Recent Questions

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I'm wondering if our Synod offers scholarships to our Lutheran High School students who have chosen not to attend a Lutheran College?

There are no synodical scholarships for students in your daughter’s circumstances. Synod mission offerings help subsidize educational costs for students who attend the schools that the Synod owns and operates: Luther Preparatory School, Watertown, Wisconsin; Michigan Lutheran Seminary, Saginaw, Michigan; Martin Luther College, New Ulm, Minnesota; and, Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, Mequon, Wisconsin.

What is the biblical stance on self-defense that ends up in someone being killed/murdered in relation to the Fifth Commandment? Does God allow us to protect our family to that point, or are we charged to love our enemy and pray for those who persecute us regardless of what harm they may be intending to inflict? An example would be a home invasion or something of that sort.

The Hebrew word in the Fifth Commandment (Exodus 20:13 and Deuteronomy 5:17) prohibits murder—the illegal and inappropriate taking of human life—and does not forbid all taking of life. So, for example, governments can rightly implement capital punishment (Romans 13:4) if they so choose. What about individuals who want to protect themselves and their families, you Continued.

We believe that God uses baptism to create faith in infants—they need it because of their inherent sinfulness. Why is the same not true of older people? Why would we say that baptism instantly creates faith in babies but not in adults?

Through water and the word God can bring anyone – of any age – to faith. The gospel is God’s power to save (Romans 1:16). With adults, we ordinarily provide some instruction in God’s word before administering Baptism because that is how we see the New Testament church functioning in the book of Acts. What Continued.

Should Lutherans read the early church fathers?

Reading the writings of the early church fathers can be valuable. What you will find from such reading is that some early church fathers expressed biblical truths, while others did not. Even the ones who wrote accurately about the Bible did not always do so consistently. That observation simply underscores the conclusion that we make: Continued.

During a Bible study on Ephesians, a fellow church member told me that some people are predestined to hell before they are born. How can this be?

It can’t be. Scripture speaks of only an election of grace, an election to salvation. When it comes to people forfeiting the salvation which Jesus Christ won, the Bible makes it clear that people are to blame (Hosea 13:9; Matthew 23:37). God wants all to be saved (1 Timothy 2:4). He wants all to come Continued.

Why does God allow bad things to keep happening when you are asking for help?

I cannot pretend to speak for God as to why, in your life specifically, events are taking place. What I can in a general way is that God deals with his children out of love. He does not punish Christians for their sins; he has already punished Jesus in our place (Romans 4:25; 8:1). When Continued.

Why did the Israelites do little to spread God's Word (at that time, the promise of the Savior) to other nations?

I am not sure what led you to that conclusion, but it is not an accurate one. Certainly, the ceremonial laws that God gave to the people of Israel were designed to keep them separate from the heathen nations around them, but God’s will was that his people share the news of a promised Messiah Continued.

Why do Matthew and Luke show different genealogies for Jesus?

A common explanation of the genealogies is that Matthew provides the legal descent through Joseph, Jesus’ legal father, and Luke provides Jesus’ physical descent through Mary. With Joseph as his legal father, Jesus was David’s legal descendant. Romans 1:3 attests to that. Luke traces Jesus’ family line through Mary, and the evangelist demonstrates that Jesus Continued.

While you're in heaven as a spirit and without a body, will you be able to communicate with other spirits if we have no body? Will our thoughts just travel from one spirit to another without talking?

The Bible provides little specific information regarding what souls in heaven or hell are experiencing prior to the last day. The big picture, of course, is that the souls of Christians are experiencing the joys and perfection of heaven, while the souls of unbelievers are experiencing the horror, pain and punishment of hell. The account Continued.

What's the difference between Islam jihad of wiping out the infidels, and the Old Testament Israelite people going through Canaan and wiping out the peoples there? (e.g., Deuteronomy 7)

The God of Islam does not exist. Any warfare in Allah’s name is illegitimate and idolatrous. On the other hand, the God of the Bible, the Triune God, is God alone (Isaiah 45:5). As the Creator of all things, only God or his representatives in government can end life (Genesis 9:5-6; Deuteronomy 32:39; Psalm 90:3; Continued.

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