I wrestled with whether or not to become a pastor three times in my life; junior high, college, and when I turned 30. After reading Luther’s ‘on the Babylonian Captivity of the Church,’ and a lot of life experience, I’ve let that go (and believe comfortably that God has too).
When I read Jesus’ words, especially in Matthew 5, Luke 6, Philippians 2, and 1 John 4, I see something radically different than what televangelists, radio preachers, megachurch masters and conservative politicians are espousing. Of course, that sometimes means that I see things differently than my own denomination. That may be another reason I never became a pastor. Needless to say, my posts on this website are my own and don’t represent my denomination, congregation or my pastor.
This is the lens through which I tend to read the Bible. Lutherans are big on insisting that there must be a balance between law and gospel in theology. While I mostly agree, I believe that if you’re going to err (and we all do), it’s important to err on the side of the Gospel.
Doubt is not a Sin
While I’m not a former fundamentalist, I have been reading & following a lot of “Exvangelicals” and “Deconstrucitonists.” I firmly believe that faith, belief and religion are a personal relationship with God, not strict adherence to a set of dogmas. The Bible is full of examples of give-and-take, learning, arguing, seeking and debating; Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Samuel, Elijah, the Prophets, the Psalms, Christ and His disciples… God wants us to ask questions, to think critically, to analyze and struggle, but also to bask in poetry, metaphor and genre of His Word.
If you’re looking for Fellowship
Anyone who’s had me as a student in Civics class probably gets sick of me explaining the “anti-establishment” clause of the First Amendment and how I respect the separation of church and state in public schools, but I’ll admit that one of the things I treasured about my time at a Lutheran school was getting to have prayer and Bible study with the cheerleaders I coached. I consider several of those girls trusted prayer-warriors even to day.
I don’t believe God forces Himself on anyone and I do believe that Jesus accepted everyone as they were, even if they weren’t religious. Part of my job as a teacher is to care about and support all kinds of students, no matter how different their backgrounds or beliefs are from mine. I hope you feel safe and with me and un-judged, I hope you can consider me an ally, whether you’re a member of a different Christian denomination, not Christian, and even if you’re an atheist, agnostic or pagan.
But if you are a person of faith and have been looking for a mentor or a prayer partner, let me know- whether you’re a student, or just stumbled on this blog. If you have questions or are looking for encouragement or prayer, I’m here.
- After receiving a BSEd in Secondary Education and Lutheran Teaching Diploma (LTD- just short of a minor in Religion) from Concordia University, Nebraska and was Called as a Commissioned (not to be confused with ordained) Minister of the Gospel/Teacher to Los Angeles Lutheran Jr/Sr High School.
- At Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Canyon Country, California I served as an Elder, a worship assistant, and an adult Bible study leader.
- At St. John Lutheran Church in Charter Oak, Iowa My wife and I have served as Youth Group Counselors and Junior High Sunday School Co-Teachers. I’ve helped her with Vacation Bible School, taught High School Bible Study, and served as Church Council Secretary, Vice President, Congregational President, and Elder.