Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Plagiarism and the Church Shrinkers




I deal with plagiarism among college students. The Internet has made it easier to steal someone else's words, but also easier to find the original source. Years of writing and editing have given me a built-in alarm that goes off. One student suddenly began writing just like someone with a master's in music theory. That paragraph was stolen from an Internet journal.

The current rule used in the classroom is: "Five words in a row from another author, put it in quotation marks and cite it."

Online universities invest in servers and software that compare all the words in an essay to Internet sources and the school's database of papers already submitted.

I find plagiarism the old-fashioned way. I put some of the words in Google and look for matches in bold in the search results. Student responses are interesting:

1. I put the citation in. My answer: "If you stole my car, does it not count if you left a note behind saying you took it?"
2. I changed some of the words. My answer, "That means you knew it was wrong. That only drew attention to the dishonesty."
3. No one has ever said this to me before. You are the worst teacher I have ever had. Ichabodians, I have had students file a report against me for discussing their plagiarism with them. Needless to say, drawing attention to cheating is not wise at any school. Still, that is a common response. Plagiarists are lazy and stupid.

The question for today concerns the reason for the WELS Church Shrinkers copying the words of others and claiming them as their own. (Ideas must be cited too, even if the exact words do not correspond. If I claim China discovered America, an idea I got from someone's scholarship in a published book, I have to note where I learned about this.) The Church Shrinkers have been deceiving people by not telling them where they got their words (verbatim) and their ideas.

Plagiarism is against the law. Plagiarism is commonly called cheating. There are many ways to cheat: stealing words, stealing ideas, stealing another person's affection, lying about the previous things listed, etc. No one admires a cheat. Somehow one form of cheating leads to another. Most people loathe cheats, but cheats love one another. They help each other cheat and lie.

When I learn that someone has brazenly lied about a simple fact (such as going to Fuller Seminary), I wonder, "How many other deceptions are there?"

I imagine the Church Shrinkers have lost their faith or they are in the process of becoming atheists. They certainly are not Lutherans, not even mild Lutherans, to use an old phrase. Anyone can be an atheist and lead churches. One famous Gospel singing group confessed that they did not believe anything they were singing.

Creepy Plagiarism



The CrossRoads webpage is copyrighted. The question is: Who copied whom? It is impossible for that many words to be the same, in the same order.


CrossRoads Community Church, South Lyons, Michigan (Evangelical Covenant Church, formerly a WELS mission started under DP Robert Mueller and VP Paul Kuske):

About Eternity CrossRoads

People were created to exist forever. We will either exist eternally separated from God by sin or eternally with Him through forgiveness and salvation. To be eternally separated from God is Hell. To be eternally in union with Him is Heaven. Heaven and Hell are real places of eternal existence.

CrossRoads Community Church

--

ABOUT THE LIFE TO COME CrossWalk
People were created to exist forever. We will exist eternally separated from God by sin, or eternally with God through the forgiveness and salvation won by Christ. To be eternally separated from God is eternal death or hell. To be eternally united with him in the enjoyment of all his blessings is eternal life or heaven. Heaven and hell are real places where all mankind will exist eternally. In eternity, our bodies and souls are reunited either to suffer the pains of hell or to enjoy the eternal blessings of heaven. -- John 3:16; John 14:17; Romans 6:23; Romans 8:17-18; Revelation 20:15; 1 Corinthians 2:7-9

CrossWalk, Laveen

****

About God (CrossRoads)

God is the Creator and Ruler of the universe. He has eternally existed in three personalities; the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. These three are coequal and are one God.

--

ABOUT GOD (CrossWalk)
God is the Creator and Ruler of the universe. He has existed from eternity. Though there is only one God, he is three persons – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three persons are equal in power, authority and majesty. -- Genesis 1:1, 26, 27; Psalm 90:2; Matthew 28:19-20; 1 Peter 1:2; 2 Corinthians 13:14.

****

About the Bible (CrossRoads)

The Bible is God’s Word to us. It was written by human authors under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. Because it was inspired by God, it is truth without error.

--
ABOUT THE BIBLE (CrossWalk)
The Bible is God’s Word to us. It was written by human authors, but this was done under the supernatural influence of the Holy Spirit, a process called inspiration. The Bible is the source of the message of eternal salvation through Jesus Christ. It is the source of all truth for Christian beliefs and living. Being inspired by the Holy Spirit, the Bible is completely free of mistakes, errors or contradictions. -- 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21; 2 Timothy 1:13; Psalm 119: 105, 160; Psalm 12:6; Proverbs 30:5.

****

About Human Beings (CrossRoads)

People were made in the spiritual image of God, to be like Him in character. People are the supreme object of God’s Creation. Although every person has tremendous potential for good, all are marred by an attitude of disobedience toward God. Sin separates us from God and causes many problems in our lives.

--

ABOUT HUMAN BEINGS (CrossWalk)
People were originally created in the spiritual image of God and were sinless and holy. Since the fall of mankind into sin, this is no longer true. Now, all people are born sinful and are constantly inclined to sin by nature. We are spiritually lost and dead apart from Jesus Christ. However, through faith in Christ we are new-born and are given the ability to serve God, live for his purposes and enjoy his blessings. -- Genesis 1:27; Romans 5:12-21; Psalm 51:5; Ephesians 2:1-5; Luke 15; Luke 19:10; John 3:1-21; Romans 12:1-2; 2 Corinthians 9:6-15.

****

About Salvation (CrossRoads)

Salvation is God’s free gift to us. We can never make up for sin by self-improvement or good works. Only by trusting in Jesus as God’s offer of forgiveness can anyone be saved from sin’s penalty. When we turn from our self-ruled lives and turn to Jesus in faith we are saved.

--

ABOUT SALVATION (CrossWalk)
Salvation is God’s free gift to us. It comes to us through no effort or decision on our part. We can never make up for our sin by self-improvement or a life of goodness and kindness. God won salvation for us by loving us, sending his son Jesus Christ to live a perfect life and die a sacrificial death as our substitute. It is through this act of Jesus that salvation became ours. Even faith is not to our credit, for there too God provides his Holy Spirit to create faith in our hearts and minds. Salvation comes to lost mankind by grace alone, through faith alone, in God’s word alone. -- Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8-9; John 14:6; John 15:5-16, Romans 3:20-26; Acts 16:31; Romans 10:17

Please Help



Mascot, WELS Prayer Institute.


Someone told me that the infamous Tendrils paper was posted at Church and Change, but they will not let me on their site or ListServe. I wonder why?

I have given WELS Church and Change so much publicity. Someone just wrote, "I am speechless, after reading your latest on C and C."

The WELS call list is also secret because people were scandalized about all the ministers quitting and being forced out "for the good of the ministry" and "for personal reasons," causing some to wonder, "What was her name and for how long?" Of course, some get promoted for that too.

Someone can still get the call list through Google, but that is rather tame stuff.

If people can share their Church and Change material (or Willow Creek - just about the same), send it on. As many have noted, the innocent are not named. One source puzzled over his nickname. All nicknames are counter-intuitive, something I learned from Windows. I seldom use them anyway.

CrossWalk Actually Has Communion Services?



WWHS? What Would Hybels Say?
Pastor Jeff Gunn (known as Pastor Gun at Church and Change) at work.


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "WELS Question on Community Churches":

Regarding the following FALSE comment: "CrossWalk Church in Phoenix, Arizona does not offer holy communion." We are members of CrossWalk Church in Phoenix, Arizona, and we receive the Lord's Supper twice a month.

***

GJ - Here is a statement about the Holy Spirit on their watered-down doctrine page:

ABOUT THE HOLY SPIRIT
The Holy Spirit is equal with the Father and the Son in power, authority and majesty. Since we cannot by our own thoughts or choices believe in Christ or come to him, the Holy Spirit calls us to faith through the good news of Jesus Christ. He makes us aware of our sin and deep need for Christ. He also draws us to Christ by working through the word of God and Baptism. After drawing us to faith, the Holy Spirit then carries out the work of renewing us through word and sacrament – giving us power for Christian living, understanding spiritual truth, and guidance in doing what is pleasing to God. As Christians, we strive to live under his control daily. -- 2 Corinthians 3:17; John 16:7-13; John 14:16-17; Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 2:12; 1 Corinthians 3:16; Ephesians 1:13; Galatians 5:25; Ephesians 5:18.

Their doctrinal page is so vague and non-Lutheran that a Methodist could agree with it.

This part has Universalism in it:

ABOUT SALVATION
Salvation is God’s free gift to us. It comes to us through no effort or decision on our part. We can never make up for our sin by self-improvement or a life of goodness and kindness. God won salvation for us by loving us, sending his son Jesus Christ to live a perfect life and die a sacrificial death as our substitute. It is through this act of Jesus that salvation became ours. Even faith is not to our credit, for there too God provides his Holy Spirit to create faith in our hearts and minds. Salvation comes to lost mankind by grace alone, through faith alone, in God’s word alone. -- Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8-9; John 14:6; John 15:5-16, Romans 3:20-26; Acts 16:31; Romans 10:17.

The website has been re-designed, apparently. I have not found the services of Holy Communion. Maybe they are stealth services, held on Wednesdays (like Willow Crick's). I saw that the supposed member cannot sign his or her name. Stealth members of a stealth church. How existential!

The doctrinal page does not have a statement about the efficacy of the Word, the Real Presence, or justification by faith.

They brag about 350 people there on Sunday. Members? Seekers? Future Unitarians?

Rick Miller, Kelly Voigt, and Mark Freier started Crossroads Community Church in South Lyons, Michigan. WELS DP Robert Mueller and VP Paul Kuske loved it. Now the congregation is overtly non-Lutheran instead of being covertly anti-Lutheran.

I predict the same future for CrossWalk.

---

NorthWest wrote: "You are right about [CrossRoads] not being Lutheran. Crossroads is a member of the Evangelical Covenant Church. Formerly Swedish Covenant. It began as a pietist movement in the Swedish Church, and then became influenced by Methodism. Today it is a more conservative Methodist church somewhat like the Nazarene."

So the Michigan District of WELS started an Evangelical Covenant Church? And that sect is also devoted to the Church Growth Movement. That is pretty neat. I never started a congregation for another denomination. Kuske, Mueller, Miller, Voigt, and Freier should be proud.

I once got an angry phone call from a Sausage Factory graduate. He shouted at me that CrossRoads never happened. I said, "I was there when it was developing." The facts matter little to those obsessed with Holy Mother WELS. However, the CrossRoads website does give credit to Miller, Voigt, and Freier, all lauded by WELS as stupor-stars of Church Growth at the time.

Are those three founders of CrossRoads still Lutheran?

That is the future of Church and Changers, too.

Your Church and Change Directory of Misbegotten Ideas



"Let me feed on, I mean, feed your flock."


Church in Trouble? Conference Breakout 101.... Extreme Makeover: Church Edition
Pastor Adam Mueller

[Wayne Mueller's son will fix ya up. Follow the CrossWalk, Laveen (Phoenix) model and go generic.]

Is your congregation stuck in the mud? Has attendance plateaued? Are offerings stagnant? Maybe your congregation needs an extreme makeover.

Email: pastormueller@yahoo.com
Website: www.crosswalkinlaveen.org/

---

Contemporary Worship - Conference Breakout 506....
Your Guide to Starting Your Own Alternative Worship Experience

[C and C board member Ski knows how to do it. First you go to a Baptist conference, shunning fellow Lutherans, to worship with people who really know how to shake their booty. Then you abandon the liturgy, Lutheran hymns, the Creeds, and the sermon. Once you realize what a drag Lutheran doctrine is, you organize charismatic cell groups and your church becomes contagious.]


Pastor James “Ski” Skorzewski and Staff Minister Brian Davison

Changes are taking place in the worship world. There still remains a strong interest in blended and contemporary worship among many in our midst. A number of WELS congregations have been conducting blended or contemporary services for years. This workshop will provide help and guidance from someone who has undertaken the process at St. Marcus in Milwaukee. Topics to be discussed include how to begin a blended/contemporary service in a small/traditional congregation so that everyone is blessed; recruiting musicians, vocalists, and technical persons; equipment needs; stage presence; best music to use at the start; copyright matters; music/worship sources (websites, friends, etc…); use of contemporary liturgies; establishing a WELS network for those interested in helping each other with materials, ideas, and encouragement; and the awakening need for more joyful experiential worship in our midst.

If you are interested in getting your hands on this conference workshop PowerPoint or want more information, email the speaker by selecting the link below!

Email: brian.davison@stmarcus.com, james.skorzewski@stmarcus.com
Website: www.stmarcus.com

---

Churches - How to Build One From Scratch [Scratch is an old nickname for Satan. Building from Scratch is an ideal name for this group.]
Pastor Jeff Gunn

Crosswalk - Phoenix, AZ
Pastor Gun (sic) is also a great resource for:

Marketing a Church a Target Community
Small Groups - Starting them Successfully
Contemporary Music - Doing it up
Outreach Methods - Getting Involved
Researching Alternative Ministry Methods and Models - How To Do It and Pull Workable Ideas From It

Email: jeff@crosswalkinlaveen.org
Website: www.crosswalkinlaveen.org

---

Conference Keynote Speaker: Breakthrough Thinking in WELS Ministry
John Di Frances

From John’s experience, the Evangelicals are great at connecting with people, but are often lacking in the depth and solid foundation of biblical truth. John joined a WELS congregation because he is convinced that WELS teaches the truth of God’s Word. But he has also observed that WELS isn’t necessarily very good at connecting with and engaging people or being seen as relevant to life today by non-Christians. John is personally convinced that WELS can impact our world in ways that surpass the impact of the Evangelical movement. But to do so will require some break-through thinking.

Email: jdf@difrances.com
Website: www.difrances.com

[Coveting the Baptist-Pentecostals is getting old. "Let us fuse Baptist-Pentecostal doctrine with WELS warmth, to create generic family social centers." Breakthrough thinking? Didn't what's-his-name from Fuller do that with Evangelical Style and Lutheran Substance?]

---

Congregation -Conference Breakout 103.... Growing Your Congregation’s Staff from Within

Dr. Lawrence Olson

[Our Staff Infection--also known as, Larry Oh!--took four whole classroom courses and wrote a paper for his drive-by DMin from Fooler Seminary. Why didn't they list where he got is faux-doctorate?]

The WELS Congregational Assistant Program (CAP) encourages and equips members, men and women alike, for a broader ministry within a congregation.
WELS Pastoral Studies Institute (PSI), which guides and assists men from a broad cultural spectrum through their pre-seminary and seminary training.

Email: OlsonLO@mlc-wels.edu

---

Contemporary Worship - Conference Breakout 501....
Creating Irresistible Environments with Contemporary Worship


Pastor John Parlow

[Translation - Plagiarize the Evangelicals and the generics will fill up your beehive. Self-loathing Lutherans are welcome too.]

Explore transferable principles that will help you build a church for outsiders to come to and hear truth that makes a difference now and for eternity. Now is the time to shed ethnic rationalizations, personal preferences, and doomsday attitudes that are offered as excuses for outreach failures. The truth is the Gospel is timelessly relevant, the church and its representatives may or may not be relevant; the Gospel is timelessly efficacious, the church and its representatives may or may not be effective. Let’s talk about building ministries that are dangerously Christian.

If you are interested in getting your hands on this conference workshop PowerPoint or want more information, email the speaker by selecting the link below!

Email: john.parlow@stmark-depere.org
Website: www.stmarkpartners.org

---

Evangelism - WELS Parish Services

[Note the crossover. WELS' agency of apostasy works claw in claw with The Love Shack, where the C and C board members draw a salary from the offerings of WELS members. In nature that is called parasitism.]

Want some great ideas, content and contacts for your ministry? WELS Parish Services was made just for you! Visit their website for information on:
Evangelism
Worship
Youth Discipleship
Parish Schools
Adult Discipleship
Special Ministries
Parish Assistance

Website: www.wels.net/bps

---

Group Ministry - Small
Pastor Peter Panitzke

[Better known as Peter Pan, this guy will teach congregations how to set up Pietistic cell groups, the essential method and doctrine of Fooler Seminary, Willow Crick, and various clones.]

Two 40 day programs with daily devotions and small group sessions.

Email: ppanitzke@stpaulmuskego.org

---

Jail Mininstry - WELS Training Team
Pastor Carl Ziemer

[Tour various jails and prisons to see where WELS church workers have stayed, should have stayed, or may be visiting soon. WELS clergy do prison ministry from the inside.]

Looking to get involved in jail ministries? WELS Special Ministries Administrator, Pastor Carl Ziemer, knows all about it!
Give him a call.

Special Ministries
2929 N Mayfair Rd.
Milwaukee, WI 53222

Phone: 414 256 3241
Website: www.wels.net/cgi-bin/site.pl?csm
Website: www.stpaulmuskego.org

---

Leadership - Conference Breakout 110....
Unlock Your Leadership Potential with Coaching

Pastor Mike and Christy Geiger

[This implies that both are pastors. Not quite, but taking baby steps. The Church Shrinkers all favor women's ordination, already placing women in authority over men and having women teach men. Coaching? That weird guy from the planet Jupiter coaches people. He has never done anything in his life except coach, so that makes him successful - inventing a vocation.]

Learn about the coaching profession, discover how coaching can support your growth and development, and understand how to develop your skills as a coach/ leader. Develop the soft skills of personal development, vision, passion, focus, goals, time mastery, leadership, performance and accountability, all of which can greatly enhance your ability to be productive in ministry AND have life balance.

If you are interested in getting your hands on this conference workshop PowerPoint or want more information on Synergy Strategies events, email the speaker by selecting the link below!

Email: mgeiger@nc.rr.com, christy@synergystrategies.com
Website: www.synergystrategies.com

---

Outreach - Compassions Ministry
Ami Cordes

[Women teaching men? Here is an example. Laveen again.]

Crosswalk Phoenix, AZ
The CrossWalk Compassions Ministry exists to reflect Christ's compassion by providing support and building bridges to people who are hurting or in need within our church and community.

Our Compassions Ministry can help…

---

Prayer - WELS Prayer Institute
Steve Witte, Shelley Mattes and Reg Draheim

[If Witte is involved, Church Shrinkage is involved. Spawning new parasitic organisms is the way aliens take over Planet Earth. Church and Change has seen those movies...and learned. Soon we will all be pod creatures, walking around like zombies, saying, "I never went to Fooler Seminary."]

The WELS Prayer Institute exists to promote and encourage prayer throughout the WELS for WELS leaders, pastors, churches, and ministries. God has clearly given us this command to pray in Ephesians 6:18-20, and many other places throughout the Old and New Testament Scriptures.

Visit their website, join in on a prayer and be encouraged!
Contact Shelley Mattes for more information.

Email: shelleymattes@yahoo.com
Website: www.welsprayerinstitute.com
• Home visits to the depressed or hurting
• Delivering food to those in financial need
• Providing for needs during a pregnancy, death in the family or illness
• Providing rides to church and medical appointments
• Weekly phone calls to the ill and suffering
• Hospital visits
• Counseling Referrals
• Shelter and Food Pantry Guidance

All of these services are provided by selfless volunteers that give of their time and talents while serving in humility, being beacons of grace, and building relationships with God's people.

Email: amicordes@hotmail.com
Website: www.crosswalkphoenix.com/discover-ministry/compassions.aspx [Laveen again!]

***

GJ - What have we learned today? By studying the published works of WELS Church and Change, we can trace Who's Who in Church Shrinkage at The Love Shack, who the pals are in parish ministry, who is starting new parasitic organisms. The information is freely available from the braggarts themselves.

Wake up and smell the pod creatures. They are lurching toward your congregation right now.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Martin Marty on Pulpit Freedom Day



Martin Marty helped promote my PhD dissertation
when it was published as book. He was LCMS and is now ELCA.


Here is the link.

Bush Is Disappointed That the $700 Billion Bailout Failed in the House



Open borders, no problem.


The housing debacle began when mortgages for the poor were mandated by Congress. The Democrats were the major force behind expanding mortgages for those who could not afford them.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, now called Fraudie Mae and Fonie Mac, are bankrupt because these government sponsored corporations guaranteed sub-prime mortgages, more or less.

These stinko mortgages were made to look good by packaging them as securities, so they were sold all over the world. Like cocaine dealers, the financial managers got high on their own supply, keeping a lot of the CMOs (mortgage securities) and generating that much more in fees.

Worst of all, insurance or swaps were sold to back these stinko mortgages turned into stinko securities. The more the institution lied about the swaps, the more fees and bonuses they invented. Earned is not quite a precise term for this fraud. They gave themselves billions in bonuses for defrauding everyone.

Where did these fraudulent mortgages originate? Among illegals. They got to live in homes for a year or so before being thrown out by the banks. It was the pressure from below that fueled the high home prices. Once the bubble burst, everyone had debt without equity. Mrs. Ichabod and I looked at a foreclosed home (double the size of our hut) now offered for less our home's price a short time ago. We stayed for an hour, chatting with those poor lonely salesmen. No one came in to look. I said, "Prices will go down for another year." You heard it here - financial forecasting done for free. The reason? Mortgage resets will continue through 2009. Foreclosures and other pressures will drive down prices.

Let us recap:
1. Fraudulent loans to illegals and other poor credit risks. NINJA loans - No Income, No Job - Accepted.
2. Government backed agencies buying up the loans.
3. Securities invented to make the mortgages look good. CMOs.
4. Swaps invented to insure these fraudulent mortgages turned into fraudulent securities.
5. Each stage actually leveraged and made worse the poor decisions made at the mortgage approval level. Each stage made it easier to give a mortgage to anyone, including people with criminal records. Each stage awarded bonuses to the most crooked.

House Defeats Banker Bailout



Animal Farm by Orwell. If porkers can learn to walk, then bankers can pig out on tax funds. Oink. Oink.


More than two-thirds of Republicans and 40 percent of Democrats voted against the bill.

Maybe constituents felt uneasy that one banker got $1 million per day bonus as his bank failed. Was that WaMu? I cannot distinguish one bank from another today.

Keep up those cards, letters, phone calls, and emails.

Another Squeak from Mouse



The public ministry of Rev. Mouse.



Rev. Mouse is afraid to use his name, but he is happy to squeak "Idiot" anonymously.



Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "What Have We Learned from Today's Websearch?":

"Our Valpo"? When did you rejoin WELS? Or maybe you are smearing someone else's words, too.

***

GJ - The WELSian nickname for WLC is "Our Valpo." Note the quotation marks, which signify that I was quoting someone or some people. Perhaps Limmer should have used quotation marks around his email, Kelm and Parlow around their sermons, Valleskey and Bivens around their careers.

WLC is the home of Church and Change. Whenever I tell the truth about Church and Change, Rev. Mouse sends one of his bitter, incoherent responses.

---

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Another Squeak from Mouse":

You idiot. I put the quotation marks around "Our Valpo." In your original post you had parentheses--you know, they look like this ( ).

***

GJ - Thus we have the normal discourse of an Anonymous Church and Change addict. And I quote, because I am not Limmer, Kelm, or Parlow:

"Anonymity opens up split personality zone
Faceless communication online or over phone often turns nice people nasty


“It’s mind-boggling the things people will say and even the things I will say,” says Catherine McIntyre, a 38-year-old medical billing specialist from Houston. “People who’d never say something horrible in real life will do it again and again and again online. It’s like the behavior of crowds, or those mass beatings where no one gets blamed because everyone’s at fault.”

Sheri Pineda, a 59-year-old customer service representative at the Daily Breeze in Torrance, Calif., encounters the same bad behavior in the after-hours messages left by her newspaper’s subscribers.

“It’s appalling the way people talk,” Pineda says. “They’ll rant and rave and cuss at us with extremely foul language. And I think a lot them specifically wait until we close the phones. They’re looking to let it all out and then get on with their day. And then they’re surprised when I get back to them. They’re like, ‘You actually heard that?’ and will be embarrassed.”

Hello. You have reached the split personality zone. Press 1 to melt down. Press 2 to hang up and act like a normal person again.

I, anonymous
Between out-of-control customers, vituperative online posters and road-raging drivers, it’s hard to find an individual who hasn’t succumbed to the siren song of faceless, consequence-free communication. Online boards are clogged with insults hurled by readers hiding behind deceptively mild screen names — (“I hope you rot in hell!” signed Kittyface) — and customer service reps endure blistering tirades from disembodied voices week in and week out.

These days there are a dozen ways to communicate without actually having to look somebody in the eye. As a result, not only have we developed an abrupt, abbreviated way to chat (IMHO), but our technological advances have spawned new psychological terms such as “online disinhibition effect” to explain our tendency to open up — in both good ways and bad — when we’re sitting in front of a screen.

But our split personalities aren’t limited to the Web. They tend to show up whenever no one’s looking.

In a February 2008 study published in the journal Psychological Reports, researchers found that out of four groups of participants, only those in the anonymous group took part in antisocial behavior — in this case defined as violating rules to obtain a reward.

“I definitely believe that anonymity affects the frequency of antisocial behavior among individuals to some extent, even when these individuals have a reasonable sense of morality — so-called ‘ordinary people,’” says study author Tatsuya Nogami of Nagoya University in Japan.

“In my personal opinion, people generally try to comply with social norms in everyday life, even when such compliance with norms and rules conflicts with their personal self-interests. However, if you can get what you want without receiving any punishment or negative evaluations from others, are you still 100 percent sure that you’ll always refrain from engaging in that kind of undesirable behavior?”

Rage against the machine
Cindy Helgason, a 48-year-old soap maker from Des Moines, Iowa, says she can’t stick a sock in her anonymous persona no matter how hard she tries.

“Normally I’m a goody-two-shoes,” says Helgason. “But whenever I get in the car, I yell and cuss a blue streak. Everybody who drives slower than me is an idiot and everybody who drives faster is a maniac. The worst part is this isn’t a very big place. My kids will say, ‘Gosh mom, that’s Mrs. So-and-So,’ and I’m like, ‘Oops!’ That’s one of the reasons I took the sign for my soap-making business off the back of my car. I don’t want to be associated with the person I am behind the wheel.”

According to psychologist Patricia Wallace, senior director of information technology at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth, a car can offer us the same kind of psychological distance — and/or personality-cloaking capacity — as a computer.

“When your windows are rolled up, you feel relatively anonymous,” says Wallace, author of the book “The Psychology of the Internet.” “Not long ago I saw someone I knew going down the street furiously honking at the car in front of them. I turned the corner and waved and suddenly they weren’t anonymous anymore. You could see the incredible shame come over them because they’d demonstrated this behavior that from their perspective was out of character. Anonymity can draw out some very troubling behavior.”

McIntyre, the billing specialist from Houston, says the online news forums she’s participated in over the years have led her down many a dark and dysfunctional corridor."


I was waiting for Mouse to squeak again so I could quote that article for everyone except him to enjoy. A number of blogs have turned off comments because of behavior like his, but I enjoy letting people experience the slavering fangs of Church and Change.

And yes, the parentheses, a distinction without a difference. Even the Sausage Factory graduates who cannot spell or use spell-check know that Our Valpo is the WELS nickname for Wisconsin Lutheran College. Herman Otten repeated that comment to me. I can't remember if he used air quotation marks or not. The APA should study the matter and issue a 50 page report. WLC is the center of apostasy in WELS, spawning Church and Change, furious when they could not get away with making Leonard Sweet their keynote speaker. Harumpf!

Nevertheless, they got away with registering people from the WELS website and having their own jumpword on the menu, in spite of Gurgel saying Church and Change was gone, finshed, kaput, given the Left Foot of Fellowship. How cool is it to have their own CG guy running technology for WELS? Check it out.

Things are changing for the better under SP Schroeder. Church and Change lost their link and got their wings clipped. No, their claws trimmed.

Congress Agrees on Plan To Replace Capitalism with Socialism



"Nancy, we did it. Now watch the stock market rise."
Nancy: "George, it sank 300 points from the start. Wachovia Bank has been devoured by Citibank, and Citibank is in trouble. Fortis is having its own crisis. Maybe they all need more money."

Read and Repent, Church Shrinkers



Fuller fools condemned in a few words. Whoda guessed?


Negative Theses.
Rejection of the False Opposite Dogmas.

11] 1. Therefore we reject and condemn the teaching that original sin is only a reatus or debt on account of what has been committed by another [diverted to us] without any corruption of our nature.

12] 2. Also, that evil lusts are not sin, but con-created, essential properties of the nature, or, as though the above-mentioned defect and damage were not truly sin, because of which man without Christ [not ingrafted into Christ] would be a child of wrath.

13] 3. We likewise reject the Pelagian error, by which it is alleged that man's nature even after the Fall is incorrupt, and especially with respect to spiritual things has remained entirely good and pure in naturalibus, i. e., in its natural powers.

14] 4. Also, that original sin is only a slight, insignificant spot on the outside, dashed upon the nature, or a blemish that has been blown upon it, beneath which [nevertheless] the nature has retained its good powers even in spiritual things.

15] 5. Also, that original sin is only an external impediment to the good spiritual powers, and not a despoliation or want of the same, as when a magnet is smeared with garlic-juice, its natural power is not thereby removed, but only impeded; or that this stain can be easily wiped away like a spot from the face or pigment from the wall.

16] 6. Also, that in man the human nature and essence are not entirely corrupt, but that man still has something good in him, even in spiritual things, namely, capacity, skill, aptness, or ability in spiritual things to begin, to work, or to help working for something [good].

Formula of Concord, Article 1, Original Sin, Epitome

---

4] 3. God the Holy Ghost, however, does not effect conversion without means, but uses for this purpose the preaching and hearing of God's Word, as it is written Rom. 1, 16: The Gospel is the power of God 5] unto salvation to every one that believeth. Also Rom. 10, 17: Faith cometh by hearing of the Word of God. And it is God's will that His Word should be heard, and that man's ears should not be closed. Ps. 95, 8. With this Word the Holy Ghost is present, and opens hearts, so that they, as Lydia in Acts 16, 14, are attentive to it, and are thus converted alone through the grace and power of the Holy Ghost, whose 6] work alone the conversion of man is. For without His grace, and if He do not grant the increase, our willing and running, our planting, sowing, and watering, all are nothing, as Christ says John 15, 5: Without Me ye can do nothing. With these brief words He denies to the free will its powers, and ascribes everything to God's grace, in order that no one may boast before God. 1 Cor. 1, 29; 2 Cor. 12, 5; Jer. 9, 23.

9] 2. We reject also the error of the gross Pelagians, who taught that man by his own powers, without the grace of the Holy Ghost, can turn himself to God, believe the Gospel, be obedient from the heart to God's Law, and thus merit the forgiveness of sins and eternal life.

10] 3. We reject also the error of the Semi-Pelagians, who teach that man by his own powers can make a beginning of his conversion, but without the grace of the Holy Ghost cannot complete it.

11] 4. Also, when it is taught that, although man by his free will before regeneration is too weak to make a beginning, and by his own powers to turn himself to God, and from the heart to be obedient to God, yet, if the Holy Ghost by the preaching of the Word has made a beginning, and therein offered His grace, then the will of man from its own natural powers can add something, though little and feebly, to this end, can help and cooperate, qualify and prepare itself for grace, and embrace and accept it, and believe the Gospel.

12] 5. Also, that man, after he has been born again, can perfectly observe and completely fulfil God's Law, and that this fulfilling is our righteousness before God, by which we merit eternal life.

13] 6. Also, we reject and condemn the error of the Enthusiasts, who imagine that God without means, without the hearing of God's Word, also without the use of the holy Sacraments, draws men to Himself, and enlightens, justifies, and saves them. (Enthusiasts we call those who expect the heavenly illumination of the Spirit [celestial revelations] without the preaching of God's Word.)

[GJ - Notice that this last section rejects and condemns UOJ. WELS, Missouri, the ELS, and the Rolf Synod are all opposed to this clear teaching of the Word and the Confessions.]

17] But, on the other hand, it is correctly said that in conversion God, through the drawing of the Holy Ghost, makes out of stubborn and unwilling men willing ones, and that after such conversion in the daily exercise of repentance the regenerate will of man is not idle, but also cooperates in all the works of the Holy Ghost, which He performs through us.

18] 9. Also what Dr. Luther has written, namely, that man's will in his conversion is pure passive, that is, that it does nothing whatever, is to be understood respectu divinae gratiae in accendendis novis motibus, that is, when God's Spirit, through the Word heard or the use of the holy Sacraments, lays hold upon man's will, and works [in man] the new birth and conversion. For when [after] the Holy Ghost has wrought and accomplished this, and man's will has been changed and renewed by His divine power and working alone, then the new will of man is an instrument and organ of God the Holy Ghost, so that he not only accepts grace, but also cooperates with the Holy Ghost in the works which follow.

19] Therefore, before the conversion of man there are only two efficient causes, namely, the Holy Ghost and the Word of God, as the instrument of the Holy Ghost, by which He works conversion. This Word man is [indeed] to hear; however, it is not by his own powers, but only through the grace and working of the Holy Ghost that he can yield faith to it and accept it.

Article 2, Free Will, The Formula of Concord, Epitome

What Have We Learned from Today's Websearch?



Ski and Parlow teach innocent kittens how to worship awesomely in a mind-blowing and creatively Baptist-Pentecostal way.


Ichabodians - all I have to do is search on names to come up with more Church Shrinkage garbage than anyone could imagine. The facts are there in the words of the WELS Church and Change leaders (or copied verbatim from the teachers they admire most).

These people will fight SP Schroeder to the death to see who will guide the spirit of the Wisconsin sect. The strong will prevail over the weak. In the last 30 years, the few who follow the Lutheran Confessions have been weak, divided, meek, and easily mislead (there I go again, damaged from reading WELS posts. I meant - misled.)

I chortle when I see one name on the anti-CGM list. My only contact from him was a raving email against Thy Strong Word, a book written to destroy the Church Shrinkage Movement. He wanted a "free review copy" and got it. His response was typical WELS - see if Christ or Satan is winning at the moment, then go with the winner.

So it will take more than a frown to defeat these Church and Change people. One of their board members, Bruce Becker, is senior at The Love Shack. I recall when Wayne Mueller needed a job after being eased out of The Sausage Factory. Suddenly WELS needed a full-time leader of Parish Services. That happened to be Wayne Mueller. Soon the adult education and youth education people were replaced and the job names changed to Adult Discipleship and Youth Discipleship. Subtle? I think not. The Church Shrinkers have bet the farm on manufacturing disciples, which they learned at Fuller. Search "making disciples" or "The Great Commission" in the writings of WELS Enthusiasts and you will find Fuller doctrine verbatim. Kent Hunter and Waldo Werning, both Fuller vets, parrot the same things.

Wayne Mueller's son, Adam, is a key person at Church and Change.

The Church and Change leaders are rooted at The Love Shack (most of the staff), The Sausage Factory (Sorum, etc.), Wisconsin Lutheran College (Our Valpo), and Martin Luther College (Lawrence of Pasadena, etc). They run the District Mission Boards and World Missions. They have their own TV show, Time of Grace, Mark Jeske, where that evil word Lutheran is not mentioned. They have their own theological conference each year or so. They trot off to the Church Shrinkage conferences together, scorning the fellowship of their classmates and co-workers to drool at the feet of false teachers. Luther said, "I will not have any fellowship with them (the Enthusiasts)." Valleskey said, "They are Christians. We can learn from them, too."

If the WELS clergy and laity confront these Church Shrinkers with the plain, clear Word of God, with the Confessions, the wolves in sheep's clothing will rage and gnash their fangs, but retreat finally to the sects where they belong. They will follow Mark Freier, Randy Cutter, Kelly Voigt, and many others they trained to be anti-Lutheran, anti-Means of Grace, anti-Word of God. Some may even convert to Lutheran doctrine.

The Holy Spirit is so powerful that He can use the worst of experiences to raise up pure doctrine again. That could even happen in the LCMS. WELS has more opportunities than Missouri to defeat the CGM scorpions. Every circuit meeting, conference, and gathering is a chance to address the issues with the Word. The first two articles of the Formula of Concord alone can leave the Church Shrinkage Movement shattered and twitching.

Boomers in WELS - you grabbed the best calls and drove out the opposition. It was fun and profitable for you and your pals. Now you are getting closer to the greedy grave. What will you finally say in your defense?

  1. "My parking lot covered six acres"?
  2. "I earned a DMin at Fuller?"
  3. "We won the making disciples debate"?
  4. "No one can tell we are Lutheran"?

Church and Change Board Member Evacuates to Appleton



Jim Skorzewski:
"Appleton? Is that, like, near anywhere?"
Drive 08 Conference "Who went that you might know:
Pastor Ski, John Parlow, Jim Buske"


[GJ - Buske is a Church and Change presenter. So is Parlow. And so is Ski: 506...... In the Beginning…Your Guide to Starting
Your own Alternative Worship Experience
–James Skorzewski and Brian Davison.]

What is Drive ’08? That’s a great question. Drive is a two day conference for church leaders. During these two days church leaders from the three North Point campuses will share what they have learned over the last twelve years about creating and maintaining awesome ministry environments. The entire conference has been designed around questions from churches all over the world.

Over the two days Andy Stanley (Lead Pastor at North Point) will address the attendees in three main sessions. There will be five break-out sessions that will revolve around questions asked by the attendees. These sessions allow those in attendance to get pretty specific on certain areas of ministry as well as get great feedback.


I invite you to check out my blog while I’m gone. I’ll try to update the blog daily and share what I’ve learned. Please feel free to share your comments.


I’ll see you all when I get back!


After we registered we headed to the 5 Seasons for lunch. While we were there we heard this voice behind us at a table. Well, we turn around and sure enough there at the table is my old German teacher, Prof. Daniel Deutschlander sitting & eating bratwurst & drinking a beer. As it turns out he is speaking at the Peachtree Conference (I think that is what it is called - WELS churches in the ATL - Tennesee - Alabama area). He asked if we were down for his presentation. I had to say unfortunately, no. The conversation was pretty interesting after that. I mean, telling your old prof. that you are in town, not to hear him is bad enough, but on top of that you are in town to attend a non-denominational church leadership conference... Not normal WELS practice. By the way, he’s drinking a Maibock in the picture.

Breakout Session #3 - Connecting Adults To Small Groups

This session was lead (sic) by Jenny Boyett. She is in charge of Group Link, which is one of the Small Group programs at North Point. This was a pretty good session. I guess I was looking for more of a how to instead of this is what we do or this might work for you. Most of the information that was shared was theory. They have three types of groups.

Main Session #2 - Andy Stanley - Becoming A Great Staff


This was just awesome. The opening music could be confused with a rock concert. Lights, guitars, confetti, etc... The staff also ran through the aisles and threw out blow up guitars and microphones for the audience. I used the word audience, simply because congregation sounded kind of weird. To me what was interesting about the opening music portion, was it goes against everything that I have been taught as a Lutheran. We are called to put our emotions in a box. To not be emotional about the music, unless it is a moving hymn. This is tough, I mean, I may not be jumping around with my hands up, but should I look down on someone who does? Is their worship any less acceptable to God? I don’t think so. Maybe, we need to look at this, emotions are good as long as they don’t get out of control. I think that sometimes we also put down music because it is a repeating chorus and doesn’t have the depth of a hymn. Do we always need to do that? Can’t we have different kinds of music? Isn’t there a danger in saying that there is only one way to do things? I personally like variety. Think about it like this, Cherios (sic) are good, I like them, they are nutritious, they are good with or without milk. But let me tell you, I love Fruity Pebbles. They are colorful, tasty, & packed with sugar. Does that mean that I want to eat them every day? Probably not, but it doesn’t automatically mean that I want Cherios (sic) every day either. Maybe some days i want Frosted Flakes. I like variety.

Anyway, Andy’s session was great. Like I have said. He has this great gift of making things seem so simple. Here are his main points from this afternoon:


1.A great staff is made up of “great leaders.”


2.Best practices for creating a “great staff.”


a.Do for one when you can’t do for all.


b.Systemize (sic? - may be a new CG word) top down service.


c.In response to your staff’s key objectives, ask “How can I help you?”


d.Create & maintain a sustainable pace.


e.Celebrate & reward greatness when you see it.


3.Signs that things aren’t so great.


a.Competition between departments.


b.Double standards.


c.Loyalty lectures.


This was great just to hear & to have to look at our ministry and ask the question, “Do we have issues here?” I think that overall we do pretty well. Are there areas that we can improve? Of course.

---

Andy Stanley
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Andy Stanley is the senior pastor of North Point Community Church, Buckhead Church, and Browns Bridge Community Church. He also founded North Point Ministries, which is a worldwide Christian organization.

Biography
Stanley was born in 1958. His father is Charles Stanley, who is the senior pastor of the First Baptist Church of Atlanta and founder of InTouch Ministries.

***

GJ - Andy Stanley's books are sold at Fuller Seminary. His daddy divorced his mom but stayed in the ministry. Charles Stanley was in the tank with Paul Y. Cho decades ago. This father-son duo is Baptist and awesomely Church Growth. They will blow you away. Sorry, I read the blog too long and my mind began degenerating.

A few people think I am too pessimistic about WELS. A Wisconsin sect pastor flies to Atlanta, where he might listen to a faithful Lutheran--Dan Deutschlander--but instead listens to a CGM Baptist minister and loves it. How cool is that? And he really seems to brag about it.

PS - Here is Parlow at Church and Change:

501.... Creating Irresistible Environments
with Contemporary Worship
Pastor John Parlow
(john.parlow@stmark-depere.org)
Explore transferable principles that will help you build a church for outsiders to come to and hear truth that makes a difference now and for eternity. Now is the time
to shed ethnic rationalizations, personal preferences, and doomsday attitudes that
are offered as excuses for outreach failures. The truth is the Gospel is timelessly relevant, the church and its representatives may or may not be relevant; the
Gospel is timelessly efficacious, the church and its representatives may or may not be effective. Let’s talk about building ministries that are dangerously
Christian.

John Parlow serves as the lead pastor at St. Mark in De Pere, WI. St. Mark worships over 1,200 people and is currently building a 25,000 sq. ft. addition for
children/family ministry and a sixth weekend worship service offering an “upper room” atmosphere. [GJ - The only thing missing from this Upper Room is Jesus.]

WELS Liberal Confab: Limmer Keynote Speaker



WELS Campus Pastor Bill Limmer


They call this group Share Grace.


Workshops offered:
Introducing Your World to Jesus
Workshop Particulars

February 2, 2008
8:00a to 12:30p

St John Lutheran Church
7809 Harwood Ave
Wauwatosa, WI 53213
414-258-7831

Keynote Speaker:
Bill Limmer
Pastor, Point of Grace Campus Ministry
Milwaukee, WI.

Approaches to
Personal Outreach
Presenter: Jim Aderman (long time advocate of cell groups)
Pastor, Fairview Lutheran
Milwaukee, WI.

Introducing Jesus to people of a different culture or faith
Presenter: E. Allen Sorum (makes Valleskey look like Chemnitz)
Professor at Wisconsin Lutheran Serminary, Mequon, WI.

Introducing Jesus to people I have just met
Presenter: Jim Skorzewski (Board Member, WELS Church and Change)
Pastor, St Marcus Lutheran
Milwaukee, WI.

Limmer, Aderman, Skorzewski, and Sorum are Church Shrinkers. Perhaps some Lutherans were asked to balance the ticket. Ask someone in the know.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

TLH Available for Free



The Second Martin



The Lutheran Hymnal


If you need The Lutheran Hymnal for the Bethany services, our Distribution Center can mail one or more to you for free. Just send your name and address to my email address.

The user name is the same as the primary editor of the Formula of Concord. The provider is cox.net.

Detroit Auto Makers Get Bailout for $25 Billion




What about me?
What about me?
What about me?
What about me?
What about me?
What about me?
What about me?
What about me?
What about me?

Plagiarism Common in the WELS Church Shrinkage Movement



Haste, haste; copy and paste,
Just make sure the doctrine's debased.


I have not received one howl of protest from the WELS Church and Change people for exposing more plagiarism from Kelm/Parlow beehive. See the post immediately below. I will feature any complaints from the Church Shrinkage gurus.

I believe they copy and paste because they have no doctrine of their own, no ideas, and no faith. They certainly do not believe in the power, authority, and effectiveness of the Word. They do not trust the Word and Sacraments. How bizarre, to turn away from the clear, plain words of God's Word in order to belch or bleat the intricate, self-inflating, pompous, man-glorifying words of ordinary, foolish human beings.

Plagiarism from the Church Shrinkage experts is not new. Those LCMS pastors featured in Who's Who in Church Growth (by C. Peter Wagner) simply copied what they got from Fuller Seminary. Werning used quotation marks, even when quoting pages of Fuller material verbatim. All of Kent Hunter's insights were repeated from Fuller.

Paul Kelm has always copied Reformed doctrine, something he learned when working for David Valleskey in California. Valleskey once "produced" a boxed spiritual gifts program, identical to Fuller's boxed program in name and substance. I doubt whether it was verbatim copying, but the message was pure Enthusiasm.

Kelm and Parlow are well known for placing the sermons of other men (all non-Lutherans) on their website, claiming them as their own. The comparisons were sent around WELS and came to me. When Bailing Water and Ichabod mentioned this, the sermons were footnoted. I wonder, did they say, "I stole this from a Baptist website"? Soon after this was laughed about, the sermons disappeared altogether. Now they must be requested.

One of the favored WELS CGM pastors in Charleston gave sermons verbatim from Willow Creek, even reproducing Hybels' inflections. He was not told to stop spreading false doctrine. No, not under Mischke-Kelm-Mueller. He was told to stop being dishonest. But the dog returned to his vomit and was removed from the ministry. He is still paid by WELS, not as a minister.

I used to copy all the Church Shrinkage quotations from WELS and from Fuller, printing them next to each other. Like Werning, the WELS Shrinkers copied all the concepts but often without using quotation marks or citations. Nevertheless, the WELS guys freely admitted promoting the methods and doctrines of the Enthusiasts.

Here is one WELS Mission Counselor's Newsletter from Jim Radloff, who was hotter than Phoenix asphalt for CGM. The contributors are Paul Kelm (WELS but never Lutheran), Mark Freier (officially not Lutheran now), Randy Cutter (WELS star, now Pentecostal), and various theological leaders from the Presbyterians, Disciples of Christ, Congregationalists, and Methodists. April 1992.

The Mission Counselor's Newsletter was the upgrade (bigger, slicker, worser) of TELL. When TELL was upgraded, the editor bragged that the purpose of the rag had always been to promote the CGM.

As many incompetent, false teachers in WELS will tell you, copying and pasting from Fuller and Willow Creek was a career enhancing move, even if they were canned. The Church Shrinkers always rushed in to save their hides. The Love Shack is full of them because the clergy blew off every chance to stomp the scorpion before it had babies. Now the babies have babies.

The Word alone will defeat the Church Shrinkers and their Father Below.

Parlow/Limmer Channel Bill Hybels:
Another Case of Plagiarism



WELS Pastor Bill Limmer, Point of Grace, Milwaukee, Campus Ministry, copying and pasting his latest insights?



Bill Hybels, Willow Creek Community Church - Not WELS.



Paul Kelm, WELS



John Parlow, WELS



----- Original Message -----
From: jp (this is how John Parlow sends his messages)

Sent: Thursday, April 17, 2003 2:47 PM
Subject: Letter from Pastor Limmer (not sure how Limmer got added, but he was)

Dear St. Mark Family,
I have never been an early riser all my life. And so for someone like me to be tossing and turning two hours before sunrise, after a fourteen hour work day at St. Mark...well that is worth trying to figure out. Jet lag? Nope. I have been in the same time zone for weeks. Family trouble? Nope. My family still graciously puts up with all my quirks. Anxiety? The world has its share of troubles, and I like many of you, have felt the need to pray more fervently for so many who are suffering. But after reflecting on that for a little while, I knew that wasn't the root cause of my sleeplessness.

Being the seasoned spiritual leader that I am, I finally resorted to a formula that has been a secret embarrassment to me for decades: "When all else fails...turn to God and ask for help." When I quietly breathed a prayer for insight from above, the Spirit whispered, "It is old fashioned excitement, Bill. You felt it in years past when Holy Week services were filled with a sense of anticipation and wonder and you are feeling it again now. It is a good thing. In fact, why not revel in the fact that you have been doing something for fifteen years and you love it so much that you can't sleep come ‘game day’." Duh.

Last night I prayed for Scott as I knew he would be putting on the finishing touches for the three Maundy Thursday Services. And today I'm contemplating the final rehearsals for our Good Friday services, and felt a sharp pang of sadness that it is not being broadcast all over the world. It was that touching to me. I was completely convinced that any and all who experience it will be moved to tears as I was, and as irresistibly drawn to the Crucified One. The Tenebrae services are at 12:30, 3:30 and 6:30 tomorrow.

Earlier in the day John, a few others and I reviewed the Easter message. (Remember we are at West High, 966 Shawano Ave. at 7:30 and 9:30 a.m.) As the group left my office, I sat with John and we grieved over the fact that we would only be having eight Holy Week services! All John and I could talk about was the redemptive potential of the next four days. Who knows what God might do--in how many lives?!

Friends, don't miss anything these next few days. Don't miss private promptings from God regarding what He wants you to reflect on this Holy Week. Don't miss a single opportunity to ask additional friends and family to come with you to the services. Don't miss the teaching moments with young children that this season affords. Miss a little sleep...but don't miss anything else. Deal?
Bill

[Milwaukee -- Cardinal Stritch Coll
(F) Rev Bill F Limmer
The Point of Grace, Milwaukee WI
414-963-2047
pastorbill@thepointofgrace.net
Wisconsin Lutheran Student Center Worship Facility]



---

But two and one-half hours earlier, this message had already arrived from Bill Hybels, Willow Creek Community Church:


----- Original Message -----
From: Bill Hybels
To: enews@arrow.willowcreek.org
Sent: Thursday, April 17, 2003 12:08 PM
Subject: Sleepless in Barrington (from Bill Hybels)

Dear Enews Family,

I have been an early riser all my life. It goes back to growing up in a family that owned a fresh produce business. But for someone like me to be tossing and turning two hours before sunrise, after a sixteen hour work day at Willow...well that is worth trying to figure out. Jet lag? Nope. I have been in the same time zone for weeks. Family trouble? Nope. We recently returned from one of the most enjoyable vacations we have ever had. Anxiety? The world has its share of troubles, and I like many of you, have felt the need to pray more fervently for so many who are suffering. But after reflecting on that for a little while, I knew that wasn't the root cause of my sleeplessness.

Being the seasoned spiritual leader that I am, I finally resorted to a formula that has been a secret embarrassment to me for decades: "When all else fails...turn to God and ask for help." When I quietly breathed a prayer for insight from above, the Spirit whispered, "It is old fashioned excitement, Bill. You felt it in years past when Good Friday and Easter services were filled with a sense of anticipation and wonder and you are feeling it again now. It is a good thing. In fact, why not revel in the fact that you have been doing something for thirty years and you love it so much that you can't sleep come ‘game day’." Duh.

Last night I sat through the final rehearsals for our Good Friday services, and felt a sharp pang of sadness that it is not being broadcast all over the world. It was that touching to me. I was completely convinced that any and all who experience it will be moved to tears as I was, and as irresistibly drawn to the Crucified One. The first service starts tonight at 7:00 p.m. (And then we get to do it three more times on Friday--at 4:00, 6:00, and 8:00 p.m.!)

Earlier in the day God had graciously given my Easter message to me, after which the team and I reviewed the Easter program one final time. As the group left my office, I sat alone for just a moment and grieved over the fact that we would only be able to do it seven times! At the end of my workday Greg Ferguson and I did our typical run, but at a ridiculously fast pace, because all we could talk about was the redemptive potential of the next four days. Who knows what God might do--in how many lives?!

So, that's why I'm pecking at my laptop well before the guys with broken exhaust systems deliver the newspapers . . .raw spiritual amperage. And at my age...it is a good thing.

Friends, don't miss anything these next few days. Don't miss private promptings from God regarding what He wants you to reflect on this Holy Week. Don't miss a single opportunity to ask additional friends and family to come with you to the services. Don't miss the teaching moments with young children that this season affords. Miss a little sleep...but don't miss anything else. Deal?

Bill

-------------------------------
To find out about this weekend's service or what's happening around Willow Creek Community Church, visit http://www.willowcreek.org.
To unsubscribe from E-news, send a blank message to enews@willowcreek.org with the word "unsubscribe" in the subject line.
If you have questions about Willow Creek, you can e-mail info@willowcreek.org or call (847)765-5000. Thank you.

Interesting Email Story


A source has a pair of emails, which I will copy soon. I need a little more verification.

I appreciate the many sources feeding information to this blog. Infections need surgery or medicine. One influential person said, "You have information no one else seems to know. Obviously you have a lot of contacts." More and better than most imagine, believe, hope, or fear.

The Church and Change circle of WELS has been very quiet lately. The nasty personal note of the day is missing.

Bipartisan Bailout Plan Almost Completed:
A Good Time To Invest in Canned Goods



"And I don't have to pay back my huge bonus for wrecking the bank."

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Jesus Joy of Man's Desiring



Glammed up--my German flute teacher would croak--but easy on the ears.

Bach Air on a G String



Comment: "Bach had to be communing with God when he wrote this."

The Nineteenth Sunday after Trinity



"Rev. Kelm, you can copy my sermons all you wish. Public domain."


Luther's Sermons Scanned Here

The Nineteenth Sunday After Trinity

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson

Bethany Lutheran Worship, 8 AM Phoenix Time

The Hymn #195 by Luther Christ lag in Todesbanden
The Confession of Sins
The Absolution
The Introit p. 16
The Gloria Patri
The Kyrie p. 17
The Gloria in Excelsis
The Salutation and Collect p. 19
The Epistle and Gradual Eph 4:22-28
The Gospel Luke Matthew 9:1-8
Glory be to Thee, O Lord!
Praise be to Thee, O Christ!
The Nicene Creed p. 22
The Sermon Hymn #191 Llanfair

Be of Good Cheer – Your Sins Are Forgiven

The Hymn #369 Wenn wir in hoechsten Noeten
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 #370 Magdalen

KJV Ephesians 4:22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. 25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. 26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: 27 Neither give place to the devil. 28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.

KJV Matthew 9:1 And he entered into a ship, and passed over, and came into his own city. 2 And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee. 3 And, behold, certain of the scribes said within themselves, This man blasphemeth. 4 And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts? 5 For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk? 6 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house. 7 And he arose, and departed to his house. 8 But when the multitudes saw it, they marvelled, and glorified God, which had given such power unto men.

Nineteenth Sunday After Trinity: The Collects of Veit Dietrich
O mighty and everlasting God, who by Thy Son Jesus Christ didst mercifully help the palsied man both in body and soul: We beseech Thee, for the sake of Thy great mercy: Be gracious also unto us; forgive us all our sins, and so govern us by Thy Holy Spirit, that we may not ourselves be the cause of sickness and other afflictions; keep us in Thy fear, and strengthen us by Thy grace that we may escape temporal and eternal wrath and punishment, through Thy Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one true God, world without end. Amen.
(A Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope, Treatise Compiled by the Theologians Assembled at Smalcald - 1537
Magister Veit Dieterich of Nuernberg subscribed)
Be of Good Cheer – Your Sins Are Forgiven
Matthew 9:2 And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.

There are many important elements in this miracle story. I often read Luther’s sermon on the text, which is available in the seven-volume set. Here is a link from CBD:

http://www.christianbook.com/Christian/Books/product?item_no=11997&netp_id=200578&event=ESRCN&item_code=WW&view=covers

Seven volumes sell for $35, the approximate cost of one hard-cover novel.

From Luther I have learned to see different doctrines emphasized in similar stories. A new reader (or young pastor) may see just another miracle story here in this text. But there are two things at work here.

One is the brevity of the Gospels. Each Gospel is so short that the inclusion of a passage must mean that God considered it vitally important. We should too.

I told this story before, but it fits what I am saying. One time we left New Ulm for the Mayo Clinic. I forgot to bring my wallet. I did not realize it until we were there, 140 miles from home. Chris did not bring hers. We had $3 in quarters for the day. We ate lunch and that was sparse. Chris got the sandwich because I forgot the money. I ate the crusts. They were so good because I was not going to have anything else. I had a little change, so I bought a box of cough drops. Each one was like a ruby. I enjoyed it and savored it. I was glad for every calorie. On the way home we bought food with my Amoco card at a gas station mart. That was no so good because we could have any amount of junk food they sold.

So we should savor every phrase of the Gospels and Paul’s letters because of the brevity of the Scriptures.

The second thing at work is our appreciation for the same text as we hear it and study it, year after year. Variety is the reason for people abandoning the simple, plain truths of the Word of God. They itch for something new and superficial instead of hungering for something old and satisfying.

In this text we see the example of faith – first of all. “Lo” or “Behold” means – this was that famous miracle. The friends believed in Christ and brought the man with palsy to see Jesus. The crowd was impossible so they went up on the roof with him. This was the man lowered down from the roof. The roofing tiles were pulled away and he was let down, a terrifying experience for someone tied into a cot. They had faith and the palsied man had faith in Christ’s healing power.

As Luther mentioned, no request of Jesus was ever declined. When we stumble over difficult passages (like the Canaanite woman) we should remember that.

Jesus’ reputation spread far and wide. He healed people and multitudes were drawn to Him by His personality, His kindness, and His powerful preaching. This also made powerful enemies.

Jesus saw the faith of the men and said, “Child, be of good cheer, your sins are forgiven.”

Lenski has said, “There are sermons in the grammar,” and by that he meant the exact meaning of the word can be parsed because Greek is so precise. The moment Jesus pronounced those words, the man’s sins were forgiven. Lenski says in Matthew, p. 346:

“No man’s sins are forgiven without faith present in his heart.”

The religious opponents knew the meaning of this absolution. Only God can forgive sins. They howled, “He is blaspheming! – speaking against the majesty of God by assuming that divinity himself!”

In that respect Jesus earned a confession of sorts from his opponents, just as He did from the demons who possessed people: “We know who You are – the Son of the Blessed!”

When Jesus saw the Pharisees reacting against Him, He asked, “Which is easier, to say ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Take up your cot and walk’?”

The next section is very powerful:

Matthew 9:6 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house. 7 And he arose, and departed to his house.

That is why Matthew wrote “Lo” – because everyone knew that story. And who could forget a man lowered from the roof and walking away with his cot in his strengthened arms?

Lenski has good insights about the plight of the man. His sinfulness did not cause his paralysis, but the palsy brought out his sinful nature. I have known people trapped in useless bodies who raged against their fate. One man refused to take communion because of his anger. He blamed God for his problems, which were apparently caused by bad surgery. He kept saying, “I once swung a sledge-hammer all day.”

We do not have exact details about the palsied man, but we can see Jesus healed him both in body and soul.

The Pharisees saw that only God can forgive sins. And how did this happen? The Word of God, spoken by Jesus, conveyed this forgiveness to the believer, the palsied man.

The absolution (beautifully described in TLH #331) accomplishes the same, with the pastor repeating the Word of Christ: “Your sins are forgiven.”

Some consume this Gospel without knowing or experiencing what it means. The Pharisees heard the Gospel promise and it hardened their hearts even more, showing how effective the Word is. (Blinding or enlightening, hardening or converting)

Jesus taught in great detail about people who experience forgiveness, believe in Christ, and then let go of the Word and become worse than ever before. Others see the Gospel as a way to improve their living or their reputations. They may come for the wrong reason and become converted. Or they may become worse as they harden themselves against the Word.

There is one story of an organist who never came to communion for decades. Finally, one day he appeared at the altar to take communion with the rest. The Word finally penetrated his heart.

One unfortunate affliction of theologians and church historians is reading too many books. So many times I recall those idiotic passages of well-educated people who rail against the plain meaning of the Word. They would climb into heaven and advise God. Why so many instruments of grace (Means of Grace)?
Perhaps man needs the Word spoken and taught, the Word visible in baptism and communion, the absolution, and the mutual consolation of the brethren.

G. K. Chesterton said that man does not need absolution so much as a complete confession. I take that as a description of the sinful state of man. Because of our weakness, our frailty, God has given us many ways to receive complete, full, and free forgiveness of our sins.

Forgiveness does strengthen us. Nothing is so disabling as bearing a burden of sin. Worse than this burden is the thought of man paying for this sin, redeeming himself by acts of contrition. As Luther said, “People purchase Hell for themselves when they can have heaven for free.”

Lack of forgiveness wears us down, either with depression or anger. Some say anger and depression go together. Because of our sinful nature, we act according to wrong assumptions. The most basic concerns forgiveness. Once we grasp the Gospel forgiveness offered to us so freely and generously, we cannot be stingy with others in any way. If we wait to forgive until everyone pleases us, we will torture ourselves.

That is what often happens in families. There is an attitude of “I will be happy when things go my way.” If the ministry of Jesus had been like that, we would still be heathen worshiping trees and sacrificing human beings. Instead, we should generate happiness by making others happy. Blessings and misery multiply, but blessings are easier to generate as the fruit of the Gospel Promises.

Here is one question, “How can I make this a memorable day for you?” Then wait for then answer and act on it. That can have multiple effects of forgiveness, joy, love, warmth, and happiness.

The Gospel is so powerful that it can affect the people closest to us, starting with us.

---

From Luther's sermon on this text:

THE POWER ON EARTH TO FORGIVE SINS.


28. The Pharisees knew very well that to forgive sins was the work of God, and belonged to him alone. For this reason they regarded Christ as a blasphemer, who as a man pretended to forgive sins. The forgiveness of sin is of two kinds: The first is to drive sin from the heart and infuse grace into it; this is the work of God alone. The second kind is the declaration of the forgiveness of sin; this man can do to his fellowman. But here Christ does both. He instills the Spirit into the heart and externally he declares forgiveness with the word, which is a declaration and public preaching of the internal forgiveness.


Page 209 ---------------------------


29. All men who are Christians and have been baptized, have this power. For with this they praise Christ, and the word is put into their mouth, so that they may and are able to say, if they wish, and as often as it is necessary: Behold, 0 Man! God offers thee his grace, forgives thee all thy sins; be comforted, thy sins are forgiven; only believe and thou wilt surely have forgiveness. This word of consolation shall not cease among Christians until the last day: "Thy sins are forgiven, be of good cheer." Such language a Christian always uses and openly declares the forgiveness of sins. For this reason and in this manner a Christian has power to forgive sins.


30. Therefore if I say to you: Thy sins are forgiven, then believe it as surely as though God himself had said it to you. But who could do this if Christ had not descended, had not instructed me and said that we should forgive one another our trespasses? As when he says, John 20, 22-23: "Receive ye the Holy Ghost; whosesoever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them, and whosesoever sins ye retain, they are retained unto them." And at another place, Mat. 18, 19-20, he says: "If two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there I am in the midst of them." The word penetrates and performs it.


31. Now if there were no man on earth to forgive sins, and there were only law and works what a weak, and miserable thing a poor troubled conscience would be. But now when God adequately instructs every one, so that he is able to say to others: Thy sins are forgiven thee, whereever thou art; the golden age has arrived. On this account we are to be defiant and boastful against sin, so that we can say to our brother, who is in anxiety and distress on account of his sins: Be of good cheer, my brother, thy sins are forgiven; although I cannot give thee the Holy Ghost and faith, I can yet declare them unto thee; if thou believest, thou hast them. They who thus believe these words, praise and glorify God, even as they do here in the Gospel.

Paul Newman Just Died




Paul Newman died of cancer last night at the age of 83. He studied drama at Yale.

Other famous stars from Yale are: Meryl Streep, Angela Bassett, Julie Harris, Chris Noth, Frances McDormand, Charles Dutton, Henry Winkler, Sigourney Weaver, Jodie Foster, Claire Danes, and Liev Schreiber.

ELCIC Bishop Susan C. Johnnson



"She is an honorary canon of Christ's Church Cathedral (Hamilton)."


Since 1994 she has been the Assistant to the Bishop of the Eastern Synod of the ELCIC. From 2001–2005, she served as Vice-President of the ELCIC. She has served as an advisor to The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) Council since 1998, as a member of the North American Regional Committee for LWF since 2005, on the Leadership Development Task Force from 2005 2006 and on a variety of boards and committees both at the national and synodical level.

Nominating ballot:

  1. Pr Susan Johnson - 75 - Ran for LWF president in 2003 and lost to Archbishop Hanson, ELCA.
  2. Bp Cindy Halmerson - 48 - Bishop Cindy is pictured below this post.
  3. Ed Skutcheck - 36
  4. Pr K Glen Johnson - 26
  5. Bp Michael Pryse - 23 - Bishop Mike was Susan Johnson's boss, Eastern Canada Synod, so she became his boss.
  6. Pr Steve Kristensen - 22
  7. Pr Ron Mayan - 22
  8. Pr Peeter Vanker - 11 - Suspiciously Dutch-sounding name. No chance to win.

Bruce Church noticed that Susan and Cindy garnered almost as many votes together as six male candidates.

Archbishop Susan's official communications are haughty and authoritarian. Look over her site for a few belly laughs. Most people in the world did not know her position existed until they read Ichabod.

ELCIC used to be known as The Canada Section of the LCA, a modest entity. I imagine they also grabbed a few ALC congregations to make up this 100% Canadian sect. Separatists wanted to be free of Yankee influence, sobbing later than NYC did not care that they left. Not all the whiners are in the States, eh?

I heard this from the Canadians, "If someone in New York had only made one request that the separation not take place, it would have stopped." That was cold of New York, letting the Canadians do what they had always threatened to do.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Canada Is Diverse



Bishop Elaine, eh?



Does Bishop Cindy wonder why men are fleeing the Lutheran Church
for Holy Mother Rome or Constantinople? Probably not.


Bishop Elaine Sauer and I were part of a group of about 20 women bishops and presidents of Lutheran churches from around the world. This group brought to the attention of the LWF Council and the whole gathered assembly the fact that, of 140 LWF member churches, 39 still do not ordain both women and men. In some those that do, ordained women are not permitted to provide full ministry according to their call. We called for the Council to hold the General Secretariat accountable to the LWF’s long-standing commitment for full and equal participation by women in LWF committees, boards, interconfessional consultations, and in the various ranks of staff positions.

There is some good news from the LWF, as Bishop Cindy revealed.

From LCMS to ELCA in Canada



Faculty Member, Waterloo Lutheran Seminary, Canada


BA, Pepperdine University, 1968;
MDiv, Concordia Theological Seminary, 1972; [The Surrendered Fort? or Our Lady of Sorrows in St. Louis?]
PhD, Fuller Theological Seminary, 1981.


Dr. Robert A. Kelly is a native of Southern California who has been at Waterloo Lutheran Seminary since 1985 teaching Systematic Theology, Historical Theology, and Christian Ethics. Currently he is Professor of Systematic Theology and holds the Bishop William D. Huras Chair in Ecclesiology and Church History. When asked why teaching theology is important to him, Bob replied, "The question that has motivated me from the time I decided to go to seminary myself has been 'What would happen if Lutheran people lived as if they actually believed that we are justified by grace through faith?' This is the question that still drives me. What would happen? How would the world be changed by people who really and deeply believe that our standing before God, our place in the universe, is decided already by God's unconditional promise in the resurrection of the crucified Jesus? In my teaching I want, more than anything else, to communicate an understanding of radical grace. I want my students to join with me in becoming a community of theological deliberation, a community of convivial theologians who together through friendly and committed conversation explore the meaning of the Gospel for the lives of real people." That's a big challenge! Bob's classes are demanding, but there is often a surprise, a new insight that comes through engagement.

Outside the classroom Bob pursues a number of interests. He reads constantly in support of his teaching. In addition his interest in the use of computer technology in the humanities has led him to work on developing electronic editions of 19th century North American Lutheran texts of historic importance (See the Waterloo Lutheran Seminary Historic Text Archive for examples of his work in this area). His hobby is trains and he is the Vice President of the Waterloo Regional Model Railway Club, which is modeling the Sudbury Division of the Canadian Pacific in the 1970s.


***

GJ - I went to seminary at Waterloo. I found it interesting that a Missouri Synod pastor backslid from Fuller training to the equivalent of ELCA in Canada. Notice too that they have a real PhD program at Fuller Seminary, not just a drive-by DMin.

A check on my vicarage congregation, which once was independent, shows that the membership went from 3,000 baptized--when I was there--to 2,000 today. In 1970, St. Peter's was the largest Lutheran church in Canada. Now it is "one of the largest in ELCiC." The interim pastor is a retired Anglican bishop! Interim pastors are often used when a congregation has had a major dust-up. St. Peter's advocates homosexual marriage, a fact that would have driven my vicarage supervisor insane with rage. I know, because he was utterly shaken that an openly gay seminarian visited his office and outted himself as gay. Apostasy does not pull back and give up on its own. Canadian Lutherans offer a foretaste of American Lutheran doctrine and practice, a few years from now.

The current state of St. Peter's Lutheran Church, Kitchener, was unthinkable in 1972.

ELCiC has a female archbishop who does not seem to be married. See the posts above for more Canadian information.