golter's mussings February 2021

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

  • Just a Location Change…

    February 4, 2021

    It’s just a location change, that is, death for a believer in Christ.

    Carefully inspect Julie Wall’s above image.

    Take note, there are two groups of folks.

    On the left are those who are colored in, viewable. We see them.

    On the right are those white-stained. Above and beyond.

    Both groups are real.

    Very real.

    All the faces with hands raised look to the centering focus: the crucified and resurrected Christ.

    Include the angels’ focus as well.

    What happened at Trinity?

    What happens at every Christian church?

    Christ’s church of saints below—declared holy by Christ’s blood—are re-located to the church above through temporal death.

    Below and from Christ in this image are the life-giving Word, Baptism and Holy Communion.

    They are a river teeming with the Holy Spirit and Truth to create and sustain faith in the Son.

    The Spirit’s signature description of this is Revelation 7:1-17. Verses 1-8 describe the church on earth, the Church Militant, the Church doing battle with God’s Word to capture more souls.

    Verses 9-17 describe the Church Triumphant, before the slain Lamb, all victors before the Victor. They are “clothed in white robes,” (7:13).

    Death here for a believer is a transition.

    It’s just a location change.

    Pastor Golter is the Senior Pastor at Trinity Lutheran

  • Music is not neutral

    February 12, 2021

    Music is not neutral in its power.

    Its words as well as beat and rhythm sway soul and emotions.

    Luther understood the power of music.

    “The gift of language combined with the gift of song was only given to man to let him know that he should praise God with both word and music, namely, by proclaiming [the Word of God] through music…” (Luther’s Works, vo. 53, p. 323).

    Words are the main power of song.

    The devil knows this. Plenty of songs with texts contrary to God’s Word abound, tempting and training the naïve of ungodly ways.

    Apparently an eighteenth century pastor wrote: “The Devil has the best tunes.” I think we know why.

    Words do work for bad or for good.

    The Spirit explains His use of music in St. Paul’s Letter to the Colossians. “Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,” (3:16).

    “Dwell” teaches a deep learning, an internalizing of God’s Word in the heart by faith.

    “Spiritual” means the Holy Spirit uses the words of Christ to do His work of Law and Gospel.

    The Spirit uses song to teach and sustain faith, and to instruct in Christian living. Sitting around a dinner table Luther says, “God has preached the Gospel through music,” (Luther’s Works, vo. 54, p. 129).

    Music is not neutral. Pastor Golter is the Senior Pastor at Trinity Lutheran

  • Perspective

    February 19, 2021

    It helps to get outside of your place.

    We’re too near-sighted most of the time.

    Check out Jesus’ work in Siberia.

    I received the latest newsletter from the Siberian Lutheran Mission Society.

    The Lutheran presence there goes back to the 18th century.

    Due to a war between Russia and Sweden, some 25,000 Swedish soldiers were captured. They were scattered across Siberian towns. After the war, some returned home. Others stayed. Lutheran churches were built for them in Siberia.

    Go forward 200 years, and the Lutheran church numbered over a million, as I recall. I had the privilege of visiting - for several weeks - the emerging remnant church in 2013 August.

    The Bolshevik revolution of 1917 and the ending of WW I had devastating impact upon the Lutherans. Religious instruction was banned in 1921. Seminaries were taken over.

    Add to this the extreme persecution under Joseph Stalin, who ruled from 1921 to 1953. The communists isolated clergy. Clergy were known in the public press as anti-communists.

    Some had written letters in the public press against communism.

    The communists infiltrated parishes through local residents. They became agents because of threats to their families. They testified falsely against their priests for anti-communist threats.

    Bottom line: the hostile government over the years nearly decimated the church. The newsletter states that a Lutheran priest had not visited some of the Lutheran settlements in 60 years.

    Now, the Lutheran church is emerging but very small…perhaps 50 very small congregations. But the seminary in Novosibirsk is training men for the Office of the Holy Ministry.

    God works His mission. The Church is built on Christ and His Word.

    Right now, the American church faces a greater hostility, as we all know.

    But we preach and teach, serve the faithful and reach out to those desiring to hear.

    Music is not neutral. 

    Pastor Golter is the Senior Pastor at Trinity Lutheran

  • Just in Case You Think…

    February 26, 2021

    Just in case you think God doesn’t have you.

    Jesus Himself says, “For the Son of Man goes as it has been determined…” (Luke 22:22a).  On the night before Good Friday, Jesus speaks these words of His Father’s plan. He trusts His Father. The Father had Him.

    DETERMINED means fixed, designated, a definite plan.

    The Holy Spirit uses it others places:

    “And He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having DETERMINED allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place,” Acts 17:26.


    “This Jesus, delivered up according to the DEFINITE plan and foreknowledge of God…” (Acts 2:23).


    “Again He appoints a certain day, ‘Today,’ saying…” (Hebrews 4:7).

    By His plan, God fixed:

    • the day when Jesus would be crucified,
    • the boundaries where people live,
    • the current time and day for people to come to faith,
    • and, the Final Day of Judgment.

    Jesus’ words to sinking Peter resonate: “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” (Matthew 14:31).

    Peter let the stormy sea and strong winds weaken his faith.

    Trust God.

    He has you.Pastor Golter is the Senior Pastor at Trinity Lutheran