Open mic … ask the Pastor


Pastor Mark fields questions from the class on the ‘God hates religion’ video that has been widely circulated as of late. The Creeds – why we use them and which ones?  The lessons read in the worship service – how is it decided which ones will be used? And some related issues.



click here > Why some criticize Traditional ‘religion’




Thanks, Pastor Mark.

And thanks to flickr and kk+, for the photo. (not taken at class)




8 Responses

  1. What a funny idea of this lady – to lock all Christians in a closet…
    I’ld fancy Lutherans, Pietists, Calvinists, Catholics, Orthodoxes, Methodists, Baptists and, last but not least, non-denominationals haggling over any theological differences as long as they become hungry and thirsty, and they need fresh air to breathe .

    Maybe, they would realize that we are all His children and that God cares for everybody whether he or she still holds some falsities. It’s Christ’s Spirit who unifies people all around the world, independent from distances or different languages, races, gender, status, belongings and brains.

    My personal experience is that religion (denomination or even non-denomination) divides as long as I don’t try to understand the others. Understanding leads to appreciation, and appreciation is the beginning of (mutual) love.

    “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, […] This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
    (1 Timothy 2:1 + 2:3-4)

    – At Pastor Mark –
    The observation you made in this German church in West-Berlin in 1983 still fits today. Be it a pastor, a preacher, a priest – personal (eye) contact with the “audience” (= congregation) is rarely found in bigger churches: Biblical text, sermon, cut off.
    This is funny, too. Since the Holy Spirit – as you mentioned in the beginning of your class – could never be deterred, not even by “false religion”. God is everywhere and speaks through anybody whenever God wants to speak. Even if there was only one person who listened, then God would talk to this one heart alone.
    And you’re absolutely right that we have a God who is full of love but who simultaneously must be feared as well. God’s love and the fear of God always go together. Otherwise nobody would obey Him.

  2. Susanne,

    I think I deserved to be locked in a closet when my lights first got turned on. I beat my family over the head pretty good with ‘my superior understanding’ of the gospel. Ha! I still pray that I haven’t hardened them too much to that same gospel I beat them with.

    I have learned a bit of patience and tact since then.

    • Hi Steve,

      Your description of having beaten “my family over the head pretty good with ‘my superior understanding’ of the gospel” was (or still is) exactly my behavior – in the very beginning of my “gospel career” I used to behave absolutely arrogant and uncaring. But thank God, He convicted me painfully (“fear of God”…) and I began to understand that He loves all men equally.
      Since 1 Cor 13 reminds me of the fact that love is the most important “thing” I ought to have, I try to connive at theological differences and only to look at the wonderful creature God has made out of His infinite love. Thus, I hope, God can be seen more and more in any human creature…

      I think I mixed something up in my first comment. Wasn’t it East Berlin Pastor Mark was speaking of? The reason for this confusion could be found in my own experience.
      I grew up in the “West” only a few steps from the former so-called “GDR borderline”. I remember some Sunday afternoons when we were walking along the borderline and looking across the fence which was said to be electrified. The guard in his watchtower on the other side of the fence had a shoot-to-kill order against anybody who would come too close near the fence. Merely seeing his weapon was a frightening experience on such sunny Sunday afternoons.
      Since nobody of us was allowed to “cross the line” – despite some exceptional permissions for certain people (for example relatives) – I wondered whether Pastor Mark could have been in the GDR…
      But I think he mentioned in another class that he also had been to Erfurt (Luther’s spiritual hometown).

      Have a good time, Steve!


  3. Susanne,

    The church I was referring to is the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church on the Ku’damm. We crossed over for the day into West Berlin from the DDR through Checkpoint Charlie.The remainder of our trip (almost two weeks) was spent in the east.

    Pastor Mark

  4. I am able to collate only these many definition at this point of time and there can be many more. When we argue to another person, first we have to know what is his idea about “god”. Then, is “idea is god?” to be questioned. After that heated discussion, we may have to ask whether worship of any image is going to give any “relief from suffering” or “Engaging in pleasure”?. If we can deeply meditate on these subjects, our mind itself will answer as “pure consciousness” can penetrate all science and logic. To be frank, when I did a study on all the above possibility, 3rd one may be a possibility like ghosts(a creature lives in different frequency beyond the reach of our senses or scientific extension of our senses). May be “More purer consciousness can answer this” or that very pure consciousness in fragments may be Gods and in unison “God”. I would like to answer as “I don’t know”. Probably that is the honest answer anyone can give.

  5. Is that you holding the mic Steve?

  6. No, Mitchell. Not me. I got that photo off flickr.

    The only time I post my photo is once or twice a year in the living room of our apartment to chase away bugs and what not.

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