Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Anonymous Anonymously Doubts Editor Is a Pastor - But Who Is Anonymous?




Anonymous


One of the hosts of WELS Documented claims to be a WELS pastor. I would ask him, "How would you feel if one of your members decided to begin a blog questioning every pastoral decision you made, opening that question up to half-truth accusations and opinions of those who haven't always agreed with you? And how would you feel if even one of your members read this blog and had doubts raised in his/her mind about your integrity, your faithfulness, your honesty? And how would you react if that person was so disturbed in his faith that he/she decided to leave your congregation because of all of your faults as a pastor?"

Isn't that exactly what this blog is doing to the synod? Few if any of your topics can really address situations in an honest way, because opinions are spouted as if they are fact, former WELS members chime in with their fault-finding, and situations are discussed when none of those discussing them can possibly know the whole story.

I am not a "synod can do no wrong person." I am someone who sees the damage that can be done in a forum like this. Rather than solving problems, you create them--sometimes when they don't exist.

If faith is damaged or destroyed by this effort, WD1 and WD2, it will be on your conscience. And, I ask, please document one positive thing that your blog has accomplished.

Sad and frustrated
Matt Doebler -
Drive-by DMin, 2011-2013 - Gordon Conwell Seminary.
Topic - Church Planting and Multiplication

***

GJ - This tirade is pluperfect WELS. Snide accusations abound, very brave for someone who has no name. How do we know that he is a pastor and has all those previous synodical kudos? No proof - just claims. He could be from anywhere, too. Sure, his bad spelling and bombastic sanctimony give him away - but that is circumstantial evidence.
The FBI raded WELS headquarters and found
the child porn files (boys) belonging to Joel Hochmuth.
SP Mark Schroeder absolved Hochmuth immediately.

I love his sandbagging of Rick Techlin (not named). We learned on Ichabod, using software that Fox Valley always lit up when I dealt with their little cesspool. And the hometown of Don Patterson lit up when another person was raging - really very nasty and future DPish.

So I am pegging this Anonymous as a Fox Valley native with very tender toes about how badly Glende, Ski, Engelbrecht, and Mark Schroeder treated the attorney. This post above is quite slanderous and certainly in harmony with the Fox Valley scorched earth policy. They do not even pretend to have manner, morals, or ethics.

To wit, Techlin's blog was not devoted to Glende and Ski, certainly not to criticism. I read it early on. Techlin participated in some manner in starting The CORE (even service at St. Peter, a pretend new mission). He was rather positive about it. He posted once about early costs being $250,000 - truly a wowser right there, but not much more than that.

Most of the blog has been devoted to photography, and Techlin has many splendid ones posted there. Tis funny about WELS - they have nothing good to say about anyone while falsely claiming that someone has dared to devote his life to criticizing them.

Did Techlin criticize every decision Glende ever made? I must have missed that, because I often looked for inside information on that blog. Glende's lying newsleters and bulletins were better sources about Tim's shameless money-grubbing. Tim and Ski shut down or changed their Twitters when I copied and pasted their self-disclosures. Yes, I copied Ski's blog where he bragged about worshiping (his term) with Andy Stanley, the gay Babtist activist.


Techlin carefully documented how he was treated when he correctly identified the sermons from Glende and Ski as plagiarized from Craig Groeschel. Tim and Ski were so far up Groeschel's narthex that they could see Kelm in the distance.

An earlier post anonymously claimed that Techlin leaked his 29 page account to me. In fact, his only contact with me has been a couple of frosty emails about not copying his blog. 

The most serious charge WELS can make is "You told the truth about us." Of course, they do not phrase it that way. They talk this way -

If faith is damaged or destroyed by this effort, WD1 and WD2, it will be on your conscience. And, I ask, please document one positive thing that your blog has accomplished.


Snow Cover Gone - New Lovejoy Books Arrive

My First Bird Book
I have been reading gardening and nature books since 1981, when we moved to Midland and had access to every possible book in this area - for adults and children  - at the Grace Dow Library. Lately I was miffed that the selection at the Barnes and Noble store was long on marijuana growing and short on anything worthwhile. The previous exception was Teaming with Microbes.

Gardening books are not classified well at that store. The selection seems random so I look over the spines for something new and different. I often take a book to the coffee area and page through it, inwardly groaning at the gardening cliches and obvious duplication of ridiculous ideas. "Give this rose extra fertilizer." By all means, try your best to kill the rose and keep it from blooming.

My favorite forehead-slapper is "Scratch Epsom Salts into the soil." Epsom Salts instantly melt into water, so that is like scratching coconut oil into one's skin. In other words, the expert had no clue - Martha Stewart in this case. She reminds me of the Stuart kings, who left an indelible bad impression on England. Besides that, Epsom Salts are great for the feet but seldom useful for soil or plants.

Sharon Lovejoy's A Blessing of Toads is a good starter for gardeners.


My second big find in the last year was Sharon Lovejoy's  A Blessing of Toads. The book gets its title from Lipton's classic Exaltation of Larks, a book listing the names we have for groups of animals: a pride of lions, a parliament of owls, a murder of crows. I was already aiming for more toads per acre when I saw the book and realized this could be good. However, I had no idea that someone could pack so much knowledge into one book.

Lovejoy matches the density of information (useful knowledge per page) with Teaming with Microbes while keeping the language simple and the work fun.

So the birdbook arrived, which I ordered in haste. For children, hmm? I paged through it and noticed Lovejoy covers all aspects, with beautiful illustrations. She explains everything about birds in great detail and has the advantage of many years of observation. Her story of chickadees ridding a section of cabbage worms (as I recall) is illuminating. She can dig up statistics, but she has great stories to tell from her own experiences  in gardening and observing nature. This is the best combination - anecdotes plus hard facts.

Besides that, the book includes an excellent bird identification guide.

We used to have those guides around the house, first when I was a child and later when I wanted to know what was flying around in the backyard. I never found those editions useful, because they featured a picture and a map of where the birds were found. Lovejoy's section is far more interesting and useful for anyone.


Sharon Lovejoy's Trowel and Error is an encyclopedia of tips for the gardener.

Snow Cover Gone - For Now
March 1 was going to be the tipping point, when the weather warmed up in Springdale. Instead, we had snow falling Friday night, Saturday snow and sleet, Sunday ice slicker than Church Growth promises.

Last night was above freezing, so the snow cover is gone, and all the plants and mulch are newly moistened. The starlings and doves are busy working over the soil around the Jackson Bird Spa, and the starlings are splashing in their newly melted baths. In cold weather they leave tracks on top of the snow and ice-filled dishes, as if to say, "Why didn't you invest in a birdbath warmer for us."

Isaiah 55:10 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:
11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: 
  • it shall not return unto me void, 
  • but it shall accomplish that which I please, 
  • and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. [bullets not in the original]

The snow is great for the South and especially needed in the West, where they count on snowmelt for agriculture reservoirs. If rain and snow have inevitable results. what about the Word? And yet people trust man's wisdom while marveling over the wonders of nature. They fail to see the connection between Creation, the Word, and the work of Christians.

For those who pay attention to the health of soil, plants, animals, and humans, snowmelt is an enormous boost to Creation in the spring, as designed by its Architect.

Below the surface of the soil, all the organic material above and within is feeding the bacteria, protozoa, and fungi. Just above the microbe level are the tiny springtails, that shred organic matter for decomposition by the microbes. The much larger slugs also shred, and the giant earthworms (by comparison) shred dead material while grazing on bacteria, sweetening the soil with calcium, and adding nitrogen for growth.

They all live on moisture, so they store moisture, locking it into the first 12 inches of soil. A quart of water will run through sand, but rich humus soil and clay will absorb the water. Even more will be absorbed by the billions of creatures in that root zone.

The bugs and earthworms peek out from snowmelt, and the birds pounce on them to feed their young. Spiders begin to spin their webs to trap the tiniest insects, and wasps use the larvae as warm, moist, moving nurseries for their eggs. The destructive larvae are also food for the wasp newborns as they hatch. Our helper said, "You have a wasp nest." I say, "Good." They make paper from the wood mulch and kill the pests. 
Ichneumon Wasps.
Admit it - you did not know they existed.

Ichneumons (“ ick-new-mons”) are mysterious and exotic wasps that are parasitic connoisseurs. Each specializes in one specific host (or a very few hosts). Ichneumons are delicately sculptured and patterned with almost infinite variety and subtlety. There are tens of thousands of species, and they are difficult to differentiate; males and females within a species often come in different shapes and sizes, dimensions of appendages, and colors (from yellow and brown to brilliant shiny metallic-blue with contrasting black and white patterns). The female possesses an ovipositor that projects out of her rear end. Depending on the species , the ovipositor can be so short as to be barely visible, or as long or longer than the wasp’s body itself. The ovipositor doubles as a stinger, but primarily it is a tool for injecting eggs into the body of her host.
Heinrich, Bernd (2008-12-24). The Snoring Bird (Kindle Locations 178-184). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition. 

Monday, March 2, 2015

Anonymous - The Synod Minder - Is Really Corked.
When Someone Says, We Are Unified, He Is Eyeballing the Lifeboats

Anonymous Spider spends a lot of time on the Web,
drumming his feet to see what he is trapping in his silken trap.
http://welsdocument.blogspot.com/2015/03/synod-appeals-process-what-happens-when.html


  1. I wonder what disunity and animosity you refer to? I won't pretend that all 380,000+ individuals are always perfectly on exactly the same page at all times. Nor do I think anyone would claim that. But what great disunity has existed in the last decade? A temporary blog with some complaints doesn't prove disunity. It means somewhere between exactly 1 to maybe a couple dozen people had some issues at that particular moment. The thing that I would say that divided our church body was an issue of translation. It was brought up extensively and showed great disunity. Let's also fairly point out that it was a division only over translation. Should Isaiah 7:14 read "virgin" or "maiden." We were divided on issues like these. However, we were all unified on the fact that Isaiah 7:14 was a Messianic prophecy written by Isaiah himself about Mary who in a miraculous way would conceive the Son of God as a virgin. The only debate was about what was the best way to represent the Hebrew since two different words were obviously possible there. Compare this to church's who debate the inerrancy of the Word or the definition of marriage and I think you will find the WELS is very united.
    Even the "justification" "controversy" was really an example of unity. While there are a few people lurking on the internet but on the convention floors things were silent, and many districts studied the issue. You can claim they were frightened into timidity but then why not speak up as a group if there is so much disunity? Find a couple dozen people to approach the mic together if you are afraid. Certainly if there is as much disunity as is claimed by some you should be able to find others to speak with you?
    I really am curious; What is the disunity you speak of? Is there tangible evidence of it being brought forward by more than a dozen people on the internet? What great lingering fissures are out there that people are continuing to make public that our church body hasn't come to a consensus on?
    (Please don't say something like "Time of Grace" that was handled at the last convention to the satisfaction of all but a dozen people on the internet. A person's personal dissatisfaction with an outcome does not prove disunity within a group.)
    Reply
  2. I agree with 3:12! The "disunity" you see among the blogging community is a poor sample. Of course there's some disagreement (usually, but not always, practice rather than doctrine). But we would be hard-pressed to find a more unified group of believers this side of heaven. Praise the Lord for this blessing!
    Reply
  3. There was an outcry that DP Buchie would dignify the
    latest Jeske circus by being a worship leader,
    so Buchie dropped out - and endorse the fab event anyway.
    Many people follow Buchie - mostly out of curiosity.

  4. How was Time of Grace handled at the last convention?

    Eine arme Schaf
    Reply
  5. I would also add that disunity in practice is nothing to make light of especially since doctrine will sooner or later follow practice. Practice like an Evangelical and your doctrine will soon be Evangelical. What you describe as unity may in fact be indifference or quiet resignation that our Pastor leading the Synod will do as they please. Either way I would be hesitant to so loudly proclaim unity when in fact we may be whistling past the graveyard.

    Eine arme Schaf
***

GJ - Standard Operating Procedure for Synod-Minders: deny that anything is wrong. 

The language is pure sarcasm and synod worship. As I recall, he bragged about all his district and synod responsibilities, which means he is another robot trading synod-love for sects-appeal.

I will quote one of them, to show the low level of integrity and lack of faith - "I cannot disagree with the Circuit Pastor, because the Holy Spirit put him in that office. If I disagree, that would be arguing with God."

Well done, move up one square. You may now winter in the Caribbean and "visit missions" all over the world, saying, "Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?"


The number of blogs shut down by WELS suggests terror over the real issues being aired. That suggests polarization, not peace.

And we all know that false prophets say, "Peace, peace" where there is no peace.


Jeremiah 6:14 They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace.
15 Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore they shall fall among them that fall: at the time that I visit them they shall be cast down, saith theLord.
16 Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.
17 Also I set watchmen over you, saying, Hearken to the sound of the trumpet. But they said, We will not hearken.
18 Therefore hear, ye nations, and know, O congregation, what is among them.
19 Hear, O earth: behold, I will bring evil upon this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not hearkened unto my words, nor to my law, but rejected it.
20 To what purpose cometh there to me incense from Sheba, and the sweet cane from a far country? your burnt offerings are not acceptable, nor your sacrifices sweet unto me.
21 Therefore thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will lay stumblingblocks before this people, and the fathers and the sons together shall fall upon them; the neighbour and his friend shall perish.

Synod Appeals Process: What happens when following the “proper channels” doesn’t work?
WELS Documented Blog

Just laugh - you are wasting your time -
LCMS, ELS, WELS, CLC (sic).
WELS Documented Blog

Monday, March 2, 2015


Synod Appeals Process: What happens when following the “proper channels” doesn’t work?


Synod Appeals Process

How would you answer these questions: 

If you disagree with something doctrinally at your church, and you follow all of the proper steps to resolve it, but the system still fails you, what should you do then, if you truly love your church?

Laypeople can only appeal as high as their district. If problems remain after that appeal, what should be their next course of action? Roll over and simply leave the Synod or keep pushing forward to preserve the integrity of the Synod?

What if a member was treated wrongly by their pastor and doesn't agree with how the district handled the matter? What should be their next course of action after the district level? Do they then have the right to go public looking for help if they can't get help within the "proper channels"? Why or Why not?

Are people going public with their cases only after the "proper channels" have let them down? Should the appeals process for laypeople be updated? And if so, how?

Where does one turn to in the Synod for help when following the "proper channels" doesn't work? 

Synod Board of Appeals 
The Synod Board of Appeals is composed of 10 members, a chairman (who must be a pastor), three pastors, three teachers and three laymen. Members' terms are six years; they may succeed themselves once. Members of the Board of Appeals may hold other elective or appointive offices. A five person Board of Appeals panel is formed to decide each appeal. The chairman or his designee plus four board members selected by the chairman make up a Board of Appeals panel. The decision of a Board of Appeals panel is the final disposition of any appeal. Read position descriptions for other WELS Boards

The average District President is not this smart
and not this useful. You can always hope.


Conference of Presidents
The Conference of Presidents (COP) is composed of the 12 district presidents, elected by their respective districts; the synod president; and the two synod vice presidents. The synod secretary, elected by the synod in convention, serves as a non-voting advisory member of the COP. The COP meets in person three times annually for regular meetings, as well as monthly via teleconference. The COP also meets twice in May in its role as the Assignment Committee of the synod.

The Conference of Presidents is responsible for the following areas:
  • Supervising, maintaining, and strengthening biblical doctrine and practice.
  • Overseeing the calling process by providing calling bodies with call lists for pastors, teachers, and staff ministers, as well as counsel and advice in the calling process.
  • Serving as the committee that assigns ministerial candidates to their first calls.
  • Working with congregations (often through the circuit pastors) to care and provide for the physical and spiritual.
  •  Encouraging congregations and individuals in their financial support of the synod, primarily through Congregation needs of called workers and their families.
  • Overseeing the work of the Ministry of Christian Giving, Communication Services, and the Congregation and Mission Offerings.
  • Promoting the synod's mission and ministry in the districts. Ministry Support Group.
  • Promoting the general welfare of the synod.
The Conference of Presidents spends significant time at each meeting discussing specific questions of doctrine and practice, as well as addressing practical issues that affect congregations and called workers. The group functions primarily as a "conference," with district presidents conferring with each other, both seeking and offering advice to one another for the good of the synod and its people. Source.

Laypeople can appeal as high as the District
The Northern Wisconsin District Board of Appeals exists to provide its congregations, members and called workers an opportunity to appeal a matter of discipline. Source - Since the NWD Convention in June of 2012, there were no appeals submitted. Source.

Appeals Discussion at WELS' 61st Biennial Convention:
Another resolution addressing a memorial that called for an appeal process when calls are terminated for elective reasons was sent back to the floor committee for further consideration. Sentiment expressed on the floor was that the resolution as presented did not adequately lay out the appeals process as the memorial proposed. “From what I’ve heard from the floor and off the floor is they understand there is no appeal process for terminating for elective reasons,” says Rev. Douglas Free, chairman of the COP committee, “but it seems as if people were terminated, and it wasn’t really made clear as to why and what their recourse was then.”

Appeals for Called Workers whose Calls are terminated
The COP considered the matter of developing a process of appeal for workers whose positions are eliminated for non-disciplinary reasons. The district presidents will be working proactively with congregations that face such decisions to ensure that the divine call is honored and that affected called workers are cared for in Christian love and concern. With that system in place, the COP determined that no special system of appeal will be necessary for such workers. Source.

Applicable Sections of the Synod Constitution
Section 8.10
Synod Board of Appeals
(a) The Synod Board of appeals shall be composed of 10 members: a chairman, three pastors, three teachers, and three laymen. The Synod Board of Appeals shall be elected by the synod in convention from a slate of candidates submitted by the synod’s Nominating Committee. The chairman shall be a pastor. Members’ terms shall be for six years and they may succeed themselves once. Terms shall be staggered. Members of the Synod Board of Appeals may hold other elective or appointive offices.
(b) A five person Board of Appeals panel shall be formed to decide each appeal. The chairman or his designee plus four board members selected by the chairman shall make up a Board of Appeals panel. Each panel must include at least one pastor, one teacher, and one lay member.
(c) All correspondence and documentary evidence relative to a disciplinary action together with a summary report shall be filed in the office of the president within 60 days after the appeal has been concluded. The decision of a Board of Appeals panel shall be the final disposition of an appeal.

Section 8.20
Jurisdiction and Procedure in Disciplinary Actions and Removal from Office at the District Level
(a) In cases of discipline among pastors, teachers, and congregations of both self-supporting and mission status, the district in which such pastors, teachers, and congregations hold membership shall exercise original jurisdiction. The Synod Board of Appeals shall exercise appellate jurisdiction.
(b) In cases of discipline among the faculties of the synodical schools or the area Lutheran high schools and administrators of synodical boards and commissions, the respective board or commission shall exercise original jurisdiction. The district in which the appellant is a member and the Synod Board of Appeals shall exercise appellate jurisdiction successively.
(c) The two district vice presidents with the concurrence of the district circuit pastors may suspend the district president from his office. The president shall have 60 days thereafter to appeal this suspension. If there is no appeal within 60 days, the action shall be final and the officer is removed from office. If he appeals, the appeal will be heard by the District Board of Appeals.
(d) In the case of district vice presidents and secretary,the president with the concurrence of the circuit pastors may suspend another officer. The district officer shall have 60 days thereafter to appeal this suspension. If there is no appeal within 60 days, the action shall be final and the officer if removed from office. If he appeals, the appeal will be heard by the District Board of Appeals.
(e) The conduct of review shall rest with the District Board of Appeals. The board shall have the right and power to examine all documentary evidence and correspondence and to require such testimony that in its judgment is relevant. The decision of the District Board of Appeals may be appealed to the Synod Board of Appeals. Upon the appeal, the Synod Board of Appeals may review the action of the District Board of Appeals.
(f) In the case of removal from office of district board, commission or committee members, the board, commission or committee may suspend a member from his position. He shall be notified in writing of this action within 30 days. The member shall have 60 days to appeal the suspension. If there is no appeal within 60 days, the action shall be final and the member is removed from office. If he appeals, the appeal will be heard by the District Board of Appeals. The decision of the District Board of Appeals may be appealed to the Synod Board of Appeals. Upon appeal, the Synod Board of Appeals may review the action of the District Board of Appeals.
(g) In cases of discipline among missionaries under the jurisdiction of the Board for World Missions, the respective administrative committee shall exercise original jurisdiction. The Board for World Missions, the District Board of Appeals and the Synod Board of Appeals shall exercise appellate jurisdiction successively.

Section 8.30
District Board of Appeals

(a) The District Board of Appeals shall be composed of 10 members: a chairman, three pastors, three teachers, and three laymen. It shall be elected by the district in convention from a slate of candidates submitted by the district’s nominating committee. The chairman shall be a pastor. Their term shall be for six years and they may succeed themselves once. Terms shall be staggered. Members of the District Board of Appeals may hold other elective or appointive offices.
(b) A five person Board of Appeals panel shall be formed to decide each appeal. The chairman or his designee plus four board members selected by the chairman shall make up a Board of Appeals panel. Each panel must include at least one pastor, one teacher, and one lay member.
(c) All correspondence and documentary evidence relative to a disciplinary action together with a summary report shall be filed in the office of the district president within 60 days after such action has been concluded. The decision of a Board of Appeals panel shall be the final disposition of an appeal unless, when possible, an appeal is made to the Synod Board of Appeals. The decision of the District Board of Appeals shall be respected by all the members of the Synod, even while an appeal may be made to the Synod Board of Appeals.

Section 8.40
Rights of the Disciplined Party

(a) Any person or congregation that has been disciplined under Section 8.30 shall be notified in writing by the district president of the right of appeal under Section 8.10 of the bylaws within 30 days of completion of the disciplinary action. A copy of these sections shall be included in the letter.
(b) They shall have 60 days to appeal the action. To exercise the right of appeal the disciplined party shall file notice of appeal with the Board of Appeals within 60 days of the notification of the right to appeal.

Section 8.50
Appeals by Laypersons

(a) A layperson who has been subject to a disciplinary action by a congregation shall have the right to appeal the action. Such appeal must be filed with the district president in writing, with a copy to the congregation, within 60 days of the notice of disciplinary action.
(b) Upon receipt of the appellant’s request, the district president shall notify the District Board of Appeals.
(c) The constitution for the districts affirms that “in intracongregational matters the district shall have purely advisory authority” (Article IX, Section 2). The review shall be conducted, therefore, to determine whether the process leading to the disciplinary action and the doctrinal basis of the disciplinary action were scriptural.
(d) The conduct of the review shall rest solely with the District Board of Appeals. The board shall have the right and power to examine all documentary evidence and to require such testimony that, in its judgment, is relevant.
(e) The District Board of Appeals shall submit its decision in writing to the appellant with a copy to the disciplining body, circuit pastor, and district president. The decision of the District Board of Appeals shall be the final disposition of the appeal.
(f) Within 30 days of the board’s decision, the complete records of the board shall be filed with the district president, who shall act, if necessary, in accordance with his responsibility for the district’s doctrine and practice.

Section 8.60
Appeals after Removal from Office

(a) A pastor or teacher who has been removed from office because of “established inability to perform the duties of his/her office” (Model Constitution and Bylaws for Congregations of the WELS, 1997, Article IX, Section 2) shall have the right to have the action reviewed by the District and Synod Board of Appeals successively. The request for review must be filed in writing within 60 days of the notice of removal from office. The request for review is to be addressed to the president of the synod who shall notify the appropriate Board of Appeals.
(b) The conduct of the review shall rest with the District Board of Appeals. The board shall have the right and power to examine all documentary evidence and to require such testimony that, in its judgment, is relevant to the case.
(c) If the board rules in favor of the pastor or teacher who has been removed, the pastor or teacher shall be restored to the official list of pastors and teachers and declared eligible for a call into the ministry.
(d) If the board rules against the pastor or teacher who has been removed, the pastor or teacher shall have the right to appeal to the Synod Board of Appeals within 60 days of notification of action by the District Board.
(e) Upon appeal of either party, the Synod Board of Appeals may review the action of the District Board of Appeals. The records of the district board’s proceedings shall be used as a basis for any review.
(f) The decision of the Synod Board of Appeals shall be the final disposition of the case.


3 comments:

  1. Let me suggest that again, this article gives away its position in the title. What do you mean the proper channels "don't work?" They always work, they may just not always agree with you. I would say the only way they wouldn't work is if these boards of appeals refuse to meet. Is anyone aware of this being the case? I am not.
    The boards of appeals always do what they are supposed to do. They give you an opportunity to be heard by a larger group of your brothers in Christ. Now if after your local group of brothers and sisters don't agree with you, and your larger group of brothers and sisters don't agree with you I suppose you have two options. Either realize that the problem is with you and heed their words to you. Or understand that you are no longer in a fellowship where you agree with your brothers and sisters and Scripture teaches there is only one thing to be done in this case. What you don't get to do is stay in a group and be a vocal minority over a matter that has been thoroughly heard and discussed. Scripture is plain on this matter.
    Finally, whatever your issue is, I respect your right to have that opinion. If you think every church needs to have a pastor is a white alb that is fine with me. You have every right to encourage that practice. What you don't have a right to do is accuse others of not being Lutheran for not following a standard that is not in our confessions nor in Scripture. If you want to start your own church where that is the standard, God be praised. If you want to stay here than understand our standards begin and ends with Scripture and the Confessions, not ones personal ideas.
    Reply

    Replies


    1. Anonymous 2:19, thank you for your input on the title! That never dawned on me; I was trying to get people "thinking" but I can see now how that title could definitely be seen as you stated. I always thought coming up with the content for a blog was the most difficult, but I'm starting to think it's the title that is the hardest! It really helps when people point stuff like that out so I can do it more impartial next time. I'm still relatively new to blogging, so keep pointing things out! It helps me learn!
      -WD1
  2. Anonymous at 2:19 - Not to be argumentative but your statement is erroneous. It is true that an appeals process always works in the mechanical sense. You make your case and the Appeals Board contemplates and gives you an answer. It just may not be the correct answer in all cases. There can be a multitude of reasons for why they reached the wrong conclusion but it can be wrong. If the appeals process always comes to the correct answer, then why (shifting to a judicial example) do we find people cleared of wrong doing after spending years in prison. The Appeals Board may be wrong and if they are do you do a disservice by leaving or would all involved benefit by additional review and yes by a person being a vocal minority crying out to their brothers in Christ.

    Of course one would only suggest the latter after thoughtful reflection and prayer.

    Eine arme Schaf
They run WELS.
They can do no wrong.
Get over it.

Gardening Addicts Want Their Daily Fix - As Do I



I get messages about writing more Creation gardening posts, and one reader chuckles that he got me on this topic. I enjoy writing them as much as others enjoy reading them, perhaps even more.

The slowdown in teaching did not materialize in January, but there is a slight lull now, so I am going to work on various book projects: Creation Gardening, justification by faith, and the apologetic mystery novel.



Like grading papers, nothing gets done until it gets started. My favorite practical writer, Kevin Leman, published a book on the frustrated perfectionist. The book described me well and helped me finish the project of the time. Frustrated perfectionists have trouble finishing their projects.

Oddly enough, visiting Melville's home in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, where I preached at Kelm's old church, gave me the impetus to finish Catholic, Lutheran, Protestant, which I am revising now for Amazon. Melville's home was next to the parsonage, but the current pastor had not visited it yet, because "I am waiting for the day, once a year, when it is free." That is a telling commentary on the intellectual curiosity of a typical WELS pastor. The tour cost us $3 each and we saw the image of a whale breaching the surface of the ocean that inspired Melville to write Moby Dick.

I am going to write the Creation Gardening book the same way as the posts - using the latest scientific information, Scriptures, and great gardening resources to connect Creation with all we see around us.




WELS Pastor Steve Spencer - on the WELS Documented Blog

"I will get back to you after I watch the
season finale of Downton Abbey."


WD1 & WD2 - You are to be commended, I believe, for trying very hard to do a blog for WELS people in a positive manner - at least to the best of your ability. The very evident disunity, even animosity, within the synod, on any number of topics, makes this very difficult. This blog, just as Bailing Water, Intrepid, Polluted WELS, before it, clearly serve to demonstrate that the "walking together" often touted in this church body, is somewhat loose at the very least. The emperor's clothes are thus seen for what they are - an illusion of the "tailors." This, of course, is quite embarrassing to our tailors, and more than a bit unsettling to those looking for a unified church body to which to belong. Therefore, I'm afraid your task will only become more difficult with time. As someone who has done this kind of work for much of my ministry, I can tell you it will become extremely wearisome sooner rather than later. If you last longer than the previously mentioned sites, I will be surprised. Time will tell. Again, your efforts are commendable. Deo Vindice!

***

GJ -

Either Aristotle or The Fonz said, "Patience and courage are so closely related one is other the sister or the mother of the other."

A better model is Luther, who simply taught the Word of God, knowing in faith that God would work His will through His Word. Gutenberg leveraged the Word with his converted wine press.

People risked their lives during the Reformation and afterwards to teach that Word. Luther's first hymn was written to commemorate the burning at the stake of two martyrs - "Flung to the Heedless Winds."

Now the clergy and laity are afraid of losing that choice appointment on the church camp committee or that trip to Europe via the Riviera. So they stifle their own thoughts and opinions  - and whisper low in Zion, lest the truth be heard on the streets of Gath.