The Glory Has Departed
Norma Boeckler, Artist in Residence
Bethany Lutheran Worship on
Thursday, July 31, 2008
We designed Team Yakov t-shirts for everyone when we went to see Yakov Smirnoff in Branson, Missouri. Mrs. Ichabod executed the plan. Once all the spelling was correct, we took the shirts on our trip.
Yakov thought we just wanted him to sign our shirts. He does that often. We said, "We came to give you your own and one for your mother." She was watching his show and working the gift shop, as she always does.
Yakov was startled and moved. He said, "In 15 years no one has ever given me a t-shirt. I am always signing them."
He signed ours while we talked about his show. I watched him gather his two shirts up when he left for the second half of the show. Afterwards he signed a book for one of the grandchildren.
The shirts feature a picture of the Statue of Liberty, the climax of his show.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Church Growth Model Married to WELS union lethal for congregations
Another pastor who doesn't do anything because he follows the CG model even though he only has 45 members to task: see this post that Ichabod's Dr. Jackson already linked to, and this comment on that post, and this comment on another post.
The CG model creates the "too many chiefs and too few Indians scenario" in many WELS churches, which tend to be on the smallish side.
The WELS is a union--make no mistake about it--so when you marry a CG "Pastor as CEO" model to the WELS union, the pastors end up doing no evangelism--big time! The members refuse to do it all, and he refuses to implement any program at all unless the members commit to more than they are willing to do. So nothing gets done evangelism-wise.
Perhaps some independent churches can be successful with the CG model--despite it being bad theology--because their pastor is not a part of a union, and can more readily be forced to do evangelism and visitation whether the congregation does enough to meet the pastors expectations, or not.
When pastors do no evangelism because they can't implement the CG model, they sit around and blame the mega-community churches for stealing all their members and potential members, causing the church to shrink so it has to be merged with other shrinking WELS churches.
I'm not for CG, but I'm (at least) for doing what pastors and elders did in the past, which is visiting people and teaching them, encouraging them to come to church,
and maybe even leading neighborhood canvassing efforts where people are invited to church--like was done in the old days--since shoe gum and tracts were affordable even during the Depression-era.
By Rob, 1 July 2008
WELS is run by the pastors & teachers union. Most delegates to national and district conventions are members of the union. In my experience, even some lay delegates are former or retired teachers, therefore members of the union. (BTW, Synod Constitution prohibits this practice, yet it's done.) The COP is 100% union. The SC contains non-union members, and maybe this contributes to occasional friction between SC and COP. In our culture, unions expect two pay increases per year: longevity (step) increase, plus inflation cost of living adjustment. Under union rules, pay never goes down.
Bailing Water Commentary
Better get used to it. If the church and change gang have their way, our good old historical lutheran way of conducting worship services is a thing of the past. We traditional people are just not 'with it'. C'mon- you don't want to be one of those 'head-in-the-sand people', do ya?
Until people stand up and demand that these pastors do THEIR jobs, they'll continue to guilt you into doing it for them. Not everyone IS a minister. It's a gift that has been given to some. What about these pastors going out to visit the members that ARE on the books before you go knock on doors in an attempt to run up your numbers? C'mon laity, hold their feet to the fire. Many of the these pastors are getting paid a pretty penny to do their jobs and turn around and try to get you to do it for them.
July 31, 2008 12:11 AM
I am getting that funny feeling in the pit of my stomach that many of these pastors and lay leaders are attending the same CG seminars. We have a ministry plan at our WELS congregation as well. Our pastors don't talk about it directly too often. The plan seems to manifest itself in all of the new and allegedly great ideas to bring in more people and save more souls. Maybe you are fortunate that your ministry plan is all talk right now. The devil is in the details. When the plan is actually implemented, watch what they do more than what they say. You just might get the pastor parading around like a TV evangelist and lay lectors doing the readings.
July 31, 2008 6:54 AM
In my experience, church growth methodology is almost always pushed by the laity, not the pastors. Most pastors fight it all the way, but get overruled by a council or by the voters.
It's always faster and easier for a pastor to do all of the work by himself. When you have to start to training and supervising people, that's when the huge investment of time comes into play.
So before people start blaming pastors for everything wrong in a congregation or synod, the members of that congregation or synod ought to look seriously at themselves first.
July 31, 2008 8:06 AM
Ten Basic Facts about Church Growth
GJ - Anonymous may have experienced laity pushing CG, but the CGM is the first fad ever forced from above on all the congregations by the leadership. Here are some facts:
1. Almost all the world mission executives (of all denominations) went to Fuller for CG training. That is why the Mission Vision Statement by the Assemblies of God is just like WELS' and Missouri's.
2. Fuller expanded their business model by applying their marketing and statistical ideas to American missions. They roped all those executives in as well.
3. ELCA, Missouri, WELS, and the ELS sent men to Fuller (later to Willow Creek too) and various other CG franchises.
4. The pan-Lutheran CG effort was enhanced by AAL-LB, now Thrivent money.
5. Because of executives being training at Fuller, any Lutheran pastor with a Fuller degree (Larry Olson, DMin, Fuller) was given preferential treatment, even though "all WELS pastors know Larry is a false teacher." Ergo, he is harmless?
6. Kent Hunter and Waldo Werning, both Fuller trained, have worked in all the synods to promote their false doctrine. Werning does his best to drive CG critics out of the ministry. Hunter has become a major pan-denominational CG guru, in spite of his ridiculous books. Hunter and Werning are both LCMS, both Who's Who in Church Growth.
7. Both LCMS seminaries teach CG as part of their curriculum. Robert Preus started the CG program and endorsed CG principles when he was president of Concordia, Ft. Wayne.
8. David Valleskey and Frosty Bivens built their careers by promoting CG, ending up as professors at the Sausage Factory. Both bragged about going to Fuller. Both denied going to Fuller. Every sausage is sauteed in CG before graduating.
9. WELS, probably led by Wayne Mueller, established Church and Change to push CG even more, to the extreme point of registering people for the C and C conference from the official WELS website. This registration was going on while WELS pastors were being told that C and C was utterly destroyed by Gurgel (Honest Abe Gurgel, now in a secure, undisclosed location). Adam Mueller (son of Wayne) is a leader in C and C.
10. American mission leaders in all the synods, from the lavender ELCA to the dysfunctional CLC (sic) are united by CG doctrine.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
From Bailing Water:
I have been sitting back reading the comments about everyone's a minister. I just thought I would share another recent visit to a WELS worship service. This service actually used hymns from CW and followed parts of the liturgy. What is interesting is that the only part the pastor partook in was the sermon and communion. Meanwhile, the staff (or is it staph) minister led the service and lay men did the Bible readings. Maybe the sermon is all the young minister can handle since he was parading around the altar and up and down the aisles during the 35 minute sermon. This is a church of about 400-500 members. I just found it odd that the called pastor did not lead the service.
Herman Melville said the ship was his Harvard and Yale College. Mine was Columbus, Ohio, where the cancer of Church Growth was funded and promoted by WELS.
District VP Paul Kuske set up a way to let Floyd Luther Stolzenburg pretend he was a WELS pastor, even though Floyd was recently forced out of the LCMS ministry--for cause--and divorced by his wife. Kuske tried to set him up as the resident Church Growth expert, but the board refused Floyd for being so obnoxious. More money was thrown on the table, and Roger Zehms, another divorced pastor, was imported from St. Louis, to give Lutheran Parish Resources two experts in CG.
Even though Floyd was scornful of WELS and never joined WELS, VP Paul Kuske and DP Robert Mueller were eager to treat him as a WELS pastor and make it official. The Columbus pastors sat around Floyd like puppies and listened to all his attacks on the Gospel, joining in where they could. Money made them wag their tails, sit up and beg.
That was how I learned so much about the Book of Concord. I read it before, studied it from time to time. Hardly any pastors would say anything about CG. If they did, they backed down. Like the war elephants of ancient times, they were more dangerous in retreating than they were in attacking. So I turned to Luther, Chemnitz, and the Book of Concord. Everything about the CGM was there.
I quoted Luther, the Book of Concord, Walther, Pieper, Lenski - and the WELS leaders were furious. They constantly meddled with the parish, joined by the Columbus pastors and the divorced CG experts. The CG critics trembled in their warrens, afraid someone might find out they had Lutheran tendencies.
The District Mission Board was robotic-Church Growth - Adrian and Oelhaven.
So how did all this work out for Columbus?
1. VP Kuske endorsed Floyd as the pastor Emanuel Lutheran, Columbus, but Kuske denied it, of course. Floyd is still operating there.
2. Zehms suddenly left Columbus for LFL, then left there for Texas. His first wife can sing, "All my exes live in Texas."
3. M. Schroeder was kicked out of WELS, so his congregation went with him. WELS still takes money from him. Can you see the tails wagging? Look up Salem Foundation at the Sausage Factory.
4. Schroeder's assistant pastor left WELS for Missouri and left Missouri for the Baptists.
5. Roger Kovaciny headed to the Ukraine with David Jay Webber. Kovo resigned from the ELS ministerium. Webber came back from the Ukraine to work in Scottsdale.
6. Schuman, who was Floyd's CG buddy, was forced to resign from St. Paul's. He became a Thrivent salesman but is not listed with them now.
7. Fred Adrian, DMB chair, was furious (like Oelhaven and Kovo) that I dared to criticize CG in my conference paper. Adrian supervised Vicar Zerbe, who went to the state hoosegow for having an affair with a minor girl. Fred later resigned from the ministry. He never did his DMB work. I heard he was too busy...
8. Pilgrim Community Church, started by Zehms, Floyd, and Kuske, folded. They did not want any WELS visitors or transfers to their little CG experiment. In that regard they were successful beyond their wildest dreams.
9. Likewise, the Brazilian video tape ministry fiasco ended with Richard Starr coming home with a lot less fanfare than when he left.
By the way, when I say that WELS leaders were angry about my criticisms of CG, I mean incoherent with rage. Oelhaven, Adrian, and Kovo went bonkers in front of the conference. Later, I saw Paul Iiefel (CLC sic) uncorked the same way. Readers need to know how invested the ELS-WELS-LCMS clergy are in false doctrine.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
The wolves line up to howl when one of their cohorts is exposed for being a high profile apostate. Anyone who has read the history of Seminex will find the same type of drama queens screeching that one of their own has been offended. And they want reparations, too.
I have noticed that almost nothing happens until people read about it on Ichabod or Bailing Water.
Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Wolves Are Howling":
that's because they don't print this kind of stuff in the Foward in Christ. Ichabod and BW are the best sources for keeping up with the WELS shenanigans.
Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Wolves Are Howling":
How do you know no one objected? Did you see the letters that were sent to WLC about it? This only proves to me you're a yellow journalist and always have been.
GJ - Someone who engages in anonymous name-calling should not bring up the color yellow. The term might reflect on the character of the WELS-ELS reject.
I remember when Archbishop Weakland was the featured speaker at Wisconsin Lutheran College. Someone gave me the handout bragging about his talk. Some of his priests also spoke in that series. WLC immediately began deceiving people about the event. They tried to make it a private lunch for only a few people, as if that mattered.
Much more was said in WELS about Martin Marty, who is at least a Lutheran. A district went on record to object to the Marty lecture, but WLC thumbed its nose at the district. Or, as one pastor said, "They just gave us the finger."
Several things were wrong with the Weakland and fellow priest series:
1. The Church of Rome has nothing to contribute to Lutheran education, and that includes Bethany Lutheran College, another school that genuflected to Rome.
2. Weakland was so bad as a church leader that he was forced out of office, whether for his immorality, his coverup attempts, or his misuse of church funds to pay off his boyfriend.
3. Weakland defended pedophile priests by saying children were looking for sex.
Every time the spineless WELS/ELS pastors let the apostates get away with this stuff, the leaders are encouraged to try even more.
Anonymous.2 - Do you remember the Book of Concord from last Sunday's adult class? Luther said we should chase non-studious pastors out of town and pelt them with dog manure. Those comments are the confession of all orthodox Lutherans because they are entombed in the Book of Concord, Large Catechism. I say entombed because the lazy pastors no longer teach the Confessions or read them.
If we should pelt lazy Lutheran pastors with dog manure while chasing them out of town, what should we do with apostates who invite disciples of the Antichrist to teach, lecture, and march in a religious procession (Bethany Seminary Faculty)?
Monday, July 28, 2008
Thanks to Bruce Church (a real minister) we have the actual website from Rev. Tim:
Rev. Tim and Rev. Karen
What a relief, to find that Rev. Tim is Lutheran back to Luther. Who else is qualified to make fun of Luther's doctrine? Only a certified Holy Mother WELS Pietist is qualified to heap scorn on Luther's doctrine.
How ironic, to be at Victory of the Lamb, when the wolves are winning.
Rev. Tim complained about his marriage ministry being misconstrued. He provided the link to his WELS article, which included the link to the website.
The Church Growth wolves cry "Foul!" whenever they can, helping them avoid the main issue.
A software guy from NML is not a minister.
I did a satire about the Wa-wa-tosites inventing or copying all kinds of false doctrine - in the name of the Gospel creates its own forms. I posed our Shetland Sheepdog as a newly ordained minister to dogs, with her own feminist-canine Dogmatics book. She enjoyed the attention.
Rev. Tim has been dominating Bailing Water with his unintended exposure of Church Growth false doctrine. Yes, let him blab. The more he writes, the more people will know about the crafts and assaults of Fuller/Willow Creek.
I call him Rev. Tim because he claims to be running a "marriage ministry" with his wife. He referred to an article he wrote when they were members of St. Paul, Muskego.
The alleged marriage ministry is a website designed to make money from marriage or the hopes of getting married.
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The site reminded me of Rev. Mark Freier, who is also cashing in on marriage, co-pastoring with his wife.
I have contended before that Church Growth leads to complete apostasy. What greater proof does one need? Rev. Tim will sell anything (except his own company's insurance) in the name of marriage and call it a "ministry." Rev. Mark will marry anyone of any faith or no faith.
Both ministries represent where WELS is heading.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
I am sorry. I tried to get a new service recorded but I did not have enought time to do so before our trip. We will have our next live Sunday service (and adult study) on August 3rd.
Recorded files are at the link for Bethany Lutheran Worship.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
L P Cruz has left a new comment on your post "Not Dead Orthodoxy, but Synod-Worship To Blame":
Thank you and spot on for saying the most obvious which no one in Lutheran blog is saying..
Unfortunately, Walther instigated the biggest problem of all - worship of the synod
Absolutely correct, I come to this observation too by reading some blogs and how they quote their dead teachers - my point is that they do not argue or quote by what Scripture says or by what the BOC witnesses, instead they argue/quote by what Walther said.
They have no more capacity to be self-critical. That is when fanaticism I am afraid comes in.
GJ - Each Lutheran sect perpetuates its own worship. Walther began it. He gloried in the success of the Missouri Synod, which another group began. The Loehe missionaries were written out of LCMS history.
Amercan sect self-adoration must seem odd to Lutherans in other countries. As Jack Preus observed in his Chemnitz biography, European countries accept the Book of Concord while American Lutherans have an issue with the Lutheran Confessions. So each sect is the judge of its own worthiness.
There are certain unspoken rules about discussions in each sect. The main one is the defense of Holy Mother Sect. Holy Mother is spotless, incapable of error, always moving forward in a glorious way, even when gross errors and criminal activity take place. Roman Catholics call it the indefectibility of the Church. Lutherans call it synod history.
QED - the message is always a comparison between sects. "What does your synod teach?" It might be better to say, "What does your sect teach today?" The supposedly non-fellowshiping Missouri, Little Norwegian, and Shrinking Wisconsin sects are jubilantly working with ELCA at all levels, from the congregation (via Thrivent) to the national (via Thrivent). True, national is a silly term when dealing with 1-4 state sects.
Changing the rules of discussion will always create cries of pain. The apostate leaders do not want to discuss the ruling norm of Scripture. They are allergic to and ignorant of the ruled norm of the Confessions. Simply raising those issues is an act of theological suicide.
Knowing they must press themselves close to the bosom of Holy Mother Sect, many clergy are establishing little conventicles where they can obsess over insignifant matters. Watch these turn into fractures and little groups sinuflecting to Rome.
The power of Rome's evil is chiefly derived from its attraction to so many different types.
Some of you are saying, "Now, wait. How can these little lobbyists for this and that turn to Rome when they are obsessing about matters Lutherans and dead leaders known only to Lutherans having the same DNA strands?"
Aha. The answer is simple. Their devotion has been turned to a veneration of Holy Mother Sect. All they need is a Richard J. Neuhaus figure to say, "We love our dear Mother Church too, but the real Church behind these little groups is Infernal Rome, I mean, Eternal Rome. Return to your True Mother." And they will go to Rome because they started the final stage of the great Apostasy when they made the synod their idol.
Here is another LCMS pastor who went to Rome.
Richard J. Neuhaus was invited to give this Come Back to Rome talk at Concordia Seminary, Ft. Wayne (aka The Fort) where about half the clergy in the room nodded in agreement. There was no uproar. People still defend The Fort as a great place for Lutheran studies.
Monday, July 21, 2008
Bishops and their spouses (we don't call them wives) are unable to sleep together. The rooms are too small at the University of Kent, so it is separate bedrooms for the next 20 days. This might be the longest running story about enforced celibacy in modern ecclesiastical history. Who knows, it might be just enough pressure to help them come to a decision about sodomy.
Officials of the Lambeth Conference recently disclosed that 230 of the 880 bishops in the worldwide Communion were staying away from the Lambeth Conference. The entire Anglican provinces of Uganda, Rwanda and Nigeria and at least four bishops from the Church of England are boycotting the event. There is a token Kenyan, which the Lambeth conference is trumpeting as a victory for their side. But it's nonsense of course. One bishop out of 34 means only that the Kenyans want a first-hand account of what is happening here, and not the spin from the left. Makes sense to me.
A VOL reader went to Salisbury Cathedral to hear the Primate of TEC, Katharine Jefferts Schori field a forum on the issue of ordaining homosexual bishops. To justify their practicing sodomy, she used the passed-its-sell-by date mantra of "science has shown that homosexuality is as genetic as left handedness and red headedness." And she claims to be a marine biologist! Even Peter Tatchell rejects this pretext.
"The session commenced with Jefferts Schori talking with her usually heavy and seductive drawl, about the word "conversation" and its Latin root (to give gravity to what we were about to listen). She then guided us to the conversations that took place in the Garden of Eden and between Christ and his father at the time of his baptism: "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased." She then asked us all to close our eyes and meditate on how God "is well pleased with us." Following this getting in touch with our inner selves, she then went round the assembled devotees asking them how they felt. By this time my frustration had become unbearable. I raised my hand and asked permission to ask a question, which seemed momentarily to break the spell.
"Talking of conversations I reminded her of the promises she had made in Dar el Salaam not to confiscate the church properties of those ECUSA congregations who realigned with African bishops and how she had reneged on this promise. For example, in the case of the Falls Church, Virginia (George Washington was on its building committee, decades before the diocese existed) who had made an agreement with their bishop, Peter Lee, in exchange for a substantial sum of money, to realign to the Province of Nigeria, she acting beyond her authority, had overturned this protocol, suing the congregation for trespassing on their own property. Was this the kind of conversation she was going advocate in Britain for those congregations wanting to take refuge with GAFCON?
"She gave a rational explanation as to why those churches and their assets should be repossessed (and I suppose left empty, to be sold as Kentucky Fried Chicken outlets and carpet warehouses). This explanation was warmly received by the assembled grey, silver-haired and bald worshippers and I briefly wondered how the bishops and medieval knights lying in their tombs, just a few feet away, would view Salisbury Cathedral being turned into a Mosque?
"There was one other person, a clergyman who challenged her on her assertion that there are many routes to God, in spite of clearly biblical passages to the contrary. Again, we had the extraordinary flim flam, with references to the Christ like Dalai Lama and again with the enthusiastic applause from the damned."
rlschultz has left a new comment on your post "Amusing, Snide Comments from a Constant Reader":
Those in the WELS who have a pedigree chart or are WELS-connected often get worked up into a dander when one criticizes holy mother synod. One of my former co-workers was of this ilk. He often spoke of his long rap sheet as if it were something to be proud of -
"I know Huebner", "I know Kruschel", "I know Jeske the elder", "my daughter belongs to Jeske the lesser's congregation", "three of my daughters are married to pastors".
He always reminded me that his wife was a teacher and that got him in to the WELS inner circle where he ran with the big dogs. On the flip side, he would complain about the foreign missionaries who "went over to the dark side" and became pentecostal. He bragged about his connections, but he could never make the right connection. Unable to look past the end of his nose, he just couldn't figure out that the WELS pastors who had defected were just taking their training from the sausage factory to its logical conclusion.
I have witnessed what happens to laity who swallow the Church Growth bird, feathers and all. The first thing that they start doing is grumbling about empty pews, lack of zeal among members, and of course, not having enough money in the coffers. Then, they look to Geneva or the pentecostal circus tent down the road and begin to make comparisons. Their solution is some sort of law motivation to raise the level of involvement. Without knowing it, they diminish the importance of sound doctrine and trust only what they see at the end of their nose.
LCMS Pastor:I bought your book Thy Strong Word, and found some of your internet stuff.
In short, thanks and keep it up. I'm the pastor at St. Paul Ev. Lutheran Church in __________. LCMS. Your part-time student and Ichabod lurker.
A Laywoman, about the Book of Concord series, Internet broadcast:
Excellent Lutheran church history lesson!
From A. Nony Mouse:
If this isn't proof you're off your rocker, I don't know what is! Keep it up, Greg. I know several who like to view your blog to get their daily laughs!(GJ - I wonder if those several belong to the same Twelve-step Program.)
(apologies to Meredith Wilson and his classic 76 Trombones)
Seventy-six Paul Kelms led the big parade,
With a hundred and ten Parlows close at hand,
They were followed by rows and rows of the Fuller gloriosos,
The stars of every Luthrun band.
Seventy-six Pietists signed at Willow Creek,
With a hundred and ten Wernings right behind,
There were more than a thousand cells springing up like Hell,
There were horns of every demon kind.
There were silver-plated false prophets in limousines,
Making goals, marketing, all along the way,
Doubled-chinned, fat phonies, in their leisure suits,
Leisure suits woven in neutral gray.
There were fifty mounted leaders in WELS Church and Change,
Feminists, womenists, louder than before.
Martinets of every size and capons who'd improvise
A full octave higher than the score.
Seventy six Ron Roths hit the counter point,
While a hundred and ten Olsons played the air,
To the rhythm of 'Sell this plan!'
All the sheep began to lamb
And they're still reproducing right today.
The critics of Luther's doctrine, like the Minister of Audio-Video at Victory of the Lamb, like to blame dead orthodoxy.
C. F. W. Walther preferred the term orthodoxism, since orthodoxy is not dead.
Unfortunately, Walther instigated the biggest problem of all - worship of the synod. The Missouri Synod has been in love with itself from the beginning, and that has spawned a number of weak sisters (ELS, WELS, and the nano-sects) who also adore their own institutions and their recently dead teachers. Some are not even dead yet but are revered nevertheless as Equal to the Apostles (Constantine's favorite term for himself).
As Westcoast, a WELS pastor, said, "We went too far with this UOJ business. Now we are too proud to admit it."
The Lutheran Infallibility doctrine holds that no dead professor can be wrong about anything. He is infallible ex cathedra, or perhaps ex crypta. The professors with a smattering of Latin can die happily, saying with the Roman emperor, "Puto ut deus fio. (I think I am becoming a god.)" The greater the error, the more it is honored.
That does not mean the synod escapes criticism. No, not at all. The expert graduates of Fuller Seminary are allowed to criticize the synod whenever it is right, Luther whenever he is right, all past teachers whenever they are right. But woe, thrice-woe on anyone who points out the obvious - that the Lutheran sects have embraced the Spirit of This Age and rejected the Means of Grace.
Fresh from his refresher course at Hazelton, one reader has sent a series of anonymous messages, some unprintable, trying to deal with his inner rage and loss of self-esteem.
I would be more inclined to publish his monologues, which may be therapeutic for him, but the lack of a name inhibits me. I have so many signed rants to copy and paste into Ichabod. Why bother with someone so mousy, so chicken, that he cannot add his name to his fulminations?
One characteristic of Reformed Pietists--especially the nominal Lutherans--is the need to claim good works and question the good works of others. For instance, the chattering NML agent quoted below brags he is descended from a synodical treasurer. An electric thrill ran up and down my leg and I considered his true-blue Welsian blood. Unfortunately, most Lutherans do not know what the Wisconsin sect is.
Many who do know the Wisconsin sect are unimpressed. David Jay Webber, who may be known to the anonymous source, called WELS - "Our Weak Evangelical Lutheran Sibling" and taught his son to chant about breaking fellowship with WELS. Such are the precious bonds of fellowship between WELS and the Little Sect on the Prairie.
The Church Growth fanatics, whether sober or juiced up, want all their victims to list a series of evangelism good works. Since the CG drones have no trust in the Gospel, they conduct audits on everyone else. They are not concerned that they have turned Moses into the Savior. The CG Enthusiasts prattle on and make people feel guilty about what they have not done.
They are like Catholic priests: "Have you done enough to deserve salvation? No, you have not! Purgatory is a blessing for the likes of you."
They are like Pietistic preachers: "Look at what God has done for you. What have you done for Him? Nothing! Grovel, you swine."
Sunday, July 20, 2008
I think it is ironic that in these blogs and such it would appear that the WELS is just repleat (sic) with all this liberalism in CG and all you need to do is talk to someone who is involved in it whole heartedly (sic) and I can tell you. The WELS is 99% full of nothing but crusty old traditionalist boogers who sit on their hands, can't handle change, and won't evangelize...like the many here who only believe in the Holy Confessions that were verbally inspired by Martin Luther...the true Lutheran god.
Tim Niedfeldt, Northwestern Mutual Life
Victory of the Lamb Lutheran Church (WELS)
Saturday, July 19, 2008
I went to the doctor's for a routine exam. The physician's assistant suggested I try Sam's Club for the prescription. I have no group insurance and individual coverage went beyond the stratosphere some years ago.
I said, "I tried Wal-Mart already. They are no better than Walgreen's."
She said, "My $100 prescription is $20 there. Try them."
So I did.
Norvasc is about $90 a month, name brand.
The generic is $50 a month at Walgreen's and Wal-Mart.
The generic is $5 (five bucks, yes 90% cheaper) at Sam's Club.
My retail advisor says that WM and Sam's are run as separate units, with some happy results at times. So give Sam's a try if prescriptions are beating you down.
For those who qualify for Medicare, the Medicare Advantage program may work out, depending on the carrier. Mrs. Ichabod is saving tons of money and getting great care with Cigna.
I appreciate the mail you have been sending. I would be happy if a few people read the blog. Instead, people all over the globe read it. Some people say they read it every day.
Two years ago, I worked at getting more teaching opportunities. Nothing seemed to happen. In 2008, two schools expanded rapidly at once, while I added a new set of classes in a third entity, and enrolled in a journalism program. A scheduler in my education (MA) class said, "We start 400 intro to college classes each Monday, and we put 24 students in each class." At least 4 will drop out of each class, perhaps more. But that still means 8,000 new students each week. I do not teach the starter class but the next one, about critical thinking. I am an expert in dealing with logical fallacies, after being in the Wisconsin sect and the CLC (sic). I am listed as "over-used," which means the manager has to override the scheduler to give me more classes. Many more have the same status because of expansion in adult education.
I am mentioning these universities because I continue to wonder at the future of many Lutheran colleges. They have expensive operations and tiny enrollments. Tuition (or rather, school loans) pay for salaries, so costs are way out of line for tiny schools. Bethany, MLC, and WLC could be combined and still be one small college. They are all within 8 hours of each other, a short distance today.
Money Makes the Sect Go Around, The Sect Go Around...
Speaking of money, the Wisconsin sect seems to be getting more frantic about their loot every day. The Love Shack will have a giant sale on indulgences to pay off the money fraudulently drawn from designated accounts. When a congregation attempts to build it so they will come, the leaders find themselves with cost overruns, irritated members, and mortar evangelism. They should read their Schuller more carefully. His Garden Grove Community Church grew only during a population expansion. Once Orange County stablilized, so did his membership.
The various Lutheran synods (ELCA too) imagine that the key to growth is being generic Protestant. They have driven a few clergy to Rome and Constantinople, but they have not achieved their dreams of membership expansion.
The spineless Lutheran pastors chose to do nothing about the Church Growth Movement. The marketing fad has taken over the Lutheran Church. The result is an emphasis on money (but a lack), members (shrinking), love (in the form of self-centeredness). Many faux-Lutherans, who took the CGM seriously, have departed from their nominal membership. Others continue to be lauded and lionized within their synods by the blind and hardened apostates.
THE spacious firmament on high,
With all the blue ethereal sky,
And spangled heavens, a shining frame,
Their great Original proclaim.
Th' unwearied Sun from day to day
Does his Creator's power display;
And publishes to every land
The work of an Almighty hand.
Soon as the evening shades prevail,
The Moon takes up the wondrous tale;
And nightly to the listening Earth
Repeats the story of her birth:
Whilst all the stars that round her burn,
And all the planets in their turn,
Confirm the tidings as they roll,
And spread the truth from pole to pole.
What though in solemn silence all
Move round the dark terrestrial ball;
What though nor real voice nor sound
Amidst their radiant orbs be found?
In Reason's ear they all rejoice,
And utter forth a glorious voice;
For ever singing as they shine,
'The Hand that made us is divine.'
The Ninth Sunday after Trinity
Click here for the 8 AM Sunday service, Phoenix time, and the recorded services and Book of Concord studies.
Pastor Gregory L. Jackson
The Hymn #13 Before Jehovah’s – Old Hundredth
The Confession of Sins
The Introit p. 16
The Gloria Patri
The Kyrie p. 17
The Gloria in Excelsis
The Salutation and Collect p. 19
The Epistle and Gradual 1 Corinthians 10:6-13
The Gospel Luke 16:1-9
Glory be to Thee, O Lord!
Praise be to Thee, O Christ!
The Nicene Creed p. 22
The Sermon Hymn #479 Zion rise – Fahre fort
Escape from the Castle of Despair
The Hymn #387 by Luther vss. 1-5 – Nun freut euch
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 # 387 vss. 6-10
1 Corinthians 10:6 Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. 7 Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. 8 Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. 9 Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. 10 Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer. 11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. 12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. 13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
Luke 16:1 And he said also unto his disciples, There was a certain rich man, which had a steward; and the same was accused unto him that he had wasted his goods. 2 And he called him, and said unto him, How is it that I hear this of thee? give an account of thy stewardship; for thou mayest be no longer steward. 3 Then the steward said within himself, What shall I do? for my lord taketh away from me the stewardship: I cannot dig; to beg I am ashamed. 4 I am resolved what to do, that, when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses. 5 So he called every one of his lord's debtors unto him, and said unto the first, How much owest thou unto my lord? 6 And he said, An hundred measures of oil. And he said unto him, Take thy bill, and sit down quickly, and write fifty. 7 Then said he to another, And how much owest thou? And he said, An hundred measures of wheat. And he said unto him, Take thy bill, and write fourscore. 8 And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light. 9 And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations.
Collect by Veit Dietrich
Lord God, heavenly Father, who hast bountifully given us Thy blessing and our daily bread: We beseech Thee, preserve us from covetousness, and so quicken our hearts that we willingly share Thy blessed gifts with our needy brethren; that we may be found faithful stewards of Thy gifts, and abide in Thy grace when we shall be removed from our stewardship, and shall come before Thy judgment, through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one true God, world without end. Amen.
1 Corinthians 10:6 Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.
In this lesson we are warned to learn from the example of those who have been destroyed by their own folly. But we are also encouraged by the promises of God to help us with temptation.
We no longer have to look up historic references to Corinth to show people how sinful one city can become. We only need to look around, wherever we are, from the metropolitan areas to the rural counties. America has become Corinth and we are all paying a terrible price for it. Meth maggots or speed freak are common among the celebrities and among the poor, even though the drug is known for destroying people.
America is following the Roman Empire and many others in its decline. Juvenal, a Roman poet, wrote about women parading around in armor, pretending to be soldiers. We have a general social decline accompanied by vast wealth. Unfortunately, wealth allows vice to multiply rapidly.
Therefore, we have to be careful that we do not get drawn into the decline of society, in the name of freedom and forgiveness, and learn too late the penalties attached to that decline. In addition, we should not despair that so many seem to get away with everything. God’s Law is natural law. He commands what is good for us. Therefore, if we continue to violate His law, the consequences will follow.
Most police reports begin, “Outside a bar, downtown, at 2 AM…” or “Police are looking for the live-in boyfriend, who is suspected of…” If those two factors were eliminated, the crime stories would be much tamer. People cannot defy natural law and enjoy good consequences from their actions.
Luther explained the problem of temptation as follows, paraphrased. Satan deceives people to sin, as if there will never be bad consequences. They go along blindly and often enjoy a great measure of happiness, especially in scorning those who feel inhibited by such concepts as right and wrong. However, at the end Satan tears away the mask and shows people what they have become. Then they despair of all forgiveness and make themselves even more fodder for the devil.
Imagine how pitiful is the condition of the great apostates of today – those religious leaders who do not believe in salvation through Christ alone. Are they poor? Are they losing members? Are they scorned by the media? No, just the opposite is true. The worse they become, the more successful they are in every respect but one. Their hearts are hardened against God’s Word. One man wrote about going in to see a televangelist about the corruption of his ministries. The minister responded by ordering his financial secretary to write out a large check, a bribe to silence the man. How much money will God need to be silent on the Day of Judgment? “Lord, Lord, did we not perform great miracles in Your Name?”
Temptation comes in other forms for believers. Then Satan makes us think that others have much better conditions. He encourages us to doubt the goodness of God. Some believers question whether they can be forgiven and fall into despair when they realize how weak their flesh is. However, when we fall into temptation, we should be reminded of how we cannot rely on our own strength to save ourselves.
Since we live in an era with great wealth and peace, we do not despair about the age-old problems of hunger, security, and housing. Nevertheless, there are many ways to be tempted.
Those who suffer from long-term illness are tempted to despair. Many opportunities are closed off to them. I have known several people who are always treated as if they are retarded, just because they have limited physical abilities. The equation does not make sense, unless we believe a professional wrestler is a genius.
Long-term illnesses are almost always accompanied by great discomfort and pain, and many forms of humiliation. Greater expenses are matched by lower income. We worship the active, athletic life, and not one of thought, so it is easy for many people to feel useless because they are not athletes in residence.
But God’s purpose should not be questioned. We should not think He neglects us but rather see how He gives us blessings in the form of problems. Years ago, one mother was despairing because her son had special learning problems. Her husband made $400 an hour in sales, so they were not limited by financial concerns. I said, “That’s a minor problem. He just needs some special training and lots of love.” She said, with some disgust, “You make it sound so easy.” I thought to myself, “Compared to what I have seen in many hospitals and nursing homes, yes it is.”
When people have little, they often value the smallest things. One of our friends had severe lupus, retardation, physical problems, and a father who died fairly young. Her relatives did not treat her very well. On one icy Minnesota day, I stopped at Hardy’s and got her a bag of French fries, her favorite. The weather was too evil for her to walk there. She munched on those fries as if they were the best gourmet food in the world.
When someone has almost nothing, God’s Word is the only treasure. I think we could find more believers among the chronically ill than among the chronically rich. Knowing that their lives are shortened and many things beyond their reach or imagination, they take great comfort in the promises of God. A poor weak person is usually far more patient than a rich, strong person. It is well known that the Mafia don, John Gotti, beat the daylights out of a truck driver for talking back to him. Then, at the assault trial, he scared the trucker into denying the beating. What makes the chronically ill more patient is not their greater virtue, but the leaven of the Gospel working in them, making them more forgiving, more willing to endure.
Despair does not always come from great difficulties. It also comes from the normal challenges of daily life. For instance, as Luther wrote, it is easy to become despondent over the state of the church and the disappointing behavior of pastors. I counted up four pastors I have tried to help with publishing. All four have been especially spiteful and destructive. Those who want to be faithful Lutherans find themselves in one congregation after another, prompting their relatives to mock them for never being happy. I was told several times that WELS district presidents had gone through one doctrinal crisis with the break with the Missouri Synod. For that reason, they refused to engage in another doctrinal battle, as if God gives us a quota of one in our lifetimes. Even deer licenses are more lenient than that.
Despair can also come from fulfilling responsibility and never seeing any great results, often reverses. Mothers must do the same jobs every day and never feel rested or caught up. Gratitude is not a quality found in great abundance in children. Surrounded by love and concern, children take it for granted. Who can measure the great impact a loving mother has on her children, especially when the time spent (for an at-home mother) is so rarely in evidence today?
God’s blessings are being realized when we tempted to despair. At one time I thought my whole life consisted of walking through hospital halls, waiting for test results, listening to social workers insult my intelligence, watching helplessly as the weakness grew in our children. Every cure made things worse. Later, I realized those were times of the greatest possible happiness and fulfilling as well. It is a blessing to be able to care for someone and to receive so much love in response. Black Christians consider it a great honor to be able to care for someone. It is in giving without receiving back that we approach God’s love for us, but God gives us many rewards in the act of giving time and concern.
God promises us a way of escape, an answer for the problems of the moment. In that way, time after time, we see how God works to solve our greatest difficulties. When we see a teenager blow his stack over a minor frustration, we can say, “Oh yes, I often feel the same way.” When we think about how silly it is at the moment, we can think, “I have been as silly if not worse.”
Escaping the Castle of Despair
Every Lutheran should know the great work of Bunyan called Pilgrim’s Progress, because many Biblical lessons are taught in the allegory. I often recall the scene in which Christian is lying in a jail cell in the Castle of Despair. The giant who captured him is loudly discussing with his wife how he will kill Christian in the morning. Finally Christian realizes that he has had the keys to unlock the jail cell all along. They were in his pocket. They are: the Promises of God.
The Gospel defeats despair because it is nothing more than the promises of God. Do we have worries? God will provide. Are we afraid? God will take care of us. Does our suffering seem meaningless? God will show us the meaning in time.
When I think about difficult people I have known, and they come in a marvelous assortment, I believe they have one thing in common – no concept of forgiveness. It is not so much that they must be forgiving toward others. They seem never to have grasped forgiveness of their own sins, how they can receive it and rejoice in it. Forgiveness comes to us through that contrition which is worked in us by God’s Law. We see ourselves as we truly are when we look into the mirror of the Law. It is not that contrition makes us worthy to be forgiven.
Forgiveness of sin is not based upon how sorry we are or how sorry we say we are. Forgiveness comes from the Gospel alone, received in faith. But as long as our hearts are hardened in pride, as if we need no forgiveness, the Gospel does not mean anything to us.
But when we properly despair of ourselves and ask for mercy from God, we realize how great His love is toward us, how devoid of resting that love upon our worthiness.
Those who know how great this forgiveness is, through the blood of Christ on the cross, also find it easy to forgive others as well. They are also likely to assure others, “Just as God helped me out of my troubles, so He will help you in your crisis.” God is faithful. He will fulfill His promises. His Gospel promises defeat despair, fear, and anxiety.
A Pastor Smites Wolves
"It is not enough that we preach correctly, which the hireling can also do; but we must watch over the sheep, that the wolves, false teachers, may not break in, and we must contend for the sheep against the wolves, with the Word of God, even to the sacrifice of our lives. Such are good shepherds, of whom few are found."
Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, III, p. 34. Second Sunday after Easter. John 10:11-16.
Spineless Conservative Pastors Are Wolves
"For nothing can feed or give life to the soul, which is not the doctrine of Christ. Although the hireling does not himself slay and destroy, he does not restrain the wolf. Therefore, because you neither point out nor teach this shepherd, you shall not and ought not to be heard, but you shall be shunned as a wolf."
Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, III, p. 58f. Second Sunday after Easter. John 10:11-16.
False Teachers and the Colored Filter
"They [the false teachers] fared like a man who looks through a colored glass. Put before such a man whatever color you please, he sees no other color than that of the glass. The fault is not that the right color is not put before him but that his glass is colored differently, as the word of Isaiah 6:9 puts it: You will see, he says, and yet you will not see it."
Martin Luther, What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols.,
ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959, II, p. 644. Isaiah 6:9.
Adiaphora and Confessional Crisis
"We believe, teach, and confess that at a time of confession, as when enemies of the Word of God desire to suppress the pure doctrine of the holy Gospel, the entire community of God, yes, every individual Christian, and especially the ministers of the Word as the leaders of the community of God are obligated to confess openly, not only by words but also through their deeds and actions, the true doctrine and all that pertains to
it, according to the Word of God. In such a case we should not yield to adversaries even in matters of indifference, nor should we tolerate the imposition of such ceremonies on us by adversaries in order to undermine the genuine worship of God and to introduce and confirm their idolatry by force or chicanery. It is written, 'For freedom Christ has set us free; stand fast therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.' (Galatians 5:1)."
Formula of Concord, Solid Declaration, Article X, 10-11, The Book of Concord, ed. Theodore G. Tappert, Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1983, p. 612. Galatians 5:1.
Luther and Fellowship
"Dr. Luther, who understood the true intention of the Augsburg Confession better than any one else, remained by it steadfastly and defended it constantly until he died. Shortly before his death, in his last confession, he repeated his faith in this article with great fervor and wrote as follows: 'I reckon them all as belonging together (that is, as Sacramentarians and enthusiasts), for that is what they are who will not believe that the Lord's bread in the Supper is his true, natural body, which the godless or Judas receive orally as well as St Peter and all the saints. Whoever, I say, will not believe this, will please let me alone and expect no fellowship from me. This is final." [WA 54:155, 156]
Formula of Concord, Epitome, Article VII, Lord's Supper, 33, The Book of Concord, ed. Theodore G. Tappert, Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1959, p. 575.
Spoiling the Egyptian Garbage
"Is it possible that one who has such models as Luther, Walther, Stoeckhardt, Lochner, Sieck, C. C. Schmidt, and Wessel, etc., etc., should leave these rich pastures to feed upon such garbage heaps as those from whom I have quoted?"
Martin S. Sommer, Concordia Pulpit for 1932, St. Louis:
Concordia Publishing House, 1931, p. viii.
"It is the purpose of this volume to aid in displacing books of Reformed preachers. We would encourage the cultivation of distinctly Lutheran preaching. Therefore, we now appeal to our brethren always to consult Luther when preparing to preach. Quo propior Luthero, eo melior theologus! Let us who are called Lutheran preachers be sure that in every one of our sermons we preach God's Word and Luther's doctrine pure. It is that preaching which God demands of us, 1 Peter 4:11. It was that preaching which conquered the Roman Goliath, Revelation 12:11. By that preaching we shall truly build the walls of Zion, not with hay, straw, and stubble, but with such stones as all the powers of hell shall never overthrow, Luke 21:15."
Martin S. Sommer, Concordia Pulpit for 1932, St. Louis:
Concordia Publishing House, 1931, p. ix.
Proper Use of Love
"In like manner we will also do to our princes and priests;
when they attack our manner of life, we should suffer it and show love for hatred, good for evil; but when they attack our doctrine, God's honor is attacked, then love and patience should cease and we should not keep silent, but also say: I honor my Father, and you dishonor me; yet I do not inquire whether you dishonor me, for I do not seek my own honor."
Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed.,
John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983,
II, p. 176. Fifth Sunday in Lent. John 8:46-59.
III. THE CONCLUSION OF THE BOOK OF CONCORD
"We have no intention of yielding aught of the eternal, immutable truth of God for the sake of temporal peace, tranquility, and unity (which, moreover, is not in our power to do). Nor would such peace and unity, since it is devised against the truth and for its suppression, have any permanency. Still less are we inclined to adorn and conceal a corruption of the pure doctrine and manifest, condemned errors. But we entertain heartfelt pleasure and love for, and are on our part sincerely inclined and anxious to advance, that unity according to our utmost power, by which His glory remains to God uninjured, nothing of the divine truth of the Holy Gospel is surrendered, no room is given to the least error, poor sinners are brought to true, genuine repentance, raised up by faith, confirmed in new obedience, and thus justified and eternally saved alone through the sole merit of Christ."
Of God's Eternal Election, Article XI, S.D., Formula of Concord, Concordia Triglotta,St. Louis: 1921, p. 1095. The Book of Concord, ed. Theodore Tappert, Philadelphia: Fortress Press, p. 632.
when they hear the term Bible Babes?
Tim N. - a member:
Now I know our events are "marketed" We send out at least 12 mass mailings of 12000 pieces a year. We design our website our material and almost everything around a "target audience" of unbelievers and unchurched. We have done our research too. We know our website has 15-20 seconds to make an impression and that nearly 80% of anyone who visits our church goes to the website first to find out what to expect and who we are. We know that no handout, no brochure, no website is going to convert someone. We know that we need to get our name out there and let the community know we exist and we care about them. We call Sunday School "Bible Quest" Is that a program now because it has a name? We call our Womens bible study group "Bible Babes" instead of some "circle" or even worse the OWLS (Old Wornout Lutherans). Weekly bible study are called neighborhood groups. I guess those sound like programs...but they are names that make sense to those who don't know "church words". What really is in a name?
Urban Dictionary definition of babe.
Apparently Rolf Preus is keeping the orange jump-suit issued to him when he joined the Little Sect on the Prairie. He is now the Presiding Bishop of the Rolf Synod. His brother Daniel made fun of people starting their own synods.
In this photo Rolf is congratulating Norm Teigen for completing the Minneapolis Bridge, one of a dozen of Norm's volunteer projects.
I just got an email correction. They are congratulating each other for being related to most of the Lutheran clergy in the Midwest.
Friday, July 18, 2008
Doing a little research on Bailing Water, I came across some gratuitous insults from a Tim Niedfeldt. According to LinkedIn, he is a Northwestern Mutual Life agent. I wonder if Tim's boss approves of him calling the extensive quoting of orthodox Lutheran theologians "tripe." We are all quite sure Tim has read most all of 1200 posts recently.
Here are a few of the inspired words of Tim. He is quite verbose.
I have done a lot of reading the last few weeks as I stumbled across this site and then branched out to read the many others with related themes. I've read most all of Wacky Jackson and his tripe. I've read the issuesinwels folks site, the motley magpie, combed through all the comments on these blogs. I've had many things cross my mind that I'd love to say about various issues and even started some comments of my own ...only to stop and decide there would be no point arguing here...much like the protester in Tienamen Square.
GJ - I checked out Tim's congregation, which is an oozy-schmoozy WELSy Church Growth. They have a women's Bible study group, a fun group, called Bible Babes. I read that title over twice. The congregation suffers from Mark Freier Syndrome, I fear. Mark was a WELS Church Growth Superstar, fawned over by the Love Shack until he left True Blue WELS altogether.
The congregation has a statement of faith, a corrupted and mangled version of what I published 21 years ago. The edited sentences have the lilt of a flat tire and the sentiments of an ELCA seminary graduate. But no, Pastor Ben is a product of the Sausage Factory in Mequon:
What We Believe
In an age of anxiety, we believe that real peace comes from Jesus Christ.
In an age of confusion, we believe that the Bible is the word of God, without error.
In an age of doubt, we believe that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary.
In an age of guilt, we believe that Jesus died on the cross to remove the power of sin from our lives.
In an age of hopelessness, we believe that Jesus rose physically from death -- and so will we rise.
In an age of skepticism, we believe that God is at work in the sacraments of Holy Baptism and Holy Communion.
In an age of despair, we believe God's promises to heal and transform us.
In an age of violence, we believe that God calls us to embody his love in the world.
In an age of constant change, we believe in the unchanging Holy Trinity -- Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
(I wonder if Pastor Ben and his wife were featured at the last Church and Change Conference, as co-ministers. Perhaps an insider can post a denial...to confirm they were.)
Below is the original. The changes, evidenced above, by the crypto-Pentecostals, are interesting:
We Still Believe
In an age of anxiety, we still believe that peace comes from Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.
In an age of confusion, we still believe that the Bible is the Word of God, inerrant and infallible.
In an age of doubt, we still believe that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary.
In an age of guilt, we still believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross to remove the power of sin, death, and Satan from our lives.
In an age of fear, we still believe that Christ rose bodily from the dead to win for us eternal life.
In an age of self-centeredness, we still believe that God acts through the Sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion.
In an age of constant change, we still believe in the unchanging Holy Trinity: the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
"If you hold to my teaching, then you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
GJ - I am flattered that this neo-Pentecostal congregation, a mission of WELS, begins with a badly copied, goofily corrupted version of a confession I published for everyone to use. For some reason the Church Growth fanatics must denounce me by name in public, without offering any reason for their bile. And yet, at last count, congregations in three synods have used We Still Believe as their very first statement on their congregational websites. To copy their example I would have to reproduce something from Leonard Sweet or Pete Wagner on the template of this blog and call it my confession. Does anyone see how conflicted these poor devils are?
This just in from Crossroads:
As Crossroads Community Church moves into its sixteenth year of existence, we look back at the people who have led us, the founding families and the Pastors Rick Miller, Kelly Voigt and Mark Freier, and say thanks for getting us here.
Pastor Joe listed three men who were trained in Church Growth at the Sausage Factory, by such luminaries as David Valleskey and Peter Wagner (required reading). All three men have left the Lutheran Church. Crossroads - started with the blessing of WELS DP Robert Mueller and VP Paul Kuske - is no longer pretending to be Lutheran.
Mark Freier and Debbie will stage your wedding. Cool.
Q: Is there any couple you wouldn't marry?
A: I am very open minded. I have officiated ceremonies for people of various backgrounds: Catholic, Protestant (both denominational and non-denominational), Hindu, Jewish, etc.
Mark's quick wit, personal style, and professional leadership set the tone for the wedding weekend.
Respectful of your religious or non-religious traditions and backgrounds.
Church Growth--> Ecumenism--> Anything goes--> Atheism.
Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Sincere Flattery from Another Church Growth Hive":
Pastor Ben's wife was allowed to take Greek classes at MLC because she said that as a pastor's wife should would need to help out with his preaching. I wonder if she is involved with Bible Babes.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
The Germans have an expression, "Nun geht das Licht an. (Now the light goes on.)" I was thinking about the rampant Romanism at Concordia, Ft. Wayne, and the reasons for the gradual switch from the Robert Preus years.
Then I remembered how the Ignorati at LutherQuest (sic) kept bringing up my degrees from Notre Dame. They overlooked how many Ft. Wayne faculty members had Notre Dame doctorates, which those men earned while LCMS pastors and seminary professors, not as LCA members. So I reminded them about Notre Dame being the school of choice for Ft. Wayne. The Ludiquesters also brought up my synod memberships, until I listed Robert Preus' many affiliations. I pointed out that Al Barry had more synods than a dog has fleas (WELS, ELS, some little sect meeting in a basement in Minneapolis, LCMS).
Notre Dame is famous for being a center of Roman Catholic and Protestant worship training. The school dominates all others in this area, serving as the Microsoft of high churchism in America. Proof is how WELS, Missouri, and the ELS went along with ELCA in adopting the Roman Catholic liturgical calendar and recently invented pericopes. Yes, even the new gay-friendly liturgical colors were minted at the Vatican.
The three-year cycle of readings has displaced the historic one-year cycle. Luther's sermons in the 8 or 5 volume set are based on the ancient pericope series. It is funny how the Lutheran apostates are promoting The Frog in the Kettle while volunteering to be frogs in the kettle. The results are predictable.
Here is a chilling exchange from Virtue Online:
Ackerman: The Church of England has always been 20 to 30 years behind the United States, and we are already witnessing within England a similar phenomenon that has resulted in continuing churches formally or informally applying to Rome moving to Eastern Orthodoxy and or attempting to create a separate province. My hope is that the phenomenal division and hemorrhaging that has taken place in The Episcopalian Church will be an example that the English will look at very carefully as they consider their future.
VOL: As many as 1300 Anglo-Catholic priests in the Church of England are preparing to flee to Rome, many more will wait out another vote sometime in the future in the hope that some sort of provision will be made for them. Some Anglo-Catholic leaders have asked for a Third Province. In your opinion do Anglo-Catholics in the CofE have a prayer of surviving or is their trajectory the same as that of Anglo-Catholics in the Episcopal Church?
Brian P Westgate has left a new comment on your post "Now the Light Goes On":
What do you mean by "the gay-friendly liturgical colors?"
GJ - All of the sudden, WELS and the other sects had to follow ELCA and Rome in using peacock blue and gold and such like for their liturgical colors. They never did before. They got along quite well without the Roman cycle of readings. The apostate leaders (like your Tiefel guy) know that the sheep will follow anyone with a title - right off the cliff. The congregations think they are following new synodical guidelines. Ha. Rome is deliberately making its worship style the norm for all Christians, so it is natural for people disturbed about their sect to join Holy Mother Rome, the Real Church.
The LCMS, WELS, and ELS apostate leaders are ecumenical by default. They have no doctrinal bearings so they wander around.
Gay-friendly anecdote: I mentioned a pastor in South Bend, who was high church long before that was even discussed in the LCA. A pastor who graduated from seminary with this man said, "Oh, he was the only high church guy at the seminary who wasn't gay." That does not make high church automatically an alternate lifestyle, as they say in polite circles, but the Lavender Mafia is over-represented among those sinuflecting to Rome.
"One reason why we Christians argue so much about which hymn to sing, which liturgy to follow, which way to worship is that the commandments teach us to believe that bad liturgy eventually leads to bad ethics. You begin by singing some sappy, sentimental hymn, then you pray some pointless prayer, and the next thing you know you have murdered your best friend."
- Stanley Hauerwas
GJ - Hauerwas was hired to teach at Augustana College, where Mrs. Ichabod and I met. Her sister baby-sat for his son when he taught at Notre Dame, which led me to apply there.
Hauerwas is the most famous theologian to have taught at Augustana, and they canned him in one year. He took a pay cut to teach at Notre Dame. When the pope visited Notre Dame, he ordered the administration to get rid of its Protestants teaching theology and its liberation (Marxist) theologians. Robert Wilken (LCMS, ELCA, later Roman Catholic) went to Duke. Hauerwas (Methodist, now Episcopalian) went to Duke. Frank and Elisabeth Schussler-Fiorenz (liberation and feminist theologians) landed at Harvard.
Hauerwas is considered the best theologian in America, honored recently by giving the Gifford lectures in Europe. All this is rather ironic since Augustana did not want to keep him.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
The new bridge in Minneapolis, People's Republic of Minnesota, will open soon, in spite of Norm Teigen's constant supervision. The appointed supervisor said, "Yah. Norm got in the way with his camera, but we finished anyway, don't ya know."
The banks always have their trotters in the trough. Right now we are facing a world-wide Depression caused by no-doc mortgages, also called Liar Loans. Mortgage salesmen made zillions placing mortgages where no income documentation was required for people buying spec homes they were not going to occupy. Eventually the greater fool problem cropped up and that packaged debt was seen as worthless, the extra homes unsold, values dropping faster than ever.
I attended a seminar by NACA, which is a non-profit mortgage agency. They get fees for placing mortgages and for saving owners from foreclosure.
NACA confrontational methods make me uncomfortable, but I wonder what else will work. Banks denounce payday loan operations but they charge $29 for insufficient funds on a $1.27 check when the debit is already covered by a deposit (but the deposit conveniently not counted until midnight).
I know a fair number of banking people from teaching them. All the big banks (like Wells Fargo) had no-doc mortgages until recently. The banking people say, "We don't now!" I reply, "That's like giving someone life insurance without asking health questions or verifying any information." Incredible.
This is how NACA works: They require a lot of documentation to save or start a mortgage. They do not have points or most fees, but they have a $50 monthly charge (for a varying amount of time) for placed or saved mortgages. They do credit and budget counseling as a requirement for getting the mortgage or saving it.
More information is available at their website. They may be a solution for some people. They are organizing in major population centers but can be reached by the Internet as well.
Will Wayne's fatted calf be sacrificed for the Watertown prodigals at the next Junk for Jesus auction?
Photo from Planet Wayne. Seriously.
Bailing Water Was Overseas:
Saturday, July 12, 2008
VP steps aside to allow Leadership to function
Back from my journey abroad to hear that Wayne Mueller has taken a call to serve as a pastor. A little birdy also told me that many at 2929 did encourage Wayne to step down as the new leadership is going a new direction and Wayne had been a bit resistant. It wasn't long ago that Wayne was voted out and then back in.
Glad to see that another Church Growth supporter has stepped down. Maybe the ship is being righted.?
GJ - Bailing Water loves those oceanic images. For the ship to stop floundering, the crew needs to be competent.
Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Wayne Mueller Encouraged":
FOUNDER vs. FLOUNDER
To founder means to sink or fail. A ship founders when it goes down--as does a company. To flounder means to act clumsily or ineffectively, or to thrash about helplessly.
GJ - Rev. Mouse, posting again after a recent drying out, wins the Captain Obvious Award for gratuitous, unsolicited, superfluous advice. WELS is thrashing about helplessly. That is why they launched another once-in-a-lifetime giving opportunity. So I meant flounder, not founder. Remember the big, fat WELS catfish post? Flounder.
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Do you know who my father is?
I only want to help the church. Why do you persecute me?
The Eighth Sunday after Trinity
Bethany Lutheran Worship, 8 AM, Phoenix Time, Sundays
Pastor Gregory L. Jackson
The Hymn #292 by Selnekker – Ach bleib bei uns
The Confession of Sins
The Introit p. 16
The Gloria Patri
The Kyrie p. 17
The Gloria in Excelsis
The Salutation and Collect p. 19
The Epistle and Gradual Romans 8:12-17
The Gospel Matthew 7:15-23
Glory be to Thee, O Lord!
Praise be to Thee, O Christ!
The Nicene Creed p. 22
The Sermon Hymn #261 by Luther – Erhalt uns Herr
Figs From Thistles
The Hymn #375 by Heerman – Nun freut euch
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 # 436 - Belmont
Romans 8:12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. 13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. 21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
EIGHTH SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY
Lord God, heavenly Father, we most heartily thank Thee that Thou hast caused us to come to the knowledge of Thy word. We pray Thee: graciously keep us steadfast in this knowledge unto death, that we may obtain eternal life; send us now and ever pious pastors, who faithfully preach Thy word, without offense or false doctrine, and grant them long life. Defend us from all false teachings, and frustrate Thou the counsels of all such as pervert Thy word, who come to us in sheep's clothing, but are inwardly ravening wolves, that Thy true Church may evermore be established among us, and be defended and preserved from such false teachers, through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one true God, world without end. Amen.
Figs From Thistles
This Gospel lesson has a positive and a negative message. The positive message reminds us that good fruit will always come from a good tree. The good tree is sound doctrine, the true Word of God.
The negative, condemning message teaches us that nothing good can come from an evil tree, from false doctrine. Moreover, Jesus carefully describes false teachers as wolves in sheep’s clothing.
This is one of the great passages about the efficacy of the Word, although the focus is primarily on false doctrine and false teachers.
The one great flaw in the modern Lutheran Church, the foundation for all other errors, is a lack of trust in the efficacy of the Word. Walther perceptively identified the problem as looking for the yield instead of the good tree or seed. Farmers and gardeners have great trust in the final results when they start with good stock and good seed.
I have neglected my rose bushes this year, as a friend pointed out when visiting, but the roses are true to their nature and produce blooms anyway. The old rose bush Madame Isaac Pere and the grandiflora Queen Elisabeth are both tall and blooming, without much attention at all. It is even possible to do the wrong things and have good results, if the stock is good. I thought my ficus died in the big frost, so I cut them down to the base. They had a great root system and water from my neighbors, so they grew up again, about five feet tall.
Congregations, pastors, and parents need to trust the Word of God to accomplish His will, not adjust the Word, water it down, and adulterate it – to obtain the right yield. That is the final jest of Satan in this age, that the worst false teachers have the greatest crowds.
1. First the crowds get a generic, non-threatening Christianity (“a God without wrath sent His Son without a cross into a world without sin” – Niebuhr)
2. Then they get prosperity message, which is a mixture of occult doctrine and Asian philosophy, almost entirely lacking any Gospel message.
3. Finally, they become Unitarians in gradual steps, antagonistic toward the Gospel of Christ.
The true Gospel bears fruit everywhere. First of all, the Gospel creates and sustains faith in Jesus through the working of the Holy Spirit in the Word. Through the Word we receive Christ and His benefits, which are forgiveness of sin, eternal life, an abundant life.
Jesus teaches that a good tree cannot bear evil fruit, yet the synodical leaders teach just the opposite. They do not want ministers to be faithful to the Scriptures and Confessions because that disturbs people. Nothing is quite so illuminating as the constant effort of the LCMS-ELS-WELS-CLC leaders to persecute the Gospel and offer excuses for false teachers. Some blatantly publish their blather in official periodicals:
"There is no Church Growth Movement Program in our synod. Our church body is opposed to the false theology of the Church Growth Movement. We have no programs inside or outside the budget with that name. Nor do we have any programs with a different name which utilize Church Growth theology."
Wayne D. Mueller, Administrator for the Board of Parish Services, WELS, "A Response to 'Saving Souls vs. New Programs,'" The Northwestern Lutheran, February 1, 1992 p. 50.
But the Confessions Allow Our Church Growth Programs
"There may be pastors or congregations which use methodology which church growth people use. This does not mean they have adopted the theology of the Church Growth Movement. Our Lutheran Confessions allow complete freedom among our churches in methodology that does not conflict with the gospel."
Wayne D. Mueller, "A Response to 'Saving Souls' vs. 'New Programs,'" The Northwestern Lutheran, February 1, 1992 p. 50.
Yes, there may be Church Growth pastors. In fact, the network is centered around their leader, Wayne Mueller.
As Luther said, the Gospel message is choked when men know their duty and fail to do it.
When I published an essay in the now-defunct Orthodox Lutheran Forum, using this passage, the ELS and WELS went bonkers because I dared to point out how ludicrous the latest WELS Church Growth book was. Instead of dealing with Valleskey’s obvious false doctrine, they lined up to support him and attack me, which is what I expected. They also had the same reaction when I published Liberalism, Its Cause and Cure, with a final chapter on the Means of Grace. How can Lutherans have a Satanic reaction to the Means of Grace? Simple – they are not Lutheran but fallen-away Lutherans, apostates. One Northwestern College student (not a relative) was punished for writing a favorable review of Liberalism: Its Cause and Cure in the student paper.
Others have had similar experiences by the score.
The most amazing thing today is how many are fooled or want to be fooled. Everyone has access to the Book of Concord, a good translation of the Scriptures, and recent publications and websites of these wolves in sheep clothing. Yet it all goes on as if nothing as happened.
The key description is “wolves in sheep’s clothing.” We should not expect wolves to show up as wolves. After all, in earlier days people did not attack Christ, but Jonah and the whale, or the days of Creation. Not that it matters, but one whale can seat four men at a card table in his mouth. The problem is not the whale’s mouth but God commanding the wind, the creatures of the sea, and converting Jonah. By casting doubt on Jonah, the liberals of the 1970s undermined people’s trust in the Word.
We are not to judge teachers by their personalities, but by their doctrine. That tends to be self-fulfilling. If people love false doctrine, they think the false teacher is wonderful (in spite of evidence to the contrary). If they love false doctrine, sound teachers bother them endlessly and they find fault with that person.
The Ichabod posting by a pastor’s wife quickly became the most viewed page on Ichabod. Luther discussed this topic once. He pointed out that people who love the Word also love the one who brings it to them. Those who hate the Word hate the one who teachers it. If they cannot get away with attacking the minister, they attack the minister’s family. Luther wrote about that 500 years ago. People have not changed.
The moment the Gospel gets a foothold anywhere, Satan’s disciples line up to attack.
The problem today – and the main difference – is that Lutheran leaders despise the Word, so they despise their own ministers. Therefore, they also despise the families of the ministers. Is it any wonder that so few children of church workers want to follow their parents as teachers and ministers? In the past, the overwhelming number of pastors and parochial school teachers came from the homes of church workers. That has changed completely. I agree with the children for avoiding a life
A pastor, the son of a highly respected minister, told me he would not recommend seminary to anyone today. As Luther said, if people want wolf-preaching, they will get wolf preaching. So why would someone saddle himself with enormous debt with the chance of being ousted by the district pope in his first call?
Slick Brenner told me 20 years ago that WELS was facing a great judgment. God punishes people who love false doctrine by giving them false teachers.
21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
One of the intriguing characteristics or works of false teachers is their eagerness to deceive. They can pretend to be more pious than God, more loyal to synod institutions than anyone, but they give themselves away with their deceit. I have had numerous Fuller Seminary grads admit to going there, brag about going there, and then deny going there. If the school were so great, why did they deny going there? If they were so ashamed of studying there, why did they attend in the first place?
Likewise, they engage in the much greater deceit about God’s Word. These wolves teach that the plain meaning of the Word is not the real meaning. Claims are infinite in number:
1. The Bible teaches a form of evolution.
2. Jesus did not think He was the Messiah.
3. The Trinity is not taught in the Bible.
4. Paul turned a lowly rabbi into the Savior of the world.
5. The Word is not effective but man-made schemes are effective.
The gutless ones, who tell everyone they are confessional Lutherans go along with this and even explain away the false teaching. The famous WELS explanation is, “Well, that can be understood correctly.” (In other words, the published false doctrine can be translated into sound doctrine. Be sure to stretch out the word “can.”) Or, “that is a g-r-e-y area of Scripture,” a doctrinal pratfall, an attack on the plain meaning of the Word.
Someone who insists on doctrinal clarity, precision, and orthodoxy is “a legalist” or “an extremist,” or “a person with a Luther complex.”
Apostates call every fair judgment of their doctrine a personal attack, when someone questions their doctrine, or Satan’s doctrine. They answer—not with a defense of their doctrine—but with a personal attack avoiding the doctrinal issue. Calling someone a slanderer for addressing doctrinal issues – that is a personal attack. “Legalist” is name-calling, another personal attack. So is “extremist.”
We can rely on God being at work in the Word. Two responses are expected and proof of God at work. One is opposition. The most obvious teachings of the Scriptures are under constant attack. Another is the cross. Anyone who insists on the pure Word of God will experience the cross, specifically because of the Word. This also fulfills what Paul said – For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you. 1 Corinthians 11:19.
Everyone can see how this comes to pass on the subject of Holy Communion. The Bible teaches the Real Presence of Christ, the visible Word conferring forgiveness upon the believer. That is a minority view among Christians and one which the so-called Lutherans are all to willing to bargain away in order to worship with various denominations. One pastor argued on the Internet yesterday that the best approach was to give communion to anyone who approached the altar.
Nevertheless, apostates ex-communicate with a vengeance. They are deeply offended at the thought of going into a conservative service. They are loud in their denunciations of Biblical Christianity. If one word is said wrong in their presence, the Left Foot of Fellowship is extended – for life. A minister I know was kicked out of his denomination immediately upon questioning the ordination of women, privately in the presence of his superior. Everyone knows how the apostates in the ELS, LCMS, and WELS have defenestrated conservatives for the last few decades. Doctrinal discipline is not obsolete: it is only practiced by apostates against conservatives.
The greatest saints of the Church have experienced this in past generations, so we should expect no less. It reads better when it is a long-dead Christian leader like the hymn writer Paul Gerhardt. When it happens to us, we do not feel so warm and inspired. That is because so much of the Old Adam remains. The evidence is that we resent the cross being attached to the Word, even though Jesus clearly and repeatedly taught it.
The blessings of the Word remain. Nothing but good fruit comes from the Gospel tree. We take comfort daily in its teaching. We have the inner peace that can only come from the Word of God. We are united with fellow believers across the world. God’s blessings are multiplied in the lives of people around us.
False Teachers Use Work of Others
"Note the master hand wherewith Paul portrays the character of false teachers, showing how they betray their avarice and ambition. First, they permit true teachers to lay the foundation and perform the labor; then they come and desire to do the work over, to reap the honors and the benefits. They bring about that the name and the work of the true teachers receive no regard and credit; what they themselves have brought—that is the thing. They make the poor simple-minded people to stare open-mouthed while they win them with flowery words and seduce them with fair speeches, as mentioned in Romans 16:18. These are the idle drones that consume the honey they will not and cannot make."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, VII, p. 110. Second Sunday in Lent. 2 Corinthians 11:19-33; 12:1-9; Romans 16:18.
False Doctrine Tolerated
"And such false teachers have the good fortune that all their folly is tolerated, even though the people realize how these act the fool, and rather rudely at that. They have success with it all, and people bear with them. But no patience is to be exercised toward true teachers! Their words and their works are watched with the intent of entrapping them, as complained of in Psalm 17:9 and elsewhere. When only apparently a mote is found, it is exaggerated to a very great beam. No toleration is granted. There is only judgment, condemnation and scorn. Hence the office of preaching is a grievous one. He who has not for his sole motive the benefit of his neighbor and the glory of God cannot continue therein. The true teacher must labor, and permit others to have the honor and profit of his efforts, while he receives injury and derision for his reward."
Sermons of Martin Luther, VII, p. 110. 2 Corinthians 11:19-33; 12:1-9. Psalm 17:9.
God Punishes Ingratitude by Allowing False Teachers
"In the second place such teachers are disposed to bring the people into downright bondage and to bind their conscience by forcing laws upon them and teaching works-righteousness. The effect is that fear impels them to do what has been pounded into them, as if they were bondslaves, while their teachers command fear and attention. But the true teachers, they who give us freedom of conscience and create us lords, we soon forget, even despise. The dominion of false teachers is willingly tolerated and patiently endured; indeed, it is given high repute. All those conditions are punishments sent by God upon them who do not receive the Gospel with love and gratitude."
Sermons of Martin Luther, VII, p. 111. 2 Corinthians 11:19-33; 12:1-9. John 5:43.
False Teachers Flay Disciples to Bone
"In the third place, false teachers flay their disciples to the bone, and cut them out of house and home, but even this is taken and endured. Such, I opine, has been our experience under the Papacy. But true preachers are even denied their bread. Yet this all perfectly squares with justice! For, since men fail to give unto those from whom they receive the Word of God, and permit the latter to serve them at their own expense, it is but fair they should give the more unto preachers of lies, whose instruction redounds to their injury. What is withheld from Christ must be given in tenfold proportion to the devil. They who refuse to give the servant of truth a single thread, must be oppressed by liars."
Sermons of Martin Luther, VII, p. 111f. Second Sunday in Lent. 2 Corinthians 11:19-33; 12:1-9.
Avarice in False Teachers
"Fourth, false apostles forcibly take more than is given them. They seize whatever and whenever they can, thus enhancing their insatiable avarice. This, too, is excused in them."
Sermons of Martin Luther, VII, p. 112. Second Sunday in Lent. 2 Corinthians 11:19-33; 12:1-9.
They Lord It Over Us
"Fifth, these deceitful teachers, not satisfied with having acquired our property, must exalt themselves above us and lord it over us...We bow our knees before them, worship them and kiss their feet. And we suffer it all, yes, with fearful reverence regard it as just and right. And it is just and right, for why did we not honor the Gospel by accepting and preserving it?"
Sermons of Martin Luther, VII, p. 112. Second Sunday in Lent. 2 Corinthians 11:19-33; 12:1-9.
We Are Dogs and Foot-Rags
"Sixth, our false apostles justly reward us by smiting us in the face. That is, they consider us inferior to dogs; they abuse us, and treat us as foot-rags."
Sermons of Martin Luther, VII, p. 112. Second Sunday in Lent. 2 Corinthians 11:19-33; 12:1-9.
False Teachers Are Peacocks
"The peacock is an image of heretics and fanatical spirits. For on the order of the peacock they, too, show themselves and strut about in their gifts, which never are outstanding. But if they could see their feet, that is the foundation of their doctrine, they would be stricken with terror, lower their crests, and humble themselves. To be sure, they, too, suffer from jealousy, because they cannot bear honest and true teachers. They want to be the whole show and want to put up with no one next to them. And they are immeasurably envious, as peacocks are. Finally, they have a raucous and unpleasant voice, that is, their doctrine is bitter and sad for afflicted and godly minds; for it casts consciences down more than it lifts them up and strengthens them."
What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959, II, p. 642.
Satan and Emotions
"Satan torments you until you conclude that you are lost and ruined, that heaven and earth, God and all the angels, are your enemies."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, III, p. 247.
"For that rogue, the devil, has a sharp vision and easily becomes conscious of the presence of a true Christian. Therefore he exerts himself to entrap him, and surrounds and attacks him on all sides; for he cannot bear that anyone should desert his kingdom."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholaus Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, V, p. 264.
"When you preach or confess the Word, you will experience both without, among enemies, and also within, in yourself (where the devil himself will speak to you and prove how hostile he is to you), that he brings you into sadness, impatience, and depression, and that he torments you in all sorts of ways. Who does all this? Certainly not Christ or any good spirit, but the miserable, loathsome enemy...The devil will not bear to have you called a Christian and to cling to Christ or to speak or think a good word about Him. Rather he would gladly poison and permeate your heart with venom and gall, so that you would blaspheme: Why did He make me a Christian? Why do I not let Him go? Then I would at last have peace."
What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959, II, p. 928.
"Neither is he [Satan] truthful; he is the spirit of lies, who, by means of false fear and false comfort having the appearance of truth, both deceives and destroys. He possesses the art of filling his own victims with sweet comfort ; that is, he gives them unbelieving, arrogant, secure, impious hearts...He can even make them joyful; furthermore, he renders them haughty and proud in their opinions, in their wisdom and self-made personal holiness; then no threat nor terror of God's wrath and of eternal damnation moves them, but their hearts grow harder than steel or adamant."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, III, p. 302.
"The deeper a person is sunk in sadness and emotional upheavals, the better he serves as an instrument of Satan. For our emotions are instruments through which he gets into us and works in us if we do not watch our step. It is easy to water where it is wet. Where the fence is dilapidated, it is easy to get across. So Satan has easy access where there is sadness. Therefore one must pray and associate with godly people."
What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959, III, p. 1243.
"It is not the devil's aim to plague us physically; he is a spirit who is always thirsting for the tears and the drops of blood that come from our hearts. He wants us to despair and to perish from sadness. This would be his joy and delight. But he will not succeed."
What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959, III, p. 1244. John 15:19.
Deception of Satan
Satan works primarily as the father of lies (John 8). One famous author, loved by the Church Growth gurus, wrote this:
"One day I overheard my stepmother say to my father: 'The only real devil that exists in this or any other world is the man whose business is that of making devils.' I accepted this statement instantly and never have departed from it."
Napoleon Hill, Grow Rich With Peace of Mind, New York: Fawcett Crest, 1967, p. 212. 
We should consider that Rev. Robert Schuller was given a Napoleon Hill medal by the Napoleon Hill Foundation for promoting the wisdom of Napoleon Hill. 
"Now and again I have had evidence that unseen friends hover about me, unknowable to ordinary sense. In my studies I discovered there is a group of strange beings who maintain a school of wisdom which must be ten thousand years old, but I did not connect them with myself. Now there is a connection. I am not one of them!—but I have been watched by them."
Napoleon Hill, Grow Rich With Peace of Mind, New York: Fawcett Crest, 1967, p. 158. check quote
"'I have come,' said the voice, 'to give you one more section to include in your book. In writing this section you may cause some readers to disbelieve you, yet you will write honestly and many will believe and be benefited. The world has been given many philosophies by which men are prepared for death, but you have been chosen to give mankind a philosophy by which men are prepared for happy living...I come from the Great School of the Masters. I am one of the Council of Thirty-Three who serve the Great School and its initiates on the physical plane.'" [Hill explains]: "That is the school of wisdom which has persisted secretly in the Himalayas for ten thousand years...From the remotest days of antiquity, the Masters of the Great School have communicated with each other by telepathy."
Napoleon Hill, Grow Rich With Peace of Mind, New York: Fawcett Crest, 1967, p. 158f.
"The School has Masters who can disembody themselves and travel instantly to any place they choose in order to acquire essential knowledge, or to give knowledge directly, by voice, to anyone else. Now I knew that one of these Masters had come across thousands of miles, through the night, into my study."
Napoleon Hill, Grow Rich With Peace of Mind, New York: Fawcett Crest, 1967, p. 159.
[Great School's message to Hill:] "You have passed through the Jungle of Life safely. Now you must give to the world a blueprint with which others may traverse that same Black Forest."
Napoleon Hill, Grow Rich With Peace of Mind, New York: Fawcett Crest, 1967, p. 160.
"For this reason one should not be too credulous when a preacher comes softly like an angel of God, recommends himself very highly, and swears that his sole aim is to save souls, and says: 'Pax vobis!' For those are the very fellows the devil employs to honey people's mouths. Through them he gains an entrance to preach and to teach, in order that he may afterward inflict his injuries, and that though he accomplish nothing more for the present, he may, at least, confound the people's consciences and finally lead them into misery and despair."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, II, p. 322. Easter Tuesday Luke 24:36-47.
"But, being deceived by the devil, we forsake the light of day and seek to find truth among philosophers and heathen totally ignorant of such matters. In permitting ourselves to be blinded by human doctrines, we return to the night. Whatsoever is not the Gospel day surely cannot be light. Otherwise Paul, and in fact all Scripture, would not urge that day upon us and pronounce everything else night."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholaus Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, VI, p. 17.
"The devil does not rest yet, and hence he stirs up so many sects and factions. How many sects have we not already had? One has taken up the sword, another has attacked the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, others that of baptism."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholaus Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, V, p. 266. Twenty-first Sunday after Trinity, John 4:46-54; 1 Peter 5:8; Ephesians 6:12.
"The devil does not sleep, he will do many more such things, he looks around and exerts himself to exterminate the pure doctrine in the Church and will finally, it is feared, bring it to this, that should one pass through all Germany he would find no pure pulpit, where the Word of God is preached as in former days. He tries with all his might to prevent the pure doctrine from being taught, for he cannot endure it."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholaus Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, V, p. 266.
"The devil also is able to present to the factious spirits the idea that they regard themselves as right, like the Arians who thought their cause was right."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholaus Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, V, p. 266.
"For every sect has always had one or more particular hobbies and articles which are manifestly wrong and can easily be discerned to be of the devil, who publicly teach, urge and defend them as right certain and necessary to believe or to keep For the spirit of lies cannot so conceal himself, but that he must at last put forth his claws, by which you can discern and observe the ravenous wolf."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, IV, p. 282f.
"On that day every false teacher will wish that he had never been born and will curse the day when he was inducted into the sacred office of the ministry. On that day we shall see that false teaching is not the trifling and harmless matter that people in our day think it is."
C. F. W. Walther, The Proper Distinction Between Law and Gospel, trans., W. H. T. Dau, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1928, p. 88.