golter's mussings August 2019

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

  • More shootings: Scarred souls

    August 9, 2019

    More shootings, more innocent victims, more… Please God, no more.

    Every tragedy is more than skin deep; the soul is wounded, deeply wounded. Eyes don’t capture the depth of hurt

    .Commentators scramble for a right cure and proper solution: less guns, more treatment for the mentally ill, stronger families, less hatred; these all may help. But the deep darkness and hurt of the human soul is not healed by solutions from below.

    The Church, though, remains God’s answer. How so? It’s not the Church per se, but what’s been given to her, Jesus Christ Himself.Last week, I attended the third of three weekends of Doxology training in Kansas City; the intent is to better the pastor. It was a clear reminder that pastors are to take care of the soul. They don’t bring people nice concepts or a few pious platitudes to bring a better mood to face the day.

    They bring Jesus. Through words spoken and preached, Jesus Himself teaches that His Word offers and generates true life. “The words that I have spoken to you are Spirit and life,” (John 6:63). Only Christ’s words work life in the midst of brokenness and death.

    Violence is not new for Jesus. His first-created family had a brother murder his brother, Cain killing Abel (Genesis 4:8). And, remember, the violence afforded to Jesus Himself on the Cross for your sins.

    In the most remarkable way, humanities’ violence and hatred to Jesus — His own deep wounds — is the Father’s balm for scarred souls. “And with His wounds we are healed, (Is. 53:5c).

    Scoffers will mock the Church, of course. Expect their casting of doubt.We offer what we’ve been given.And God does the needed healing.

    Pastor Golter is the Senior Pastor at Trinity Lutheran

  • Throw a sunshine bomb

    August 15, 2019

    Words happen; harsh and biting words get thrown your way.

    What do you do? Smirk? Attack? Withdraw?

    Here’s a suggestion: Throw a sunshine bomb!

    Not with an attitude of resentment but of openness and all genuineness.

    And say, “Anything else you want to tell me.”

    So was the suggestive response by one of the presenters at the Doxology conference in Kansas City two weekends ago.

    More ears, less mouth.

    Per a Cigna 2018 survey, nearly half of Americans report sometimes or always feeling alone or left out. Generation Z (adults ages 18-22) is the loneliest generation.

    Lonely people are all around. And, they react out of need or hurt. You do, too.

    God built people for community. God built people with ears to hear and also to speak.Paul says in Colossians 4:6. “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.”

    Part and parcel of your baptismal aroma is a defenseless attitude. With confidence that Christ has owned all of your sin, you have no edge about you. You are what you are; you own what you need to own. And, you put the other’s needs ahead of yours.

    Just as Christ did and does for you.Throw a sunshine bomb!

    Pastor Golter is the Senior Pastor at Trinity Lutheran

  • Not like two horses drawing a wagon!

    August 23, 2019

    Not like Two Horses Drawing a Wagon!

    So says our Lutheran forefathers.

    On what you ask? The power of your will, after God has converted you to His Son.

    Your God reserves unto Himself the power of conversion, of making you a Christian. This work is of the Holy Spirit, who converts unbelievers to believers. “No one can say: ‘Jesus is Lord’ except in the Holy Spirit,” (1 Corinthians 12:3).

    Babies or big people own no ability to make a decision for Jesus. They can’t create faith. Please remember, faith is not to be confused with intellectual ability. This is one of the reasons—besides God’s command itself—Lutherans baptize babies. Their undeveloped brain has no part to play in conversion.

    But now, onto the two horses! Even as believers, this FREED WILL, the New Man, created by God, who loves Jesus and wants to do right, is very weak.

    Your FREED WILL, you see, still needs the Gospel, the forgiveness of sins, to be made strong.

    Therefore, the Book of Concord—our Lutheran Confessions—say: “If the converted person cooperates alongside the Holy Spirit, in the way two horses draw a wagon together, this interpretation (of Scripture) could not be tolerated without damaging the divine truth,” (Book of Concord, Solid Declaration, Article II, Free Will, par. 66).

    You see, the One pulling the wagon is God Himself, and the one alongside following along and pulling some weight is you. But even your pulling is made possible by God Himself. Is that not spectacular!

    Here’s one of best Bible passages which explains. “For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure,” (Philippians 2:13).

    Thus, you see, the need of going to church, hearing and meditating on His Word, receiving by mouth and faith the Crucified’s Body and Blood.

    Your FREED WILL is pathetically weak apart from Jesus.

    Pastor Golter is the Senior Pastor at Trinity Lutheran

  • Preach It

    August 30, 2019

    Please, No Wimpy Preachers!

    I still remember my first sermon at St. James Lutheran Church, University City, Missouri. Boy, I was nervous!

    I memorized and memorized. I remember jogging around the nearby park, preaching as I was running. I wonder if anyone heard?

    Let me tell you: when I entered the pulpit, I was nervous to the core. I’m sure I looked it, too!

    There’s still a bit of nervousness during the sermon hymn; it should be for every preacher. But a preacher should not be shy in the least. Rather, he should be bold and confident, full of certainty. Oh, to be sure, a preacher owns no confidence based on his own person. He is a poor maggot-infested sinner like the rest, except for Christ’s unmerited mercy.

    Where does such boldness and confidence, a joyful entering of the pulpit, come? God sends the preacher. This is His doing.

    Yes, you see the preacher baptizing and giving of the Meal of Eternity. You hear his voice. But it’s God Himself who’s using this chosen, called man as His instrument. He put him there. “The one who hears you hears Me,” so says Jesus (Luke 10:16).

    Be careful about your own boldness and certainty.

    Surely, it comes not because the preacher enters the pulpit with joy and confidence. No, it’s because God sent this man and that the message proclaimed is of the God who justifies sinners in Christ (Romans 4:5). God’s Word emboldens both preacher and hearer.

    The preacher does not preach human wisdom or philosophy. He preaches “Christ crucified,” (1 Cor. 1:18).  Luther (pictured above) writes: “Yes, I hear the sermon; but who is speaking? The minister? No indeed!...True, the voice is his; but my God is speaking the Word he preaches and speaks,” (What Luther Says, Vo. III, p. 1125).

    Don’t be a wimp, Pastor. Preach it!

    Pastor Golter is the Senior Pastor at Trinity Lutheran