Concord and Confirmation 2011

We live in a highly educated society that is not educated at all about the truths of Scripture.  In America, people are leaving Christianity in alarming numbers.  They are leaving because they think Christianity is not true.  Because their disagreement with Christianity is factual, entertainments will not bring them back.

The only thing that will bring them back is a vigorous and thorough presentation of the truth of the word of God.  Only God’s Word can change the human heart.

However, there are many false religions masquerading as Christianity, and they discredit true Christianity by hiding the truth of the Word of God.  For example, “decision theology” is one reason atheists think Christianity is false:  Every thinking person knows that we can choose our opinions, but not our facts.  Rational people choose their opinions, but rational people do not choose what they think is factually true.  They must be convinced of the facts by evidence and testimony.

Even though Christianity is a historical (fact based) religion, “decision theology” says: “Make a decision for Jesus.”  Choose to believe he was God incarnate and born of a virgin.  Choose to believe he was crucified and rose from the dead.  Choose to believe Christ is trustworthy, and choose to trust Christ, and choose the right factual beliefs, and God will reward you with eternal life.  Atheists rightly ridicule this as a religion of emotion and make-believe.

Will we win those atheists with a better praise band?  Will we win those who pick and choose their church based on their emotions by appealing to their fickle emotions?  Or will the Holy Spirit win them with sound arguments based on the word of God?

The Book of Concord can help us begin to understand how the true Christian faith is different from these make-believe religions that are posing as true Christianity.  This book can help us begin to make a solid defense of our faith, and start using the word of God with skill.

Baptism is the beginning of faith and the Christian life.  Later on, examination and Confirmation will mark the beginning of a Christian’s intellectual defense of that faith.  Confirmation marks merely the passage from Christian childhood to Christian adulthood.  It is not the end, but merely one’s first step into the fray, into the real battle for the truth.

Therefore, if there are any WELS (Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod) congregations in the Northern Wisconsin District that do not already give copies of the Book of Concord to their confirmands; please have your pastor leave a comment here or contact me directly, and I will try to provide each confirmand with their own Book of Concord.  Free books will be distributed on a first-come first-served basis, and supplies are limited.

The purpose of this offer is not only to help provide our Christian soldiers with the tools they will need in the coming battle, but also to plant the idea that we need: the entire Wisconsin Synod needs to return to our Confessions so that we can make a better defense of our faith, both in doctrine and practice.  God has graciously given us his effective word in the Scriptures, and our Confessions can help us to interpret and wield his word with skill.

The Small Catechism summarizes the basic truths of God’s word, and is milk for children.  When we become mature in the faith (after Confirmation), it is time to start eating solid food.

“Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness.  But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.”

— Hebrews 5:13-14, NIV1984.

“For what I received I passed on to you …”  (1 Corinthians 15:3).

Notes:  Previous versions of this article were first published in 2009 & 2010.

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7 thoughts on “Concord and Confirmation 2011

  1. Hello from Trinity-Kaukauna,

    We’d like to take you up on your offer for copies of the Book of Concord for our confirmands. We have 19 being confirmed. If you need more information or questions, please let me know. Thank you for your generous offer

    Karl Schultz, pastor
    Trinity Lutheran Church
    804 Grignon St
    Kaukauna, WI 54130
    Ph 766-3929

  2. Thanks again for doing this!

    I wish I was in the District to take advantage of your offer. Alas, I have to wait for CPH’s sweet deals (I think I got ’em for $20 a piece this time and ordered enough to stay ahead for a couple of years).

    I hope others follow your lead and do this for their congregations, circuits, Districts, etc.

    Grace and peace,
    Pr. Benjamin Tomczak
    St. Mark Lutheran Church, Duncanville, TX

  3. Rick,
    Thank you again for your concern that the youth of the Church are equipped with the true teachings of the Church. I would love to take you up on your offer again this year. If you have enough copies, we have 8 confirmands this year. The Lord bless you in your Lenten meditation of our Savior’s sufferings and death for us.

    In Christ,

    Pastor Joel D. Otto
    Trinity Lutheran Church
    8781 Brunswick Road
    Minocqua, WI 54548

  4. Rick,

    I considered taking you up on this offer last year, but instead, you may have been the inspiration that led me to teach my confirmation class this year based on the Augsburg Confession. Our other pastor teaches the 6-7th graders through the Catechism, then I teach the 8th graders through the Augustana. Nearly finished with the first year of this, and so far, so good.

    To mark their completion of the year, I’d love to present them with a Book of Concord, but I’m pretty sure our budget wouldn’t allow it at this point (although I’m hoping to include it in the future). If you can provide 11 copies, we’d be very appreciative. If your copies are already claimed, I certainly understand. Either way, I thank you for your generous offer, and join in the prayer that this spreads. May God grant you a blessed Lenten meditation and Easter celebration!

    Pastor Rik Krahn
    Martin Luther Church
    436 S Lake St.
    Neenah, WI 54956

  5. Pr. Krahn ~

    Do you have a “curriculum” you used as you taught through the Augustana (i.e., worksheets or study guides), or did you just read and talk your way through it?

    Did you use the Apology as homework reading?

    I’d be curious, if you can share, at seeing how you worked this out.

    Grace and peace,
    Ben

    Pr. Benjamin Tomczak
    St. Mark Lutheran Church
    Duncanville, TX

    PS
    If it’s easier, you can just email me at catokafka@yahoo.com

  6. There are a couple of good, free resources online that can help introduce the Book of Concord to confirmands and their parents. Both can be downloaded in a ready-to-print format.

    One is an FAQ put together by Paul McCain, available at http://www.bookofconcord.org/faq.php.

    Another is “Dare to Read,” an overview and guide prepared by an LCMS adult convert after she discovered the treasures of the Lutheran Confessions. It is at http://www.justanote.com/p/dare-to-read-again.html.

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