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May 4, 2009 at 2:12 pm #1912
[b:3k59wf2g]Editor’s note: Learn more about Catholic Baptism and if someone can be baptized twice by clicking here[/url:3k59wf2g].[/b:3k59wf2g]
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Last Monday I got a call from a young lady who wanted to have her son
baptized. She wasn’t a member of our church, so I made some inquiries
as to her son and her intentions. She informed me that her son was
seven years old and that he had been baptized in the hospital as an
infant. After further conversation I asked if I could visit with her
to discuss the matter, she agreed and invited me to her home. She
also indicated that her sister wanted to get her baby baptized and
asked if she could be there for my visit. I told her that would be
fine. Today I visited with both young ladies today, as well as their
mother. I asked how she happened to call Christ Lutheran Church. She
told me that her cousin had her baby baptized here a few years ago by
Pastor Gross, my colleague and now Emeritus Pastor.
As I ascended the steps to the porch, Beatriz was there to meet me and
welcome me. She introduced me to her sister Juanita and their mother.
We exchanged pleasantries for a few minutes and then got down to
work. Both Beatriz and Juanita were baptized and had sporadically
attended a Spanish speaking Roman Catholic church in the area. Though
they spoke English with an accent, they were both very fluent and we
had no trouble communicating.
I inquired again about her son’s baptism. She told me that he was
baptized as in infant in the hospital but that she’d like to have it
done in the church. Unless I know the circumstances of a person’s
baptism, and since there is so much false theology and practice today
regarding the Sacraments, there are cases in which I will re-baptize.
Juanita’s two year old son had never been baptized, so this was more
clear cut. Having gotten the needed information I proceeded to
explain to them the concept of sin, and original sin. They didn’t
have a lot of theological knowledge but they seemed to be tracking
fine. After a few minutes of preliminary explanations, I asked if I
could read some things to them from the Catechism. They consented.
I proceeded to read the 10 commandments and explanation to them,
making comments along the way on how we break these commandments, and
what the consequences are, “…punishing the children for the sins of
the fathers….” This seemed to strike home with them, they both
appeared to grasp the severity of such a pronouncement and yet not
run me off for such a strong preaching of the Law.
The Holy Spirit was at work through the Word.
After a bit more explanation of the grim matters of sin and it’s
punishment, and the impossibility of escaping God’s wrath, I had the
pleasure of preaching the Gospel to them as well. I explained that
God had transferred the sin and punishment due the world onto His Son,
and for it He died on the cross. I asked if they knew what happened
after Jesus died. They both said: He rose again. (I’m always
thankful for any theological knowledge instilled into people. I find
many bits and pieces in the oddest places and always rejoice and thank
God for whoever put it there.) Following this I read the Creed and
explanation straight out of the Catechism, slowly and deliberately,
without any commentary. Then I did the same with the article of
Baptism, again, without commentary. I felt like St. Paul preaching
the Gospel (Acts 14:7) in Lystra and Derbe. These women listened
intently and it was as if God Himself was visiting their home and
dispelling all their darkness. They were more than joyous to hear all
I had to say, and asked intelligent questions which proved to me they
were listening and understood. It was a very good visit.
I left a catechism for each of them, instructed them to read all six
chief parts several times, get familiar with it, and then read it to
their children. We set up the baptism date for a Saturday at the end
of May, and I instructed them to come to church each week until then
so that they too could learn God’s Word and teach it to their
children. They agreed. Now we’ll see what happens. I hope to do a
follow up report.
Now I must say a word about the errors rampant in our Synod. The
latest rubbish that our LCMS ‘church growth’ pastors have picked up
from the dumpsters of American Evangelicalism is that people like this
won’t come to a traditional church. They want us to believe that the
name Lutheran puts them off, and that traditional sanctuaries scare
people away. Wrong on both counts.
They would also say: well this is nice Pastor Kavouras, but what about
all the people who you don’t reach, many, many more than you do reach?
What about them? And my answer is: what about them? It’s not my job
to reach anyone. Lutheran’s believe, with Scripture and the Church of
the ages, that the Holy Spirit calls people and gathers people. Those
who ask these questions need to take up their remonstrations with the
Spirit Himself. Perhaps He doesn’t move quickly enough for their
sensibilities, or maybe they love the world more than God does. What
other conclusion can one reach?
All this is likely besides the point, however. Those who promote
‘church growth’ and ‘contemporary worship’ don’t really care for
souls. If they did they wouldn’t bring them to coffee-house churches
only to enslave them with the Law, deny them the Gospel, and
incorporate them in the denomination we should term: American
Whether they don’t know what Lutheranism is, or don’t care I’m not
certain. Perhaps both. I know of no other choices. Their real goal
(again: whether they know it or not) is to change the Lutheran
(catholic) faith by robbing it of it’s power (the Sacraments, which
are not merely “means of grace” but grace itself), it’s mystery, it’s
history, it’s intelligent thought and the ineluctable reverence which
accompanies the Real Presence of Jesus among men.
Thank you for reading.
Rev. Dean Kavouras,
Christ Lutheran Church
[b:3k59wf2g]Learn more about Catholic Baptism and if someone can be baptized twice by clicking here[/url:3k59wf2g].[/b:3k59wf2g]
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