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Holy Cross, Emma, MO
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Go to Pastor Snyder's Homepage Welcome to the home of the weekly column answering questions about religion, theology, and the Bible.

Before asking, check the resources on this page, including the Gospel.Com Bible Gateway, the column archives, and the quick Bible Chapter Reference.

"Ask the Pastor" began as a newspaper-only column and appears in the Concordian of Concordia, Missouri each Wednesday, continuing what started in the Sunday Newsboy of Jasper, Texas. I began writing for that paper's inaugural edition in September of 1995. What the Newsboy hoped for was a two-way street: People would be amused, confused, encouraged, or challenged by what they read here. Then, they'd write in with their own questions. The same principle holds for the new incarnation in the Concordian, as well as in the Internet version of the column.

ATP allows me to meet people from around the world, speaking my faith, and to sharing whatever insights I have gained as a pastor and teacher of the Church with brothers and sisters in the faith. Besides this archive, "Ask the Pastor" is distributed to subscribers of internet discussion groups such as LTHRN-L and Table Talk from CAT41, as well as to individuals from around the world who subscribe directly.

Please note the following terms for reproduction or forwarding of columns: Ask the Pastor is copyrighted by Walter P. Snyder. It may be reproduced in totality, including this disclaimer, by anyone, provided that no profit is generated by said republication and redistribution. Translations into other languages should similarly note the United States and any appropriate international copyrights, as well as God's Scriptural injunctions concerning the property of others.

Ask! Want to know the differences between church bodies? Ask the Pastor Like to find out what all those fancy robes and things that some ministers wear are called? Ask the Pastor Interested in receiving a copy of the column via e-mail each week? Ask the Pastor or subscribe right now! Want to pick a nasty fight with someone? Don't ask here! If you want to see what others have asked and how I've responded, visit the archives through your browser.

There have been no separate print and online versions of "Ask the Pastor," although answers may be expanded in the electronic columns or in the archives. Questions received, whether in person, by mail, or through the Internet are evaluated and used according to the criteria I've set:

  1. Ask good, clear questions on matters concerning churches, ministers, personal faith, the Scriptures, and such.
  2. Be specific. Try to not be so specific that you will harm another's reputation or bring public shame upon yourself.
  3. Try to give me some idea of who you are in "real life," even if you remain anonymous in the column, I can check to make sure that "you" are "really you," and not an imposter. We won't print any names unless specifically asked to.
  4. I'd rather not play "stump the Pastor." It will be more enjoyable for me (and probably for you) if we use this as a time to learn and grow together, rather than playing Obscure Bible Trivia.
  5. Questions will be answered based upon available space, interest to the reading public, interest to this writer, and general suitability. Please note that due to the large number of questions:
    1. I cannot answer everyone. This is not only because of volume, but also because some questions, especially those comparing denominations and the like, are best answered by members of those groups. Remember, I am a Lutheran pastor and this is my perspective.
    2. When I am able to answer, or find someone to help with a question, it may take almost a month for a response. However, if you believe that yours is an emergency situation or you need a rapid response for an upcoming event, please indicate that in the subject of your email and if this truly appears to be the case, I'll work as quickly as possible to reply.
  6. I try to not repeat answers too often. Thus, you are advised to check the archives before sending me your question. To give you some idea of the scope of the column, we've discussed issues including

If you'd like even more religious information, there are a lot of other places to look. For Lutheran information, you can start with my page called Godtalk. I've included a couple of brief articles to give you some general Lutheran history and information and allow you to compare Lutheranism with other churches. The following is a summary of favorite Lutheran sites:

Confessional Gems

One Man's "Best of the Best"

Of the making of web pages, there is no end. This is a mere sampling of pages that represent orthodox, Confessional Lutheran teaching and practice.

Martin Luther - Art by Cranach, text by Project Wittenberg

For some more quality Lutheran information, I recommend:

I also have pages of links for other Christian churches and organizations, and other special items of interest.

Welcome to Bible Gateway(TM) - Search the Bible in 30 languages and multiple Bible Versions If you have a question about where a word is in the Bible, or desire to otherwise search the Scriptures, try this nifty "Bible Gateway" tool from Gospel Communications Network:

The Bible Gateway(TM)
A Service of
Gospel Communications
Network (Gospelcom)

Other Languages:





Search word(s):


Best of the Christian Web The Best of the Christian Web offers searches of their reviewed and rated sites. You can perform boolean searches or browse their pages. Sites are categorized, and the browser is offered opportunities to view pages from different traditions and ministries. If they like your page, they might put you on their list of "must visits."

The Pastor: Of course, you probably want to know who you are dealing with. I'm the Reverend Walter P. Snyder, pastor of Holy Cross Evangelical Lutheran Congregation of Emma, Missouri and former pastor of St. Paul and Faith Lutheran Churches in Jasper and Woodville, Texas.

What is a pastor? "Pastor" comes from the Latin word for shepherd. In both the Old and New Testaments, God asks those He calls to this office to tend His flock - that is, the believers gathered into His Church. Often, ministers are called "under-shepherds of the Good Shepherd." A great Biblical example is Christ's command to Peter: "Feed my sheep."

I am a member of The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod. To find out more about me, my interests, and such, visit the home page for Xrysostom (my Internet nom de plume). You can also find out about me by reading what The Jasper Newsboy had to say. And whenever you can't get that question out of your mind, remember to "Ask the Pastor," then wait for the response.
In case you're curious, this new Ask the Pastor page has been visited

Please come back.

"Ask the Pastor" is part of the Xrysostom family of Web pages. It is created and maintained by Walter Snyder, who is solely responsible for the content. Send religious comments or questions to Send link updates and other site maintenance and related questions or comments to Copyright © 1996-2008. Page last modified 29 June 2008. New columns written weekly.