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Not to worry, Congresswoman Bachmann's resigned membership in her WELS church...

The Wisconisn Evangelical Lutheran Synod sees the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod and raises them one. Or maybe ten.

In my former home of Pardeeville, Wisconsin, the WELS congregation was the dominant religious presence in town. When they called a new pastor, Mary Lee and I decided to invite him with his wife and children over for dinner. After a cordial introduction, we sat down at the table and I turned to him and said, "I've heard lots of things through the years, but let me ask you directly: do you pray, do I pray, or do we not pray at all?"

He answered, "You go ahead and pray and we'll sit by," and immediately his good wife turned to their children and said, "We're going to pray; fold your hands and close your eyes." God bless her.

We had a pleasant evening. During the conversation the WELS pastor told us his grandmothers was a godly Baptist and that he didn't pray with her, either...

"Important fantasies we can escape to..."

(Tim) With sincere apologies to all the wee ones and their mothers, I think Disneyworld is too similar to hip preachers with full-service video venues to take the children for a visit. Really, do you want Disney's moral and spiritual authority to accrue to our Evangelical/Emergent theme parks?

Taryn Simon is a photographer...

Witchdoctors in Zambian Culture

(Tim: a series on beliefs about spirit beings in Zambian culture by David Wegener) 

** Editors Note: Readers in the US may not understand just how prevalent these beliefs are in African culture. Witchdoctors, or "Traditional Healers", are regularly consulted by Africans both inside and outside of the church. In other words, this report from David doesn't represent anything exotic where he lives. Rather, it's "business as usual". **

I’ve been teaching class on Spirit Beings this fall at our theological college. As one of their assignments, I asked the students to interview a witchdoctor and ask him a set of questions. They also interviewed a local pastor and asked him the same set of questions and then they were to evaluate the answers of both from Scripture and write things up in a paper.

Me and Jesus, plus nothing...

Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you. (Hebrews 13:17)

(Tim) The results of Trinity College's 2008 American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS) are in and they confirm that the souls of Americans are not being lost to false religions, but to the complete rejection of the Church. This confirms my own experience.

Far and away the largest number of souls who have rejected Church of the Good Shepherd's doctrine in the past decade, investigating us but leaving for somewhere else, left because we require a believer be a member in good standing of some evangelical, Bible-believing church to join with us at the Lord's Table.

We fence the Table quite inclusively, really. I use the liturgy of the old Scottish Book of Worship and it's a balm for weak souls trusting in Christ alone for our salvation. But then, at the end, I warn off those who reject Christ's authority, rejecting the authority of elders over their own soul. If they believe they can relate directly to God, bypassing the ministry and authority of His Church, this rebellion disqualifies them from communing with us, I tell them.

Of course, I go on to show them how easily they may correct the matter...

President Obama booed at National Prayer Breakfast...

(Tim, w/thanks to Kamilla) In his address at the National Prayer Breakfast, today, President Obama warned of the grave dangers religious zealots pose to the enlightened commitment he and his Ivy League compatriots share, never to take "the life of an innocent human being:"

(F)ar too often, we have seen faith wielded as a tool to divide us from

one another - as an excuse for prejudice and intolerance. Wars have

been waged. Innocents have been slaughtered ... all in the name of perceived