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Archive for October, 2010

Sermon by Rev. Christian C. Tiews – 10/31/2010

And out of pity for him, the master of that servant released him — and forgave him the debt” (Mt 18:27)

Today we are observing one of the most important events in the history of Western Civilization—a date that many consider to be the start of the Reformation.

On October 31, 1517—with only a few hammer blows—Martin Luther cracked open a crust of man-made teachings which had been smothering the Gospel for centuries.

This Luther did by posting his famous Ninety-Five Theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Saxony.

Why was this necessary—and what does this event have to do with us in Tulsa, OK, almost half a millennium later?

In the centuries prior to Luther’s historic act, the Roman papacy ruling the Church had begun to focus solely on the Law.

As such, Western Christianity had gradually lost sight of the Gospel—the message of free and unmerited salvation through Jesus Christ.

Rome had diminished Christ by claiming that believers are capable of becoming right before God by performing a variety of good works—such as purchasing indulgences, attending Masses, praying to the saints, worshipping relics, going on pilgrimages, and the like.

And as if these theological problems weren’t bad enough, church leadership had also slid into a swamp of moral abuses.

Many false teachings had crept into the Church, all of which diminished or even besmirched the work of Jesus Christ.

As such, his whole life long, Martin Luther, an Augustinian monk in the German territory of Saxony (point to statue) had been taught—incorrectly—that salvation requires people to be completely righteousness before an angry and merciless God who demands perfection.

Yet Luther was in a Catch 22 situation because he knew that no one—and he in particular—can attain the level of perfection and righteousness that God seemed to demand.

The result?

Martin Luther was never able to find peace before this wrathful God.

But by studying the Scriptures in their original languages—and not solely in the Church’s official Latin translation which had veiled the truth of the Gospel—Luther made an amazing discovery.

He realized that God actually gives us the very righteousness that He requires when we believe that Jesus Christ died for our sins and that Christ grants us forgiveness.

In this way, Luther discovered that our triune God reveals Himself not as a God of wrath and anger as on Mt. Sinai, but as a God of grace and mercy—as on the hill of Calvary.

Luther’s goal when he posted the 95 Theses?

Not to overthrow the ecclesiastical system, but only to remove the errors and abuses—the cancer cells—that had crept into the church body, so that the Gospel could once again shine forth on God’s people.

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Sermon by Rev. Christian C. Tiews – 10/24/2010

The man believed the word that Jesus spoke” (Jn 4:51).

Born in upper state New York in 1879, the energetic girl had grown up in a deeply religious Catholic family—the sixth of eleven children.

But when her mother died, something snapped in the depths of the young girl’s soul.

She turned away from the Lord.

She became an atheist.

Spitting in the face of a society still very mindful of the Biblical mandate to “be fruitful and multiply,” the young woman began to champion a completely foreign and alien worldview.

In order to “purify” the human race, she took it upon herself to try and reduce the number of children in America she considered undesirable, most of whom just happened to be from ethnic minorities.

How did she plan to cut back on their numbers?

By placing what she called “birth control” clinics primarily in minority neighborhoods….

Her racist philosophy did not go unnoticed.

In 1926 she was invited to address the Women’s Auxiliary of the Ku Klux Klan in Silver Lake, New Jersey.

A dozen invitations by other racist groups quickly followed.

This woman went on to found an organization now known as Planned Parenthood, which is directly or indirectly responsible for the death of over fifty million American children since 1973.

What had caused a girl from a conservative Catholic family… to become a leading spokesperson for a worldview much akin to Adolf Hitler’s—culling people she deemed weak and substandard in order to improve the genetic qualities of the American population?

In a nutshell, she did the exact opposite of what the official in our Gospel lesson had done.

He had believed the word Jesus spoke.

But Margaret Sanger chose to disbelieve the Word of the Lord.


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Sunday School Lesson by Rev. Mason T. Beecroft

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St. Luke Homily

Homily by Rev. Christian C. Tiews – 10/18/2010

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Homily by Rev. Mason T. Beecroft, 10/17/2010

Our Lord does not pull any punches in today’s Holy Gospel. Jesus tells us that misplaced priorities and presumption before God will result in eternal and everlasting destruction.

Jesus tells a parable. The kingdom of heaven is compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son. This would have been some extravagant wedding. The food would have been provided by the best caterer in town. The wine would come not from boxes, but from bottles with corks. The reception hall would have been rented for a week and this wedding feast continue day and night. There would not have been a more lavish, festive affair. There was nothing more important in the entire kingdom than the wedding feast of the King’s son. It would have been an honor and a privilege to receive an invitation to this wedding.

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Sunday School Lesson by Rev. Mason T. Beecroft

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Homily by Rev. Mason T. Beecroft, 10/10/2010

I had an opportunity two weeks ago to present at a pastor’s conference. The conference was located at Camp Lutherhaven, which is located some twenty miles to the west of Buffalo in the Oklahoma panhandle. There is a spring fed pond for fishing and canoeing. A clear sky at night makes you feel as if you can reach out and touch the stars in heaven. Lutherhaven is quite beautiful. It is also in the middle of nowhere. It is in a desolate, uninhabited place. You exit a two-lane highway, where you rarely see another cars, and then drive on a gravel road for a few miles before turning onto a rough Caliche soil road, which requires a Jeep or something similar to navigate those last couple miles. You really have to be looking for the camp if you hope to find it. In the appointed Old Testament lesson for today from Genesis, Jacob finds himself in a place that is much like the uninhabited lands of the Oklahoma pandhandle.
Jacob is on the lonely road from Beersheba to Haran, and he is afraid.

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