Posts tagged “Devil

Sermo Dei: Oculi 2016

Posted on March 7th, 2016

On June 16, 1858, the Republican State Convention met in Springfield, IL, and chose Abraham Lincoln as their candidate for senate. Lincoln’s speech that night is said to have cost him the election, but eventually propel him to the presidency. Outlining the Republican position that slavery must be ended, Lincoln turned to the Scripture passage read as part of today’s Gospel (Lent III [Oculi], Luke 11:14-28) and used the same analogy concerning a country divided by slavery: “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved — I do not expect the house to fall — but I do expect it will cease to be divided.  It will become all one thing or all the other.  Either the opponents of…

Sermo Dei: Oculi 2015

Posted on March 26th, 2015

Kingdoms among men have risen – and fallen. Great empires—the Babylonian, the Assyrian, the Roman—and more modern powers. None of them could last, and if the world continues, this great republic in which we live, already in deep decline, will fall and give place to a new power. While taking place across great spans of earthly empires, the story of humanity recorded in Sacred Scripture presents another kingdom, the kingdom that rules all the others. Dr. Luther said, “Every child that comes into this world is born into the kingdom of the devil, the lord of death, who exercises his sway through sin’s tyranny.” This world is the devil’s kingdom. He is the Strong Man whose tyranny governs the world. All freedom under this…

Sermo Dei: Judica 2014

Posted on April 9th, 2014

The last century or two theologians have attempted to “modernize” Christianity by keeping ethical principles of justice and sharing while dismissing anything supernatural. The devil is the first to go. Belief in the devil is positively antiquated, so the thinking goes. Evil, though, everyone can believe in. The evidence of it surrounds us. But what God’s Word teaches about evil is very different from popular belief. Evil is not a force or power, like the dark side in Star Wars. God does not create evil. God creates persons – beings with wills. When God created spirits, and men, He gave them freedom, freedom to choose the good, or not; freedom to listen to His Word, or not. Their actions could not be good if…

Sermon before the March for Life

Posted on January 22nd, 2014

Divine Service before the March for Life January 22, 2014 Immanuel Evangelical-Lutheran Church, Alexandria, Virginia (LCMS) Rev. 12:1-17 Click here for audio of the sermon Alongside beer cans and rotting meat, taking their place in mounds of rubbish, 55 million corpses of babies have been discarded. Many are trashed in bio-hazard bags, as a dangerous thing we must put far from us. Sometimes body parts are sold for experiments and testing. Except for those recovered by noble people digging through garbage heaps, none are given a proper burial.  They’ve been dismembered, suctioned, poisoned, flushed down toilets; some of them, born alive, have been beheaded by a physician who laughs. Looking into America’s abortion culture is looking evil in the face, and it appears evil…

Reading Scripture with the Devil

Posted on July 20th, 2013

Luther on how trials made him a theologian: I didn’t learn my theology all at once, but have had to probe more and more deeply. My temptations led me to do this because no one can understand Holy Scripture without practical experience and trials. This is why Paul had to put up with a devil that beat him with his fists and, by means of these temptations, drove him diligently to study the Holy Scripture. In a similar way, I have the Pope, the universities and all the scholars and through them the Devil himself at my throat. They are the ones who chased me into the Bible, causing me to read it conscientiously and thus to attain a true interpretation of Holy Scripture.…

The nun Mechtild was vexed by the devil

Posted on February 25th, 2013

More Luther on how to endure trials and temptations, especially to despair: This picture of the conflicts and struggles in the saints is full of consolation. Elsewhere the example of the nun Mechtild is recounted. She was vexed by the devil, because she knew or experienced absolutely nothing about faith. This was a temptation to unbelief, which is a most bitter grief and torment of conscience. For hearts are consumed by trepidation and doubt, and experience alone shows what this grief is; it cannot be declared in words. Nevertheless, that temptation was not yet equal to this struggle of Jacob. For it was not God who was fighting against her, as was the case here with Jacob, but the devil, who can drive men…

Faith to confront grave matters

Posted on February 13th, 2013

God has not bequeathed us the gift of faith to deal with trivial things but rather to confront grave matters such as: Death, sin, the world and the Devil. For the world is not capable of resisting Death, but, instead, the world is terrified and runs away from Death, but is in the end defeated by him. But faith remains steadfast and resists Death who devours the whole world. Faith gains the victory over Death and then swallow up this insatiable devourer of life. Martin Luther, taken from Luther Brevier, p59

Clinging like a little child

Posted on January 8th, 2013

Luther on praying to “Our Father”: If, like everyone else on this earth, I feel that I cannot call God “Our Father” with all my heart, when saying this prayer (if we could, we would be saints), all I can do instead is to try my best and, like a little child, cling to Him as if he were my father. If my faith is lacking, there is no use pretending, nor do I want to say no to the Father. And if I cannot play this game as it should be played, then preserve me from playing the exact opposite to this game, because that really would be from the Devil. –Luther Brevier, p19

Noah the Bishop

Posted on February 18th, 2012

Luther on Genesis 9: In the first place, Noah filled the office of bishop; and because he had been plagued by various temptations, it was his foremost concern to oppose the devil and comfort the tempted, to restore the erring, to give confidence to the wavering, to encourage the despairing, to shut out the impenitent from his church, and to receive back the penitent with fatherly joy. These are almost the same duties that must be performed by a bishop through the ministry of the Word.

The Rite: The Making of a Modern Exorcist (Brief Reviews)

Posted on September 28th, 2011

Rarely can books dealing with demons or the supernatural be accused of being overly mundane. Matt Baglio’s The Rite is the first book I’ve read on exorcism or demonology that falls into that category. The book wasn’t entirely boring, although it took me awhile to finish; there simply wasn’t the eagerness to turn the page and discover what happens next. Baglio, a journalist, tells the story of an American Priest of the Roman Church who is trained in Rome to perform exorcisms. He pulls back the mystery surrounding how exorcists are trained. Far from unthinking superstition, the priests hear lectures from psychologists, medical doctors, and law enforcement, among others. Instead of finding demons under every knock of a shutter or mewing cat in a…