golter's mussings July 2020

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

  • if i had the choice

    July 2, 2020

     If I had the choice, I would not choose free will.




    It would bring so much uncertainty to faith.




    Because then my faith is based not only God but my will.


    My conversion then involves two powers, God’s and mine.


    That’s very scary.


    St. Paul says this, even as a Christian, “For I know nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out,” (Romans 7:18).


    That’s why Lutherans rejoice in this biblical truth: There is no free will.


    Faith entirely is the work of the Holy Spirit in the believer. Faith entirely is God’s work. Not one minuscule portion of my will.


    “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws Him,” is Jesus’ preaching (John 6:44).


    The Holy Spirit pointedly used the word DRAWS here. It means to DRAG.


    He uses it in James 2:16 for the DRAGGING of a person into court. In other words, they came against their will, kicking and screaming.


    God dragged you into His salvation, while you were kicking and screaming.


    He dragged you against your will.


    If I had a choice, I would not choose free will.


    But I don’t have a choice.


    It’s all God.


    This brings me great comfort.

    Pastor Golter is the Senior Pastor at Trinity Lutheran

  • Suffering Souls

    July 16, 2020

     Are you one? Very likely.


    I read the well-known Prodigal Son story in Luke 15, as told by Jesus.


    So rude to his dad was the youngest, asking for the inheritance ahead of time. Dad wasn’t dying fast enough.


    You know the story. His dad gives him his riches, riches not earned. It was an inheritance. How gracious his dad! Remember, he represents your heavenly Father.


    But the younger squanders the gift and ends up bathing with the pigs. He finally realizes to a degree what he lost and done. He was guilty.


    His daddy’s embrace in the open field says it all: acceptance and forgiveness. The party of joy he threw is the topping on the cake.


    Forgiveness the son needed for his guilt. But there was more. He suffered SHAME.

    The pig slop dirtied his skin; his sin deeply dirtied his soul.


    He shamed his father and family, and himself. He dirtied himself, and he felt dirty deep down inside. Many people do. Do you?


    “Guilt has to do with behavior; while shame is a matter of guilt,” (Harold Senkbeil, The Care of Souls: Cultivating a Pastor’s Heart.”


    This child needed forgiveness for his guilt; for his shame he needed a deep cleansing from his dirtiness.


    Many victims from others’ abuse suffer deeply. Shame lingers for years.


    The father’s hug preached forgiveness, yes, but full acceptance, and complete restoration.


    The heavenly Father’s embrace is the deep cleansing by His Son’s blood amidst family. Holy Communion in the presence of all, on earth and in heaven, is a grand party of joy, the topping on the cake.


    So, here’s a reminder by the Holy Spirit. “The blood of Jesus His Sob cleanses us from all sin,” (1 John 1:7b).


    Are you a suffering soul?

    Pastor Golter is the Senior Pastor at Trinity Lutheran

  • How You React to this Pandemic…

    July 30, 2020

    How you react to this pandemic - teaches your kids how tohandle life.


    It really does.


    You’re preparing them for life. This will not be the firstor last storm that hits them.


    Luther was fond of citing Leviticus 26:36. “The sound of adriven leaf shall put them to flight…”


    He describes Adam and Eve this way, after they fell intosin. And then he applies it to people of his day.


    “When they hear the creaking of a beam, they are afraid thatthe entire house may collapse….when the conscience is truly…frightened, man isso overcome that he not only cannot act but is unable even to do any thinking,”(American Edition 1:171).

    The opposite of paralyzing fear is arrogant pride. Such aposture believes in self-reliance, as if life is in their hands. It’s not, ofcourse.


    Another is ruling all of life, this world, and everyperson’s care.


    The pandemic offers a perfect opportunity to teach trust andsimple dependence in Christ.


    Luther mentions the conscience. This clarifies the issue.


    How do you teach your kids to handle a guilty conscience?


    My folks always went to church, unless a blizzard or illnessor duck and pheasant hunting opening weekend. That’s just the way it was.


    That preached when I went to college and stayed up late. Iwent to church no matter the time I got to bed.


    At church is where Jesus cleanses consciences by His Word,the Spirit, and His Body and Blood.


    God’s work and Word is the strong foundation for life (seeJesus’ teaching in Matthew 7:24-27).


    Whether online (for a time) or in-person, the necessity ofGod’s Service (this is what Divine Service means) sturdies consciences.


    That way when the leaf falls there’s no panic. Christ isLord, my Lord.


    What are you teaching your kids?

    Pastor Golter is the Senior Pastor at Trinity Lutheran