A Bit of Luther to End Your Day

If contempt for the Word and its ministers continues to be so great [things will get much worse for the church]. If I wanted to get rich under these circumstances I wouldn’t preach but would be a juggler and travel about the country. For the sake of money I’d have plenty of spectators. – Luther

[It looks like Osteen and the pentebabbleist rest of the mega church pastors have all gone to juggling].

Harvey Horror

The Director of Fema pretty much sums up the situation when he says that Hurricane Harvey is probably the worst disaster in Texas history.

William “Brock” Long, newly installed as director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said in an interview a few weeks ago that there was one thing that worried him most when it comes to natural disasters: “You know what’s keeping me up at night? This country has not been hit by a major hurricane since 2005.”

That was the right thing to worry about, it turns out. Long, just two months on the job, is coordinating the federal response to Hurricane Harvey — the first Category 3 or greater storm to hit the U.S. in 12 years — and its lethal aftermath.

The storm has produced catastrophic flooding across thousands of square miles of south and Southeast Texas. Rain continues to fall in historic quantities. Rivers are rising to levels never before seen. People have taken refuge in attics or on rooftops awaiting rescue.

“This will be a devastating disaster, probably the worst disaster the state’s seen,” Long told The Washington Post on Sunday in a telephone interview from FEMA headquarters in Washington.

Pray for the people of East Texas.  And put feet to your prayers and help as you are able.

Disaster Relief

If you’re looking for a way to help the people affected by Hurricane Harvey, I recommend Southern Baptist Convention Disaster Relief.  The Red Cross uses lots of the money you send it for overhead.  The SBC doesn’t.  And the SBC works on the ground providing meals (which the Red Cross distributes, in many instances not mentioning the fact that those very meals were provided by others) and other critical aid and has for many decades.

Southern Baptists do Disaster Relief better than anyone else.  And you can trust them to use your money in the wisest and most helpful ways.

SBDR teams will be on the ground for months to come. Will you join us in supporting our volunteers as they work tirelessly to care for strangers, neighbors, families and friends?

Any donation will equip our volunteers to operate units and provide hot showers, fresh laundry, homemade meals and a kind face to confide in. It’s only possible through your generosity.

Be part of Christ’s love in action, today. And please pray for those affected by Hurricane Harvey’s destruction. Thank you.

Send Hope. Send Help. Send Relief.

The Man Trump Pardoned

No Christian, indeed, no person of faith or morals can support this man; nor can they support a President* who pardon’s a monster who has been convicted of violating the 4th Amendment. A Christian would find the behavior of such a monster inexcusable.

We can therefore conclude that Donald Trump is no Christian.

  • 1. Officers under Arpaio’s employment once grabbed a pregnant Latina woman, slammed her against a car, stomach-first, three times, and then dragged her into the patrol car and shoved her in the back seat. They left the pregnant woman alone for 30 minutes, without air conditioning, only to issue a citation for “failure to provide an ID.”
  • 2. In his inhumane jails, for people convicted of no crimes, and more often than not, illegally detained because of their race, Arpaio withheld sanitary pads and napkins from menstruating women for days, forced to wallow in their menstrual blood.
  • 3. Arpaio once neglected a mentally ill prisoner for weeks, until he had lost 20 pounds from starvation and malnourishment.
  • 4. Arpaio regularly kept mentally-ill people, under his care, in 85-degree heat until their psychotropic drugs malfunctioned.
  • 5. He regularly fed inmates rotten food. Some days they only got bread and water, despite being forced to be in 110 degree weather.
  • 6. Deputies under Arpaio’s supervision once raided a home by launching tear gas canisters into the house. The canisters caused the house to combust. A puppy came running out of the house. But his deputies, they drove the puppy back inside, where it burned to death. The homeowners were forced to watch their pet burn to death, while the officers laughed at them.
  • 7. Officers in his jail once restrained a veteran in a chair while they tased him multiple times. A few hours later, this veteran died from a cardiac arrest caused by the electric shock.
  • 8. Officers arrested a wheelchair bound man for possession of marijuana. Because of his disability, he required a catheter to urinate. He pounded on the cell door to ask for the catheter. To “punish” this man, guards placed him in a “restraint chair” despite not being able to use his legs. During this time, the guards broke his neck. This entire episode was caught on tape. The guards were laughing and smiling while the man writhed.
  • 9. A blind man was found dead in Arpaio’s jails. At first, Arpaio claimed he had died because he had fallen from a bunk bed. But, autopsies showed that officers under his supervision had beaten this blind man. This blind man later died from his injuries.
  • 10. A 13-year-old came forward that her uncle was raping her. The sheriff told her parents that there was no evidence of rape, but in reality, a state crime lab returned a rape kit that tested positive for semen. Sheriff Arpaio ignored this evidence and withheld it from her parents. The sheriff didn’t arresther rapist, who raped her continuously for five years until she became pregnant with his child.

Quote of the Month

Es tut mir leid, dass im Titel alle “Evangelikale” in einen Topf geworfen werden. Das ist undifferenziert, auch unfair. Aber leider scheint eine Mehrheit der amerikanischen Christen, die sich so bezeichnen, hinter dieser rassistischen Politik zu stehen. — Catherine McMillan Haueis

Couldn’t have said it better.

Luther on the Torment of Sleeplessness

“Sleep is a beneficial and necessary work of nature. I think it’s a most annoying thing for a sleeping person to be disturbed in his rest. Hippolytus wrote from Italy that it’s the severest torment not to let robbers sleep when they are being questioned. Such sleeplessness is the worst of all tortures.” — Martin Luther

De convitiis Eckii: Zwingli Drops the Hammer on Johannes Eck

Huldrych Zwingli and Johannes Eck didn’t get along.  Obviously.  So when Zwingli published his ‘Reasonable Faith‘ Eck couldn’t control himself.  He had to lash out.  The present booklet, Zwingli’s response to Eck’s response to Fidei ratio lets Mr Eck have it both barrels (as we say down here).  De convitiis Eckii is addressed, however, not TO Eck but to the the German Princes at Augsburg.

Illustrissimis Germaniae principibus in comitiis Augustanis
congregatis Huldrychus Zuinglius gratiam
et pacem optat a deo patre
et Jesu Christo, filio eius, redemptore nostro.

As Zwingli proceeds it becomes apparent that he has clearly grown annoyed and asserts quite straightforwardly that Eck is nothing more than a heretic and that he, like all heretics, state their errors as though they were truths.

Not that Zwingli knew that Eck had attacked him again.  If it hadn’t been for Vadian’s passing along Eck’s rubbish Zwingli would have paid him no mind.   But Vadian urged him to respond, for the sake of the Germans.  And so he, as a ‘second David’ went out to the Philistine Eck with sling and stones to slay him.

Zwingli’s work lays Eck’s motives bare: he wishes to deceive the Princes and under the guise of ‘peace’ he urges them to remain in the Roman camp.  Zwingli counters that the Princes should in fact embrace Reform.  He concludes

Dangers threaten on all sides, but the Lord will dissipate them all, if you lay hold of the truth and of righteousness.  To take a stand against the truth is destruction itself whereas to yield to it is the first necessity of safety.  God Almighty grant that we may revere it and see it through a glass in this world but see it face to face and embrace it in the world to come!

Further information about this episode can be found in Hans Georg Rott’s Martin Brucer und die Schweiz: Drei unbekannte Briefe von Zwingli, Brucer und Vadian (1530, 1531, 1536) (Zwingliana, 14/9 (1978).