The Bible turned upside-down

During the last few weeks, the Bible has been turned upside-down. First, Jesus might not have walked on water. According to MSNBC, Jesus might have walked on a patch of ice. From Doron Nof:

“We simply explain that unique freezing processes probably happened in that region only a handful of times during the last 12,000 years,” said Doron Nof, a Florida State University professor of oceanography. “We leave to others the question of whether or not our research explains the biblical account.”

Secondly, the Gospel of Judas has been unearthed. Several new books about this have been published. They are The Gospel of Judas and The Lost Gospel : The Quest for the Gospel of Judas Iscariot.

The Gospel of Judas gives a different view of the relationship between Jesus and Judas, offering new insights into the disciple who betrayed Jesus. Unlike the accounts in the canonical Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, in which Judas is portrayed as a reviled traitor, this newly discovered Gospel portrays Judas as acting at Jesus’ request when he hands Jesus over to the authorities.

And finally, evolution has made another breakthrough.

The latest fossil unearthed from a human ancestral hot spot in Africa allows scientists to link together the most complete chain of human evolution so far.

If you would like some information about these stories, I recommend listening to Issues, Etc., a Lutheran talk radio show. The host, Rev. Todd Wilken interviews Dr. John Warwick Montgomery as he comments on sound bytes regarding these issues.

These stories could potential change the Scriptures as we know them, if you don’t believe that God’s Word is God’s Word. As for me, I think I’ll stick with what God’s Word says.


Precautions taken at CCHS

It seems that things have quieted down a bit at Campbell County High School.

While police are continuing to investigate earlier threats, there was no new cause for concern at either Campbell County High School campus, Police Lt. Sawley Wilde said.

According to the Associate Superintendent Boyd Brown:

“My guess is we’ll go back to school as normal but I want to get some input from the administration there,” he said. “It sounds like everything is going very well.”

Unfortunately, the News-Record doesn’t have full articles or a good archive system.


Campbell County High School threats

Starting about a week ago, there were some threats at the high school here in Gillette.  In Gillette, we have one high school, but two campuses, North and South.  At North Campus in the last week, the following have taken place:

  • Last week, someone scribbled messages on a girl’s bathroom stall claiming to shoot and kill at the school Monday
  • Around the same time, Rocky Mountain Sports employees told deputies that an underage girl tried to buy a gun and other equipment at the store
  • Tuesday, a caller, who police now suspect is the 17-year-old who has been arrested, played off these fears by claiming to be wrong about something bad happening on Monday.  Instead, the caller claimed something would happen the following day, prompting an evacuation
  • School officials found more notes on Wednesday, including one on a bathroom window sill, in which the writers made further threats.

Tuesday’s scare came after threats last week that prompted many parents to keep their children out of school Monday.  583 students out of the total 1,387 enrolled were absent.

Tueday, the North Campus was evacuated around 1pm while Gillette Police and Campbell County firefighters searched the school for suspicious items.  Students were let back into the building shortly before 3pm without incident.  Police arrested a 17-year-old boy on suspicion of terroristic threats, a felony, at about 10:30am on Wednesday.  The boy was not a student at the high school and was already wanted on suspicion of burglary as a runaway. 

Wednesday, school officials found "cause to be nervous" at South Campus which prompted a lockdown of the building.  For the remainder of the week, students at both campuses will be searched upon entry and a lockdown will be in place.  This means that they will not be able to leave campus for lunch as they have for the past 20+ years.  This will be reevaluated Friday and a decision will be made whether to continue the searches and lockdowns.

As of Thursday afternoon, investigators suspect four more juveniles of making the threats that led to Tuesday’s evacuation.  Officers arrested a 16-year-old boy, also a runaway, on suspicion of interference when they arrested the 17-year-old. 


Psalm 23

I was looking for a book in my office when I came across a book buried on my shelf of “devotionals” and what not. The book is Psalms Now by Leslie F. Brandt.

From the dust jacket: What would the psalm writers say if they lived in our times? What words would they use to express their prayers? How would their songs reflect the same truth in a different age?

I’m sure everyone knows how Psalm 23 reads. Here it is in the KJV.

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

One would expect to hear this Psalm at a funeral service, with the promise of God’s salvation attached with it. Now here is the “psalm” from Psalms Now.

The Lord is my constant companion. There is no need that He cannot fulfill. Whether His course for me points to the mountaintops of glorious joy or to the valleys of human suffering, He is by my side. He is ever present with me. He is close beside me when I tread the dark streets of danger, and even when I flirt with death itself, He will not leave me. When the pain is severe, He is near to comfort. When the burden is heavy, He is there to lean upon. When depression darkens my soul, He touches me with eternal joy. When I feel empty and alone, He fills the aching vacuum with His power. My security is in His promise to be near me always and in the knowledge that He will never let me go.

I first heard this paraphrase in the summer of 2001 at a “Lutheran” church in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. Granted, this is a paraphrase and the author takes some latitude with his wording, I have to disagree with his choice of wording on one part. “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death (KJV)” vs. “and even when I flirt with death itself (PN)” are two separate things. During ones life, there will be trials and tribulations, temptations and sorrows. That is something that we must live with because of sin. Fortunate for us, the LORD is there to protect and comfort us. In the Psalms Now version, the author talks about flirting with death itself. I’m sorry, but no one in their right mind would purposely go out and run on the interstate just to see if God will protect them. Unfortunately, what the author did was turn great words of comfort into some “happy-clappy ‘god'” who is there to pick you up and dust the dirt off of you. That is not what the true God of the Old Testament is. He is a loving Father who, because His creation was destroyed by Satan’s temptation, sent His Son into the world to purge death from creation forever by His death and resurrection. Where is that God in Psalms Now?


The life of a pastor

No one can say that the life of a pastor is slow or boring.  Let’s go through it day by day.

Sunday: 2 services that I preached at, Confirmation class that evening
Monday: day off
Tuesday: Funeral
Wednesday: Lenten midweek service that I preached at, Midweek school
Thursday: All day in office, funeral home visitation
Friday: Funeral service in Gillette, committal service in South Dakota (approx. 2 hours away), wedding that I’m not involved in
Saturday: Spending the day in Rapid City to recharge and relax
Sunday: Lather, rinse, repeat

Keep in mind, this isn’t the normal week of a pastor, but this goes to show how hectic and busy a week can be.  I’m sure that next week, there won’t be anything going on so it’ll be slow and boring.  That’s ok with me.


Minister’s wife charged with his murder

I posted about this just a little while ago. It seems that now she has been charged with murder.


Minister’s wife confesses to killing husband

When I returned to the church after lunch, the secretary told me of a minister’s wife who had confessed of killing her husband. I was shocked! I had not heard that until then.

The wife of a minister found dead in the church parsonage has confessed to shooting him and fleeing to Alabama, where she was found the following night with their three young daughters, authorities said Friday. Mary Winkler told investigators she shot her husband on Wednesday, Selmer Police investigator Roger Rickman said.

I could not believe the story when I read it. Being a minister’s wife, I’m sure she would know a little about what it is her husband preaches and teaches to his congregation. I’m sure that one thing he would teach would be the Fifth Commandment: “You shall not murder.”


Why Closed Communion

Last week in my high school Midweek class, we talked about communion.  I figured that this would be an open and shut discussion.  Communion in an LC-MS church: good; communion outside of an LC-MS congregation: bad.  However, that was not the case.  They said that communion at an ELCA church is ok, as it is at an Episcopalian congregation. 

What they failed to realize is that in communion, there is both a vertical and a horizontal aspect to communion.  The vertical aspect is that between God and man.  They saw that aspect, but it was the horizontal aspect they didn’t understand and/or agree with.  The horizontal aspect is that between man and man.  When you come to the Lord’s Table, you confess that you are in theological agreement with those around you.  Since we are not in theological agreement with he ELCA or the Episcopalians, we cannot commune at their altars, nor could they commune at ours.

After the discussion, I was concerned about their understanding of the Lord’s Supper.  Last night, we read a couple of small phamplets concerning communion:  What About The Sacrament of the Altar and What About Fellowship in the Lord’s Supper.  They seemed to have a more Lutheran understanding of it after we finished our discussion.


New Beginnings

Well, this is a new beginning. This blog will contain events going on in the church where I serve as the Assistant Pastor, Trinity Lutheran Church, in Gillette, Wyoming. It will also contain various links to other Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod blogs and news.