Featuring lectures from Dr. John Kleinig: The Lost Art of Meditation; Daily Sanctification; Called to Be Thanks-givers and Praise-Singers; Spiritual Empowerment for Unashamed Ministry; Dealing with Spiritual Abuse
Christians are called to holiness, which shows itself in a holy life: earnestly desiring the pure milk of God’s Word, avoidance of evil, living as God’s temple in a world of defilement, love of a holy brotherhood. Yet holiness is a gift bestowed in Jesus; always received but never possessed. For as long as we live in this world we are in need of daily sanctification by the Holy Spirit by means of God’s Word and prayer.
Many Christians live a live of practical atheism, living as if God did not matter and they mattered most. Since God is a gracious giver God, the proper way to respond is to give Him thanks. This in turn gives us greater receptivity to His gifts. Likewise Christians are to be praise singers, reciting and rehearsing His great saving acts in Christ Jesus His son. As we do so corporately we edify one another, we edify ourselves, and we give thanks to the Father in the Name of the Son by the Spirit.
Pastors often struggle with embarrassment in ministry because of the decline in religious belief and practice in contemporary culture as well as outright ridicule and contempt for orthodox Christian teaching in society. This leads to dysfunctional ministry as pastors respond with either accommodation or aggressive power plays. However, pastors have been authorized by their ordination to act as ministers of a new covenant, equipped by the Holy Spirit with spiritual power, love for ministry in Jesus’ name, and self control in ministry. Armed for spiritual warfare, pastors serve serenely, confident and unashamed.
Angry members make pastors angry, and vice versa. Anger is the result of abuse and hurt, and the worst kind of abuse is spiritual abuse. Spiritual abuse has spiritual consequences, not merely physical and emotional. This lecture addresses spiritual abuse and how to break its vicious cycle and heal its wounds using lament, the Word of God and prayer, baptismal regeneration and daily renewal of the Holy Spirit, and the cleansing blood of Jesus in the Holy Sacrament.