September (Back) Talk
The September 2015 issue of The Lutheran Witness had an article stating that the primary function of the church is to convey the forgiveness of sins. Churches focused only on this function are depriving their attendees of the faith enriching knowledge that Christ is doing much more than forgiving our sins and giving us a pass to heaven. He is influencing day-by-day the situations and conditions of the course of life of all of His creatures . . . the history of the world so as to bring His kingdom to fulfillment in the midst of the most contradictory of conditions. . . . This knowledge of our gracious and glorious Lord in combination with the forgiveness of our sins enriches our faith and encourages us to be ever more bold in going to the throne of God’s grace to seek His help in all our endeavors, whether they be spiritual, business, social or recreation.
Idaho Falls, Idaho
(Regarding the Rev. Robert Kieselowsky’s article on death) So little was said, so little left unsaid. What if a person’s body does not come to the church one more time? What if some of the person’s body, in the form of ashes, is divided among several children or spread over a couple of favorite vacation places or . . . What if the person’s body is buried at sea and the fish . . . A lot of what ifs. How about some substantive answers in the next issue or two or three?
Fountain Valley, Calif.
(Regarding Erin Seifferlein’s article on children in church) I agree with Erin: Our children should participate in the service. When was it decided we needed to entertain them? Was it at the same point that we stopped disciplining them, stopped teaching them common codes of behavior, stopped being responsible for them? Didn’t we all attend church as children where we stood, sat, kneeled along with the adults? Weren’t we expected to behave and be respectful in our Father’s house for that one hour a week? Did we fidget, wiggle and annoy our siblings? Of course we did! But one firm look from our parents or separation from a sibling let us know we were not behaving correctly. . . . The children under your feet are God’s gifts to you! He has entrusted them to you to raise according to His Word. . . . Teach your children to look forward to Sundays as a day of respect and thanksgiving for all they have received the previous week and for strength to live God-pleasing lives in the coming week.
Sierra Madre, Calif.
The September edition was another excellent edition all around. To be especially commended are Rev. Joe Fisher and Rev. Greg Alms who did a superlative job in their articles in very limited space.
Walter C. Dissen
I just received my September issue of The Lutheran Witness. I sat down and read it cover to cover. The entire issue was so “with it.” I loved the humor of the “Crazy Myths about Christianity.” What fun. Then on the next page was the article of “Singing Hard Hymns.” That really hit home. Our pastor is so good to let us sing our old favorites and then one that we don’t know (yet).
In the September issue of The Lutheran Witness, Rev. Joseph Fisher stated that “my faith as a believer — and how much I have — makes the Sacraments beneficial” is a myth. But our Lutheran catechism states: “Forgiveness, life, and salvation are truly offered to all who eat the Lord’s body and blood in the Sacrament, but only through faith can we receive the blessings offered there.” While it is true that everyone who eats and drinks at the Holy Meal receives the true body and blood of Christ, it is not true that everyone receives the benefits and blessings of those gifts; that depends on receiving those God-given gifts in faith. Rev. Fisher notes the importance of faith in the body of his text, but he negates the necessity of faith in the stating of the myth.
Rev. John C. Stennfeld