What’s a Lutheran? Let a traditional Lutheran explain it

If you’re an Evangelical, have you ever wondered how a traditional-orthodox Lutheran might feel about him or herself?  Or how a traditional Lutheran pastor might feel about Evangelicals?

I just came across an interview posted at The Gospel Coalition blog titled “Those Dern Lutherans“.  Blogger and Reformed pastor, Rev. Kevin DeYoung (RCA), interviewed Rev. Paul T. McCain, an orthodox Missouri Synod Lutheran pastor (LCMS) who is the editor at Concordia Publishing House, and who blogs at Cyberbrethren.  Let me say that he sure can tell you what Lutheranism is about. I have been a reader of his blog for years.    I’m not a traditional born-and-bred Lutheran; I’m an evangelical transplanted into the Lutheran church–so I provide this disclaimer–“What I say about Lutheranism is not necessarily representative of most Lutherans”. In this interview, Pastor Paul says it well.

Question 9. “Anything else you think the world needs to know about Lutherans?”

Answer: “I would say this: I think Evangelicals often find themselves searching for something they feel might be a bit “missing” in their Christian walk, and think that Rome or Eastern Orthodoxy may fit the bill, while all the while Lutheranism is there, right around the corner. Often when they find a traditional Lutheran Church they are surprised to find a robust, rich worship life, rooted in the Scripture (which is what the liturgy is, in its entirety). They find a rich focus on Christ and the Gospel–Lutherans are adamant that Christ is the heart and center of everything, and they also find a tangible experience with God, not based simply on feelings or emotions, but on a concrete and objective experience with God’s grace through the sacraments. And all this is wrapped up in such a vibrant passionate love for Jesus. We Lutherans combine the best of what is Evangelical, with the best of what is truly catholic about the Church, with the rich heritage of the Lutheran Reformation. I think it is a winning combination, but of course, I’m kind of biased.” (…Read full interview)

I think he’s right in what he says about some Evangelicals–whether we admit it or not.  Evangelical theology has much to learn from Lutheran theology, albeit, the opposite is true too.  The same goes for worship-liturgy too.  If you’re Lutherans, sorry but the vice versa is true too.

When all is said and done, I can honestly say that every denomination, church, or tradition, e.g., Lutheran, Presbyterian, Evangelical, etc., we have much to learn from one another.

Movie: The Grace Card, out on DVD August 16

Question: “Is it easier to receive grace than it is to offer grace to those who don’t like us?

This question represents the crux of this life-changing movie.  The movie: The Grace Card (2011) is a powerful movie that personally touched me in a big way. The movie is about two police officers, one whom is also a part-time Nazarene pastor who is challenged by his partner’s dislike of him.  They both learn about grace and forgiveness–big time.

Okay, I admit a few tears flowed near the end (and I don’t cry easily).   Talking about offering forgiveness to someone you don’t like is easier said than done.  When it comes down to actually forgiving others, it’s a different story.  As I watched this movie, I was challenged and reminded about the power of God’s forgiveness working in the lives of Christian believers.  The film did this in a very powerful way for me recently. I was reminded that, rather than justice, it is forgiveness that brings healing to broken hearts in our world.  It will definitely inspire viewers to depend upon the power of God who strengthens us. It will also inspire us to offer others the gift of forgiveness to those who do not necessarily love or like us.  What an awesome example of what grace can do!

It came out in theaters back in February 2011 and is now available on DVD starting August 16, 2011.  It’s a well-made quality movie. Go get it and show it in church, your youth group, or just watch it at home.  Available at: Christianbook.comOutreach.com or at your local Christian bookstore.

Justin Bieber’s mom’s testimony of salvation

I just finished watching the Justin Bieber movie and wanted to find out more about his family’s life.  I was surprised to learn of his mother’s Pattie Mallette’s testimony of how she received Jesus Christ into her life as a young rebellious teenager.  She raised Justin Bieber as a single mom which was very difficult.  This was Justin Bieber before he was “Justin Bieber” the 15 year-old music sensation, and before his first recording contract. There are four parts to the interview : Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 (with Justin)

I hope that Justin and mom Pattie will remain true in their faith and in their relationship with the Lord. Below is a clip from 100 Huntley Street.