The Glory Has Departed

Bethany Lutheran Hymnal

Norma Boeckler, Artist-in-Residence

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The Lutheran Hymnal. KJV.

Understanding Luther's Galatians, in progress.
CFW Walther: The American Calvin, is next.

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


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Navigation for Luther's Sermons, Lenker Edition

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Ephesians 6:10-13 KJV. Where we go one, we go all.

Alec Satin, Lutheran Library Publishing Ministry - Ebooks

How to Send Money to the Bethany Philippine Mission

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Left Wing Daily Kos - Time of Grace Articles

His Grace, Mark Jeske

Time of Grace Ministries
by Tomato Observer

Tue Feb 01, 2005 at 08:03:58 PM PDT

Time of Grace Ministries is an evangelical Lutheran television ministry featuring the sermons of Pastor Mark Jeske of St. Marcus Lutheran Church in downtown Milwaukee, WI. It was incorporated in 2000 and received 501(c ) (3) status in 2001.
Tomato Observer's diary

According to a 12/15/2001 article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Wisconsin),

Eight laymen and a Milwaukee pastor have launched an independent weekly television broadcast here with the goal of offering Lutheran programming to 95% of the households in the United States within five years.

Bolstered by a business plan and start-up funding of nearly $500,000, the non-profit organization hopes to make Jeske the nation's most visible spokesman for conservative Lutheranism.

Jeske's church is 60% white and 40% African-American.
"We just had the look of a universal place, and they liked that," said Jeske, 49.

Time of Grace Ministry is incorporated in Virginia. Both the idea and its implementation have come from the laymen, and officials of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, or WELS, have encouraged them.

Other board members include: Tom Baxter, Television Division chief of the U.S. Army Visual Information Center at the Pentagon; John E. Bauer, longtime chief academic officer of Wisconsin Lutheran College and current vice president for academic affairs; Steve Boettcher, president of Boettcher Productions, a five-time Emmy-winning television production firm in Hartland.

Also, Cliff Buelow, of the Milwaukee law firm of Davis & Kuelthau; Bruce Eberle, president of Eberle Communications Group, a national fund-raising firm in McLean, Va.; Arvid Schwartz of Green Isle, Minn., a farmer, former corporate treasurer, and chairman of the Wisconsin Lutheran College board; and John C. Zimdars, president of The Zimdars Co., Inc., a life insurance consulting firm in Madison.

All belong to the theologically conservative WELS, which is based in Wauwatosa. WELS has more than 400,000 members and is the nation's third-largest Lutheran denomination.

The idea for the ministry came from Eberle, who sits on the Wisconsin Lutheran College board with Jeske, Buelow, Raabe, Schwartz and Zimdars.

The board of directors

John Bauer is chief academic officer of Wisconsin Lutheran College for the past 20 years. Presently he is the Vice President for academic affairs and the Executive Director of CHARIS, the institute of the College.... He and his wife are members of Grace Lutheran Church in Milwaukee.

Tom Baxter: As Chief of the Television Division of the US Army Visual Information Center at the Pentagon in Washington, DC, Tom Baxter is the executive responsible for production and technical operations. His organization produces approximately 200 productions and special events annually....Tom currently serves as President of Christ Our Savior Evangelical Lutheran Church in Sterling, Virginia.

Steve Boettcher is president of Boettcher Productions Inc., a five-time Emmy winning production company. Boettcher Productions has been creating quality television for nearly two decades, including Kid's Connection, a video ministry of the WELS Commission on Youth Discipleship (CYD). I did not find Boettcher Productions on the web, but found Boettcher-Trinklein Mediaworks. This is the same Steve Boettcher, so maybe he has recently teamed up with Trinklein.

Cliff Buelow, Secretary, TOG, is a shareholder in the Milwaukee law firm of Davis & Kuelthau. Here's his mug. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the Board of Regents of Wisconsin Lutheran College where he serves as Vice Chairman. He has served on several other church-related boards and committees over the last 20 years. Cliff and his wife are members of St. Marcus Evangelical Lutheran Church in Milwaukee.

Bruce Eberle, Vice President, TOG, is the founder and president of the Eberle Communications Group, a national fund raising organization based in McLean, Virginia. Bruce serves on the Executive Committee of the Board of Regents of Wisconsin Lutheran College. He has previously served as President of God's Word to the Nations Bible Society, which produces bibles in contemporary English language, to appeal to normal people. He's also served on several commissions and boards of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod. He gave the 1994 commencement address at Wisconsin Lutheran College where he received the 1994 Pro Gloria Dei Award. Incidentally, Eberle gave the college $500,000 in 1999.

Bruce also serves as a Trustee of Joe Gibbs Youth For Tomorrow New Life Foundation, a residential "group village" for at-risk teens.

Mark Jeske has served St. Marcus Evangelical Lutheran Church in the inner City of Milwaukee since 1980. Pastor Jeske is in his third term as a member of the Board of Regents of Wisconsin Lutheran College. He is Second Vice-President, Southeastern Wisconsin District of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod.

Daryl Raabe, President, TOG
In 1978, Daryl joined the family business, and saw it grow through 1988, when he was appointed President of Raabe Corporation. Interestingly, he left his company in 2002. From the Milwaukee Business Journal, 1/25/02:

David Wacker isn't kin to founders and long-time operators of Raabe Corp., but he's being entrusted to carry on the company's business while the owners abdicate day-to-day duties to pursue religious interests.
Wacker, who has no ownership interest in the company, became president of the Menomonee Falls paint manufacturer Jan. 1 after being groomed for the job for more than two years. He succeeded Kent and Daryl Raabe, brothers who own the company founded by their father, Richard, more than 50 years ago.

Although retired from the day-to-day operations, Kent and Daryl Raabe check on the company daily while focusing on other interests in their lives revolving around their strong religious beliefs.

"You live your life to serve the Lord," Daryl Raabe said.
Daryl helped start and is a key leader of the "Time of Grace Ministry," a recently launched independent weekly television show focusing on the Lutheran religion. The show airs Sunday mornings on Milwaukee's WITI-TV (Channel 6). The creators hope to eventually distribute the show beyond the Milwaukee area via cable or satellite.
The program was launched by eight laymen, including Daryl Raabe, and the Rev. Mark Jeske, pastor of St. Marcus Evangelic Lutheran Church, 2215 N. Palmer St. in Milwaukee's central city, where the show is filmed. Daryl Raabe is chairman and president of the nonprofit organization that supports the show, which received start-up funding of about $500,000, primarily from two major donors and a pair of foundation grants.

Raabe also is temporarily executive director of the nonprofit organization.

"He's a very aggressive, hands-on person," Jeske said of Raabe.
The show was the brainchild of Bruce Eberle, president of Eberle Communications Group, a McLean, Va.-based national fund-raising company. Others involved in the project include: Tom Baxter, television division chief of the U.S. Army Visual Information Center at the Pentagon; and John Bauer, vice president of academic affairs at Wisconsin Lutheran College.
The Rev. Jeske knows the Raabes from when he was a high school and college student and worked for Raabe Corp. when the company operated retail paint stores in Milwaukee.
Raabe joined Jeske's congregation nearly two years ago. The church's multiracial makeup with a mix of blacks and whites appealed to Raabe, he said.

Raabe has served four terms on the Board of Directors of Wisconsin Lutheran High School, the last as President. Daryl currently is Treasurer of Wisconsin Lutheran College and a member of the Executive Committee of its Board of Regents.

Arvid Schwartz, Treasurer, TOG
Arvid has been a lifelong member of the Wisconsin Synod. Arvid is currently the Minnesota District representative on the WELS Synodical Council. He served on the WELS Board of Trustees for 12 years and was a member of the Executive Committee. He is serving his fourth term on the Wisconsin Lutheran College Board of Regents and is in his second term as Chairman of that board.

John Zimdars is president of The Zimdars Company, Inc., a third generation independent life insurance consulting firm, based in Madison, Wisconsin. He is serving his fourth term on the Board of Regents of Wisconsin Lutheran College and was Chairman of the Board for four years.

I have searched Lexis/Nexis and the web extensively, and can't find anything off-kilter about anyone/anything but Eberle himself. I remain unconvinced that he and Bobby Eberle are related, for what it's worth.


GJ - Note the entire article above is from Daily Kos, where the author copied from other sources.


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Left Wing Daily Kos - Time of Grace Articles":

Jeske is no longer VP of the Southeastern Wisconsin District. He resigned when he received flak after he accepted an invitation by the mayor of Milwaukee to pray at a public event, at which other ministers ALSO led the group in prayer, along with Jeske. (Jeske didn't know that was going to happen.)


GJ - Note to Anonymous. Flack is a PR agent. I changed your word to flak, the German acronym for anti-aircraft cannon. Kanon = canon in German: easy to remember.

Correction - Wrong Caption

CLC Headquarters. The previous photo was ELDONA headquarters.

Who says Ichabod never corrects wrong information?

Our photo staff informed me that the previous headquarters caption was wrong. That was the ELDONA headquarters in Malone, Texas. The lovely abode above is the joint-CLC headquarters building. The bottom sign says MUST SEE INSIDE!

Yes, that is a for sale sign (by owner) on the trailer. The CLCs probably received a Thrivent grant to move into larger headquarters.

Bailing Water Blog Is Keeping Up

Purpose-Driven Rick Warren with Barack Hussein Obama

WELS Pastors Attended Another Church Growth Meeting

I negeglected to mention the Bailing Water Blog, which has had periods of inactivity.

There is a separate Bailing Water Discussion Board.

Kovaciny-Mouse has accused BW of being "just like Greg Jackson." And I thought Kovaciny-Mouse had nothing good to say to anyone!

CLC Headquarters

Stealth photo of CLC headquarters.

Some are going to ask, "Which CLC? The Church of the Lutheran Confession or the Concordia Lutheran Conference?"

The answer is - both.

One has a desk in the front of the trailer. The other has a desk in the back.

At one time the entire Augustana Synod was managed from the president's roll-top desk in his living room in Rock Island, Illinois. The Augustana Synod was quite large when it finally merged into the Lutheran Church in America in 1960.

The synods were better run when they had fewer administrative people meddling, wrecking, apostasizing, and charging it to their expense accounts.

However, the micro-minis are poorly run, even with their tiny budgets and clapboard buildings. There is a reason why God forbids incest in Leviticus.


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "CLC Headquarters":

Gregory: This is just plain mean and nasty. There is no way you can defend yourself on this one. And you call yourself a pastor?


GJ - I call myself a satirist. Others call me pastor. A. Nony Mouse has never had a sense of humor. And he has never read Luther, I am sure.

Some Lutheran Blogs To Read

Durer's Rabbit, or Portrait of a DP?

I appreciate how many blogs have listed Ichabod on their main pages. There are hundreds of Lutheran blogs now, but most of them post infrequently. I look around for new and interesting topics. Below are some of the religious blogs I check and the reasons why:

Norm's Desmense - Norm Teigen is an ELS layman, son of an ELS theologian. He posts more than most Lutherans put together, on all kinds of subjects, most of them interesting to me: the falling bridge, literature, religious art, Bach, WWII, Lutheran topics, etc.

Virtue Online - David Virtue is an orthodox Episcopalian layman who writes frequently and well about the differences between the apostate leaders and the orthodox dissenters. This is a valuable blog for many reasons. The site is more of a daily newspaper about what is rotten in Denmark...and Canterbury. Lutherans need to know this material, to realize how their denomination parallels the Episcopal Church. The main difference is that Lutherans have no leaders with spine. There is not one district pope who will part with his own Lutheran Vatican, wherever that headquarters may be (St. Louis, Milwaukee, Mankato, or a double-wide in the Midwest).

American Lutheran Publicity Bureau - This blog is primarily for ELCA pastors, a good way to keep track of what is being discussed in the largest and most absurd Lutheran organization. I find it amusing that the high church bunch (the ones who communed at Concordia, Ft. Wayne, with a WELS pastor apparently participating) calls itself STS - Holy Trinity Society (in Latin, of course).

Diatheke - just taught me how to add reader logs to the website. Pastor Joe Abrahamson (ELS) is the blog author.

The Plucked Chicken, from Jesse Jacobson (ELS) has plenty of material about computers and the ELS, especially the issue (Public Ministry of the Word) that got various pastors defenestrated by Pope John the Malefactor.

Bailing Water is now more of a WELS discussion blog. I have watched several editors take over BW and leave again. I get the impression that the Wisconsin sect does not want to be discussed.

I liked one LCMS News blog, but that man shut down his site. Likewise, Trouble in Paradise went silent months ago, came to life for a moment, then went silent again. I have not found any LCMS or WELS blogs worth reading. If you have suggestions, post a comment.

Also, I am interested in religious blogs with substance.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

What Happened to Christian Giving?

Planned Giving Counselors Meeting

I left the my family's Disciples of Christ congregation for various reasons. One was the constant drum-beat for money through commerical activities. The annual youth trip was funded with car washes, slave days, and all kinds of hooey. The congregation had ice cream socials and bakery sales. The Disciples minister arrived for one worship service wearing his white chaplain's hat, in a fire truck. He was cool.

Gimmicks, tricks, and monetary manipulations have always been the strong suit of Baptists and Pentecostals. One Assemblies of God minister said they had "kite day," where every child bringing a friend earned a kite. It is not exaggeration to say that the Fuller Seminary crowd feels comfortable with stunts and performances.

The Luther Prep and WELS Lutherans for Life (Christian Life Resources) commercial enterprises are just plain tacky. They lack dignity. How can people respect Christian good works when people are selling trinkets, meals, and Bossy the cow to the public - in the Name of Christ? Too bad Paul dealt with meat sacrificed to idols instead of steak offered to alumni.

I served a congregation where we had various funds. Fortunately one person got a Junk For Jesus sale organized just in time to alienate the more sober members. The laity agreed among themselves to stop asking for money for coffee and cookies, to banish all hints of commercialism, and to rely on God's Word for giving. Ending the extra petty offerings and the commercialism gave a huge boost to Christian giving. A stewardship program built on God's Word doubled the giving in three years.

A WELS pastor I know used to work in a grocery story. The chain tried all kinds of gimmicks to make extra money, such as selling clothes. One day he said, "Why are we ashamed of being a grocery store?"

I wonder why congregations and synods do not ask the same question. "Why are we ashamed of being a church?" A church quietly raises its down money.

A Christian school does not ask students to roll in the mud to make even more money, in addition to their extortionate tuition bills. Martin Luther College admitted to overbilling its own students, then said, "And we are keeping the extra, too."

As Luther said, when people demand something from God, that is the very thing He will keep from them.

Beef for Bling Benefits
Bulging Prep Coffers

Wayne's Bossy: "I gave until it hurt."

Wayne Mueller, President-in-Waiting, Wisconsin Sect, donated beef for the Luther Prep auction, after boosting tuition 30% in one year. The exploding cost of tuition effectively reduced enrollment at both preps.

If some well-heeled donor asked, "Where's the beef?" and purchased Bossy from Wayne (with a prime cut sliced off by the auction company), then Luther Prep probably bought their scrim curtain and other essentials for their high school. Anxious participants want to know how much loot was hauled in, how much Luther Prep kept, and how soon the next garage sale will be scheduled.

Lutheran Notes wrote about the scandalous cost of tuition in preparation for the ministry. Two things need to be added:

1. Extortion in the name of tuition began during the Schwan Foundation's biggest charitable donation ever - an avalanche of dough for Missouri, WELS, and the Little Sect on the Prairie. Synod officials kept the money for themselves and their pet projects while crushing their students with ever-increasing tuition bills.
2. In the past, WELS gave back all prep, college, and seminary tuition paid when the student graduated from seminary. That was the nest egg used so the shepherd could buy his new shepherdess a few sticks of furniture and a double-wide cradle for the expected brood.(Perhaps teachers got the same tuition refund. I am not sure.) Ending that policy was an effective, gigantic boost in the real cost of pastoral education. Those who benefited from truly free synod education took this benefit away from the current generation while talking about "recruiting more men," etc. etc.


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Beef for Bling Benefits Bulging Prep Coffers":

From the website of Luther Prep:


Lights! Camera! Auction! - Saturday Night - April 19

About 320 guests joined in for the third annual gala event. Over 150 students were involved in setting up, serving, entertaining with musical talents, and cleaning up. We are thankful for the enjoyable evening of Christian fellowship and the opportunity for many friends of LPS to show their support for our school.

This year's event resulted in about $44,000 in gifts to LPS. $31,000 will directly support our operating budget, with another $8,100 directed to financial aid and $5,000 provided to replace and enhance the stage curtains in the auditorium.


GJ - The alleged news lacks a certain amount of honesty (not blaming the innocent poster). The summary accounts for $44,000 in gifts, but how much went to the for-profit website auction company? Did they host the Junk for Jesus sale for free or is Luther Prep reporting the net results rather than the gross receipts? Anxious minds want to know.

When a charity goes into business in a big way, competing with local merchants, the stake-holders deserve an accounting.

Did they pay sales tax on Wayne's beef? Mattek's $350 dinner? Various trinkets?


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Beef for Bling Benefits Bulging Prep Coffers":

Looks like they are still counting the "re$ult$" of the 2008 GALA (results not yet posted) - -
From their website:

Q. What were the results of past Galas?

A. April 22, 2006 Gala "A Starry Night", after expenses were paid, raised $46,134.00!

April 21, 2007 Gala "A Knight to Remember", after expenses were paid, raised over $65,000!

April 19, 2008 Gala "Lights! Camera! Auction! - A Night on the Red Carpet", after expenses were paid, raised ___________!


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Beef for Bling Benefits Bulging Prep Coffers":

Looks like the GALA at Luther Prep was not enough - - - -

Fear Factor - Messed for Success

Students, faculty and staff at LPS in Watertown celebrate the arrival of spring while generating substantial donations for the school during the second annual Phoenix Fear Factor event on Wednesday.
More than $60,000 has been donated over the past two years by an anonymous alumni couple through the event, which challenges voluntary participants to navigate a series of messy obstacles. The donors make a gift to the school of $100 per student and $200 per faculty or staff member that brave the course of slime, goo, and grit. The goal of the event is to generate an atmosphere of giving that is joyful and fun, but also demands a bit of sacrifice as well.
Ten stations were offered, each featuring a distinct challenge to the participant's pride and outward appearance.
Students and faculty explored buckets of earthworms looking for pennies, endured slip and slides of lard and oil, and made their way through tubs of corn meal, soy bean hulls, lard and eggs. A T-shirt commemorating the event was also sponsored by the donors and will be presented to each person taking part.
Thje event is part of a daylong series of activities which include a grounds beautification effort, the planting of the senior tree, and an outdoor picnic with students, staff, and families.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Temple of Doom Semester - Now Finished

Running Ahead of a Boulder - No Escape

January 7th began a new course in journalism and an intense course in teaching at a new online school. The three online journalism classes will finish this week. I will take a novel-writing class this summer, in preparation for a novel in 2009.

The online training program began with two weeks of constant posting. I soon learned that the probationary teaching would begin one week early, in January. Oh joy. Next I had a constant stream of new things to do in both.

The online training program for teaching is just ending. It went well. I had students from all over the East Coast studying critical thinking. One section was on logical fallacies. I honed my skills discussing doctrinal issues with Wisconsin sect pastors. They used personal attacks, threats, changing the subject, poisoning the well, the slippery slope, and various other logical fallacies.

Most of my teaching is now online. One graduate student in education told my class that students at a Kansas state university live in the dorms and take online classes. The school has trouble getting students out of their rooms and into the classroom.

In the middle of all this training and education, one Ichabod reader said, "Why not have services broadcast over the Internet?" I knew it could be done at a very high cost, but he found a way to do it without the huge corporate fees. I have found it surprisingly enjoyable. I have looked into a glass eye before for video taping. This is different because it is live. Also, people are very pleased that we can do this.

Also, I feel free to promote the great Lutheran hymns, which are often ignored in favor of having more singable hymns, as some claim. Mr. Bose plays the organ flawlessly and I am free to choose all eight verses. Mr. Bose never frowns at five sharps and never gives me lip about the chords.

So, I am about to catch up on the promises I have been making and not keeping.


Denominational Leader

Click here to find which denomination is being discussed.

"Schism is sinful separation on secondary issues. This is separation over essential issues. You have not moved. You have remained where you were in Jesus. If anyone has moved, it is those who have abandoned salvation. This is separation from an apostate situation.

"Apostasy has gone unchallenged. Moves away from absolutely essential truth have gone unchallenged. There is no move time. This is the time to move. What you are facing is not another version of the gospel, but another gospel, which is not the gospel."

Pointing to Galatians 1.6 where the apostle pronounces that there is no other gospel, Venables said that when you turn to another gospel, you desert God and that is a terrible thing. "In the Garden of Eden, they thought they could get away with it. Another Gospel means deserting God. It is important because otherwise you will be leading people away from eternal security. You can do that by keeping your mouth shut. Some who trouble you want to distort the gospel of Christ. They take what is true and they distort it. They take the words God has given us and they distort them. 'If you or an angel of heaven let them be accursed.' Preaching a different gospel is serious. Let him be accursed. Am I trying to please man? If your preaching does not offend someone, look very carefully at what you are preaching."

"If I was trying to please man I would not be a servant of Christ," said Venables. "Christian Humanism is trying to make us feel better and all right. You were not all right to such an extent that Jesus had to die on the cross to put you right. You need a complete transformation. The Gospel preached by me is not man's gospel. I did not receive it from any man nor was I taught it. This is not about the sheep finding its way back to the shepherd but the shepherd coming to find the sheep."


GJ - This is another version of what has happened in the LCMS, WELS, and the Little Sect on the Prairie. The micro-mini Lutheran groups are not different, in spite of their pretensions.

The first divide was Church Growth. That is the choo-choo engine running the Lutheran synods right now. Church Growth is atheistic in nature. It is not an enhancement, an improvement, a doctrinally-neutral method. It is anti-Gospel, anti-God, anti-Scriptural. The first thing Fuller did was attack inerrancy, when Church Growth was getting started. Did that give WELS a pause? No. Did that slow down the LCMS rush to get a DMin from Pasadena? No. Did the ELS even squeak out a protest? No, the ELS was the Amen Corner of Church Growth.

The following is a telling detail. The Church Growth pastors like Kelm and Parlow steal their sermons from the Reformed and post them on their own website, as if they wrote them. Other CG pastors have done the same. I know, when Kelm and Parlow were caught, they began giving credit, I hear, for their thefts.

If the purpose of the Christian Church is to proclaim the Gospel, and if ministers are ordained to do just that, then why must CG pastors steal their material and claim it as their own?

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Rogate Sunday

Albrecht Durer's Praying Hands

Rogate: The Fifth Sunday after Easter

Live Lutheran Worship Service, Sundays, 8 AM, Phoenix Time

The Hymn #192 by Paul Gerhard – Auf, auf, mein herzen
The Invocation p. 15
The Confession of Sins
The Absolution
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 James 1:22-27
The Gospel John 16:23-30
Glory be to Thee, O Lord!
Praise be to Thee, O Christ!
The Nicene Creed p. 22
The Sermon Hymn #200 – Duke Street
The Sermon

Prayer the Fruit of Faith, Not the Cause

The Hymn #316 by J. Rist – Nun lob, mein Seel
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 #458 by Luther – Vater Unser

James 1:22-27 (King James Version)
22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. 23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: 24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. 25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. 26 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain. 27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

John 16:23-30 (King James Version)
23 And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. 24 Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full. 25 These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs: but the time cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall shew you plainly of the Father. 26 At that day ye shall ask in my name: and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you: 27 For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God. 28 I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father. 29 His disciples said unto him, Lo, now speakest thou plainly, and speakest no proverb. 30 Now are we sure that thou knowest all things, and needest not that any man should ask thee: by this we believe that thou camest forth from God.


Lord God, heavenly Father, who through Thy Son didst promise us that whatsoever we ask in His name Thou wilt give us: We beseech Thee, keep us in Thy word, and grant us Thy Holy Spirit, that He may govern us according to Thy will; protect us from the power of the devil, from false doctrine and worship; also defend our lives against all danger; grant us Thy blessing and peace, that we may in all things perceive Thy merciful help, and both now and forever praise and glorify Thee as our gracious Father, through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one true God, world without end. Amen.

Prayer Is the Fruit of Faith
John 16:23 And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. 24 Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.

This is Rogate Sunday, but not in the papal calendar used by all the Lutherans. This Sunday recognizes prayer, but the Gospel has been changed by the pope from the traditional one, John 16:23ff. Why the passion to change the Gospels used for 16 or more centuries? Why must John 14:15ff be followed instead?

One thing is very important – to institutionalize change and to give authority where none should be placed. If anything should be done with the calendar, the Lutherans should carefully avoid following the Antichrist in any of his innovations. The excuse for the three-year lectionary was that Lutherans became bored with preaching on the same cycle of sermons, year after year. Luther preached on the same texts and he did complain about some of the odd choices, but his sermons are still worth reading 500 years later.

The agenda is clear – start a new cycle of readings and the study books must be new as well. One Lutheran wanted me to use the three-year cycle so he could borrow more easily. I suggested that he switch to the historic readings and away from the pope’s new list.
We are free to use any readings, but I like the definition of tradition as “the democracy of the dead.” If the Christian Church used these readings for 15 or 16 centuries, then they must have had good reason.

This Sunday is called Rogate Sunday (by us traditionalists) because the Gospel emphasizes prayer. Rogate = pray (2nd person plural). The other Easter Sundays have names based on the Introit. This is an exception and stands out. The Church should emphasize prayer once a year. Change the lessons, get rid of the Latin name, and the theme is changed.

Prayer is a good emphasis because Lutherans are alone in teaching the proper relationship between the Christian faith and prayer. Non-Lutheran Protestants teach prayer as the way by which God’s grace comes to people. But the Bible teaches that prayer is the fruit or the result of faith, not the cause of faith, not the reason for God’s forgiveness (justification).

When people think of prayer as a good work that earns God’s favor, they become anxious about what is the right amount or the right level of prayer. The Gospel does not teach prayer as the way to receive faith, but the result of faith.

Gospel Lesson from John
This sermon by Jesus is very simple and plain. The Holy Spirit chose to use the simplest language in the most profound Gospel. Luke is far more elegant, but John’s Gospel is more likely to be our favorite, because we seem to be standing at His side while He speaks. The immediate nature of the Fourth Gospel, I believe, comes from its author being the favorite disciple of Jesus (John, “the disciples Jesus loved).

The point of this Gospel message from Jesus is that the disciples will soon face a time when they no longer ask Him for anything. It is expressed in an odd way that makes us think: “You shall no longer ask Me.” We can go back to that expression of Jesus and see what He was teaching His disciples and us.

When believers pray, they are asking God the Father “in the name of Christ.” The Holy Spirit moves us to pray because of the Gospel promises and helps us in our prayers. Therefore, the Holy Trinity has a combined role in every prayer of the Christian.

As I have said many times before, the Bible does not merely tell us we should pray. It would be easy for God to say, “Thou must pray.” Instead, the Word of God fills us with desire to pray by reminding us of God’s love for us. Parents fall into this from time to time. They take a moment to tell their children how much they love them and appreciate them. Halfway through the speech, one child will recognize that this is the moment to ask for something based upon this profound love and appreciation.

In this example, Jesus says, “You will no longer ask Me, but you will ask My Father. He will respond to your prayers because you have loved Me.” Several poor excuses keep believers from praying. One is that God does not love each and every one of us. This is a false view of God and a sin against God’s revealed nature. We should never doubt the goodness of God. Believers (who are not confident of God’s love) fall into this mode of thought by imagining that God loves us in the abstract but not me directly. God knows each and every one of us by name.

Another excuse is “I am not worthy to pray to God for anything.” This is not altogether wrong. No one is worthy on his own, as the communion prayer says, “We are not worthy to gather the crumbs that fall from Your table, nevertheless…” Jesus makes us worthy. It is not our worthiness, but the merit of Christ. He is our unending source of forgiveness and love. God plants faith in our hearts through the Word. He moves us to love Christ by His Word. Then He teaches us that He answers prayer because of that love and faith.

Notice how this is entirely based upon the Gospel. Prayer is the fruit of the Gospel. That is why Lutherans properly reject the Reformed error of basing salvation upon praying Jesus into our hearts. The non-Lutheran Protestants (as a whole, with variations abounding) turn the Gospel into Law by saying, “You will be forgiven and saved when you pray this particular prayer and ask Jesus to come into your heart.” Since this is based upon an action, the question arises whether it is done with the proper fervor and zest. It also implies that Jesus does NOT enter our hearts already through the Word. If you have to pray to obtain salvation, and pray in a certain way, the monster of uncertainty fills the heart with doubt. Reformed doctrine never remains Trinitarian for long. Rationalism and salvation based upon works will follow without fail. In the United States, the Congregationalists became Unitarians, giving up the Trinity. After a few more decades it became impossible to make the Unitarian group agree that there is a God. They merged with the Universalists because both groups deny Hell, so they joined forces in their denial, even though they have slightly different perspectives.

Another excuse for not praying is founded upon whether God can and will do what He is asked. Many people lose their faith, as Satan desired, because they confused demands with prayer. If you demand that God do something in prescribed manner, to satisfy your gnawing doubts or immediate needs, He will give you nothing. I noticed from the newest WELS statistics that the denomination now has the lowest number of baptized members since 1979, a net loss of 3,285 souls in one year. The communicant number went up by almost 60, even though confirmations would add thousands of communicants to the list. Obviously God is throwing their concern about Church Growth statistics back in their face. When the main concern was doctrine, the synod grew like kudzu vines in the South. Kudzu is famous for having such deep roots that no one can get rid of it.

All the denominations face the same crisis because they have all fallen upon the same wrong answer, marketing as evangelism. (This is Internet Evangelism Sunday, by the way. I hope you marked it in your calendars.)

Luther taught a very simple thing to remember about prayer. One is that we ask everything in faith. Nothing is too small for God to consider. The other is - receive in faith what God supplies. The nature of God is to take care of all of us, even unbelievers, but also to take care of us according to His wisdom and not ours. If we have no faith in His wisdom, then we will be pouty when He does not give in to our demands.

It is an indictment against this age that much of the talk about prayer focuses upon materialistic prayers. The Reformed and the Pentecostals especially have dwelt upon obtaining wealth and success by demanding it from God, even declaring that God is unable to share the wealth unless He is ordered about like a zombie. (Paul Y. Cho, The Fourth Dimension, a favorite Church Growth, Evangelical, and Pentecostal text.)

We can and should pray for the means to support our families, thanking God for the abundance He has provided. But our prayers should be mostly concerned with the spiritual needs of our family, friends, and others. It is in remembering others that we give support and comfort and prove to be a channel of God’s love, as He intends.

The greatness of America has come from the providence of God and the faith of its leaders. George Washington had a prayer book where he wrote his own prayers. Only some of those prayers survive today, but he was clearly a believing Christian. He and many others wanted America to be a city on a hill, an example to all nations about how to govern with justice and freedom. Thousands of our soldiers died to preserve that ideal.

Quotations on Prayer
"This doctrine concerning the inability and wickedness of our natural free will and concerning our conversion and regeneration, namely, that it is a work of God alone and not of our powers, is [impiously, shamefully, and maliciously] abused in an unchristian manner both by enthusiasts and by Epicureans; and by their speeches many persons have become disorderly and irregular, and idle and indolent in all Christian exercises of prayer, reading and devout meditation; for they say that, since they are unable from their own natural powers to convert themselves to God, they will always strive with all their might against God, or wait until God converts them by force against their will; or since they can do nothing in these spiritual things, but everything is the operation of God the Holy Ghost alone, they will regard, hear, or read neither the Word nor the Sacrament, but wait until God without means..."
Formula of Concord, Free Will, 46, Triglotta, p. 899.

"The Christian's faith trusts in the ordinary means. Prayer is not a means of grace. Means of grace are divine appointments through which God uniformly offers blessings to all who use them. Faith is the means by which the blessings are received and appropriated. God gives us bread, when we ask it, not through the channel of prayer, but through the ordinary channels of His providence. He gives us grace when we ask it, not through prayer, but through the ordinary means appointed for this end, namely the Word and Sacraments. He who despises these will as little have grace as he who refuses to accept bread produced in the ordinary way of nature. Faith asks with confidence, and trusts in the ordinary means of God's appointment for the blessings asked."
Matthias Loy, Sermons on the Gospels, p. 387.

"Prayer is made vigorous by petitioning; urgent, by supplication; by thanksgiving, pleasing and acceptable. Strength and acceptability combine to prevail and secure the petition."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., VI, p. 107. Philippians 4:4-7.

"The Lord's Prayer opens with praise and thanksgiving and the acknowledgement of God as a Father; it earnestly presses toward Him through filial love and a recognition of fatherly tenderness. For supplication, this prayer is unequaled. Hence it is the sublimest and the noblest prayer ever uttered."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., VI, p. 107. Philippians 4:4-7; Matthew 6:9-13.

"In like manner, St. Paul says that God's ability is thus proved, in that He does exceeding abundantly above and better than we ask or think. Ephesians 3:20. Therefore, we should know we are too finite to be able to name, picture or designate the time, place, way, measure and other circumstances for that which we ask of God. Let us leave that entirely to Him, and immovably and steadfastly believe that He will hear us."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., III, p. 179f. Ephesians 3:20.

"Only begin this [prayer, self-examination], I say, and see how you will succeed in the task; and you will soon discover what an unbelieving knave is hidden in your bosom, and that your heart is too dull to believe it."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., II, p. 257. Mark 16:1-8.

Friday, April 25, 2008

The Episcopal Church Sues Its Own

Presiding Bishop Jefferts-Schori with the Archdruid of Canterbury. He really is a Druid priest. The expressions tell me that Mrs. Schori got a proper British thrashing.

Episcopal church sues deposed San Joaquin bishop

By Amanda Fehd, Associated Press Writer

Article Created: 04/25/2008 02:04:24 PM PDT

SAN FRANCISCO _ The Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin is suing a deposed bishop who led a secession last year prompted by the church's ordination of women and gays. The diocese said in its lawsuit, filed Thursday in Fresno County Superior Court, that John-David Schofield breached his duties to the church and demanded he turn over diocese property and vacate his offices.

National church leaders removed Schofield as the head of the Fresno-based diocese, after he led parishioners to align themselves with the conservative Province of the Southern Cone, an Argentina-based member of the worldwide Anglican Communion.

Last month, Jerry Lamb, a bishop loyal to the U.S. church, was elected to head the San Joaquin diocese. Schofield, however, maintains he is an Anglican bishop of the Diocese of San Joaquin under the worldwide church.

The U.S. Episcopal Church is also part of the 77 million-member Anglican Communion, a global fellowship of churches that trace their roots to the Church of England, but the U.S. province has faced increasing scrutiny for its liberal-leaning stance. Most Anglicans are traditionalists who believe Scripture bars gay relationships.

Lamb said in a statement Friday that there was no other viable way to recover church property but to seek court intervention.

"Regardless of the necessity of proceeding with the litigation, the diocesan leadership and I remain committed to reconciliation with clergy and parishes that are still trying to understand their relationship with the Episcopal Church," Lamb said in the statement. A call to Schofield's office seeking comment was not immediately returned Friday.

The complaint demands that Schofield vacate his Fresno offices, return control of a church investment trust and foundation and return bank and brokerage accounts, money, and financial, historical and property records.

"Defendant Schofield's attempt to divert the Diocese of San Joaquin itself and its property for the use and benefit of another church in violation of the Episcopal Church's Constitution and Canons breached his fiduciary duties as the Bishop and ecclesiastical authority of the Diocese of San Joaquin," the complaint said.


GJ - The issue is who owns the property, who controls the money. Some have left the property and other claims behind. There seems to be a good legal case for the Presiding Bishop having no material claims to any property or money, but she has millions to spend against the dissenters. Individuals congregations have far less money and really hate the tension caused by such actions. Even a departing diocese is going to debate the extent of their legal defense.

Mass Firing of NYT Staff

From Punch to Pinch: read my newspaper or I will cry.

I read the most delightful story about the New York Times getting ready for a mass firing of staff. One version of the story has the Sulzberger family driving the paper's stock price down so they can buy it back and privatize it. They are minority owners but they still have control of the company. That is why the nitwit young editor Pinch (son of Punch) Sulzberger is able to steer the Timestanic into the iceberg at flank speed.

In journalism class we have been studying the newspaper and media market for the last semester. The Minneapolis Star Tribune (Strib) is trying an initiative to boost circulation. I predicted it would have no lasting effect.

One factor in newspaper circulation decline is the non-reading lifestyle of younger adults. Reading the Moline Daily Dispatch was a family activity in our home in the 1950's. We also read the Sunday Chicago Tribune or Des Moines Register. Except for church, there was nothing to do on Sunday. Weekday evenings were not filled with events and activities. A common question was, "Who has the paper?" But now, I no longer see the Phoenix morning newspaper in the driveways of my neighbors, who are mostly older.

A more significant factor in newspaper decline is the Left-wing bias of the media. Watergate made journalism glamorous for reformers and gave hippies a chance to mount a podium for decent pay. I try to catch the glance of the pathetic dude promoting Arizona Republic subscriptions at the grocery store. I let the guy ask me about the latest offer, where they include a free truck, a year's worth of gas, a trip to Sweden, and more - all for subscribing to the Arizona Republic for one month. Actually, they did fill gas tanks for free in return for signing up. They give their pitch and I tell them why I will not even use their paper for birdcage liner. Even if I had a bird. Some laugh. Some call out, "Have a nice day."

The Left-wing has captured the denominations as well. Fuller Seminary cleverly got their agenda across by promoting Church Growth while denouncing the Bible as fallible. By training the entire leadership of Protestant America (and some Roman Catholic leaders) they got a unified message of man-centered marketing across. Demanding freedom to be heard in each denomination, they made sure anyone dissenting from their new-old message would be fired, shunned, and slandered. Thus denominations are fading as fast as the New York Times.

ELCA Sponsors
You-Remember-the Bible-from-Last-Week Initiative

Your Seminar Leader Is Getting Dressed

ELCA 'Book of Faith' Initiative Gets its 'Opening' Resource

CHICAGO (ELCA) -- Dr. Diane L. Jacobson likes the analogy, but she doesn't take credit for it. She heard "Opening the Book of Faith: Lutheran Insights for Bible Study" described as the GPS (global positioning system) of the "Book of Faith" initiative of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).

Jacobson, professor of Old Testament, Luther Seminary, St. Paul, Minn., is director of the ELCA initiative. She said Dr. Robert A. Bendiksen, retired professor of sociology and archaeology, University of Wisconsin, La Crosse, called the new publication the GPS of the initiative during a recent "faith forum" in the ELCA La Crosse Area Synod.


GJ - ELCA must be clawing its way out of the hole dug by the Lavender Mafia. When a denomination has lost its way completely, the worst thing possible is to bring up that long-forgotten norm of faith and treat it as a rabbit's foot.

The efficacious Word will harden the cynical leaders even more and drive the membership away to a place where the Scriptures are honored as the revealed Word of God.

At what point will the Missouri and WELS leaders refuse to participate in unionistic activities with ELCA?

Matthew 7:15-23 "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves."

Thursday, April 24, 2008

One Way to Study Luther

I told Mrs. Ichabod, "I can get over 300 books unlocked on CDs from Nelson." She said, "Do you want to buy them?" I laughed at the thought of buying 300+ mediocre books from Thomas A. Nelson.

They have Luther's Works (American Edition) on CDs for $200.

They also have Lenski on CDs for the same price. ELCA let it go out of print, for some reason.

I believe CPH has Gerhard on CD for a decent cost.

I read so much on the computer that I consider reading a real book to be a pleasure. The last thing I would do is start reading Luther on the computer. I told Mrs. I that I would rather get Luther's Sermons on St. John and read them as books. Luther wrote those sermons when he was asked to substitute for someone who did not get back in time. Luther said he would rather garden, but turned out one of the best theological books ever written.

The three best ways to study Christian theology are:
1. Luther.
2. The Book of Concord.
3. Lenski.

I admit that Lenski is not something to pick up and read. However, there is no better guide for troublesome passages.

If someone is brave enough to preach on the historic readings instead of the pope's three-year lectionary, Luther's Sermons (five-volume, Grand Rapids) are superb and a real bargain. That is still my favorite Luther set.

A Roman Catholic priest wrote me to say he still has my Luther set that I gave him. He still reads it all the time. I think he wanted to say he was really a Lutheran at heart. Many Roman Catholics are. I hope I played some role in leading him to the truth. It has not worked with Lutheran leaders - I am sure of that.

Lutheran Bomb Throwers

Bomber Bill Ayers, professor at UIC,
has a wealthy and politically powerful father.
Bill married another bomber, so we have this old, but heart-warming scene of the two bombers with their devil-spawn.

The University of Illinois in Chicago gave Obama's mad bomber pal a cushy teaching job and tenure?

That is not exactly a shocker. For one thing, the most violent radicals come from rich families. After a life on the run, they enjoy the finer things in life. They are all steak-radicals. They want to overthrow society while they continue to eat steak and enjoy a plush vacation home in addition to their tony urban digs.

Secondly, the elite in America are tolerant of the radical Left, often generous in supporting them. They are not so fond of traditional conservatives.

I have seen many examples of a Bill Ayers in the histories of various denominations. Find someone determined to overthrow the denomination's confession and you will find a well-connected father in the background, time after time.

The father is a pledge of fidelity that sonny boy is OK. In denominations, a father in the church business is handy for pulling strings and hiding scandals, too. A few clergy uncles and a rich layman in the background help too.

One famous example is Fuerbringer (go-fer in English, as Tim Buelow once explained to me). The father was a fine pastor, excellent professor, president of Concordia, St. Louis. His two books are excellent little histories of the LCMS. Moreover, the Fuerbringers were related to Walther. Ludwig Fuerbringer was so serious a student that he turned down speaking engagements so he could study more. He mentioned Luther's sermons as the basis for his pastoral counseling. (Imagine that today. The Sausage Factory has students reading Reformed garbage, always cautioning while promoting.)

Eventually, Ludwig's son, nicknamed Fibby, became president of the same institution. What could be better? However, Fibby was the well connected bomb thrower, just the opposite of his father. Fibby installed all the apostates in the school, not without help from other apostates. Soon the whole faculty was full of LCA-types, with only a few exceptions.

Rehwinkel tried to get the old faculty to say something. They muted themselves. Rehwinkel was sent around the world to keep him from "causing trouble." That reminds me of District Pope Robert Mueller saying to me, "You cause trouble everywhere you go." He also said, "You are one of our soundest pastors." Proof that the Word is efficacious.

Fibby did his work well. The LCMS exploded when people found out how expertly he administered the school. There were many other players in the Missouri drama, but Fibby's role was crucial.

Another parallel is David Valleskey's father starting him on the road to perdition with the promotion of Reformed doctrine in the name of evangelism. (Valleskey senior's parish is no more.) When Valleskey joined the Sausage Factory, one WELS observer said, "He will turn WELS upside-down." He did. We also have Wayne Mueller, WELS President-in-Waiting, having his son at Church and Change, the sect's remarkable agency for promoting every doctrine except Luther's. No one is going to dislodge Adam Mueller while daddy works at the Love Shack.

One pastor came back from the WELS convention and told me how Richard Stadler (feminist WELS pastor, pal of Herman Otten's sister Marie Meyer) was conferring with Wayne Mueller and Paul Kelm.

One reader wrote me about Paul Kelm working for Valleskey at Apostles.

When WELS wanted someone to put the stamp of approval on Manufacturing Disciples, the Reformed (NIV) reading of the Great Commission, they turned to the son of a faithful teacher. Mudslide's son promptly moonwalked into the Reformed camp, endorsing a fatuous position.

I have thought of writing a series of biographies: Conservative Fathers, Apostate Sons. However, it would be run to 20 volumes.

Oh-Bomber's Political Connection in Chicago
An Education Guru at UIC

A tenured and highly paid position is perfect for the unrepentant bomber Bill Ayers, a significant political friend of Barack Hussein Obama.

Obama's Pal - Bombing Our Enemies Was Immoral, But Bombing Our Own Citizens...

Ayers’s spectacular second act began when he enrolled at Columbia University’s Teachers College in 1984. Then 40, he planned to stay just to get a teaching credential. (He had taught in a “Freedom School” during his pre-underground student radical days.) But he experienced an epiphany in a course taught by Maxine Greene, a leading light of the “critical pedagogy” movement. As Ayers wrote later, he took fire from Greene’s lectures on how the “oppressive hegemony” of the capitalist social order “reproduces” itself through the traditional practice of public schooling—critical pedagogy’s fancy way of saying that the evil corporations exercise thought control through the schools.

It hadn’t occurred to Ayers that an ed-school professor could speak or write as an authentic American radical. “There are vast dislocations in industrial towns, erosions of trade unions; there is little sign of class consciousness today,” Greene had proclaimed in the Harvard Education Review. “Our great cities are burnished on the surfaces, building high technologies, displaying astonishing consumer goods. And on the side streets, in the crevices, in the burnt-out neighborhoods, there are the rootless, the dependent, the sick, the permanently unemployed. There is little sense of agency, even among the brightly successful; there is little capacity to look at things as if they could be otherwise.”

Greene told future teachers that they could help change this bleak landscape by developing a “transformative” vision of social justice and democracy in their classrooms. Her vision, though, was a far cry from the democratic optimism of the Founding Fathers, Abraham Lincoln, and Martin Luther King Jr., which most parents would endorse. Instead, critical pedagogy theorists nurse a rancorous view of an America in which it is always two minutes to midnight and a knock on the door by the thought police is imminent. The education professors feel themselves anointed to use the nation’s K–12 classrooms to resist this oppressive system. Thus Maxine Greene urged teachers not to mince words with children about the evils of the existing social order. They should portray “homelessness as a consequence of the private dealings of landlords, an arms buildup as a consequence of corporate decisions, racial exclusion as a consequence of a private property-holder’s choice.” In other words, they should turn the little ones into young socialists and critical theorists.

All music to Bill Ayers’s ears. The ex-Weatherman glimpsed a new radical vocation. He dreamed of bringing the revolution from the streets to the schools. And that’s exactly what he has managed to do.

In record time Ayers acquired an Ed.D. with a dissertation titled “The Discerning ‘I’: Accounts of Teacher Self-Construction Through the Use of Co-Biography, Metaphor, and Image.” There wasn’t much biography, metaphor, or image in the 180-page text. Ayers’s research consisted solely of a few days spent interviewing and observing the classroom practices of three nursery school teachers he knew personally. (In Ayers’s own autobiographical section of the text—de rigueur for Teachers College dissertations—he reminisced about growing up in a wealthy Chicago suburb, about his warm family, and about having been arrested in campus antiwar demonstrations. Of his bomb-making skills or his ten years in the underground he said not a word.)

With his Teachers College credential in hand, Ayers landed an ed-school appointment back in Chicago, where his father was CEO of Commonwealth Edison and nicely plugged in to the city’s political establishment. These days, Ayers carries the joint titles of Distinguished Professor of Education and Senior University Scholar at the University of Illinois at Chicago. One of his several books on the moral imperative of teaching for social justice is a bestseller in ed-school courses. Like many other tenured and well-heeled radicals, Ayers keeps hoping for a revolutionary upheaval that will finally bring down American capitalism and imperialism. But now, instead of planting bombs in bathrooms, he has been planting the seeds of resistance and rebellion in America’s future teachers, who will then pass on the lessons to the students in their classrooms.

Future teachers signing up for Ayers’s course “On Urban Education” can read these exhortations from the course description on the professor’s website:

“Homelessness, crime, racism, oppression—we have the resources and knowledge to fight and overcome these things.”

“We need to look beyond our isolated situations, to define our problems globally. We cannot be child advocates . . . in Chicago or New York and ignore the web that links us with the children of India or Palestine.”

“In a truly just society there would be a greater sharing of the burden, a fairer distribution of material and human resources.”

For another course, titled “Improving Learning Environments,” Ayers proposes that teachers “be aware of the social and moral universe we inhabit and . . . be a teacher capable of hope and struggle, outrage and action, a teacher teaching for social justice and liberation.”

Ichabod Is Read Around the World

B 16 has publicly apologized. When will WELS publicly apologize for Columbus, Ohio? for Tucson? for Grand Rapids? for Watertown?

My technology friends tell me Ichabod is being read around the world, but especially in the states of Wisconsin and California.

I hear from various readers. One was a Roman Catholic and is now joining a truly conservative Lutheran congregation.

Another is Bruce Church, who has interesting blog material he sends my way. This morning I noticed he is giving stuff to Norm Teigen as well. Norm's blog continues to be my daily favorite.

Norm Teigen represents what is being lost (or thrown away) in the Little Sect, WELS, and Missouri. Every organization has its faults, but I believe the old Synodical Conference was once the domain of kind, gentle, orthodox people. The pastors were genuinely self-sacrificing. Some were intellectual giants who labored in obscurity but produced remarkable material.

The apostates took advantage of the trust built up by real churchmen. The apostates used their own nastiness, aggression, and ruthlessness to drive out the earlier leaders and pastors. The single biggest uniting factor has been Church Growth for the last few decades. Other damaging factors are unionism, Pentecostalism, and homosexual liberation.

Whatever is bad is then driven out by what is even worse. ELCA proved that. As bad as the LCA and ALC were in 1987, their synodical officials were considered too conservative to be trusted in the new lavender ELCA. Who created the La Cage ELCA? - the worst offenders of the LCA and ALC. The worst offenders of the past began howling as soon as they were shelved and ridiculed by the new leaders.

I look back at the LCA congregation I joined when I was 16. I left the Disciple of Christ on my own because First Christian in Moline made me ill. (How ironic, since the entire Lutheran Church today is enthralled by a sociologist from the Disciples of Christ, Donald McGavran!) The LCA congregation I joined had only recently been part of the Augustana Synod, part of the LCA merger. The only services we had were liturgical. The sermons were Biblical, not self-help rants.

The Wisconsin Synod did not like the fact that my LCA experience and theological training made me aware of the fraud being perpetrated by the Love Shack and the Sausage Factory. The more they lied, the more research I did. Many documents were sent to me, sometimes anonymously, other times by pastors who lacked the spine to do the work themselves.

Now the ELS, WELS, and Missouri synod members are crying in their beer about the bad leaders they have elected and enabled. They enable these thugs by sending them money, attending their meetings, and apologizing for the crimes committed in the Name of God.

Let me make a comparison. Bill Clinton did not become president and stay president because he was a good leader. He was a farce as Arkansas governor. He was a crashing bore as a speaker. He was far worse than a womanizer and creek-jumper. Every time he fell on his face, people propped him up again. He had powerful international friends already when he was governor of a largely ignored Southern state. When someone that incompetent is put in power and kept in power, it is because of powerful friends.

When you see an adulterous pastor promoted by his pals, it is not because of the wisdom of Holy Mother Synod. It is because of its corruption. That corruption is so entrenched now that the leaders are not even embarrassed over their criminal cover-ups. As soon as anyone gets a peek at what they are hiding, the attacks begin.

If you enjoy Ichabod, you will laugh at the following. A number of people have been falsely accused of being "Greg Jackson." If that is not funny enough, one pastor threatened Holy Mother WELS with sending me the latest WELS theological pratfall. He is no longer a WELS pastor.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Concordia, St. Louis, Enrollment Plunge?

Concordia needs to recruit more UOJ Stormtroopers.

Bruce Church sent me an email about Concordia, St. Louis. Enrollment has gone from 150 grads and 150 vicars to 100 incoming pastoral students. That is a 33% drop.

I wonder if that Leonard Sweet conference in 2007 was a cry for help, the death rattle of a dying, misdirected seminary.

Lutherans are ashamed of Luther's doctrine and disinterested in the Book of Concord.

The newest mission counselor for WELS (which, translated, means Church Growth salesman) is indifferent about the Confessions.

The attitude about doctrine is illustrated by one WELS pastor, who earned a D.Min. in Church Growth from Fuller Seminary. No wait, it was from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, the Midwest version of Fuller. He bought a case--yes, a case--of books by occultist Paul Y. Cho, to sell at a WELS conference.

What happens to these people? Many of them do very well in a material sense, so they stop trusting in God's Word. Why should they when marketing has worked so well with them? Many of them tumble for women or men and become such an embarrassment that they are forced out of the ministry. One prominent member of the North American Society for Church Growth, Lutheran Section, was arrested for soliciting in a men's public restroom.

Some of the Church Growth zombies do everything right and fail. They also lose faith because nothing worked for them. They blind themselves against the Word. They harden themselves against the Word. And then they ask why God has abandoned them.

The fatal enrollment figures at Concordia (probably at both of them) will bring pressure to merge the two schools. Both could easily be combined at St. Louis with Bethany and the Sausage Factory thrown in. They could be the Lutheran equivalent of this seminary:

Colgate-Rochester-Crozer-Bexley-St. Bernard. This mega-merged school has a total of seven faculty members. Some distinguished alumni of the school/schools are:

"Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Dr. Howard Thurman.
Leonard Sweet, author, preacher, scholar.
Dr. Johnny Douglas Turner, author of Rebuilding the Walls: A Call to Teaching in the African-American Church and The Sacred Art." (Wikipedia. The seminary's website lists people I have never heard of.)

Pope Snubbed on Purpose, Reports Virtue Online

"You said there would be a family outting soon, so I thought that would be a good time to...Oh? You meant a family picnic? My bad."

Benedict Rips Episcopal Church's use of 'local options'

News Analysis

By David W. Virtue

The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, Mrs. Katharine Jefferts Schori, was not in town when Pope Benedict came to New York. She was invited, but she had previously scheduled appointments. Bishop Mark Sisk Bishop of NY and Bishop Christopher Epting, deputy for ecumenical and interfaith relations for the Presiding Bishop, represented her, according to Neva Rae Fox of the Episcopal News Service.

According to a Roman Catholic priest who was there and who emailed VOL, other Episcopalians present, in addition to Bishop Sisk, were the Archdeacon and Vicar General of the diocese of New York, as well as Fr. Barry Swain SSC of Resurrection NYC, Fr. Andrew Mead of St. Thomas Fifth Avenue NYC and Fr. Michael Brandt of St. Michael's NYC.

Mrs. Jefferts Schori was at St. Mark's Cathedral and at the opening of the new Episcopal Church Center of Utah (ECCU) in Salt Lake City, Utah. She was not in New York City as the leader of The Episcopal Church to greet His Holiness. The snub was apparently not deliberate. Some Protestant dignitaries who did not show up to meet the Pope also had representatives.

The Pope did meet Bishop Sisk, but he was dead last in the line to be called up to meet His Holiness, a signal in itself just how much respect the Roman Catholic hierarchy has in New York City for the Episcopal Bishop. Sisk recently went on record trying to put his predecessor, Bishop Paul Moore, on a pedestal for his social justice stands even though he was involved in scandals that included both adultery and homosexuality.

Here is how it went.

It was at St. Joseph's Church on New York City's Upper East Side, that Pope Benedict XVI met with a number of Christian leaders. Bishop Sisk was there and presented to him, but at the very end of the line.

The first to be introduced were a number of Orthodox hierarchs who were called up by name; then, clergy of various Protestant denominations were called up individually by name. A minister representing Mark S. Hanson, Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, was in attendance. The ELCA bishop of the Atlantic Synod was also there. There were a number of clergy of obscure Protestant denominations, a Presbyterian Stated Clerk from the PCUSA, a Missouri Synod leader and then Sisk. He was the very last one to be called up. There are unconfirmed reports that the Rev. Andy Meade of St. Thomas's was there as was the Vicar General of New York.

It was the Pope's remarks to the ecumenical leaders, clearly aimed at The Episcopal Church, that stole the show. He singled out for particular condemnation the notion of "local option" in changing sacred doctrine. The Pope made it clear that dialogue is only possible within the context of revelation and the apostolic teachings of the Church. (One should bear in mind the rejection of General Convention Resolution B001, which asked TEC to uphold certain basic doctrines of the church, but could not muster enough votes to do so.)

Why did he do this? Who informed him? Many readers will recall that this Pope, when he was simply Cardinal Ratzinger, head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, was the one who sent a congratulatory note to some 4,000 orthodox Episcopal priests meeting in Dallas at Plano One in 2003. This was occurring right around Frank Griswold, then Presiding Bishop, thus humiliating the PB in the biggest single snub of his career. Ratzinger, now Benedict XIV, and 81, clearly has a long memory. Furthermore, it should be noted that VOL, according to Google Analytics, is read every day by more than 130 Italians. Some 30 readers are clustered in and around Rome and the Vatican.

That the Pope understood what "local option" has done to the Episcopal Church speaks volumes for the Pontiff's memory.

For those not in the know, "local option" is what revisionists and homosexuals like Louie Crew scream and whine when they can't have their way at one General Convention on homosexuality and cry "local option" until it is brokered in at the next General Convention.

It is the most disingenuous and opaque form of church politics you can imagine. The conservatives who see it coming are powerless to prevent it. A case in point has been the issue of rites for same sex unions (one can't really call them marriages as that implies two people of the opposite sex uniting in holy matrimony).

The Episcopal Church has still not officially approved such rites, but experimental rites are being shamelessly used and allowed by revisionist bishops with never a thought about whether a resolution for General Convention will approve them.

Of course, those of us who have been watching this "gay parade" called General Convention long enough know that it is only a case of when, not if they will be ushered in. No one has any doubt. The Pope knows it and called it for what it is.

If the Bishop of New York did not see this, he was blind, deaf and dumb, perhaps in his case all three. Perhaps, he was still in recovery from the knowledge of his predecessor Bishop Paul Moore's sordid life and was still reeling from that when he got hit with a one two punch from the Pontiff.

The truth is the Episcopal Diocese of New York is one sordid, sodomite enclave. So much so that one is hard pressed to find a handful of orthodox parishes still remaining in the diocese! What sort of a church pays good money to have a colorfully displayed motor car display upholding homosexuality at a Gay Pride Parade proudly announcing its support for a deadly behavior, while the Roman Catholic cathedral on 5th Avenue closes its doors for the day!

As one blogger observed, "The Episcopal Church's actions for the past quarter century has been characterized as an abandonment of doctrinal norms to press for sociological relevance. From the unilateral ordination of women to the priesthood, based not upon Scriptural or theological analysis but upon political considerations (using theology to back-fill once the political decision was made) to the idea of "open communion," that is, giving the Eucharist to the non baptized in direct and flagrant contradiction of both the Epistles and the ancient tradition of the Church, the Episcopal Church has claimed that it was acting locally."

Benedict decried the "splintering" of Christian churches over "so-called 'prophetic actions' that are based on a hermeneutic not always consonant with the datum of Scripture and Tradition." Such actions, he said, cause Christian communities to "give up the attempt to act as a unified body, choosing instead to function according to the idea of 'local options,'" thus losing their connections to Christians in other times and places. Some, but not all, interpreted that as a veiled reference to controversy in the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion.

He said that "only by holding fast to sound teaching will we be able to respond to the challenges that confront us in an evolving world." There is little doubt that the Pope's remarks must be seen in the light of his words of encouragement to the 4,000 faithful at Plano. He has not forgotten. Equally, there can be little doubt that he has been informed of the sexual "progress" the Episcopal Church has made with regard to the Robinson consecration and the post-consecration fallout.

Benedict said the power of the preaching of the Christian faith "has lost none of its internal dynamism. Yet we must ask ourselves whether its full force has not been attenuated by a relativistic approach to Christian doctrine similar to that found in secular ideologies. ..." Secular worldviews, "in alleging that science alone is "objective," relegate religion entirely to the subjective sphere of individual feeling. Scientific discoveries, and their application through human ingenuity, undoubtedly offer new possibilities for the betterment of humankind. This does not mean, however, that the "knowable" is limited to the empirically verifiable, nor religion restricted to the shifting realm of 'personal experience.'

He would know that tens of thousands of faithful Episcopalians are leaving the Episcopal Church and parishes and whole dioceses are being litigated against with millions being spent on lawsuits. The notion of "mission" has nothing to do with the Great Commission, but everything to do with the push for very secular Millennium Development Goals at the expense of saving souls.

The Pontiff is pushing his own priests and bishops to get involved in evangelism even as Islam is on the rise. This pope has talked more about evangelism than any pope in living memory, mindful no doubt that Europe is becoming extremely secularized, As Europe goes, so goes the rest of the world. Maybe.

"I think he did us the honor of giving us a serious address that I think needs to be read and reflected upon," said Sisk. Asked whether he thought Benedict had singled out the Episcopal Church in his remarks, Sisk responded, "It's possible--but I would be rather surprised. I don't think he was trying to send shots across the bow at particular churches. I think he spoke in a respectful way and I didn't see that as a shot at the Episcopal Church."

Churches claiming "prophetic actions" such as the sexual innovations of the Episcopal Church do not sit well with the Pontiff. Such prophetic actions are not necessarily prophetic at all.

Mrs. Jefferts Schori's absence cannot be ignored. That she put the opening of a building ahead of the leader of one billion Christians speaks volumes. It might have something to do with the fact that she sees property issues as being of such great value that she has instructed her attorney to litigate, at every turn of the road, those faithful Episcopalians who would seek to leave and keep them.

The Episcopal Church is on a trajectory downwards. There is no stopping it. The only question is, will the Pontiff offer a safe harbor for Anglo-Catholics in the Episcopal Church or among Anglo-Catholic Continuers as the church continues to head gadarene like towards the cliff edge?

Those in the reformed Anglican tradition, however, will have to look elsewhere for a safe harbor.


B16 Takes Off, Shunned by Episcopal and ELCA Bishops, Not by DP Benke

Pope Benedict XVI and District Pope David Benke met, but the ELCA and Episcopal Presiding Bishops both shunned B16.

For once the Ecumenical Office of Ichabod was shocked. Normally the ELCA and Episcopal primates would crawl over broken glass to meet the real pope. Not this time. Doubtless B16's tough stance against homosexual clergy offended the two Protestant leaders of the Lavender Mafia.

Benke was there. He is the David Koenig (CLC) of the Missouri Synod. Like Benke, Koenig is also "ecumenical wherever he goes." Koenig is a true ecumenist. He loves every denomination except his own.

Something still puzzles me. ELDONA clergy were so full of wrath about Benke working with liberal denominations that they started their own faux-Eastern Orthodox sect in protest. The six letters in their acronym correspond roughly to their total number of member congregations. Heiser was so upset about Yankee Stadium that--many years later--he formed ELDONA. At the same time he formed a Center for the Study of Lutheran Orthodoxy with an ELCA member on its governing board. That was done "for the money."

I am in favor of ecumenical unity based on money. People should gather around what they worship. Why did Marvin Schwan donate to three synods at once? He wanted their shouted praise. What do Missouri, WELS, and the Little Sect on the Prairie agree about? - their love for money, Church Growth, and Leonard Sweet.

J. P. Morgan used to take Episcopal bishops and his mistress on the same train, when they went to church conventions together. Those Episcopalians are so-o-o-o lax.

ELCA - Full Communion with United Methodists

Leonard Sweet, United Methodist/New Age Theologian, Is a Favorite in the LCMS and WELS (Church and Change)


April 21, 2008

United Methodist Church to Consider Full Communion with ELCA

CHICAGO (ELCA) -- The General Conference of the United Methodist Church (UMC) will consider a proposal for full communion with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) when it meets April 23-May 2 in Fort Worth, Texas.

The proposal, "Implementing Resolution for Full Communion between the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the United Methodist Church," has been years in the making.

Assuming adoption by the UMC General Conference, the ELCA Church Council requested that a formal proposal for full communion with the United Methodist Church be presented at its November 2008 meeting. The council will consider transmitting the proposal for action by the 2009 ELCA Churchwide Assembly. The assembly meets in Minneapolis Aug. 17-23.

The two churches have had a relationship of "Interim Eucharistic Sharing" since 2005. That relationship called for members to pray for and support each other, to study Scripture together and to learn about each other's traditions.

Full communion means the churches will work for visible unity in Jesus Christ, recognize each other's ministries, work together on a variety of ministry initiatives, and, under certain circumstances, provide for the interchangeability of ordained clergy.

The Rev. Mark S. Hanson, ELCA presiding bishop, will preach April 29 at the UMC General Conference and participate in the conference's ecumenical day activities. Staff of ELCA Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Relations will also attend the meeting.

Calling the full communion vote "an important day in the life of our two churches," the Rev. Donald J. McCoid, executive, ELCA Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Relations, said the UMC General Conference vote is expected to be an affirmation of the unity for which Jesus Christ prayed in the Gospel of John 17:21.

"The dialogue between the United Methodist Church and the ELCA has been one that has had my deep interest and support," said McCoid, who was born into a Methodist family.

"Church unity is an important matter for the Christian family. The full communion agreement will deepen the opportunities for shared ministry in so many places, as we look forward to the future," he said.

If adopted by both churches, this will be the first time the ELCA has entered in a relationship of full communion with a church body larger than itself, said the Rev. Allan C. Bjornberg, Lutheran co-chair of the current round of the Lutheran-United Methodist Dialogue and bishop, ELCA Rocky Mountain Synod, Denver.

"In the past decade we have discovered that these agreements provide a very effective framework for joint mission and ministry," Bjornberg said. "While many ELCA and UMC congregations have cordial relations, I sense this new agreement will provide a clear path toward deeper and more effective witness to our gospel

Both the ELCA and UMC are reforming movements, one of European origin, one American, "which complement each other in the areas of personal piety, social reform and public witness," Bjornberg said. "Our similarities are many, and our theological
differences are variations on the common theme of God's powerful and transforming grace in Jesus Christ," he added.

The ELCA and UMC have been in formal theological dialogue since 1977, which led to the relationship of Interim Eucharistic Sharing.

The ELCA has five full communion relationships. Full communion partner churches are the Episcopal Church, the Moravian Church in America, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Reformed Church in America and United Church of Christ. If the UMC General Conference adopts the proposal, this will be the first full communion agreement for the UMC outside of the Methodist tradition, McCoid said.

The ELCA is one of 140 churches in the Lutheran World Federation and is the third-largest Lutheran church in the world with 4.8 million members. The United Methodist Church is a worldwide church with nearly 8 million members in the United States.


GJ - Note well that the president of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, was in awe of Leonard Sweet at a special conference last year. Yes, they taped the love-fest and linked it to their website.

Before that, WELS invited Leonard Sweet to their Church and Change conference. That caused enough turmoil for the conference to be canceled, Church and Change to be utterly destroyed and rooted out forever. That means Church and Change got its own link on the official WELS website and registered people via the WELS website for the last conference. No wonder WELS has a reputation for being harsh, vindictive, and legalistic - but only against confessional Lutherans!

Sweet was the president of the seminary that produced Rev. Jeremiah Wright, the race-bating spiritual mentor of Obama. Sweet's website gushes about Sweet but there is no information about marriage or children. Mrs. Ichabod thinks he is, but I am not sure. Bruce Church reports that Sweet is on his second marriage.

Now that Lutherans have abandoned Luther, the Book of Concord, the efficacy of the Word, and the Means of Grace, they might as well be in full communion with anything and anyone in robes.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Rev. A. Nony Mouse Revealed?

Mission Impossible Mouse

My informant from the ELS has identified Rev. Roger Kovaciny as A. Nony Mouse.

He is speculating, because Mouse does not have the courage to identify himself.

I had several candidates in mind, but my source has some key points to support his case:

  1. "Kovaciny is a coward."

  2. Kovaciny is famous for mindless pursuit, once he has a target. One WELS pastor told me years ago, "If Kovaciny has not viciously attacked you, you are nothing in WELS." At one point he was ordered by the DP to stop writing to me and about me. Later he started again with emails. I kept forwarding the emails to ELS President George Orvick and the WELS SP. The emails stopped.

    To which I might add:

  3. Mouse has trouble with basic facts, which is typical of Kovaciny.

  4. Mouse is very anti-anti-Church Growth. He was Floyd Luther Stolzenburg's finger puppet in Columbus and raised money at Floyd's Masonic Church Growth hive (Emmanuel) when he was working for Thoughts of Faith. Kovaciny had Jay Webber's and John Shep's approval. I always wondered if those poor Ukrainians would have named their church Emmanuel if they had known the truth about Stolzenburg. The ELS and WELS did, but all you have to do with them is drag a $100 bill through the Love Shack and they will declare, "He's orthodox!"

  5. Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Phillip B. Giessler, Litt.D.":

    Wow. If it wasn't for Herman Otten and his rag, no one would know who Greg Jackson is. Now you're even biting the hand that made you. Sad.

    That is typical Kovaciny.

I doubt whether the real Mouse will reveal himself. I know some of LutherQuest (sic) posters get into a rant whenever they are low on their meds. One of the many Bailing Water editors was accused of being "Greg Jackson" (horrors) when he said something mildly critical of WELS. He thought that was funny. So did I.

Some of the UOJ fanatics on LQ fulminate at the mention of my name. One blocked a congregational donation to Christian News because the paper was still publishing my material. "Expelled"? Who'da thought!

Expelled - The Ben Stein Movie

I have been watching the Intelligent Design debate for a number of years. The anti-religious see ID as a stalking horse for Christianity, a ruse to fool the rubes into thinking they are scientists. Recently, a college student loudly declared that to be a fact in my class.

"Expelled" deals with the effort of modern science to stop all debate and discussion of Intelligent Design. Therefore, the movie is more about modern science than ID itself.

The Man
Ben Stein and I go back many decades. When I used to read Time magazine cover-to-cover, I often found articles about his late father, the economist for Richard Nixon, Herb Stein. (I shook Nixon's hand once, at Moline International Airport, but that is another story.) When Herb died, I sent Ben a letter of condolence via email. He wrote back. Another time I praised his review for "Borat," which gave me even more reasons to avoid the movie. Once again, Ben wrote me, even though I simply posted my comments in the letter section of a website.

I was reading Ben's stories in American Spectator in the 1980's. They are running commentaries on society, lack of thankfulness, his family, and his Hollywood career. Stein became famous for his "Buhler, Buhler, anyone?" satire of teaching in "Ferris Buhler's Day Off," a classic comedy. His TV show, "Win Ben Stein's Money," showed how the emotional side of Stein when he was losing his own money over trivia tests. He went to Columbia University and Yale Law, where he was valedictorian. Stein is rare for being a well known media talent and a genuine intellectual. Most actors have not graduated from college and only think they know everything. Stein is well trained in law, history, and economics.

The Movie
Expelled begins with titles taken from black and white films of the Berlin Wall. The credits are cleverly "painted" on the Wall. This theme becomes important, but appears rather mysterious at the beginning of the film.

Stein is the narrator, pretending to be a lot more innocent than he is about intellectual issues. This style is quite effective, because he asks important questions instead of debating with scientists. He lets them make their points and encourages them to communicate their philosophy.

The Movement
ID is not necessarily religious. Scientists have had to face the extreme shallowness of Darwin and the infinite complexity of Creation at the same time. Some say that nano-technology has made them face the design features of the living cell. Others claim that scanning electron micro-scopes have revealed an elegance to micro-structures impossible to deny.

Science is never going to prove or disprove Creation. The film is very good in avoiding that trap. We should be thankful that Stein, one of the writers, is a Jew rather than a Calvinist. The film shows how the atheistic and the ID views are two different philosophies engaging the same set of facts. At one point my favorite theme is expressed in different words - reality is a net we use to hold the facts. Primitives in Africa see a silver dart in the sky and see it as tiny, strange thing. A Westerner sees the same moving dart and says, "About 60 people are on that jet."

"Expelled" does not try to run Darwin into the ground. People try to make Darwinism fail with personal attacks against the man. Darwin was trained in theology, but he was also highly regarded as a scientific observer. He did not invent evolution. He longed to be famous. His famous book told people just what they wanted to hear at a time when Christianity was losing its hold on Europe. The Origin of Species was a watershed in science. Instead of Creation being normative for science, evolution became normative for science and mainline religion. Darwin is carved in stone on Riverside Church in NYC, the liberal congregation funded by John D. Rockefeller.

"Expelled" is good at portraying the atheism of leading scientists. Dawkins is the most prominent. Atheism is not indifference about religion but a genuine hatred of all religion as dangerous. The Humanist Manifesto, I and II, makes this clear. Atheists have trouble calling themselves atheists. They prefer to be called scientists and humanists.

Evolutionists see religion behind ID. Robert Jastrow (not mentioned in the film) was quoted in Yale Divinity's magazine as saying, "Evolution is like claiming a tornado went through a junkyard and produced a working model of a Boeing 747 jet." Jastrow is a famous astrophysicist and not religious.

Scientists and journalists have been expelled from their jobs for harboring kind thoughts about ID, even for mentioning ID in the classroom. The extent of this should not surprise anyone acquainted with Pope John the Malefactor, the Wisconsin Synod, or Kieschnick. Stein seemed to be genuinely astonished at the extent of the persecution.

Hitler and Sanger
Evolution, abortion, and genocide go together like Church Growth, Waldo Werning, and David Valleskey.

One of the best features of this film is the clear connection between evolution and "genetic purity." The Nazis loved evolution and used Darwinian concepts to promote their policies. Killing the infirm and feeble-minded was one of their programs, graphically shown.

Margaret Sanger was the founder of Planned Parenthood. She spoke to the KKK (famous photo) because they loved her teaching. PP is the biggest abortion provider in the US. ELCA pays for clergy family abortions, but that does not bother WELS, the ELS, or Missouri. Government-funded abortions have carried out Sanger's dream of eliminating as many Blacks in America as possible. Either Dear Abby or Ann Landers (sisters) advocated abortion on demand to reduce the cost of welfare.

ELCA goes to court to suppress the teaching of ID and Creation. The mainline denominations have been wonderful in supporting Darwinism. The Church of Rome accepts a blended view of Darwinism - evolution until man had a soul.

The Wall
The captivating film develops the Berlin Wall theme by showing how we must build a wall between the facts and the concept of ID, to be acceptable to modern science. Although the film moves along quickly, it also seems much longer than it is because of all the information provided.

If I get a chance I will post a few quotations on this issue from my ready-to-go database (L. Olson), Megatron.

Mrs. Ichabod and I seldom go to a movie without our grandchildren. This movie is worthwhile for everyone to see. Do not be surprised if some scientists are there in the audience. They are the ones with paper bags over their heads.