Saturday, October 27, 2012

Christian, Lutheran, Whatever, What ARE You?

A blog that I sometimes visit is Worldview Everlasting.  When I first stumbled upon this blog I was fascinated by it.  Over time I became aware of the cause of my uneasiness with this “Lutheran” and his “style” and the compendium of topics and contributors.  Now I visit the site occasionally just to see whether things have moved in a more helpful direction.  My visits are becoming less and less frequent, due to the continual disappointment.

One of the recent video posts is All Ur Labels R Belong to Us.

The very title, with its world-mimicking bad grammar and style, makes me squirm.  It immediately sets off the holy alarms in my spirit and soul.  It is akin to the feeling of having a caterpillar or other creature crawling down my neck inside the back of my shirt.  Sometimes this sense is more like the feeling of having bird poop fall on me from overhead.  Other times it is like the sense of feeling my foot slip when I step upon a fresh pile of doggy poop in someone’s back yard.

The immediate sense is that something is not right.  Something is out of place.

Such senses should not be ignored in life.  The warnings are genuine.  They are signals that one should be alert and on guard.

These uneasy sensations are the natural response to things that do not fit, things that are not honest and true.

In the case of these titles of video posts, they do not fit with the manner of what the blogger claims to represent.  This is not the norm for the one holy catholic Church that is called, gathered, enlightened, and sanctified by the Holy Spirit and kept with Jesus Christ in the one true faith.  This simply is not the way of those who are called out of the world to stand apart from the world.  This is not the way of those who live in the world but are not of the world.

Read the Scriptures and see.  Does the Lord conform Himself and His ministry and preaching to the style and manner of the world?  Do His apostles preach or write in this way?  Do they try to incorporate the modern lingo and mannerisms so as to try to make themselves more appealing?

The Scriptures do speak of those who use this approach.  What the Scriptures say concerning this way is not flattering.

In the video post listed above, All Ur Labels R Belong to Us, the content matches the style.  It is consistent with the overall approach of the web site.  It tries to blend the world’s view of reality or the “worldview” with the view of the Church with the catchy title of “Worldview Everlasting.”  It sounds very spiritual.  It sounds very “other-worldly.”  But it is really very worldly in the end.  It is a reduction of “the things above” to acceptance in terms of things below.

This is demonstrated powerfully in the following portions of this video post.

On the time line, at 4:16, a question from a commentator is shared.

At 4:26, Fisk addresses this.

Here Fisk identifies the problem with Lutheranism, including his definition of Lutheranism.  The problem is one of dishonesty and total lack of integrity.

Notice the statement in the center of this where Fisk replies, saying:

     You are not a Lutheran - which is fine, so long as you are honest about it.

This is a recurring doctrine throughout this video post.  It flows throughout the entire blog and its many posts.

At 5:14 Fisk says in this video,

     Be what you are.  Love what you are.  If you believe something, embrace it. . . . I’m not trying to put you in a hole, I’m just trying to get you to, you know, enjoy what you actually think.  Embrace it!

Is this what the Lord Jesus teaches?  Is this even remotely like what the apostles teach?  Do the Scriptures ever say this?  Or do the Scriptures actually declare that we should hear the truth and be turned from what we are and what we think and what we construct for ourselves?

Do the Scriptures ever declare that it is OK to believe what we want so long as we listen to what others say and accept them for who they are?

Is this the way of the Holy Scriptures?  Is this what is exposed in the “Lutheran Confessions” that Fisk claims to believe and confess and teach?

Do the Lutheran Confessions say that it is OK to love and embrace the ways of Wesleyan Baptist theology and practice?

At 9:12 Fisk says:

     But if your ism happens to be Lutheranism, which basically has six chief things, there’s like six things that make a Lutheran, we call them the six chief parts, and we believe they’re actually six things that make you a Christian, too, although you can be a Christian without believing everything about every piece of the chief parts, but they are the fullness of Christianity and they all point you back to Christ and the cross, but pretty much to deny any of these six things, I mean, it’s not like it’s this big giant list somewhere, it’s six stinkin things, right, you believe these six things and you are a Lutheran.  You don’t believe these six things and you’re not a Lutheran.  We call these six things the Small Catechism, because it is rather small, and catechism means: “teaching.”  It is just the small list of teaching that actually makes you Lutheran.

     I don’t define this.  I mean, where do you get off accusing me of that?  As if it is my idea.  You think I’m making this stuff up?  You think it’s about me?  If you think it’s about me, you just got to watch these videos a lot more, because you know, go back and watch the old ones.  This sucker aint about me man, this sucker’s about the Word of God.

Do people who speak this way ever even listen to themselves so as to hear the amount of double-mindedness that is expressed in their preaching?

For openers, where does Lutheran doctrine ever speak of Lutheran Christianity?


Where do the Lutheran Confessions ever speak of anything other than the one holy catholic/universal/Christian Church?

How can Fisk say, “they’re actually six things that make you a Christian, too, although you can be a Christian without believing everything about every piece of the chief parts”?

How can he say two diametrically opposing things within the same sentence and not hear the fallacy?

How can people listen to this and accept this as genuine?

How can he furthermore refer to the six chief parts of the one true faith by which God’s grace is declared and taught and imparted as “six stinkin things”?

Is this the way of someone whose first thought is to proclaim the truth of God’s Word, or is it the way of someone who is more concerned about sounding cool?

If these six chief parts are what make a person a Christian, how is it possible not to believe everything about them without losing one’s Christianity?

Does a baker accept this notion regarding the ingredients for a cake or a loaf of bread?  Does a mechanic say this regarding the parts of an engine that is being reassembled?  Does an electrician say this concerning the wiring of a house?

Would you trust any of these if they did?

How can Fisk make such statements while demanding integrity and honesty of others?

How can Lutherans in general follow this way as most do today?

The answer rests at least in part with the rest of what Fisk says about these six chief parts.  He says that we call them the Small Catechism.  He makes this false statement because he is falsely focusing upon the “smallness” of the essential and necessary parts of the Christian faith.  He is attempting to minimize the content of the doctrine that must stand as what is believed.

What does Luther and the catholic Church call these six chief parts?

The Catechism, is what they are called.

The so-called Small Catechism is the smaller and more concise of Luther’s explanations of the Catechism.  Luther wrote a Small Catechism in which the six chief parts are briefly explained so that the simple and young could understand them.

Luther also wrote a Larger Catechism in which he expanded his explanations of the Catechism or the Six Chief Parts more extensively.

Something that Luther does not say concerning these six chief parts is that anyone ever may dare to deny them in any part.  To deny these in any way, to reject so as not to believe any portion of these, is to deny the Word of God Himself, to deny Jesus, and to lose one’s salvation.

Luther treats this very seriously.  He never speaks of those who reject the efficacious nature of Baptism as true Christians.  He never speaks of those who deny the body and blood of Jesus in the Sacrament as true Christians.  Rather, he warns them against eating and drinking judgement upon themselves and cutting themselves off from God’s Holy Communion.

But Fisk and nearly every Lutheran today mocks this, saying that a person can be a Christian while denying and refusing to believe what Jesus and His apostles plainly declare.

The Christian faith, the faith by which salvation is imparted by God to those who stand desperately in need of being saved, is an “All or Nothing” faith.  It cannot be divided into portions that are necessary and unnecessary or even less necessary.

As an arborist who climbs trees using ropes for my own positioning and safety as well as for securing and lowering tree limbs and controlling the felling of trees in dangerous situations, I have come to value a saying by Clifford Ashely:

     A knot is never nearly right; it is either exactly right or it is hopelessly wrong, one or the other; there is nothing in between.

This saying is exemplified in the following explanation from “Tie, Dress, and Set (TDS)” in “The Tree Climber’s Companion.”

     Tying knots involves more than just making the “rabbit come out of the hole, go around the tree, and back in the hole” as with the Bowline. A properly tied knot must also be finished properly by dressing it and setting it. Dressing the knot means properly aligning, arranging, or straightening all the parts of the knot so it matches the description and picture in the book. Knot and rope strength can be significantly reduced if the knot is dressed improperly.

     Setting the knot involves tightening all its parts so they properly touch, grab, and press against each other. This creates friction on the rope—the reason a knot works.  A knot that is loosely tied could “capsize” and come untied when a load is applied.  It is good practice to periodically inspect knots while in use to ensure they remain tied.  New knots should never be employed aloft until they can be skillfully tied, dressed, and set (TDS) while on the ground.

From this it is easy to recognize the absolute importance of 100% accuracy in the doctrine of knot tying.  It also is easy to see that one must believe all aspects of this in order for the doctrine to have its effect in practice.

For example, a knot that is tied correctly will not hold if the person does not believe that it must be properly set and therefore skips this absolutely necessary step.

The same is true concerning the Six Chief Parts of Christian doctrine.

No part can be ignored or rejected if the doctrine is to be effective.

God does not give His doctrine without purpose.  He does not teach things that are not necessary.  All aspects of the truth are necessary.  Any departure from the truth is a departure from the truth.

This should be committed to heart, mind and soul.

Any departure from the truth is a departure from the truth.

If one does not hold to this, what difference does it make whether or not one is “honest” about being a Lutheran?  What does it matter if the article of doctrine concerning Baptism can be rejected and one can still be Christian?

The reason that the many imagined Lutherans think that it is important to be Lutheran is that they are actually promoting themselves.

One of Shakespeare’s famous quotations is from Hamlet:

"The lady doth protest too much, methinks."

Lutherans often fall into this category, as Fisk seems to protest too much when he says,

     I don’t define this.  I mean, where do you get off accusing me of that?  As if it is my idea.  You think I’m making this stuff up?  You think it’s about me?  If you think it’s about me, you just got to watch these videos a lot more, because you know, go back and watch the old ones.  This sucker aint about me man, this sucker’s about the Word of God.

If it is not about “being Lutheran,” why do they protest so much?  Why do they not simply proclaim the doctrine of the true faith as absolutely necessary and stand upon this?  Why do they insist on the name of “Lutheranism” and their church bodies?

God says many times and in various ways, both through the ministry of His Son and through the ministry of His apostles, “Baptism saves you.”  (For example: 1 Peter 3:19-21)

If someone says that this is not true, what does that person say of God, of God’s Word, of the Scriptures, of the faith declared in the Scriptures, of the Holy Spirit who inspired men to write these Scriptures, of the men who wrote them and proclaimed them, and of the Church?

If one says that what God says is true but that one can be a Christian while saying that what God says is not true, what does this mean?

Why even bother preaching and teaching concerning these things at all?

Unless of course, it really is about you after all.

Whose word really matters?  In whose words do you really trust?


Romans 3:4

+ + +

1 comment:

Gary Cepek said...


We ask our LORD God, as the Spirit leads you to cry forth His truth in the wilderness of this generation, to keep you firm and steadfast in the genuine faith professed from your lips.

Gary Cepek