Exactly why there had to be a ‘Good Friday’ in the first place…

Photo: Davenport residents upset over Good Friday change



 One week before the most solemn day in the Christian year, the city of Davenport, Iowa removed Good Friday from its municipal calendar, setting off a storm of complaints from Christians and union members whose contracts give them that day off.

Taking a recommendation by the Davenport Civil Rights Commission to change the holiday’s name to something more ecumenical, City Administrator Craig Malin sent a memo to municipal employees announcing Good Friday would officially be known as “Spring Holiday.”

“My phone has been ringing off the hook since Saturday,” said city council alderman Bill Edmond. “People are genuinely upset because this is nothing but political correctness run amok.”

Edmond said the city administrator made the change unilaterally and did not bring it to the council for a vote, a requirement for a change in policy.

“The city council didn’t know anything about the change. We were blind sided and now we’ve got to clean this mess up. How do you tell people the city renamed a 2,000 year old holiday?” said Edmond.

It didn’t take long for the city the resurrect the name Good Friday. Malin was overruled today and the words “Spring Holiday” disappeared.

Good Friday commemorates the day Jesus was crucified and died. Christians celebrate his resurrection the following Sunday, Easter.

The Civil Rights Commission said it recommended changing the name to better reflect the city’s diversity and maintain a separation of church and state when it came to official municipal holidays.

“We merely made a recommendation that the name be changed to something other than Good Friday,” said Tim Hart, the commission’s chairman. “Our Constitution calls for separation of church and state. Davenport touts itself as a diverse city and given all the different types of religious and ethnic backgrounds we represent, we suggested the change.”

News of the change could not have come at more significant time in the Christian calendar. News of the name change spread through the town on Palm Sunday, the beginning of Holy Week, becoming a topic of conversation at church services throughout Davenport.

“If you deny the idea of Good Friday then you have to deny Easter,” Monsignor Robert Schmidt told ABC affiliate WQAD.

Hart said the commission had no plans to change the name of Easter Sunday, because it fell on a weekend and government offices were already closed. The commission, he said, discussed changing Christmas, but decided enough other religions celebrate Christmas too. Hart, however, could not name one.

The religious right has attacked town governments that have removed public Christmas displays, calling such practices a war on Christmas.”

City employees, beginning with local police, feared the name change would violate their union contracts with the city, which specifies Good Friday as an official municipal holiday. Employees that work city holidays are paid time and a half.



Nothing…absolutely nothing, shocks me or surprises me anymore.



Palm Sunday

We remember this day as the day we welcomed our King , who came riding into town on the back of a donkey.Palm Sunday in Ajijic by uteart

We gave him a pretty good welcome.

It was less than a week later that we would call for his execution.

I say “we” because of the way I have comported my life and because I know my self, and my heart. I’m not so sure that I would not have been one of those that called for the release of Barabbas, instead of Jesus.




Luther on ‘faith’

Martin Luther by Teeces

“Faith is a living, daring confidence in God’s grace, so sure and certain that the believer would stake his life on it a thousand times.  This knowledge and confidence in God’s grace makes men glad and bold and happy in dealing with God and with all creatures. And this is the work which the Holy Spirit performs in faith” (LW 35:370-71).

“I believe that by my own reason or strength I cannot believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to him. But the Holy Spirit has called me through the gospel, enlightened me with his gifts, and sanctified and preserved me in true faith, just as he calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian church on earth. . . . In this Christian church he daily and abundantly forgives all my sins, and the sins of all believers, and on the last day he will raise me and all the dead and will grant eternal life to me and to all who believe in Christ” (Small Catechism, BC, Tappert 345).

“The Holy Spirit is no skeptic, and it is not doubts and opinions that he has written on our hearts but assertions more sure and certain than life itself and all experience” (LW 33:24).

“In short, enthusiasm clings to Adam and his descendants from the beginning to the end of the world. It is a poison implanted and inoculated in man by the old dragon, and it is the source, strength, and power of all heresy, including that of the papacy and Mohammed.  Accordingly, we should and must maintain that God will not deal with us except through his external Word and sacrament. Whatever is attributed to the Spirit apart from such Word and sacrament is of the devil” (Smalcald Articles III/VIII/9-10; BC Tappert 313).



CCCXXVI by The New Paradigm

The kingdoms of this world will pass away.

Only God’s Kingdom will last forever.




The only true freedom that we have and that we can count on, is the freedom found in the Savior, and in Him alone.

All else is fleeting.



Luther and Cranach

Our good friend Howard Nowlan is looking for some good resources for information on the association between Martin Luther and Lucas Cranach.Lucas Cranach the Elder by pierpontmorgan

If anyone out there knows of some good books, or web sites regarding the relationship between these two men, could you please leave that info. here for Howard.

Or, if you prefer, you can get a hold of Howard through his website at http://wwwjustifiedsinner.blogspot.com/.

 Thank you!



The Lord’s Supper

Pastor Ernie Lassman of  Messiah-Lutheran-Church  in Seattle, WA  teaches about the Lord’s Supper .





Anything here that maybe you never realized before?


Anything here that you believe Pastor Lassman is getting wrong?




PS- This is a bible study…not a sermon.  There is a difference (or ought be).

Would anyone care to explain the difference?





A differnt kind of worship service (for many)

I think this is a very well done video. 


I’d like to look into what it would take to have something like this done for the congregation of which I am a member.


Question for non-Lutherans, ‘Does this church creep you out with all the traditional worship practices that are shown in the video?’

‘Is it too counter-cultural for you…too Catholic looking?’

‘Would you ever consider going to a worship service at a church like this?’




Hat tip to Curtis over at  The-Lutheran-Baptist.

Thank you, Curtis! 


Nominal Christians and False Declarations of Faith

I heard a very famous pastor from a large local church on the radio the other day. He was speaking about a friend of his (who is now a pastor), recalling how in the early days of this man’s walk with God that he was a “nominal Christian”.

_DSC0048.JPG by Kutless Photos

I also know a couple of pastors who were discussing people’s “false declarations of faith”.

What I would like to know is just how we can know when either one of these scenarios is the truth about someone?


Is there any chance that some (or all) of those in the first photo, may not be Christians?


How about the guy in the second photo who is shooting up in the alley?


I am open to any thoughts that you might have on the subject.




Why are Little Children Excluded from the Grace of God?

LDS Temple in Salt Lake City by mstrwhew

From Pastor Bror Erickson’s blog
[Book of Mormon]
And now, King Benjamin, thought it was expedient, after having finished speaking to the people, that he should take the names of all those who had entered into a covenant with God to keep his commandments. And it came to pass that here was not one soul, except it were little children, but who had entered into the covenant and had taken upon them the name of Christ.


Poor little children. Why had they not entered into this covenant and taken upon them the name of Christ. If we are talking about the same Jesus Christ of the Gospels Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, it would seem odd that his name was not given to the little children, that they were not also saved by this “covenant.” The Jesus of the Gospels loves little children. In fact, God, in revealing his gracious will to the world through Holy Scripture, shows that he loves little Children when he sets up a “covenant” with Abraham.
I put the word covenant in parenthesis, because I think it is slightly misleading. God gives a testament through which his people inherit grace. As Paul talks about it in Galatians, and indeed elsewhere, he talks about people being heirs, coheirs, and inheriting. This language tells you what kind of “covenant” God has made with Abraham, and it is not your run of the mill 50/50 covenant, but a testament, a will. “For if it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void.” (Romans 4:14 (ESV) “And if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.” (Romans 8:17 (ESV) “ And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise. (Galatians 3:29 (ESV) “This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.”( Ephes. 3:6 (ESV) “So that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” (Titus 3:7 (ESV) You don’t become an heir by any old “covenant” but by a Testament. And God is not so fickle a father to cut little children out of the inheritance because they are too young to make false promises of obedience to Him. In fact he commands Abraham that all his children are to be circumcised on the eighth day. Because the circumcision was a seal of this testament he made with Abraham. And in the gospels he shows himself to be very loving towards these little children, taking them in his arms and promising that the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these, in fact going so far as to say that if your don’t receive the kingdom of God as a little Child you will not receive it at all. “ But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. [15] Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” (Mark 10:14-15 (ESV) Later he extends this kingdom to them promising that the gift of the Holy Spirit through baptism is not just for adults, but for their children also. “ And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. [39] For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.”( Acts 2:38-39 (ESV)
So now why are they excluded from these promises, cut off from their inheritance etc. in the Book of Mormon? Perhaps because it is a work of fiction written by an ex Campbellite/Baptist preacher named Rigdon? Perhaps because it has nothing at all to do with the Jesus Christ of the New Testament? Just a couple thoughts.


How about you?  Any thoughts?
Here’s one from me:
‘what in Heaven’s name does Mormonism have in common with Biblical Christianity?’

Evil masquerading as the church

 By Cal Thomas               nbprotest030 by R Visions Photography                                  

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The Supreme Court has decided to take a case that may change the boundaries for types of speech protected by the First Amendment.
The case was brought by a Maryland man whose son’s 2006 In loving memory of calling Bullshit! by Certifiedfuneral was picketed by members of the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas. Members of the “church” consist of “pastor” Fred W. Phelps Sr., and his family who preach a false doctrine that basically claims American soldiers are dying in combat because of this country’s increasingly tolerant attitude toward homosexuals. “Semper Fi F—” and “Thank G0d for dead soldiers” are two of the more outrageous signs displayed by members of the Westboro church at services for some of our war dead.
I put “pastor” and “church” in quotations on purpose. Others — one thinks especially of “pastors” who preached segregation and barred blacks from their “churches” at one time — have caused ridicule to be directed at believers in G0d, but the Phelps case may descend to an even lower level of evil.
The history of the case is this: a jury in Baltimore awarded Albert Snyder more than $10 million in damages. The amount was reduced on appeal and the case was eventually thrown out by the 4th Circuit Court in Richmond. That panel of three judges said the picket signs could not be reasonably understood to be referring directly to Snyder and his late son, Marine Lance Corporal Matthew A. Snyder. The court said as distasteful as Phelps’ rhetoric is, the expressions are part of a national debate on homosexuality and so it is protected speech.
I called Nat Hentoff, who is regarded by many as an authority on the First Amendment and a fierce defender of all sorts of outrageous speech. Hentoff believes speech that might be construed as leading a person to act “is a clear disturbance of the peace at a religious or any kind of event” and thus “is not protected by the First Amendment.”

Hentoff is right. The venue for military funerals is not a college campus or a political rally. Very often it is a church or synagogue. Even if it is a secular venue, the sexual behavior or orientations of dead soldiers and their families are unknown to the Phelpses, who are using a family’s grief to advance a judgmental attitude that is rejected in the Scripture in which they claim to believe. Someone should remind them that the Devil could quote Scripture, too.
Several years ago, members of the Phelps family picketed a prayer breakfast in Topeka at which I was the main speaker. Sitting next to me was then-Kansas governor (now Health and Human Services secretary) Kathleen Sebelius. I was vaguely familiar with the Phelpses but had never seen them up close and I asked the governor about them. I recall her saying, “Oh, don’t worry about them. They picket everybody.” At first I found them faintly amusing, but upon reflection I consider them deeply offensive, un-American and anti-Christian. (cont.)