golter's musings April 2020

So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. (Romans 10:17)

  • In the midst of great loss...

    aPril 2, 2020

    Body bags and freezer trucks in New York City unsettle the soul. Conservative estimates of 100,000 to 200,000 Americans as expected loss of life in the next coming weeks causes a deep pause in the soul.


    People need the Bible. But it must be read as its Author wrote it or it loses its purpose.


    God wrote the Bible to give comfort and hope (Romans 15:4).


    While a very complex Book—prophets, poetry, narratives, spanning centuries, and multiple authors—it owns a deep embedded unity. 


    This deep unity reflects the very heart and work of God.


    The Holy Spirit reveals how God operates.  “The LORD kills and brings to life,”

    (1 Sam. 2:6). God uses the Word to kill and make sinners alive in Christ.


    God speaks through His Word by the message of Law and the Gospel. The Law says: Do this. The Gospel says: My Son has already done it for you.


    Without this understanding, the Bible remains a dark book. And life remains beneath a suffocating stench of death.


    Dr. Herman Sasse of Australia writes: “To believe in the Scriptures is to be believe in Christ, and to believe in Christ is to believe the Scriptures,” (Accents in Luther’s Theology, 1967, p. 65).


    Christ is everywhere in the Bible.


    He’s everywhere for you.

    Upcoming Holy Week wonderfully reminds us of this.

    Pastor Golter is the Senior Pastor at Trinity Lutheran

  • Go by God’s Mortality Model

    aPril 9, 2020

    The numbers were shocking. 

    Models of mortality rates forecasted at least 150,000 to 250,000 people would die in the weeks upcoming.

    The numbers might even rise to over two million.

    Thankfully, revised forecasts predict 80,000 people due to America’s social distancing efforts.

    The models still are wrong.

    Wrong data input.

    The mortality rate is 100%.

    St. Paul gives the true model to live by: “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive…” (1 Corinthians 15:22).

    All die, in Christ all live.

    God’s model: simple and completely accurate.

    He gets His data input from Holy Week.

    Maundy Thursday – Good Friday – Resurrection Day.

    Game changer.

    The antidote is not a sixty-year-old pharmaceutical drug, hydroxychloroquine.

    It’s God’s blood.

    Spilt on the Cross.

    From His Son.

    Then resurrection.

    “Everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die,” (John 11:26).

    Go by God’s mortality model.

    Pastor Golter is the Senior Pastor at Trinity Lutheran

  • Luther, Isolation and Post-it Notes.

    aPril 16, 2020

    No, Luther didn’t use post-it notes. He did something else.


    He was isolated at the Castle Coburg in 1530 - not by choice.


    Since he was declared an outlaw by the emperor in 1521, he dared not travel to Augsburg. It was there that the great Augsburg Confession came about.


    He remained at Coburg.


    Some twenty years later, Luther’s doctor visited the castle.He went to the room where Luther studied, and continued his work of translating the bible into German.


    What did the good doctor find?


    Luther had written on the wall bible verses. One was Psalm 118:17, “I shall not die, but I shall live, and recount the deeds of the LORD,”(See AE 43:169; cf. 53:337).


    Luther had added musical notes for the singing of it.


    Other psalms were on the wall. He had them before his eyes to comfort his soul.


    Luther was all by himself.




    But he had God’s Word.


    Call a friend.


    Put up a bible verse on the bathroom mirror.


    God’s Word cheers the soul.


    “The words that I speak to you are Spirit and life,” (John6:63).

    Pastor Golter is the Senior Pastor at Trinity Lutheran

  • God is Working.

    aPril 24, 2020

    We shouldn’t be surprised.


    Jesus says so. “My Father is working until now, and I amworking,” (John 5:17).


    He said this after He healed a blind, lame, and paralyzedman.


    Don’t think that God is not working now. His crucifixion andresurrection does not mean Jesus now is some kind of couch potato.


    I can’t wait to see what new faces He brings to the church.


    People—some people—are likely revisiting their ownmortality. Others may fall away. That’s reality.


    Some may think wrongly that they should just stay home andworship online. Spiritual isolation is more dangerous than social isolation.


    A young father told me. “We realize we need to get back tochurch. We had strayed.”


    Another called the church wanting to help. “Pastor, whatneeds are there at church?


    We’ve received these stimulus checks; we want to give themaway.”


    And, another: “This pandemic made me realize how importantJesus is, how unimportant things are. My kids have said the same thing. We’rereading Bible stories now at bedtime.”


    Jesus is working.


    How is He stirring up you?

    Pastor Golter is the Senior Pastor at TrinityLutheran

  • Mistakes were Made (But not by me).

    April 30, 2020

    It’s so true.


    Excuses. Lying.


    The above title comes from Carol Tavris’ and ElliotAronson’s 2007 book.


    But these authors say self-justification is different thanmaking excuses or lying. It’s far more serious than denial or avoidance.


    “Self-justification is more powerful and dangerous than theexplicit lie. It allows people to convince themselves that what they did wasthe best thing they could have done. In fact, come to think of it, it was theright thing…Actually, it was a brilliant solution to the problem…I was doingthe best for the nation,” (p. 4).


    They go on to say that “everyone can see a hypocrite inaction except the hypocrite,” (Ibid).


    I can’t help but recall what the psalmist pens: “Who candiscern his errors?” (19:12).

    St. Augustine comments on this verse. “People are not aswell known to themselves as they are to their Creator, nor do the sick knowthemselves as well as the doctor does,” (Ancient Christian Commentary, Vo. VII,p. 157).


    A self-convinced sinner is very dangerous.


    We all need wise counselors (Proverbs 13:20), those who willsharpen and shape us (Proverbs 27:17).


    We need help from outside of us.


    We need the Holy Spirit. He pulls no punches.


    You are a sinner.


    You are a sinner for whom Christ died.


    There’s no need to self-justify.


    We live in the freedom of Christ.

    Pastor Golter is the Senior Pastor at TrinityLutheran