Daily Archives: 10 Jun 2019

‘On the other hand, there are schismatics…’

Luther, after describing those who have a legitimate calling to ministry, writes

On the other hand, there are the schismatic spirits. They have no calling to the ministry, and they would do well to stay home in the corner. Instead, they push themselves in everywhere and try to be the only ones that shine, with everyone listening to them and watching them.

All they really want is to be famous, and they preach only so long as they have a following and need fear no danger.

But just make them stand up like real preachers, who have been commissioned for the ministry and keep on shining in public without letting wind and weather frighten or silence or extinguish them. Then they would soon make themselves scarce, and you would not find anyone at home.

So the dear office of the ministry must get it from both sides. Either those who should perform it neglect it, or those who have not been commissioned for it want to perform it.

Quote of the Day

Die Gnadentaten des HERRN will ich ewig besingen, von Generation zu Generation deine Treue kundtun mit meinem Mund.  Ich bekenne: Auf ewig ist Gnade erbaut, im Himmel gründest du fest deine Treue. — (Ps. 89:2-3)

Never Forget

They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us.  1 John 2:19


Jesus Wept

A father and his 8-year-old son are dead in what authorities say appears to be a murder-suicide at a Maryville condo.

Police officers and firefighters responded to the residence about 9:25 a.m. Monday in Savannah Village after a home inspector called 911 to report hearing the smoke detector beeping and seeing smoke inside when he looked through a back window, said Tony Crisp, who serves as Maryville police and fire chief.

Authorities discovered the two people inside a bedroom amid a small fire.

The fire was extinguished quickly and both victims were taken by ambulance to Blount Memorial Hospital.

The 38-year-old father was pronounced dead a short time later.

The boy was pronounced dead about noon after being transferred to the University of Tennessee Medical Center, Crisp said.

Evil lives.  And kills.  And Jesus weeps.

After Jesus, No One Has Suffered More Abuse Than Paul

A Unique Portrait of Calvin

In woodcut, from the Library of Turin-


Congress Is Voting On A Raise for Itself Next Week

Don’t let the thieves in DC get away with it.

Democratic leaders in the House of Representatives are taking steps to allow a 2.6% or $4,500 pay increase for members of Congress.

But many argue it’s not a raise. Rather, they’re lifting a pay freeze that went into effect during the Great Recession and capped rank and file members’ pay at $174,000.

Pay me $174,000 and watch me complain about it… it won’t happen.

Luther’s Very Bad Advice for those Suffering Depression

Luther remarked

Titlepage and Portrait from a 1581 edition of ...

“Having been taught by experience I can say how you ought to restore your spirit when you suffer from spiritual depression. When you are assailed by gloom, despair, or a troubled conscience you should eat, drink, and talk with others. If you can find help for yourself by thinking of a girl, do so.

The only sane bit is the talking with others thing. ‘Thinking of a girl’ and ‘eating and drinking’ will only lead to guilt and thus more despair and depression.

Sometimes Luther has good advice and other times his advice is horrible. This is just such a time.

Fun Facts From Church History: Reprobate Depraved Priests Were a Major Cause For the Acceptance of the Reformation By the People

For instance, in Geneva a series of Council edicts condemned the behavior of the priests:

  • Dissolute lives of the Cordeliers de Rive, September 2d 1483, June 13th, July 11th, November 28th 1486; June 24th 1491; June 20th 1503 (they refuse to be reformed); May 10th 1527, and May 4th 1534.
  • Dissolute lives of the Jacobins or Dominicans de Palais, July 22d 1513 (on which occasion Frère Marchepala and some others are accused of an ‘unnatural crime’; i.e., code for homosexual relations); June 20th and 23d 1522.
  • Dissolute lives of the Augustinians de Notre Dame de Grâce, August 29th 1483, and September 9th 1491.
  • Dissolute lives of the priests. October 10th 1513; July 12th 1527; April 1st 1530, and August 18th 1534.

Also in Geneva

So great was the ignorance of the clergy, that when the opinions of the Church began to be called in question in Geneva, none of them could be found to defend them, and they professed their incapacity for the task. The manners of the secular priests and of the monks were equally irregular and dissolute. The disorder caused by their irregular habits could scarcely have been greater than it was. Not only did they keep concubines in their houses with unblushing publicity, but maintained harems of dissolute women in the vicinity of their churches and convents. Such were the fruits of the enjoined celibacy of the clergy, and of their exemption from secular jurisdiction.29 During half a century previous to the Reformation, these practices had been forced on the notice of the Council, which repeatedly made remonstrances on the disgusting subject to the bishops and heads of religious houses.

So habituated had they become to a dissolute life, that even after the light of the Reformation had broke in among them and exposed their shame to the eyes of all, and when their manners threatened to entail ruin on themselves and their whole order, they refused to change their practices. The Abbé de Bonmont, old man and dean of the Chapter as he was, persisted in retaining his mistress to the last. The bishop himself, Pierre de la Baume, at the very time that the clergy had incurred the indignation of the citizens by favouring the pretensions of Savoy, carried off a young woman of respectable connections in the time of Lent, and was forced to deliver her up in consequence of a tumult excited in the town by that discreditable outrage on public feeling.

When the city was besieged by the Duke in 1535, and victuals became scarce, the Council issued a decree that all the “useless mouths” should leave the town, and among those who were excluded the concubines of the priests formed a great proportion.

Their licentiousness, along with their extreme ignorance, contributed greatly to facilitate the introduction of the Reformation; as those who could not judge of the points in dispute between the two parties, were at no loss to draw the conclusion, that either the profligate priests did not believe the doctrine they professed, or that that doctrine was not of God.*

In short, the Catholic church had mostly itself to blame and its perverse priests for the acceptance of the Reformation among the general population.

Similarly, the Church today has only its ignorant clergy to blame for the abandonment of the faith by chunks of the populace.  Those unwilling to learn from history are doomed to repeat history.

*Thomas M’Crie and William Ferguson, The Early Years of John Calvin (Edinburgh: David Douglas, 1880), 116–117.

Luther’s Fun Advice When Philip of Hesse Married His Second Wife and Became a Bigamist

lutherLuther remarked

“Just be calm! It will blow over. Perhaps she will soon die.”

She was 19…

This is What You Do When You Have A Molester at Your Church

You immediately inform the police as soon as the abuse is known.

A former Long Hollow Baptist Church Intern was arrested last week for the statutory rape of a student, the church announced Sunday.

According to a statement from Senior Pastor Robby Gallaty, the former intern was arrested on Tuesday of last week. The Sumner County Sheriff’s Office has identified the man as 24-year-old Benjamin Widrick.

The church says the incident took place while Widrick was doing a 10-week internship last summer.

“The timeline is fuzzy (and details are still coming together), but the abuse appears to have taken place last summer during the former intern’s 10-week service period with our student team at the Gallatin Campus,” Gallaty said in a statement.

Gallaty said one of the student pastors first heard rumors in December 2018 and it was immediately reported to the Gallatin Police Department and Long Hollow leadership team. The case was then turned over to the Sumner County Sheriff’s Department.

Be vigilant.  And if you see something, say something.  Those are the only policies needed to address the issue of sexual abuse.

He Is Not Wrong

Theology 101: Maybe I’ve spent too much time in 19th century theology, but it seems to me that the evangelical obsession with masculinity, femininity, egalitarianism, complementarianism, conservatism, progressivism, and sexuality feels like a decidedly anthropocentric turn. – Michael Svigel

Nope, not wrong at all.

Quote of the Day

I see no more deadly poison can be given to a growing Christian than contentiousness. For are not love and contentiousness diametrically opposed? And what is the Christian life altogether but love? Therefore, when you sow the seeds of contentiousness, at the same time you banish love; for they are as unwilling to be guests in one and the same house as Christ is to associate with Belial. — Huldrych Zwingli