golter's mussings August 2020

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

  • It’s a Cosmic Battle

    August 6, 2020

    There’s the unseen world.


    The Elisha story teaches this. 


    In 2 Kings 6:15 f., Elisha’s servant is frightened. The Syrian army surrounds them.


    Elisha says, “Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them,” (v. 16).


    The prophet prays, and God Himself opens up the unseen world for the servant to see. God shows him the army of God’s angels who are present to protect and do God’s bidding.


    There’s a bigger war going on in this world. Paul says: so that we fight not “against flesh and blood,” but against those spiritual forces, (Ephesians 6:10 f.).


    St. John in Revelation shows the Devil is out after the Church and her offspring, believers in Christ. “The dragon…went off to make war on the rest of her offspring,” (Rev. 12:17).


    We focus on the pandemic. And the Devil can cause all kinds of havoc with it. But we must not forget God Himself is working. He controls all events in the seen and unseen world.  He even controls the days we live. “In your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me,” (Ps. 139:16).


    The bigger battle is for the souls of all.


    When teaching on Genesis, Luther suggested that God Himself causes doctors to discover new therapies---“this is not a matter of the diligence of human beings; it is a ministry of angels,” (AE 3:269-270). We petition our Lord to work for effective therapies and vaccines, to charge His angels!


    But as in the Lord’s Prayer, we pray for His Kingdom to come. His kingdom of mercy and forgiveness indeed has come to us. He is working to bring others, even by His use of the Devil’s evil intentions.


    Open your eyes and see the big picture.

    Pastor Golter is the Senior Pastor at Trinity Lutheran

  • Those Hard-Nosed Missouri Lutherans!

    August 20, 2020

    Many complain about those Missouri Synod Lutherans.

    They’re so stubborn on doctrine.

    There’s history here.

    Emperor Charles V said he would meet with Luther and his followers. Luther had been excommunicated some nine years earlier for his stubbornness for the Gospel.

    The Emperor’s renewed interest included the threats from the east by the Turks. He needed a united kingdom to fight them.

    The Emperor wanted to know which teachings these Lutherans would not budge.

    In preparation for the Augsburg Confession (1530), the Lutherans began their list:

    1. Both kinds of the Lords’ Supper must be given to the laity;
    2. Clergy could marry;
    3. Rejection of the Mass and its teaching of the unbloody sacrifice of Jesus;
    4. No forcing of clergy to teach the old doctrine of Roman Catholicism;
    5. The pope could still be considered “lord and chief” if he allowed freedom of the Gospel;
    6. No demand for fasting;
    7. Praying to the saints should be forbidden. (from Martin Brecht, Vo. 2, p. 371).
    8. In summary, if the Bible doesn’t say so, then don’t force us. And, don’t compromise the free forgiveness of sins given in Jesus.

    Why the stubbornness? The care of souls.

    St. Paul supports. “Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers,” (1 Timothy 4:16).

    And, Jesus: “If you abide in My Word, you are truly My disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free,” (John 8:31).

    If the Bible does say, then we must follow. But if it does not say…God has not given permission to go beyond or less than what He has taught.

    A history of stubbornness on doctrine goes back to God Himself and Scripture.

    Why? God Himself cares for souls. 

    Pastor Golter is the Senior Pastor at Trinity Lutheran

  • Siding with John MacArthur.

    August 28, 2020

    I do.

    MacArthur is the pastor of Grace Community Church in Los Angeles. His congregation has taken a stand —even filed a lawsuit — against L.A. County.

    The issue is the exercise of religion. Governor Newsom ordered churches to shutter their doors, even forbidding home Bible studies.

    MacArthur argued the church as “the core of life for thousands from nursery to seniors” and that it’s “so essential to personal well-being.”

    The governor is concerned for the body; MacArthur is concerned for the soul and body.

    So are we.

    An LCMS missionary to Riga, Latvia, Dr. John Bombaro, writes: The church “is not a voluntary association like a softball league or Kiwanas…the Church cannot and does not exist without the service of the Word and the service of the Sacraments. For where the Church is, there is hope, because where the Church is, there is Christ.”

    He adds, “Christians have a higher law than Caesar, “the Third Commandment (“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy,” Exodus 20:8).”

    Hope has a location.

    Christ’s Church is essential for America. God said so.

    Thankfully most churches offer online and in-person worship during this pandemic threat.

    MacArthur understood the threat when Caesar goes too far. 

    Pastor Golter is the Senior Pastor at Trinity Lutheran