Video Ministries-July 2024

Be sure to check out the two new videos on our You Tube channel.  A link to our You Tube channel can be found here.  Both of these videos are from members of the board of Lutheran CORE.  Doug Schoelles, NALC pastor, has given us a CORE Convictions video critique of the “Created to Be” curriculum used by Lutheran Outdoor Ministries.  A link to his video can be found here.  Chris Johnson, LCMC pastor, has given us a video book review of a biography of Charles Spurgeon, one of the greatest preachers of all time.  A link to his video can be found here.


A CORE Convictions Video by Doug Schoelles

What makes it even more important that people know about this curriculum is the fact that basically the same teaching material is being used in preparation for and at the ELCA Youth Gathering this summer.  The material claims that the focus of each of the five sessions is to give youth “an opportunity to explore more deeply the authentic selves God has created us to be.”  But in actuality it is rife with social justice works righteousness and saturated with DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) ideology as it tells young people that God created them to be exactly as they are, their identity is however they define themselves, and that they are to be brave and disruptive change makers.

Under the theme “Created to Be Free,” there is no mention of being free from sin, rebellion, and death.  Under “Created to be Authentic,” there is no mention of who I am in Christ and how Christ defines me.  Instead it is completely how do I define myself.  The young people are told they are loved by God, but there is no reference to why or how.  The cross of Christ is only referenced once. 


A Video Book Review by Chris Johnson

Who is the “Prince of Preachers,” Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892)? Arnold Dallimore shares with us the story of a man whose reputation spans generations and continents, a man who has been read in many languages and still is respected to this day. This biography recounts the life of Spurgeon from a faithful young lad, to becoming a “Boy Preacher,” to being the leader of, at the time, one of the largest churches in the world, the Metropolitan Tabernacle in London. The Lord, through this church, would educate generations of pastors, care for orphans, and serve as a clear witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Dallimore’s biography serves as an entry point to know the life of this British preacher. Without getting bogged down into too many details, Dallimore recounts for us Spurgeon as a riveting preacher, a teacher of pastors, a public theologian, a prayer warrior, a faithful husband who loved and was loved by his loving wife (Susannah), a capable administrator of a large urban church, a pastor who had the salvation of souls as his main mission, a pastor who had a heart for the many meek, mild, and poor in London, a man who dearly loved his Lord, his Scriptures, and his calling as an under-shepherd of the Good Shepherd.

Though Spurgeon (what we might consider a Reformed/Calvinistic Baptist) and Lutheran theology don’t always see eye to eye on key points of doctrine (the Lord’s Supper and Baptism, to name two), Lutherans can still learn from this man’s passion, dedication, and seemingly indefatigable nature to help build a bit of the kingdom of God here on earth. One works as hard as possible for the sake of the kingdom and God does the rest. We sow, God provides the growth. Pastors and laity can both enjoy this accessible biography of Spurgeon and have a fire rekindled in them for the difficult, yet eternally essential mission of the Church.

Some widely circulated works of Spurgeon, in addition to his many sermons, include the following: “Lectures to My Students,” “Morning and Evening,” “Smooth Stones Taken from Ancient Brooks,” “The Treasury of David,” and decades of his monthly publication, “The Sword and the Trowel.”

Weekly Devotional for November 17, 2017

“ . . . so that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.” (Romans 3:26)

“Just remember, it’s not about you.”  Those were the last words I heard before I preached for the first time.  A senior at Valparaiso University, I was about to deliver the homily at one of the daily chapel services.  The chaplain assistant leading matins, who could probably see my nerves at work, leaned over and whispered, “Just remember, it’s not about you.”

There’s freedom in those words, whatever our walk of life: the freedom to let go of ourselves, even forget ourselves, and simply hand ourselves over to the task at hand.  And according to the apostle Paul, it is this same freedom that stands behind salvation in Jesus Christ.  Even there, it’s not about us: it’s about God demonstrating that He is just.  

While that promise may irritate our old selves (they always like to be at the center of attention!), it makes God’s forgiveness of you even more true and certain.  His decision to redeem, His sacrifice on the cross, and His proclamation of that redemption for you rest not on you, but entirely on Him who is eternal, the same “yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).

LET US PRAY: Lord God of hosts, You have raised up preachers, teachers, and martyrs in every age to bear witness to You.  We laud and magnify Your justice; we adore Your beloved Son; and we pray for Your continued grace upon our way; in Jesus’ name.  Amen

Pastor Steven K. Gjerde

Zion, Wausau