1370 Euclid Avenue, City Heights
Pastor: David Weber
Born: Hampton, Iowa
Formation: University of Laverne, Laverne; Concordia Seminary, St. Louis
Years Ordained: 9 years
San Diego Reader: What is your favorite subject on which to preach?
Pastor David Weber: The full counsel of God is such that there can’t be one thing. God is so all-inclusive that to ignore one part is to miss out on another part. But if I had one thing, I would love to preach about grace. Who doesn’t want to hear about God’s love in Christ? But unless you teach on how the law shows our need for a savior, how can we appreciate the grace?
SDR: What do you enjoy preaching most about, then?
PW: Probably the parables, and specifically all of Luke Chapter 15. It’s the party chapter in the Bible. It’s about the three things that are lost, three things that are found, and the three parties that are thrown to celebrate that. Probably the most notable of those is the parable of the Prodigal Son….
I love how this chapter shows that everyone is important to God, not just those inside the group.
SDR: What is your main concern as a member of the clergy?
PW: I saw a bumper sticker awhile back that said, “God, save me from your followers.” It really irritated me at first and then I started thinking about it and I thought, That’s right! You see so much hate, finger-wagging, and being in people’s faces; I don’t think that’s how Jesus would be. I think it was theologian Karl Barth who said, “One of the leading causes of atheism today is Christians.”
SDR: Why did you become a minister?
PW: I’ve always wanted to be a pastor. My grandfather was a pastor in Iowa, and he was awesome. I felt a kinship to God, in his creation as a little boy, and as I became more cognizant of his word, I made a closer walk with Christ.
SDR: What is the mission of your church?
PW: Specifically, our mission is to be a beacon of light to our community and spread the gospel of God’s love to a world that is in darkness.
SDR: Where do you go when you die?
PW: As Lutherans, we believe that we have eternal life in three modes. First, when we come to faith and believe that God puts faith in us at baptism, and then when we profess it later…. The second mode will be when we die before Christ returns, which we call heaven…. But ultimately, in the third mode, it is when Christ returns and restores all things.
SDR: Are there any possibilities beside heaven?
PW: The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod definitely talks about hell. If people refuse to believe in Christ, that is the place that people go. But when I look at scripture more closely, Gehenna was a place that God referred to when he was on Earth, which was a junkyard that was always on fire….We say in our Missouri Synod doctrine that hell is eternal, but I’m not entirely sure it’s scriptural. We believe that the Holy Spirit can operate in the freedom of however he chooses. The parable of the harvester makes it pretty clear that we are not the ones who choose who’s in heaven or in hell. God is. So I’m not on the hook for that, thankfully.