  The Old Testament reading for that Sunday was from the Apocrypha.  Since this is an odd occurrence in the Lutheran Church today, which some can find jarring, our pastor wrote this article.   The Septuagint In Jesus’ day, and for centuries […]

A Look into Praying for the Sainted Dead (2 Timothy, Lesson 3)

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This is a lesson from our study of 2 Timothy.  Paul mentioned that he prayed for a man named Onesiphorus, who most likely had died when Paul prayed for him.  So, we look into this to see what we can learn. ———– Read 2 Timothy 1:16-17 In what tense (past, present, or future) does Paul refer […]

2 Corinthians, Lesson 3: An Excursus on Confirmation

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This is an excursus that we took on the origins of Confirmation while studying 2 Corinthians. In the last lesson, Paul and Timothy referred to themselves by saying, “God has establishes us with you into Christ and has anointed us” (1 Corinthians 1:21). Their use of “you” shows that the Corinthian congregation was included in […]

“It’s a Relationship, not a Religion”

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We’ve all heard others say, “Christianity is a relationship, not a religion.” At best, that statement is incomplete; at worst, it’s deceptive. But why isn’t Christianity defined as someone’s relationship with Christ? First, we have a clear passage in Scripture that tells us that Christianity is a religion! James 1:26-27: “If anyone thinks he is […]

Understanding Five Bible Verses in a Better Way

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This is our pastor’s newsletter article for May, 2015.   We each have our favorite Bible verses, which we quote, which may even help us get through dark times. But, sometimes, the way we use a verse can cause us see God or events in ways that the original writer of that verse never meant. […]

Infant Communion and the CTCR’s Response

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This is a theological paper that our pastor originally presented at his circuit winkel in November 2011.  It looks at infant communion from the Scriptures and also from within the history of the Church.  To open or save the PDF document, click on the link below. Infant and Early Communion (with Appendix) On September 13, 2014, the Lutheran […]

Prayers for the Dead: A Scriptural and Lutheran Worldview

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Introduction The Scriptures teach us that a when a person dies, he immediately begins to experience eternity in one of two states: heaven or hell. The Christian experiences eternity as one filled with joy (heaven), although his body and soul are separated until his soul is reunited with a sinless, perfect, incorruptible body on the […]

Understanding New-Covenant Worship as the Fulfillment of the Old

Frescoe of Holy Trinity, Butte, MT (610x351)

Worship before God gave Moses instructions on worship  From the dawn of time, proper worship of God involved resting from work on the Sabbath day to hear God’s Word (Genesis 2:3).  At first, that Word was proclaimed by word of mouth with no written Scriptures: Adam to Seth, Seth to Enosh, Enosh to Kenan, and […]

Worship Reflecting a God-Given Pattern

Assumptions About How We Worship (Lesson 22)

This in an excursus on worship from a lesson on the Old-Testament book of Exodus.  It speaks to many of the issues concerning worship in our current-day setting. Exodus 25:40: “See to it that you do according to the pattern that you were shown on the mountain.” This one verse lays out an important principle for […]