The Glory Has Departed


Norma Boeckler, Artist in Residence

Bethany Lutheran Worship on
Ustream

Lenten Mid-week Services, Wednesdays -
7 PM Central Daylight Savings Time
NT Greek Lessons - Thursdays, 7 PM.

Saved worship files and Greek lessons are at the live worship link.

email: greg.jackson.edlp@gmail.com,
which works as gregjacksonedlp@gmail.com too.

Luther's Sermons, Lenker Series
Book of Concord Selections
Bente's Historical Introductions,
and Martin Chemnitz Press Books

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Janke versus Schroeder


Janke and Schroeder are the finalists for WELS Synodical President.

If Janke wins, WELS has thrown in the towel on Lutheran doctrine, period.

Count the votes carefully, boys. More than one person knows the amalgamation vote was flipped. Amalgamation failed narrowly, but the results were reported as having it pass narrowly, according to Minnesota Fats, my source.

Church and Channge Wants Janke


The C and C people in WELS are the worst apostates. They want Janke.

Apostasy has a deep bench in WELS.

Wayne Mueller is still the power behind the throne.

WELS Convention - Latest Votes


Mrs. Ichabod needed a 5 hour medical test today, so I could not blog. She swallowed a radioactive egg for breakfast and they did special photographs of her digestive system. The test consumed a lot of time, but we no longer need a night-light.

This Just In!

James Huebner is now (11:50am CDT) out of the running leaving:

Paul Janke
Marc Schroeder
Paul Wendland.

The Synod Restructuring discussions continue, apparently evenly divided betwee those for the "streamlined" approach and those fearing a power grab. The text currently under consideration are not the same as those circulated 60 days prior to the convention and that has raised objections from several delegates. Further, there has been no hard copy of the latest version available to the delegates, rasing objections. Hard copies and continued discussion will be available at a time indicated by the steering committee.


James Huebner, Fuller Alumnus, is no longer in the running. He was clearly the worst choice of the Final Four. I do not know much about Paul Wendland. District Popes like Paul Janke are get-along, go-along guys. Marc Schroeder is the best choice left, a pleasant surprise for Ichabodians.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

WELS Pre-Game Convention Coverage


The WELS convention will start with fireworks. There is a considerable move to have everyone at the Love Shack (headquarters) sacked, whether that person is up for election or not. According to Sine Nomine, my source, a signed resolution or prayer has circulated to that effect.

This does not bode well for the candidacy of President-in-Waiting Wayne Mueller. My grandpappy used to say, "All ships rise with the tide." One could also argue that the sinking of the WELS-tanic is sucking everyone into its undertow.

No one has started any prairie fires with the emergency giving measure. Who would want to respond and give the Love Shack drones a new life?

WELS made a big mistake in fractioning all the giving efforts. Instead of one synodical offering, there are Tetzels in every corner, all piping their eyes for the needs of this or that. The result is a raft of appeal letters asking for money while the synod is also asking for money. And the schools ask for money and sponsor rummage sales.

They could raise more money by selling the Collected Works of Paul Kelm, except some people at Fuller Seminary might sue over the issue of plagiarism.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

WELS Convention Updates Here


Ichabod will post WELS convention updates as soon as possible each day. One or more people will forward information to post.

Holy Communion Sermon - July 29, 2007

Eighth Sunday after Trinity
Pastor Gregory L. Jackson

KJV Romans 8:12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. 13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

KJV Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. 21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, 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? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

TLH Hymns

246 – Holy, Holy, Holy
304 – An Awful Mystery Is Here
314 – Lord, Jesus Christ
52 – Almighty Father, Bless the Word

The epistle reminds us that the Lord’s Prayer comes to us uniquely through Jesus. The reason why we can call God “Father” is the adoption we receive through His Son. Prayer is the an action of the Holy Spirit dwelling within us, motivated by the Gospel promises.

The liberals who control the mainline denominations declare that the Trinity was invented about five centuries after Christ, but this passage names Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in one brief passage, teaching the doctrine of the Holy Trinity without using that name, since the shorthand term itself was used later. Similarly, such terms as
1. The Means of Grace
2. Sacraments, and
3. The inerrancy of the Word
are by-products of discussions and debates from centuries ago or the last century. The doctrine of the Bible has not changed, but language changes through usage.

Holy Communion was the central act of worship in the Christian Church until the 16th century Swiss Reformation, when Zwingli and Calvin both turned the people against the Real Presence of Christ in the Lord’s Supper.

Not surprisingly, Holy Communion has been a central issue in many church discussions through the ages.

Roman Catholics teach that the bread and wine permanently become the Body and Blood of Christ, not in appearance (accidence) but in substance. Most importantly, the purpose of the Mass is to reduce time in Purgatory for the priest, the recipients, and the donors for the Mass. The Mass does not grant what the Word promises, complete and free forgiveness of sins, but incomplete—and often—rented forgiveness. The power of the Mass is not in the Word being efficacious but in the ordination of the priest, who was given permanent powers and a higher righteousness when he was ordained by Rome.

A number of Lutheran pastors have poped, becoming Roman Catholic priests, or semi-poped, becoming Eastern Orthodox priests. Some of these Lutheran pastors walk the tightrope for years, balancing between Rome and Wittenberg, but obviously favoring Rome. Father Richard Neuhaus did this for years. When he spoke to the “confessional Lutheran” audience at Concordia Seminary, LCMS, Ft. Wayne, about half of them nodded in agreement. The invitation alone speaks volumes about the contempt the faculty has for Lutheran orthodoxy. The results (heads nodding in agreement) show why it happened.

One can only guess how many laity have joined Rome and Eastern Orthodoxy.

If this were not bad enough, the more alarming situation is the sell-out of the Lutheran Church to Zwingli and Calvin. Both men ridiculed the Real Presence in their writings. Their followers simply gave up the efficacy of the Word, the Means of Grace, and the simple, plain meaning of the Scriptures.

Jesus said, “This is My blood. This is My body.” Our human reason cannot comprehend this mystery, but that does not mean we should reject it. Every possible weapon has been aimed at the Lord’s Supper, but the Word remains forever clear in its meaning.

1. Rome believes that two elements (bread and wine) become two different things (Body and Blood) forever. That is why they worship the Host in a special altar, and have Corpus Christi processions. They may reserve the Host for a layman to take to a shut-in, denigrating the power of the Word and promoting the power of the priest.
2. Non-Lutheran Protestants teach that the two (bread and wine) remain the same, since they are only symbolic. For them, the Lord’s Supper is a memorial meal alone, a witness of faith, an ordinance to be obeyed, not a sacrament (God’s action) conferring forgiveness. They are correct about the remembrance, but forget “given for you for the forgiveness of sin.”
3. The Scriptures teach that the two (bread and wine) are also Body and Blood in the Sacrament of the Altar. With the bread and wine we receive the Body and Blood of Christ, as promised in the Word. The Words of Institution, directly from the Scriptures, consecrate the elements, the Holy Spirit working through the Word. There is no doubt about Christ being present in both natures in those elements, if one understands the efficacy of the Word.

The Synodical Conference erred in two areas. Gradually they adopted Universal Objective Justification, forgiveness without faith. They also taught Receptionism, the odd opinion that the elements are not the Body and Blood of Christ until they are received by the believer. UOJ and Receptionism are both errors showing a poor understanding of the efficacy of the Word. This foundational error (of ignoring the efficacy of the Word) made the ELS, LCMS, and WELS suckers for the Church Growth Movement, which is a mixture of Pentecostalism, rationalism, and marketing gimmicks.

The name Lutheran may have to go away, since the term means so little today. The Scriptural promises are not Lutherans as such, but Christian. Luther and the Lutheran reformers represent the purest state of teaching the Word in harmony with the Bible and also in harmony with the church fathers of the past. Luther and the Lutheran reformers did not waste their time and energy defending the previous generation of teachers or their particular organization. Their only concern was to preserve God’s truth, which belongs to God alone. Man attack that truth, but God’s Word remains forever.

Two aspects of Holy Communion are most important for us to consider with each service. One is the individual reception of the Body and Blood of Christ. The other is the divine meeting provided in the sacrament.

Our biggest problem is lack of attention, lack of focus. Adult education experts have recognized that people learn more when they have to present something to a group. The reason is simple. When we listen, our brains operate about five times faster than our ears. It takes no time at all to start thinking of something while we are listening, then finally to hear words without listening. There are many funny stories to illustrate how this happens in daily life.

The anti-Lutherans pour scorn on the many ways provided by God to give us His grace, His forgiveness. Why so many? Why not just rely on the Word? But we do rely on the Word, in many forms. Holy Communion is the visible Word, one of my favorite terms. Another staple of adult education is the use of physical objects to teach a lesson. (I suspect God knows these theories reasonably well.) For instance, when I talk about the added income earned from getting a college degree, I get a million dollar bill out of my wallet. One young woman asked, “Is that real?” I said, “If that were real, would I be teaching?” They remember a million dollar bill better than talking about an extra million earned during their lifetimes.

So Holy Communion is both individual and tangible. We can listen to a sermon and have many of the words pass right over us. A pastor can start thinking of other things and say words that are not in the liturgy, even though he is supposedly looking at those words. Concentration is easily lost.

As Luther noted, we cannot ignore the fact of the Body and Blood of Christ when we receive the sacrament. We see them, taste the elements, smell the aroma of the wine. We participate in remembrance of the sacrifice of Christ. The elements are symbolic. But Holy Communion is not limited to remembering nor to symbolism. Christ is present in both natures, human and divine, giving us what the Gospel promises, complete and free forgiveness of our sins. Someone who is weak in believing in this forgiveness receives the greater assurance of the Promises through individual reception. There are many services of the Word, but Holy Communion is more rare and therefore more special.

A second aspect of Holy Communion is the individual coming before Christ. We tend to think of Christ coming to us in the sacrament, but we also come before Him through the Means of Grace. Therefore, the influence must be two-fold. Christ fills us with His Gospel promises and this produces the fruit described in John 15:1ff. Those who remain on the True Vine bear fruit in abundance. At the same time, as Luther noted, we become before the Risen Lord as His subjects. Can He view us, listen to our prayers, give us forgiveness without being affected in any way? There is an old tradition that a leader is compelled to give what a petitioner asks. People used to greet the Roman Emperor on his travels with requests, ending “Lord, have mercy.” So it is that Jesus sees us, as we come before Him, and understands us all the more because of this sacrament, which He instituted for us.

The more we realize how much is given in Holy Communion, the more we value those faithful to the promises of the Scriptures. There is so much yammering about “declaring fellowship” in various synods. Their actions speak volumes about where their fellowship lies. If Lutherans promote clergy for studying at Fuller Seminary or Willow Creek, their fellowship is with Zwingli and Calvin, not with Luther. If they think it is cool to have a Roman Catholic (pederast) archbishop speak at their college (WELS), or a former bishop march in procession with their seminary faculty (ELS), or a priest seduce their graduates with smooth words about Catholicism (LCMS), then their fellowship is with Rome. No wonder that those synods bowing to Fuller and Rome also loathe Luther with all their might. That is why the term Lutheran may have to be retired. Just like the term “infallible Scriptures” it may have to be retired because of being robbed of its meaning.

Holy Communion should be so important to believers that they long to participate and give the service their complete devotion. There are many useful kinds of preparation for the Lord’s Supper, but the only requirement is a believing heart.

Holy Communion
Compiled by Pastor Gregory L. Jackson, PhD


"'In this divine sacrifice which is celebrated in the Mass, the same Christ who offered himself once in a bloody manner on the altar of the cross is contained and is offered in an unbloody manner.' [Council of Trent, 1562: DS 1743; cf Heb. 9:14, 27."
Liberia Editrice Vaticana, Catechism of the Catholic Church, St. Paul Books and Media, 1994, p. 344. Hebrews 9:14, 27.

"The Eucharistic sacrifice is also offered for the faithful departed who have died in Christ but are not yet wholly purified., so that may be able to enter into the light and peace of Christ..." [Council of Trent, 1562: DS 1743] (#1371)
Liberia Editrice Vaticana, Catechism of the Catholic Church, St. Paul Books and Media, 1994, p. 345.


Chrysostom: "If those who touched the hem of His garment were properly healed, how much more shall we be strengthened if we have Him in us whole? He will quiet in us the savage law of our members, He will quench the perturbations of the mind, drive out all sicknesses, raise us up from every fall, and, when the power of the enemy has been overcome, He will incite us to true piety and indeed will transform us into His own image."
Martin Chemnitz, Examination of the Council of Trent, trans., Fred Kramer, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1986, II, p. 234.

"The body of Christ is to the sick a medicine, to pilgrims a way; it strengthens the weak, delights the strong, heals weariness, preserves health. Through it man becomes more gentle under reproof, more patient under labor, more ardent for love, wiser for caution, more ready to obey, more devoted to giving of thanks."
Martin Chemnitz, Examination of the Council of Trent, trans., Fred Kramer, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1986, II, p. 234.

[Ignatius calls the Eucharist] "a medicine of immortality, an antidote, that we may not die but live in God through Jesus Christ, a cleansing remedy through warding off and driving out evils."
Martin Chemnitz, Examination of the Council of Trent, trans., Fred Kramer, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1986, II, p. 234.

"Let a prince give a person a castle or several thousand dollars, what a jumping and rejoicing it creates! On the other hand, let a person be baptized or receive the communion which is a heavenly, eternal treasure, there is not one-tenth as much rejoicing. Thus we are by nature; there is none who so heartily rejoices over God's gifts and grace as over money and earthly possessions; what does that mean but that we do not love God as we ought?"
Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholaus Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, V, p. 190 Matthew 22:34-46

"However, you will be sure as to whether the sacrament is efficacious in your heart, if you watch your conduct toward your neighbor. If you discover that the words and he symbol soften and move you to be friendly to your enemy, to take an interest in your neighbor's welfare, and to help him bear his suffering and affliction, then all is well. On the other hand, if you do not find it so, you continue uncertain even if you were to commune a hundred times a day with devotions so great as to move you to tears for very joy; for wonderful devotions like this, very sweet to experience, yet as dangerous as sweet, amount to nothing before God. Therefore we must above all be certain for ourselves, as Peter writes in 2 Peter 1:10: 'Give the more diligence to make your calling and election sure.'"
Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed. John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983 II, p. 211. 2 Peter 1:10.

"She desired nothing besides this Word, nor did she ask for more than merely to touch His garment, which she used as an external means and sign to gain the desired help. Likewise, we need nothing more in our lives and in the kingdom of faith than the external Word and Sacraments, in which He permits Himself to be touched and seized as if by His garment."
Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholaus Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, V, p. 350. Matthew 9:18-26. Chapter Four.

"A Christian should know that nothing on earth is more sacred than God's Word; for even the Sacrament itself is made, blessed, and sanctified by God's Word, and all of us, too, are thereby spiritually born and consecrated Christians."
Martin Luther, What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed. Ewald M. Plass St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959, III, p. 1469. Chapter Four.

"No, no, say they, it cannot be His body and His blood; it is only a symbol of His body and blood, for Christ is sitting on the right hand of God. In this way they want to judge the Word according to their reason. But shame on you! It is teaching chickens to lay eggs and cows to calve if you want to teach our Lord God how to preach."
Martin Luther, What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed. Ewald M. Plass St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959, III, p. 1472. Luke 5:4

"The Reformed, and all Reformed sects, deny the Real Presence of the body and blood of Christ in the Lord's Supper. Through this they detract from God's honor."
Francis Pieper, The Difference between Orthodox and Heterodox Churches, and Supplement, Coos Bay, Oregon: St. Paul's Lutheran Church, 1981, p. 36.

"Furthermore, consider this: All doctrines of the Bible are connected with one another; they form a unit. One error draws others in after it. Zwingli's first error was the denial of the presence of Christ's body and blood in the Lord's Supper. In order to support this error, he had to invent a false doctrine of Christ's Person, of heaven, of the right hand of God, etc."
Francis Pieper, The Difference between Orthodox and Heterodox Churches, and Supplement, Coos Bay, Oregon: St. Paul's Lutheran Church, 1981, p. 41.

“The fact was clearly established that these Philippists had been systematically plotting to Calvinize Saxony. The very arguments with which Luther's doctrine of the Lord's Supper and the Person of Christ might best be refuted were enumerated in these letters. However, when asked by the Elector whether they were Calvinists, these self-convicted deceivers are said to have answered that 'they would not see the face of God in eternity if in any point they were addicted to the doctrines of the Sacramentarians or deviated in the least from Dr. Luther's teaching.' (Walther, 56.)"
F. Bente, Concordia Triglotta, Historical Introductions to the Symbolical Books of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, 057 p. 190.

"Calvin and his adherents boldly rejected the universality of God's grace, of Christ's redemption, and of the Spirit's efficacious operation through the means of grace, and taught that, in the last analysis, also the eternal doom of the damned was solely due to an absolute decree of divine reprobation (in their estimation the logical complement of election), and this at the very time when they pretended adherence to the Augsburg Confession and were making heavy inroads into Lutheran territory with their doctrine concerning the Lord's Supper and the person of Christ,--which in itself was sufficient reason for a public discussion and determined resentment of their absolute predestinarianism."
F. Bente, Concordia Triglotta, Historical Introductions to the Symbolical Books of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, 061 p. 195f.


"It was, above all, the spirit of indifferentism toward false doctrine, particularly concerning the Lord's Supper, which Luther observed and deplored in his Wittenberg colleagues: Melanchthon, Bugenhagen, Cruciger, Eber, and Major."
F. Bente, Concordia Triglotta, Historical Introductions to the Symbolical Books of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, 005 p. 94.

"For Scripture never calls either Baptism or the Lord's Supper mysteries or sacraments. Therefore this is an unwritten (agraphos) appellation."
Martin Chemnitz, Examination of the Council of Trent, trans., Fred Kramer, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1986, II, p. 29.

"In addition there is this perversion, that whereas Christ instituted the use of His Supper for all who receive it, who take, eat, and drink, the papalist Mass transfers the use and benefit of the celebration of the Lord's Supper in our time to the onlookers, who do not communicate, yes, to those who are absent, and even to the dead."
Martin Chemnitz, Examination of the Council of Trent, trans., Fred Kramer, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1986, II, p. 498.

"For a sacrifice, according to Augustine, Contra adversarium legis et prophetarum, Bk. 1, and De civitate Dei, Bk. 10, is a work which we offer, render, and dedicate to God in order that we may dwell in Him in holy fellowship. A sacrament, however, is a holy sign through which God freely offers, conveys, applies, and seals His gratuitous benefits to us. It is therefore an extraordinary perversion of the Lord's Supper to make a sacrifice out of a sacrament, in the way the papalists speak of the sacrifice of their Mass, namely, that the representatory action of the priest procures for us the application of the benefits of Christ and that anyone who causes a Mass to be celebrated in his behalf by this work procures grace and whatever other things are ascribed to the Mass."
Martin Chemnitz, Examination of the Council of Trent, trans., Fred Kramer, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1986, II, p. 498.

"Naturally, Universalists deny that the Sacraments are Means of Grace. Some Universalists observe three sacraments--consecration, Baptism, and the Lord's Supper. The act of consecration of children consists in the parents' pledging themselves to rear their children in the admonition of the Lord." The. Engelder, W. Arndt, Th. Graebner, F. E. Mayer, Popular Symbolics, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1934, p. 409f.

"As distinguished from the Gospel, Sacraments are acts, we apply water in Baptism, and we eat and drink in the Lord's Supper. They are sacred acts, and must, as such, be distinguished from ordinary washing, eating and drinking...A Sacrament which offers God's blessings cannot be instituted by man or the Church, but by God alone."
Edward W. A. Koehler, A Short Explanation of Dr. Martin Luther's Small Catechism, Fort Wayne: Concordia Theological Seminary Press, 1946, p. 254.

"The same is true of other factions--the Anabaptists and similar sects. What else do they but slander baptism and the Lord's Supper when they pretend that the external [spoken] Word and outward sacraments do not benefit the soul, that the Spirit alone can do that?" Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, ed. John Nicolas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, VIII, p. 208. 1 Corinthians 12:1-11;

"For in Confession as in the Lord's Supper you have the additional advantage, that the Word is applied to your person alone. For in preaching it flies out into the whole congregation, and although it strikes you also, yet you are not so sure of it; but here it does not apply to anyone except you. Ought it not to fill your heart with joy to know a place where God is ready to speak to you personally? Yea, if we had a chance to hear an angel speak we would surely run to the ends of the earth."
Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed. John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983 II, p. 199.

"The devil does not rest yet, and hence he stirs up so many sects and factions. How many sects have we not already had? One has taken up the sword, another has attacked the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, others that of baptism."
Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholaus Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, V, p. 266. John 4:46-54; 1 Peter 5:8; Ephesians 6:12

"For we can definitely assert that where the Lord's Supper, Baptism, and the Word are found, Christ, the remission of sins, and life eternal are found. On the other hand, where these signs of grace are not found, or where they are despised by men, not only grace is lacking but also foul errors will follow. Then men will set up other forms of worship and other signs for themselves."
Martin Luther, What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959, II, p. 914. Genesis 4:3.

"Both Baptism and the Lord's Supper qualify as Means of Grace because of the simple fact that they are visible forms of the essential Gospel message announcing the forgiveness of sins." Martin W. Lutz, "God the HS Acts Through the Lord's Supper," God The Holy Spirit Acts, ed., Eugene P. Kaulfield, Milwaukee: Northwestern Publishing House, 1972, p. 117.

"Since God has connected His most gracious promise of forgiveness with Baptism and the Lord's Supper, these also are true and efficacious means of grace, namely, by virtue of the divine promises that are attached to them."
John Theodore Mueller, Christian Dogmatics, A Handbook of Doctrinal Theology, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1934, p. 444.

"In reconciling the world unto Himself by Christ's substitutionary satisfaction, God asked no one's advice concerning His singular method of reconciliation. In like manner, without asking any man's advice, He ordained the means by which He gives men the infallible assurance of His gracious will toward them; in other words, He both confers on men the remission of sins merited by Christ and works faith in the proffered remission or, where faith already exists, strengthens it. The Church has appropriately called these divine ordinances the means of grace, media gratiae, instrumenta gratiae; Formula of Concord: 'Instrumenta sive media Spiritus Sancti' (Triglotta, p. 903, Solid Declaration, II, 58). They are the Word of the Gospel, Baptism, and the Lord's Supper, as will be shown more fully on the following pages."
Francis Pieper, Christian Dogmatics, 3 vols., trans., Walter W. F. Albrecht, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1953, III, p. 103.

"We saw before that Scripture ascribes the forgiveness of sins without reservation to the Word of the Gospel, to Baptism, and to the Lord's Supper. Therefore all means of grace have the vis effectiva, the power to work and to strengthen faith." [Note: Augsburg Confession, V, XIII]
Francis Pieper, Christian Dogmatics, 3 vols., trans., Walter W. F. Albrecht, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1953, III, p. 108f.

"In fact, there is no basis for a real disagreement between Zwingli and Calvin. The situation here is analogous to the one that obtains in the doctrine of Christ's Person and Word and the doctrine of the Lord's Supper. In these doctrines Zwingli and Calvin and all Reformed will agree as long as they all teach that Christ's body can possess only a local and visible mode of subsistence or presence. Similarly, Zwingli and Calvin cannot differ materially in their teaching on the means of grace because they agree, first, that Christ's merit and saving grace do not apply to all who use the means of grace; secondly, that saving grace is not bound to the means of grace."
Francis Pieper, Christian Dogmatics, 3 vols., trans., Walter W. F. Albrecht, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1950, III, p. 163.

"The Reformed, and all Reformed sects, deny the Real Presence of the body and blood of Christ in the Lord's Supper. Through this they detract from God's honor." Francis Pieper, The Difference between Orthodox and Heterodox Churches, and Supplement, Coos Bay, Oregon: St. Paul's Lutheran Church, 1981, p. 36. "Whoever denies the Real Presence of the body and blood of Christ in the Lord's Supper must pervert the words of Institution where Christ the Lord, speaking of that which He gives His Christians to eat, says: 'This is My body,' and, speaking of that which He gives them to drink, says: 'This is My blood.' [Also 1 Corinthians 10:16]
Francis Pieper, The Difference between Orthodox and Heterodox Churches, and Supplement, Coos Bay, Oregon: St. Paul's Lutheran Church, 1981, p. 40. 1 Corinthians 10:16.

"Furthermore, consider this: All doctrines of the Bible are connected with one another; they form a unit. One error draws others in after it. Zwingli's first error was the denial of the presence of Christ's body and blood in the Lord's Supper. In order to support this error, he had to invent a false doctrine of Christ's Person, of heaven, of the right hand of God, etc."
Francis Pieper, The Difference between Orthodox and Heterodox Churches, and Supplement, Coos Bay, Oregon: St. Paul's Lutheran Church, 1981, p. 41.

"It is, for example, very terrible that the Lutheran Church, because it has the true doctrine of Baptism and the Lord's Supper, is decried as 'Catholic.' This attack against the true Church is no small matter."
Francis Pieper, The Difference between Orthodox and Heterodox Churches, and Supplement, Coos Bay, Oregon: St. Paul's Lutheran Church, 1981, p. 44.

"Is the Lord's Supper the place to display my toleration, my Christian sympathy, or my fellowship with another Christian, when that is the very point in which most of all we differ; and in which the difference means for me everything--means for me, the reception of the Savior's atonement? Is this the point to be selected for the display of Christian union, when in fact it is the very point in which Christian union does not exist?"
Theodore E. Schmauk and C. Theodore Benze, The Confessional Principle and the Confessions, as Embodying the Evangelical Confession of the Christian Church, Philadelphia: 1911, p. 905f.

"As to your observation that this kind of open communion is common practice in the WELS, you may be correct. It is an aberration that has caught on, especially in the mission fields like California. It's a kind of 'Don't ask, don't tell' for the Lord's Supper!" WELS Pastor, Letter to Gregory L. Jackson, 3-15-95.

"If we call Sacraments rites which have the command of God, and to which the promise of grace has been added, it is easy to decide what are properly Sacraments...Therefore Baptism, the Lord's Supper, and Absolution, which is the Sacrament of Repentance, are truly Sacraments. For these rites have God's command and the promise of grace, which is peculiar to the New Testament. For when we are baptized, when we eat the Lord's body, when we are absolved, our hearts must be firmly assured that God truly forgives us for Christ's sake. And God, at the same time, by the Word and by the rite, moves hearts to believe and conceive faith, just as Paul says, Romans 10:17: 'Faith cometh by hearing.' But just as the Word enters the ear in order to strike our heart, so the rite itself strikes the eye, in order to move the heart. The effect of the Word and of the rite is the same..." [Luther, Bab Captivity, 3 sacraments]
Article XIII, Number/Use Sacraments, Apology of the Augsburg Confession, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 309.

"Our adversaries have no testimonies and no command from Scripture for defending the application of the ceremony for liberating the souls of the dead, although from this they derive infinite revenue. Nor, indeed, is it a light sin to establish such services in the Church without the command of God and without the example of Scripture, and to apply to the dead the Lord's Supper, which was instituted for commemoration and preaching among the living [for the purpose of strengthening the faith of those who use the ceremony]. This is to violate the Second Commandment, by abusing God's name."
Apology of the Augsburg Confession, Article XXIV, The Mass, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 414f.

"In what vulgar terms does Zwingli here speak of these sacred matters! When the Holy Spirit wants to approach man, He does not need the Word of God, the Gospel, Baptism, the Lord's Supper, for a conveyance; He can come without them! It must be a queer Bible which Zwingli read."
C. F. W. Walther, The Proper Distinction Between Law and Gospel, trans., W. H. T. Dau, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1928, p. 156.

"They separate grace from Baptism and leave us a mere external sign, in which there is not a grain of mercy; all grace has been cut away. Now, if the grace of Christ has been removed from Baptism, there remains nothing but a mere work. Likewise, in the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper the fanatics remove the promise offered us in this Sacrament; they tell us that what we eat and drink is nothing but bread and wine. Here, too, the proffered grace is cut away and renounced. For they teach us that the only good work that we do by communing is professing Christ; as to the rest, we merely eat and drink bread and wine in the Supper, and there is no grace in it for us. That is the result of falling away from the First Commandment: a person promptly sets up an idol in the form of some meritorious work, in which he trusts." (Luther, on Deuteronomy 4:28; St. L. III, 1691 ff.)
C. F. W. Walther, The Proper Distinction Between Law and Gospel, trans., W. H. T. Dau, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1928, p. 160. Deuteronomy 4:28.

"Calvin was dissatisfied with Zwingli's interpretation of the Lord's Supper, but his own interpretation was also wrong. He said that a person desiring to receive the body and blood of Christ could not get it under the bread and wine, but must by his faith mount up to heaven, where the Holy Spirit would negotiate a way for feeding him with the body and blood of Christ. These are mere vagaries, which originated in Calvin's fancy. But an incident like this shows that men will not believe that God bears us poor sinners such great love that He is willing to come to us."
C. F. W. Walther, The Proper Distinction Between Law and Gospel, trans., W. H. T. Dau, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1928, p. 185.

Holy Communion

"And just as the Word has been given in order to excite this faith, so the Sacrament has been instituted in order that the outward appearance meeting the eyes might move the heart to believe [and strengthen faith]. For through these, namely, through Word and Sacrament, the Holy Ghost works."
Apology Augsburg Confession, XXIV (XII), #70. The Mass. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 409. Tappert, p. 262. Heiser, p. 123.

"Our adversaries have no testimonies and no command from Scripture for defending the application of the ceremony for liberating the souls of the dead, although from this they derive infinite revenue. Nor, indeed, is it a light sin to establish such services in the Church without the command of God and without the example of Scripture, and to apply to the dead the Lord's Supper, which was instituted for commemoration and preaching among the living [for the purpose of strengthening the faith of those who use the ceremony]. This is to violate the Second Commandment, by abusing God's name."
Apology Augsburg Confession, XXIV. #89. The Mass. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 413f. Tappert, p. 265f. Heiser, p. 124.

"Whoever denies the Real Presence of the body and blood of Christ in the Lord's Supper must pervert the words of Institution where Christ the Lord, speaking of that which He gives His Christians to eat, says: 'This is My body,' and, speaking of that which He gives them to drink, says: 'This is My blood.' [Also 1 Corinthians 10:16]
Francis Pieper, The Difference between Orthodox and Heterodox Churches, and Supplement, Coos Bay, Oregon: St. Paul's Lutheran Church, 1981, p. 40. 1 Corinthians 10:16.

"If Reformed theology wishes to free itself from the confusion of self-contradiction and its other Christological errors, it must by all means eliminate its rationalistic principle that the finite is not capable of the infinite."
Francis Pieper, Christian Dogmatics, 3 vols., St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1951, II, p. p. 275.

"And all these are established by the words by which Christ has instituted it, and which every one who desires to be a Christian and go to the Sacrament should know. For it is not our intention to admit to it and to administer it to those who know not what they seek, or why they come."
Large Catechism, The Sacrament of the Altar. #2. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 753. Tappert, p. 447. Heiser, p. 210.

"For it is not founded upon the holiness of men, but upon the Word of God. And as no saint upon earth, yea, no angel in heaven, can make bread and wine to be the body and blood of Christ, so also can no one change or alter it, even though it be misused. For the Word by which it became a Sacrament and was instituted does not become false because of the person or his unbelief. For He does not say: If you believe or are worthy you receive My body and blood, but: Take, eat and drink; this is My body and blood."
The Large Catechism, Sacrament of the Altar. #16-17. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 757. Tappert, p. 448. Heiser, p. 211.

"On this account it is indeed called a food of souls, which nourishes and strengthens the new man. For by Baptism we are first born anew; but (as we said before) there still remains, besides, the old vicious nature of flesh and blood in man, and there are so many hindrances and temptations of the devil and of the world that we often become weary and faint, and sometimes also stumble."
The Large Catechism, Sacrament of the Altar. #23. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 757. Tappert, p. 449. Heiser, p. 211f.

"Therefore it {communion}is given for a daily pasture and sustenance, that faith may refresh and strengthen itself so as not to fall back in such a battle, but become every stronger and stronger. For the new life must be so regulated that it continually increase and progress; but it must suffer much opposition. For the devil is such a furious enemy that when he sees that we oppose him and attack the old man, and that he cannot topple us over by force, he prowls and moves about on all sides, tries all devices, and does not desist, until he finally wearies us, so that we either renounce our faith or yield hands and feet and become listless or impatient. Now to this end the consolation is here given when the heart feels that the burden is becoming too heavy, that it may here obtain new power and refreshment."
The Large Catechism, Sacrament of the Altar. #24-27. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 759. Tappert, p. 449. Heiser, p. 211.

"For here in the Sacrament you are to receive from the lips of Christ forgiveness of sin, which contains and brings with it the grace of God and the Spirit with all His gifts, protection, shelter, and power against death and the devil and all misfortune."
The Large Catechism, Sacrament of the Altar. #70. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 769. Tappert, p. 454. Heiser, p. 214.

"Therefore, if you cannot feel it {the works of the flesh, Galatians 5:199ff. above}, at least believe the Scriptures; they will not lie to you, and they know your flesh better than you yourself...Yet, as we have said, if you are quite dead to all sensibility, still believe the Scriptures, which pronounce sentence upon you. And, in short, the less you feel your sins and infirmities, the more reason have you to go to the Sacrament to seek help and a remedy."
The Large Catechism, Sacrament of the Altar. #76-78. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 771. Tappert, p. 455. Heiser, p. 214.

"For in Confession as in the Lord's Supper you have the additional advantage, that the Word is applied to your person alone. For in preaching it flies out into the whole congregation, and although it strikes you also, yet you are not so sure of it; but here it does not apply to anyone except you. Ought it not to fill your heart with joy to know a place where God is ready to speak to you personally? Yea, if we had a chance to hear an angel speak we would surely run to the ends of the earth."
Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed. John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983 II, p. 199.

"In addition there is this perversion, that whereas Christ instituted the use of His Supper for all who receive it, who take, eat, and drink, the papalist Mass transfers the use and benefit of the celebration of the Lord's Supper in our time to the onlookers, who do not communicate, yes, to those who are absent, and even to the dead."
Martin Chemnitz, Examination of the Council of Trent, trans., Fred Kramer, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1986, II, p. 498.

"However, you will be sure as to whether the sacrament is efficacious in your heart, if you watch your conduct toward your neighbor. If you discover that the words and he symbol soften and move you to be friendly to your enemy, to take an interest in your neighbor's welfare, and to help him bear his suffering and affliction, then all is well. On the other hand, if you do not find it so, you continue uncertain even if you were to commune a hundred times a day with devotions so great as to move you to tears for very joy; for wonderful devotions like this, very sweet to experience, yet as dangerous as sweet, amount to nothing before God. Therefore we must above all be certain for ourselves, as Peter writes in 2 Peter 1:10: 'Give the more diligence to make your calling and election sure.'"
Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed. John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983 II, p. 211. 2 Peter 1:10.

"Hence it is manifest how unjustly and maliciously the Sacramentarian fanatics (Theodore Beza) deride the Lord Christ, St. Paul, and the entire Church in calling this oral partaking, and that of the unworthy, duos pilos caudae equinae et commentum, cuius vel ipsum Satanam pudeat, as also the doctrine concerning the majesty of Christ, excrementum Satanae, quo diabolus sibi ipsi et hominibus illudat, that is, they speak so horribly of it that a godly Christian man should be ashamed to translate it. [two hairs of a horse's tail and an invention of which even Satan himself would be ashamed; Satan's excrement, by which the devil amuses himself and deceives men].
Formula of Concord, Epitome, Article VII, Lord's Supper, 67, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 997. Tappert, p. 581f. Heiser, p. 270.

"Dr. Luther, who, above others, certainly understood the true and proper meaning of the Augsburg Confession, and who constantly remained steadfast thereto till his end, and defended it, shortly before his death repeated his faith concerning this article with great zeal in his last Confession, where he writes thus: 'I rate as one concoction, namely, as Sacramentarians and fanatics, which they also are, all who will not believe that the Lord's bread in the Supper is His true natural body, which the godless or Judas received with the mouth, as well as did St. Peter and all [other] saints; he who will not believe this (I say) should let me alone, and hope for no fellowship with me; this is not going to be altered [thus my opinion stands, which I am not going to change]."
Formula of Concord, Epitome, Article VII, Lord's Supper, 33, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 983. Tappert, p. 575. Heiser, p. 267.

"Besides this, you will also have the devil about you, whom you will not entirely tread under foot, because our Lord Christ Himself could not entirely avoid him. Now, what is the devil? Nothing else than what the Scriptures call him, a liar and murderer. A liar, to lead the heart astray from the Word of God, and blind it, that you cannot feel your distress or come to Christ. A murderer, who cannot bear to see you live one single hour. If you could see how many knives, darts, and arrows are every moment aimed at you, you would be glad to come to the Sacrament as often as possible."
The Large Catechism, Sacrament of the Altar. #80-82. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 771f. Tappert, p. 456. Heiser, p. 214.

Unionism Quotations

"Dr. Mann remarked, 'he doubted not that there was much good in the constitution of the Melanchthon Synod; but he would not eat poisoned bread, though there was much good flour in it.'"
F. Bente, American Lutheranism, 2 vols., The United Lutheran Church, Gen Synod, Gen Council, Un Syn in the South, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1919, II, p. 121.

Harkey: "We want love as much as orthodoxy, yes, a thousand times more than what some men call orthodoxy."
F. Bente, American Lutheranism, 2 vols., The United Lutheran Church, Gen Synod, Gen Council, Un Syn in the South, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1919, II, p. 121.

"In the Lutheran Observer, January 2, 1863, H. Harkey wrote: 'Some say that unity must precede union. But the Bible demands that we unite. Hence those who magnify these differences [among Lutherans] are the greatest sinners in the Church.' This has always been the view of the General Synod: union, irrespective of doctrinal differences...all endeavors at union which disregard the divine norm of Christian fellowship are anti-Scriptural."
F. Bente, American Lutheranism, 2 vols., The United Lutheran Church, Gen Synod, Gen Council, Un Syn in the South, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1919, II, p. 19.

"Unionism and indifferentism mark the character of the General Synod from its very beginning. And how could this have been otherwise? The un-Lutheran spirit of the General Synod was not so much acquired as inherited. The Pennsylvania Synod, while promoting the Pan-Lutheran union, was at the same time planning a union with the Reformed! In 1819 and 1822 resolutions were passed to this effect."
F. Bente, American Lutheranism, 2 vols., The United Lutheran Church, Gen Synod, Gen Council, Un Syn in the South, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1919, II, p. 20.

"The unionism which prevailed in all Lutheran synods since the days of Muhlenberg was freely indulged in also by the General Synod during the whole course of her history, in various ways, especially in the exchange of fraternal delegates and the fellowship of pulpit and altar." F. Bente, American Lutheranism, 2 vols., The United Lutheran Church, Gen Synod, Gen Council, Un Syn in the South, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1919, II, p. 48. At Hagerstown, 1837, a Presbyterian, an Episcopalian, a Reformedist, and a Methodist were received as advisory members. Two Lutheran ministers preached in the Reformed church, two others in the Methodist church, and Dr. Patton, of the American Education Society, in the Lutheran church."
F. Bente, American Lutheranism, 2 vols., The United Lutheran Church, Gen Synod, Gen Council, Un Syn in the South, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1919, II, p. 50.

"Wherever Lutherans unite with the Reformed, the former gradually sink to the level of the latter. Already by declaring the differences between the two Churches irrelevant, the Lutheran truths are actually sacrificed and denied. Unionism always breaks the backbone, and outrages the conscience, of true Lutheranism. And naturally enough, the refusal to confess the Lutheran truth is but too frequently followed by eager endorsement and fanatical defense of the opposite errors."
F. Bente, American Lutheranism, 2 vols., The United Lutheran Church, Gen Synod, Gen Council, Un Syn in the South, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1919, II, p. 68.

"Dr. Luther, who, above others, certainly understood the true and proper meaning of the Augsburg Confession, and who constantly remained steadfast thereto till his end, and defended it, shortly before his death repeated his faith concerning this article with great zeal in his last Confession, where he writes thus: 'I rate as one concoction, namely, as Sacramentarians and fanatics, which they also are, all who will not believe that the Lord's bread in the Supper is His true natural body, which the godless or Judas received with the mouth, as well as did St. Peter and all [other] saints; he who will not believe this (I say) should let me alone, and hope for no fellowship with me; this is not going to be altered [thus my opinion stands, which I am not going to change]."
Formula of Concord, Epitome, Article VII, Lord's Supper, 33, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 983. Tappert, p. 575.

"And all these are established by the words by which Christ has instituted it, and which every one who desires to be a Christian and go to the Sacrament should know. For it is not our intention to admit to it and to administer it to those who know not what they seek, or why they come."
Fifth Part, Of The Sacrament of the Altar, #2, Large Catechism, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 753. Tappert, p. 447.

"And Paul commands that godless teachers should be avoided and execrated as cursed. Galatians 1:8; Titus 3:10. And 2 Corinthians 6:14 he says: 'Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers; for what communion hath light with darkness?'"
Marks of Antichrist, 41, Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 517. Tappert, p. 328. Galatians 1:8; Titus 3:10; 2 Corinthians 6:14.

"A new sacred classical music radio program soon will be available to radio stations across the country. The hour-long, weekly program, called "Joy," is an inter-Lutheran project of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Lutheran Church Missouri Synod and the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod. "Joy" will be produced by KFUO-FM in St. Louis and will be funded by Aid Association for Lutherans, a fraternal benefit society. 'I'm excited about being involved in this project which is the first joint venture into ministry that has ever been done by these three Lutheran churches,' said the Rev. Richard Jensen, a member of ELCA communications staff and the Joy Advisory Committee. 'Joy is a program of sacred music. The focus is on the classics of sacred Christian music..."
ELCA Newsbriefs Christian News, 12-9-91, p. 2.

"There is a 'method in our madness' in securing such a high profile speaker. Regardless of the value of the message such speakers always bring in the numbers. Generally speaking, they seem to double the attendance of a convention." [Having Charlton Heston speak at the WELS Lutherans for Life convention]
Rev. Robert Fleischmann, Commentary, National Director, WELS Lutherans for Life, 2949 N Mayfair Rd, Milwaukee, WI 53222 n.d.

"Dedication: to a holy ministry, orthodox as Chemnitz, Calovius, Gerhard, and Krauth; spiritual and consecrated as Arndt, Spener, and Zinzendorf; active in the Master's service as Francke, Muhlenberg, Orberlin, and Passavant, this book is hopefully dedicated."
G. H. Gerberding, The Lutheran Pastor, Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1902, p. 2. [Spener! Zinzendorf! Oberlin! Franke! – a mixed bag - Our Staff Infection would be proud]

"Truthful separation is far better than dishonest union, and two churches are happier, and more kindly in their mutual relations, when their differences are frankly confessed, than when they are clouding with ambiguities and double meanings the real divergences."
Charles P. Krauth, The Conservative Reformation and Its Theology, Philadelphia: The United Lutheran Publication House, 1913 (first edition, 1871), p. 326.

"If one associates much with heretics, one finally also makes oneself partaker of their false doctrine, their lies, and their errors; for he who touches pitch soils his hands with it."
Martin Luther, What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959, II, p. 646.

Pictured together: Rev. Carl Mischke (WELS), Rev. Ralph Bohlmann (LCMS), and Bishop Herbert Chilstrom (ELCA).
Lutheran Brotherhood, Bond, "Preparing the Church for the Next Century," Fall, 1991 68, p. 12.

"Four speakers prominent in the field of leadership research shared their perspectives. Frances Hesselbein of New York City, president and chief executive officer of the Peter F. Drucker Foundation for Nonprofit Management, spoke on 'The Challenge of Leadership.' She noted, 'The church shares the same bottom line with all voluntary and human service organizations: changed lives.'" [Note: CG enthusiasts love Drucker management books. The four leaders of the conference were: a woman, a CG icon (in the words of Rev. James Schaefer, NWL), an ultra-liberal Reformed theologian, and a historical-critical expert from an ELCA seminary which once boasted of Lenski and Leupold as professors.]
Lutheran Brotherhood, Bond, "Preparing the Church for the Next Century," Fall, 1991 68, p. 12.

"William McKinney, dean and professor of religion and society at Hartford (Connecticut) Seminary, disagreed with the popular view that conventional Protestant churches have moved from mainline to sideline." [Hartford is very Reformed and very liberal.]
Lutheran Brotherhood, Bond, "Preparing the Church for the Next Century," Fall, 1991 68, p. 12.

"George Barna of Glendale, Calif., president of the Barna Research Group, a marketing firm specializing in research for Christian churches and parachurch organizations, laid out 'The Context for Leadership' with rather challenging facts about the society the church faces today."
Lutheran Brotherhood, Bond, "Preparing the Church for the Next Century," Fall, 1991 68, p. 12.

"The Lutheran Leadership Consultation, facilitated by Lutheran Brotherhood in partnership with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), the Lutheran-Church Missouri Synod (LC-MS) and the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS), was the first meeting of this type that included the three major Lutheran Churches as planners and participants."
Lutheran Brotherhood, Bond, "Preparing the Church for the Next Century," Fall, 1991 68, p. 12.

"Throughout the Consultation, Walter F. Taylor, Jr., Professor of New Testament at Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, Ohio, explored principles and examples of leadership in the Pauline epistles." [Trinity is an ELCA seminary which sponsored an insurance funded gay seminar.] Lutheran Brotherhood, Bond, "Preparing the Church for the Next Century," Fall, 1991 68, p. 13.

"Take the Church Membership Initiative, lavishly funded by the Aid Association for Lutherans. The 'Narrative Summary of Findings' and the 'Research Summary of Findings' (1993) reveal an approach both shallow and complacent. There is no interest at all in underlying theological maladies." Professor Kurt Marquart, "Church Growth" As Mission Paradigm, A Lutheran Assessment, Our Savior Lutheran Church, Houston: Luther Academy Monograph, 1994, p. 141f. "Its 'overall objective' is: 'To set in motion forces that will result in annual increases in the number of members of Lutheran congregations.' Why would any confessional Lutheran wish to 'set in motion forces' for 'annual increases in ELCA membership? The introductory page already alerts one to the hollowness of the talk about 'faithfulness to the substance of Lutheranism' (p. 3), by listing an ELCA official, a pastoress, as one of the sources of further information. 'Unchurched people feel good about their faith,' we are told, and the implication is that we should too."
Professor Kurt Marquart, "Church Growth" As Mission Paradigm, A Lutheran Assessment, Our Savior Lutheran Church, Houston: Luther Academy Monograph, 1994, p. 142.

"The article in Christian News to which you refer escaped my attention until one of our other pastors called it to my attention soon after it appeared. Initially I even had difficulty relating to it. After thinking about it for a time I remembered that I was asked about a year ago whether the WELS would endorse or be in sponsor of such a program. My answer then was 'No" and still is. I have consistently taken the position with the fraternal benefits societies that 'pan-Lutheran' projects almost inevitably exclude us from participation because of our fellowship principles. The leadership of the fraternals has respected our position. So the statement by a member of the ELCA communications staff that this is the 'first joint venture into ministry' ever done by these three Lutheran churches is simply not factual. It has been called to the attention of those who made this statement."
President Carl H. Mischke (WELS Synodical President), Letter to Pastor James Sherod, 1-3-92. [WELS was in fact part of the pan-Lutheran Joy radio show.]

"In such churches the occasional intrusion of authentically Lutheran doctrine, liturgy, and hymnody takes on the appearance of being a grudging gesture to a no longer useable past. The preaching of God's law and gospel gives way to the preaching of any truth that is true if it's true for you."
Rev. Richard Neuhaus, (ELCA at the time), Forum Letter, 338 E 19th Street New York, NY 10003 November 26, 1989 p. 2. [Neuhaus is now a Catholic priest.]

"Then there is the church growth movement, which has made more devastating headway in LCMS than in ELCA (although it is evident enough in the latter). Today, it is said, Missouri has three seminaries-- St. Louis, Ft Wayne, and Fuller Seminary in California, the hothouse of church growth enthusiasms. The synodical and district mission offices are frequently controlled by church growth technocrats...But the idea that Word and Sacrament ministry is somehow validated by calculable results is utterly alien to the Lutheran Reformation...The triumph of style over substance, however, is all too evident in LCMS congregations that look like Baptists with vestments. As we have noted before, second-rate Lutherans make fourth-rate Baptists."
Rev. Richard Neuhaus, (ELCA at the time), Forum Letter, 338 E 19th Street New York, NY 10003 November 26, 1989 p. 2.

"Pastors become disciples so they can make disciples. As a proud Pentecostal I thought I had everything because I belonged to a Full Gospel church. Little did I know how much I had to learn until I came together with other pastors--Baptists, Presbyterians, Plymouth Brethren, and Catholics. As a proud Pentecostal I had to become a humble elder of the church."
Juan Carlos Ortiz, Call to Discipleship, Plainfield: Logos International, 1975, p. 100. Joel Gerlach really dug this disciple business. Gerlach studied at Fuller and taught at Mequon!

"The orthodox character of a church is established not by its mere name nor by its outward acceptance of, and subscription to, an orthodox creed, but by the doctrine which is actually taught in its pulpits, in its theological seminaries, and in its publications. On the other hand, a church does not forfeit its orthodox character through the casual intrusion of errors, provided these are combated and eventually removed by means of doctrinal discipline."
(A Brief Statement of the Missouri Synod's Doctrinal Position, 1932) Francis Pieper, The Difference Between Orthodox And Heterodox Churches, and Supplement, Coos Bay, Oregon: St. Paul's Lutheran Church, 1981, p. 2.

"Unionism is characterized by these marks: It fails to confess the whole truth of the divine Word; it fails to reject and denounce every opposing error; it assigns error equal right with truth and creates the impression of church fellowship and of unity of faith where they do not exist."
(Wisconsin Synod, Prayer Fellowship, Tract No. 10, 1954) Francis Pieper, The Difference Between Orthodox And Heterodox Churches, and Supplement, Coos Bay, Oregon: St. Paul's Lutheran Church, 1981, p. 64.

"We have no intention of yielding aught of the eternal, immutable truth of God for the sake of temporal peace, tranquility, and unity (which, moreover, is not in our power to do). Nor would such peace and unity, since it is devised against the truth and for its suppression, have any permanency. Still less are we inclined to adorn and conceal a corruption of the pure doctrine and manifest, condemned errors. But we entertain heartfelt pleasure and love for, and are on our part sincerely inclined and anxious to advance, that unity according to our utmost power, by which His glory remains to God uninjured, nothing of the divine truth of the Holy Gospel is surrendered, no room is given to the least error, poor sinners are brought to true, genuine repentance, raised up by faith, confirmed in new obedience, and thus justified and eternally saved alone through the sole merit of Christ." (Closing of Formula of Concord, Trigl. p. 1095)
Francis Pieper, The Difference Between Orthodox And Heterodox Churches, and Supplement, Coos Bay, Oregon: St. Paul's Lutheran Church, 1981, p. 65.

"The third mark of unionism, therefore, is this: A formula of unification is found which each of two hitherto separate churches may accept but which each of them interprets differently. An external bond is found for internally divided groups." (About Melanchthon using 1 Cor. 10:16 as the basis for uniting the Reformed and Lutherans, Luther's favorite text against the Reformed.)
M. Reu, In the Interest of Lutheran Unity, Columbus: The Lutheran Book Concern, 1940, p. 19. 1 Corinthians 10:16.

"The second mark of unionism, therefore, is this: Differences in doctrine are made to lose their divisive significance with a view to uniting hitherto separate churches." (about unification of all Protestant forces)
M. Reu, In the Interest of Lutheran Unity, Columbus: The Lutheran Book Concern, 1940, p. 19.

"Here we discover the first mark of unionism: A difference in doctrine which hitherto has been regarded as divisive, is suddenly made to lose its divisive significance." (About the Augsburg Confession, Variata, Real Presence) M. Reu, In the Interest of Lutheran Unity, Columbus: The Lutheran Book Concern, 1940, p. 19.

"Doctrinal indifference is at once the root of unionism and its fruit. Whoever accepts, in theory as well as in practice, the absolute authority of the Scriptures and their unambiguousness with reference to all fundamental doctrines, must be opposed to every form of unionism."
M. Reu, In the Interest of Lutheran Unity, Columbus: The Lutheran Book Concern, 1940, p. 20.

"We find this attitude of tolerance quite frequently among unionists. It is often used to assuage a troubled conscience, one's own as well as that of others; for the unionist declares that every one may continue to hold his own private convictions and merely needs to respect and tolerate those of another. This attitude is totally wrong, for it disregards two important factors: (a) in tolerating divergent doctrines one either denies the perspicuity and clarity of the Scriptures, or one grants to error the right to exist alongside of truth, or one evidences indifference over against Biblical truth by surrendering its absolute validity; and (b) in allowing two opposite views concerning one doctrine to exist side by side, one has entered upon an inclined plane which of necess- ity leads ever further into complete doctrinal indifference, as may plainly be seen from the most calamitous case on record, viz., the Prussian Union."
M. Reu, In the Interest of Lutheran Unity, Columbus: The Lutheran Book Concern, 1940, p. 20.

[Selnecker, who wrote "Ach bleib bei uns" (TLH #292) was bitterly attacked and severely persecuted by the Reformed, deposed when Augustus died, reduced to poverty, and not allowed to remain in Leipzig as a private citizen.]
Theodore E. Schmauk and C. Theodore Benze, The Confessional Principle and the Confessions, as Embodying the Evangelical Confession of the Christian Church, Philadelphia: General Council Publication Board, 1911, p. 310ff.

"The modern radical spirit which would sweep away the Formula of Concord as a Confession of the Church, will not, in the end, be curbed, until it has swept away the Augsburg Confession, and the ancient Confessions of the Church--yea, not until it has crossed the borders of Scripture itself, and swept out of the Word whatsoever is not in accord with its own critical mode of thinking. The far-sighted rationalist theologian and Dresden court preacher, Ammon, grasped the logic of a mere spirit of progress, when he said: 'Experience teaches us that those who reject a Creed, will speedily reject the Scriptures themselves.'"
Theodore E. Schmauk and C. Theodore Benze, The Confessional Principle and the Confessions, as Embodying the Evangelical Confession of the Christian Church, Philadelphia: General Council Publication Board, 1911, p. 685.

"The real question is not what do you subscribe, but what do you believe and publicly teach, and what are you transmitting to those who come after? If it is the complete Lutheran faith and practice, the name and number of the standards is less important. If it is not, the burden of proof rests upon you to show that your more incomplete standard does not indicate an incomplete Lutheran faith."
Theodore E. Schmauk and C. Theodore Benze, The Confessional Principle and the Confessions, as Embodying the Evangelical Confession of the Christian Church, Philadelphia: 1911, p. 890.

"The greatest single weakness, it seems to this reviewer, in Dr. Lindsell's battle line is in the area of fellowship. The soft spot is his failure to advise a fellowship practice that accords fully with Scripture, a failure that has ever been a weakness among the 'evangelicals.' Review of The Battle for the Bible, by Harold Lindsell, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1976.
Armin W. Schuetze, Wisconsin Lutheran Quarterly, October, 1976 73, p. 326.

"CHIEFS CONFER: Waiting their turn to speak at a recent Lutheran leadership consultation are Dr. Carl Mischke, president of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Church...Bohlmann...and ELCA Bishop Herbert W. Chilstrom. At the July 18-20 event in Snowbird, Utah, in the Wasatch Mountains, 130 Lutheran leaders gathered to articulate a 'vision of leadership' for their respective church bodies." The Lutheran, (ELCA) September 4, 1991 p. 33.

"Before God every activity of our faith is at the same time fellowship activity in the Communion of Saints."
Doctrinal Statements of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, Authorized by the Commission on Doctrinal Matters. p. 27. So what was Mischke doing conferring with ELCA? Hmm?

"In selecting specific individuals or groups for a joint expression of faith we can do this only on the basis of their confession."
Doctrinal Statements of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, Authorized by the Commission on Doctrinal Matters. p. 29.

"Dr. Martin Marty is pastor of the Missouri Synod Church of the Holy Ghost, Elk Grove, Illinois. At the same time he is associate editor of The Christian Century, a religious journal which denies the teachings of Scripture on Jesus Christ, the inspiration of the Bible, the atonement, the virgin birth, and other cardinal doctrines...Whether or not Dr. Marty as associate editor is directly responsible for the shaping of editorial policy, the fact remains that he has lent his name and sanction as a Lutheran to the blasphemies the unchristian Century prints. Again the question: How many may have had a stumbling block put in the way of their faith by this gross offense? And what will the MIssouri Synod answer for lending its membership and prestige to that kind of gross offender? Luke 17:1, 2."
E. Arnold Sitz, Entrenched Unionistic Practices, A Record of Unionistic Practice in the LCMS Authorized by the Commission on Doctrinal Matters, Wisconsin Ev. Lutheran Synod. p. 21. Isn't Marty the same dude invited by Wisconsin Lutheran College (WELS) to be an honored speaker? Hmmm?

"In an essay on Unionism, Dr. F. Pieper, a former president of the Missouri Synod and successor of Dr. Walther as president of Concordia Theological Seminary, St. Louis, in 1924 said to the Oregon and Washington District: 'The Holy Scriptures very emphatically and in manifold ways teach that all fellowship with false doctrine is forbidden by God and is harmful to the Church.' On II John 10, 11, he said: 'God here forbids Unionism, religious fellowship with those who are known to be false teachers.'"
Carl Lawrenz, Chairman, Commission on Doctrinal Matters, Fellowship Then and Now, Concerning the Impasse in the Intersynodical Discussions on Church Fellowship, p. 20. 2 John 10, 11

"Rev. Brenner tells us how unionists in the General Council chloroformed the conscience of the body. When they entered into working arrangements (in the distinctly religious sphere) with the Reformed churches, they glazed the matter over by reporting that 'the object of these conferences is purely that of counsel concering the problems of foreign mission-work.' Only counsel; no fellowship; just consulting with one another. Thus does the camel push its nose into the tent. Let us keep our eyes open" (p. 98ff.)
Carl Lawrenz, Chairman, Commission on Doctrinal Matters, Fellowship Then and Now, Concerning the Impasse in the Intersynodical Discussions on Church Fellowship, p. 23.

"Only recently Dr. Martin Marty, a pastor of the Missouri Synod and an associate editor of the Christian Century, outlined with considerable frankness the program and methods whereby changes may be effected within church bodies that still are antiecumenical (to him this means, church bodies who decline to engage in joint worship and church work unless first confessional unity has been established). Writing in the Christian Century, he advocates a program whereby the ecumenically minded remain within their church bodies, but 'work for constructive subversion, encirclement, and infiltration, until antiecumenical forces bow to the evangelical weight of reunion.' Although they remain within their denominations, with whose principles they do not agree, they will 'somehow telegraph to the world who it is they serve and where their loyalties already lie' (Jan. 11, 1961, p. 45). These are the methods Dr. Marty openly proposes."
Carl Lawrenz, Chairman, Commission on Doctrinal Matters, Fellowship Then and Now, Concerning the Impasse in the Intersynodical Discussions on Church Fellowship, p. 27. Isn't this the same dude?... I already asked that above. Marty was LCMS then, but he was ELCA for the WLC lecture. That makes it OK.

"Those who defend a false union assert that while practicing unionistic fellowship one can still cling firmly to the true confession, that unionism is not then synonymous with indifferentism. This is an illusion, even as experience has sufficiently shown that a false union opens the doors wide to indifferentism. And how could it be otherwise?"
Adolf Hoenecke, Dogmatik III, p. 441f. Carl Lawrenz, Chairman, Commission on Doctrinal Matters, Fellowship Then and Now, Concerning the Impasse in the Intersynodical Discussions on Church Fellowship, p. 31.

"$60,000 General world relief (through C.A.R.E. and Lutheran World Relief) Rev. Kennth Strack, chairman WELS Reports and Memorials for the Fifty-fourth Biennial Convention, Milwaukee: WELS, 1997. p. 165.

"False ecumenism wants organizational unity instead of Scriptural unity." Waldo J. Werning, The Radical Nature of Christianity, Church Growth Eyes Look at the Supernatural Mission of the Christian and the Church, South Pasadena: William Carey Library, 1975, p. 101.

"Unscriptural fellowship means acceptance of differences in doctrine, which are ignored by conducting joint religious acts and worship."
Waldo J. Werning, The Radical Nature of Christianity, Church Growth Eyes Look at the Supernatural Mission of the Christian and the Church, South Pasadena: William Carey Library, 1975, p. 102f. [Who’s Who in Church Growth, Fuller student]


Matthew 7:15-23

"Just as true doctrine is the greatest gift we can enjoy, so false doctrine is the most baneful evil that can beset us. False doctrine is sin, it is the invention of Satan, and it imperils and destroys salvation. False doctrine is every teaching contrary to the Word of God. Scripture enjoins upon us to proclaim only the truth."
W. A. Baepler, "Doctrine, True and False," The Abiding Word, ed., Theodore Laetsch, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1946, II, p. 501.

"No false dogma has ever been spread in the church which was not put forth with some plausible show, for sheep's clothing is the show of false religion (says Chrysostom). Indeed, the weaker and more ruinous the cause is, the more arguments it needs, sought everywhere and in every way possible, as though to cover it over with paint or to swathe it with medicine. For Pindar [famous Greek lyric poet, 518-438 B.C.] says, 'For a just cause three words are sufficient.' Therefore the papalists have gathered very many and varied arguments in order to establish purgatory."
Martin Chemnitz, Examination of the Council of Trent, trans., Fred Kramer, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1986, III, p. 325.

"Paul calls all false spirits bold and proud. Yes, in their filth with their protectors they are proud and impudent, otherwise they are the most cowardly villains that can be found. When they are to appear and answer for their conduct, they produce a single answer. Among themselves they are bold, and venture to catch God in His own Word; but when it comes to the test, they simply despair."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 1983, V, p. 204.

"For every sect has always had one or more particular hobbies and articles which are manifestly wrong and can easily be discerned to be of the devil, who publicly teach, urge and defend them as right certain and necessary to believe or to keep For the spirit of lies cannot so conceal himself, but that he must at last put forth his claws, by which you can discern and observe the ravenous wolf."
Sermons of Martin Luther, IV, p. 282f.

"For this reason one should not be too credulous when a preacher comes softly like an angel of God, recommends himself very highly, and swears that his sole aim is to save souls, and says: 'Pax vobis!' For those are the very fellows the devil employs to honey people's mouths. Through them he gains an entrance to preach and to teach, in order that he may afterward inflict his injuries, and that though he accomplish nothing more for the present, he may, at least, confound the people's consciences and finally lead them into misery and despair."
Sermons of Martin Luther, II, p. 322.

"It is not enough that we preach correctly, which the hireling can also do; but we must watch over the sheep, that the wolves, false teachers, may not break in, and we must contend for the sheep against the wolves, with the Word of God, even to the sacrifice of our lives. Such are good shepherds, of whom few are found."
Sermons of Martin Luther, III, p. 34.

"There are other wolves, however, who come to us in sheep's clothing. They are the false prophets, who under the form of pious and religious instruction feed pure poison to the sheep of Christ. Against these Christ warns us, that we may be constantly on our guard, lest with sugar-coated words and flattering religious expressions they mislead us, deceive us, by their cunning, and draw us to themselves, as He says in Matthew 7:15: 'Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravening wolves.'"
Sermons of Martin Luther, III, p. 35.

"The world desires such wolf preaching, and is not worthy of anything better since it will not hear nor respect Christ. Hence it is that there are so few true Christians and faithful preachers, always outnumbered by the members of the false church."
Sermons of Martin Luther, III, p. 385.

"For nothing can feed or give life to the soul, which is not the doctrine of Christ. Although the hireling does not himself slay and destroy he does not restrain the wolf. Therefore, because you neither point out nor teach this shepherd, you shall not and ought not to be heard, but you shall be shunned as a wolf."
Sermons of Martin Luther, III, p. 58f.

"Thus too, if our confidence is to begin, and we become strengthened and comforted, we must well learn the voice of our Shepherd, and let all other voices go, who only lead us astray, and chase and drive us hither and thither. We must hear and grasp only that article which presents Christ to us in the most friendly and comforting manner possible. So that we can say with all confidence: My Lord Jesus Christ is truly the only Shepherd, and I, alas, the lost sheep, which has strayed into the wilderness, and I am anxious and fearful, and would gladly be good, and have a gracious God and peace of conscience, but here I am told that He is as anxious for me as I am for Him."
Sermons of Martin Luther, IV, p. 86.

"No work is so evil that it can damn a man, and no work is so good that it can save a man; but faith alone saves us, and unbelief damns us. The fact that someone falls into adultery does not damn him. Rather the adultery indicates that he has fallen from faith. This damns him; otherwise adultery would be impossible for him. So, then, nothing makes a good tree except faith."
What Luther Says, An Anthology, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959, I, p. 475. Matthew 7:15-23.

"They [the false teachers] fared like a man who looks through a colored glass. Put before such a man whatever color you please, he sees no other color than that of the glass. The fault is not that the right color is not put before him but that his glass is colored differently, as the word of Is. 6:9 puts it: You will see, he says, and yet you will not see it."
Martin Luther, What Luther Says, 1959, II, p. 644.

"You cannot of a truth be for true doctrine without being unalterably opposed to false doctrine. There can be no 'positive theology' where the God-given negatives have been eliminated from the Decalog."
Norman A. Madson, Preaching to Preachers, Mankato: Lutheran Synod Book Company, 1952 Preface.

"Every departure from God's Word, every error, is dangerous to the soul. There is a fearful, diabolical power in error; for every error is the devil's work, and through fellowship with error a person puts himself under the influence of the devil. Here human reason is helpless."
Francis Pieper, The Difference between Orthodox and Heterodox Churches, and Supplement, Coos Bay, Oregon: St. Paul's Lutheran Church, 1981, p. 42.

"Even the history of the world shows how great is the power of the devil's kingdom. The world is full of blasphemies against God and of wicked opinions, and the devil keeps entangled in these bands those who are wise and righteous [many hypocrites who appear holy] in the sight of the world. In other persons grosser vices manifest themselves. But since Christ was given to us to remove both these sins and these punishments, and to destroy the kingdom of the devil, sin and death,it will not be possible to recognize the benefits of Christ unless we understand our evils. For this reason our preachers have diligently taught concerning these subjects, and have delivered nothing that is new, but have set forth Holy Scriptures and the judgments of the holy Fathers."
Apology Augsburg Confession, Article II: Of Original Sin, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 119. Tappert, p.

Now the Silence
WELS Convention Starting Monday


The WELS convention will start on Monday with nominations to replace Synod President Gurgel, who cannot deny he has the spiritual gift of leadership. That would be "false modesty," in his words. No one ever accused a WELS leader of false modesty.

On my own I will predict President-in-Waiting Wayne Mueller and seminary professor John Brenner leading the nominations.

I trawled as many websites as I could. The new material stopped with the Brug analysis. WELS AnswerMan stopped poking Michigan in the eye. The silent period happens when the parties are most active and unwilling to broadcast their plans.

Anti-Lutheran, Church Growth apostates want to close the schools. Unfortunately for MLS, their advocate is Paul Kuske, who bulldozed for Church Growth during his glory years in Columbus, Ohio. He also had one of the poorest giving records (per communicant) to the synod. Kuske was voted out of office. Unlike Wayne Mueller, Kuske was not voted back in.

Also, the leadership against the schools is fairly united and in charge of the synodical machinery. Dissent in WELS means various people ducking behind each other, afraid to take a position in the open, but lionousy brave during the coffee breaks at conferences.

The MLS faculty could lead the charge against closing the school, as Northwestern College failed to do. Why so reticent? Defeatism puts everyone in a defensive mode. Fear makes each one think, "They probably will close the school, so what will I do? Holy Mother WELS covers my medical, my paltry pension, my salary. If I stay quiet, Holy Mother WELS will find me a new job. I know how they get even with those who annoy their plans."

ELCA Not Taking
the Straight Path;
Gay Schmeling Gets Widespread Support


Memorials from ELCA:

"Blessing of same-sex relationships: Three synods adopted similar memorials discouraging blessing of same-sex relationships, pending decisions to be made at the 2009 Churchwide Assembly. The ELCA Metropolitan Washington, D.C., Synod asked for liturgies for the blessing of "same-gender unions." The Memorials Committee recommended referring these memorials and a record of the Churchwide Assembly's discussion to the Task Force for ELCA Studies on Sexuality, and urged that "it
consider this information in its ongoing discernment and deliberation."

+ Standards for professional leaders: There were 23 memorials in this category. The ELCA Metropolitan Washington, D.C., Synod asked the Churchwide Assembly to remove language from church policy that precludes people who are gay or lesbian and in a homosexual relationship from serving in an official leadership role in the church. The ELCA Northeastern Iowa synod asked the assembly not to change its policy documents for ordained ministers.

Twenty-one synods adopted nearly identical memorials concerning a response to a discipline hearing committee that was formed to consider charges filed by the Rev. Ronald B. Warren, bishop of the ELCA Southeastern Synod, Atlanta, against a former
ELCA pastor, Bradley E. Schmeling, Atlanta.

The hearing committee agreed with Warren and said Schmeling should be removed from the clergy roster on Aug. 15, 2007. It also criticized church policy regarding sexual conduct for ordained ministers, and suggested that synods call on the church-wide organization to change those policies. Recently, the ELCA Committee on Appeals upheld the original decision but reversed the date Schmeling was to be removed from the roster, making it effective July 2. It also said the discipline hearing committee exceeded the authority granted to it by the ELCA constitution when it suggested there be changes in ELCA clergy policies.

In general these 21 synod memorials would direct specific churchwide units to develop amendments to ELCA clergy standards, permitting people who are gay or lesbian and in committed homosexual relationships to serve as ordained and professional lay leaders in the church. The memorials also ask for reinstatement of people -- without the current requirement of a five-year waiting period -- who were removed or resigned from the official leadership rosters of the church. The Memorials Committee recommended the Churchwide Assembly refer all of these memorials and the verbatim record of the assembly's discussion about them to the Task Force for ELCA Studies on Sexuality, urging that the task force consider this information in its ongoing discernment and deliberation.

+ Referrals to the Task Force for ELCA Studies on Sexuality: Four synods adopted similar memorials asking the Churchwide Assembly to refer all memorials and resolutions regarding blessings of same-sex unions and ordination of people who are gay or lesbian and in committed relationships to the Task Force for ELCA Studies on Sexuality. Four synods called for the church to wait until the 2009 Churchwide Assembly to re-open the ordination question; three other synods asked that the Churchwide Assembly not consider any policy changes, or asked that proposals for policy change be forwarded to the Task Force for ELCA Studies on Sexuality as it prepares to present a social statement on human sexuality for consideration at the 2009 Churchwide Assembly.

The Memorials Committee recommended that all of these memorials and the verbatim record of the Churchwide Assembly's discussion be forwarded to the Task Force for ELCA Studies on Sexuality and urged that the task force consider this information in its ongoing discernment and deliberation."

GJ - Count on WELS and Missouri to continue following ELCA down this path, always a few years behind. Continued joint-ministry efforts among the three will guarantee this result.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Application - Efficacy of the Word


Pietists grieve that I emphasize the efficacy of the Word alone. They glory in their own works, so they compare their glittering vices (as Augustine said) to my happiness in promoting Luther's doctrine.

The Pietists are easy to spot. Their authority lies in their imaginary and imagined accomplishments. They mention their parentage (my father was only a baker). They were born in a given synod (something beyond my control). They have titles, offices, and various awards given out among the many self-promoting Lutheran lobbying groups. The best unintentional parody is the Sword of Boldness award.

All I do is broadcast the Word with abandon (Mark 4, Isaiah 55, Romans 10). Once I thought of foreign missions, but now I am content to deal with pagans called Lutheran who despise Luther's doctrine while worshiping a wooden, carved idol called Holy Mother (fill in the blank) Synod.

So I publish around 50 sermons a year, offer Holy Communion 24 times a year, and publish books, content to let God manage what I cannot. I find it disturbing that a WELS pastor could call himself a failure after giving good sermons, baptizing plenty of children, and offering the sacrament of the altar throughout his life. The synods have failed in undermining and despising the Means of Grace. Ordinary pastors have not failed if they remain faithful.

When I read about conventions, I see how little they concern facing doctrinal matters, how much they are consumed with politics.

Wolves in Sheep's Clothing -
Trinity 8


Trinity 8 – Beware of False Prophets

KJV Romans 8:12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. 13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

KJV Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. 21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, 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? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

TLH Hymns
387 - Dear Christians One and All
260 – O Lord, Look Down
259 – Flung to the heedless winds
264 – Preserve thy Word

This passage from the Sermon on the Mount only makes sense if people believe in the efficacy of God’s Word. If they do not think God’s Word alone is effective, then this passage is just a place-holder in the Scriptures.

God’s Word belongs to Him and to Him alone. There is no franchise that allows people to change and water down what He has always taught. Therefore, the fruit of His Word belongs only to God. Only God can be glorified for what He has done through the Word. Any variation or departure from this is blasphemy against God, no matter how it might be expressed.

I heard some Lutherans discuss a new mission for the LCMS. They were in Southern Baptist territory, and I mean Baptist with a b – Babtist. One person expressed certainty in the failure of this mission. I decided to remain silent for once, but I thought:
1. The Sower and the Seed parable?
2. Luther’s admonition to go where there is opposition?
3. The implanted Word in James?
4. Isaiah 55?

Most people would not think of Blacks being Lutheran, but the old Missouri Synod did not know better. They had an extensive Black mission. The leaders were so foolish then that they thought the congregations should use the traditional liturgy, learn traditional Lutheran doctrine, and so forth. The end result was that Missouri had a powerful witness to Blacks long before the liberals thought of doing the same. I even found a booklet on the Black mission, printed in German, published by the old LCMS. How times have changed. Now these people have no trust in the Word and no results, except for shameful ones.

The work is not God-pleasing unless it is persecuted, according to Luther. Proof of that comes from the “conservative Lutherans” who hate, despise, and persecute Luther’s doctrine today while glorifying marketing methods, even while they fail.

The first effort in defending false teachers has always been, in my experience, “But he is a nice guy.” That is consistent with Matthew 7 and Romans 16. False teachers always wear several layers of fleece to hide the claws and slavering fangs. No matter how thick the woolies, the claws and fangs come out sooner or later. The nice guys are only nice on the surface. No one is more vicious behind the scenes, more deceptive, more manipulative. The fruits come from the tree. Someone who is not rooted in Christ through the Word is going to use the methods of his Father Below. The methods are deception and murder, constant lying and killing of souls. I often wonder how many atheists these clever men have created while glorifying themselves. One boy did not go to seminary after finding out that his pastor was an adulterer. His district president also covered up for the adulterous pastor, who was his friend.

Before we ask how God could allow those wolves to thrive, we have to ask why man has fed these wolves so dutifully while starving the faithful pastors. (No, I am not starving or in need of help.) The wolves are God’s judgment against man for allowing false doctrine to grow and prevail.

Missouri, WELS, and the ELS are parrots of ELCA now, eagerly working with ELCA because the giant, dying church body is so rich and powerful in comparison. ELCA requires an Episcopalian bishop be present to make an ordination valid. That alone is crazy enough, but even crazier is the lust for Missouri and WELS (and the Little Sect on the Prairie) to go along by cooperating in religious activities – now carefully hidden from view. Once they were exposed by Team Jackson (my wife and I working through the LB/AAL archives) the publications went silent on joint religious work.

God is saying – and I paraphrase Luther – you would not listen to Christ, so now you will listen to Satan. You would not give Jesus a penny, so now you will give Satan 10 dollars. You hated the “burden” of the Gospel, so now Satan’s disciples will flail you to the bone. And these false teachers are really obnoxious, self-centered peacocks, bright and showy, covering up their feet of clay with their fine feathers.

My friends and I sometimes discuss how seldom the “conservatives” will deal with doctrinal issues. The “conservatives” want to have political campaigns and fight over schools and budgets. That is because they know doctrinal agreement is lacking. The easy route is working to elect a “savior” - like Gurgel was when he was elected to be synodical president, WELS. This approach also shows a lack of trust in God’s Word. Besides, there is fear of the Satanic hatred unleashed when God’s Word is applied.

Although this fierce anger is intimidating at first, Satanic methods cannot work against God’s Word. Great blessings follow the application of the Word to problems. This effect is well known in Lutheran history, but forgotten today.

The right tree (sound doctrine) will bear fruit, and the wrong tree (false doctrine) will overproduce but with nothing of value.

One person asked why I was against the church growing. Apparently he thinks Church Growth theories increase the size of the invisible church. Their own Church Growth statistics prove otherwise. Statistics do not matter, but since the Church Growth Enthusiasts trust in them, they are condemned by their own measuring standards.

I am in favor of God’s Word bearing fruit according to His will, not mine. If we thought God wanted the visible church to be constantly growing, we would have to ignore church history and the plain witness of the Scriptures.

The Pietists/Church Growth salesmen claim that disciples make the church grow. Therefore, the falsely claim, Jesus commanded us to “make disciples.” In fact, He said “Disciple all nations” or “Teach all nations.”

If disciples are the answer and Jesus knew something about disciples, then He did something wrong in teaching the Word. According to John, Jesus taught some hard sayings, and disciples left Him for good.

KJV John 6:58 This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever. 59 These things said he in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum. 60 Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it? 61 When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you? 62 What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before? 63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. 64 But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. 65 And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father. 66 From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.

The issue here is whether they believed or not. Those who no longer believed went back and no longer followed Jesus.

I wish I could show all the star-struck naïve people the temples built in honor of man but in the name of God. Time after time great monuments to ego have been piled up. A few decades later they are not even religious on the surface. They began as glamorous Christian buildings and ended up as secular mausoleums with Unitarian ministers. The sowing of weed seed will bring results, but the results will not be God-pleasing. Eventually the sterility of the weeds will become most evident.

Someone may say “Lord, Lord” but Jesus will likely say, “Depart from me, workers of iniquity.”

No matter what the apparent results may be, God will accomplish His will through His Word. The false teachers will be used by God to cull out the false followers and to punish them. But the Holy Spirit is so powerful that He can accomplish good from evil. In the Apostolic Era, the persecution of the Gospel led to the spreading of the Christian faith. The murder of Christians in the arena helped Christianize (to some extent) the Roman Empire. The roads helped the persecuted escape across the known world and populate new missions (without a mission board and an annul once-in-a-lifetime-giving-opportunity).

When we get smacked around for doing the right thing, we join with the Apostles and Jesus in bearing the cross.