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Ask the Pastor

† Theological musings and answers to selected questions by a confessional Lutheran pastor.

30 October 2008

Pastor Asks, “What Do You Think?”

The Original Ask the Pastor Column

This may be a once-in-a-lifetime offer. Those of us in the clergy are often more ready to speak to others from our “wealth of experience” than we are to actually sit and listen. But from now on, you are invited to help in setting the pastor’s agenda — and read the results in the newspaper, to boot!

Jasper NewsboyActually, what the News-Boy hopes for is a two-way street. People will be amused, confused, encouraged, or challenged by what they read here. Then, they’ll write in with their own questions. This leads to a ripple effect: Once you write, you wait to see if your question appears in the paper. If it does, maybe you tell the people you know, so they’ll see your thoughts in the pages of the Sunday News-Boy.

Of course, if you don’t want anyone to know you asked that question, you skip the telling others and just write and wait.

What this column will be depends largely on two things. First, it needs questions from readers. Hence “Ask.” Second, it needs someone to receive and answer. That’s “the Pastor.” If these two criteria are met, we hope to meet success.

Before going any deeper into today’s article, shall we proceed with introductions? I am Pastor Walter Snyder. I am a member of the Lutheran Church — Missouri Synod. We are a conservative, confessional body.

What does all this mean? Write in and “ask the pastor.”

Want to know the differences between church bodies? “Ask the Pastor.” Like to find out what all those fancy robes and things that some ministers wear are called? “Ask the Pastor.” Want to pick a nasty fight with someone? Don’t ask here!

Actually, there are many things we could discuss in the coming weeks and months. The basic ground rules are simple:

1) Ask good, clear questions on matters concerning churches, ministers, personal faith, the Scriptures, and such.

2) Be specific. Don’t be so specific that everyone knows who you are talking about and thinks that you’re out to get someone else.

3) Give us your name, address, and phone number. Even if you remain anonymous, we can check to make sure that “you” are “really you,” and not an imposter. We won’t print any names unless specifically asked to.

Questions will be answered based upon available space, interest to the reading public, interest to this writer, and general suitability.

I’d rather not play “stump the Pastor.” It will be more enjoyable for me (and probably for you) if we use this as a time to learn and grow together, rather than playing Obscure Bible Trivia. Since no one has had opportunity to write in, I’ll set the tone by asking a question or two of myself this week. Note that these were not actually invented. I’ve heard variations on both of them more than once.

Q: You are called “Pastor.” Others are called Minister, Brother, Father, or such. What gives with using this title?

A: “Pastor” comes from the Latin word for shepherd. Pastors are shepherds of God’s flock. In both the Old and New Testaments, God asks those He calls to take care of His “sheep.” Often, ministers are called “under-shepherds of the Good Shepherd.” A great Biblical example is Christ’s command to Peter: “Feed my sheep.”

Q: Do I need to go to church to be saved?

A: Do you need to stay near sea level to live? Air is necessary for human life, and there’s a lot more of it down here than on the tops of the highest mountains. It’s difficult to breathe easily and live life fully when you’re away from where most of the air is. God’s Word is necessary for spiritual life. Its effect is also maximized at its greatest concentration — which should most definitely include public worship at church. If you go to church and still don’t notice yourself “breathing easier” and living better, examine what you receive from the church and how you process what you get. If you are being slowly “smothered,” go where the “air” is pure and flows freely. If the problem is internal, ask the Lord to remove the blockage.

That’s it for this week. I pray that as you read this, you’ve either already attended worship services or are preparing to go.

NB: When I began, I never imagined Ask the Pastor as a web site, an e-list through Confess and Teach for Unity, or a blog.

Willis WebbThe Jasper News-Boy, our weekly paper decided to add a Sunday edition and I approached the publisher about doing some sort of religion column, mainly to convince the folks in the Piney Woods of Deep East Texas that Lutherans weren’t members of some bizarre cult.

Even though he’d had previous rotating columns done by local ministers fall through, Mr. Webb took a chance that I might just stick around for a few months. Several years down the road, it took a call to Emma, Missouri to end ATP’s run in the Newsboy.

Send email to Ask the Pastor.

Walter Snyder is the pastor of Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Emma, Missouri and coauthor of the book What Do Lutherans Believe.

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Newspaper column #1


Blogger ElderChild said...

"A Simple and Spiritual Life is the only Life that will survive"!

Such was the testimony of The Hopi people in AZ in their "Declaration of Peace".

Yet the Hopi peoples of today seem to have given up and given in to "progress", yet i believe there are those Hopi who yet await the coming of the One they call their "True White Brother".

And i believe the One called The Messiah is "The True White Brother" of the Hopi peoples and that His Life example and Teachings bore witness to The Truth of "A Simple and Spiritual Life is the only Life that will survive"!

John The Baptist had testified, "He(The Messiah) Whom The Only True GOD(Great Spirit) has sent speaks The Words of GOD: for GOD does not give The Spirit by measure unto Him." (John 3:34)

The Messiah testified, "I have greater witness than that of John: for The Works which The Father(Great Spirit, GOD,Creator,,) has given me to finish, are the same Works that I do, and they bear witness of Me, that The Father has sent Me." (John 5:36)

The Messiah also testified, "I have not spoken of Myself; but The Father WHO sent Me, HE gave Me a commandment, what I should say, and how I should speak." (John 12:49)"

And The Messiah, the spokesman for "Our Father(Great Spirit, GOD, Creator,,)" bore witness to "A Simple and Spiritual Life" and revealed that a man's sufficiency is of Creation, of The Creator!

"Do not lay up treasures for yourselves upon earth, for that is what moth and rust can corrupt, and where thieves can break through and steal: But lay up treasures for yourselves in Heaven, where neither moth or rust can corrupt, and where thieves can not break through and steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

The light of the body is the eye: if therefore your eye is single, your whole body shall be full of light. But if your eye is evil, your whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. You can not serve both The Only True GOD and money.

Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what you shall eat, or what you shall drink; nor yet for your body, what you shall put on. Is not The Life more than meat, and the body than clothes?

Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much better than they?

Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why do you take thought for clothes? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these flowers. Wherefore, if The Only True GOD so clothes the grass of the field, which to day is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall HE not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, how shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the worldly seek) For your Heavenly Father knows that you have need of all these things. But seek first the Kingdom of GOD, and HIS righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for tomorrow: for tomorrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Every day has evils enough of it's own." (Matthew 6:19-34)

Simply, sad for all those who believe in "self-sufficiency" ;-(

Yet, i believe that is just a term that has been used in ignorance by many who in Truth are living The Life that bears witness to Creation sufficiency.

Now The Only True GOD, Father(Creator) of ALL, HE promised to "fulfill all the needs of HIS Children richly, through HIS Son The Messiah"!

The Life is sustained by Our Father(Creator), in Creation as we now experience it, through The Spirit.

Simply, Creation is sufficient!

Once again, The Messiah testified, "I have not spoken of Myself; but The Father(Great Spirit, GOD, Creator,,) WHO sent Me, HE gave Me a commandment, what I should say, and how I should speak." (John 12:49)"

"Don't you believe that I am in The Father, and The Father in Me? The Words that I speak unto you I speak not of Myself: but The Father WHO dwells in Me, HE does The Works." (John 14:10)

"He that loves Me not, does not keep My sayings: and The Word which you hear is not Mine, but The Father's, HE WHO sent Me." (John 14:24)"

I have manifested YOUR Name unto the men WHO YOU gave Me out of the world: YOUR's they were, and YOU gave them to Me; and they have kept YOUR Word." (John 17:6)"

Then answered The Messiah and said unto them, Truly, Truly, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of Himself, but that which He has seen The Father do: for whatever things The Father does, those things The Son also does." (John 5:19)"

I can of Mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and My judgment is just; because I seek not Mine own will, but The Will of The Father WHO has sent Me." (John 5:30)

And The Testimonies bear witness to The Messiah being "a servant" of "The ONLY TRUE GOD". (Isaiah 42:1)

Hope is, there will be those reading this who will no longer deny and defy their Creator(Father), for The Creator, The Only True GOD(Great Spirit) and Father of All, HE knows what is best for HIS Creation.

So There Is Hope!

For Miracles do happen!

Hope is there may be those who experience The Miracle that is "receiving a love of The Truth", for they will "Come Out" from among those who are destroying and perverting Creation(land, air, water, vegetation, creatures, Light, Truth, Life, Love, Peace, Hope, Faith, Miracles, .etc.)

Those who "Come Out" will desire but "A Simple and Spiritual Life", and they no longer will be of those The Creator is going to "destroy because they are destroying the earth(HIS Creation)". (Revelations 11:18c)

And they will have Peace, in spite of the dis-ease(no-peace) that is of this wicked world and it's systems of religion, for "The WHOLE world is under the control of the evil one"(1John5:19) indeed and Truth......

Truth is never ending....... (thedestructionoftheearth.wordpress.com)

30 October, 2008 21:14  

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