Below is a collection of brilliant statements by the false teachers irritated by this blog:
On Justification by Faith
"You are a bad person."
On WELS Covering Up for Murderers and Sex Offenders
"That is old news."
Their Refutation of Luther, Chemnitz, Chytraeus, and the Book of Concord
"Stop posting all those quotations."
On Kelm/Parlow Plagiarism of Baptist Sermons
"You didn't talk to Kelm and Parlow first."
"You should copy your sermons the same way. Then I would like them."
On a Missouri Pastor Signing His Name (Unlike WELS Pastors)
"He didn't know better."
Why Doesn't Rev. Mouse Sign His Name?
"I am afraid of being slashed and burned on Ichabod."
Rev. Mouse's Assessment of Ichabod
"You are a gutless coward."
The Glory Has Departed
Norma Boeckler, Artist-in-Residence
Bethany Lutheran Worship on
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
This UOJ Stormtrooper was dancing in the street. He thought he finally found a UOJ Biblical reference while staying at a Marriot Inn. Then Ichabod told him, "That was a Book of Mormon, you doofus."
Compare UOJ opinions with the clear teaching of Romans 10, where the Means of Grace is highlighted in the preaching office.
KJV Romans 10:4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.
KJV Romans 10:10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Clearly, righteousness comes only through faith in Christ.
UOJ is not Christian and the dogma is certainly not Lutheran.
The UOJ Stormtroopers are born forgiven, they say, born without sin, but their email is very ugly.
KJV Romans 10:1 Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. 2 For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. 3 For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. 4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. 5 For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them. 6 But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) 7 Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) 8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; 9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. 12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. 14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? 17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Monday, January 28, 2008
John has bailed out of the Bailing Water blog, the third of three to stop working the blog.
Any suggestion that coercion was involved would be a violation of the Eighth Commandment.
No one has stopped the Church and Change website, but President-in-Waiting Wayne Mueller's son is involved that agency of apostasy.
One of the latest dust-ups was over Bailing Water identifying the Kelm/Parlow team plagiarizing Baptist sermons and posting them as their own on the St. Mark's website. Several apologists had these amusing thoughts:
1. Lots of ministers do that. The popularity fallacy.
2. The copied sermons themselves might have been copied from yet another website. Two wrongs make a right - fallacy.
3. Someone had to sit down with Kelm and Parlow and tell them their sin privately, even though Parlow is not known to respond and Kelm is oblivious.
Etc. Etc. Etc.
The WELS Stormtroopers pounce on critics like hobos on a hotdog, unless the critics are making fun of traditional worship and orthodox doctrine. Those critics are just trying to make Holy Mother WELS even more perfect.
It remains to be seen whether WELS has improved under the new SP. It will take a lot more courage than the ministers have shown so far.
I do not fault a layman for giving up. Apostasy has a thousand friends--in many denominations--but the orthodox have to solo.
Extensive Internet searches for funny animal photos yielded this picture of a tigress feeding tiger-striped piglets. (I apologize to feminist tigers for using the term tigress.) The tigress lost her cubs and became sick with grief, so the zoo wrapped piglets in tiger-skin and tossed them into the cage. Either way, someone was going to eat well that day.
Mommy tigress warmed to her fake babies right away and began feeding them.
Alma Mater means nursing mother, so Ichabodians can see a similar relationship between Fuller Seminary and the Lutheran piglets. They wrap themselves up in Reformed doctrine to be nursed by a unionistic, occultic Reformed-Pentecostal school. Strangely, only ELCA sounded the alarms about Church Growth. When a new CGM parish was destined for Texas, organized opposition forced the project to move to Yorba Linda, California, where it died amidst drunken-sailor spending.
When the ELCA pastor at Community of Joy (Glendale, Arizona) promoted entertainment evangelism in the august pages of The Lutheran, fire warning lights blinked on throughout ELCA. Neuhaus gave a lecture against Church Growth at the Ad Fontes gathering in Pennsylvania. A Lutheran seminary professor screamed and threw the offending issue of The Lutheran from the pulpit.
Meanwhile, in the conservative old Synodical Conference (WELS-ELS-LCMS) all was quiet as Fuller piglets seized power and extended the Left Foot of Fellowship to the few critics of their Alma Mater, Fuller.
Willow Creek Community Church--a suburban mall of pop culture, easy listening, and a Christ without a cross--beckoned with lascivious grace. Conservative Lutheran leaders doubled-down and learned at WC as well. Many conservative pastors joined the Willow Creek Association, which suddenly became secretive after its LCMS members were listed in Christian News.
Thirdly, the notion that properties must be held for future generations is laughable. There are some 7,000 parishes in The Episcopal Church whose average attendance is less than 70 with the average age of about 66. In little more than a decade, most will close with the Columbariums full. The larger parishes, with hundreds of members, are evangelical. They are the ones that are leaving and want the properties their people built and paid for. And why shouldn't they? Why should they pass their buildings on to a dysfunctional church that has no gospel to proclaim except Millennium Development Goals, unbiblical notions of inclusivity and diversity that saves no one and nothing?
GJ - The Lutherans are in the same bind. The plums of the past are prunes today, withered and dry, liberal and empty, with plenty of endowment money. Lutherans are too timid to break away from Holy Mother Synod.
Sunday, January 27, 2008
The giant US spy satellite finally landed, on a bluff in Mankato, Minnesota.
Seriously, this is a sink hole caused when tons of salmonella-laced ice cream were buried far away from corporate headquarters. The melting mass undermined the soil and opened up the sinkhole. A casino and several pawn shops were lost during the cave-in.
Something more permanent may be used to fill the sinkhole, such as unsold copies of "Rock and the Christians Role," by Rev. Mark Freier.
Hide the incense!
Pastor Zip has left a new comment on your post "WELS Pastor in ELCA-LCMS Feminist Holy Communion S...":
Since you've asked, Pastor Jackson, permit me to correct an impression that seems to be at the center of this particular post. The pastors who have subscribed to the Rule of the Society, and thus (to use your phrasing) joined that ministerium, serve in several different Lutheran churches in North American and Australia. Thus far, no WELS pastor has subscribed to the Rule. The conclusion to your post is not accurate.
Retreats of the Society are open to all -- Lutheran or other church, clergy and lay -- and include time for common theological study and reflection. Because of that, it is not unusual for someone to attend in order to avail himself of that opportunity -- and not participate in all retreat activities. While I have met WELS pastors at Society events, we neither expect nor encourage any attendee to act contrary to the discipline of his church.
The Rev. Steven P. Tibbetts, STS
Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, Peoria, Ill.
GJ - Finally, a pastor who signs his name and lists his blog. I like that. Laity sign their names all the time, phone, and email me.
I find a bit of a conflict here. The Society is rather Roman in nature, but recognizes women's ordination at the same time. The Concordia, Ft. Wayne debacle seems to have involved a fair amount of deception. Either the STS deceived the seminary president, or the seminary president deceived the public.
Subscription to the Rule of the Society is not really the issue. If a WELS pastor communed, he expressed common cause with this pan-Lutheran feminist Romanizing group.
My Methodist advisor at Notre Dame attended Mass daily. The Roman Catholic students explained it in two words: "Ritual starved." I imagine WELS pastors feel ritual starved too. Some must crave the Church of Rome. They have a pope at GA. They are infallible when in agreement with the Synodical Pope. Etc.
The old WELS just ain't what she used to be....what's the difference between this conference and 'church and change'? Seems to be another wolf in sheep's clothing!
God forbid anyone should be uncomfortable in their worship experience... Please keep up the good work.
GJ - I hear from all over. I omit names and identifying facts because I know how vindictive the Wisconsin Synod apostates are. Too bad the faithful must suffer under the benighted leadership of Fuller Seminary and Willow Creek graduates.
James P. Tiefel (nicknamed Teufel) is a dyed-in-the-wool apostate. His hymnal managed to be the worst and the most obnoxious of all Lutheran hymnals: feminist revision of hymns, feminist butchering of the Creeds, sloppy sentiment songs posing as hymns, Church Growth hymns, Pietism in the liturgy, etc. The design of CW (Can't Worship) was identical to ELCA's hymnal. I wonder why. Lots of credit to ELCA sources in CW. Once again, I wonder why.
CW (notice Lutheran disappearing from all WELS products?) was so bad that the ELS dropped out and created their own hymnal. The CW editor will teach y'all how to worship. Save your money and drop in at Willow Creek, a few miles away. At least they are honest about their agenda.
Brian P Westgate has left a new comment on your post "WELS Layman":
Prof. Tiefel was on the liturgy committee, so you can blame him for some of the problems in that portion. He didn't agree with everything that happened there, and some stuff he did agree with then he no longer agrees with. He didn't have much control over the hymn section, since the hymn committee had more votes than the liturgy committee. They were the ones that cut stanzas, brought in bad hymns, etc.
In other words, it's not all his fault, so it might be appropriate to spread the blame around.
GJ - Note that the ELS quit the project to create their own hymnal, then publicly denied that they quit the joint project. To wit, Erling Teigen published a letter in Christian News to that effect. No one who knew about the conflict was fooled. After all, why would two denominations who "cherish their fellowship" publish two hymnals at the same time? The ELS version had more confessional material in it but also plenty of ELCA credits.
KJV 2 Corinthians 5:15 And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again. 16 Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more. 17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. 20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. 21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
Where Are the UOJ Warriors?
I challenged the UOJ Stormtroopers to cite one place in the Scriptures or the Book of Concord where God declared the world forgiven without faith, without the Word, without the Means of Grace.
No one could name a single instance where God said, "The entire world is forgiven, without faith." Yet the proclamation of UOJ is the heart of their addled cult and the energy behind their Church Growth fever. All their experts start with Walther and his disciples. The WELS heroes are J. P. Meyer, whose Ministers of Christ was bad enough to be taken out of print; and Sig Becker, who also got the Real Presence wrong while muddying the waters.
I decided to post the main reconciliation passage, where the word is used in various forms. This is the Seat of Doctrine (sedes doctrinae) for UOJ fanatics, so it is easy to see how badly they have bungled their New Testament studies.
Let's start with the original Greek word, without going overboard. The original secular meaning may help but it does not always facilitate more understanding. For example, where does one start with the English word draw? Context is very important. A picture is drawn. Butter is drawn. Well water is drawn. After posing for a portrait for 10 hours, your face looks drawn.
People are always saying that the Greek word repent means: Change your ways. Actually, it means regret in secular Greek. Meta means after; noia means mind.
So some research into a word helps but cannot be definitive by itself. "Scripture interprets Scripture." The clear passages explain the ones that seem dark to us. In addition, we have to stick with the plain meaning of the Word of God, not the twisted logic of academics who defend error to keep their jobs.
The word is used for exchanging money, such as getting four quarters for a dollar. This secular meaning is probably the reason why UOJ Stormtroopers fixate on forgiveness without faith. Ignorance and lack of study are two more reasons.
Reconciliation is also used for a husband and wife getting together again.
KJV 1 Corinthians 7:11 But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.
So the UOJ Stormtroopers are always saying, "There was an exchange. If Christ took on our sinfulness on the cross, then the whole world must have been forgiven when Christ died."
Then again, they also use the resurrection of Christ for their Moment of Universal Absolution. Walther's Easter sermon seems to be their main argument for this calendar change. They claim both as the Moment, so there is really no hope of reconciliation in their timetable.
The context of reconciliation in 2 Corinthians 5 makes it clear that the word is used as a synonym for the Atonement.
18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
The Gospel is the Word of the Atonement/reconciliation. Christ has already paid the price, so this proclamation is the Holy Spirit's means of distributing the gracious favor of God to all who hear and patiently hold fast the divine Promises.
Clearly, absolution comes from the Ministry of Reconciliation (the public ministry) and the Word of Reconciliation (preaching the Gospel).
The clamoring fanatics, who study their yellowed dog notes, but never the Book of Concord, say, "Romans will prove our case." One gambit is Jesus justifying the ungodly. How could he justify the godly? Their argument is pretty weak, even for graduates of The Sausage Factory or the Frozen Food Seminary.
KJV Romans 5:9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. 10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. 11 And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.
Justification by faith is the reason why we are saved from God's wrath. Those who remain unbelievers have God's wrath abiding on them. The exchange is clearly the Atonement. We joy in the Lord because we have received (believe in the Promises of) the Atonement. Receive is often a synonym for believe in.
The UOJ Stormtroopers cannot defend their weak position, which should be consistent throughout the entire Bible. How can they reconcile their bizarre opinion with this passage?:
KJV John 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.
When Brett Meyer was being extremely polite on LutherQuest (sic), the false prophets there piled up on him and began calling him names. They hauled out their old bromides, such as "Your faith is in faith," and assured him he was going to Hell for holding fast to justification by faith. Their UOJ opinion was backed by their previous posts (norma normans?) and by various synodical papers of the last 100 years.
Brett Meyer has left a new comment on your post "The Reconciliation Error of Universalism (Objecti...":
The extensive discussion on Luther Quest entitled Universal Objective Justification was extremely enlightening. A few things are very clear in that thread.
First, the clear differences between UOJ doctrine and Biblical Justification were clearly defined. Pastor Rolf Preus seems to be the lead on that board concerning most topics including UOJ. He personally recommended H.A. Preus' The Justification of the World, where he contends with the doctrine of Biblicaly faithful Professor Weenaas. This article is certainly held in high regard in the UOJ circle as Pastor Rolf Preus urges it the same treatment as Scripture when he says we should read, mark, learn and inwardly digest it. The article shows the high degree of disgust they hold for the faith worked by the Holy Spirit. When it works in favor of their doctrine it is faith worked by the Holy Ghost (at this point being only a withered hand that receives what was already declared). When it condemns their doctrine it is faith that is a work of man which is a damnable heresy.
The discussion also detailed the impetus behind this new doctrine. Assurance. They've rejected the Holy Spirit and because of that do not have any assurance of forgiveness, righteousness or justification. They have then created a new Gospel which gives them this assurance outside of the body of Christ and without the Holy Spirit.
It is also an example and warning to anyone who rejects God's gracious Word. The hardening of the heart is imperceptible to those who reject and the blasphemy that results can be astonishing in its blatant denial of God's pure Word.
"Liberal theology without the gospel has the smell of death rather than of life" -- J.I. Packer
In a wide-ranging interview, the Canadian Anglican theologian J.I. Packer talked with David W. Virtue about the state of the Anglican Communion at the Anglican Mission in the Americas (AMiA) Winter Conference in Dallas, Texas.
Dr. Packer, 81, is a British-born Canadian Christian theologian in the Calvinistic Anglican tradition. He currently serves as the Board of Governors' Professor of Theology at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia. He is considered to be one of the most important evangelical theologians of the late 20th century.
Packer was educated at Corpus Christi College, obtaining the degrees of Bachelor of Arts (1948), Master of Arts (1952), and Doctor of Philosophy (1955). In a meeting of the Oxford Inter-Collegiate Christian Union, Packer committed his life to Christian service. He taught briefly at Oak Hill Theological College in London, and in 1949 entered Wycliffe Hall, Oxford to study theology.
He was ordained a deacon (1952) and priest (1953) in the Church of England, within which he was associated with the Evangelical movement. He was a lecturer at Tyndale Hall, Bristol 1955-61 and Librarian of Latimer House, Oxford 1961-62 and Principal 1962-69. In 1970 he became Principal of Tyndale Hall, Bristol. From 1971 until 1979 he was Associate Principal of Trinity College, Bristol, which had been formed from the amalgamation of Tyndale Hall with Clifton College and Dalton House-St Michael's. In 1979, Packer moved to Vancouver to take up a position at Regent College, eventually being named the first Sangwoo Youtong Chee Professor of Theology, a title he held until his retirement.
He is a prolific writer and frequent lecturer, but he is best known for a single book, "Knowing God". He is a frequent contributor to and an executive editor of Christianity Today. Packer served as general editor for the English Standard Version, an Evangelical revision of the Revised Standard Version of the Bible.
By David W. Virtue
VIRTUEONLINE: Dr. Packer, you sit in Vancouver, British Columbia. You have seen the collapse of a united Anglicanism in your city and area and it is a microcosm of what is going on in many places. How do you read the present fractures and controversies within the Anglican Communion?
PACKER: It is true that the Diocese of New Westminster is where the modern Anglican troubles began. They began with the decision of the bishop to accept the request of his Synod to start blessing gay unions and drawing up a liturgy for the same. When he did this, he was able to claim "local option" in way among Anglican provinces of settling questions about what Diocesan policy should be. Local option is a corollary from the principle of subsiduarity originally focused on the Roman Catholic fence. Another name for local option is pluralism in practice and there was a time when Anglicans thought that such freedom of thought was Anglicanism in practice. That opinion was revised when applied to blessing gay unions in the Anglican Communion. It is by no means one. The Lambeth '98 Resolution 1:10 declared categorically that such unions were off limits, so when New Westminster opted for gay unions it was like throwing a stone into a pond. The ripples went out to the edge of the pond in all directions. The impact of New Westminster's actions was increased by the action of New Hampshire diocese, electing Gene Robinson. Accepting and consecrating Robinson was Bishop Michael Ingham who was prominent among the consecrators of the wider Anglican Communion. The orthodox became increasingly antsy and the southern hemisphere Primates, the South by South community protested in stronger and stronger language. One reason they did so is that they had a straight forward evangelical faith and they were up against Muslims who saw homosexuality as absolutely off limits and they could foresee what the Muslim world would say to the community as if it were preached as a form of holiness.
GJ - Time Magazine explains more about Packer in this link.
Lutheran Notes - some interesting comments about UOJ and translating.
Friday, January 25, 2008
Universal Objective Justification, or UOJ
GJ - I expect to have a comment from Anonymous any second now. He is angry that UOJ is not in the Bible, the Book of Concord, the post-Reformation theologians, and Lenski.
I've only done preliminary research into the subject, but in the Lutheran Confessions and the Bible, there's no such thing as Universal Objective Justification (UOJ). Also, there's no such thing as Objective Justification (OJ) or Subjective Justification (SJ). There is only Justification by Faith via the Means of Grace, the Word and Sacraments, period.
Of course, I'll continue to study the issue more. Already , I've gathered information off the Web and blogosphere, as well as one of Martin Franzmann's pro-UOJ papers and his Roman's commentary (1968), and I'll have Dr. Gregory Jackson's book Thy Strong Word any day now. The book can be found online for free. Chapter 5 on Justification is the anti-UOJ chapter in Thy Strong Word, which can be found online, too.
The LCMS, WELS, ELS, CLC* synods, and perhaps other micro-synods, were all affected by European Pietists via C.F.W. Walther (1811-1887). It seems the doctrine that drove the Pietists' piety the most was UOJ. They believed that everyone was already forgiven, but the gift of forgiveness of sins was not accepted by everyone. Therefore, they felt compelled toward emotionalism so they would feel as though they really had faith, and feel as though they were saved. Not surprisingly, the role of the sacraments and the ministry of the keys
in justification were downplayed. In reality, UOJ is a form of decision theology, or enthusiasm, which separates justification from the Word and sacraments, and make it a matter of mere mental or emotional process.
*Concordia Lutheran Conference, not to be confused with the Church of the Lutheran Confessions.
Where did the Pietists get this UOJ doctrine? No one seems to have done the research yet, and that’s because the powers that be don't want to know. It’s similar to how SDA don’t want to know where E.G. White really received her inspiration from, i.e., plagiarism. The information is probably locked up in German Pietistic tracts and manuals on some dusty bookshelf in a library or archive back in Germany. However, we know that C.F.W. Walther transmitted some Pietistic doctrine to the LCMS, WELS, ELS and micro-synods such as the CLC. (Okay, ELS might qualify as a micro-synod, too. They only have a decent seminary and college thanks to Schwan’s generosity.)
I'm supposing that one of the main driving passages behind UOJ (and Pietism) was a common German mistranslation of 2Co 5:19, one of three passages commonly cited as supporting UOJ: Rom. 5:19; 2 Cor. 5:18-21; Rom. 4:25. Here is the NIV for 2Co 5:19:
that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.
The Greek has the present active participle of katallassw, meaning "reconciling." The English translations as early as the KJV all have "reconciling," which is correct:
KJV 2 Corinthians 5:19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of
YLT Young's Literal Translation 2 Corinthians 5:19 how that God was in Christ -- a world reconciling to Himself, not reckoning to them their trespasses; and having put in us the word of the reconciliation,
ASV 2 Corinthians 5:19 to wit, that God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not reckoning unto them their trespasses, and having committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
However, most German translations have the past tense "reconciled," as though Jesus didn't just kick start the ministry of reconciliation, but actually reconciled the entire world at some point, unbelievers and all. UOJ enthusiasts say that the world was plumb reconciled when Jesus died, or else when he rose. Here are the German mistranslations translated via an unbiased machine translator: German-English Translator: http://imtranslator.com/default.asp
EIN Einheitsubersetzung (1980) 2 Corinthians 5:19 Ja, Gott war es, der in Christus die Welt mit sich versöhnt hat,
Translation: Yes, it was a God who has reconciled the world
with himself in Christ
ELB Revidierte Elberfelder (1993) 2 Corinthians 5:19 nämlich daß Gott in Christus war und die Welt mit sich selbst versöhnte,
Translation: namely the fact that God was in Christ and reconciled the world with himself
LUO Luther Bibel (1912) 2 Corinthians 5:19 Denn Gott war in Christo und versöhnte die Welt mit ihm selber,
Translation: Since God was in Christ and reconciled the world with himself,
LUT Revidierte Lutherbible (1984) 2 Corinthians 5:19 Denn Gott war in Christus und versöhnte die Welt mit sich selber,
Translation: Since God was in Christ and reconciled the world with himself,
MNT Munchener NT (1998) 2 Corinthians 5:19 weil Gott war in Christos (die) Welt (mit) sich versöhnend,
Translation: because God was the world (with) being reconciled in Christos,
SCH German Schlachter (1951) 2 Corinthians 5:19 weil nämlich Gott in Christus war und die Welt mit sich selbst versöhnte,
Translation: because since God was in Christ and reconciled the world with himself,
Luther, and the writers of the Lutheran Confessions were familiar with the Greek, Hebrew and Latin, so they interpreted 2Co 5:19 correctly--as meaning Justification by Faith, not UOJ. Their German translations of 2Co 5:19 might have been a little sloppy, but they had no idea that years later people would contrive UOJ based on a mere three passages, and the tense of one verb in 2Co 5:19.
UOJ was an unknown concept to the Confession writers, and first emerged in the fevered imagination of the Pietists, yet some Lutherans today try to anachronistically read (i.e., isogesis) UOJ into Luther's Works, and other documents of the period. If you look at any such passages claiming to be UOJ in Luther or the Confessions, the justification is always connected with the Means of Grace, not some supposed declaration of the Father that the entire world is guilt free. Just thinking of how audacious it is to put such words in the mouth of the Father boggles the mind!
So this Pietistic doctrine, perhaps popular among many German Lutherans in the 19th C, came over to the U.S. When it was adopted as official doctrine for the first time in the LCMS' Brief Statement of Doctrine (1932), most German Lutherans probably were still reading from German Bibles where it said "reconciled" rather than "reconciling."
Major backers of UOJ include a handful of LCMS theologians, some deceased, including Martin Franzmann, the WELS theologian, Siegbert Becker. UOJ is found in the "This We Believe" NPH pamphlet put out by the WELS. Of course, all these theologians grew up with German spoken in the home, no doubt, so they imbibed the mistranslation of 2Co 5:19 early on, it would seem. Nowadays, all the synods with UOJ in their belief statements rigorously enforce this doctrine.
LCMS: Brief Statement of Faith, Adopted 1932: Of Justification
Excerpt: Scripture teaches that God has already declared the whole world to be righteous in Christ, Rom. 5:19; 2 Cor. 5:18-21; Rom. 4:25;...
WELS: This We Believe: IV Justification by Faith
Excerpt: 1. We believe that God has justified all sinners, that is, he has declared them righteous for the sake of Christ. This is the central message of Scripture upon which the very existence of the church depends. It is a message relevant to people of all times and places, of all races and social levels, for "the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men" (Romans 5:18). All need forgiveness of sins before God, and Scripture proclaims that all have been justified, for "the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men" (Romans 5:18).
CLC: This micro-synod buys into UOJ as espoused in the LCMS’ Brief Statement of 1932:
excerpt: At Okabena we reaffirmed our original subscription to Holy Scripture and the Confessions, including the Brief Statement of 1932, and rejected the false confessions aforementioned.
excerpt: Brief Statement of the Doctrinal Position of the Missouri Synod in the By-Gone Days of Its Orthodoxy (1932) Still by God's Grace the Scriptural Position of the Concordia Lutheran Conference
ELS: The ELS believes the same things the WELS does, basically:
excerpt: By His perfect life and His innocent sufferings and death Jesus has redeemed the entire world. God thereby reconciled the world to Himself, and by the resurrection of His Son declared it to be righteous in Christ. This declaration of universal righteousness is often termed "objective justification."
The ELS is just as fanatical as the Wisconsin sect in promoting UOJ. Missouri has done the same, but tries to hide the UOJ behind justification by faith. The 1987 Theses of Abomination are an example of this verbal trickery.
KJV 2 Corinthians 2:19 For ye suffer fools gladly, seeing ye yourselves are wise. 20 For ye suffer, if a man bring you into bondage, if a man devour you, if a man take of you, if a man exalt himself, if a man smite you on the face. 21 I speak as concerning reproach, as though we had been weak. Howbeit whereinsoever any is bold, (I speak foolishly,) I am bold also. 22 Are they Hebrews? so am I. Are they Israelites? so am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? so am I. 23 Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool ) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. 24 Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. 25 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; 26 In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; 27 In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. 28 Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches. 29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not? 30 If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities. 31 The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is blessed for evermore, knoweth that I lie not. 32 In Damascus the governor under Aretas the king kept the city of the Damascenes with a garrison, desirous to apprehend me: 33 And through a window in a basket was I let down by the wall, and escaped his hands. 12:1 It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord. 2 I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven. 3 And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) 4 How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter. 5 Of such an one will I glory: yet of myself I will not glory, but in mine infirmities. 6 For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me. 7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. 8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. 9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.
KJV Luke 8:4 And when much people were gathered together, and were come to him out of every city, he spake by a parable: 5 A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it. 6 And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture. 7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it. 8 And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. 9 And his disciples asked him, saying, What might this parable be? 10 And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand. 11 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. 12 Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. 13 They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away. 14 And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection. 15 But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.
Lord God, heavenly Father, we thank You that through Your Son Jesus Christ You have sown Your holy Word among us: We pray that You will prepare our hearts by Your Holy Spirit, that we may diligently and reverently hear Your Word, keep it in good hearts, and bring forth fruit with patience; and that we may not incline to sin, but subdue it by Your power, and in all persecutions confront ourselves with Your grace and continual help; through Your beloved Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one true God, world without end. Amen.
The Hymn #123
The Invocation p. 15
The Confession of Sins
The Introit p. 16
The Gloria Patri
The Kyrie p. 17
The Gloria in Excelsis
The Salutation and Collect p. 19
The Epistle and Gradual 2 Cor. 11:19ff
The Gospel Luke 8:4-15
Glory be to Thee, O Lord!
Praise be to Thee, O Christ!
The Nicene Creed p. 22
The Sermon Hymn #295
The Offertory p. 22
The Hymn #294
The Preface p. 24
The Sanctus p. 26
The Lord's Prayer p. 27
The Words of Institution
The Agnus Dei p. 28
The Nunc Dimittis p. 29
The Benediction p. 31
The Hymn #49
This is one of the easiest parables to understand and one of the most important. Jesus explains each section, but people ignore His explanation or substitute their own.
The disciples wanted to know what this parable meant, indicating that there were two levels of teaching. Jesus taught the Word to the masses and explained His Word in detail to the disciples. That is why people heard and did not comprehend. The same continues today. Many people are glad when they first hear the Gospel. They do not receive continued instruction and never really grasp the Promises of God.
Luke 8:11 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.
So we have directly from Jesus that the seed represents the Word of God. Seed is quite a marvel in itself. Seed is completely alive and yet only a potential plant. The seed will germinate with just a little water. There is a whole industry in making sprouts from the germination of certain seeds. The sprouts are quite fragile and need tender care to take root and grow.
One of the first errors of new gardeners is to plant seed in good soil, water the seed, rejoice when it pokes above the ground, and neglect it at its most fragile time. I used to do that until I learned to keep watering the new seed.
The Word of God is alive and full of potential, but it needs to be scattered. When I bought seed, I got large amounts of it. Knowing that certain kinds of seed, like lettuce, will grow like grass, I scattered it wherever there was soil and sun. One person asked, “Is there lettuce growing in your planter?” Lettuce was growing everywhere.
When people get timid about the Word of God, they fail to spread the Word as they might. The big fear, stoked by Reformed doctrine, is that God’s Word is ineffective unless it has man’s help, man’s reasoning power, and man’s marketing ability. Jesus used the metaphor of the seed for a good reason. Seed is just waiting to grow.
5 A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it.
Luke 8:12 Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.
The Word of God is effective (efficacious – same word) but Satan pounces on every opportunity to get rid of it. This can be seen in every faithful congregation. As soon as the Gospel begins to take root, people rush in to invent turmoil and destroy it.
This part of the parable, as Luther said, includes those who begin to have faith and lose that faith. They are apostates, fallen from the Christian faith. A biography about John D. Rockefeller describes one such Baptist. The young man was brilliant and graduated from Harvard, winning a prize in philosophy, a chance to study in Europe. The rationalism at Harvard began to eat away at his faith. At one point he told his father, a Baptist seminary president, that he no longer believed in the basic truths of the Christian faith. This also happened to a lesser extent to the Baptist theologian (Yale professor) who helped found the University of Chicago. The man became fascinated with the higher criticism (so-called) and had many doubts about the Bible. He was supposed to establish a school of Baptist orthodoxy, but he was cautioned not to speak about his views. Thus the ultra-traditionalist Rockefeller created a school run by and for liberals.
Now there are many young people with no background in the Bible. When they are converted by the Word they are like seedlings needing protection and nourishment. One big foot of rationalism will crush that fragile faith. Cults know that and take advantage of new Christians. Apostates who cannot teach God’s Word but still teach religion work hard to destroy that faith. I told one college class how I did not fit in with world religion departments because I believed in God. One woman who took world religion classes at the school I mentioned said, “That’s true. They are atheists.”
Another Baptist-Evangelical example is Billy Graham’s early professional friend, Templeton. He was so well known as an evangelist that he was able to enter Princeton as a graduate student, without going to college. Templeton was thrown to the wolves who took over Princeton after its liberal-conservative split. Guess who won that one? Templeton lost his faith completely. Late in life he was asked about Jesus. Tears filled his eyes and he said, “I miss Him.” There is some evidence that he died in faith.
There are many ways that Satan crushes the Word growing in people’s hearts. It’s good to remember that the word sabotage comes from the French word for wooden shoe. Sabot is still used as a military term. When the peasants were angry with a farmer, they used their wooden shoes to stomp the fields where the new grain was growing – sabotage. Now they make crop circles and charge for tours.
6 And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture.
Luke 8:13 They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.
These are the short-term believers. Paul warned against ordaining new believers as pastors. They are the ones who have great joy at first but fall back into temptation. No one can really tell at first.
Many people have dealt with shallow-rooted plants. Maple tree seeds love to helicopter down into gutters where wet leaves provide them a good start. We had a gigantic tree in our backyard in Moline. I remember a spring when we had hundred of maple trees growing in the rain gutters. Not one had a chance to turn into a tree. Likewise, bird seed on a flat roof will sprout in the soil and leaf litter, grow a little, and wither away.
Those who exploit the joy of new faith hasten the fall of their disciples. If people measure the Christian faith by a lack of trials, a life without the cross, they are mistaken. If they think believing in Christ will make them money, they may make tons of money while becoming unbelievers. (One group of professional Gospel singers confessed, if that is the word, that they did not believe what they sang. That was no surprise to me, since I noticed how choreographed they were, just too packaged.)
False assumptions make people leave the faith. The assumptions often come from bad teaching, which appeals to the Old Adam in all of us. We do not want to suffer for the Gospel, but it is pleasant to read about others who have. If we turn an experience of the cross into God hating us, then we have missed the whole lesson of the crucifixion, that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believed in Him might not perish but have life eternal.
The experience of the cross deepens our faith and helps us understand, as best we can, what the true cross of Christ was. God lets the cross bear down on us for a time, but not forever. When relief comes, we see how God works.
The false assumption is – the cross is never laid on the shoulders of those who are faithful to God’s Word.
The correct teaching of the Bible is – the cross always accompanies God’s Word, because our sinful flesh, the devil, and unbelieving world rebel against the Gospel of forgiveness.
7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it.
14 And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.
This parable sounds ominous. People lose the Word from it being snatched away from them, from being shallow when trials come along, and even from riches.
History shows that riches and luxury destroy the Gospel by choking it, just as rank weed growth destroys a crop. Many successful ministers and congregations have fallen from luxury rather than persecution. If someone is too handsome, too eloquent, and too popular, he often falls into snares and disgraces himself along with the Gospel.
America has more Christian ministers and churches than the rest of the world combined. America is the richest of all countries where Christianity is found. But the Third Word is where the faith is growing.
I talked with one layman about the irony of a future pastor’s son paying $8,000 per year for high school, even more for college, then spending 4 years in seminary. Congregations and synods are rich, but they will not share their wealth with their future pastors. Who will sow the seed? Their millionaire donors? Not likely.
8 And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold.
Luke 8:15 But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.
In spite of all the failures, the Word grows 100 fold. This happens through birth and baptism, through the family nurturing the children in the faith, and through conversion.
First they hear the Word with an honest and good heart. That is, they do not say, “How can I use this to sell more houses, more funerals, more flowers?”
Having heard the Word, they hold it fast. That is another way to translate – keep it. They bring forth fruit with patience. The Gospel will always bear fruit, but not from man forcing or demanding it. God is a very good manager. He has been running the universe for a long time.
One time my maple was covered with cottony maple scale. Some scientists from Dow told me how to cure this. They were all wrong, as I learned later. God sent a horde of ladybugs to the tree. Yes, they were the natural predators of maple scale. No human could arrange such a non-toxic destruction of a pest, but God does this every day, with infinite complexity. Yet we doubt how He manages His Word and will.
This parable teaches patience and trust in God’s Word. Sadly, one false teacher said it teaches people to test the soil. (He was promoting the demonic doctrines of Fuller Seminary, as a Lutheran.) One thing this parable does not teach is judging the soil or judging anything the sower does. The sower scatters the seed because he knows God will bring the bounty.
KJV 1 Corinthians 3:6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.
"Now, although both, the planting and watering of the preacher, and the running and willing of the hearer, would be in vain, and no conversion would follow it if the power and efficacy of the Holy Ghost were not added thereto, who enlightens and converts the hearts through the Word preached and heard, so that men believe this Word and assent thereto, still, neither preacher nor hearer is to doubt this grace and efficacy of the Holy Ghost, but should be certain that when the Word of God is preached purely and truly, according to the command and will of God, and men listen attentively and earnestly and meditate upon it, God is certainly present with His grace, and grants, as has been said, what otherwise man can neither accept nor give from his own powers."
Solid Declaration, Article II, Free Will, 55?56, Formula of Concord, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 903. Tappert, p. 531f.
Saturday, January 26, 2008
Kent Hunter (left), The Church Doctor,
To Heal St. John's, Marysville, Ohio
St. John's in Marysville is one of the founding congregations of the LCMS. The Loehe congregations began a synod and invited the Missouri (Walther) guys to join. Later, the Loehe contribution was overlooked in the histories, as if Walther founded the LCMS.
St. John's is reputed to have a lot of members, but only a few of them come to church on Sunday. So The Church Doctor will fix things up. I met Kent Hunter and talked to him on the phone. He is close with Paul Kelm (WELS, DMin in Church Growth, Concordia, St. Louis).
Kent Hunter and Waldo Werning were the featured speakers--with Leonard Sweet--for the much lamented 2005 Church and Change Conference. It was euthanized by popular demand, not without some bellowing from The Moose Report.
Kent has a double doctorate, one might say. The first is from an ELCA seminary. The DMin is from Fuller Seminary, which, as Larry Olson bragged, has more LCMS graduate students than both Concordias put together. Larry forgot to mention all the WELS trainees.
Here is what one website said about The Church Doctor:
About Church Doctor Ministries
The purpose of the Church Growth Center is to participate in the transformational change of Christians and churches for the effective implementation of the Lord's Great Commission to make disciples of all peoples (Matthew 28:19-20).
The Church Growth Center is a non-profit ministry, evangelical in tone and Christ-centered. Ministry is conducted through three primary channels, reciprocally related: resources, educational events, and consultation services. These ministries are headquartered at the Church Growth Center in Corunna, Indiana. The scope of this ministry is interdenominational and international. Many of the ministry's resources have been translated into other languages.
"It is my passion, as founder and president of the ministry, to come alongside churches and help them be more effective at reaching the lost for Jesus Christ. It is my perception that there are already enough Christian in the world—to easily reach the world for Jesus Christ. But, they need to be motivated, focused and directed. It is this leveraging activity of ministry that summarizes the efforts of the Church Growth Center." – Dr. Kent Hunter
Joy Lead Partners
Mike Breen – President
As rector and team leader of St. Thomas' Church in Sheffield, Mike used LifeShapes to grow the largest church in the north of England, with 80 percent of the congregation under age 40. On staff at Community Church of Joy in Glendale, AZ, and as a teacher for Fuller Seminary in California, Mike helps church leaders in transition and coaches church planters on how to be effective in our contemporary culture.
Kent is a true missionary in every sense of the word. He loves the Church and loves creating healthy mission-oriented congregations. Kent has helped Community Church of Joy in developing a real heart and skills for mission. As a Board member for our Leadership Center and a speaker at many of our conferences, Kent has brought tremendous passion and breakthrough thinking to Joy and a multitude of leaders.
Dr. Walt Kallestad
Community Church of Joy
Note that Breen is on the staff of Community of Joy. Dr. Walt likes Hunter. Breen teaches at Fuller. Hunter and Kallestad have DMins from Fuller. Larry Olson has a DMin from Fuller. The world mission, American mission, and synodical leaders of WELS and Missouri are Fuller trained. It's one big happy family.
Community of Joy is an ELCA congregation. Many in ELCA are ashamed of Joy. Kallestad believes in entertainment evangelism. His article in The Lutheran shocked and appalled Lutherans.
The Synod Minder asks - "But have you actually been to a Joy service, Greg?"
Yes I have. It was superficial and tedious at the same time, with a big focus on how many ways someone could give money to the organization.
"But did you tell Dr. Hunter his sin?"
I spoke to him on the phone. Frosty Bivens declared it was slander to suggest Paul Kelm endorsed a Kent Hunter workshop. I had it in writing, but Bivens immediately claimed that it was possibly some kind of trick or accident. Hunter explained that he asked for and received an endorsement from Kelm, in writing. Thus Bivens cried "Slander" because the plain facts were told. I gradually learned that this was pandemic among the Church Growth syndicate members.
I questioned Hunter's non-LCMS education as an LCMS pastor. He said, "You ask a lot of questions." Later I met him at the Purple Palace, during the McCain administration, when he was speaking to the Council of Presidents. Boy, the LCMS sure has grown since then. Or maybe they did not listen to him.
Friday, January 25, 2008
You are a gutless coward!
Repeating his hilarious triumph:
Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Funniest Comment - Ever":
Although it's signed anonymous, it doesn't make the observation any less true.
Sunday, April 1, 2007
From Lutheran Notes, Bruce Church.
Future Class-Action Lawsuit Versus The WELS
What follows is an advertisement that will be sent to students of the WELS prep schools and MLC (Martin Luther College) in in future, say, around 2011:
Do you not exactly feel prepared for college and life, at least outside the WELS system?
o Attend a WELS prep school, either Martin Luther Seminary (MLS) or Martin Luther Prep (MLP)?
o Have a parochial school certification but cannot teach in public schools without further training, and cannot teach in Lutheran parochial schools because there are no jobs available?
o Did you drop out of MLC along the way, but now cannot place decently in a good secular college because you lack credit in many hard classes?
If you answered yes to at least one of the questions above, that is because you attended one of the WELS prep schools and/or WELS college, and they provided a religious-classical education when what you really needed for life was a modern education, that being shop class, or advanced placement classes in, to name a few, physics, calculus, statistics and economics. These are normally provided free from your local public high school, but you missed the boat. What's really scandalous is the prep schools made the students learn Spanish and German (formerly Latin and German) all out of books with no audio visual aids. So even in 2007 a prep student will have 4 years of Spanish and 2 of German and still not be able to speak the languages, much less remember much of it--because a language one has never conversed in is a language one forgets most of.
Do you wonder why your WELS pastor and/or teachers encouraged you to attend prep school and/or MLC in the first place when you really weren't all that particularly spiritual, nor all that interested in doctrine, history, languages and the classics, and certainly was not pastor and teacher material then, and never would be?
What you need to know is that back in 2007 the WELS was faced with a 5 million dollar operating expense deficit. How the synod got into this predicament is they allowed too many students into MLC in the 1990s. Then during the Dot Com Bust of 2001 they didn't have calls for the deserving candidates, much less the students whom the WELS customarily tells to hit the road and get lost after pocketing a lot of their student money. That's right, each student pays 10,000+ dollars per year to attend MLC, much of it in the form of student loans the student must pay back. Since then MLC has been running behind by a few million dollars, but then in 2007 it became
5 million dollars in the red. What is really scandalous is that even though the synodical schools have been around for over a hundred years, they just started to form endowment funds in the last few years. So the synodical schools have been living hand to mouth, and lately from students' pockets to mouth.
So in 2007 a synod advisory body suggested closing MLS to close the gap between expenses and revenue, but the pastors would have none of it. At first the pastors were going to sign a petition asking the synod to downsize its bureaucracy and solve the deficit that way, but that fizzled out. The reason is that in the WELS the pastors and teachers hold fifty percent of the vote at conventions. They also control most of the news since there is hardly any scandal sheet worthy of the label. Only the Christian News of the LCMS occasionally contains un-censored information on the WELS. Since the laymen only read the glossy WELS magazines about the synod, and hear only what the leaders want them to hear, the WELS is similar to a fully employee-owned corporation even though the clergy and teacher only get half the votes at conventions. Employees are not about to lay each other off, nor tell synod desk jockeys to go out and start mission churches, because that's hard work. Also, the route where the WELS downsizes by not filling positions as people move or retire doesn't work too well since many pastors work in the WELS until they are 70 or older.
Here's some of what laymen should hear but will never hear it from the top, nor from their pastors. The WELS schools utilize their resources and campuses poorly.
o There are few teachers assistants, but full professors do everything from giving repetitive lectures to grading papers. This robs the graduate students of good jobs, ones that could be part of the federal student jobs program even, and not cost the synod a dime.
o The class sizes are just 15 to 25 when many classes could easily be held in larger rooms and auditoriums so professors or teachers assistants would not need to give the same lecture to two or more classrooms per day or per week. There should be no, say, History 101 Section A, B, C and D, since all 200 students should be in one section.
o The facilities are not rented out much, but just sit idle when they could be making the synod money.
o Before closing MLS, or along with closing MLS, the Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary (WLS) should be combined with MLC at New Ulm. That's because there is more than enough room to fit 150 seminary students on New Ulm's campus now that enrollment there has dropped. Besides, there are many eligible women for the future pastors to date on MLC's campus, especially now that MLC has a masters degree program. This means many women students will be the same age as the seminarians, and have about as much education to boot. Besides, the WELS is tired of pastors who found their wives while dating in bars in Milwaukee because driving to New Ulm is too far. The trip across "the River", an allusion that compares the Mississippi River to Isaac's obtaining a wife, Rebbecca, from across the Mesopotamian River, is a whopping 399 miles, or about 7 hours and 6 minutes without any breaks.
The 1920s-era seminary in Mequon is built in the old brick style without insulation, and wastes a lot of heat. At anyone time there are only 150 students there. Also, there is a lot of mowing and grounds work. The sem property in Mequon is in a prime location just a couple miles from the shore of Lake Michigan, and could sell for many millions of dollars, enough to build nice dormitories and a better chapel at MLC. That brings up another scandal--that the WELS can't build anything over a few stories tall, thereby wasting a lot of real estate and money per square foot of livable area, and wasting a lot on heating.
o The Synod could be downsized in two says. Some ministries could be spun off so they fund themselves. For example, WELS Lutherans for Life need not be anywhere in the synodical budget (if it is now). Also, retired pastors could be utilized who would be paid for their services as they deliver them rather than a more expensive salary for full-time workers. The synod's administrative budget should be only 10% at most. Missions could also be spun off, just like the ELS synod has Thoughts of Faith fund and control all their missions overseas.
Ok, back to the latest scandal. After twiddling their thumbs in a meeting, someone suggested that the MLC and the two prep schools just increase their enrollment. That's pretty much how the budget for these schools was met in the past. Many students who had no business being in a school meant to prepare people for the ministry and parochial school teaching were allowed to attend for various reasons--all of them bad reasons. Often the reason was the parents were too busy working to parent, and the prep school served as a surrogate parent. So the other students had to put up with these unruly, unparented students who often had a lot of money to spend on entertainment.
So these WELS pastors, all of whom make well north of 40 grand per year when housing, insurance and perks are factored in, decided to balance the synodical budget on the backs of students who will be lucky to make even 30 grand if they face the job market or college market with only a classical education. Yes, they said that they figured the WELS would grow and there would be enough pastor and teacher slots, but if they had to bet on it with their own money, they'd pass. In other words, these WELS pastors pulled a "Jim Bakker" on you. That's the evangelist who sold condominiums in a project that his accountants said would go bust. However, Jimmy Bakker had faith that it would all work out. Anyway, a lot of people lost their shirts, Bakker went to jail, because the judge did not buy off on Bakker's assertion that having faith in the project was not the same as transacting business in "good faith":
So, please sign the attached form to join the
the lawsuit. Thank-you.
MLS Veteran has left a new comment on your post "Commentary on WELS Schools":
I agree with many of the criticisms in this article.
If you are seeking an education with the intent of going on to a secular university or college, you may want to rethink attending a prep school, especially if you would not be a day student.
I was always told by pastors, professors, teachers what an elite education I would be receiving.
After graduating, I was shocked at how well some of the public school students I was competing against were trained in math and science.
This was particularily a weak spot for MLS. The humanities were definitely emphasized at the expense of math and natural sciences.
Also, there are no career counselors at MLS (aside from encourage you to continue on to becoming a Lutheran teacher or pastor). Nor was there any "college fairs" where secular universities would come to school to talk about their institutions or academic programs. Finally, there was no help in finding scholarships or grants to the secular universities.
However, I must emphasize that MLS and Luther Prep are not in the business of educating students for the outside world. Technically, you cannot fault them for that.
HOWEVER, STUDENTS WHO WANT TO ATTEND A PREP SCHOOL SHOULD BE CLEAR THAT THESE ARE SOME OF THE SHORT COMINGS OF ATTENDING A WELS PREP SCHOOL !!!
That, and the infamous freshman, "Zex" year at MLS, should be factors in considering whether or not to attend a WELS prep school :)
Let me give you one little example that teaches UOJ- Romans 3:23,24, that PCK quoted earlier. You probably don't want to discuss Greek grammar because they probably didn't teach that to you at that wonderful Roman Catholic institution, Notre Dame.
GJ - Notre Dame was not very Roman Catholic when I was there. My doctoral advisor was John Howard Yoder, a Mennonite. Another reader on my dissertation was Stan Hauerwas, Methodist, considered one of the best theologians in America. The head of the graduate program in theology was Robert Wilken, LCMS, who studied at Concordia Seminary with Herman Otten. My program advisor was T. Hommes, Dutch Reformed. My professor in Talmudic Judaism was Jewish. One professor left the convent to marry her Jesuit priest beau. Another professor left the convent to marry her book seller beau. One professor was a Biblical feminist (Elisabeth Schussler Fiorenza). She is married to a liberation theologian, Frank. Both were kicked out and upstairs to endowed professorships at Harvard.
I was known for defending traditional Lutheranism in class and for making fun of liberals like Paul Tillich. One doctoral student said goodbye to me after I disagreed with Elisabeth Schussler-Fiorenza in class. He assumed I would be kicked out of the program. She told me soon after that she liked having students in class who had actually been out of school, who were able to form their own opinions.
What most MDivs from unaccredited seminaries miss is this simple fact - universities do not try to impose the robotic obedience expected at the liberal seminaries of WELS, ELS, LCMS, and ELCA today. The free exchange of ideas (at the Sausage Factory? - never!) is a normal experience at a good school. People from all traditions have a chance to question and to debate.
The Romans Catholics gave an LCA pastor a free ride for a PhD and tossed in some extra pocket money to write a dissertation on - buckle your seatbelts - a Lutheran seminary professor. Get over it, Rev. Mouse. After all, it's not the ecumenical study that's a crime. It's the cover up. Bivens, Valleskey, and Werning have all denied their study at Fuller. Olson's buddy blew smoke in the faces of CN readers, claiming that Olson went to Pasadena for the Rose Bowl Parade. Ahem.
If Fuller is so wonderful, why do these syncretists deny studying there? If Fuller is so bad that they lie about it, why did they go there in the first place? I am looking forward to a sensible, sober answer to that question.
UOJ in Romans 3?
Someone, probably Mouse, posted a comment proving Romans 3:22ff was UOJ. I took the Romans class with Panzer (nickname for Panning). I think Panning was pretty good. He did not push UOJ, which is why it took me time to absorb the truth about the Synodical Conference's UOJ error.
KJV Romans 3:22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: 23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
UOJ is an excellent example of propositional theology. First a well-intentioned dolt declares a proposition, then ignores Scripture while proving his case. All his followers march in step. They think they are marching to Zion even when they smell brimstone.
This passage clearly states that the righteousness of God comes by faith to all believers. Yes, all have sinned. NT Greek has no punctuation. We have to supply it. The logical antecedent (that which goes before) for being justified (v. 24) is all that believe.
The labored rationalism of PCK (aka Mouse) would have God's grace come to every single person on earth, without faith, without the Word, without the Means of Grace. That is the doltish opinion of J. P. Meyer in Ministers of Christ, NPH. That is what WELS promotes and Pope John the Malefactor endorses. His Beatitude, Rolf Preus, endorses UOJ some days, justification by faith alternately.
Professor Lenski is the only Lutheran to publish an extensive commentary on the entire New Testament. Here is what he said about the passage in Romans:
"The fact that this declaration of righteousness is only for believers, is pronounced only upon them, has already been stated in v. 22 in the plainest language and need not be repeated; the fact that unbelievers exclude themselves has thus also been clearly implied." (p. 250)
The Sausage Factory at Mequon teaches its bovine and ovine students to reject Lenski, so the typical Wisconsin product will automatically denounce Lenski.
The aptly named pastor, Papenfuss (Pope's Foot), admitted to the Kokomites he excommunicated that he knew nothing of UOJ until he went to seminary.
One reader said UOJ was ideal for Lutherans who want to pope. I thought about it and had to agree. UOJ is another name for Universalism. Pope JP II (or Deuce, as he was known around the Vatican) promoted a kind of Universalism. The bottom line for those poping is - believe whatever you want, disbelieve anything, but join the biggest and the best: Rome.
Thursday, January 24, 2008
When controversy speaks for itself (updated)
Posted by Mollie
From Get Religion:
Los Angeles Times reporter K. Connie Kang had another interesting story on the Godbeat or, in this case, the gods beat. Yes, the Episcopalians are involved.
It seems that the Diocese of Los Angeles hosted an interfaith service with Hindus at St. John’s Episcopal Cathedral there on Saturday. Kang simply reported it without any analysis, which I think is good for an initial story on what turned out to be a rather controversial event. She described how a Hindu nun blew into a conch shell to begin the Indian Rite Mass. A band from the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (aka Hare Krishna) chanted during the service.
The article is full of fascinating quotes from participants and observers:
During the service, the Rt. Rev. J. Jon Bruno, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, issued a statement of apology to the Hindu religious community for centuries-old acts of religious discrimination by Christians, including attempts to convert them.
“I believe that the world cannot afford for us to repeat the errors of our past, in which we sought to dominate rather than to serve,” Bruno said in a statement read by the Rt. Rev. Chester Talton. “In this spirit, and in order to take another step in building trust between our two great religious traditions, I offer a sincere apology to the Hindu religious community.”
The bishop also said he was committed to renouncing “proselytizing” of Hindus.
GJ - As Reu taught, doctrinal indifference and unionism go together. Just ask David Valleskey, Paul Kelm, and Larry Olson (DMin, Fuller Seminary). This goes beyond unionism (different Christian confessions worshiping and studying together) to syncretism (worshiping with a non-Christian).
But Fuller Seminary is not just unionistic. The school has embraced syncretism for decades. They welcomed Paul Y. Cho (S. Korea) as a special lecturer. Cho combines ancestor worship, occultism, and Pentecostal cell groups. Cho was so blatant that his own denomination, the Assemblies of God, kicked him out. ("Big Trouble for the World's Largest Church, Christianity Today) The Lutherans said, "This is where we want to study!" And they did. LCA and ALC (ELCA now). LCMS. ELS. WELS. Olson bragged about the hordes of LCMS pastors studying at his alma mater, Fuller. Makes a man proud to see the ranks of syncretists growing.
Even the mini-micro Lutheran groups flock to Fuller. Several Lutheran break-away sects have made Fuller their seminary, just as much as WELS and Missouri have.
The Wisconsin and Missouri sects are completely saturated with Fuller doctrine and methods. They are apostate synods, embracing a pagan materialistic philosophy.
The way to succeed in the LCMS and WELS is to study at Fuller, mouth the silly platitudes of Fuller, and march in step with the other praying predators.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
The following seminaries are in a working relationship with LCMC. This is not an exhaustive list of seminaries, nor is it an endorsement of any of these seminaries.
Many of these seminaries have made special provision to meet LCMC’s expectations for Lutheran historical and theological training. Individuals are encouraged to contact these seminaries and find out which can meet all, or some, of our general expectations.
Individuals interested in preparing for ministry in the LCMC are encouraged to approach a district’s ministry committee for guidance and fulfillment of the candidacy process.
(It is important to individuals and ministry committees to remember the list of general academic expectations serves as a guideline. Remember also that the wording, “or its equivalent”, may be considered by ministry committees when assessing academic or other expectations of a candidate for ministry.)
Joseph Valentine Dworak, M.A.
Director of Admissions and Recruitment
3949 Bethel Drive
St. Paul, MN 55112
ILTEP (The Independent Lutheran Theological Education Project)
The Claus Harms House
429 N. Sawyer Ave.
Oshkosh, WI 54902
The Master's Institute Seminary
2700 Rice St.
St. Paul, MN 55113
Seminary Coordinator: Wanda Newgren
President: Rev. Michael Bradley
North American Baptist Seminary
1525 S. Grange Avenue
Sioux Falls, SD 57105
Salt Lake Theological Seminary
Dr. James L. Wakefield
Salt Lake Theological Seminary
PO Box 2096
Salt Lake City, UT 84110-2096
Dr. James L. Wakefield
Salt Lake Theological Seminary
699 East South Temple, Suite 324
Salt Lake City, UT 84102-1142
LCMC also has (or has had) students attending the following seminaries: (District Ministry Committees will assist the student in how to fulfill the LCMC Lutheran educational requirements.)
Ashland Theological Seminary, Ashland, Ohio
Fuller Seminary, Pasadena, California
Luther Seminary, St. Paul, Minnesota
Trinity Seminary, Newburg, Indiana
Trinity Southwest University, Albuquerque, New Mexico
(ELCA seminaries may accept students as ecumenical students – further conversation with the seminary can clarify these options).
Other theological and ministry training options are available for those interested in contract calls, for lay theological training, and for continuing education for pastors. District ministry committees may have more information than noted here.
Beyond the River Academy
(Training for Rural Ministry)
Pr. Keith Mentor
4313 Main St.
Elkhorn, IA 51334
A. Nony Mouse has left a new comment on your post "ELCA Exiles Like Fuller Too - Fuller Is Clearly th...":
Have you ever discussed the LCMC beforeon your blog? By not explaining what this group is all about, I'm sure you're thinking your readers will pass over the initials and think you're talking about the LCMS. I know what the LCMC is, so don't berate me for writing this--but I'm sure many of your readers are totally unfamiliar with it. Why don't you enlighten them?
GJ - I assume a high level of literacy and motivation among my readers, two qualities sadly lacking in you, Mouse.
1. I have discussed the LCMC before.
2. I provided a link, so even the dyslexic could unravel the mysteries of LCMS versus LCMC.
3. The headline gives away the topic - ELCA exiles. Missouri Synod Lutherans are ELCA wannabees, not ELCA exiles.
4. People can look up more on the topic by using the label list. As most people can see, the LCMC has already appeared before.
However, I could see how people might think this post was about WELS. One WELS pastor suggested his members join a Baptist church if they moved to a place where WELS was not (most of the US). WELS leaders and pastors have people reading non-Lutheran material all the time. The way to get ahead in the WELS ministery is to be as non-Lutheran and anti-Lutheran as possible, drinking in wisdom from Trinity (Deerfield), Willow Creek, Fuller Seminary, and that Moses of the Twenty-first Century - Leonard Sweet.
PCK has left a new comment on your post "UOJ and Church Growth Presentations, Disguised as...":
"GJ - Sorum is the WELS equivalent of Leonard Sweet. Valleskey is the Fuller-trained liberal who espouses UOJ and evangelism. Why bother? Everyone is forgiven and righteous, especially the guilt-free saints in Hell. (That's WELS doctrine, not Luther's.)"
I guess I just don't see how objective justification is that hard to understand. WELS certainly does not solely teach Objective Justification. There are passages such as 2 Corinthians 5:19: "that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them." When Paul uses the word "world", is he referring only to those who believe? I can't say he does. He must mean that the whole world was reconciled to God through Christ payment on the cross. Through that payment God is not counting their sins against them.
Consider Jesus' final words on the cross "It is finished." What is finished? His work of paying for the sins of the world...that is what is finished. His complete payment, his perfect sacrifice is finished. God the Father was pleased and appeased. His anger over sin subsided. His payment was perfect.
Consider Romans 3:23-24: "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus." Note that the Greek word for justified is a present passive participle, nominative masculine plural. What modifies it? That's right, all, the Greek word pantes,in verse 23 which happens to be a nominative masculine plural pronoun. Therefore all have sinned (no one can be excluded) but also all have been justified, declared not guilty, through the redemption, the buying back from sin that came by Christ Jesus.
While this is true, that Christ paid for the sins of the whole world, this gift is not automatically given to all people. People are not automatically saved. That is where subjective justification comes in. You have passages such as John 3:16-18: "John 3:16-18 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son." From this passage, this forgiveness and eternal life only comes through faith, the organon leptikon, the receiving hand given to us by God through which we receive Christ's blessings.
Consider Ephesians 2:8-9. For it is by grace you have been saved (we have been saved through God's undeserved love, as seen through his perfect sacrifice on the cross) through faith (however, this salvation through God's grace, displayed in Christ on the cross, is only ours through faith.)
Christ did pay for the sins of the entire world, but unless that blessing is received through faith, it is of no value to the unbeliever. It is a gift they reject. And due to their rejection they are condemned to hell. It is only through faith that Christ's complete payment for the sins of the world is credited to man.
If you plan on posting this, please post the whole thing, and not bits and pieces. Thank you.
GJ - This guy has pluck, posting anonymously and telling me how to use the comment. I copied it verbatim.
I am not going to argue Greek grammar on a blog aimed at everyone. I quoted Lenski before, and all other Greek exegetes agree with him - justification in the New Testament is justification by faith alone. The same can be said about justification in the Book of Concord: justification by faith.
Robert Preus was clear about this in his last book. I quoted him on the subject. He also quoted theologians who have been paraded as UOJ advocates, deceptively so, I might add.
Reconciliation is not justification. I wrote a chapter on this, so everyone can read that. It is linked on this page - and my name is on the book. I do not have to defend the truth anonymously.
Let me give one little example that destroys UOJ. "Abraham believed and it was reckoned as righteousness." What did Abraham believe and when? He believed in the coming Messiah, long before the Atonement. He was justified by faith, Paul's inspired doctrine in Romans 4. How could he have righteousness before the Brief Statement Moment of Absolution? UOJ contradicts itself consistently.
Let us look at the Moment of Absolution itself, which varies by three Jewish days. For some, it happened when Christ died. For others, it happened when Christ rose from the dead. If God declared the entire world righteous, then where is that Word of Universal Salvation. The ELS partner of WELS says the world was saved.
I would like to see one Scripture passage or one Book of Concord passage where the entire world is forgiven of its sin, without faith, without the Word, without the Means of Grace.
UOJ emerged from Pietism in the 19th century, as its advocates must admit. UOJ is new. UOJ is not Christian.
A. Nony Mouse has left a new comment on your post "Rev. Mouse Unleashed: Frog in Kettle Simmers":
You wrote: "Anyone who has preached a sermon according to the Scriptures, taught according to the Word, baptized, or communed someone has spread the Gospel."
Your explanation of the word "evangelism" is correct, but let's use it in the sense almost everyone uses it today--What have you ever done that could be considered deliberately sharing law and gospel with an unbeliever? Have you ever worked in a mission field? HAve you ever done a door to door canvas? Have you ever had a Bible class with your former congregations about how to share law and gospel with their friends, neighbors, family and co-workers?
GJ - Correct, but... That is Kelmian logic. I could list many things that Baptistic WELS clergy call evangelism. They have to go to Fuller and Willow Creek to understand real evangelism. Le't not trouble ourselves with the Means of Grace when we can entertain people into the Kingdom. My purpose now is to convert the synodical leaders to Lutheran doctrine. The evangelism work I do goes all over the world, and I will leave it at that.
I' ve never seen anyone make such a big deal about the schools he attended--accredited or not. By the way you brag about your schools so much, methinks you're trying to impress your readers. It even seems as if you're trying to equate the words "accredited" with "orthodox."
GJ - Since we do not know who you are, Rev. Mouse, your statements are difficult to judge. We all know WELS has a thing against education, unless it is in-house, Willow Creek, Trinity Deerfield, or Fuller Seminary. I have noticed Olson and Kelm calling themselves Dr. on the strength of a D.Min. in Church Growth. I would call that bragging about nothing. The D.Min. was invented by seminaries as the equivalent of an STM. No one wants to pick up an STD today, even from Fuller.
I read Olson's D.Min. paper from Fuller, jabbing myself with a compass to stay awake - or was it to keep from laughing out loud in the sanctum sanctorum of the MLC library?
Doctorates are rare in the Wisconsin sect. So is intelligent debate. Get out the yellowed dog notes and repeat after me: WELS is perfect.
I would not equate unaccredited with orthodox, if that is what you imply. I have the advantage of age, experience, and education. Everyone has a unique perspective, but few have an original one. Obviously Mouse has a deep need to engage my arguments. For that I am glad. Perhaps I can rescue him from the swamp of apostasy.
I follow Wesley's maxim: "If you can't convert them, at least make them angry." In that I consider myself a rousing success.